Mechanics

F350 STARTING PROBLEMS -- DIESEL ENGINE

1999 Ford F-350

Other Category problem
1999 Ford F350 Engine Size unknown Four Wheel Drive Manual 130000 miles

I have recently started having problems with starting my diesel pickup. It is cold, but not frigid. I plug in the heater and that seems to help, but it is still difficult to start. This morning I could not start it. I have had a battery charger on it, and have tried a fuel additiive. However, nothing seems to help. Sometimes I can jump start it, but other times it won't start. Today, I finally got it started after I had it plugged in for a long time, and a friend helped me jump start it. After it ran for about a half hour I turned it off, and now I cannot get it to start. I have even tried jump starting it.
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B_rad
January 28, 2008.




Here's a couple things to check. 1. Check the glow plug relay. It is located on top of the engine behind the fuel filter housing. Check for power on the two main lugs and one of the small lugs. When the key is first turned on, you should have power to all three. If you do not have power on one of the large lugs but you do on the other two, replace the relay. 2. If the relay checks out, remove the valve covers. You will notice that there is an electrical connection on the valve cover gasket itself. The easiest to remove is the passenger side (trust me). The pay close attention to the condition of the electrical connections. This is for the injectors and the glow plugs. All are under the valve cover. If this plug is burned, you will need to replace what is damaged. Often it is only the valve cover gasket, but occassionaly it may have gotten the harness inside the valve cover. Very rarely does it burn the harness connector on the outside, but it can occur. The burned connectors will cause a no-start, but it is often accompanied by a rough idle as well (unless it is just the glowplug circuits damaged). 3. Remove the cap for the fuel filter housing and see how much fuel is present at the filter. I would also wonder about fuel gelling. It normally doesn't happen, unless the temp gets down REALLY low. Check these and post back with your findings. I'll walk you through other checks if needed.
Dave

Tiny
Flexy5
Jan 28, 2008.
Dave's reply made me start thinking in basic terms. My 1994 Turbo DI had the same problems, and I went to the basics. The manual said to hold the accelerator pedal down 100% during cold starts and 50 % during warm starts. That worked for me. Also, how often do you drain the water colllector located under the fuel filter? Could be a problem during cold weather, but not during warm. When you charge the batteries, do you disconnect the cables for one and charge to it isolate it from the vehicle? This is a must on dual battery systems. Checking fuel heater fuses in the panel might also be a start. I have printed Dave's suggestions for the future!
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Tiny
Reynoldt
Feb 23, 2008.

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