2.4 Cold starting issues
Hi all, from a brief search on this forum I know this topic has been covered many times already, but I can't seem to find a thread describing exactly the same symptoms as my car is displaying on a daily basis. The garages I have had the car in at are also struggling to rectify the problem and they've been attempting to do so for almost three weeks now.
To give some brief background, I bought the car from an independent dealer three weeks ago, its a 56 reg 2.4 Brera JTDM with 44,000 miles and appeared to have been well maintained, with 7 stamps in the service book, most recent being an oil and filter service undertaken by the independant dealer's workshop at 43,700 miles when I bought the car.
The day after picking up the car, when attempting to start from cold in the morning, it would not start on first push of the button, nor on second push of the button, despite waiting for glowplug light to go off and waiting for the press clutch / brake message. It reluctantly started on the third attempt; however, runs rough for the first minute until settled. This is accompanied by a high pitched squeaking noise, almost like a belt slipping noise, for around one minute. Both the rough idling and high pitched squeaking can be settled sooner than a minute if the engine is gently revved. Once started and settled, the car appears to drive well, although I have not driven another 2.4 to compare. Covering 300 miles since picking up the car, it appears to average around 35mpg on mostly town driving which I understand to be about average. There is the usual hesitance in performance below 2000rpm which many seem to experience as a result of possible DPF issues, but other than that, it seems to drive well.
The car starts fine when warm; but left overnight, the problem continues every morning. The starting issue got progressively worse in the first 4 days of ownership, it would take upto 6 times to start the car when cold, often only reluctantly starting with a gentle rev of the accelerator to encourage. I made the garage aware of the issue from day 1, and they have undertaken the following to date to attempt to rectify the problems...
In an attempt to rectify the cold starting issue:
Basic diagnostics undertaken;
Glowplugs replaced - no difference;
Air flow meter cleaned - no difference;
Air flow meter replaced - no difference;
Full diagnostics undertaken by a Bosch Fuel Injection Centre including;
Injector compression and leak tests - no discrepancies found;
Injectors removed, cleaned on an ultrasonic bench, re-fitted - no difference.
In an attempt to rectify the high pitched squeaking:
Fan belt and tensioner replaced - still squeaking with rough idle for one minute and appears consistent with starting issue.
The car is still with the Bosch Fuel Injection Centre, where it has been tested each day for a week now, but they still cannot find the problem and each morning the car is still failing to start first time from cold.
In owning the car for three weeks, it has been back in the garage for over two weeks now. The independent dealer is remaining co-operative at this stage and is paying for all investigations and replacement parts at his own expense. I do not want to give up on the car so early, but I do not know what to suggest next, and the independent workshop and fuel injection centre appear to be uncertain what else they can do. I don't see that this is something I can live with, and certainly would be concerned about the effect this may have on other components if continuing.
I had suggested to the dealer that they take the car to the Alfa dealership who would undertake initial diagnostics for £75 + VAT; however he is fearful that they would undertake the same process at higher cost and refer back to a fuel injection specialist. Could it be something as simple as an update / flash needed to the ECU perhaps?
I have tried other recommendations listed on this forum such as inserting the key in and out six times, leaving the key in the dash longer before starting etc, but none have made a difference.
Any suggestions / advice would be appreciated if anyone has experienced this same problem...