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V220 CDI Ambiente Auto
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, this is my first post so apologies if the question has been asked before. I have searched and can't find the answer though. I have picked up our v220 CDI ambiente auto from the garage today and am not entirely happy. I have been to the garage many times and they've been great but something doesn't seem right this time.

Since the cold weather started here in the Uk I noticed the car was not starting quite as well until one day it wouldn't start at all. It turned over but just wouldn't catch. Garage had a look and said 3 of the 4 glow plugs had seized and they needed extracting. They explained until the cold weather we had managed with 1 glow plug but as soon as the temperature dropped is when the it wouldn't start. This all seems feasible to me but my first question is should the fact that 3 glow plugs weren't working have been picked up by the same garage who serviced the car only a couple of weeks before?

Secondly, when we had the car back it didn't feel right, it felt very underpowered. Further investigation made me realise it was in 'limp mode'. The next day it wouldn't start again, exactly as before. I phoned the garage back who picked it up and returned it a few hours later saying there was nothing wrong with it although now it started fine and was no longer in limp mode. My second question is - seeing as the same problem still happened after shelling out for new glow plugs does it seem likely that they weren't causing the problem in the first place? Also, what might have been causing the car to be in limp mode and why would the garage claim there was nothing wrong? Are they hiding something and have I paid for glow plugs I didn't need?
 

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My vito dont like this cold weather either but it still starts vitos have loads of faults built into them unsure why you van went into limp mode tho been there with mine before tho

Best advice i could give is sell before it starts costing you loads :thumbsup:
 

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1999 108 Cdi Traveliner, 1999 V220 Cdi, 2003 V220 Cdi
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185 Posts
Hi Mark,

Welcome to the forum. I suspect you'll become a regular visitor to the site! :)

I'm afraid it's very difficult to diagnose why your vehicle went into limp mode, as there are many reasons why it happens.

It's a feature which restricts the engine from revving past 3000rpm.
Unfortunately some of the reasons are quite obscure. (Mine once went into limp mode because a pipe came away from a headlight!) :eek:

It's just a case of doing a bit of detective work. Normally associated with another fault on the car or recent work by others.

Regarding the glow plugs - they are notoriously unreliable and are prone to snapping when removed.

However, the engine works fine without them. Mine don't work.

I live in Aberdeen & regularly have sub zero temperatures in double figures and it starts perfectly.

That shouldn't be the reason it went into limp mode.

I'm sure with a few more details we may be able to help you along with the problem.
You may also want to have a word with your garage to ask them exactly what they did to your vehicle & how they got it out of limp mode - they may have just reattached something they left disconnected - sometimes disconnecting the battery then reconnecting it resets the system.

Good luck with the fault finding, it can be infuriating but also very satisfying when you finally solve it. we'll do our best to help.

If all else fails, give me a shout.

I'm in the market for a new Ambiente....perhaps we can come to some arrangement!

I hope this helps. :thumbsup:

Regards,

Rob
 

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V220 CDI Ambiente Auto
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your reply but I'm afraid selling it is an absolute last resort as it's the one of the only vehicles that gives us the space that we need. We have 20 month old triplets and a 4 year old so all require car seats and we need a big boot for the triple buggy. We have also spent quite a lot getting it all fixed up by replacing all 4 tyres and replacing all the discs and pads as well as putting it through a service in the last few weeks so I'm not about to give up on it yet! Especially as this the first real problem I've had and I actually think it's brilliant despite it's faults!

What I really want to know is when I go to the garage later today to pay them for the replacing the glow plugs should I question why they didn't pick up the faulty glow plugs when they serviced it a couple of weeks earlier? Also, I am also worried that despite having 3 new glow plugs fitted on Thursday last week the van wouldn't start again on Monday with exactly the same symptoms as before they were replaced. This makes me think that maybe the glow plugs weren't to blame? I am also concerned that after we had the van back the first time it was in limp mode until they they had it back yesterday only to bring it back later in the afternoon and tell my wife that there was nothing wrong with it. It is now not in limp mode and starts first time but the whole situation doesn't seem right. I would just like to have more information before I approach the garage about it as they have been good to be since I've been going there.
 

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1999 108 Cdi Traveliner, 1999 V220 Cdi, 2003 V220 Cdi
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185 Posts
I agree, when they're working they are great vehicles.

It's a tough call on taking the garage to task, especially as you seem to trust them. No point alienating them without concrete evidence.

If the van is working fine now then maybe it was a glitch. They can be temperamental vehicles at the best of times. You can only really diagnose faults when they cease to be intermittent.

If you can, defer payment for a few days while you drive the van around until you're confident that the fault is either fixed or it re-occurs.

I'm sure you'll have to pay the garage anyway, as they did change the glow plugs - which is what they said they would do.

It just gives you a bit more leverage when you owe them money if you go back with a fault.

I'm sure someone else will chip in with some advice, but have you considered the battery? The cold will weed out the weak ones.

Also have you had any other work done on the vehicle? i.e. fuel filter change?

Anyway, good luck...both with the van - and the triplets! :D
 

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V220 CDI Ambiente Auto
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Discussion Starter #6
I don't think it was the battery as the engine was turning over with no problems. I think I'll just be honest with the garage and ask the questions subtly without accusing them of anything!

Should the faulty glow plugs have been picked up during a service though?
 

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SLK350 SLK320 C220
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Dear Markbird,
If your problem happens again I would recommend:
[1] Ask them to read the fault codes (OBDII codes get stored by the vehicle) and report them to you so you can look them up on the internet and check their explanation.
[2] Ask them to check the service history and confirm when the camshaft to valve gaps were last measured and adjusted. These have more effect on cold starting that glow plugs. No gap = poor compression leading to poor starting. This remains hidden until it is cold enough.

It is possible that the limp home mode is a confusing but separate issue. Even a dislodged/disturbed plug connector can cause limp mode to be activated.
 

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Vito 108cdi
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305 Posts
Generally if one or more glow plugs have failed the glow plug warning light on the dash will stay illuminated, if everythings fine then it will go out after about 20 seconds. The CDi engine will start without the plugs working unless it is very very cold, but then it has been recently, so perhaps?

There are several sensors that can cause limp mode if they are either not connected or moved during working on the engine, some of these would have been removed to gain access to the glow plugs, so perhaps the garage just gave them a wiggle, or pluged a stray one back in to get it out of limp mode?

Hope it works fine for you now :thumbsup:
 

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V220 CDI Ambiente Auto
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Discussion Starter #9
It is working fine now but the glow plug warning light never stayed lit even when it wouldn't start which does make me think I've paid quite a lot of money to replace 3 glow plugs that didn't need replacing. Decided not to go in and pay the garage today and wait and see how it starts tomorrow morning.

After everyone's comments I'm not too worried about the whole limp mode thing now, it looks as if the garage probably knocked a sensor and didn't want to own up to it but I am concerned about whether I needed to pay for glow plugs at all. I guess that's something I'm never going to be able to prove one way or another now?

Thanks everyone for your help, I hope that I'm not on here too often (in the nicest possible way)!
 
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