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Old 16-12-2012   #1
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Panda Long term cold starting issue.

Hi There.

We have a 04 plate Panda 1.3 multi jet in the Family which we have had from about 1 year old. For certainly as long as we can remember it has always given a certain amount of problems when the weather is cold but recently has gone worse or even failed to start.

The historical problem has been when you first start up the engine it sounds rough and if you put on revs it coughs and spluts and wont go above a certain RPM, give it a couple of minutes idling or a few pumps on the accelerator and it seems to break through the RPM limit and all is well. In extreme occurrences if you try to increase the revs the engine would just die and need a restart. The car has been regularly serviced through out its life.

I personally have a 55 plate Doblo van which I believe has the same or very similar engine, funnily enough I have the exact same issue but to a much lesser extent, where by It sounds rough and has the RPM limit but it is much easier to break through the limit and get back to normal driving, I have just put the whole experience down to a fault with something like an air inlet sensor or sticky flap. I park regularly on a hill and if you try to reverse out of the space there just isn't any power there.

The panda of late has started to refuse to start intermittently and when it does, it sounds really rough with some black smoke until you break the RPM barrier. It's not as you'd expect though as it started first time the other day with the normal RPM limit issue) when it was -6 but for the past 2 days when it has been well above freezing it has refused to start, it's not even trying. I've checked the air filter and it's nice and clean and dry.

Any assistance or pointers would be appreciated, I've asked a number of mechanics but non even knew where to start. I assume it must be a pretty common issue as we have it with both vehicles but I can't find any definitive answers.

Cheers
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Old 16-12-2012   #2
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Re: Panda Long term cold starting issue.

Hi

On all of my diesel cars that I've owned poor starting has always been down to glow plugs and or battery.
I was always taught with diesels in cold weather to put the glow plugs on at least twice before trying to start the engine.
One or more poor performing glow plugs will cause a rough start as the non combusting chambers drag on the engine.
Whatever you do dont start using easy start - no matter how tempting
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Old 16-12-2012   #3
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Re: Panda Long term cold starting issue.

Thanks for the reply.

My doblo has just had a new injector and all the glow plugs checked, so this isn't the issue. I ran the issue by the injector specialist but he'd not heard of it before.

An update on the Panda, I got fed up of it refusing to start so I ran it down the road in second, at the bottom the engine was running but very roughly. The accelerator didn't do anything at all not even trying to rev, as though the connector had fallen off. 5 minutes idling and the accelerator started to work a bit. A quick 10 min around the block and now it's working fine. Starts up first time again.
Very strange.

I'm still thinking on the side of common fault as the same thing is happening on both vehicles and I have heard others mention the kind of fault.

Any more suggestions would be welcomed.

Cheers
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Old 16-12-2012   #4
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Re: Panda Long term cold starting issue.

I too have the Multijet.

I was having sluggish start problems as well, but although my air filter seemed dry when checked, I found that putting tape over the bolt hole in the middle below the wipers has solved my problems, so rain water must have been getting in there. Apparently there is a modified air filter available, but I'll wait till the next service is due for that...

I also recently have run through some diesel cleaner in the tank and have just changed the battery. Car is now feeling much better, has much better pick up and is more responsive.
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Old 16-12-2012   #5
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Thumbs up Re: Panda Long term cold starting issue.

Just a thought, could adding a thermostatically controlled fuel heater before the pump help ?

They are fairly cheap (@ 40 including postage) and make a big difference in winter.

I got mine from this guy Saverbee on fleabay,
I got the SVO WVO Heater Exchange Aux. kit-before diesel-filter.

I used to run a Toyota Surf which used to draw more fuel that it used, the excess being returned to the tank, so pipes warm up easing the flow.

The difference between running the heater and not was very noticeable in winter - in winter I would sail up a local hill with the heater on, and get out and push when it was off !

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Old 17-12-2012   #6
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Re: Panda Long term cold starting issue.

Could you not try moving somewhere more warm?
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Old 17-12-2012   #7
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Re: Panda Long term cold starting issue.

Check the air filters. Can't vouch for the Doblo but the Panda has a design fault that allows rain to get in giving the symptoms you describe. If it's wet you'll need to get the rain out of the bottom of the air box as well as change the filter. Silicone the hole directly above the air box on the scuttle as this is the failure point. Also remove the two multi-plugs by the battery and apply a small squirt of WD40 there. Poor contacts there also cause rough running.
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