Running out of diesel - David
A question from someone new to diesel.....
If a petrol car runs out of fuel I just stick some more in and go.
I've heard that a diesel has to be put through a certain procedure; 're-priming' or something like that.
Any advice please!
I'm thinking of getting an N-reg Mondeo turbo diesel.
David
Running out of diesel - BrianW
I'll leave the technical bits to the more knowledgeable, but if you refill a diesel when the tank gets down to about a quarter full you've got at least 100 miles in reserve and at least 300 miles after filling before you are looking for a garage again.

So: no need to run out in the first place unless you are driving to the wilds of Scotland on a Sunday afternoon (in which case you're lumbered, unless garage opening hours have got longer since I was last there).
Running out of diesel - M.M
Avoid at all costs David.

Years ago old diesels were the very devil to bleed through. You needed the right procedure and several spanners for various bleed points.

Modern diesels are much more even tempered but can still require bleeding and you may well end up with a flat battery before it will fire up again.



David W
Running out of diesel - CMark {P}
I don?t know about Mondeos, but most modern diesel systems are self-priming. If you run dry and top up with a fuel can, the most you might have to do is churn the engine over on the starter motor a little more than usual to remove any air in the fuel system. Once started the engine might run roughly for a few seconds as the last remnants of air are purged.

In the ?old days? e.g. Land Rover Series 3, many diesel fuel systems needed ?bleeding? if they were allowed to run dry. This required the slackening of a bleed screw in the fuel system under the bonnet, then churning over on the starter until a constant flow of diesel came out without bubbles of air in it. Then tighten the screw before air could be draw back in again. A rather unpleasant job for a driver to do and especially so if alone.
Running out of diesel - wemyss
I,m not so sure about this Tim. In the Vectra handbook it states that the 1.7 diesel can be restarted after running out of fuel by using just the starter motor, and it will start again after turning over for a short time.
For the 2.0 diesel it says a special procedure has to be used and this must be carried out by a Vauxhall dealer. (They would say that wouldn't they?)
The basic principle has to be that diesel must reach the injectors and for that to happen any air between pump and injector has firstly to be removed. Similar to some heating systems which can be the very devil to get a good fill and others which are easy.
I'm certainly not brave enough to try it out.
alvin


Running out of diesel - David Davies
Alvin
The special procedure you mention involves fitting a temporary electric fuel pump in the fuel line,allowing this pump to operate for a few minutes and eventually trying to start with the pump still connected.When the engine starts it must then be allowed to run for a further few minutes before removing the temporary pump.If you run one of these 2.0 diesels dry of fuel it obviously means a tow in!
David Davies (Tune-Up Raglan)
Running out of diesel - Armitage Shanks{P}
2 Diesels I have had have been fitted with a rubber bulb, like the thing the doc uses to inflate the cuff when he takes your blood pressure. These presumably pump the fuel some way from the tank to the pump and/or injectors. My SAAB diesl has a warning saying Fuel Low which means about 90 miles to dry and then another which says Get Fuel NOW when you have about 3o miles to go so they obviously think that running out is a major problem. With 6oo miles on a tankful there isn't much of an excuse is there?
Running out of diesel - wemyss
David,
Thanks for that info its very interesting. I actually thought that the special procedure would entail slackening off the injector connectors and using the starter/engine to pump through the fuel.
On a related issue when I change the fuel filter I always refill it with diesel before fitting the cover.
After reading your post regarding the electric fuel pump needed will be even more wary of getting air into the system.
alvin
Running out of diesel - mike1
alvin, as far as servicing the 2.0 litre di there's no need for any special pump or whatever. all is required is to turn the engine over more than usual to purge the system which it does by itself. the problem with running dry on a modern high pressure diesel is that the tolerances in the manufacture of the pump and injectors are so fine, when you run out of fuel at 70-80 mph the parts run dry but are still running at high speed. if the diesel which lubricates those parts is no longer there damage will result. during servicing i assume the low starter motor speed involved in purging the system doesn't have that much effect and in any case the pump is full of fuel anyway.
Running out of diesel - wemyss
Mike, The first time I changed the fuel filter on the Vectra I forgot to fill the filter bowl with diesel.
It didn't half take some starting. I had to churn it over many many times before it fired.
Must admit I was beginning to think about the special procedure paragraph in the handbook which David has explained.
Progress does have its downsides with your description of the hazards of running out of fuel at speed. But I suppose with the 600 mile or so range of these cars there would be no excuse.
alvin
Running out of diesel - David
Thanks for that guys. Lots of useful info here. The basic advice is don't run out of fuel.....
I'm still a little unclear though. What if, despite all efforts, I am unfortunate/stupid enough to run out of fuel in my N reg Mondeo. Can I just refill and turn it over until it fires or is it a garage?

