Pre-Facelift Model 04 Diesel won't start

Discussion in '7th Generation (2003-2008) [Acura TSX]' started by altoricky, Thursday 28th Jun, 2012.

  1. altoricky Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Kent
    19
    4
    Hi all,

    I'll start with an apology for the length of this post.

    First, the problem, then some history.

    No matter how long I crank it over, and irrespective of engine or ambient temperature it will not fire. I can bump start it no problem. My drive is on a slope and so I just turn the ignition on, let the handbrake off, let it roll a bit and then drop the clutch in 1st and away it goes. It will also start with easy start. Once it's started it runs and drives without any problems.

    Now a bit of history. I've had the car for about a year (bought it from an auction). It was never the most eager starter, but would always go after about 7 or 8 seconds turning over. The first thing I did was change the fuel filter, using a genuine Honda one. That was about 8k miles ago. After that things improved a bit but then slowly got worse again.

    Then one day I couldn't get it to start and called out the RAC. The man put his laptop on it and said there wasn't anything showing up but the battery looked like it was on its way out. He got me going with easy start.

    I bought a new battery and things improved for a while but then got worse again. Just after Christmas I had to get the RAC out again. He checked it on the laptop said there were no problems showing. He checked the fuel pump pressure which was OK. Got me going with easy start.

    I then had a problem with a leaky injector which I fixed and after that things were OK for a while, but over time the car became increasingly reluctant to start. Then I noticed I had another leaky injector. Not the same one. Before I got round to fixing it I had to go to Wales from Kent and then on to Blackpool before returning home. When I got back I noticed that the car seemed to be starting much more easily. About a week later I fixed the leaky injector and to my amazement the car began starting instantly. Finally cracked it I thought (WRONG!!!). For about 3 or 4 weeks the car was starting perfectly but then over a period of time I noticed that starting was taking longer and longer.

    Then the alternator packed up and I put a new one on and got a new Honda battery from HH at the same time. I did find that by just letting it turn over and over it would eventually fire up but not any more.

    I've checked for leaky injectors and have just cleaned the EGR valve, the MAP sensor housing and the butterfly housing but it has made no difference to the starting problem. After the clean it's running better than ever once I get it started. It doesn't smoke, it pulls strongly and there are no flat spots.

    So before I check it in for some diagnostics I thought I would consult the learned brethren of the forum. Am I missing something obvious?
     
  2. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    30,169
    6,403
    516
    If there a reason why the injectors are leaking on your car? Need to ascertain if there is blowback from them and there is no damage to the injector threads on the head.

    If they are ok would look glow plugs and and a full systematic check of all the parameters.
     
    Loading...
  3. altoricky Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Kent
    19
    4
    Thanks for your reply.

    When you mention injector threads, are you talking about the clamp bolt that keeps the injector in place?

    When I discovered I had a leaky injector I spent best part of 2 weeks researching similar issues on Hondas and other makes. Judging by the number of people posting on different forums around the world about blow-by with Bosch injectors, it would appear to be a common problem. Why it happens is something I can only speculate about, but the way they are held in the head would, to my mind, be a contributing factor.

    On my car, both the injectors which developed blow-by were leaking from the side opposite the clamping bolt which doesn't surprise me at all.

    There is currently no evidence of blow-by from any of the injectors.

    As far as the glow plugs are concerned, from reading posts on different Honda forums about glow plugs, the consensus seems to be that on the Honda diesel, particularly in the warmer weather when the engine is at full operating temperature, they don't really do anything. Certainly on my car when the engine is up to temperature the glow plug light goes out almost immediately. I'd be interested to hear your view on that and if you have any suggestions as to how to test the function of the glow plugs.

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
     
  4. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
    1,157
    202
    1
    The main thing I've picked up from your post is that you can sit there trying to start it for a long time and it not start, but it will bump start very easily down a short slope. When bump starting it the engine would be turning slower than off the starter motor. Which seems quite a strange scenario.

    I thought that even when the engine is warm the glow plugs came on when starting the engine. They just took a shorter amount of time to pre heat before you could start the engine. But I'm happy to be corrected on this.

