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poor start for 1.9 tdi pd altea

Discussion in 'Altea - includes XL and Freetrack' started by rich13, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. rich13

    rich13 Guest


    was wondering if anyone could help with a problem I have with my altea 1.9 tdi pd....

    when the engine is hot, it don't start very well, cranks over for about 3 - 5 seconds, and then starts.
    when cold, it starts on the key, even on a icy cold morning.

    Together with this, the engine appears to run a little lumpy when warm as well.... (issue with running lumpy was raised with dealer when new, and yes you guessed it, normal for diesel).

    I have changed the coolent temp sensor, (bottom of rad hose)...

    The timing belt, fuel filter air filter have all been changed.

    The engine is currently at 72,000 miles....

    please treat me well....

  2. oldtimer

    oldtimer Active Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Have you tried putting a dose of injector cleaner in the tank? Might be worth it.

    I'm not sure what you mean by running"lumpy," that's why I'm suggesting injectors.
  3. techie

    techie Skoda Techie

    Mar 22, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Needs a diagnostic machine plugging in and seeing what the injector values are, might point to a cylinder being out of tolerance.
  4. rich13

    rich13 Guest

    Techie, and old timer,

    thanks for your reply....

    Have tried the injector cleaner method.... no change.

    Would a defective injector give other symtoms such as blue smoke, or other excessive amounts of smoke.

    the engine when driving is great, no loss of power, no hesitation. when at idle, there is no rough idle, just the lumpy feel.

    Would a defective MAF sensor cause the same problem, as i have a problem starting when warm / hot
  5. rich13

    rich13 Guest


    could you give me the heads up for what the injector values should be....

    Have a friend who has a comuter packge (palmers performance) which should be able to read the values if they are electrically monitored.....
  6. oldtimer

    oldtimer Active Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Hi Rich, blue smoke in my experience is usually from oil, black smoke unburnt fuel. Is the "lumpy" feeling like a mis-fire in a petrol engine?
    But I agree with Techie try and get a diagnostic check to try and pinpoint anything.
  7. rich13

    rich13 Guest

    I did this with Seat in Cheshunt, when the car first developed the problem, a year or so old, while still under warranty.

    they stated that they put it on the vag-com, and no faults recorded and couldn't seem to find a fault.

    To be honest mate, I used to be a mechanic some years back, but left the trade, I know that you don't always get good guys in dealerships.

    I am going to get the car put on a computer and see what is happening and what should be happening.
  8. rich13

    rich13 Guest


    any luck with the injector value on injectors....

    also... any idea if there is a fuel temp sensor / switch on the altea 1.9 tdi pd......

    Trying to find cheapest options first
  9. Bill55

    Bill55 Guest

    I can't remember where I heard this but when the engine is started after it has warmed up the glow plugs are not activated. Hence the slower startup. This sort of problem is also found on some VW models.
  10. alex1

    alex1 Guest

    I have a 1.9 Tdi Altea and it is exactly the same. When it's cold it starts instantly, but when warm it sometimes needs a couple of cranks and when it does fire it feels as though it does with a bit of a 'thud':shrug: Sorry but the best way to describe it really.

    I would not worry about this as it seems characteristic of the engine. I can definitely confirm this as I also have a 1.9 tdi Touran and it is exactly the same.

    I concur with previous poster that it seems that the glowplugs are not activated - or if they are they are low powered - hence the slightly longer crank times. I've leanrt to wait a bit. ie. if the engine is warm I turn the ignition to point 2, ie just pre ignition and then I put on my seat belt before I actually crank the engine. This seems to make it start instantly.

    As for the lumpy engine. I would say that it also seems characteristic. The 1.9 is a pretty agricultural lump. I came from petrol models previously and still feel the 'shakes'. mIne doesn't feel like a miss fire, but more of a steady vibration (in boith Altea and Touran).

    I don't have any blue smoke however so your symptoms maybe something different. Just thought I'd give you my experience of the engine by way of comparison.

    I'd still go fot the 1.9 as it gives great mpg and doesn't have a DPF, so no regen issues:whistle:
    Hope this helps.
  11. rich13

    rich13 Guest

    Thanks for the last comments, am going to see if a diesel techie locally can shead any other ideas, but i feel that i am stuck with the annoying problem.
  12. toejam237

    toejam237 Guest

    same problem cranking over

    just had mine fixed , similar sounding problem, prolonged cranking, new starter motor, good as new.
  13. skordys

    skordys Guest

    New starter motor? u should have a problems every time start the engine, no hot only.
  14. skordys

    skordys Guest

    Hi Folks,

    Same issue with my Altea 1.9 pd tdi.
    In Manual u can read about problems common on start on very hot engine - solution - press accelerator pedal briefly
    but anyway "very hot engine" is not after 5 miles trip :)
    So i went to the ex-audi mechanic, last week and he replaced:
    engine coolant sensor, another temperature engine sensor , glow plugs (just because error common on vag test),

    unfortunatelly problem is not solved :(

    he unpluged engine temp sensor and car started instantly on hot engine - so he want to try new one just different brand sensor this week.

    will keep u posted
  15. skordys

    skordys Guest


    look at this..

    One possible cause below....
    That version of 1.9 TDI has a "feature" in the ECU mapping. (Also exists on some VW 1.9 TDI versions). When re-starting, if the ECU senses that engine is hot, then it requires that engine is turning over at more than 270 rpm before it will inject diesel (and hence start the vehicle).
    After a few years use, the battery (or more likely starter motor) get a bit worn and cannot quite achieve the require starter motor turnover speed...hence no diesel is getting injected. The problem rapidly gets worse once it starts because of increased cranking.

    Potential solutions are to replace starter and/or battery but expensive. There is no firmware fix from SEAT. There is a simple work-around called the "Hamman mod" too. This workaround usually works well. A 12v relay is used to insert a 2000 ohms resistor in series with the coolant sensor but only whenever the starter motor is running (ie it fools the car into thinking it is cooler just while it starts). Try google "hamman mod TDi warm start". One way to wire the fix is shown in picture attached. Drive the relay coil with 2 wires , one from Ground and one from the starter motor. ie, the 12v signal from the start solenoid. That way the relay switches whenever the starter motor is running.
    The coolant sensor is on right side of engine, near the back bulkhead. You can cut into the loom about 5 cms back from the sensor connector. Access for this is much easier if air filter and large filter holder frame are removed. (the frame pulls up via a push fix grommet).
    I am not endorsing that you cut into your wiring loom. I was apprehensive to cut into mine. However it is only a simple cut just beside a socket connector on one wire and (for me) worked well. No more embarrasing cranking.

    It is possible that glow plugs may occassional be activated (due to fooling engine is colder than it is) but should be an issue.

    U can find a wee pic of it in my gallery.

    #15 skordys, Mar 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2011
  16. skordys

    skordys Guest

    hope u're right mate. Booked for new starter replace tomorrow.
    will keep u posted

  17. skordys

    skordys Guest

    after replacement:
    2 nr engine coolant sensors,
    glow plugs,
    wire checks,

    New starter motor fitted last friday,
    no more hot engine start problem - good as new :)

    btw Thanks David SERE motors for timing belt kit and water pump in great prices. Very recommended !!!

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