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Webasto problem


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Hi All

 

First time post, long term reader of these pages and the sound advice often found on these pages.  

 

Got a problem with my webasto thermotop C/E...thinking I've perhaps left it on too long the other night when i forgot about it watching telly.  Basically it knocks on fine, starts going through its usual process of ticking away and sounding like a distant jet engine.  This goes on for about 10 minutes before it shuts down.  When i first noticed i took the fuse out between battery bank and the webasto and gave it a clean and check over. Also unplugged the control panel and reconnected it.  Doing these seemed to increase the amount of time it would stay in cycle, but only by about 10 extra minutes before it would shut down again.

 

I also noticed after my first attempts at fiddling around with the fuse that during the cycling, there would occasionally be puffs of white smoke coming out of the exhaust.  The rest of the time the exhaust runs as normal.

 

Had a similar problem once before which was due to my fuel running low but unless someone has syphoned in the last week it shouldn't be this.  

 

I use the system for both hot water and some radiators but can't tell for certain if there is any warmir going on but the calirifier seems slightly warm.

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What is the battery voltage with no solar or other charging running - preferably at least an hour after charging was stopped? Wondering if its shutting down n low voltage - especially if its an ex vehicle unit. Alliteratively does it behave as long as you have the engine running at 1200rpm plus?

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1 minute ago, Tony Brooks said:

What is the battery voltage with no solar or other charging running - preferably at least an hour after charging was stopped? Wondering if its shutting down n low voltage - especially if its an ex vehicle unit. Alliteratively does it behave as long as you have the engine running at 1200rpm plus?

Sorry forgot to add about the voltage.  My batteries sit at around 12.5v about an hour after the sun has gone down according to my battery moniter.  Same as what they've been doing all year.

1 minute ago, Jackhare said:

Sorry forgot to add about the voltage.  My batteries sit at around 12.5v about an hour after the sun has gone down according to my battery moniter.  Same as what they've been doing all year.

Never tried it with the engine running, will try this.

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Automotive units will shut down at around 11.5 volts, marine ones at 10.8 volts. Unless a clown has wired the Webasto main feed in undersized cables I doubt this is a voltage problem but just the same check the voltage at  the glow plug while starting.

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4 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

Automotive units will shut down at around 11.5 volts, marine ones at 10.8 volts. Unless a clown has wired the Webasto main feed in undersized cables I doubt this is a voltage problem but just the same check the voltage at  the glow plug while starting.

Will do, thanks for the advice and i will get my volt meter on it when i get back.  Apart from voltage is there anything else worth checking?

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Just now, Jackhare said:

Will do, thanks for the advice and i will get my volt meter on it when i get back.  Apart from voltage is there anything else worth checking?

Is the glow plug carboned up? Apart from that I have little experience of such heaters since a very different Webasto design was the bane of my life on a hire fleet years ago - I avoid them like the plague.

 

make sure you have fuel and that the Webasto inline fuel filter is clean.

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35 minutes ago, Jackhare said:

Thanks Tony

 

Will have a proper check of the glow plug and voltage going in, aswell as checking my fuel and filters.

I believe that the glow plug works at a low voltage so don’t measure the voltage there, see 8V, and assume there’s a problem. Check the voltage where it connects to the unit. 

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4 minutes ago, WotEver said:

I believe that the glow plug works at a low voltage so don’t measure the voltage there, see 8V, and assume there’s a problem. Check the voltage where it connects to the unit. 

Thanks WotEver, I'm assuming the voltage should read as something similar to what my battery is showing within a healthy range 12.3-12.8v?

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19 minutes ago, Jackhare said:

Thanks WotEver, I'm assuming the voltage should read as something similar to what my battery is showing within a healthy range 12.3-12.8v?

It should be the battery voltage less maybe 0.1V. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/09/2020 at 15:15, Tony Brooks said:

Is the glow plug carboned up? Apart from that I have little experience of such heaters since a very different Webasto design was the bane of my life on a hire fleet years ago - I avoid them like the plague.

 

make sure you have fuel and that the Webasto inline fuel filter is clean.

I have the same problem. The unit  fires up but not to full bore as it were so its not heating rads or water. Is it easy to de-carbon the glow plug oneself please?

