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GreenMachine
04-19-2013, 05:32 PM
Hi All
My 1999 Sprinter 310D started to momentarily cut out while driving. As it cut out the EDC light came on and then went off again as the engine fired up again. A few moments later the engine cut out completely and now will not start.

It will not fire on easy start.

With the ignition turned on, both the EDC light and the glow plug light are permanently on. Neither go off however long you leave the ignition turned on.

Today I had a mobile guy our to do a "diagnostic" on it. He used laptop software called Autocom CARS CDP+. It didn't seem to give particularly detailed results, but here's what happened:
First scan came up with a few error codes including P1352-Needle lift sensor, P0105-Boost Pressure Sensor and P1630-Engine Immobiliser. I have since realised that at this point there must have been other errors if only he had scrolled down as the photo I took of his laptop screen shows the figure 10 at the top!

He then cleared the errors and ran the scan again, then only two errors where reported, P1481-Glow Plug and P1617-Engine Control Unit.

He then cleared the errors again and we tried to start the engine. It still won't start.

He then repeated the scan over and over and now only one error appears which is P1481-Glow Plug. No more detail than this was given by the software.

Given that the engine was originally running when it stopped, I thought that a faulty glow plug or two wouldn’t make the engine stop, but could it?

On that basis and after a bit of googleing, I have taken the lid off the glow plug relay hoping to find the fuses blown. Unfortunately they are fine.

Metering the glow plugs in situ, suggests that there are problems with them. At least 2 are open circuit and one is possibly short circuit.

My question is: Are the glow plugs causing this problem which made the engine stop while running and now won’t start or even fire on easy start? Or am I really looking for a bigger problem?

I’m a bit reluctant to start replacing parts when the van is only worth a couple of hundred pound if it was running.

Very grateful in advance for any advice on this.

mean_in_green
04-19-2013, 05:47 PM
I ran with one, two then three glow plugs not working out of five. It will start on one glow plug most of the year round in the UK.

Have you got fuel at the injectors?

GreenMachine
04-19-2013, 06:13 PM
Yes, I've slackened the nuts on the injector pipes and cranked it and fuel pumps out. Don't know where to look now.

GreenMachine
04-21-2013, 08:35 AM
As I mentioned above, the glow plug relay module fuses are not broken on this. The PCB in the glow plug module also has no signs of damage / burning.
Is it possible that the module is faulty and is preventing the engine from starting?
Any ideas where else to look?
Thanks

mean_in_green
04-21-2013, 10:06 AM
I'm with you on the "electrical" rather than "mechanical" train of thought. Glow plug modules gone bad are usually easily recognizable as such.

It's a tedious approach but other than buzzing out wires checking resistance I don't have much else to suggest I'm afraid. It could be more than one issue. The main engine loom can rub, particularly by the battery tray and against the firewall around the back of the engine causing peculiar non-sensical conditions.

You've got fuel, and pressure is less critical on your engine than later common rail types.

A very good thing - if I can put it that way - is that the fault is consistent. That makes finding the problem easier.

GreenMachine
04-21-2013, 10:45 AM
Many thanks for your input. I'll start investigating the wiring to see if there's anything worn through.

NORTON
04-21-2013, 11:21 AM
It should at least kick over a few times using easystart if you have suffient compression

Boater
04-22-2013, 01:07 AM
Won't fire on easystart? Not even for a few seconds? It sounds electrical apart from that, I think a compression test would be worthwhile. Have you checked oil and coolant?

To double check P1352 unplug the sensor injector and measure the resistance, should be around 103 ohms. This won't stop it running but will stop the ECU optimizing the timing - you may have some luck with ebay/breakers but I gave up, new one for my 312D was best part of £500. Hopefully if it cleared this isn't an actual problem, just a wiring thing.
You had a bunch of codes before which could have been down to a corroded connector on the ECU - mine seems to collect water that leaks through the bonnet so it's definitely worth unplugging it and cleaning or reseating it.

I had a problem last year with non-starting which turned out to be temp sensor in the pump, it was still delivering fuel to the injectors but not at sufficient pressure. It did start with easy start at that point, it just wouldn't keep running. The thing is it should fire on easy start, even if the starter is a bit slow or the battery is tired if compression is OK it should fire on easy start (should unplug the glow plugs when using easy start - the glow plug codes are largely irrelevant, even on diesel it should start without glow plugs, will just take a bit of turning over to build heat through compression).

Good luck with your investigations!

NORTON
04-22-2013, 09:45 AM
could there be an obstruction in the air intake system preventing the easy start reaching the cylinders,depending as to where it was applied.

GreenMachine
04-22-2013, 11:46 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I need to spend some time on it now to see if i can figure anything out. I will report back!