diesel van won't start

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BobbyBobBob | 08:54 Sun 02nd Dec 2012 | Motoring
12 Answers
I drive a small diesel van for work.( belongs to work) In the summer its fine but when it gets to this time of the year, it takes me literally 25/30 mins to get it going. The thought of trying to get it going every morning is not pleasant.

Basically you're supposed to only turn the key slightly to turn ignition on until a certain symbol shows on the dashboard area, once that dissapears the van engine should be warm enough to start and you can turn the key fully to switch the engine on. This isn't the case with the van I drive. I know diesels are notoriously bad at starting in cold weather but our car is an older car than the van and and also a diesel and that starts fine.

Does anyone have any tips as I'm dreading standing there in the cold for 30 mins every morning before work trying to start it?

Many thanks


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Stands a good chance that it needs the glow plugs replacing.
Do not be tempted to use a product called "Easy Start" for dervs, one the car / van gets used to this product it will never start without it, as Tony regards the Glow plugs, replace the lot, are you saying that the Heat Symbol is not showing at all? if NO, check the fuse in relation to the heater plugs ( Glow)
Mention "Easy Start" or "Start Pilot" and someone instantly tells you engines get addicted to it! However, don't let that stop you using it if you find it works for your engine, but just be aware that using the above products only masks the real cold start problem that will still need sorting. Be sure to follow the instructions on the can though as you can risk an underbonnet explosion if you are too generous with the stuff!
I drive a diesel and new glow plugs worked a treat for me too.
This is your choice if you decide to use the dreaded Easy Start Bob! under bonnet explosion A few years ago I worked with a company who ran Gardner Engines, one used on these engine the would not start without, or am I missing something here? & I was with that company 14years.
Ah TWR perhaps that's how the "addiction" folklore came about. Indeed, some engines could only be started with the injection of ether into the manifold or cylinder[s]. Such engines typically had a plumbed in supply, or it would have been optional for colder climates.

On to more modern engines now, am I right in saying that heater plugs are on during the warm up stage and not just for the start up?
You are right MantaRay, as soon as you insert your key it starts the warm up, I seen people in the know just replacing one plug ( False economy & time wasted? if you are going to change them, change the lot that will be end of, regards the Gardner engines, at that time they were the bee's knees of reliability, but at times they were a right Basd to start, we use Easy Start, we used Paraffin soaked rags fired up to start these engines but when stated it was as if a steel works had coaled up the boilers you could not see a thing. at that time the Sweds were coming in with the Vabis ( Scania) then the Volvo entered the UK, the best cabs for the driver came in the FORD, I think it was the T40 but that may be wrong, at the time Robinson of Carlisle was running their Fodens, later to become " Our Eddie Stobart, the glory boys". thats the time when you could tell the drivers from drivers, they had not got a clue to rope & chinese a trailer, but thats the way the job went.
That Ford Truck, Transcontinental/
Came on here to ask the same - although my mechanic has ordered the glow plugs for my Tranny (£10 each) he can't say how much it will cost to fit as older vans can be a bugger. Just wondered how much it might cost altogether.

What I do is nip out and turn the ignition on and leave it for a minute or two, then turn it off and on again two or three times without trying to turn the engine over. When I am ready to go I do it again a couple of times and by the time I turn it over it doesn't take as many turns to start. Always starts eventually but as you say its not what you want to be doing on a cold and frosty morning.
That works well if you have a good battery Lankeela, regards the fitting, £40 for a small garage would be about right.
lol, our fork lift mechanic is always warning of the dangers of easy-start. Its like crack for diesel engine!
Thanks TWR, I nursed it all through last winter but with this week's cold snap I know I have to do something about it. Battery is fine but won't be if I don't get it sorted.

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