2003 Diesel is hard to start and lots of smoke when it does

Questions specifically about a Diesel powered C3 (usually engine or fuel related problems)
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Diesel engine related problems
Think: Diesel engine, diesel fuel system, diesel injectors and glow plugs
My Name: swaps

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Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:04 pm

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Hi all,
I have the above diesel and get stating problems, its like the heater plugs dont turn on. Very hard to start and lots of smoke when it does. I have spent £600 replacing heater plugs diognostics and such on the car and still have the same thing. The ECU shows a injector problem but car runs ok. when faults are cleared with a reader car start perfect for anything from a week to 3 months. Then have the same problem again. Now as well as the £600 I have already spent it now costing me £10 every time it decides not to start to get the faults reset. have been told replacing the injector will be expensive (they did not give a price) but dont want to replace that if its not going to cure the problem. Anyone had similar experience ? and got a cure ?

Thanks Alan
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My Name: C3CAR

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Posts: 2621
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:01 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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Hi Alan,

I can assure you that its not the glow plugs causing poor starting problems on a HDI engine. The glow plugs are not required for starting, but more for environmental pollution control at start up and in some rare (uk rare) cold snaps.

You should never have been advised to change the glow plugs.
lots of smoke when it does.
What colour somke?

The ECU shows a injector problem
The actual code of that fault would really help, the code usually has a P then some numbers that relate to a particular fault on a particular ecu/engine setup.

costing me £10 every time it decides not to start to get the faults reset.
Resetting the error codes without taking note and then investigating them is just not going to get you anywhere fast. The error codes are trying to alert you to the problem. Take heed of them, they are not your enemy.

I have spent £600 ......... diognostics and such on the car
What did the diagnostics come up with?
My Name: swaps

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Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:04 pm

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Hi,
I will try and find the print out but had this over 12 months ago. The only problem found was no 4 injector not at maximum flow I think I was told. the car runs fine, the only noticeable point being every now and again as you pull off there is a slight lag on power but this is only now and again and goes within seconds. im reluctant to spend another £600 and still be in the same position. To be honest im thinking about buying something to reset the thing myself and just live with it. After some of the tales I have read on the internet of £xxxx's being spend and the car still not working. If I can get another couple of years out the car without major money being spent I will be happy enough but if I know there was a definate fix for 2 or 3 hundred then I would have it done. I just cant aford to waste another £600 and be in same position.

Forgot to say smoke is white, its just diesel buring. it clear after a couple of minutes and the car is not smokey after the codes are reset or in normal driving.
Thanks Alan
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Posts: 3308
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:47 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 100000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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Been thanked: 112 times

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Hi swaps

Yours being a 2003 diesel, you may find the only thing that resets the error is the Citroen lexia, you can find them on eBay - here.

Some of the 2003 and all the 2002 diesels don't work with standard OBD2 code readers but will only work with the lexia/diagbox linked to above.

Diesel injectors on the 8v engine are cheaper than the 16v engine, you can pick up Citroen C3 Diesel Injectors on eBay for around the £90 mark and up, the 16v version are a bit more difficult to find, but they do crop up. Its not a tricky job to change the injector.

diesel-c3-tips/identifying-a-chuffing-s ... l-t12.html
this post has some information on removing an injector on the 16v 1.4HDi engine.
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My Name: C3CAR

Guru
Posts: 2621
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:01 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
Has thanked: 148 times
Been thanked: 88 times

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swaps wrote:smoke is white, its just diesel burning
White smoke is diesel not burning. Its un-burnt diesel exiting the exhaust system. Which can point to a disrupted spray pattern from one (or more) of the injectors. BUT for your fault, maybe not as the problem disappears when the error codes have been reset - a bit perplexing.

I understand what you mean about not wanting to throw good money after bad.
My Name: swaps

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Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:04 pm

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Hi,
Yes, its unburned diesel, the report did say no4 injectors spray pattern was not right but car starts perfect after code reset. I'm just really unhappy to spend another few hundred replacing the no 4 injector if In not guaranteed that would cure the problem. The car really has had as much as I wont to spend on it blind. looks like I will have to buy the code reader ! or maybe 2 of them !! as before the answer above I bought one of these cheap readers off eebay. I will give it a try when it comes and if it does not work I will have to buy the other one !! it was not expesive at least !!

Alan
C3CAR wrote:
swaps wrote:smoke is white, its just diesel burning
White smoke is diesel not burning. Its un-burnt diesel exiting the exhaust system. Which can point to a disrupted spray pattern from one (or more) of the injectors. BUT for your fault, maybe not as the problem disappears when the error codes have been reset - a bit perplexing.

I understand what you mean about not wanting to throw good money after bad.
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