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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

So for the past couple months my Alfa GT 2004 has had a couple issues getting going. Some mornings its fine, others, especially when its cold, it struggles to turn over, I keep the key turned but it just chugs and bit and doesnt kick in, I sometimes have to try a few times and give it some gas before it gets going.

It's worth mentioning, that when I put the ignition on, the glow plug light only stays on for a second or two, is this normal? In fact, after the first time, the glow plugs only stay on for half a second.

I've had the glow plugs replaced as well as the glow plug relay but its still the same, I get the impression the glow plugs should be staying on for longer but they are not, what could cause this?

Probably also worth mentioninig that the engine management line is on a fair bit of the time, i've read the code its a camshaft sensor fault!

Cheers

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, it is only a few months old! It got replaced along with my turbo which died a couple months back. I have wondered if it was the battery as a lot of people have hinted that this could be the problem. Any way of testing this? Apart from getting a new battery of course..
 

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If you have a multimeter then you can measure how much charge is coming out when the car is off and when its running. If its new and low it could be your alternator not charging it properly. My GT also struggles to start when cold. I usually turn the key till the glow light comes on, then leave it another 10-20 seconds after thats gone out before attempting to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok thank you. Can I ask - how long does your glow light stay on for? Is under 2 seconds normal?

Cheers
 

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I have the same issues on an 8V JTDm.
Had tried glow plugs (even longer ones!) etc but no joy
Still haven't found a solution, but currently not using the car.

Generally, the plugs should turn on for maybe 3 - 5 seconds when cold.
With a warm engine they hardly turn on at all.
This got me thinking that the relay must have some way of measuring engine, and maybe even air, temperature.
What if the relay is been fed incorrect info - faulty senders etc.
So, the plugs are not on long enough when cold as the relay thinks it is hot.
Any thoughts?

Have you tried the injector leak test?
That is my next test when I get it running again.
The thinking behind it is that a leaking injector may prevent the pump from building up enough pressure, while cranking, to actually get the ECU to begin injecting.
Don't know if this is true or not, but the test isn't that difficult to do - apparently.
 

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Put key in ignition ....turn to MAR and wait for 3 seconds ....then start car

Are you giving the plugs time to heat up?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies. Yes, giving the plugs plenty of time, I wait for the plug light to go out and wait a few more seconds after that.
 

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You do need to fix that camshaft sensor fault. It's intermittent so may be a bad connection. Start at the sensor end of the harness, looking for a broken wire or corroded connection.
 

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In my experience, common rail engines don't really need a glow plug to fire up unless it's proper cold- not like at the mo', so I'd be guessing the problem lies elsewhere. battery voltage will certainly do it as the voltage has to be at a certain point to trigger fuelling, but voltage will drop after continued cranking so might not be this. Shagged injectors would do this too, but in that case it would eventually start but with clouds of white smoke when it does, then run lumpy a few seconds before it clears. Cam sensor definitely not good as it could be telling the injectors to do their thing at the wrong time...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks again, i'll try the camshaft sensor replacement first as I don't think that will cost much. I'll update this thread and let you know whether it worked or not!

Cheers

Ed
 

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I had exactly this problem, it turned out to be that injector #1 had excessive leak back (picked up on a leak back test)
 
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