2006 Diesel Focus Starting Probs

24 Jan 2009
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Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom
The battery light came on last week. I pulled over, stopped, and decided what to do. I was pretty sure the fan belt hadn't snapped. Car wouldn't start so called AA. He confirmed alternator. He charged battery enough to start car, and follewed me 6 miles to Ford garage (where I bought the car).
New alternator fitted under warranty.
Now...when I went to pick the car up, it took a few tries to get it started. Probably to be expected I thought, after a flat battery. Drove ten miles home, then 30 mins later, with car warm and battery presumably well charged, it took a few tries to get started again. After a freezing night, car started fine this morning, but later didn't want to. This makes me suspect battery is OK. Had it checked, and it's OK (although I have a slight doubt about the person who checked it, or his equipment rather). The battery is being charged fine now.
So...am I right to assume battery is OK? Is there a common cause of poor starting that I should be aware of? Is there something that could be linked to the alternator problem (car started fine 100% before) ?
I noticed transparent fuel pipes... they had bubbles in, is that normal or does it suggest a fuel pump problem?
I've heard fuel pumps are megabucks.
Car is 2.0 TDCi, with, I think, 'smart charging'.
Any help or comments very welcome.
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I've noticed today that the glowplug light flicks on and quickly off again. When it does this, it won't start. Sometimes the light comes on for a good second or more, like it used to, when this happens the car starts fine.
Am I right in assuming this now to be a glowplug problem? Could the alternator problem have caused it (or the 6 mile drive to garage with battery light on)? Is it likely to be easy or quick to fix?
Any comments at all welcome :)
maybe when they fitted the alternator they had to disconnect some fuel lines that have not been re fitted properly, this could be causing air in the system (bubbles you see in the pipes)
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diesel, cold = poor starting genrally,,

the only way to test the battery is ok is not by checking its charging,, its by using a "discharge tester" this will tell you if it holds the charge.
your battery may charge slighty but slight discharge due to it being drained before meaning you need a new one.

anyways,.,. you will normally get a good feeling if battery is holding charge by going on a few long drives then next mornings for next week or so if i always starts ok then all is good..

air bubble is def not good, it needs bleeding.. i would suggest fuel pump is ok if it all runs well etc, but air in the system definaltly contributes to bad starting.
I'm pretty sure the battery isn't at fault. After a night if -5 temps, it started first time. After a 20 mile round trip, got home, half an hour later it wouldn't start. Now I just watch the glowplug light. If it flickers I don't even try. If it stays on for 1-2 secs, I know it'll start.
It's going into garage tomorrow.
When the glow plug light flashes on, this is indicating a engine management problem, not a glow plug problem, may be a camshaft sensor sits on top of the cam cover, but to be sure you may have to take it to have fault codes read, i had a similar problem with a 1.8 tdci, cam sensor and ecu reset solved the problem
Four days they've had it. They've done tests and found nothing wrong, no fault codes showing. Got it back today and hey presto it's fine. It started seven times in a row today (at various times spread over the whole day), so it seems like it's fixed itself, or more likely a technician has done something, and kept quiet about it. The light still flickers most times, but it starts every time, so I'm fairly hapy, although I'll probably get a second opinion.

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