406 2.1TD Horrible to start first thing in the morning

Hi all,
This is my first post and I'm sure with most ppls first posts it's a bad problem. The thing is when I first start my car (when it's cold) it takes ages to
get going. I turn the key and it just struggles to start. Once it does start a great plume of smoke comes from the exhaust and it then runs fine from then on!!! Also the stop light on the dash flickers on and off every now and again?!?!?
Any help would be much apprieciated
Kind regards
Sy
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If it's a diesel are you sure you're waiting for the glow plugs to do their stuff? Also, how old is it - my current 307HDI is the first oil burner I've driven which doesn't need the accelerator to be pushed to the floor when turning the engine over.

then runs fine

Based on my experience of diesels, the plume of smoke when starting is normal
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Hi,

their
I've Or are they good ?

Strange, it wasn't necessary with all Diesels I've driven (I could post a list of all cars I've even driven if you're curious).

Not easy to quantize - just a little may be normal, having a black stain on the floor after a start may well be a proof of excess :-)
Regards, G.T snipped-for-privacy@worldonline.fr 205 Diesel & turbo-Diesel : http://205d.fr.st
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My list'll be similar to yours GT and I've never felt the need to touch the accelerator to start Pug diesels. If they don't start first turn I get the heater plugs sorted.
Jim.
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jim. wrote:

Having had an XUD in both a 309 and a citroen ZX I agree. The 309 needed the water draining from the fuel filter quite frequently in winter otherwise it wasn't happy starting (but extra gas didn't seem to help) and the ZX needs 2 goes on the glowplugs if cold, but then starts a treat.
In the OP's case I would say swap out the glowplugs (but check there is 12V reaching them) a routine service might help (fuel filter as above, fresh oil etc.) if it's overdue.
Chris
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First of all you are waiting for the glow plug light to go out first. Assuming this, you probably have had one or more glow plugs fail. Presumably it starts OK hot. What you describe is typical of glow plug failure. To check, remove the wire connecting all four together, and check the resistance of each one, from the connector to the cylender head. They are quite low resistance, but the faulty ones will be open circuit. If you don't have the kit to check this then you will have to get your friendly local repairman to do it.
If all four plugs are OK, then either you have a fault in the preheat circuit, or low compression. The former you can check by putting a voltmeter between the heater plug connector wire and the head. Turn on the ignition, and you should see around 12 volts showing. might be a little less. If you get no volts there even though the preheat light is on, then you have a fault in the preheat circuit, possibly the relay/control box.
Brian.
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Thanks for the replies.
My car is a Preg 406 2.1TD Executive and is my first ever diesel! I always wait for the plug light to go out. I even turn on the ignition and when the light goes out I do it again just incase. It's fine the rest of the day. I'll check out the glow plugs with a garage. I hope that's it.
Thanks for your speedy replies.
Kind regards Sy
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Just for interest sake. years ago I was involved with a fleet of diesel vans which invariably had inoperative heater plugs. The recognised (and recommended) way to start in winter was full throttle and run the starter continuously. When the engine started to fire you still kept the starter running until it began to rev, Then you let go of the starter. It was noisy, caned the battery and produced prodigious amounts of smoke, but it worked every time.
Keith Willcocks (remove .nospam from address to reply)
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Just out of curiosity... Is it normal that the fans turn on after the ignition has been switched of???
Regards SY
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Do you mean the main cooling fan? I haven't noticed it on my 406 but when I had a 405 it would run on for several minutes after you had turned off, and indeed locked the car and left it.
Keith Willcocks (remove .nospam from address to reply)
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This is perfectly normal in most modern cars, in fact most cars even have a warning sticker under the bonnet telling you it could turn on at any time.
Andy

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I have the very same car, with over 140,000miles on the clock, and it starts first time every time (Quickly) without any smoke....
I did have this problem once, a new set of glow plugs sorted it.
Andy

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Thanks for that guys
My anxiety has been put to pass!
A new set of glow plugs it is.
Forums.....gotta love'm!
Kind regards
Sy
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Hi,

It is the classic fail... A friend of mine had the same problem with his '97 205D, it became quite hard to start (but always at first try), and smoked a lot more than normal, and after removing glow plugs he found out that 3 out of the 4 were worn :-)
Come on, it was so easy that even a frenchie was able to give the correct answer :-)
Regardsn G.T snipped-for-privacy@worldonline.fr 205 Diesel & turbo-Diesel : http://205d.fr.st
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