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Diesel 2.0 TDI occasionally struggles to start

adamp524

Active Member
Jun 15, 2016
2
0
Hi,

I've found a 2013 Leon SE with 2.0 TDI engine which I'm interested in buying. The car has less than 20K miles on it and looks to be in good condition.

One thing that has slightly worried me while testing at the garage is that it failed to start on two separate occasions. You could hear the starter motor trying on each attempt but the engine didn't kick into life. After a retry it started again immediately with no problem and there didn't appear to be any sluggishness when driving it.

The car had very little fuel in it (<30 miles left according to the computer). Could the low amount of fuel be the cause of this problem or does it look like there should be another explanation?
 

jpor

Active Member
May 10, 2015
116
1
Cheshire
Hi,

I've found a 2013 Leon SE with 2.0 TDI engine which I'm interested in buying. The car has less than 20K miles on it and looks to be in good condition.

One thing that has slightly worried me while testing at the garage is that it failed to start on two separate occasions. You could hear the starter motor trying on each attempt but the engine didn't kick into life. After a retry it started again immediately with no problem and there didn't appear to be any sluggishness when driving it.

The car had very little fuel in it (<30 miles left according to the computer). Could the low amount of fuel be the cause of this problem or does it look like there should be another explanation?
Did you let the glow plugs warm up first? I.e did the glow plug light go out on the dash before you started it? I know the salesman at my local SEAT dealership assures me you don't have to wait. But driving the odd diesel car now and then and experience. I always wait for the glow plug light to go off first. Although I have had the odd troublesome start up in the past but only the odd one. And would start on the second occasion of trying.
 

MyLeon

Active Member
Jun 3, 2015
350
2
On mine TDI 184 I just put my foot on the brake and give the key a quick twist and let go.
After a slight pause the starter motor comes in and then it fires up straight away. No need to hold the key.


2015 Leon ST FR 184 DSG
 

TDI184

Active Member
Jun 16, 2016
2
0
I have this problem with my 63 plate FR TDI 184, its been happening from new, when its cold its fine as soon as the weather warms up it takes longer to start.
Turn on the key, wait for the glow plug light to go out, turn the key to start and the engine turns over but does not fire, 3 or 4 seconds later and it fires up.
This happens randomly, it does not mater how long its been stood for, over night can be long enough then another day it fires straight away.
Been in to the dealer, no errors recorded, glow plugs checked and a compression check, no problems found.
sounds like a lack of fuel to me, it's as though the fuel is not there straight away.
 

Ben.

Active Member
Jan 18, 2016
23
0
South Ayrshire
I do the same as MyLeon does with the key, i've found sometimes it 'cranks' itself over a bit more before starting where normally its almost instant that it starts when the starter motor engages. Mine has never failed to start thou.
 

rryans11

MK3 Leon Cupra 290
Feb 4, 2012
237
8
UK
I have this problem with my 63 plate FR TDI 184, its been happening from new, when its cold its fine as soon as the weather warms up it takes longer to start.
Turn on the key, wait for the glow plug light to go out, turn the key to start and the engine turns over but does not fire, 3 or 4 seconds later and it fires up.
This happens randomly, it does not mater how long its been stood for, over night can be long enough then another day it fires straight away.
Been in to the dealer, no errors recorded, glow plugs checked and a compression check, no problems found.
sounds like a lack of fuel to me, it's as though the fuel is not there straight away.
I've a 184 and get the same issue - sometimes it fires straight away and then there's times where it can take 3-4 seconds to fire. It drives fine though once started and stop\start works fine when it's activated. :think:
 

TDI184

Active Member
Jun 16, 2016
2
0
Same with mine, it has never failed to start, churns over for a few seconds then starts, usual it fires straight away.
No problems with stop/start, its never failed or churned over when stop/start is active. It always fires up immediately with stop/start active.
Performance is fine, cant fault it.
I did have a problem where every few months the engine coolant would drop to the minimum line, this happened three times over the first 25k miles, since the last top up it has not altered in the last 6k miles.
Dealer did a pressure test and found no leaks in the coolant.
 

JMAC

Active Member
Feb 18, 2015
652
2
My 184 does this every now and again. Though it only does it when I'm leaving work after the car has been parked all day. Looking at my regular parking space I notice there's a dip in it so the front of the car is pointing up slightly (I reverse in). I wonder if it's a gravity related (?).
 

Dt-spd

Active Member
Sep 1, 2015
246
0
Rugby
My 2015 184FR does this when using BP fuel. It never fails to start but cranks slightly longer. You may think I am talking rubbish but it is what I have found. I do the same drive to/from work and always park in the same position, so the variables are all reduced.

Shell FuelSave, V-Power and Harvest diesel it always starts quicker.
 

pvm1234567890

Active Member
Mar 10, 2015
108
0
Meath, Ireland
184 TDI, May 2015.

I have that issue where I let the glow plug go out and then wait a few seconds before I start - I was told there aren't glow plugs as such in the engine, but heat is created using some other method that will die away pretty quickly if the engine isn't started almost as soon as the glow plug light goes out.

I can reproduce this at will - if i try to start as soon as the light goes out, no problems. If I wait for a count of 5 after the light goes out, she takes longer to catch. If I let the light go out, then wait, then turn off the ignition and turn it on again so the light comes on again, when the light goes out it will start if I follow the recommended procedure of starting as soon as the light goes out.

Hope that makes sense!
 

JK1

Full Member
May 15, 2002
531
2
Bedford
Visit site
I thought I'd give your suggestion a go... pvm1234567890. First few days seemed fine but today it was back to longer cranking to start, yes it was humid, damp, and warm but in modern engines so what?!

Bugs me :(
 

adamp524

Active Member
Jun 15, 2016
2
0
Thanks for all your responses to the original question everyone. I think you've satisfied me that the fault isn't just with the car that I'm considering buying but looks like its appearing across lots of cars.
 

Andy.s.scfr184

Active Member
Apr 9, 2015
7
0
Those if you with trouble starting might want to take a look at this vid

There is a known problem with the variable valve timing, causes this issue, sadly i am unable to post links,
Look up on youtube,Vw golf 2.0TDI EA288 long crank diagnose P0341/P0016/P0011, by ^DIAGNOSE DAN ^
VW, state operation number 2038308/14 released on 13/11/2016 covers the fault.
 

KXL

KXL
Dec 15, 2016
1,430
154
London, UK
Had a 63 plate 2.0 tdi dsg from end 2014 - end 2016...never had a problem starting. Most times starter motor takes 1-2 secs...other times if sat there for awhile may take 3-5 secs. I use car weekends only. 6k miles in 2 years. Only use Shell or Esso regular diesel sometimes Vpower.

Maybe the car you saw had not so premium fuel in it and has sat there awhile? Eg...the already low amount of fuel had gone a bit stale?
 
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