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Motors Unexplained Breakdowns, Any advice?

Discussion in 'General' started by DeadP1xels, 11 Oct 2011.

  1. DeadP1xels

    DeadP1xels Music Enthusiast

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    You may have noticed alot of my whining in whats ruining thread so im hoping for some advice i'll try break it down as easy as i can.

    The Car:
    Vauxhall Corsa 1999 breeze 1.2

    The week before this the car broke down in a similiar way but was started again and went fine for a whole week till:

    Breakdown 1
    It started after i had finished college on a Friday it was 27c and the car had been parked in the sun for around 2 hours, I returned to the car refusing to properly turn on and instead just made the noise when you turn the key.

    What was unusual was that the car would still move in gear in that state even slightly up hill and i managed to move in about 5 car spaces before i gave up trying, the car just would'nt start.

    After my dad came to investigate he assumed an electrical problem and fiddled with some cables and connections, after 15-20minutes and no real aim of repair the car sprung back into life and was left idling we assumed it was fixed for the time being. i drove 100 yards and slowed down waiting for my dad to turn around and follow behind me when it began to idle very heavy and stall for no reason, after that the car would not start at all and i was towed to the garage.

    Solution 1
    The mechanic assumed a dodgy cam sensor or fuel pump and explained how in the hot weather a faulty came sensor would cause it to cut out, after being towed for 30 minutes the car must have cooled down as it started first time in the garage.

    This was reinforced when the mechanic decided to test by dropping the bonnet and letting it heat up, as soon as the bonnet was dropped it cut out instantly without shudder, him and his colleague decided it was most likely the sensor and replaced it.





    Breakdown 2

    I get back the car after the new sensor is fitted as well as an additional sensor that assumed was dead, the car starts temperature being around 17c at the time the car starts laboured and tired sounding i repeat it with the same outcome

    I go to pick up my mother from work and the car is going fine until i fill it up with £40 worth of petrol when i get back into the car to start it the rev counter goes up and dropped down to a heavy idle and stalls this is repeated until i add some revs were it goes fine.

    Once i get home i try the car again and works fine twice but third and forth time repeats the heavy idle until stall i eventually get it going with revs and take back to the garage the same day i picked it up.

    Solution 2 I find out the original mechanic has not fitted the cam sensor and his colleague did which he ended up doing wrong and it was kinking something im not sure what i believe of that but he seemed honest enough about it, i got into the car and it starts fine no issues i repeat still not problem.






    Breakdown 3
    Only 1 hour later i drive the car to work and make it all the way to the car part where i was waiting at the zebra crossing randomly the car cut out and would not start again exactly like the first time! This is 4pm and not very warm at all, the car could move a little bit but not start properly i ended up pushing with the help of another man into a parking space.


    Solution 3
    The mechanics come to the car park after i give the keys to my parents who came down to sort it out, they get the car started and take it back to the garage telling them it was most likely the fuel pump as they predicted before.

    Today i ring up and they tell me the fuel pump has not been replaced, that they have cleaned relays and put it through the diagnostics machine and it runs fine on two occasions two seperate mechanics have taken the car on longer journeys that my workplace and it has had no problems.


    Conclusion?

    Not convinced i pick the car up and take it for a drive similiar to the day it broke down in the car park with no problems i then took it on a longer journey to test it further no problems, left the car idling on two occasions like on the day it first broke down for 5 minutes with no problems, i intentionally stalled the car and restarted no problems.

    The mechanic told me "Its a bugger really because you can't tell whats up with it, when we took it out it went fine and we can't seem to see a problem we took relays out and cleaned them and other things" So im stuck wondering whats going to happen next?

    Does anybody have any advice on what they think it could be so if i take it back i could pass this on to the mechanic for them to check for me?
     
  2. Yeoo

    Yeoo Active Member

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    sounds very odd, have you plugged it into a tech II diagnostics machine?>
     
  3. DeadP1xels

    DeadP1xels Music Enthusiast

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    They said they plugged into a diagnostics machine the first time and was fine and the third time again and it was fine so makes no sense :/
     
  4. Yeoo

    Yeoo Active Member

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    You thought about getting a second opinion, search for a independent Vauxhall specialist
     
    mvagusta likes this.
  5. Amon

    Amon inch-perfect

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    What do you mean when you say "the car can move a little" and "car would still move in gear in that state even slightly up hill" when it is incapacitated? It would really help me if you have video footage or audio recording of the car trying to start and idle.
    I earnestly doubt that his Vauxhall is such a mechanical exception that seeking the advice of a Vauxhall technician would be any advantage over any other properly trained technician.
     
