They don’t make ‘em like that any more, do they Huw! A fine car, and I can well understand your reluctance to sell it. Apart from which, some purchaser or dealer will then inherit the annoying problem!
But I can think of a few other things that you haven’t tried yet:
1 Parking it uphill.
2 Beating it hard with a stick, Basil Fawlty style.
3 Speaking to it nicely, before you turn the key.
Seriously though, you haven’t told me what sort of motoring you do, but I would hope that you have tried giving the car a good hard run, maybe with a fuel additive in the tank, to see if the engine is just generally congested. But the key thing you haven’t told me is whether the “cloud from the exhaust” is white, blue, or black. I would imagine that the air is blue though, but is the smoke? Black smoke typically means incomplete combustion, in the form of too much fuel or too little air, or incorrect combustion conditions like injection timing, badly worn injectors, or poor cylinder compression. White smoke means completely unburned diesel fuel coming through, or can also mean water intrusion, maybe through a cracked cylinder head, or low cylinder compression. Blue smoke usually comes from burnt oil, from valve guide wear or poor cylinder compression, and oil leakage past the pistons and rings.
Now that’s a fair selection and, if you want to continue your DIY investigations, I think you should check a number of items that I would have expected the garage to have done, but guided by my comments on the colour of the smoke. Firstly, have you replaced the air filter and checked for any obstructions or kinks in the air pipes? The fact that the car apparently runs well once hot, apart from those odd loss of power situations when warming up, does suggest that this is strictly a start-up problem though, and poor cylinder compression could be possible at your fairly high mileage. You should probably get this checked by a garage before anything else now, and it could be either bore and piston wear (which you might have noticed from oil usage) or valve leakage. You haven’t mentioned the MAF sensor, which again hopefully the garage has checked out, by way of checking the signal voltage in cold start-up conditions.
You don’t say whether the starting problems are ambient temperature related, and you say that the garage checked the pre-heater system anyway, meaning presumably that the pre-heater plugs were working properly, and for the correct period of time. You could check yourself by turning the key to activate the pre-heater plugs, but without starting, and see if doing this two or three times before turning over the starter helps at all – the pre-heater light on the dash (if you have one) may only stay on for about five seconds, or in fact may not show at all at higher temperatures, although the plugs may be operating in the background as part of emissions controls. I presume that your battery is in good shape to generate enough cranking speed to get the required injection pressure?
Of course the killer might be injection pump wear, as pump replacement could be very costly, and I guess this can only be checked at a Peugeot garage or, better still, at a diesel specialist – usually well experienced in such problems on hard-working light commercials.
I hope this gives you some ideas Huw, and would much appreciate you keeping me posted. Best regards,
The exhaust smoke is generally white, with a hint of grey, and if you give it a rev to help it on its way, it does result in a patch of soot on the ground behind the car. I tried parking uphill and also activating the pre-heat a few times, and it makes no difference. The air filter is a K&N panel filter and gets inspected every service, and if necessary cleaned. The driving I do is mainly to work and back, once or twice a week on the motorway, just over 50 miles each way, with trips to the shops each weekend. The battery was replaced a couple of years ago, but I’ll get it checked, and thinking about it, when I had the car remapped, the technician did mention that it wasn’t responding as well as other 307s he had remapped and did wonder if the mass air flow sensor might be to blame, although the engine management light isn’t on. I will try these two items next as the costs my dealer had warned me about was in fact possible loss of compression, or a fuel pump problem.
You didn’t mention before the engine had been remapped! Did you tell your garage? This usually involves raising the fuel injection pressure. If your tuning man said that the engine did not respond as well as other 307s, then he might have pushed the pressure up more than usual to get a good result. Who knows how this might have left you, but it certainly might be a factor in your problems. A proper professional job would adjust the pressure proportionately, leaving starting conditions unchanged, and it’s far from impossible that it is set too high for good cold starting. If you do feel, as it seems, a bit of a DIY man, you could try cleaning the MAF unit, with electrical contact cleaner. There’s not enough space to go into details here, but you can probably find instructions for an HDi 110 online somewhere. MAFs don’t often throw up warning lights or fault codes if they are just dirty, from oil and other deposits on the heated wire filament of mesh. See how you go on and keep me updated.