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Radge10

Original Poster:

3 posts

33 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th January 2012 quote quote all
I have an on-going starting problem with my VAUXHALL ASTRA HATCHBACK 2.0T 16V Design 5dr.

For the past 6 months (which covers all weather conditions) the car has been failing to start on average once every fortnight (I use the car very regularly). My usual garage have replaced the battery and the starter motor but that hasn’t solved the problem. The Vauxhall garage have run “tech2” diagnostics which came up with fault codes P0302 cylinder misfire, P0301 Cylinder 1 misfire and P0300 multiple misfire. They advised to replace the coil pack and plugs, which I instructed them to do, but this did not solve the problem either. All of these attempted repairs have so far cost me nearly £700.

The problem at first seemed intermittent but, by keeping a diary, I have actually managed to pin down the exact circumstances that lead to this fault. Indeed I can actually re-create the problem at will now. The Vauxhall garage were made aware of these circumstances before they made their “fix”, which they advised was 100% certain to work (that’s what my usual garage said about the starter motor too).

When the problem occurs, the engine turns over but doesn’t quite start. The remedy is either to leave the car for an hour and it will start normally (just ask the AA!) or to bump start it down a hill.

The exact circumstances as to which the problem occurs are as follows:

• Leave work and drive to the gym (5 minute journey and the car starts no problem as it has been sitting in the car park all day)
• Stay in gym for 2 hours and then drive home (26 mile journey. Car starts no problem after being idle for the 2 hours)
• Arrive in home town and stop off at local shop for 5 minutes (car then starts no problem)
• Drive remainder of journey to my house (2 minutes)
• Leave car idle for 45 mins to an hour and try to start it. CAR FAILS TO START. Note that the car will still fail to start whether it is parked facing up or down the fairly steep incline that my street is on. It has also failed in similar circumstances where it has been parked on a flat road. The Vauxhall garage had suggested there might be a problem to do with fuel “running back”. Also note that the problem can be replicated with varying levels of fuel in the tank (nearly empty to completely full)

The key to this is that, at the final stage of this sequence of events, if I leave the car idle for this crucial 45 mins – 1 hour period (no more no less) then it fails to start. If I try to start it either straight after the journey or after an hour of being idle then the problem does not occur.


One other suggestion from Vauxhall was that the key I use may be failing to send the correct signals to the engine. The problem can’t be with the actual keys though as it occurs with both keys that I hold.

This has been a costly affair (my usual garage knew about it failing only after long journeys but still insisted I needed a new battery for example!) and even Vauxhall don’t seem to have the competence to resolve it without trying out seemingly random solutions that aren’t fixing the problem.

Any help from you guys greatly received and if it is any help I have video and sound recordings of the problem as it occurs.

One other question – has anyone ever been through similar and then received a refund from the garage for any of the “fixes” that have not worked?

adyady1066

140 posts

70 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th January 2012 quote quote all
What year is the car? If you're running an X or Z 20XE engine I'd look at the fuel pump relay on the N/S of the bulkhead. The Astra's have been known to have earthing problems there. Take out the (purple ?!) relay and check the contacts for corrosion first. Then check that they click when the ignition is turned to position 2. If they don't, get a new one for about £10 and try that. Failing that, check that you have regular fuel pressure at the rail. There's a bleed valve that looks like a tyre valve, just press it and see if there's fuel squirting out. Some of the 2 litre's suffered from fuel lift pump problems but generally they go wrong and stay wrong.

Who did it and when was the last service? Was the fuel filter changed? It's underneath the rear of the car on the O/S tucked away on the inner sill. You'll need a special tool to take it off but check to see if it looks new. What happens a lot of times is they get blocked, or sometimes incorrectly fitted and cause a dam so the fuel struggles to feed to the engine on ignition. You should, by rights, hear the pump whir from under the rear seats when you turn the key on and if you can't hear it don't jump to the conclusion that it's not working. It could be that it's finding pressure because of a blocked filter and shutting off early.

Bit of a long shot but other than that I'd suggest taking the crank sensor off and cleaning it / looking for damage. But again, the sensor would fail totally when hot and would cause the car to cut out while driving by rule of thumb.

Hope it helps.

maniac0796

1,292 posts

52 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th January 2012 quote quote all
When you say the engine doesn't quite start, does it splutter, or cough occasionally, but not quite catch, or does it fire up but die instantly?

Or just turn over?

Possibly sounds like a temperature sensor

Edited by maniac0796 on Wednesday 18th January 21:58

Nick1point9

3,621 posts

66 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th January 2012 quote quote all
I'm going to say crank/cam position sensor.

