Diesel Starting Problem

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Hi
I have a Citroen Synergie 1999 1.9TD (60k miles) which isn't too relevant because it has a Peugeot engine which is fitted in lots of cars!
Anyway, when I start it from cold the glow plug indicator lights up and goes
out after about six seconds, if I try to start the car it just turns over. If I heat the glow plugs about 4 times, it is fine and will start (with some white/grey smoke, not much)
If I run it for about 2 minutes, turn the engine off, it starts fine and will be fine for the rest of the day.
Now, you instantly think it is the glow plugs, well....we had this problem last winter and had the glow plugs replaced and it seemed ok, but since it was getting warm, it wasn't really a problem over the summer, again the problem recurred and took the car to my mechanic, who charged me 35 for him to diagnose the problem with the computer so that he could fix it!!! He said two of the plugs had failed, strange, since they were just over 12 months old, oh well got them replaced and got the car back and it was fine and then after just a few days the problem is recurring.
I have fitted a new battery as the currently fitted battery was 400 amps (but healthy), the new one is 700 amps.
Is the problem could be to do with the glow plug relay burning the plugs out, as it is faulty. Or could this also have been because the battery was the wrong one?
Help!! PS. I have learnt alot about diesels!
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If they don't they're knackered. I suppose if the plugs are on all the time they will fail quickly, that is to say that the relay is not cutting out after the appropriate time. You can probably check that by putting a meter or bulb across the plug which should light then go out after some 30 seconds or so. They will not necessarily go out when the light on the dash goes out, that's just to tell you it's OK to try to start the car.
TonyB
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Total tosh! When the light goes out it does so because the relay has cut the power to both the warning light and the heater plugs - if the circuit worked as you suggest PSA could save a lot of money in parts and labour by just printing "After turning the steering column key to the 'On' position, count 10 seconds and then start the engine" in the drivers instruction manual....!
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:Jerry: wrote:

Not necessarily tosh. Some cars keep the plugs on for a short while after the engine starts to help with cold running or so I'm told.
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I've never come across that but then I've only been in the trade for 30 years so could have missed some applications I suppose...
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:Jerry: wrote:

On the Renault Megane, the glowplugs can remain on for up to three minutes after the engine has started depending on conditions. They stay on always for between ten and thiry seconds after the indicator light goes out and then depending on engine load and other conditions for a varying length of time.
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Fairy 'nough then, I assume this is on HDi engines, but considering that this thread is about a 1999 PSA diesel engine I hold to my original remark about the comment by TonyB.
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:Jerry: ( snipped-for-privacy@INVALID.INVALID) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Unlikely in a Megane... dCI, p'raps...

Lovely, an' all. Shame the HDi has been around since '98 - a '99 Synergie could be either 1.9TD or 2.0HDi.
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:Jerry: wrote:

that jerry has 30 years experience ,yet he's never heard of post heating!! regards mark
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I suppose if he has never had to deal with Diesel engines, he would be ignorant of the modern systems. Well, not quite modern, post heating goes back at least 15 years to my limited knowledge.
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I've seen a smallish century-old marine diesel fitted with glow-plugs heated by a 'blow-torch' arrangement; the plugs would be kept hot until the engine was running smoothly. I think that counts as 'post heating'! (The starter-motor for the diesel, was a fairly large petrol engine).
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On all the PSA turbo diesel engines the light goes out after a few seconds to indicate that you should be able to start OK, but the heater plugs are kept on for up to a couple of minutes to reduce smoke output. They are turned off either when the temprature rises in the block enough, or the throttle is kept above a certain setting for a given period.
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Can you cite that please? All the relays I've have come across turn both light and heater plugs off at the same time.
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but the post heating is well documented in there. Secondly, if you look at the Bosch injection pump, you will see a small microswitch on the top, which is activated by the trottle arm. this is what turns the post heating off in some conditions. It is obviously very similar to the Megane engine in this respect.
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<snip>

The problem is probably the heater relay burning out. What happens with these units is that the relay load contacts start to burn, this in turn causes the relay to heat up, causing the bi-metal strip to switch the relay off to soon and acting as a resistor in the heater plugs supply - IOW a double whammy and a difficult engine to start from cold!
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Rich ( snipped-for-privacy@here.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Do you know what brand of glow plugs were put in a year ago? Some of them are cheap shite, and a year is a good innings...
You said two of the newish ones have already been replaced - the other two could well have died.

Unlikely. The amp rating of the battery is mainly to do with the ability to spin the starter motor on a cold morning. The glow plugs won't draw anything like that much.
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Hi, can't really help you with the starting problem except to say that I also have a 1999 TD Synergie and its good to know that I am not the only one on this forum that has one. I do find that if its been a cold night, then sometimes it will take 2 attempts to get mine running, I find that holding the clutch pedal down while turning the engine over seems to help.(no idea why this helps). My Synergie has 132,000 miles on the clock though ,so I allow it a little extra to get running.
GGJ
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Gary G Jones ( snipped-for-privacy@btopenworld.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Might be worth looking at getting the gearbox oil changed, perhaps a slightly thinner oil put in. What's happening is that - without the clutch depressed - the input shaft of the 'box is being spun by the starter along with the engine, and that's sapping some of the "oomph".
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gurgled happily,

Err, except that you are placing a considerable side loading onto the crankshaft, many cars *wont* start with the clutch peddle depressed due to this, certainly putting a thinner oil might reduce 'drag' from the input shaft might you might just end up causing more friction when the oil breaks down in use and at high temperature!....
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:Jerry: wrote:

Can you say which cars won't start with the clutch depressed? I've driven hundreds of different makes/models and ALWAYS depress the clutch to start - so as to avoid false neutrals - and have never encountered even one that won't start.
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