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Old 29-03-2017, 20:02   #1
Greegiecee
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Starting issue 2006 2.0 Tdi Altea (140)

Hoping someone can help. My 2.0 diesel Altea has an intermittent starting issue. It happens often, but not always. Sometimes it starts fine.
Sometimes you can turn the key and it will eventually cough and splutter into life. Once the car starts and the revs normalise (about 3-5 seconds) it runs fine.
Only work done recently is a timing belt change. But I would have thought that if the timing was out it would happen all the time.
Not sure if the link below will work. It's a video of the issue
https://youtu.be/mtQBKS7Yyf4
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Old 30-03-2017, 17:36   #2
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I would start with a volt meter across the battery whist cranking then maybe a load test alternatively ------ turn key let glow plug lamp go out wait another 5-7 seconds till you hear a click then see if it cranks faster
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Old 31-03-2017, 16:02   #3
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Thanks cheshire cat. I had it back at the mechanic who changed the cambelt because I was worried it was timing related. He did a diagnostics test and almost immediately it showed a glow plug error on all 4 glow plugs. It said "electrical fault". Strange that all 4 would fail at the same time? Any idea if there could be something else causing this like a fuse?
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Old 31-03-2017, 17:06   #4
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glow plug relay?
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Old 04-04-2017, 22:34   #5
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Relay rather than fuse, makes sense. Suppose it is unlikely to be the relay though, never heard of them failing. Still no warning light on the dash apart from the few seconds when you turn the ignition on. I tried to have a look at the wiring to the glow plugs themselves on Sunday but couldn't for the life of me get that rocker cover off!
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Old 22-05-2017, 14:37   #6
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UPDATE:
I've changed the glow plugs. No change. The car is still struggling to start. Has also started doing a weird thing where the revs will occasionally bounce up and down at idle by about 20-30 rpm. It seems to be on a cycle where it idles fine for 2 seconds then the revs rise for 2 seconds, then back to normal for 2 seconds. Often goes away when the car is warm.
I had VCDS and it only shoed an issue with the glow plugs. I replaced them with the same BERU plugs that were in there.
Any ideas where to start? The starting issue is become a concern because I am worried it will trash the starter motor.
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Old 23-05-2017, 16:01   #7
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I would try logging the temp sender from COLD to hot and see if it jumps about in between
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Old 24-05-2017, 10:27   #8
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Thanks CC. Do you know what the normal values should be?

The idle issue was far more pronounced today. I was able to get a 10 second video of it. I think the 2 issues are related.

https://youtu.be/E9QCPuQix0k
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Old 25-05-2017, 21:19   #9
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I THINK it should be approx3.1v @cold and 0.85V @hot but vag com would give exact temps and means ithe value can be tracked from cold to hot--should be a smooth increase
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Old 25-05-2017, 21:28   #10
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Thanks cc. I had a mechanic who sort of works for my employer come around today so I got him to go a diagnostics while he was there. The fuel temp sensor did come up as a fault along with the glow plugs. Because I changed the glow plugs already I got him to clear the faults and he will come back tomorrow and check again. I am very much hoping the fuel temp sensor is the fault so I can get to the bottom of it.
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Old 26-05-2017, 09:06   #11
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When you changed the glow plugs, did you also change the wiring loom for them? There are known issues around the loom becoming brittle with age/heat exposure. Maybe the loom is/has failing/failed.

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Old 26-05-2017, 14:01   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishy View Post
When you changed the glow plugs, did you also change the wiring loom for them? There are known issues around the loom becoming brittle with age/heat exposure. Maybe the loom is/has failing/failed.

Fish
Thanks for the idea Fish. I did wonder if this could be the issue, but thought it would flag a fault code of sorts. Or would this not be the case? I'm very aware that the costs start adding up quickly so keen to pinpoint with reasonable certainty what it may be before shelling out for a large repair bill.
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Old 30-05-2017, 18:31   #13
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So a quick update. The car has been becoming near impossible to start. I have been trying to check the fuel temp but my reader has stopped working. Had to call the breakdown guy when leaving work. He was able to start it after a long crank. He suspects it has to do with fuel pressure. Would this be tandem pump or the lift pump?
Car is booked in to an indy on Thursday who comes highly recommended.
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Old 31-05-2017, 16:45   #14
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would guess it wouldn't go at all if the tandem pump, can you hear the tank pump at key on? when was the fuel filter last changed good practice is well before factory recommendation 10 -20 K would be good there is from memory a gauze strainer in the tandem but it's really there to remove air bubbles not crap----but
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Old 31-05-2017, 16:58   #15
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Fuel filter was changed a month ago. I checked again the other day and there is no oil mixing with the fuel either, which I hear is a common indicator that the tandem pump is failing. But I may be wrong.
I was wondering if the fuel system was in any way connected with the vacuum system? Only other thing I could think is if the vacuum solenoid was playing up. Everything else vacuum related is working and like I say, no fault codes at all.
Or maybe the lift pump not pumping strongly enough? Just strange that once it is running it is fine (apart from the bouncing rev issue).
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Old 04-06-2017, 15:06   #16
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Quick update. And a rather distressing one. I dropped the car off at an independent specialist who came highly recommended. He had the car since Thursday. He picked up an issue with the cam position sensor. When he stripped the cambelt off, he discovered it had come off the tensioner and that it hadn't been fitted correctly causing the tensioner to strip. I had the timing belt replaced in March and had starting issues with it since. When I took the car back to the garage that changed it, they told me everything was fine. Now I'm going to have to have a conversation with them over paying for the repair. And also concerningly about any other damage this may have caused. I would think other damage could include bent valves, damage to the injectors etc? The current garage have had the pulley rethreaded and will check on Monday if it solves the problem and then we can see if anything else has been damaged in the process.
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Old 06-06-2017, 19:11   #17
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uhhhhhhhhhh best of luck keep us posted
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:16   #18
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TDI 140 is, I assume, the BKD engine, or at least mine is. Anyway, all the 2.0 TDI's are twin cam heads with both cams driven by the cambelt. The cambelt takes a right angled turn around the tension roller, and in any case is restricted by the cam belt cover - in other words I can't see how it can have come off the tension roller, or anywhere else, without destroying the cover, coming off the camshaft pulleys and wrecking the engine.

Maybe the tension roller had been fitted incorrectly - the belt kit includes new tension and idler rollers - causing the cambelt to be loose. This is quite bad enough and will muck up the valve timing. I would tend to think that if there was going to be any damage it would have been of the catastrophic valves-hitting-pistons variety which is hard to ignore, but it's not easy to be sure. Unlikely to have damaged the injectors.
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Old 11-06-2017, 21:28   #19
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Thanks Muttley. The belt didn't actually come off. it was just slack. I got the car back yesterday. The mechanic had to tap the head to fit a new tensioner stud and replaced the tensioner. Reset the timing and it's like a new car! EXCEPT, drove the car a few miles and steam started pouring out the engine. Pulled the engine cover off and noticed the coolant filler bottle was slightly overfilled, but more importantly, there is water leaking out the back of the EGR cooler. I am hoping it is the pipe and not the cooler. Coincidence? Something silly the current mechanic has done? I'll be popping back in tomorrow.
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