airbak2

Hard start cold engine Smart 06 CDI

31 posts in this topic

My smart was having trouble starting when the engine was cold or left for about 1hr or so.  Didn't matter what outside temp was plugged in or not.  It would cough and sputter, sometimes stall.  When it does start there is more smoke, sounds like not all cylinders are firing then it sounds normal in a few seconds.  Also a engine surge up and down until the alternator puts a small load on the engine and that does stop.  Has not stalled in traffic ever.  131K on it now.

 

I have changed the following.

Fuel filter

Glow plugs

Ran sea foam through the fuel lots of times.

I have blanked out the EGR with the method of turning the valve 180 degrees to block the exhaust gas/carbon from ever clogging again.

 

So I just replaced the injectors yesterday... I was very happy it started fine all day after sitting. No idle surge. Seemed to pull RPM's way better.   HAPPY HAPPY :)

 

 

So this morning its about +5 C. Hit the start after the glow plug light went out and it coughed and sputtered to start.  Not happy again :(  Any ideas what else may need to be replaced ???

Oh and the only code I have seen was the EGR code nothing else.  Since I blanked the EGR out that never comes up anymore.

 

Thanks I love this forum...

Garth

 

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Better checking the basics before changing parts:

Measure cylinder compression, read injection pressure when cranking using diagnostics, measure feed pump pressure. 

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So I made a trip to MB to see if they could fix my cold start issue.  

They checked the battery ...ok

Starter draw 57 amps ...ok

checked for injector leaks... ok

checked compression ...over 250 on all ..ok

 

They decided it was a fuel issue. 

Changed the filter that they thought looked old.  I changed it in spring.. ? But whatever.  Doesn't take long for them to look old and rusty anyway i found. 

They drained the fuel from the system and tank.  Purged fuel system. So 90 bucks for the filter and 500 bucks labour

 

So -7 this am not plugged in went to start it.  It did start but still has trouble.  It did not stall while starting.. which it was doing when the temp was above 0.

 

They asked me where i get my fuel.  I get it from the Co-op which gets there fuel from the Co-op upgrader 2hours from where i live.  The gas station is new as well.  I have used sea foam in the past but not since i changed the injectors.  They said don't use that anymore and get fuel from some where else.  

 

One would think if the diesel was bad at the coop then there would be a lot of unhappy people.  It is a very high volume gas station so the fuel there is definently not old..

 

Any thoughts on this .. Thanks everyone..

 

 

 

 

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Are you in Melville, Ontario or Melville near New York City, USA  ,,,, If Ontario, there are several good diesel distributors in Belleville, Napanee or even Shannonville.

 

I have refueled in all three Ontario locations and have never had fuel issues.

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I don't believe its a fuel issue..    Melville Saskatchewan.. i had my 06 CDI since 2011with 40K.  I now have 132K on her.. Got my fuel from the same place almost entirely from the same place .. always the same company... like i said the refinery is up the road. The station is new with high volume going through there.  The shell uses bio diesel which i guess is bad for small engines.  So only since last fall has my car had these cold start issues..  I changed glow plugs, injectors, fuel filter. I thought letting MB go through it they would find it.. i am at a loss .  ANy other ideas would be appreciated thx

 

...

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Could be your alternator rusting up slowing down cranking speed. Perhaps remove belt to confirm. 

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I don't believe its a fuel issue..    Melville Saskatchewan.. i had my 06 CDI since 2011with 40K.  I now have 132K on her.. Got my fuel from the same place almost entirely from the same place .. always the same company... like i said the refinery is up the road. The station is new with high volume going through there.  The shell uses bio diesel which i guess is bad for small engines.  So only since last fall has my car had these cold start issues..  I changed glow plugs, injectors, fuel filter. I thought letting MB go through it they would find it.. i am at a loss .  ANy other ideas would be appreciated thx

 

...

