stickman007

My turn to have a no start on the smart - Running Now!

80 posts in this topic

After almost 4 years of ownership, this was the first time that it quit on me! Right before a buyer wanted to come have a look at it!

The car was parked for about 2 months, and was running fine before parking.

I looked for the common issues:

- Alternator was not seized

- Engine turns over (sounds normal)

- No sign of issues on the SAM connector

- Transfer pump is pumping

- A big black spot on the snow around the muffler so there must be fuel going in

- New glow plugs, and swapped modules with a known working car

- No codes on STAR

- Battery is less than a year old

Anything I'm missing from the common list?

The next thing I should probably do is a compression test, but I don't have a diesel compression gauge. I think I will by pass the glow plug module and apply 12v directly to the plugs (they are 12v right?) for a few seconds to see if anything changes.

Edited by stickman007

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I'd consider the glow plugs only if it regularly starts roughly when it's below -5°C outside. I'd still charge the battery completely first, but I suspect these cars all have mysterious, intermittent crank position sensor issues.

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These glow plugs are not 12 V so risk of them burning out if you hot wire them.

Perhaps too cold when you attempted starting?

avansert_meteogram.png

The only thing I can see omitted on your list is engine speed sensor. Does black marks in snow behind muffler outlet indicate engine attempted firing?

I would get the car heated up and place battery on charge and then try starting.

What is this I read about selling?

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I would rule out the glow plugs, even without working glowplugs it should still start in below zero temperature assuming you have good compression. . .rough horrible tractor sounding start but still start.

To me if your hearing fuel, the batteries good, nothing is seized and the SAM is fine it sounds almost like a TDC sensor problem. I'm not sure if there's a read out on the star machine for the TDC but the senor is a pain to get to.

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Izzy, when it's really cold outside I always cycle the glow plugs at least 3 or 4 times before attempting to start the engine.

Sometimes as much as 8 cycles when it's really bad out.

Canman

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That would be my guess. How many times did you cycle it? And will it eventually start? If I don't run the Webasto I have to cycle my glow plugs at least 3 times, and turn it over 3-4 cycles before it will even start to sputter. Same with mine, glow plugs are new, injectors are new, changed crank sensor, alternator is new, battery is new, belts are new and tight, starter is a year old.......

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Confirm again alternator is not seized. My brother's 450 Cdi did not start recently and I advised him to check alternator but he stated it was turning. Found out last week alternator indeed was seized.

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Remap or not ?

Happen to me last summer, after fews week of not running.

On stock it won't start, and after fews try on the remap, the car finally start.. Don't ask why....

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One last "stupid" thing to rule out would be to jump the car just incase the battery is the culprit - haven't had much luck with CT batteries.

I should tap the crank position sensor and see if get a pulse...probably won't be anything I recognize, but at least if no pulse would mean that I should dig deeper.

I hate to admit, maybe its time to buy a diesel compression tester...low compression would confirm the issue. The high pressure pump has a slight weeping, but as Tolsen pointed out in another post, even if one pump element is working should be enough to idle. I don't think fuel is the issue here. Should confirm pressure with STAR though.

I've started this car in -30C weather before, so -10C shouldn't be an issue. I've spent the last few days trying all the different combinations of cycling glow plugs and cranking time to no avail. Whenever I plug in my magnetic oil pan heater, it cranks a bit faster, but still no kick from the engine.

I can see the alternator pulley turning, but just to confirm, I will remove the belt.

Unfortunately, I am selling my smart...(I will probably get burn for this, but I'm hoping for a '15 TDI Sportwagen - whenever VW lift the sales ban. I can only fit 2 cars in my garage and there's no parking in my townhouse complex).

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Thanks Canman! The CsC forum has been the friendliest and most helpful of all the forums I've been on. The VW/Audi ones are full of condescending jerks.

Looks like I won't get to work on the smart for a few days here due to my hectic schedule. Guess the smart will be staying with me until I fix it.

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Leaking high pressure pump!

Not sufficient pressure to start engine. The CP1 pump tends to blow o-rings in high pressure circuit between its cylinder heads and block resulting in substantially reduced delivery pressure.

You can confirm by reading rail pressure with Star. You need at least 260 bar to start engine.

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I've long suspected my rail pump is one issue. My car starts hard, but pulls strongly through the middle of the rev range, however it runs out of steam quickly at highway speeds and has trouble cresting 125 km/h (in spite of the remap).

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Thanks Tolsen! Just the pressure spec I was looking for! I do have a rebuilt HPFP ready to go, If I don't get anything out of jumping the battery I'll take a STAR reading and probably swap out the pump anyway. I remember the old one leaking much worst than this and it still started fine though...maybe its this particular pump element? Thanks for the guide on how to rebuild the pump though, it was very informative as I was tearing mine apart.

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What kind of "clean environment" did you create to do the rebuild?

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What kind of "clean environment" did you create to do the rebuild?

LOL....I make sure I took a shower and wore clean clothes? 2 courses of antibiotics and wore gloves....

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Leaking high pressure pump!

Not sufficient pressure to start engine. The CP1 pump tends to blow o-rings in high pressure circuit between its cylinder heads and block resulting in substantially reduced delivery pressure.

You can confirm by reading rail pressure with Star. You need at least 260 bar to start engine.

Highly doubt it, in my experience even blowing the fuel pump seals to the point it was pissing about a liter of fuel ever 20km and still started and drove drove the turd an hour to make it to the airport for my flight, its only when the low pressure fuel rail code was on it didn't start. Pressure regulator is what I'd question before the high-pressure pump.

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Will remain smart and await readout of rail pressure whilst cranking before making a final conclusion.

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Maybe the Radio like mine. My Smart's radio turn on alone! They find out because it turn on in front of them, no error code in computer, nothing wrong in the fuse box... You can try to remove it ,full your battery and check if it drain again :)

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Any reason the car can't be pull started? I have done it with mechanical injection diesels but have never had to do it with the Smart.

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Why go through the hassle if the starter is working? If it meets the minimum starting rpm, then bump starting is just more work?

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Or I can dance around the sun and make a bunch of noise cause it might work too?

Sorry to be a bit insulting, but to be honest, push starting the car is essentially rotating the engine via the transmission which adds another element of complexity - especially if the starter is meets the minimum rpm already. If it was an old VW diesel with a manual transmission I might give that a try, but not on the smart - with the electronic actuator. While I haven't pin point the exact reason why it wouldn't start (mostly due to time), I won't go an do something that doesn't make sense logically. I enjoy bouncing ideas with others on this forum, but not going to "try" everything.

Edited by stickman007

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