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 Post subject: Odd starting problem.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:37 pm 
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My mother is having intermittent trouble starting her car.

Battery is good (though I will try and do a starting voltage test when the weather improves), only a year old.
Engine turns over fine, no struggling, as I said battery is good, sometimes it will start ok but sometimes, especially after she has been out for a drive to shops for instance, it won't have it and will take several tries to get going.

Ideas for things I can check before she goes to a garage?

My thoughts were:

Battery (as I said, it's pretty new but could be a duffer and I will check it)
Spark plugs or Coil (car is 14 years old but done less than 20k miles)
Fuel pump (lets hope not)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:50 pm 
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Possible fuel pump issue. I recall it was common back in the day to thump them to get it going to get you home. Also the fuel filter might need changing.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:05 pm 
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make, model, engine and gearbox type ?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:15 pm 
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Petrol or diesel?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:27 pm 
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Renault Modus 1.2 petrol manual. Under 20k on the clock and driven by an old woman :lol:

Not sure if it has a changeable fuel filter or not, my Focus doesn't.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:44 pm 
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Hang on, this sounds like the immobiliser which was a problem on Clio's. The fault was intermittent and difficult to fix. I was always wary of older French cars when I was car trading a few years back, French car electrics could be a nightmare.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:26 pm 
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dewaltdisney wrote:
Hang on, this sounds like the immobiliser which was a problem on Clio's. The fault was intermittent and difficult to fix. I was always wary of older French cars when I was car trading a few years back, French car electrics could be a nightmare.

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I had that problem on a Clio, that was different, you got nothing when you turned the key, just a click. Here the engine is turning over.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:27 am 
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Tested the battery this morning. As expected, healthy, car started first time for me, no struggling and the alternator is putting out 14.4v at idle.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:26 am 
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Found this which might be useful https://mechanics.stackexchange.com/que ... wont-start

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:54 pm 
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Yes that was very helpful!

Did a bit more research, seems it's a common problem on the 1.2 for the sensor to get dirty or fail.
Popped the bonnet, located the sensor (no mean feat in a modus, it has one of the tightest engine bays imaginable) and I think I would be able to replace it, even though they cleverly put 2 coolant pipes right in front of it :sad:
Before buying a new one I decided to try spraying some contact cleaner on it as recommended on a forum. If it fails to start again in the future I will order the new sensor.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:09 pm 
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I know non carburettor choke fuel systems should not need it, but my Honda petrol CRV starts better in cold conditions if I stamp the gas pedal before cranking, seems to tell the injection system it needs a bit more petrol.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:05 pm 
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When I read that it seemed to match the symptoms of your mum's car. I hope I have not lead you down a blind alley.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:12 pm 
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dewaltdisney wrote:
When I read that it seemed to match the symptoms of your mum's car. I hope I have not lead you down a blind alley.

DWD


It matches the symptoms almost perfectly from what I have read on forums etc. Makes sense too that the sensor stops the spark plugs firing which is why the car was cranking over fine but no sign of any ignition at all.
We'll know for certain if that is the problem if next time it happens we can cure it by moving the car a bit with the gear train engaged, thereby shifting the crankshaft. If that makes the engine start we'll know we need a new sensor. Fingers crossed cleaning it was it needed though.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:21 pm 
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crank and cam sensors are a common issue on all Renault engines and they don't always throw codes either

It sound like the car could do with a good long run to get it nice and hot

Aeromech - By pushing the throttle flat to the floor then turning the engine over, it puts the ecu into a "clear flood" mode (temporarily turning off the injectors to clear the cylinders)



For this message the author Bob225 has received gratitude : aeromech3
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:16 pm 
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Bob225 wrote:
crank and cam sensors are a common issue on all Renault engines and they don't always throw codes either

It sound like the car could do with a good long run to get it nice and hot

Aeromech - By pushing the throttle flat to the floor then turning the engine over, it puts the ecu into a "clear flood" mode (temporarily turning off the injectors to clear the cylinders)


Not much chance of a long run, furthest that car has ever driven is about 40 miles, generally all journeys are less than 5 miles.


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