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Are you certain that you put diesel fuel in the car? Had to ask that question. How long did the car sit before you refueled? If it sat for a while and if the temperatures and humidity were enough to produce a build up of water vapor, that might keep the injectors from sending "dry" fuel to the cylinders.
Just running out of fuel won't harm the glow plugs (hence poor starting) and won't require need for a new battery unless the current battery was failing even before draining the tank.
Souinds like beginning of blown head gasket. could be due to corrosion on either head or block. "Diesel knock" could be due to excess compression from water in cylinder (will explain steam, antifreeze smell).
Check your battery for proper volts (12.6). Sometimes the cold weather will bring a battery down. Also check the Starter Relay, again cold weather will make it stick causing it not to start. Those are the biggest problems with a car not starting in the cold weather unless you have something else going on then your starter and your ignition needs to be checked.
I would try replacing the fuel filter it could be clogged and then when you prime it with starter fluid it gives it enough pull to allow fuel to flow. when engine is cold fuel can gel so when the vehicle is warm it allows fuel to flow easy allowing it to start. that is just one of many things it could be but if you haven't changed filter in a while it cant hurt to change it and who knows that might be the problem if not you have a nice clean fuel filter anyway. If you have the diesel it pays to keep the fuel filter clean because diesel fuel will gel quicker than gasoline .
Hi, I would recommend disconnecting your glow plug relay if you are going to use starting fluid. With starting fluid in the engine and the glow plugs turn on it may explode the fluid and do head damage. Starting fluid and any kind of ignition source ( hot glow plug ) is like a bomb. Wayne
Sounds like the injector pump gets to hot and seizes up. it may just be an old pump. I was told years ago to put 1 quart of Automatic tranny fluid in a full tank of diesel to help lube the injector pump. I did that to my 1995 powerstroke at 130,00 miles when I had to replace the injector pump. And I have over 500,000 miles on the engine now and have not had to replace the pump since. I hope this helps please rate this
You have fuel runback.Replace the injector leak off pipes then try.If this does not work then have a non return valve fitted to your fuel supply pipe close as possible to the punp.Hope that was helpfull good luck.