What does my van run for a minute and then conk out, whats wrong with it?

Its a diesel 2009 ford transit it never starts on the first try it doesn't even turn over but thats not the issue. I have learnt to live with that. It turns over and fires on the second attempt and it runs for about a minute maybe two but then it just conks out (stalls?) Why could this be? 

Its a self converted campervan btw I don't use it very often but try to start it up one or twice a week. 

3 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    It's.... broken?

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Diesel?  Then it has a start button .  A button with an "S" on it.  You pull it out like a manual choke. This advances the injection timing a bit. It may be on the dash or near the ignition key or on the steering column or on the floor at the base of the driver's seat.  It just may be a black knob with no markings.  If it pulls out 2 or 3 inches, you found it.

    You do not touch the gas pedal (throttle) AT ALL.  Now chances are good you have glow plugs.  (I did not own a FORD but SOME of my other diesels had a glow plug light on the dash speedometer or somewhere.  Now slowly turn the key to IGNITION (which is before the starter motor engages...the dash warning lights all light up "to prove the warning lights WORK" At that stage a light with the word Glowplug (or picture of a funny spark plug lights up in green or orange.   Now you wait until the glow plug light goes out....AS SOON AS IT GOES OUT IT HAS PREHEATED THE CYLINDER TO IGNITION TEMPERATURE.  ---TURN the ignition key farther and the starter motor engages. >>Do NOT touch the Gas pedal...the VAN will start faster if you do not touch the pedal.   If you want to kill the battery leave your fat foot on the gas pedal and crank it and the vehicle is slow to start as you DRAG THE SCHIT OUT OF THE BATTERY.  No regular car uses their jumper cables to jump start your diesel.  It sucks too much power. Which is why you have a STRONGER battery.  Some cars have a 400 Cold cranking amp battery while my diesel had a 1000 CCA battery. That is on a 4 cylinder diesel. That is the battery size you need.

    .  Once the engine starts running then you add more throttle(gas pedal) with your foot .  You can drive around with the S button out for awhile(10 miles), especially on a cold day.  You should also be thinking about plugging in the block heater(which every diesel has)  It makes starting first thing in the morning so easy. Much less demand on the battery...and early internal heating which humans Like.


    *Yeah, I am betting it is the S button you are not pulling out all the way...and leaving it  out to warm up the engine.

    - IN  due time it will be a habit with you to turn  the key in stages to the glow plug and wait 5 seconds before turning it farther to engage the starter motor.  This is the way all diesels start.


    I have been plugging in my diesels starting September.   Once it has been started for the day it takes a long time for the oil and coolant in the block to get cold, so like it is good all day.  It is the 8 hours off when you sleep is when it gets "cold".

    Owner's manual should tell you about how to operate it the best.

    I gave you the generic run down.

    Don't bother with trying to start it twice a week. You just are using up the battery.    My caterpillar sits out in the bush for the winter months untouched until I need it and it fires up without a problem.  It even sat for 10 years not running but still fired up(it is not battery start but gas motor starter...no glow plugs but the pig was started after sitting summer and snowy winters.

    Diesel fuel is oily so the walls of the cylinder are coated in oil.  It is fine.

    There, I think I fixed it for you.

  • Barry
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    Fuel starvation. Replace the fuel filter. If it misfires during startup the glow plugs need replacing too.

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