Pumaracing

1,460 posts

93 months

[news] 
Thursday 19th January 2012 quote quote all
The problem is clearly only occuring at a very specific engine temperature somewhere between cold and fully hot. As it always turns over fine it could never have been the battery or starter motor. I suspect a faulty coolant temperature sensor which has failed in an unusual way going open circuit at only a specific point and then trying to give a warm engine a very rich mixture.

You can test the sensor resistance with an ohmeter in a pan of water. Warm it up slowly and check the resistance drops steadily from several thousand ohms when cold to a few hundred when hot. If at any point the resistance goes haywire that's your problem.

The lack of competence of garages never ceases to amaze me. They could have easily checked for a good spark at the plugs when the problem manifests before changing the coil packs. I fail to see why people should pay for random "fixes" that cure nothing.
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adyady1066

140 posts

70 months

[news] 
Wednesday 1st February 2012 quote quote all
Pumaracing said:
The problem is clearly only occuring at a very specific engine temperature somewhere between cold and fully hot. As it always turns over fine it could never have been the battery or starter motor. I suspect a faulty coolant temperature sensor which has failed in an unusual way going open circuit at only a specific point and then trying to give a warm engine a very rich mixture.

You can test the sensor resistance with an ohmeter in a pan of water. Warm it up slowly and check the resistance drops steadily from several thousand ohms when cold to a few hundred when hot. If at any point the resistance goes haywire that's your problem.

The lack of competence of garages never ceases to amaze me. They could have easily checked for a good spark at the plugs when the problem manifests before changing the coil packs. I fail to see why people should pay for random "fixes" that cure nothing.
Well for a start the coil pack is a single unit supplying all four cylinders and when they fail they misfire not fail to start so that was bad on their behalf. I've worked for Vauxhall and to be honest have never known of an over fuelling problem through a faulty coolant sensor. Done a few on the VAG's but never the Vauxhalls. Would be interesting to see what caused it in the end though. My money would be on the crank sensor as whe they do fail they don't trigger the EML and seldom leave a DTC. Cam sensors nigh on always do and cause horrendous misfires when they do fail because of the knock sensors on the back of the block. Generally these old gals are good eggs so I'd doubt it's much more than an silly electrical fault.

maniac0796

1,292 posts

52 months

[news] 
Thursday 2nd February 2012 quote quote all
adyady1066 said:
Pumaracing said:
The problem is clearly only occuring at a very specific engine temperature somewhere between cold and fully hot. As it always turns over fine it could never have been the battery or starter motor. I suspect a faulty coolant temperature sensor which has failed in an unusual way going open circuit at only a specific point and then trying to give a warm engine a very rich mixture.

You can test the sensor resistance with an ohmeter in a pan of water. Warm it up slowly and check the resistance drops steadily from several thousand ohms when cold to a few hundred when hot. If at any point the resistance goes haywire that's your problem.

The lack of competence of garages never ceases to amaze me. They could have easily checked for a good spark at the plugs when the problem manifests before changing the coil packs. I fail to see why people should pay for random "fixes" that cure nothing.
Well for a start the coil pack is a single unit supplying all four cylinders and when they fail they misfire not fail to start so that was bad on their behalf. I've worked for Vauxhall and to be honest have never known of an over fuelling problem through a faulty coolant sensor. Done a few on the VAG's but never the Vauxhalls. Would be interesting to see what caused it in the end though. My money would be on the crank sensor as whe they do fail they don't trigger the EML and seldom leave a DTC. Cam sensors nigh on always do and cause horrendous misfires when they do fail because of the knock sensors on the back of the block. Generally these old gals are good eggs so I'd doubt it's much more than an silly electrical fault.
I don't know the specifics for this engine, but I expect it's 2 coilpacks in a single body. So you'd expect 2 cylinders to be misfiring at a time.

As for the temp sensor: Engine cools down to flat spot on temp sensor, engine map uses this data to fuel car, map thinks the temperature is low so increases injection pulse width to compensate = overfueling.

Radge10

Original Poster:

3 posts

33 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd February 2012 quote quote all
Just to say, thanks a million for all of this advice guys. Unfortunately I wasn't technically minded enough to go checking out all of those possibilities myself, nor did I think it worthwhile throwing any more money at Vauxhall garages etc so I had to get rid. Again, very much appreciated that you guys took the time to help me with my problem smile

NewryHibby

3 posts

16 months

[news] 
Tuesday 11th June 2013 quote quote all
I'd to resurrect this thread as the details of the problem are very similar to mine.
I have a 2005 Vauxhall Astra Diesel SXI CDTI 100 1686cc.

