Mechanics?! I need your help ASAP…

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  • Mechanics?! I need your help ASAP…
  • Hi all, currently family of RRR’s are 75 miles from home (at my parents thankfully) with a car that refuses to start to any ideas are most welcome!

    A bit of history – car is a 2010 Mundane-o 1.8 TDCI. It’s done 115k and 18k of those have been since I’ve had it over the last year and with no issues.

    I serviced it last weekend, and it was a pig to prime the fuel filter – took about 2 hrs of filling, refilling and priming fuel pump with ignition.

    Anyway, since then I’ve done about 300 miles with no problem apart from it conking out just after starting twice (assumed it was cold morning weather)

    Yesterday it started and we drove 75 miles with no problem.

    An hour or so later I went to start and it refuses – after several attempts it started but only for a second before conking out again. There are no warning signs on dash. Seems to be a common issue online but I’ve no idea what to do?

    Many thanks


    Based on it being a pig to start after filter change

    And it conking out twice straight after starting

    Either filter housings not sealed right or you’ve disturbed one of the pipes and it’s letting air in /fuel drain back.

    Sounds like your self bleeding when starting.

    May now have finally given up

    Thanks, it just seems odd that it’s done so many miles without issue – surely any air would have been displaced?


    If something’s not sealed but you get the car started the vac from pumping will keep the pipe full of fluid.

    What it sounds like is happening here is that when you stop driving air is getting in and letting the fuel drain back to the tank.

    I’m going to guess also that it’s parked on a hill arse down


    Does your fuel pump have a primer under the bonnet.

    Give that a good few pumps if it does.

    Be aware that the fuel primer diaphragms are also a good bet for jngress of air once they go brittle with age.

    It is parked slightly facing up hill and I did wonder about that.

    I’m no mechanic so am not sure re a primer but I don’t think so

    Plunger on top the fuel pump bolted to engine, in a lot of French cars unsure of mondeo models..
    Can you undo a union on the fuel return line and allow fuel to flow into a bucket. It will be high pressure so a oversized bore pipe would be safer
    Try unscrewing and re tightening the fuel filter if its a can type if its a cartridge insert still check for torques they are usual hand tight plus 1/4 turn
    Are you trying full gas on cranking, some engines will fuel more some don’t

    Thanks. I’m loathed to take the fuel filter cap off as it was such a wotsit to prime. I’m also at my parents with no diesel available to re prime.

    I discovered some easy start type stuff my brother had left here . Squirted down the air intake and sure enough it revs it’s nuts off before dying so does indeed look like fuel issue.

    I’ve admitted defeat and have rung the RAC – only an advised 5 hr wait …

    Don’t try bump starting – Tdci’s jump the timing.


    I had an intermittent fuel pump problem on al old 406, I could hear the prime on the 1st turn of key. If i didn’t hear it I just kept trying, eventually I got the pump replaced.

    I had similar on my SEAT last year. Turned out a seal on the high pressure pump had started to fail. Only in very cold weather or after being left would it take a fair few turns to get it going. New high pressure pump fixed everuthing

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Don’t try bump starting – Tdci’s jump the timing.

    Oops. Gave someone in a TDCI Focus a tow start in a campsite a few years back. Was quite surprised to see it work, first time and on wet grass.


    What rno meant to say was certain tdcis have a badly designed chain tensioner that can allow jumping when bumping.
    When your backs against the wall I’ve taken that chance and got away with it also

    Premier Icon Speshpaul

    Fuel filter .
    Was it a euro parts one? Or similar?
    Buy HI quality one or a gen ford one.
    The cheaper ones can give alsorts of problems.
    Also get a hand pump to prime it.
    Think Austin powers. 20 quid and effortless.

    It was a Bosch filter so I assumed it was reasonable.

    I guess it could be faulty? 🤔

    Sounds like drain back had exact problem on my vivaro.
    Traced mine to a split in the primer bulb when I got covered in diesel when squeezing it

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I don’t know if the filter setup is the same as the mk3 tdci but my experience with that was that it was incredibly unfussy. Like, I just filled it, cranked it and went, took minutes. Actually was more effort to refit it into the bloody awkward filter holder. Not even really priming like most people talk of.


    I had this exact same issue with my 1.8 TDCI connect. Probably the same engine. Mine was down to a cheap euro car parts fuel filter. Swapped it out for a proper Bosch one and all issues resolved. If it is the same engine then they’re meant to be ‘self bleeding’ and I think the fuel filter plays a part in that.

    If this has only started since swapping that fuel filter, then focus round there.

    If you are running a Bosch one, it could be faulty, but rare. Always worth trying another and it’s the easiest option. I guess you’ve checked all the connectors to make sure they’re all properly on, o-rings are still ok etc, any fuel leaking anywhere? If you can’t see or smell any diesel fuel then try another filter.

    Yep, I’ve checked all connectors/ pipes/ fangleflanges

    No fuel leaks or anything either.

    Still waiting for the RAC… 5 hrs and counting

    Low pressure high volume lift pump failuer?
    If it is a CR system might be a simple fuse or relay
    Lift back seats , lift carpet , get a responsible adult to lidten for hwhine of pump on start up or cranking

    Premier Icon tthew

    Is the filter directional? If so,are the connectors unique? In the wrong way round maybe.


