Really sorry everyone, I hate having to ask non rod related questions but my daily driver is giving me starting problems I just canít seem to solve.
Itís a 1999 Rover 220 turbo diesel that for the last few months has been getting worse and worse at starting. The problems started out with it just taking a few goes of the glow plugs and a good bit of cranking before it would start, but over time deteriorated into cranking to the point of almost flat battery or needing to be jump started.
I naturally did the voltage tests on the battery and alternator (as you do) and precautionary replaced the glow plugs (well, the three I can get to anyway). The voltages seemed ok (just over 12.5v when off, and 14.3 when running).
As the problem seemed a bit intermittent, I then suspected the glow plug relay, so as a test I wired up a little light on the dash fed directly from the glow plugs. This always lights up as expected, so I ruled out a glow plug problem.
I then changed the battery. This was when we had all that snow in December. I figured that it was bloody cold so maybe it wasnít performing very well due to temperature. The old battery was in warranty anyway so didnít cost me anything to change for a new one. Although it didnít need jump starting anymore, the problems persisted and continued to deteriorate again.
Next I figure I either have a current drain somewhere thatís flattening the battery overnight, or a bad earth thatís stopping the full current getting to the starter. Iíve put my AMP meter in series with the battery and turned it off as normal. There is no drain. I tried cranking with a jump lead between the negative terminal and the engine block to test out the engine block earth and it made no difference either.
Well last night is the final attempt, and I now think its worse somehow. I tried again to crank it. It made the most feeble attempt at turning, basically it just made a metal on metal rubbing/grinding noise and stopped completely. Sounds almost like something is mechanically seized. It now wonít even turn over at all when trying to jump start from a running car. Itís as though the ECU has just given up with the exciter wire, and the battery light is on on the dash.
I took off the new battery thinking its dud and Iíll take it back to Halfrauds, but as a final test on that I put it on my Landrover, it started the Landy immediately (which has a bigger diesel engine). Making me think the battery is fine, and not even flat.
So can anyone think of anything else it can be? Or anything else to try?
BTW, the starter motor is under a year old, and the fuel filter is primed and full of fuel. The alternator is the original one, but is kicking out 14.3volt when running, so Iíd expect it to be charging ok.
Sorry for the long post.