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Renault clio 1.5 DCi Billabong. Starting issues

  Clio 1.5 DCi Billabo
Hi all,

new here but kinda don't really want to go to a Renault dealer until I win the lottery.:) I have a Renault clio 1.5 DCi Billabong and having starting problems. I will put as much detail as I can.

The issue first started a few months back. When I turn the key in the ignition,(only normally happens when engine is cold), the red top centre light which normally flashes when the immobiliser is on stays on steady and the glow plugs light doesn't light. If I then try to turn the car over, it will very occasionally turn over a little but mostly doesn't do anything. I have tried turning off completely and then back on and get the same symptoms. In my effort to diagnose it, I have found that if the light(immobiliser) is steady on and there has been no glow plug light, if I leave the ignition on for a few mins then turn off then back on, invariable this seems to sort the problem with the red light going out and the glow plug light coming on for a few seconds. I have also tried the spare key and this gives the same symptoms. Once started, the car is fine and seems to start ok when warm also.
It doesn't seem to be any better or worse through the particularly cold spell (-10) to now (+10). I have also removed and cleaned all the relays and swapped them round where possible. Now at a dead end. Anyone heard of or come across this issue. Any help would be gratefully received.
Thanks in advance
AliG :S
Hi There. I have the same problem with mine. Its a 1.5 DCi Clio 2001 diesel. I turn the key and the imm light stays on with no glow plug light. I know when this happens the car will not start. I do this many times over 15 times . the car turns over a few times then stops turning after 1 or 2 seconds. After a few tries the glow plug light comes on then the imm light goes out then the car starts. It will then run as long as the car is warm/hot. If i turn the car off and emmidiately try to start then it starts fine. If i leave it for about 15-30 minutes then i end up with the original problem.
Can anyone shed light on this?
Ive been told its the ecu , but hey thats the easy way out for any garage and probably wont solve the problem.
It seams that if the glow plug light does not turn on then the imm does not switch off.
Any Ideas???
Hello Alig31. I seem to have sorted mine out and it starts every time.
If you look at in the bonet . in front of the battery ther is a plastic box.
take out the cover and you will see some relays and fuses.
there should be 2 (5 pin) relays and one 4 pin relay. next to these there should be 3 black smaller relays.
I swopped these arround as they are all the same and the car now starts. One of them is faulty.
Try that and let me know.
  Renault Clio 1.5 Dci
Have had exactly the same problem (and well described btw) with my 2003 1.5 dci Expression (65bhp). When I turn the key 2 clicks the lights on the dashboard go on, but immobiliser stops flashing and stays red and glow plugs light won't go on. I keep the key in there, most of the lights go out after a few seconds, but I wait until the 'oil ok' digits disappear and are replaced by the mileage counter before turning the key off again and then turning the key the 2 clicks again. It was having to do this 4/5 times before the glow light finally came on, and then I would turn it off again and do it one more time, wait for the glow plug light to go out and then turn it the 3rd click (all the way) and adding a bit of gas by pressing the accellerator before it would finally start, but the last couple of days it was taking much longer. I would have to go throught the key-on key-off process 15/20 times and sitting in the car for 10 minutes before I would get the glow plugs light coming on and being able to start the car.

Took the car to 3 garages and diesel specialists, who all had different opinions as to what the problem could be. Had the glow plugs replaced, but that didn't fix the problem. And was eventually told it was an immobiliser issue. So I had to go to Renault Enfield and they quoted me over £1000 saying that there must be a crack in the wiring loom and I would have to get that replaced! Well I'd just bought the car 3 weeks prior to that (and had been having the problem ever since I got it) and their estimate was over half of the value of the car! They still didn't seem to have much of a clue as to what was wrong but said that replacing the wiring loom would be the first place to start to diagnose the fault!

Thank Gd, I came across this thread, and switched the small relays (only mine were brown, not black) and the problem was solved!!! The car started straight away and I haven't been so happy with my car in forever!
Thanks so much Crator for your post!

Will now try and get a new set of relays in there, as I assume the defective one is now plugged into another (less vital) system.

Hope this helps anyone who encounters the same problem, and saves you the £1000 Renault would charge without even knowing what the problem is! It does make me wonder if they are just incompetent or actually trying to hike up the bill :quiet: The fix was so simple you would think they would know something about the electronics!
Hi, my girlfriend has exactly the same symptoms only it's now not starting at all. I've tried to swap the brown relays over but still no luck. Any ideas?
  Renault Clio 1.5 Dci
You say it's not starting at all but it can sometimes take 10-15mins to get it started. The delay gets longer with time, mine was only a couple of mins at first but eventually I was waiting 14 mins before I found this simple fix! You just need to keep turning the key to on, don't do anything else and don't turn it all the way to ignition, just wait for the mileage to show up, then turn it off and turn it on again, wait for the mileage each time. Eventually the coil light will go out and the red immobiliser light with disappear and you should then turn it all the way to ignition and it'll get started.

If that gets it started then it is the relays and they're old and need this warming up process to get them going! There are 3 brown relays. Probably one of them (for the immobiliser) is a dud, so try different combinations. I moved my middle one to the front and the front one to the middle, but someone else I know had the same problem and they moved them around in a different way to get it to work, so have a go at that and try moving them in different combinations. Otherwise you can buy replacements.

Make sure all 3 are fitted back in properly, and also you will probably have to disconnect the battery to be able to reach them.

Let me know how it goes. Good luck!