Diesel engine question

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  • Diesel engine question
  • Nomad

    I’ll try and get video tomorrow am.

    Always fires into life after 1 crank.
    Cloud of white smoke
    Rough running for max 5 seconds
    Then everything is fine – no smoke and idles fine


    One or more failed glow plugs so the engine starts on three cylinders with the other one joining in when it gets some heat into it. It’s easy to check with a clamp meter.


    If you don’t mind waiting a couple of days, and have an XP or Win 7 laptop, get a USB diagnostic lead from Ebay, download VCDS-Lite. You’ll be able to read your codes. Your generic reader is like mine- doesn’t see specific VW codes (there are thousands.)

    Here’s mine:




    I would agree with an earlier poster- it sounds like one or more slow plugs to me. You’ll be using those plugs much more than you think. Get VCDS, it will make troubleshooting so much easier. The ‘shareware’ version is free and you’ll be enlightened.


    I renewed all the glow plugs yesterday for Bosch Duraterm ones.

    Started the car this morning and it (as usual) started 1st time.
    However the puff if smoke and engine clatter are still there.

    So – what next?

    Do we just ignore it as it starts and drives fine? Is it a trait of the PD engine?


    Dunno about the smoke (although mine is quite smelly on start up), but mine is clattery on start up for a minute or so (1.9 Tdi).

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    If it’s 03 I don’t think it will be a PD engine… 😐
    White smoke from a TDi Galaxy / Sharran / Alhambra is 99% the Auxilliary heater, under the passenger side rear wheel arch. It’s only supposed to try & work below 10degC though. They have a heater plug that burns out. If working fine should sound like a jet engine on a cold day.

    For the clattering, watch the aux belt when someone starts the car from cold. They have a clutch type pulley on the alternator. These seize up, & can sometimes take a minute to free up from cold, but usually only when it’s idling. It allows the alternator to free wheel. The belt will be jumping around, but then run free. Sounds clattery while it’s bouncing. Alternator out to change, & a special tool to change. Several types of pulley, so count the teeth & measure dia before buying.

    Other than that, the CAT, loose stuff in there bouncing around ?

    Post this on FGOC.CO.UK

    Daz or Serviceford are top blokes, & know these cars inside out.


    Aux heater works fine. No smoke from that. Just a puff from exhaust on cold start which immediately stops.
    I’ll check the alternator belt.


    Temperature sender,located on the back of the block nearest to the passenger side. Swap out the black original for the green replacement unit. Couple of quid from Eurocarparts. This fools the ecu by giving a false temperature and therefore wrong fuelling at start up.


    My dads focus 1.8 tdci would start with all the glow plugs knackered. The injection system is so accurate it still starts but runs like a bag of hammers till it warms up. It would still easily start on one or two plugs but the unburnt diesel would come out as white smoke. Check the wiring they can draw quite a lot of current. Check for signs of burning of the wiring.


    My 08 2.0 pd passat does exactly the same as what you describe nomad…
    did you get it sorted?

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