    You do have diesel available, you need a bottle, some pipe and quick enough reflexes not to get too much in your mouth (it’s really quite unpleasant)

    Gah. Just got home, 12+ hours after calling the RAC.

    RAC guy admitted defeat and it got shamefully hoiked onto a recovery truck.

    RAC guy didn’t even suggest anything. He shrugged a lot and moaned about how he was at the end of his shift and was told it was a flat battery..


    That’s a shame….did he not plug it into diagnostics and tell you of any codes that were logged? RAC did that for me last time when I was still figuring mine out. I had code: P0087,Fuel Rail/System Pressure – Too Low .

    ^^ nope he didn’t plug in diagnostics at all which seemed odd.

    Car is now at the garage thinking about what it’s done.

    I await the inevitable sharp intake of breath and “ooh, well you see.. it’s going to cost …”


    Mine had a similar problem. Car now has a new engine after too much cranking with no fuel flow by the garage. Fuel pump on the engine seized, snapping the drive from the exhaust cam. Bits fell into the engine…
    Mine also started out with P0087,Fuel Rail/System Pressure – Too Low

    Buy a reconned fuel pump from eBay and chuck that on to try. You can always return it if it doesn’t work.


    My mystic 8 ball says injector dead if your filter isn’t at fault.

    Premier Icon Northwind



    My mystic 8 ball says injector dead if your filter isn’t at fault.

    Doubt it, the tdci’s run pretty happily with 1 diff injector (unless it hydrolocks a cylinder). Lots of smoke but they run.

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    Makes you think 😉


    😃 I like it. Although I can only assume it’s a slow day at work?

    Normally I’d agree that it’s my hamfistedness that’s the likely cause but the RAC guy spent a good hour taking apart the filter, putting it back together , trying to prime with his squeezy hand pump thing. As such, anything I could have done would have been resolved presumably?!

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    better? (yes, bit slow)

    Personally, I suspect it’s unrelated but I’m not a mechanic either.

    Premier Icon teethgrinder

    Fuel pump?
    Some cars have a primary pump in the tank and secondary one in the engine bay. If one fails it can be masked until the other one fails e.g. Rover 75’s with the BMW diesel engine .

    Premier Icon duncancallum

    Lift pump fuse?

    Sooo… those that said fuel pump, go sit in the corner.

    Those that said fuel filter, raise your hand and you’ll get a fun prize (possibly).

    It’s a bit odd – asked the garage if my old (new) Bosch filter was faulty and they said no. I then asked why they fitted a brand new one and they shrugged and mumbled about a better seal.

    But they also said they thought the fault could just be how the filter was screwed together , yet the last person to play with that was the RAC man.

    It also doesn’t explain why Mr RAC couldn’t get fuel to the filter unless he’s a bit of an eejit and wouldn’t admit he didn’t know it works (apparently there’s not an additional lift up pump).

    Either way, £85 and it’s working again but I can’t help worry that I don’t actually know what was up with it 🤔

    Thanks for the help (and Venn diagrams) everyone..

    Ebay has many , many listings for tank mounted fuel pumps for mondeo 1.8 TDCI Mk4 moodels
    Yours must be a special version with a dual lift annd HP 2 stage pump. They do exist , cant recall manufacturer


    You mean those small 12v inline bodge pumps (every other hit under MK4 Mondeo tdci lift pump is infact a high pressure injection pump.

    The small inline pump is for hiding the symptoms of drain back , it’s not a part of the OEM car fuel system.

    It basically means the car self primes prior to starting. Some car do utilise this system as standard but the tdci isn’t one of them.


    RRR, I think your split link had come undone.

    Premier Icon tthew

    Thanks for the closure, dislike it when people ask for advice like this then don’t post back when the problem is solved.

    No trail rat. The orange, yellow Coke can thing that has flow and return lines and a swirl pot design built in.

    Closer scrutiny though reveals that the isn’t a pump in there at all
    It’s a swirl pot, level guage, flow and return lines, a mounting plate flange thing and swaged take offs
    I have used a Bosch I line fuel pump to make a water injection system on my track car so know exactly what I am lookingvst
    The issue is the mongtarfs in breaker yards writing listing which are actually wrong, maybe to jack up the value and sell you something you don’t need

    Not sure I agree with the ‘path of least resistance’ thing. the flow inside a radiator is due to pressure – more water will flow where the pressure is higher. Rad’s are pressurised and there is a pressure drop in any radiator between the top and bottom so you will get more flow towards the bottom than the top, but that doesn’t matter because radiators are made of metal which conducts heat efficiently, and heat rises, so the heat will distribute evenly around the radiator so no reason why a towel rad made from copper tubing would work. The only problem is that circular tubing is not the best form to make a rad from as it doesn’t have a very good ratio of surface area to volume which is why radiators tend to have flatter ‘squashed tube’ shape rather than circular, to increase the surface area.

    But copper would be a very good material to make a radiator from…it’s just very expensive.

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