Thanks

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14 hours ago, markeymark said:

I have the same problem. The unit  fires up but not to full bore as it were so its not heating rads or water. Is it easy to de-carbon the glow plug oneself please?

Thanks

These units need three things, air, fuel and power to get started and to run. Assuming your air supply is okay (standard silencer, no non-standard filter element) then the other two need to be checked first.
1.    Power supply is the easiest. Check the voltage at the unit and check it is closely aligned with your battery voltage when the unit is trying to start <0.5v difference and >12v at worst. Try starting the webasto with the engine running if you have no voltmeter.
2.    Fuel, remove a joint between the fuel pump and unit and feed into clean and clear jam jar or similar. Start the unit and check that the fuel pump pumps clean fuel into the jar. If not check fuel filters etc., if unsure how to do this search on YouTube. If you have cleaned the fuel filters, then you need to prime, so start heater repeatedly until fuel is pumped into the jar again. You may have to remove heater fuse if the heater locks out. Once you are happy that clean fuel is being pumped reconnect hose. Start the heater with engine off and listen and watch exhaust.
3.    If the heater fails to start with a white/grey smokey exhaust with pulses without smoke, then start it again as you have flame, it may start. If you have a continuous smoke stream from your exhaust, remove the air silencer, obtain a short section of hose long enough so that you can use it to blow into the heater air inlet and see the exhaust. Start the heater and when the pump starts to pump and the heavy smoke appears, blow into the hose to increase air flow into the heater, don’t go mad, just steadily exhale, if the exhaust pulses then you have some combustion, keep trying. Be careful, don't inhale, and don’t over do it.
4.    If that fails, go on YouTube and find a video to service it yourself or send it to a man that can, or call in a professional.
5.    If you get it started and you have not found a voltage or fuel issue be mindful that you may still have a problem. If you get it started run it for as long as you can.

 

Search on the Land Rover Discovery and BMW X5 forums for more advice.

Edited by Cas446
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2 hours ago, Cas446 said:

These units need three things, air, fuel and power to get started and to run. Assuming your air supply is okay (standard silencer, no non-standard filter element) then the other two need to be checked first.
1.    Power supply is the easiest. Check the voltage at the unit and check it is closely aligned with your battery voltage when the unit is trying to start <0.5v difference and >12v at worst. Try starting the webasto with the engine running if you have no voltmeter.
2.    Fuel, remove a joint between the fuel pump and unit and feed into clean and clear jam jar or similar. Start the unit and check that the fuel pump pumps clean fuel into the jar. If not check fuel filters etc., if unsure how to do this search on YouTube. If you have cleaned the fuel filters, then you need to prime, so start heater repeatedly until fuel is pumped into the jar again. You may have to remove heater fuse if the heater locks out. Once you are happy that clean fuel is being pumped reconnect hose. Start the heater with engine off and listen and watch exhaust.
3.    If the heater fails to start with a white/grey smokey exhaust with pulses without smoke, then start it again as you have flame, it may start. If you have a continuous smoke stream from your exhaust, remove the air silencer, obtain a short section of hose long enough so that you can use it to blow into the heater air inlet and see the exhaust. Start the heater and when the pump starts to pump and the heavy smoke appears, blow into the hose to increase air flow into the heater, don’t go mad, just steadily exhale, if the exhaust pulses then you have some combustion, keep trying. Be careful, don't inhale, and don’t over do it.
4.    If that fails, go on YouTube and find a video to service it yourself or send it to a man that can, or call in a professional.
5.    If you get it started and you have not found a voltage or fuel issue be mindful that you may still have a problem. If you get it started run it for as long as you can.

 

Search on the Land Rover Discovery and BMW X5 forums for more advice.

It seems that its sorted now. I checked the level of diesel in the tank and it was low so the in pipe was probably sucking in air so I put in more diesel and now its working again. Many thanks. Mark

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59 minutes ago, markeymark said:

It seems that its sorted now. I checked the level of diesel in the tank and it was low so the in pipe was probably sucking in air so I put in more diesel and now its working again. Many thanks. Mark

Glad you got it working again👍

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