As the mornings get colder I’ve noticed the Pajero isn’t enjoying getting going so much. This has previously just been a problem with getting away from a standing start. The first couple of yards from where I park is a very slight incline and it’s coughed a little and lacked power until on the flat where it’s fine.
This morning my outside thermometer read 6 degrees and it felt pretty cold. For the first time since I’ve had her she actually coughed a little on starting the engine – before even setting off. I could imagine that if we were down near 0 degrees she might be struggling to start at all, though I’m only guessing of course.
I’ve had it in mind to check up on this for a while, but it looks like it might be a bit more urgent now. So I need to read up on Pajero cold starting and glow plugs and all the other bits I haven’t a clue about. Then I’ll have a go at servicing it to hopefully make things better. Check back soon to see how I get on!
I started reading up on this on the Pocuk forums and realised that I wasn’t even starting the truck correctly. It’s a long time since I had a diesel, but I always thought it was just a case of turn the ignition key until the dashboard lights come on, wait for the glow plug light to go out and then turn the engine over. This is what I’ve been doing since I bought the Pajero and it must have been working out alright because the weather was pretty warm.
Here’s what I should have been doing:
- Turn the key until the dashboard lights up
- Wait until the glow plug light goes out
- Wait about another 5 seconds until you here a click from behind the glove box area
- Now turn the key full to start the engine
So what we’re waiting for is the glow plugs to heat up fully. The click that comes from behind the glovebox is from the heater relay – once it’s clicked it means the glow plugs are heated sufficiently to fire up the engine. Which leads me to wonder what the point of the glow plug light is really? And on the 2.5 models I believe there isn’t a light at all, you just wait for the click.
Anyway, having tried this technique on several cold mornings now I can safely say that my Pajero starts perfectly. I’m still getting a slightly lumpy getaway but that’s fine too if I let the engine warm up for a minute before moving.
So the servicing of the glow plugs will wait until next spring as originally planned and my Pajero continues to run beautifully.
I have to add to this post at this point following a comment from a reader that you can see below – comment number 3 and my answer, comment number 4.
This leads me to point out that my method of cold starting when having problems is only working around a problem with either the glow plugs or the bus bar. So really in this post I have gone full circle and as soon as possible I’ll be thoroughly checking my plugs and bus bar for any problems.
As the truck is generally in very good condition I would make a guess that my glow plugs simply need replacing due to wear. Another possibility is that they may have already been replaced and are not exactly the ones they should be. Someone else told me of having the same problem and when he replaced his old glow plugs he found his new ones were longer, which apparently makes starting easier.
If you’ve got problems starting a cold Pajero, you might also be interested in this post – Tony’s Pajero Cold Starting Trick