View Full Version : Sprinter wont start when cold
11-06-2011, 01:17 PM
My first post,
as the title says wont start and its not even that cold yet, this problem started last winter and has become gradually worse although its been fine all summer, seems its just when it gets a little colder.
A quick squirt of easy start and it fires up and then will start all day long even if you turn it straight off after that first start it will fire up next time, its just that first start after resting all night.
The EDC light comes on sometimes (not often ) but always goes out, its a 54 plate 313, and its done 125000 miles, and i had the heater plugs and relay replaced and tested last year so its not them.
HaS anyone any idea what this could be, i spoke to a local main dealer (im in Birmingham UK ) last year and they said it could be an injector fault but someone else has told me i would feel that when driving it and it drives fine once its started,
Can anyone recommend anywhere to take it in Birmingham
12-13-2011, 04:25 AM
Does the motor turn over????? yes or no
no = Here a test jumper cable to motor to ground post only both cable's if needed. If you hear 1 click when you turn the key it is a grounding problem. Add a 24in cable to a motor mount bolt back to the battery ground post. This same thing happen to me too many time's and motor died a few time's too.
yes maybe a cam sensor
09-05-2012, 12:01 PM
I don't know what year your van is, but mine is an '02. I have had a similar problem when the weather changes. I figured out it had to do with the fuel line seals. When cold, they shrink a bit and allow air bubbles to get into the system and the van can't start. Once It gets started, it runs all day no problem. I've replaced the fuel lines and seals from the filter up to the high pressure fuel pump and took care of that problem.
There are literally hundreds of posts about air in the fuel lines. Use the search function.
Good luck and keep the list posted. :thumbup:
09-05-2012, 03:48 PM
I don't know Brum but Chris from Midlands Truck and Van (MB commercial dealership) contributes here sometimes and seems to know the in's and outs of sprinters pretty well - I should imagine they are worth a look, and don't necessarily assume main dealers are the most expensive.
Cold start issues are often on the fuel side.
Air in fuel lines can be identified by looking at the clear hoses whilst turnign the engine over, if you have bubbles you know what yoyur problem is, although tracing it is something else!
Air can come from a damaged or perished O-ring at fuel filter, fuel pump or fuel injection rail; loose connection anywhere; perished leak off hoses (do sprinters get this?); or a damaged injector seal.
A damaged injector seal is going to lead to black death so have a look under the engine cover for a heads up on that one - it isn't always terminal, it does involve hard work and expense. A more common reason is given as injector clamp bolts slackening over time, either could affect starting and cause black death.
Engines are reputed good for a million miles, yet Haynes tell me my injectors may need reconditioning as frequently as every 60000 miles - mine are currently away for inspection/reconditioning due to a slight misfire, when the mech first noticed it there was nothing you could hear or feel when driving that gave it away, only the pattern of exhaust smoke - 500 miles later it was audible so the injectors have gone away as the most likely cause. It is quite possible with a gradual creeping symptom that the regular driver won't notice it coming on so don't be embarrassed if you do have a problem you can't feel when driving!
Other issues are the turn over speed on the starter, if it sounds like it's struggling you might want to look at the wiring (damaged wires causing too much resistance), the starter, or more than likely the battery. A new battery might be all your starter needs to turn over enthusiastically again - batteries decay over time.
You changed the glow plugs and relay last year but did you check the operation? Does the tell tale light up before starting? Does current actually flow to the glow plugs when the tell tale is on? Usually there is an overrun period after the tell tale goes out - do you still get power for a few seconds after the tell tale goes out? If the glow plugs are not getting power when they should the plugs and relay could be fine but the ECU is calculating that they aren't needed due to dodgy output from one or more sensors (typically coolant temp, fuel temp, oil temp, maybe crank position etc.), I have no diagnostics for my sprinter but for my car I have a good setup and still can't work out which sensor is causing my warm start woes (or if it is an injector issue and I'm barking up the wrong tree) so this is not as easy to diagnose as it sounds!
Start by checking all the things you can (air in fuel is easiest, you will see it in the clear lines once you have cleaned them) and then find specialists to look at all the other stuff. The specialists will almost certainly go back over the fuel line stuff first because it is the source of so many cold start troubles and is the easiest place for them to start also!
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