    Did they tell you what pressure the fuel pump was generating when they tested it? I've heard recently of another car with a sticking fuel pressure regulator in the fuel pump. It was barely within parameters and was causing starting issues but fine once going. Think he managed to fix his with a fuel cleaner additive BG244.

    As Ichiban said my main suspects would be glow plugs, injectors (blocked or blow back), or fuel pressure.

    But with a persistent problem like that a good mechanic should have to much trouble diagnosing the root cause.

    Ps how many miles the car done?
     
    Loading...
  5. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    30,169
    6,403
    516
    Altoricky as you have stated you have spent a lot of time researching this on various forums and seeked advice from a lot people. I would suggest this being a tricky and intermittent issue it time you sought professional help from a garage. We can have a endless debate about probabilities and permutations but that will not fix the car . You need action under the bonnet and not people views and hear say siting on chairs.
     
    Loading...
  6. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
    1,157
    202
    1
    I will be very interesting to hear what the root cause of this problem is. Keep us updated with your progress.
     
    Loading...
  7. altoricky Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Kent
    19
    4
    Thanks for your response Doc.

    I took yours and Ichiban's advice and went and saw my local garage yesterday. They have worked on the car in the past and seem like a genuine, honest bunch. Unfortunately they couldn't hook the car up to a diagnostic computer, but the guy who runs the place had a look under the bonnet and checked a few things.

    His instinct was that the car wasn't getting fuel during the cranking process, so he cracked the fuel line on the fuel out side of the fuel pump and got me to crank the engine over. He thought that what came out wasn't anywhere near what it should be. He then disconnected the lead going to the MAF sensor and again got me to crank the engine over. At the end of all this the car still wasn't starting and he recommended that I take it to a diesel specialist and gave me a number. He also said that I'd probably get a MIL after trying to start it with the MAF sensor disconnected.

    So I started the car on easy-start and drove home. Sure enough, the MIL came on but the car was driving OK so I wasn't too bothered. There is quite steep hill on the route back home and I decide to give it a boot up the hill. About halfway up the hill the car went into limp mode. I drove home and when I got back I tried the "switch off, remove the key and then restart 3 times" trick to see if the MIL would clear. Surprisingly, when I tried to restart the car it fired up immediately. I restarted again and the flashing Glow Plug light went out. I restarted a couple more times and the MIL went out. I then left it for a couple of hours before trying to start it again. It fired up straight away. I then took it for a run and gave it a blast down a nice straight empty bit of road. No MIL, no limp mode.

    When I got back I checked the stored DTC codes. I know they were all related to my trip to the garage because I had checked for any before I went and there were none. There were 3 codes stored. P1065, P0102 and P0113.

    P1065 is a Honda specific code but I can't find much info to say exactly what it is. P0102 is Mass Air Flow (MAF) Circuit Low Input, and P0113 is Intake Air Temperature Circuit High Input.

    Anyway, the upshot is that the car is starting normally so I will see how it goes. If the symptoms return I at least have a starting point for further investigation, but it sure is good to have a properly working car.

    Thanks for your input guys.

    Regards

    Richard
     
  8. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
    1,157
    202
    1
    P1065 is fuel pressure lower than expected. As the fuel line was disconnected during inspection this error could have occurred due to that or already have been there. I would follow your local garages advice and see about taking it to the diesel specialist to get the fuel pressure tested. But whether you choose to do this immediately or wait to see if your starting issues return again over a period of time, as they have done in the past after previous work, is a debatable one. You could have it checked now while it works and not be able to find the fault.

    I would also have the error codes cleared so if the fault does return when you take it to the diesel specialist the only codes stored are the ones symptomatic of the problem.
     
    Loading...
  9. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    30,169
    6,403
    516
    Last edited by a moderator: Sunday 23rd Feb, 2014
    Loading...
  10. altoricky Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Kent
    19
    4
    Thanks to Doc and Ichiban for you help and interest.

    At the moment everything is running well and I will keep monitoring the situation.

    Regards

    Richard
     
  11. altoricky Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Kent
    19
    4
    Hi all,

    I can't believe I didn't update this thread, so apologies to everyone.

