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1.3 CDTI Crank No Start

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  • [Corsa D] 1.3 CDTI Crank No Start

    Okay, this will be a lot to take in, but i need urgent help so please read. I'll make it as simple as i can to show what has happened in chronological order.

    1. One morning car would not start at all. Just clicked in the fusebox and turned out to be a water damaged ECU. Got my ECU replaced and cloned. After Replacement car started straight away and was excellent to drive.

    2. One day later, driving along and the cars engine stalls, just cut out. Went home and plugged OP-COM in and it comes up 3 codes: (P0087-03, P0190-02, P0089-67). Replaced fuel rail sensor as this is what the codes related to. Engine struggled to start in morning and had to give it almost 10 attempts. Drove to work (30miles) and engine did not cut out however i kept below 1500rpm in fear of it doing so. When leaving work, the engine took a long time to start again. On way home i pulled of at a junction and had to give it some gas to get out, seen a cloud of black smoke behind and the engine stalled. Took 20mins for me to start it again. On the way home down the motorway the engine stalled 8times, but then the EML Light came on and it didnt stall after that. Checked the OPCOM again and it was the same codes.

    3. Took car to my friends garage to see if he could see what was wrong. We changed the crankshaft sensor at first but that wasnt the issue. The autoelectrician had a go and was looking at live data. He cranked the engine and it started, but very very loud diesel knocking was occuring. Then it stalled and he said the data was saying 200bar pressure when it sounded like over 1000bar. After that occurence the engine no longer starts. It sounds great when cranking, very healthy like nothing is wrong. But there is nothing firing, no judder as though there is anything igniting. It just sounds like its cranking but there is no fuel there to ignite.

    4. Got car pushed down the road and left it for a day. Got another ECU that was cloned for my vehicle, but the exact same happened, just an empty crank. So now i know it's not the ECU, Crankshaft sensor or Fuel pressure sensor. I also don't think it's the timing chain because there is no rattling noise or anything. The engine sounds very healthy and there has never been any mechanical isses with the engine. I also definately have not put petrol in the tank. My assumption at the moment is that the high pressure fuel pump is at fault, but i need some advice!

    Vehicle Details:
    Model - Corsa D Design 1.3CDTI
    Engine Code - Z13DTH
    Year - 2009
    Mileage - 96,000 (75,000 at September, done 21,000 since then)
    Always been serviced on time.

    Please feel free to ask me any questions and help me the best you can. I'll be available to respond straight away!

  • #2
    Welcome to the Forum.
    All of thee codes relate to a fuel pressure problem, so I would have thought that you were on the right track with the fuel rail sensor, but as you are also getting P0089, it could be the fuel pressure regulator that it is referring to.

    The black smoke could also be a clue to the problem, as it indicates either too much fuel or too little air.

    Before you do anything 'expensive', I would suggest that you check the induction system, making sure that the air cleaner element is in good condition and that nothing (paper, plastic etc) has been drawn into the air intake. However, if there were any problems in this area, or anything wrong with the turbo, I would have expected to see P2263 in there at some point.

    Another point is that 'very loud Diesel knock' - This could be down to too much fuel, or it could indicate a timing problem, so it might just pay to check that the timing is correct, rather than rely on the absence of chain rattle.



    • #3
      One possibility is a failed injector - stuck open, the fuel system won't be able to maintain pressure. The regulator tries to adjust, but can't and throws a code. The fuel pressure sensor senses the wrong requested pressure and throws a code. The stuck/sticking injector dumps a ton of fuel in causing knocking and black smoke. The other injectors can't atomise the fuel for running/starting due to lack of pressure.


      • #4
        Thanks for your suggestions guys. My mechanic told me i could be right about the HP Pump, so i got one from a scrapyard and had him replace that and he told me he got the engine running but its still not perfect. He is going to look this morning as he ran out of time yesterday and is going to call me so will see what he has to say about it.


        • #5

          HP pump has made an improvement as the engine starts but only when using easy start. It sounds very healthy when it starts and does across the whole rev range. So now i know that it isnt an injector, timing or air fault. When the foot is taken off the accelerator and the revs drop do idle it jugs and stalls. My suspicions are now on either there being some air trapped in the fuel line or the EGR valve. I was going to use some "Whynns EGR Cleaner" from halfords tomorrow to see if it helps any difference.

          What do youse think, does it sound like the EGR? I'm right in saying it can't be an electrical fault arent i? As i thought once a diesel is running it doesnt rely on electronics.


          • #6
            I'd check the fuel pressure when it idles/jugs and at start up.

            You could always unplug the egr valve to see if that makes any difference.


            • #7
              In the words of the song, "Fings aint what they used to be." - There was a time when a Diesel engine had no need for anything electric, other than the starter motor - even that was replaced by spring starters, compressed air starting, cartridge starters or a 'donkey engine' on some engines.
              On modern engines, it is doubtful if the engine could manage without some form of electrical aid and it certainly wouldn't comply with emission regulations.
              It could well be that there is some form of leakage on the fuel system - It only needs a small air leak when the engine is standing for long periods, and fuel can drain back to the tank, resulting in an 'air bubble' in the pipe when you next come to start it.
              The engine may well be running on 'Easy-Start' 'till fuel has replaced the air in the system.
              I dislike 'Easy-Start', as it creates a vast amount of local heat, which can cause cylinder heads to crack due to uneven heating and thermal stress



