This starting problem has only developed this winter, so I am not sure
if it will start better when we get warm spring weather or not. But It has
been very hard to start.... if the car has been sitting unused overnight. I
was often cranking until the battery died, and then I could finally get it
to start with a jump (even then taking a long time). There was one day that
it wouldn't start even with a jump, and priming it manually with the hand
pump got it to start...not on the first try after priming, but pretty
quick. But the next morning, priming did not help. we had to crank the
engine many times with a battery jump even after priming the fuel pump.
All of the glow plugs were working except one.
So I took the car to my mechanic, and he replaced the one bad glow
plug, and replaced two bad fuel lines. You could not see any fuel leaking
from them, but they were swelling up, and were always damp (with fuel, I
assume). He also said the battery failed the load check, so I got a new 750
CCA battery for Mercedes installed.
Got the car back yesterday. Started first try leaving the garage (warm
afternoon). This morning it is near freezing, and although the engine does
turn over a lot peppier now, I still had to crank it about 12 times before
it would start. Dragged the charge down on the new battery a lot, but not
nearly to "dead".
Since all the glow plugs are working (all have 12 V at the terminal),
and the engine is being cranked plenty fast, what can it be other than a
fuel supply problem? My mechanic isn't equipped to do a lot on diesels, so
should should I take it to a diesel specialist garage and get them to do a
pressure check on the fuel injection rail?
I can't see it being bad fuel injectors, as sometimes (other than when
it has been sitting all night long), it will start up first time every time,
as you drive around on errands. A clogged injector is clogged all the time,
right? Worse yet, the mechanic replaced the little clear (actually
blackened from fuel impurities) bowl on the fuel line going to the fuel
pump& hand primer pump assy. The replacements are for some stupid reason
opaque white, so I cannot see what is happening with the fuel AT ALL now!
Unless there is high pressure there, could I just get some in-line fuel
filter with a clear housing and install it in place of the new one?