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I replaced the alternator last summer.. actuallyhad to do that twice in less than a year.  The first one was factory defect.  Hell of a tuff job anyway ...   Maybe i have the belt to tight ? What you think Tolsen.. Thanks for your help ... Appreciated .. :)

 

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Have you access to diagnostics machine to get live data from engine control unit?

Check common rail pressure whilst cranking. Should be at least 260 bar. If low could be an issue with electric feed pump or its wiring. 

Also check engine speed sensor. A pig to get to although on mine I can get it out in about a minute working from top of engine. They often seize in the bore. Build up of iron filings at tip of sensor will weaken signal requiring higher cranking speed. 

Whether belt is too tight should not matter much except reduced bearing life. 

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Have just read rail pressure on my 15 year old 450.  215 bar at idle.  Tried reading when cranking but engine fired up too quickly.  Note that rail pressure sensor is not sufficiently sensitive to read feed pump pressure which is around 2.5 bar.  Current draw by feed pump is 3 to 4 amps.

 

Many years ago when mine had a non start issue I foolishly connected a pressure gauge to the rail.  Not very smart.  I nearly blew the gauge apart.  Cause for my non start issue was seized alternator.  

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So i took my smart back to MB for a FREE diagnostic. Previously they told me that all cylinders were 250PSI and up...   They had it in the shop for 4 days!!!!  They said that oh when their master tech checked the compression again he found that one of the glow plugs was loose and thats why it had a cold start well that was not the case. Now he says one of the cylinders is at 200 psi and that is why it has a cold start issue...  I mentioned sensors and they said their unit did not find any codes blah blah blah...  Can anyone tell me what the normal compression is ?  What would the minimum be before there are issues?  LIke i said.  Once it is started it purrs like a kitten.  I Cruze at 120 all the time and 130 to 135 at times absolute rock solid, no smoking...  could it be a blocked sensor on the rail or speed sensor.. what you guys think... thanks a lot for any info..

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IIRC compression ratio is 18.5:1 so multiply that by 14.7 to get the nominal compression: 270 PSI or thereabouts.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

did you ream out the glow plug holes?

 

when i changed mine i welded a rod onto a drill bit that was larger than the element and ran it down the hole,,,theres was tons of sooty carbon in there that would have stole heat from the new glowplugs

 

my head was off but using a greasy bit should keep most of the crud in the flutes if you do on complete engine

 

mine starts good all winter long

 

dont know if this helps but its just a suggestion to do it if you decide to go in there again to do your own compression check

 

i cant remember what my compression reading were when i checked mine...i was more concerned about them being relatively similar

Edited by LooseLugNuts
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Interesting.. Easy enuff to try.. When i changed my injectors there was some carbon at the bottom... got my shop vac nozzle to suck stuff out but.. it ran better for a brief time ..  Question so how far did you drill in .. I guess you don’t want to hit the piston.. maybe the angle is right so you cant touch it.. gotta check that i think.. but it makes sense that if its carboned up around the glow plug it wont get hot for ignition.  They had my glow plugs in and out twice in 1 month ..one would think they would look at that too.. I get white smoke at start up then u cant tell its running hardly no smoke at idle..    Thx a lot..

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when i did mine the head was off 

 

if you do it on complete engine just make sure the piston is down on whatever cylinder youre doing

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

i just looked and the bit i used measures 0.216

 

not sure what fractional size it was ..cant read it

 

i brazed it to a large bolt (after drilling a hole in end of bolt) so i probably just turned it in by hand..its still full of carbon crud i never cleaned it..it didnt dig into any head material ..just carbon

 

old glow plug and a steel brake line is good for making compression test adapter...just be sure to use a 500 psi gauge 

 

 

 

 

 

 

glow.jpg

 

 

 

dont look too close at that welding Tolsen..i was in a hurry at the time and the silver flux or whatever is oxydized from sitting

Edited by LooseLugNuts
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Compression readings on mine were when first time measured:

No 1 - 24.5 bar

No 2 - 25.0 bar

No 3 - 25.0 bar

All good but I later found, when soap testing, that no 1 had a leaking fire seal. Pulled all injectors and cleaned the seats, replaced fire seals and compression readings all became 25.0 bar on each cylinder. 