              • #8
                Love to see old diesels started by coffman 'shotgun cartridge' starters. . They put a smouldering paper taper in the engine to act as a glowplug, screw in a shotgun cartridge full of gunpowder, and hit it with a hammer to fire it. The explosion turns the engine over enough to start. I might convert my corsa. Here is a video


                • #9
                  Bugman, I'd love to see your keyring after your conversion. It'd be a bit of a give away at a keys in the bowl party wouldn't it......hammer, paper, lighter, shotgun cartridge


                  • #10
                    As a moderator I had better avoid the obvious innuendo opportunities here. When I used to go to combined car and agricultural rallies I could never really see the appeal of the 'stationary engine' and tractor guys starting up ancient diesel ,paraffin and Tractor vapourisng oil TVO engines by first heating them up to red hot with a blow torch and such techniques. But what with fuel rail pressures ,fault codes etc the thought of just starting it with a hammer and an explosion sounds good. I'm sure the neighbours wouldnt mind the noise and if I stall those behind me will be patient. In very cold countries it was not unknown for old time truck drivers to warm up the diesel tank, fuel lines and engine by lighting a bonfire under the truck. I will give that one a miss. All much easier than trying to start a cheapo chinese chainsaw
                    Last edited by Bugman; 20-04-2019, 12:26 PM.


                    • #11
                      Back on track.....
                      You can't rule out injectors just because it's running at higher revs. It's low revs and start up where dodgy injectors cause most problems. You really need to examine the fuel pressure through all stages, ignition,cranking and running. On ignition the pre supply pump should create 5 bar and when running the high pressure pump should create 1600 bar. You have to remember that diesel knock is 99% caused by bad injectors. Like I mentioned previous a leaking/stuck injector will prevent fuel pressure build up and cause knocking when running. If you're not acheiving these pressures I would whip the injectors and fuel feed pipes out, reconnect them turned around so the injector is pointing up out of the engine and give it a crank on the key to observe the operation of the injector from a safe distance. It's a basic test but will show if the injector working, if it is leaking, if it is squirting instead of spraying (atomising). Plus I'd keep hold of the hp pump that was removed as it may be fine.
                      If all the injectors are fine but you're still not getting the correct fuel pressures I'd test the pressure regulator.

                      Here's a vid of what I mean about testing the injectors, it's a different type injector but the same principal.


                      • #12
                        One word of warning: If you ever test an injector like that, take GREAT CARE to keep your skin away from it - It isn't called an 'injector' for nothing! That spray is quite capable of penetrating human skin.
                        Diesel fuel can have a bad enough effect on the outside of the skin - just imagine having some on the inside.

                        The flywheel of the Field Marshal (in your picture) had an arrow painted on the flywheel, this had to be aligned with a static arrow before starting using a cartridge, failure to do so could result in either not starting, or the (two stroke engine) running backwards. ( I must be showing my age!)



                        • #13
                          Tommy. I'm learning a lot from this. I think you said on a different post its best to keep well clear and video the test. I assume the spray pattern shown is a good result. Do the unions on the feed pipes normally do up again without leaking, or are there things that should be replaced as a matter of course?

                          And i'd take my new gunpowder powered corsa on the track. (unless as you say Walksall the engine runs backwards ​​​​​​ )


                          • #14
                            Yes you're both right to keep well clear of the injector, I forgot to mention it's best to video it (in this post) it's safer and better for later analysis .Another saftey measure is wrapping a wrag around union nuts when releasing them in case any fuel sprays out.
                            The injector in the vid was ok but like i said it's just a basic test, it is a purely mechanical two stage injector which has two springs with different opening pressures, for a pilot injection which raises the temperature in the cylinder and then the main injection. Ideally a high def vid with a very high frame rate would be best to capture the spray pattern properly for analysis. Union nuts are fine I've never had a problem with leaks, I hand tighten with a spanner when testing the injector and then torque to correct spec when refitting. New copper seals should be used when refitting the injector but you can get away with reusing the old ones, I have on my own vehicles. I would only replace with new ones once all testing is done and problems have been solved because it's sods law you'll crush a new copper seal then realise the injector has to come back out!
                            I always try to offer free diy testing methods because I hate to see people having their money spent on unnecessary parts and best guesses but you's are quite right to highlight the risks.


                            • #15
                              The other part of injector testing, is for 'dribble' - this will happen if the injector needle and/or its seating is worn.
                              It is difficult to carry out a test for dribble without an injector testing rig, as the test involves bringing the pressure up slowly to JUST below opening pressure and then checking for any wetness on the nozzle after a few seconds at that pressure.

                              The high pressures quoted are only part of the story, as these pressures are what actually lifts the injector needle - you have to remember that IMMEDIATELY that the needle lifts, the pressure inside the injector falls, causing the needle to close with a snap action - the needle descending inside the injector is like a hammer action on the fuel, increasing the pressure considerably as the fuel exits the nozzle and is atomised.
                              Obviously, as soon as the needle reseats, the internal pressure increases, opening the needle again and repeating the cycle 'till the measured amount of fuel has been exhausted.

                              On an injector test rig, you can hear this rapid opening and closing of the needle (a grunting sound), but it is doubtful that this could be heard when testing the injector on the engine.

                              Gardner engines (no longer in production) had a lever on each pumping element which allowed for the testing of the injector from its own pump, and for fully priming the system so that, after work on the fuel system, the engine would start at the first turn of the starter motor.