Diesel preheat light stays on, at the first start of the day

Questions specifically about a Diesel powered C3 (usually engine or fuel related problems)
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My Name: bbrcrush

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Please can someone help.

I have just brought a Citroen C3 16v 1.4 HDI 2004.

I have noticed that when I first start the car in the morning the diesel preheat light stays on until I start the engine. After the engine is started the light goes off. I just find this odd as when I start the car the rest of the day I don't even see the preheat light come on.
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My Name: C3CAR

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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
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Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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Welcome to the forum bbrcrush,

The pre heating of the HDi engine is far more advanced than the older style engines.

With the computer getting involved and glow plugs designed to be active, even after the engine is started there is greater control on pollution at engine start up and warm up.

I think the computer realises the engine needs a bit more pre-heat on its first start of the day, but subsequent restarts need less assistance to stay within spec for emissions.
My Name: bbrcrush

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Thanks for your advice.

Still a little puzzled, how long should I wait before I start the engine because the light will not go out until I start it. I wait about 20 seconds and then get fed up waiting and just start it. Do I have to wait for the light to go out and roughly how long should it take to go out?

Thanks for help
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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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
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bbrcrush wrote:how long should I wait before I start the engine
I have never seen the pre heat light come on, even in very cold weather on my 2002 HDi C3. I just wait for the lights on the dash to go out before starting, about 3 seconds. On the times when I forget to wait, the car starts but seems to take an extra turn of the engine or two before it fires up.

I would give it 2 to 3 seconds before starting. If it starts fine, then you have found the ideal time to wait.

As C3CAR mentions, the HDi glow plugs don't do the same as the 'old fashioned' glow plugs found in previous generation IDi cars. Its more of a system to lower pollution, rather than aid starting.

The fuel heater in the fuel filter is used to heat the fuel, rather than the glow plugs being used to heat the fuel for starting.
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My Name: ahik

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (54)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 120000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
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Hi,

Was there any resolution to this problem?

I have the same problem on my C3, HDi 2004.

On first start of the day
- Diesel preheating light comes on before the ignition.
- Stays on (waited up to 3 minutes).
- After ignition it goes out and doesn't show up in subsequent starts on that day or otherwise.
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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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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ahik wrote:Was there any resolution to this problem?
Hi ahik, the solution seems to be ignore the light.

The problem would quite probably be the glow plug relay and a set of glow plugs, they can be a right pain to remove in one piece and a disaster if it all goes wrong.

But, if the emissions are ok then not doing the work is seen as a viable option.


If you wanted to diagnose a bit deeper, you can check for 12v at the glow plugs, check the resistance of the glow plugs and check for error codes by using lexia.
glow plug location Citroen c3
glow plug location Citroen c3
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My Name: ahik

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Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:02 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (54)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 120000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

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Hi Arfur Dent,

Thanks for the prompt reply.

Some additional info since my last post is that when I started seeing the pre-heat light I was running on reserve fuel, when I filled the tank up the pre-heat light before ignition it went away. [See edit below]

Not sure if the two are related any how?

When you say they are hard to remove in a piece, is it the case for diy or for experienced mechanics as well?

[Edit]
The fuel observation was INCORRECT and just mere coincidence. The pre-heat warning light shows up on the first start of the day and the only difference in that start is that temp is usually the lowest of the day in current weather in UK. In terms of a figure; I have seen the warning when temp is lower than 10C and not when it is higher than that.
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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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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ahik wrote:Some additional info since my last post is that when I started seeing the pre-heat light I was running on reserve fuel, when I filled the tank up the pre-heat light before ignition it went away.

Not sure if the two are related any how?
That's interesting, dashboard lights are controlled by the BSI, so anything is possible.

ahik wrote:When you say they are hard to remove in a piece, is it the case for diy or for experienced mechanics as well?
The glow plugs get seized into the cylinder head and are quite delicate, easily snapped when turning too hard. Soaking them as much as you can in penetrating oil, or some diesel, the use of heat from the engine, taking things slowly and for each whole rotation out, backing off a quarter each time seems to be the solution, but both DIYers and experienced mechanics can snap off seized glow plugs ;)
glow plug removal citroen c3
glow plug removal citroen c3
For each rotation to unscrew, back off a quarter and add more penetrating oil or diesel.
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My Name: ahik

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Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:02 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (54)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 120000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

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Thanks Arfur Dent,

I don't think I am capable enough to even open the bonnet :S

So in your expert opinion, apart from showing that 'wait for the pre-heating to finish', what else could this warning light show? The booklet really has nothing about it.

Regards,
Ahsan
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Posts: 3423
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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ahik wrote:apart from showing that 'wait for the pre-heating to finish', what else could this warning light show?
I don't think its showing anything other than a pre-heat/post-heat fault.
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