97 1.9D Turns over but fails to start - simmo328
Any hints or tips on this one would be much appreciated. Engine turns over but fails to start. Engine has been difficult to start recently but when it does everything runs fine and it will start and stop for the rest of the day but like most of us doesn't like mornings. I have proved fuel to injector pump and battery is fully charged, fuel is getting to cylinders as when it does start there is an environmentally damaging cloud out the back end initially. Engine is definately free to turn and will do on attempting to start - it sounds as if it wants to fire but won't. I have run 100 miles since last fuel top up which had injector clean added to it. Did 30 mile run on dual carriageway in 4th gear the other day to run at higher rpm to help cleaning injectors / pistons. Anyone got any ideas???

Edited by Pugugly on 07/03/2009 at 11:36

97 1.9D Turns Over But Fails To Start - RichardW
"Anyone got any ideas???"

Fit new glow plugs.
97 1.9D Turns Over But Fails To Start - thomp1983
it's likely either 1 or more dead glow plugs or air ingress overnight. try turning the ignition on wait for the glow plug light to go out, turn the ignition off, turn it back on wait for the glow plug light to go out a second time then start, if it starts alot easier then it's likely the glow plugs. if it doesn't then it's likely an air leak in the fuel system.

97 1.9D Turns Over But Fails To Start - simmo328
Initially suspected the glow plugs and have tried the turning them on and off and on again up to ten times with no difference which could indicate a problem however as the engine will turn over at the same speed for a long time (at least 30 seconds before I turn it off) I am assuming this will cause enough temperature from compression within the cylinders for ignigtion. I also thought about the air leak in fuel line however I have primed the fuel system by pumping the bulb several times prior to attempting to start which should overcome this problem on start. There is no sign of a fuel leak however the bulb is always soft initially and doesn't remain hard for too long following priming which could indicate an air leak in the fuel line allowing it to drain back to the tank(????). When priming I hear a light clicking sound, is this normal?? I wasn't aware of the cold start advance system and when it has started previously, it has felt "lumpy" for the first few seconds almost as if it was missing - what can be done to adjust this??

Thanks for the advice so far, please keep it coming...........
97 1.9D Turns Over But Fails To Start - andrewuwe
On mine there is a lump on the fuel filter housing with a cable coming out this goes to the diesel fuel pump which is a lucas type it pulls on a little lever which connects two wires together, maybe under a rubber seal(missing on mine). This operates the advance. When the engine is cold the cable is tight(ish) and it slackens after about 5 mins.

Like I said this ALL depends on the model.

Much more likely is the plugs or relay, it won't cost you anything to bypass the relay, as I said, and test that the plugs draw some current.

P.S. If you don't care and just want to drive, get some jumpstart or some people say lynx deoderant and spray into the air filter before you start in the morning. The mot only covers a warm engine ;-)
97 1.9D Turns Over But Fails To Start - andrewuwe
First I would check that your plugs are working.
Switch your ignition on and connect the battery positive to a glow plug with a thick bit of wire for 15 seconds you should see a spark as you connect, since there is a fair bit of current. Then pop back into the car and start it. If good you need to check the plugs and relay area.

Next check the cold start advance is still working. More difficult. Depends on model. If that it will feel a little lumpy on first set off if that.

97 1.9D Turns Over But Fails To Start - RichardW
A 1.9 XUD should start perfectly on 4 good plugs. On 3 it will start, but cough a bit on the dead cylinder. On 2 it will probably start , but will cough a lot and need some revs to keep it running. On 1 it will be a trial to start. If all are gone it will need 1 minute plus of cranking, and even then you will need to keep cranking it as it begins to fire. By all means check there is voltage on the plugs, but I would just change them - they are likely well past their best anyway. Plug change on a 1.9D is fairly easy - although take care winding the plugs out if they are tight - it's not unknown to break the threaded boss off the cylinder head....
97 1.9D Turns Over But Fails To Start - simmo328
Have tested the glow plugs and they are good, finally got it going by constantly pumping the fuel bulb whilst cranking it over, it appears that the fuel line doesn't hold the fuel and allows it to drain back to the tank when not running as air is visible in the fuel line.

Any Ideas??????????????????????
97 1.9D Turns Over But Fails To Start - Lud
Fuel pump seems not to be working. Perhaps there is an air leak upstream of the fuel pump... I would check the line.
97 1.9D Turns Over But Fails To Start - thomp1983
most common source of air leaks in no particular order,

the primer bulb,
injector leak of pipes including blank on end one,
fuel line between filter and primer bulb,
fuel filter seal top one and bottom one, bottom one less common,
fuel line from filter to fuel pump.

the fuel lines and injector leak of pipes can be replaced for less than £10 with new fuel line from a motor factors cut to appropriate lengths. unless you have physically removed the plugs and seen them glow red hot at the tips then i wouldn't assume there working just form a multimeter reading.

97 1.9D Turns Over But Fails To Start - ianjoh
Overnight air leaks can be so frustrating! Every French car I've had has leaked air at some time. If you have a priming bulb before the filter then you can use this to pressurise the system. First clear any air by running the engine for a few minutes and switch off. Then simply clamp off the (flexible) return pipe near the bulkhead then squeeze and hold the bulb for as long as you can. Check very carefully around all the joints for signs of leaking fuel, injector leak off pipes are prone as they harden with age and only need a knock to loosen them and break the seal. Good luck.
97 1.9D Turns Over But Fails To Start - piston power
The seals have gone in the priming pump a comon problem replace the pump housing with a genuine part and a new filter.

Also worth checking the valve clearances are not too tight they can tighten up on there own, not sure if yours is shimed.