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00 1.8 Escort Van poor starting - anything with an engine

Hoping one of the technical gurus out there can help me. I have a 2000 W-reg Escort Van, a 1.8 diesel (non turbo).

During the last week or so it has become very hard to start in the morning, the battery cranks the engine fine but it just won't fire up. Eventually after a lot of smoke it starts, then will run and start fine all day (doesn't smoke once running).

I figured this was glow plugs as it coincided with the cold weather, so changed them. The ones that came out were very sooty and pretty old. However, next morning, no change, still a nightmare to start, but then once running it starts first time all day.

I had something similar on an old BMW years ago and eventually sorted it by putting a non-return valve on the fuel pipe, on the engine side of the filter, but on the Escort its harder to see where this should go.

Any ideas much appreciated!


00 1.8 Escort Van poor starting - rac rich
before you start fitting one way valves to the fuel lines check you have feed to your glow plugs (possible glow plug relay issues).

If you do have "air ingress" in fuel system, fuel primer pump is usual culprit.

00 1.8 Escort Van poor starting - Screwloose

You'll probably find the plug on the glow relay has melted.
00 1.8 Escort Van poor starting - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
Check the usual culprits of air leaks at the filter primer pump and the fuel heater next to it. Chafing of the plastic pipe from filter to pump can give a tiny leak which will drip fuel. The last one of these I had was down to a worn starter which sounded fine but was just slow enough to prevent starting. It'd had everything thrown at it by the world and his dog, plugs, relays, filter assembly, battery, but a cold cranking test revealed slow compression build up and excessive cranking current. A replacement starter got it on the button right through the winter. But check the air leaks first.
00 1.8 Escort Van poor starting - anything with an engine

Thanks for all your help, been a while replying so not sure if anyone still reading this!

It turned out I had no feed to the glow plugs, relay swapped with another one and OK, fuse gone. Replaced fuse, it blew again. After ages of looking eventually traced problem to the new glow plugs which were shorting (last thing I checked) - new plugs have gone in, and I now have a feed to them. However van is still a reluctant starter if it's been left for a couple of days in cold weather. Looks like the air leaks are next, thanks again for all the suggestions...
00 1.8 Escort Van poor starting - piston power
If your fuel fiter has the priming pump fitted check to see if hard when you pump? if soft and you pump it it goes hard fuel is leaking back to the tank and a new unit is required, the seals wear out.

00 1.8 Escort Van poor starting - livercool
My escort van got the same problem , first thing in the morning it just wont start . After n mininute of trying the battery gives up and even if we try to jump start it off another car it wont go. When bumping it down the road it starts fine . For the rest of the day it will start ok but still not how it should .
Does this sound like a starter and a battery or just starter ? Apparently the plugs is fine ive been told and tried the relay bypass where u heat the plugs manualy with a seperate button .

please help
00 1.8 Escort Van poor starting - jayeastanglia
check the small fuel pipe from the injection pump that goes across the front of the engine as the pipe does wear through causing a very small air leak into the injection pipe..this will make the van hard to start when cold or after a period of standing.

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