David
Running out of diesel - mike1
david, i've no experience of mondeo's but i expect at n reg it's the old 1.8 turbo and so old technology. in that case it's probably got a fuel filter with some means of priming the system (filter bowl bleed screw and manual pump). once the filter bowl's been primed you'll have to loosen the feed pipes to each injector and turn the motor over in bursts (to protect the battery) until fuel seeps from all the connections. i don't know if there's a purge on the pump itself which you'll have to purge before the injectors. in any event, once you've got fuel at the injectors tighten them up and start the motor. i once ran out of fuel deliberately (peugeot 205 diesel) because i didn't believe the tank capacity (46 litres instead of 43 declared). like lot's of things, when you've done it a few times you'll wonder what the fuss was about. a haynes manual would help.
Running out of diesel - David
Thanks Mike1, and everyone else,

I've even had slightly differing advice from 2 Ford dealers so the Haynes manual may be the definitive answer, or ring more Ford dealers and take the majority decision! Either way, this has been an interesting insight to the potential problems (which can be easily avoided) of owning a diesel.

Thankyou everyone!

David
Running out of diesel - Ian Cook
David

I'm sure that the advice is already posted, but please heed it.

PLEASE - NEVER RUN OUT OF DIESEL.

Yes, there are priming procedures - but prevention is better than cure. Running out is laziness and bad planning.

This was brought home to me three years ago when I ran a civilian Land Rover out of diesel on the road between Port Stanley and Mount Pleasant Airport, in the Falkland Islands. After a ride with the RAF Police to get some diesel, it wouldn't prime properly, wouldn't start, and had to be towed with another LR.

Ian Cook
Running out of diesel - CMark {P}
Ian,
what engine was the Land Rover fitted with?
Mark
Running out of diesel - Ian Cook
I don't know the exact model, Mark, but it was a non turbo 110 series that looked to be about 5 or so years old. A great big agricultural looking lump under the bonnet. I rented the vehicle from the Falkland Islands Company, so I don't know any more about it I'm afraid.

Ian Cook
Running out of diesel - Dwight Van Driver
V8 hence the no start?

DVD
Running out of diesel - Ian Cook
I'm pretty sure it was a four pot, DVD. It didn't sound very tasty.

Ian Cook
Running out of diesel - CMark {P}
Ian, from what you describe, I am sure the LR engine was the 2.5 litre normally aspirated diesel which is not (usually) self-priming.

I only asked as the 200Tdi is self-priming (if memory serves me correctly) - all it needs is a few litres of diesel (I could quote the exact amount if I could be bothered to look it up), a bit of turning over on the starter and hey presto!

I once ran out of diesel on the M5 at midnight on a Sunday driving back to Solihull in a prototype 200Tdi Defender fitted with an automatic gearbox and towing a car-trailer. Luckily, I had stopped right by a junction and, once I had hitched several miles to and from an (open) fuel station, the car started first time (which was a relief).

"Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you the fuel gauge is out of calibration," came the response from the engineer running the assesment. Thanks, Mate!

cheers, CMark
Running out of diesel - dieselfreak
Dont worry about it, my J plate VW Golf Diesel (177k) ran out the other day, a building site supplied a slosh of diesel and after a lenghty turn on the starter she fired, stopped, fired and ran. Took her to the nearest garage, filled her up, and no probs. The only problem about running out is it always happens just when you didnt need it. Believe me once you have gone diesel there is no going back, good economy, power and nothing (ok very little), to go wrong.
Running out of diesel - Armitage Shanks{P}
Glas you were lucky! I don't think that would have worked with one of the newer common rail systems!
 

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