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6 Diesel Car Fail to Start: Problems and More

If you have a vehicle with a diesel engine and have had problems with it, consult diesel car starting failures and discover why your vehicle does not start and how to solve the problem.

Many diesel engine vehicle won’t start problems can be fixed quickly and easily.

Common failures for which your diesel vehicle does not start

The most common reason is that the battery is dead. If the battery is dead, you will most likely want to investigate to see if there is a simple cause of the dead battery, such as leaving the lights on for an extended period of time.

Once you have identified the issue, you can jump-start the vehicle’s battery to see if that resolves the issue. If the vehicle starts after the intervention of the battery, the problem may be over.

However, if the battery dies again in the next few days or hours, you may need to investigate the vehicle’s alternator.

1. Corroded battery terminals

If you suspect the battery, but the battery voltage seems good, it could be a problem with the battery terminals. If this is the case, you will need to check the battery terminals.

By doing this, you’re going to look specifically for where the battery cables connect to the battery itself. First check that the vehicle is turned off. Check each terminal to make sure it is connected correctly.

Sometimes the connections can become loose. Next is, check for corrosion on the battery terminal. If there is corrosion around the battery terminals, it could prevent the battery from working properly.

In this case, you need to clean the erosion from the terminals and reconnect the battery terminals.

2. Poor diesel fuel supply

Another fault that can cause a diesel vehicle to not start is a poor fuel supply. The main culprit for this problem is air in the fuel. If the diesel vehicle started and died soon after, there is a good chance that there is air in the fuel.

Air can get into the fuel through leaks in the fuel lines or through a faulty fuel pump. Check both areas to determine what needs to be replaced.

3. Dirty diesel fuel filters

Diesel vehicle fuel filters must be maintained regularly. Most auto technicians recommend that fuel filters be replaced every 20,000 to 40,000 miles.

Over time, dirty fuel filters can become clogged with debris, disrupting the filtering process.

If you suspect that a clogged fuel filter is preventing your vehicle from starting properly, it’s a good idea to change the fuel filter before doing any other expensive repairs to see if it resolves the problems with your vehicle.

4. Contaminated diesel fuel

Unlike unleaded and premium fuel, diesel fuel is not as clean. It is a type of dirty fuel that is prone to bacteria.

When the weather is hot, bacteria in diesel fuel can grow rapidly and clog your vehicle’s fuel delivery system. If the car won’t start and you suspect that the gasoline is contaminated, you should be aware of two signs: an unpleasant or sulfuric smell coming from the vehicle, or black or green dirt in the fuel tank.

If contaminated diesel fuel is preventing your vehicle from starting, you will need to drain and clean the diesel fuel tank.

It is also important to examine the fuel pump and fuel lines. If the pump or lines show any signs of dirt from contaminated gasoline, you should clean those areas as well.

5. Diesel car won’t start in cold weather

When temperatures are low and the weather is frigid, your diesel vehicle may have a hard time starting. This occurs with all vehicles, but diesel vehicles are more prone to starting problems in cold weather due to the way they are designed.

If it’s cold and your diesel vehicle won’t start, it could be related to cold weather and freezing temperatures.

Try to reduce battery usage in cold weather

Your vehicle only has a certain amount of battery available on any given day of the year. Diesel vehicles are already prone to starting problems during cold weather, so it’s best to eliminate as much unnecessary battery usage as possible.

To do this, unplug the car chargers you are using. Try turning off the radio, decreasing the amount of heat used inside the cabin, and turning off unnecessary lights.

Not only is it important to do this when the car is being driven, it is also important to do it every time the vehicle is turned off. Giving your diesel car the opportunity to extract from the battery all the energy necessary for the operation of the vehicle is ideal to prevent the car from not starting when it is cold.

6. Choose the right diesel fuel

Did you know that there are two types of diesel fuel? There are. Diesel nº1 and Diesel nº2.

Major car manufacturers recommend #2 diesel as the preferred diesel for driving conditions. If you take your diesel vehicle to a traditional gas station, it is most likely that you will only have one diesel option, which will be diesel number 2.

However, there is more than one diesel option, so you need to make sure you choose the correct option.

Diesel #1 is much more volatile than #2 and is not recommended for normal diesel vehicles. If you accidentally fill your diesel vehicle with #1 diesel, you may experience difficult driving conditions, or find that your vehicle cannot start.

If this occurs, the fuel tank will need to be drained and cleaned.

After draining the tank and making sure all volatile diesel is out of the fuel lines and pump, you need to fill it with the correct diesel. It is also important to make sure that the fuel filters are not compromised.

Give your diesel vehicle time to warm up

Sometimes, you just have to get in the car or truck and drive away. But if you can, you should try to avoid this habit. Especially during the cold weather months. When a diesel vehicle is driven and hasn’t had time to warm up, it’s hard on the vehicle.

Harsh weather and a cold engine wear out the engine, camshaft, and other internal parts a lot. Over time, this bad habit could cause expensive damage that could leave you with a vehicle that suddenly won’t start.

Most diesel-powered vehicles do not need a long time to warm up after starting. Most cars warm up pretty well in about five minutes.

Store the diesel-powered vehicle in a heated area

To get even more performance from your diesel vehicle in the cold and winter months, you should store the car in a heated place.

This will not only allow your vehicle to warm up quickly, but it will also help reduce wear and tear on other vehicle components , including the glow plugs.

Final thoughts

If you suddenly find that your diesel vehicle won’t start, you shouldn’t panic. There are several relatively easy and inexpensive ways to diagnose the problem and determine what to do next.

It’s important to rule out the simpler reasons why your vehicle won’t start, and then move on to more difficult issues as necessary. Since a dead battery is the number one reason any car won’t start, it should be the first thing you consider.

If you think it’s the battery, be sure to inspect it for damage, then try tapping it. Only after you have done this step should you consider other things on the list.

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