NEW PROBLEM! Cold no start!

Discussion in 'F-250 and F-350 General Tech and Info' started by Bdons-SD, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. Bdons-SD

    Bdons-SD Anti spark plug!

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    I've done all the common things so far:

    New GPR
    New starter solenoid
    New starter
    Tested glowplugs (need to replace 4)
    Tested icp
    Tested alternator
    Tested batteries

    Symptoms:

    It's been cold (below freezing at night, mid to upper 30s during the day. If the truck sits at ambient temp, it won't start. It's cranks and cranks and cranks, white smoke pours out of the tail pipe. Batteries test good at 12.75, drops down to 11.2 when the GPs are cycling, hits 10.2 ish after a few seconds then all I get is clicking. Charge the batteries up and same thing. Rinse lather repeat. If I plug in the black heater for an hour or so it fires right up like nothing's wrong.

    White smoke means I'm getting fuel, which means I have oil pressure, so ipc, and ipr should be good. I have the batteries charging now again, I'm going to take it to Schwab and have them test their batteries again because they are draining awful quick while the truck is cranking. If the batteries are at 12.75, I have about 3 5-10 sec cranks until all I hear is clicking relays.

    Can anyone think of anything else that could be going on? Can someone confirm that some bad glowplugs would cause a hard start and not a no start?

    Also, it would be an odd coincidence if it fried the cps since the last time I had it running 2 days ago. I'm not ruling it out, but im going to plug in my block heater tomorrow morning so if it fires up I guess that eliminates that.


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  2. Bdons-SD

    Bdons-SD Anti spark plug!

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    Update. Batteries charged fully, and on the block heater for 45 mins and fired right up.

    The battery light was on for a bit with the dash board voltage meter dropping and raising from about 14 to 11 or 12 for a couple of minutes. I know the pcm runs the glowplugs for a few mins after starting, but should it be fluctuating like that? Maybe I need to switch out all of the glowplugs?


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  3. Roush PSD Interceptor

    Roush PSD Interceptor Straight Piped Diesel Staff Member

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    Would have responded sooner but mother-in-law was admitted to ICU today.

    I would shotgun the glowplugs.

    CPS are finicky, works great then acts up, then works great for years.
    Do you keep one spare in the glove box?

    I know on mine if batteries aren't hot and engine isn't turning fast, it won't crank right over.

    Still sounds like you have a current drain somewhere or 1 bad cell in either batttery.

    Get one of those battery tenders like a cheaper Schumacher is what I bought,
    turns to a trickle "smart charge" on-off-on-off after fully charging both batteries. $19.99

    Sorry I don't have a definitive answer, just trying to help.
     
  4. Bdons-SD

    Bdons-SD Anti spark plug!

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    Sorry to hear that, joe. Im returning the new starter in exchange for 8 new glowplugs ha ha. Im going to swap those out since I know half of them are bad after I tested the resistance. My dash gauge is dancing a bit while the glow plugs are cycling after the engine is running. Once the GPR shuts them off my voltage climbs back up. I know a voltage drain is normal, but the gauge bouncing up and down with a noticeable idle fluctuation isn't. Then I'll take it to have the batteries tested if I'm still having issues. Again, I can only start it after it's been on the block heater for about an hour, common sense dictates a glowplug issue. If the glowplugs are the battery aren't this issue then I'm going to have to have it diagnosed, it's above my head at that point.

    I've been keeping the truck on a charger while working on it and the no start issue persists. The trickle charger might be the solution to saving my batteries though. They're only a few months old. That doesn't mean anything but clearly something is going on, or I just have bad luck with batteries.


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  5. Bdons-SD

    Bdons-SD Anti spark plug!

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    Update!!

    So 8 new glowplugs (motorcraft this time), it fired up! The batteries were drained down to around 10.75 from sitting and whatever else I was dinking around with, it cranked a little slow, the relays clicked a few times like when the batteries are dead, and she fired up after cranking for a second or two. Still had a battery light while the glow plugs were cycling, I'm still going to have the batteries tested tomorrow. It's possible my problem was two fold, drained battery doesn't have the amperage to crank the truck with weak glowplugs in the cold. I'll let it sit and start it later on tonight when the temps drop down and the engine cools. Let's hope that wasn't just a fluke!


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  6. iowaredneck

    iowaredneck Administrator Staff Member

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    Just saw this my guess would have been glow plugs from the beginning. Glad you got it figured out
     
  7. Bdons-SD

    Bdons-SD Anti spark plug!

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    It should have been one of the first things I did, regardless of the fact they're only about a year old.

    I started it up after it had sat for about 4 and a half hours, it's about 38* out and it fired up no problem. But my batteries are still showing some pretty low voltage and some fluctuation on start up. After the glow plugs cycle off it bumps back up and evens out. I'm taking it to have the batteries tested tomorrow. Lucky I'm off work until the 3rd. Sucks though, I hadn't planned on putting on pants this much during my vacation.

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