 

You must ream bores when replacing glow plugs or there is risk of damaging both head and new glow plugs. 

 

I use a modified old glow plug as reamer guide and a drill with brazed on collar nut as reamer. 

 

 

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My reamer:

Mark1_Reamer.jpg

 

And some of my other special tools related to glow plugs and compression testing:

 

DSC02475.jpg

 

The two test probes seen below glow plug won't fit because insufficient clearance with inlet manifold.  Bottom home made long probe made from an old glow plug, bored out brass bar and brazed on 13 mm nut fits perfectly.

Plate tool in top right corner is for unclipping top cover on cable tray. 

 

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How to remove glow plugs and measure cylinder compression:

 

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Ok picked up my smarty from MB today.. Finally got to talk to the master tech mechanic today.  The first tech reported 250PSI and above on all cylinders.  No error codes but deemed fuel and filter were the issue.  Let them drain fuel and change the filter. Even though i had changed it only this summer.  They did wash my car.  So that cost me 600CDN.  Car still had cold start issues.   I bitched a bit and they took it back for a FREE diagnostic.   However they replaced my door latches on a recall. Cost me nothing but i bet MB paid them dearly.. so that paid for my free diagnostic no doubt

 

So master tech redid the compression #1 350psi #2 330 #3 200. No error codes.. I new that i have a reader.  I asked him if they have some MB reader that goes beyond ones i can buy.. He said no..  He believes its the exhaust valve leaking fuel into the #3 cylinder causing white smoke and the cold start.  He said #3 receives the most fuel on startup, i forget the reason why.

 

I asked him if they noticed any carbon on the glow plugs or check the bore at all.  They had them in and out 2times after all ...Of course they didn’t but he made it sound like the plugs looked clean..  I still want to look for my self before i decide if i wanna fix the valve.. Cant believe that 2 guys come up with 2 different compression readings.  I just am not convinced quite yet that its compression.   

 

Please add any comments...   Thanks Tolsen and Loose for chiming in...  Love this site.. Thx

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"master tech" is a strange term...anyone with a licence (or technically a trade certificate ) is a master ..

 

 

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Ok so it was finally warm enuff to take the glow plugs out.. this would be the 3rd time they have been out over a 2 month period.  They came out easy.. i tested them and they glow read from the tip first.  I rigged up a tube off my shop vac to suck out any carbon... Hardly anything.  Looked clean from what i could see.  I had a small wood dowl that i slid down the chamber.  I bottomed out early thinking it was the piston.  I pushed it a bit and it felt like a spring would push back about a 8th of a inch.. all three cylinders were like that...   anyway i think i am ruling out the carbon and glow plug thing.  Must be a leaky exhaust valve...  hard to start when engine is cold... with white smoke after it fires up. but runs like a champ on the highway.   Thinking if it was rings i would have smoke all the time

 

Question what would that be ?

Anyone change a valve in a smarty ?

 

thx

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glow plug goes in at an angle..."spring" feeling was probably wooden dowel bending a bit when it touched piston

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I don’t think so.  The dowl was not very long and could not bend like you say.. being that i bottomed out the same distant in tells me it couldn’t be the piston. And really the pressure to push that spring was less than the recoil of a pen spring when you push it down..  has me baffled as to what that could be... I don’t have a detailed schematic of what the cylinder  looks like relating to the glow plug valves and piston .. anyone got one..   maybe there is some difference for the Canadian smart CDI I don’t know.. getting frustrated.  I am going from 100 bucks a month for fuel for smarty to 400 now cause i gotta drive my truck to work :(

 

THanks Loose :)

 

Has anyone changed a valve in there smart

 

 

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there is no spring in there

 

its a rather acute angle...if it happened the same in each cylinder at same distance without rotating then it has to be flexing against the cylinder wall

 

i dont have a picture but if i had to guess id say the glow plug enters the combustion chamber at about 45 degrees

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