  6. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    Dude...
    My fiat had a similar issue last winter, where it just struggled starting in the cold.
    The diagnostics machines showed up NOTHING wrong, and the worshop ended up sorting out the problem by reflashing the ECU. This was after we tried new spark plugs, new pretty much everything.
    Strange - yes. To make it worse, it worked for a while, then the issue started again.

    But since the third time they reflashed my ECU, no issues.
    And that was over a year ago.

    Noone can tell me what the issue is either, though on some MiTo (same engine as my fiat) forums, the guys are claiming that it's fromt he ECU trying to adjust fuel mixtures itself, and the engine running too dry for cold starts if it's driven hard for a while.
     
  7. mcshaggy

    mcshaggy New Member

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    Was it humid when it gave you problems? One of the more perplexing things I've fixed were spark plug wires.. in humid weather some would fail, it was like a ghost in the machine.

    I can't remember the last time I posted on bit-tech....
     
    mvagusta likes this.
  8. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Why hasn't the mechanic plugged in a code reader to look for errors?

    It could be anything, and without a proper diagnostic it will be a case of replacing stuff until you fix it. That's a very expensive way of finding it.

    Could be a sticky MAF sensor though... that would give you symptoms like that.
     
  9. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Apparently they've already done that Pook.

    Like most issues of this kind, it's a bitch to sort out unless you can get the Autodata info on every sensor and test them out (or another known good car to swap all the sensors on).

    From the original fault it sounds like the crank/flywheel sensor was at fault because it wouldn't start at all and you were riding it on the starter. That said if it's a slightly loose connection somewhere it'd be affected by the heat and vibration. Poor idle could be MAP/MAF and or ICV, hell even lambda can sometimes cause troubles like that (on PSA engines at least, haven't experienced Vauxhall).

    It doesn't sound like you're much of a mechanic (no offense intended!), so when it was running *really* rough it could have gone down to 3 cylinders, that gives immensely awful running, no power and a smell of petrol afterwards. Then it'd be change coilpack, spark plugs and leads. In fact a dodgy coilpack would also be worth thinking about.
     
  10. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    I'd find a new mechanic, preferably a Vauxhall dealer or a Vauxhall specialist. Tell them absolutely everything that has happened, show them all of the car's service records, etc.
    Even if you have already been going to one, find another, i'd say it's time to get some fresh brains looking at it. Sure a non Vauxhall mechanic could do a great job fixing it, there's just a bit more chance of finding an appropriately knowledgeable and connected/informed mechanic if you stick to the specialists.

    I also really don't like how the recent service history is full of stuff ups, like how they say they fitted something, and then after the car dies again, they say "oh wait, no, we didn't do it right"
    WTF :confused: To me that looks like they've been trying to fix the car with used parts or just attempting to clean/rebuild your parts, etc. Whatever they've been doing, it kinda seems dodgy.

    It could very well be a loose connection or a break/intermittent short in the wiring, or the spark plug leads, or possibly some debris within a sensor, or within the fuel lines, etc :confused:
    The fact the car has at least once instantly shut off as soon as the bonnet was closed, sure makes it look like it could be an electrical/loom/sensor problem - a dodgy lead alone wouldn't cause instant shut off however, unplug whilst it's running, and she'll just run rough.... if it doesn't run smooth after plugging her back in, then you've found one problem however!

    I wonder if when BenAnat had his ECU reflashed last time, if it was an updated version?
    If so, then that would explain the bug being finally sorted out.

    I also wouldn't be surprised if this weird problem you have has been unintentionally caused by a dodgy/inattentive mechanic.... but you know, there are mechanics out there, that will purposely do things such as leave something a little loose, or insert a foreign object within a component, etc, so a problem will surface soon after having their car repaired, drumming up more business. I can't say that this is actually happening, i'm just sayin :worried:
     
    Last edited: 12 Oct 2011
  11. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    Yup, the same advice.

    Could be anything really, I do remember those corsa's often get their lambdasensor lead bitten in by animals.