    Well here is the final solution. The starting problem returned within a couple of weeks, so it was back to the drawing board. I didn't feel inclined to entrust the diagnosis of the problem to a "Specialist" as I didn't (and still don't) have loads of money to chuck at such things. I did phone a couple of Honda dealers and the sort of costs they were talking about just weren't realistic for me. One dealer said he recognized the symptoms of the problem and said it was almost certainly the fuel pump ( around £2k fitted !!! ) so I invested in an HIM clone which came in at about £120.00 delivered from a land where everything is as cheap as chips. With that I was able to do a full diagnostic and the only issue detected was an inability to maintain a constant pressure in the fuel rail.

    Something I had noticed was that when the car wouldn't start after a long cranking session the was no smell of unburnt fuel at the exhaust. This suggested that if there was no unburnt fuel coming out, the was almost certainly no fuel going in.

    So I put my thinking cap on and set out my thoughts in a document the contents of which are as follows:

    Fuel Pump Bosch Part No. 0 445 010 093
    Car fitted with 17 x 225 x 45
    Wheel Diameter (including tyre) = 25"
    1st gear 1000 RPM = 5.871mph
    @ 5mph engine speed in 1st gear = 851.6 RPM
    Average cranking speed = 300 RPM
    Will bump start in first gear @ speedo indicated 3mph
    @ 3mph engine speed in 1st gear = 511 RPM
    Minimum cranking speed required to start engine is unconfirmed but believed to be around 250 RPM.
    If the pressure in the Fuel Rail does not reach a minimum required level, the injectors won't (be) open(ed)
    At 250 RPM HP Pump should be generating at least 30 Bar
    Pressure is generated by the HP Pump which is driven off the camshaft. Therefore engine speed affects the HP Pump's ability to provide pressure in the Fuel Rail.
    Pressure in the Fuel Rail is controlled by the ECM via an M-PROP or Metering Valve located on the low pressure side of the HP Pump. The ECM bases its control of the M-PROP valve on the data from the Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor together with information about intake air temperature, manifold air pressure, mass airflow, road speed, engine speed, throttle position and engine load etc.
    If the ECM can't maintain the pressure in the Fuel Rail there must be a limited number of components and processes that can affect the ECMs ability to do this.
    1. M-PROP (Magnetic Proportional)/Metering Valve
    2. Fuel Rail Pressure Relief Valve
    3. Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor
    4. Excessive leak-off from injectors
    5. Faulty ECM

    I decided to tackle the fault finding starting with the easiest jobs first. So, first a Leak Off Test. And that was as far as I needed to go. I set the leak off test equipment up to do a cranking test as a first step. The pipes used for the cranking test hold 10ml. After just 3 revolutions of the engine, one of the pipes was full. One had about 3ml in it and 2 had nothing. I don't know the gearing on the drive for fuel pump, but 10ml in three revolutions of the engine seemed to me to be excessive.

    My logic suggested that the excessive leak off was preventing the fuel pump from producing enough pressure in the rail at cranking speed so the injectors didn't open (so no unburnt fuel at the exhaust), however the higher pump speed during a bump start was enough to get the fuel going in and start the engine. So I replaced the injector (did it myself) and voila started on the button. One happy motorist!!

    Of course the other injector that was showing about 3ml got worse over the next 18 months and needed replacing earlier this year.

    Which had brought to light an important issue. I went back to the same supplier for another exchange recon injector. They supply the injector with a copper sealing washer which is very slightly different to the Honda washer. I thought I had a new Honda one, but it turned out I didn't. I should have checked before I took the injector out, but I didn't. So I put the new injector in and used the washer supplied. BIG MISTAKE. It has become clear after a couple of months the the washer hasn't sealed properly and is leaking. So it has to come out again.

    I've had all the injectors out at some point and always used a new Honda copper washer, except this last time, and that is the only one that hasn't sealed properly. So the moral of the story, if you are removing or replacing an injector us a new Honda copper washer.
     
  12. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
    14,999
    5,593
    4
    Thanks for the update Richard, even though it's 2.5 years late :Grin:

    Glad you got her sorted, and thanks for posting some helpful info there for other members.
     
    Loading...