I have a question, well two. Basically I have bought 2003 Focus TDCI but it is struggling to start in the morning? It's not exactly cold, so I don't understand why it would struggle. It has been about 3 °C (37 °F) in the mornings so it's not too bad.

The car runs brilliantly during the day with no issues and it fires straight away, but in the morning I have to hold the key for a good 6 to 7 seconds before it fires over.

The other issue is when I push my foot on the clutch to go up through the gears, there is a whirling sound coming from under the hood, or at least it sounds like it's coming from there. The clutch and gearbox is completely fine, but as I go from 1st to 2nd to 3rd etc I hear that sound. I did change the air-intake tube going from the air-filter to the engine, which did make it a bit quieter, but the noise is still there. Bear in mind the whirling sound only happens when I am going up the gears and ONLY when I push the clutch in. It doesn't happen at a standstill when I push in the clutch, so I know the clutch etc is fine.

Would be very grateful for anyone's thoughts on both of these issues, thank you guys.


1 Answer 1


The most likely cause of a Diesel car struggling to start on cold mornings is failed or failing glow plugs - if one or more of the plugs aren't working as well as they should, the engine will be colder, and so harder to start.

To test it, try the following:

  • Switch the ignition to the 'on' position. Wait for the glow plug light to go out.
  • Switch it off, then on again, and again wait for the light to go out.
  • Try to start it.

If it starts easier, you know that one or more of the plugs are weak - the double heating period gives it a bit more heat and so makes up for the weak one.

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