    Did I read correctly? You moved the car on the starter motor? :D
     
  12. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    Not just up a slight hill, but 5 car spaces :eeek:

    Well at least we know his alternator, battery and starter motor are in excellent condition :D
     
  13. DeadP1xels

    DeadP1xels Music Enthusiast

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    Broke down for the 4th time this morning called the garage with the help of someone else we pushed it up a pretty steep hill off the road was exhausting

    Thanks for all the help fellas i'll keep this in mind as all the things you mentioned match up

    It was raining and cold this morning going up the hill it just conked out i could'nt keep it going for nothing

    Over the course of about an hour i continued to try it maybe 40-50 times eventually i could feel it kick back into life till it started but was just idling heavy till stop i decided to let it go and the mechanics came and picked it up and got it going again no problem.

    I did move it on the starter motor previous times ever so slightly but it was so far and dangerous this time i just waited till a guy offered his help in pushing

    If i get the car back i will take video if it happens again so you guys can get a better idea of my issue
     
  14. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    I have a similarly weird problem with my car too although thankfully not to the extent you're currently experiencing. It just cuts out randomly, usually when pulling up to a junction or going round a rounadbout. It doesn't stall per se, i.e. 'judder' like a normal stall, it just simply cuts out with lights on the dash. Turning the key while still in motion brings it back to life straight away and it's normally fine for the rest of the journey. It happens rarely and it doesn't matter if it's hot, cold, wet, windy or dry. It also, and this is pretty much all the time, idles very lumpily - and on the incredibly rare occasion, it cuts out when idling.

    The EML has never come on and there are no error codes to go off. All the earth points have been checked. The clutch has recently been replaced (due to being extremely worn). Coilpacks are rather dear but it could be one or more of them I guess. It might be the fuel pump but surely this would have more of an effect? It's had a main service (filters, sparks, oil, all over checks), the cambelt is okay (no rattling) so I assume it hasn't stretched (a common fault on early K12 Micras).

    I'm left wondering (I'm no mechanic tbh) what the fault could be.. as said it just simply cuts out. You don't notice it until you press the go pedal and nothing happens then notice the lights on the dash (the same ones you get after a normal stall).

    Btw, my car is an '03 Micra 1.2 SX.
     
  15. DeadP1xels

    DeadP1xels Music Enthusiast

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    Yeh thing about that is its almost impossible to find until it stops dead and won't go...

    I wish mine would stop and go again instantly atleast i could get home, but when it stops it just stops dead.

    I have a few other ideas

    After i took it in the second time he mentioned the fuel tank had a small split and if the tank was filled to the top i was losing a little bit of fuel no biggie but im wondering if inside the tank its actually corroding and something is entering the fuel.

    My dads car just conked out one day and taking it to another garage they assumed dirty fuel cleaned it out and it worked fine from now on, they have'nt done this and i get fuel from the same place the first time it conked out was around the same time my dad filled up and broke down.

    On the third break down they said they were going to change the fuel pump but they never did assuming they thought it was'nt the issue and wasting money.

    Im going to leave it with them either till they call or next week just to give them enough time to fully test it, i want it to break down on them like it did when they first had it so they understand its still not right.

    If still not working i might just take it up to a friend of mine who is an apprentice mechanic benefit is with him is he also drives a corsa B and so might be able to simply swap things to check still its not something thats going to be easy nor cheap to find.
     
  16. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    The K12 has a camchain, not a cambelt.
    Still it's OK if it doesn't rattle.

    err, I had a K11, the ignition distributor had a tendency to wear (yes, for some reason it still had a mechanical ignition distributor), also martens liked to chew on the sparkplug leads.

    You shouldn't do that...
     
  17. DeadP1xels

    DeadP1xels Music Enthusiast

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    I know i should'nt but when your blocking entrance to one of the biggest supermarkets in the area with around 50 cars coming in ever 5 minutes its not ideal just to sit there with it :lol:

    Im really frustrated with it atm because if a mechanic does'nt know the problem then what hope is there? it could be bill after bill (luckily i have'nt been charged anything since the first part change) but if i go somewhere else im pretty sure i will get callout charges and all from it

    Worse than having no car is a car that does'nt move all the time

    I had my hazard lights on aswell pulled to the left hand side of the road and someone honked me..... he came up beside me basically must have thought i just stopped to answer the phone i was ready to give him a right smack
     
  18. WarrenJ

    WarrenJ Well-Known Member

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    Next time it conks out, try disconnecting the battery for a few minutes and connecting it back up. Simple thing to try if your having problems.
     
  19. getDownShep

    getDownShep New Member

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    Checked the earth strap?
     
  20. DeadP1xels

    DeadP1xels Music Enthusiast

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    Im no mechanic and have'nt done anything myself to the car when it happened except look and guess :confused:

    However i would assume the mechanics have looked at this or will be looking at this now
     

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