Engine cranks but wont turn over

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edd
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Engine cranks but wont turn over

Post by edd » Sun Jun 19, 2022 9:22 am

Hi,

Firstly, I have almost no knowledge or experience with cars so apologies if I get things mixed up.

I have a 2001 2.5l Diesel Mazda Bongo. Upon starting it would splutter and take a while for the engine to turn over.

I initially took it to a local garage who told me it was a probably due to a leaky head gasket and they flushed the fuel system, replaced fuel filter, added coolant conditioner & did a bleed.

Afterwards, the spluttering issue persisted so I did a bit of reading online and tried changing the glow plugs, after which, the engine started up nicely first time without any problems and I took it for a short drive. The next morning, when I tried to start the van, the engine cranked without any spluttering but would not turn over.

The fuel gauge was low so I topped up the diesel. Then called a mobile mechanic who came and got the engine running by spraying starter spray into the air filter intake pipe . He told me there was most probably an air lock in the system and to fill up the tank with more diesel and take it for a drive. Which I did.

The next morning, the same thing happened. It cranked but wouldn't turn over. I called the mechanic back. He repeated the same trick, charged me another call out fee and told me to take it for an even longer drive. So I took it out for an hour, came back and again the next morning it cranked but wouldn't start.

So now, before spending any more money, I would like to try to diagnose and fix the problem myself.

I know there's good spark from the glow plugs and that once ignited, the engine runs nicely. But something is causing the fuel to not reach the spark upon cranking.

I'd be very grateful for any advice on what to look at next.

Cheers!
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sotal
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Re: Engine cranks but wont turn over

Post by sotal » Sun Jun 19, 2022 1:12 pm

If all the mobile mechanic is doing is spraying some easy start in, then I am would start by buying a can of easy start so you can at least replicate what he is doing!

Not an ideal solution though and it does need the actual cause fixing first.

This time of the year, the bongo should start without glow plugs anyway, might not be the cleanest start but regardless it should start.

So the only thing left really is fuel.

You could have a slight leak at the pump which allows air back in after you leave it over night and the fuel would then flow back.

You could have muck in the banjo filter which may be restricting the flow.

What do you do whilst cranking it? Any specific routine?

I would start by turning the glow plugs on, waiting until the light goes off, then waiting until you hear the relay click. Then turn the key off and repeat, so they have warmed twice. I would then crank the car for about 10seconds with my foot down on the throttle, to try and get the fuel following. Just back your foot off quickly if it starts as you don't want to be revving a cold engine.

If that fails, give it a minute and try again.

If that fails try to get some jump leads across to make sure there is enough cranking power as your battery may be in the way out.
edd
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Re: Engine cranks but wont turn over

Post by edd » Mon Jun 20, 2022 9:22 am

Many thanks for the reply.

Yes, it wasn't until the the 2nd call out that I realized the 'mechanic' was just using starter spray. I should've done a bit more research and saved myself £130.

The battery is holding it's charge ok and I've charged it over night so plenty of power. Banjo filter looks fine. I've followed your suggested routine for starting the engine but no joy.

So I suppose next steps are to investigate the fuel pump. I'll do some searching on the forums but if anyone can suggest threads or videos for troubleshooting fuel pump issues, it would be much appreciated.

Cheers ..
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sotal
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Re: Engine cranks but wont turn over

Post by sotal » Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:07 pm

Have you checked the battery properly though?

The best thing would be to take it to a garage that does free battery testing.

However you can take a multimeter reading at rest and then another during cranking.

Even fully charging a knackered battery overnight doesn't necessarily help anything. It may appear fine but once cranking it just can't provide the current.

That is where a decent set of jump leads across can help to rule that out.

I can't remember if the bongo has a fuel shut off solenoid, but I've had issues with those in the past, however if it runs after starting on easy start, then I wouldn't think it was that.

Does it keep running absolutely fine once it is running? Does it struggle for a while to start with it does it just get going straight off?
edd
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Re: Engine cranks but wont turn over

Post by edd » Thu Jun 23, 2022 7:46 am

I can definitely rule out the battery. It's holding it's charge well and the engine cranks vigorously. It isn't sluggish at all.

After some starter spray it fires up nicely and runs smoothly without spluttering or any issues. So I think it is specifically an issue with fuel getting to the spark to ignite.
Hazzobongo
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Re: Engine cranks but wont turn over

Post by Hazzobongo » Fri Jun 24, 2022 5:06 pm

Its a diesel you don't have a 'spark' as the engine works on compression, I'd concentrate on the fuel pump personally as when he's spraying in the easy start its that which is igniting under compression and once going the motor itself will be drawing fuel through so possibly a failing pump.
edd
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Re: Engine cranks but wont turn over

Post by edd » Mon Jun 27, 2022 10:06 am

Thanks for clarifying the difference between diesel & petrol. I obviously need to do more homework!

Faulty fuel pump was what I had in mind. Do you any recommendations on who to take it to, not too far from Brighton?

Cheers 👍
Hazzobongo
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Re: Engine cranks but wont turn over

Post by Hazzobongo » Mon Jul 04, 2022 7:53 pm

Sorry mate I haven't been in the Brighton area since 1987. Take it to your nearest indy garage/local mechanic and have the fuel pump tested, theres no rocket science involved its simply an old diesel engine and any mechanic worth a light should be able to pinpoint and rectify a faulty fuel pump if thats what it is, it could be the injectors too but whatever it is its being starved of fuel imo.

I tend to run an injector/fuel cleaner additive to all my diesels every second fill of the tank as it only takes one fill with dodgy fuel to block an injector and stop it firing cleanly.