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Thread: Bad Cold Start Z1.9DT 120bhp Fault Fixed

  1. #1
    Regular Member C-Owner's Avatar
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    Default Bad Cold Start Z1.9DT 120bhp Fault Fixed

    Hi

    After struggling with a few cold starting z19dt's also a few Alfa Romeo JTD's with the same 8 valve engine.

    I found a cure for the famous cold starting issue, on this engine at least.

    The following conditions apply to this fault, if the engine wont fire first time:

    1. When attempting to start from cold the first time.

    2. When using multiple glow plug heat cycles.

    3. When using a battery booster pack/donor car (to ensure correct voltage on cranking)

    4. But will start after 5-10 seconds continuous cranking.

    5. But the engine always starts first time after initial bad starting success.

    If any or all of the above apply to your cold starting issues, then do the following only on a first time cold start cycle, do not do this if you have started the engine already.

    Make sure the ignition key is removed from the ignition, then remove the temperature sensor plug from the sensor on the thermostat housing located between the battery and right side of the engine, there's a black plug engaged into a green plastic housing on the sensor, pull up the yellow locking tab and gently lift the bottom black retaining lug and remove the connector from the sensor housing.

    Now turn on the ignition to cycle the glow pugs, the glow plug light might stay on longer than normal, let it fully cycle till the light goes off then start the engine,
    If the engine starts with a just few turns (better than the usual you have been experiencing) then turn off the engine, put the temperature sensor plug back on the sensor, now start the engine again and you will have the EML on with a fault code for the temp sensor.



    If the engine started ok and better than normal >> Replace the temperature sensor £8.60 from Vauxhall. Please use your chassis number when ordering the new sensor.



    Once you have replaced the sensor clear the fault code/s.

    I have done 6 of these faults over this cold spell, and been told by the owners that they have had various repairs done by main dealers costing hundreds and still have the fault, so go figure.
    Hope it helps any of you with this fault by looking at the search I did there's lots of owners with cold start problems on here and other forums.

    Have fun
    Last edited by C-Owner; 12th February 2012 at 03:21.

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    Regular Member alcutler's Avatar
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    Vehicle : vectra c 1.9cdti 120 estate

    Trim : design



    Default

    Hi, Thanks - That's interesting - have a 120 and I am in the habit of recycling the glowplugs at least a couple of times on a cold start and we have had a couple of -12's of late. It always starts but needs a bit more cranking if I only run the cycle once. I notice that the g/plug light does not seem to stay on long although I always thought that the plugs continued to operate even when the light had gone out. I have done all the usual suspects battery, glowplugs, and checked all connections,etc and it hasn't made a lot of difference. I was considering the starter motor but after reading your post may have a look at the sensor. Just a couple of questions

    1. I changed my thermostat a few months ago and obviously it came with a new sensor - I take it you can buy the sensor seperately from the thermostat
    2. When you change the sensor, do you drain the coolant or just remove it and put the new one straight in with just a minimal loss of coolant [if you are lucky]
    3. When the sensor is disconnected - what signal is sent to the ECU - is it saying that the coolant is very cold and therefore to operate the glowplug relay longer?

    Thanks again I'll give it a try
    Last edited by alcutler; 12th February 2012 at 09:15.

  3. #3
    Regular Member steve19cdti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-Owner View Post
    Hi

    After struggling with a few cold starting z19dt's also a few Alfa Romeo JTD's with the same 8 valve engine.

    I found a cure for the famous cold starting issue, on this engine at least.

    The following conditions apply to this fault, if the engine wont fire first time:

    1. When attempting to start from cold the first time.

    2. When using multiple glow plug heat cycles.

    3. When using a battery booster pack/donor car (to ensure correct voltage on cranking)

    4. But will start after 5-10 seconds continuous cranking.

    5. But the engine always starts first time after initial bad starting success.

    If any or all of the above apply to your cold starting issues, then do the following only on a first time cold start cycle, do not do this if you have started the engine already.

    Make sure the ignition key is removed from the ignition, then remove the temperature sensor plug from the sensor on the thermostat housing located between the battery and right side of the engine, there's a black plug engaged into a green plastic housing on the sensor, pull up the yellow locking tab and gently lift the bottom black retaining lug and remove the connector from the sensor housing.

    Now turn on the ignition to cycle the glow pugs, the glow plug light might stay on longer than normal, let it fully cycle till the light goes off then start the engine,
    If the engine starts with a just few turns (better than the usual you have been experiencing) then turn off the engine, put the temperature sensor plug back on the sensor, now start the engine again and you will have the EML on with a fault code for the temp sensor.



    If the engine started ok and better than normal >> Replace the temperature sensor £8.60 from Vauxhall. Please use your chassis number when ordering the new sensor.



    Once you have replaced the sensor clear the fault code/s.

    I have done 6 of these faults over this cold spell, and been told by the owners that they have had various repairs done by main dealers costing hundreds and still have the fault, so go figure.
    Hope it helps any of you with this fault by looking at the search I did there's lots of owners with cold start problems on here and other forums.

