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Thread: 1.7 2006 Astravan very difficult to start

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default 1.7 2006 Astravan very difficult to start

    Hi all,

    I'm having an extremely hard time trying to start my 2006 1.7l diesel astravan. There may be a few reasons for this;

    - before Christmas, I accidentally put around 4 liters of petrol into it when it was empty, topped it up with diesel and drove on - seemed fine.

    - secondly, I had the timing belt changed. I can't see any reason why that would affect the starting.

    - After that, I gave it a full service including a new fuel filter which was extremely hard to prime and required a lot of cranking to start it but once started it was fine.

    All this happened over a period of about one week including the petrol accident.

    After putting the petrol into it and after giving it a service it began to get slower to start and then it just got worse and worse. Now a few months on, it takes about 10 -15 secs cranking but it always starts.

    I'm hearing very very strange sounds coming from the fuel tank like a gurgling sound when I'm sitting in traffic or just ticking over - hot or cold. It sounds like someone blowing with a straw into a glass of water (if you know what I mean....) I find that it's slightly easier to start if I park it facing down a hill.

    I've had the injectors checked and they're fine. I've had a fuel pressure sensor changed with no difference. I also dropped the fuel tank and had it cleaned out still with no difference.

    I changed all the glow plugs and the relay but they're all working properly.

    If anyone has an idea what might be causing I would really appreciate your suggestions.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008


    Sounds like an air leak. When trying to start you are replacing the air in the fuel pipe with fuel as you draw the fuel through which takes time. Check the fuel pipe seals at the tank, at the filter housing and the bleed off pipes at the injectors. Any leak could cause this.

    When replacing fuel filters best practice is to place the new filter in the housing, fill up to the top with clean diesel then refit the lid. This saves the starter motor churning over for a long time which shortens its life.
    Last edited by Hometune; 21-04-14 at 14:47.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default Hi Hometune

    Thank you for your suggestion. I haven't had it checked for any air leaks although I'm sure the mechanic who has been working on it would have checked for any defaults like that. I'll mention this to him and see what he says all the same.

    An air leak does seem likely with all these symptoms. I'm thinking that this could have started when the petrol went through the system and probably perished something along the way?? The noise coming from the fuel tank is particularly strange, it's a bubbling, gurgling sound as if there's air being pumped back into the tank!

    This morning I went to start it to go to work and the battery is totally flat. So now, not only do I still need to solve the fuel system problem but it needs a new battery as well. It's gone way too low even to take a charge although yesterday it was absolutely fine with no signs of it dying at all, strange. Just my luck.

    Thanks again for your suggestion.

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