Like the original, I can drive my car for approx 30 miles and then try and restart within 10 minutes and car turns over but doesn't start. Leave for 30 minutes or so and car starts and drives OK (I have a feeling it's not as smooth as it has been).

However a new development is a loss of power when driving. Happened a couple of times where engine and battery light come on, car loses poser, but then kicks back in. Pulled over within a couple of minutes of this happening. Again car wouldn't restart straightaway - but did after 20 minutes. Left car for a couple of hours, returned and car started and drove 5 miles home. Again felt a bit lumpy.

So I know I need some diagnostics run to get an error code, but feel I will be left to 'try this / try that / pay more'. Had this experience with a Citroen garage. They seemed to rely on computer codes without taking time to think about what the problem is.

I'd like to go armed with some ideas before I go to the garage.

Pumaracing

1,460 posts

93 months

[news] 
Tuesday 11th June 2013 quote quote all
The fault may sound the same but it's unlikely to be the same cause on a diesel as a petrol engine. Hopefully we can be fairly certain in ruling out the coil pack though!

I would have thought the only thing that could prevent an already hot diesel engine from starting is not getting any fuel which in turn means the injectors aren't getting any signal or perhaps any fuel. That could be anything from a duff electrical connector to a crank sensor failing when hot, dodgy fuel pump or various other things and without fault codes we're just guessing.

Edited by Pumaracing on Tuesday 11th June 13:47

vxmatt

53 posts

32 months

[news] 
Thursday 13th June 2013 quote quote all
My parents had the same problem as the OP with their 2005 1.6. Having the Column Interface Module (CIM) replaced (for free as the horn didn't work with the lights on, a known problem with these cars) sorted the fault temporarily however in the end investigation by vauxhall showed it to be an immobiliser fault.

Once the immob had been replaced the problem went away and so far (a couple of years now) hasn't returned

C. Grimsley

899 posts

81 months

[news] 
Thursday 13th June 2013 quote quote all
I would have a compression check carried out as it sounds like its trying to start but just not quite managing it, that can be down to low compression, a bump start will get it going as it turns the engine fast enough to get the compression it requires.

Had this exact fault on an 1800cc astra (z18xe1), turned out the valve seat required re cutting.


Carl

bearman68

468 posts

18 months

[news] 
Thursday 13th June 2013 quote quote all
NewryHibby said:
I'd to resurrect this thread as the details of the problem are very similar to mine.
I have a 2005 Vauxhall Astra Diesel SXI CDTI 100 1686cc.

Like the original, I can drive my car for approx 30 miles and then try and restart within 10 minutes and car turns over but doesn't start. Leave for 30 minutes or so and car starts and drives OK (I have a feeling it's not as smooth as it has been).

However a new development is a loss of power when driving. Happened a couple of times where engine and battery light come on, car loses poser, but then kicks back in. Pulled over within a couple of minutes of this happening. Again car wouldn't restart straightaway - but did after 20 minutes. Left car for a couple of hours, returned and car started and drove 5 miles home. Again felt a bit lumpy.

So I know I need some diagnostics run to get an error code, but feel I will be left to 'try this / try that / pay more'. Had this experience with a Citroen garage. They seemed to rely on computer codes without taking time to think about what the problem is.

EGR valve is a possibility, though it will tend to spew white smoke if the egr is playing up.

I'd like to go armed with some ideas before I go to the garage.

Turn7

10,982 posts

107 months

[news] 
Thursday 13th June 2013 quote quote all
Every single Vauxhall I've owned has required a replacement crank sensor.......

NewryHibby

3 posts

16 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th September 2013 quote quote all
Alate update - but crank sensor replaced and car has been fine since then. Relatively cheap and simple to do (by a local garage).

tracie68

2 posts

2 months

[news] 
Sunday 31st August quote quote all
Hi, help please .. my 56 plate diesel has developed this problem if not starting , only when im trying to restart it after driving a good few miles .. its fine if I only go for a few miles at a time .. but you wouldn't want to stop off at a service station on a long journey unless you are prepared to wait for an hour or so . AA said it's the starter I'm having doubts after reading this thread .. can anyone help please .

tracie68

2 posts

2 months

[news] 
Sunday 31st August quote quote all
Hi, help please .. my 56 plate diesel has developed this problem if not starting , only when im trying to restart it after driving a good few miles .. its fine if I only go for a few miles at a time .. but you wouldn't want to stop off at a service station on a long journey unless you are prepared to wait for an hour or so . AA said it's the starter I'm having doubts after reading this thread .. can anyone help please .
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