Turbo-diesel starting

Anything about BXs
New Member
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:34 pm
x 2

Turbo-diesel starting

Post by HZman » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:32 pm

I have no doubt this is covered somewhere in the forum but have got no answers elsewhere - except 'let me know what it was!'.

I sold my 1.9 GTI a few years ago and kept the turbo-diesel estate as being more useful for traveling to and in France, shifting junk and towing a trailer and caravan (not both at the same time).

The estate has obviously had a hard life and I believe was run on un-refined chip fat at some stage (it does not have a Bosch pump). I have run it for 5 years.

About 2 years ago it started pumping out a lot of smoke on starting. It invariably fires straight away without even turning over but then acts as if it is firing on 3. After about 40 secs it settles down and then runs very well. It does this 80% of the time. It will also do it after a long run (say 70 miles) and a 20 minute stop. It doesn't smoke on normal acceleration or when the turbo cuts in (well, it is apparent at night with car lights behind but not anything drastic).

Injectors were replaced last year with re-con ones and the glow plugs replaced with tapered 'turbo' ones. No difference. I have checked the glow plugs individually but not all four in position.

It does start better in warmer dry weather than in damp. It also starts better in cold dry weather than in damp.

Various people have suggested air in the fuel line, changing the fuel pump, the wax start thingy and other solutions up to £1500 labour and parts.

It is more embarrassing than anything and isn't getting any worse - yet, but am just wondering if someone has a quick solution instead of me spending too much on an elimination process.



User avatar
Tim Leech
Over 2k
Posts: 15110
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Burton on Trent
My Cars: 1963 VW BEETLE 1200 KGJ413A
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL BFA720L
1979 Rover SD1 3.5 V8-S TSL 982
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL DBV468W
2002 Rover 75 CDT Connossieur SE Nav Auto R40TSL
2002 Rover 45 1.6i Spirt S TAL 91S
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL L33CHT
x 52

Re: Turbo-diesel starting

Post by Tim Leech » Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:22 am

Hi Peter

Were the glowplugs fitted new? Also have you tried fittiing a new relay?

When starting a diesel I wait 10 seconds after the glowplug lamps goes out before I crank it, seems to help!

Also is the fuel filter new?
1985 BX 19GT Mk1
1991 BX 19TZI Auto A/C
1994 Xantia 1.8i SX
1972 Morris Marina 1.8 SDL
1979 Rover SD1 V8-S
1980 Morris Marina 1.7HL
2002 Rover 75 CDTi Connossieur SE AUTO Nav
2002 Rover 45 1.6i Spirit S Special
2003 Rover 25 1.6i XL 5 DR
1963 VW BEETLE 1200

User avatar
Our Trim Guru
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 6:41 pm
Location: Gosport, Hampshire, UK
My Cars: None since the last BX.
x 1

Re: Turbo-diesel starting

Post by DLM » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:14 pm

I recall getting intermittent problems a bit similar with pinhole leaks on the rubber seals of the filter pump primer - both bulb and push-button type.
Relying on two wheels and musclepower since the last BX (or any car) had to go.

New Member
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:34 pm
x 2

Re: Turbo-diesel starting

Post by HZman » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:04 pm

Thanks both for the tips.

The glowplugs were new last year and are tapered 'turbo' ones. I have tested them individually recently and they glow nicely individually. Perhaps I should see if there is a wiring fault although nothing obvious.

I have been waiting about 10 secs after the light goes out.

The fuel filter isn't new, I'd better check on that.

I'll have a pinhole hunt as well. Mine is a bulb primer

Thanks again

New Member
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:34 pm
x 2

Re: Turbo-diesel starting

Post by HZman » Sat May 05, 2018 9:35 pm

The starting smoky thing appears to be related to the humidity. It starts absolutely fine in cold dry winter weather but not in cold damp weather. It starts fine in warm fine weather but not in warm damp weather.
A guy I met around the corner 2 days ago who has a diesel Mercedes van said I should drive it up a hill in 2nd. gear at max revs to blow out the crap from the turbo. I did that and it was very smoky for half the hill and then tailed off to nothing. Sorry if you happened to be there at the time.
This morning it just fired up and ticked over quite happily with no smoke - but it was warm and dry weather so proves nothing.
Next week I am taking it to our property in France for 2 weeks, they love it over there and are amazed it is still going, so we shall see what it does. When we took the GTI over there people used to come up and shake hands in car parks and congratulate us on the 'voiture merveilleux'.