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E46 Glow plug relay fault?

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Hey all, 


just a quick one really. 

Got an 04 320d with around 123k on the clock. Since the cold weather has come in it’s been increasingly hard to start, having to turn ignition on and off quite a few times for it to then start. Problem occurs around 7c and below. 

Not long after I got the car in the summer I got inpa and pulled the codes. They are attached (ignore mileage and codes not relating to glow plugs). I’ve since check again and the codes are the same but forgot to get a copy, before I go and splash the cash on a new control really just want to make sure that it’s more than likely the issue? 

I’ve read loads of places that it’s the typical problem for glow plug faults, but no one really lists their fault codes/what temps etc this happens. 

My sypmtoms happen with the following:

temp 7c or below, have to turn ignition on and off around 7-10 times for car to start, plume of white smoke and terrible idle for about 15 ish secs after start, about 30 seconds after that small amount of white smoke and stinks of fuel for about 5 minutes till the engine starts to warm up. 

Side note the plume of white smoke happens in the summer also but lasts about 3-4 seconds of that enough for me to see a small ish cloud. 

Glow plug control relay? 


Many thanks


E46 codes.pdf

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As far as I know the glow plugs shouldn't kick in until maybe -3C.. It's currently too warm for them. White smoke is usually moisture in the system.

Not sure what the problem could be tbh but hope someone else can offer some advice?

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I heard they kicked in around 7c?

Photo attached for the smoke. 


I've check water levels, oil levels neither have moved since I've serviced it in July which is fantastic!

Turbo was replaced just before i got it and i checked play and seems to be perfect. 

Only thin i can think of is the relay :(

Edited by Jonnwhite
Photo wont upload, link to photo attached

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A replacement controller costs 45 quid and fitting is easy enough provided you don't mind scrabbling around under the car on axle stands for an hour or so. I replaced mine and all four glow plug errors cleared on rescan, meaning the plugs were fine but the controller had failed.

Priming the fuel pumps several times before turning over to start signals something is not right, I would guess with fuel delivery or fuel pressure sensors. Suggest replacing the controller anyway as it's duff. Clear codes and rescan after a short run to get a picture of what's going on.

With regard to starting in cold weather, check out this vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFyHt1JTKwY


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