    Have fun
    ive had problem like this done as above didnt work mate changed loads off parts thinking it was them but no,till two wks ago car wouldnt star at all just click click from starter i changed the starter ,still same click click then changed battery more powerfull one started first time found out then the alternater was naft and battery (TOUCH WOOD THE CAR STARTS FIRST TIEME EVERY TIME HAVENT GOT TO WAIT FOR GLOW LIGHT TO GO OUT IN COLD MORNING MY OPPINION CHECK ALL THREE STARTER,ALTERNATER,BATTERY TOTALL COST FOR £357.99 FITTED MY SELF WELL WERTH IT LOL

  4. #4
    Regular Member Cruize's Avatar
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    I'm half way through diagnosing this problem lol.
    I've bought new glow plugs and was just about to buy a new Thermostat unit. If its just the sensor then I'll go that way first.
    I dont know if its the sensor though as my heaters arent very good and when on full wack just blow mildly warm air. Which is making me think that the thermostat is stuck open? Would the sensor cause this issue too?

  5. #5
    Regular Member alcutler's Avatar
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    Vehicle : vectra c 1.9cdti 120 estate

    Trim : design



    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruize View Post
    I'm half way through diagnosing this problem lol.
    I've bought new glow plugs and was just about to buy a new Thermostat unit. If its just the sensor then I'll go that way first.
    I dont know if its the sensor though as my heaters arent very good and when on full wack just blow mildly warm air. Which is making me think that the thermostat is stuck open? Would the sensor cause this issue too?
    I wouldn't have thought the thermostat would have caused you to have starting problems - it doesn't operate until the coolant starts to warm up - although it sounds as though yours does need replacing with the heating problems. Take it you have a 1.9 120/150 diesel - if so the thermostat has the new sensor already fitted so it could solve both problems by replacing it.

  6. #6
    Regular Member C-Owner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve19cdti View Post
    ive had problem like this done as above didnt work mate changed loads off parts thinking it was them but no,till two wks ago car wouldnt star at all just click click from starter i changed the starter ,still same click click then changed battery more powerfull one started first time found out then the alternater was naft and battery (TOUCH WOOD THE CAR STARTS FIRST TIEME EVERY TIME HAVENT GOT TO WAIT FOR GLOW LIGHT TO GO OUT IN COLD MORNING MY OPPINION CHECK ALL THREE STARTER,ALTERNATER,BATTERY TOTALL COST FOR £357.99 FITTED MY SELF WELL WERTH IT LOL
    In your case number 3 applies as in the check list.

  7. #7
    Regular Member C-Owner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alcutler View Post
    Hi, Thanks - That's interesting - have a 120 and I am in the habit of recycling the glowplugs at least a couple of times on a cold start and we have had a couple of -12's of late. It always starts but needs a bit more cranking if I only run the cycle once. I notice that the g/plug light does not seem to stay on long although I always thought that the plugs continued to operate even when the light had gone out. I have done all the usual suspects battery, glowplugs, and checked all connections,etc and it hasn't made a lot of difference. I was considering the starter motor but after reading your post may have a look at the sensor. Just a couple of questions

    1. I changed my thermostat a few months ago and obviously it came with a new sensor - I take it you can buy the sensor seperately from the thermostat
    2. When you change the sensor, do you drain the coolant or just remove it and put the new one straight in with just a minimal loss of coolant [if you are lucky]
    3. When the sensor is disconnected - what signal is sent to the ECU - is it saying that the coolant is very cold and therefore to operate the glowplug relay longer?

    Thanks again I'll give it a try
    In your case number 2 applies you have to understand that its still not staring correctly after recycling the glow plugs then the advice stands.
    Last edited by C-Owner; 12th February 2012 at 13:41.

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    Regular Member C-Owner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruize View Post
    I'm half way through diagnosing this problem lol.
    I've bought new glow plugs and was just about to buy a new Thermostat unit. If its just the sensor then I'll go that way first.
    I dont know if its the sensor though as my heaters arent very good and when on full wack just blow mildly warm air. Which is making me think that the thermostat is stuck open? Would the sensor cause this issue too?
    Go through the check list I made and please to all read carefully what I have posted, some of you seem to have speed read through it and not understood the conditions that temp sensor replacement is needed.

    As for actually replacing the sensor please refer to the manual.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Signum-Steve's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Jaguar S-Type V6

    Trim : Sport

    Engine : Petrol

    Year : 2003

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    Quote Originally Posted by C-Owner View Post
    Go through the check list I made and please to all read carefully what I have posted, some of you seem to have speed read through it and not understood the conditions that temp sensor replacement is needed.

    As for actually replacing the sensor please refer to the manual.
    The title should read 120ps not bhp, these cars are classed as 118bhp or did you speed read through that bit. lol
    A repeated glow plug cycle (Turning them off and on before ignition) just help to burn them out. Although it can high light a glow plug problem if you have one.
    I tell tale sign of glow plug failure is rough cold starting with whitish grey smoke that has a diesel smell to it. Once it's been running for a little while it goes normal as the engine block temp increases slightly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DTI-Steve View Post
    The title should read 120ps not bhp, these cars are classed as 118bhp or did you speed read through that bit. lol
    A repeated glow plug cycle (Turning them off and on before ignition) just help to burn them out. Although it can high light a glow plug problem if you have one.
    I tell tale sign of glow plug failure is rough cold starting with whitish grey smoke that has a diesel smell to it. Once it's been running for a little while it goes normal as the engine block temp increases slightly.
    Everone knows tham as 120bhp....

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