Octavia TDI not starting - mare
My W reg Octavia TDI wouldn't start this morning:

I drove the children to school with no problem (half a mile, heated rear window on etc) and got back in the car after dropping them off and it wouldn't start. The engine turns but doesn't fire. The glowplug light goes out too.

Car was serviced less than a month ago, and the fuel filter replaced. It has done 110,000 miles, so i wouldn't be surprised if something has gone.

What could this be? This is the first time it's not started! I wonder if i've flooded it if that's possible on a diesel.
Octavia TDI not starting - RichardW
As this engine is all electronically controlled, it could by any one of a number of sensors not playing ball, or just a diesel leak somewhere. You need to get it to someone with a code reader (difficult I know since it won't run!) to see if it is reporting any faults.


Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Octavia TDI not starting - mare
As this engine is all electronically controlled, it could by any one of a number of sensors not playing ball, >>

Funny you should say that. When the temperature goes to -2oC, the low coolant light pings and flashes. It does regular as clockwork when the temperature drops. Of course, i checked the coolant the first couple of times, but now treat it as a faul;t that i live with.

This morning, on the third or fourth attepmt to start it, the low oil light pinged and flashed, so i stopped trying. The oil level is fine and there appears to be no leaks.

Would a AA patrol carry a code reader? I could call them out.
Octavia TDI not starting - mare

i returned to the car and tried starting it again. It wouldn't. Called the AA.

AA turn up. Try starting the car.

1 - lots of smoke from the exhaust, therefore fuel going through.
2 - Glowplugs apparently OK
3 - No obvious air leaks

Detach air pipe, insert Cold Start and after a bit of cranking, car starts. But will not start again.

Another dose of Cold Start, car starts easily so we drive it to the garage and leave it outside.

Only thing that the (very nice) AA man can think of is a faulty sensor preventing the car from starting.

Any other ideas?

Octavia TDI not starting - Civic8
Would suggest glow plugs..But were the plugs tested by AA?.Lots of smoke suggests fuel feed is fine.Ps what colour was the smoke?
Octavia TDI not starting - David Horn
Wouldn't really enthusiastic cranking start it, glowplugs or not? I thought the modern engines retarded the timing slightly in cold weather anyway to help it start more easily.
Octavia TDI not starting - mare

Glowplugs were tested and were apparently fine. Smoke was white.


The car's never let me down so i am a virgin in when diesels go wrong. But i thought the same as you. I wondered if the glowplugs had gone, and was going to try the car once the day warmed up. But it didn't work.

Keep cranking, it wants to go, but won't.

Garage's turn today.
Octavia TDI not starting - RichardW
You shouldn't need any glow plugs to start a VW TDi engine that is slightly warm. White smoke is vaporised diesel - there is enough heat to vaporise some of it but not ignite it. It sounds like either a loss of compression (head gasket, timing belt jumped?), or the injection timing has got screwed up (crankshaft sensor?). I'd lean towards the latter given it happen suddenly.


Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Octavia TDI not starting - GrahamF1
It'll almost certainly need something plugging into it to read a fault code.

Once upon a time there were three possible issues. No spark, no fuel, or fuel and spark but at the wrong time. Of course, no sparks in a diesel so that's one less thing.

Now there are a thousand possible electronic faults that no-one has a hope of diagnosing without a plug-in.
Octavia TDI not starting - madf
Symptons could be a sticking glow plug relay. Lights up but never switches plugs on. So in cold weather no go. Would be OK in warm..


Octavia TDI not starting - mare
And the winner is..... Richard W!

Cam belt had jumped a tooth and once back in place, is slack. In hindsight, the car did get more noisy earlier on in the week, and apparently this is a sign of the timing being out.

Solution: new cambelt and tensioner, and while you're under the bonnet, change the pollen filter please. OK, it's an unexpected bill, but boy am i glad the belt didn't fail completely.

Value my car