Fiesta Diesel cold starting and heating problem

17 May 2007
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United Kingdom
Last monday my 1996 fiesta encore 1.8 diesel would not start, had to jump start it. Ran all week but is only just starting in the morning, takes a few seconds to turn over after waiting for light to go out. Its fine once it has been driven, just struggles when cold first thing in the morning.

Had a abttery meter on sat afternoon when it had been sat all day, it had 12.8 v when sat and 14. something when running. So does this mean that the alternator is ok?

The battery has sticker on it saying last charged 96, so guess it is the original battery, is the cold draining it, n loosing its power?

Or could it be the glow plugs? Can i check these?

Also heating does not work, fans just send cold air through, nice in the summer, not so good in the winter!

Any help much appreciated!
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When it's cold, wait for the glow plug light to go out and give it another 10 seconds before starting it. I've got an old escort van which the glow plugs would still be on after the light had gone out (can hear a relay flick when they turn off).

If that doesn't work, get a multimeter a put the positive lead on one of the glow plugs, and the negative on a good earth. Get someone to turn on ignition and see if you get a voltage, and for how long.

If it only comes on for a few seconds then i'd be looking at the relay. If it comes on for 15 seconds or so, then maybe the glow plugs are shot
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id guess the cold weather is showing up a weak battery,best to get it tested first before moving on to the glow plugs
had battery tested but they say it tests ok. Its always when its been driven tho. It always struggles in a morning not after it has done a journey! What do you reckon, dont want to buy a new bat if not needed, but its the orig bat 96! Are glow plugs expensive to do? if its not the bat? What else could it be. Cheers
if the battery tested ok then move on to the glow plugs,use neos info above to test the glow plugs are getting voltage applied to them,you can buy a cheapish mutimeter and do it yourself
Does the engine turn over slowly, or normally and just not fire up?
If it turns over normally confirm voltage to the plugs. You can use a multimeter as suggested but I find a 12V inspection lamp better as you can do it on your own. You'll also see how long the plugs are heated for. It should be about 5 secs after your dash light goes out and immediately after engaging the starter. This method also confirms your heater plug timer relay.
If the lamp works normally then it's the plugs. Each one can be tested in situe by doing a continuity test once the power feed wire has been removed. If you remove the plugs to test them sometimes you can break a perfectly good plug if it's been in for a while.
It turns over normally and seems to get slower!, but takes ages sometimes, always when cold first thing in am, ok after that unless stood all day. Tried changing bat now, now dif but concerned i got the correct bat. The old one was the original, 12v but it said 590A on the side, the one i have just bought is a 12v but it says 420 CCA on the side, have they given me the correct bat? i looked up what cca meant, but is this powerful enough to get this bad boy going readily in the cold?
Cheers for help
the battery should say 68ah if it's correct.
Even if it's a bit smaller, though not correct, being brand new it should crank the engine over. When you say it gets slower, is this after 10 secs or 2 mins?
the old bat just said 590A on the side this one says 420CCA on the side, checked with supplier, they say its correct bat for car! what else can i do guess prob is else where?
Like the man above says you've been sold the wrong battery.
Go back and argue the toss.

Secondly make sure all leads connecting to the battery are clean, then make sure the main lead from the battery to the starter terminal is clean.
I.E. remove them and clean them with steel wool or sand paper, then put a conductive grease on the them.

Failing that and presuming that the salesman has told you 'tough', borrow a mates battery off a 2l diesel or similar and try that.

It will prove or disprove your starter.

Glow plugs being knackered will stop your car from starting but won't drain the battery.
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