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Author Topic: Baffling ignition problem  (Read 7507 times)
Garty
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« on: March 26, 2007, 05:58:24 pm »

Hi all
I'm new to the forum, so please bear with me, and accept my apologies if this question has been asked (and answered ) before.

I have a 'W' (2000) Espace JE0N 2.0 16v Alize, we have had some fun and games with it over the years we have had it. A new digital dash, a new gearbox, new clutch hose (dash-out job) rear wheel bearings, rear shocks, exhaust etc etc. It has recently been getting too expensive to justify ownership so we decided to sell it, so now it won't start!

You put the key in the ignition first thing in the morning, the engine turns over but it won't start.

Our local (non-Renault) garage told us they thought it was the immobiliser transponder antenna (£55), I changed this and the problem remains. The immobiliser LED flashes instead of the usual stays on then goes out sequence. Then I found that when I tried the car later in the day, the car seemed to warm up a bit and it would start easily.

I know that the common-sense solution appears to be changing the coolant sensor, but which one is this? the one on the right-had side of the block is the fan sensor isn't it? also maybe there is an air temp sensor? Please does anyone have any idea what I can do, because unless I sell the car on a sunny day, I'll never be able to sell it otherwise!  Wink

The local Renault main stealer have let me down badly in the past - we bought the car from them and have always had really poor service  so we don't want to go there if we can avoid it.

I know I could fix it by changing parts one by one, but as this is likely to be an expensive job, I want to be reasonably sure that what I'm doing is sensible!

Thanks a lot

Garty
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Lennart Sorth
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2007, 07:07:09 pm »

Welcome aboard Garty

Could it be something as simple as a faulty ignitioncable from the coil ?
That certainly would be a lot easier to fix.

/Lennart

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Lennart.Sorth@matrasport.dk
Murena 1983 1.9i silver // Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0d 2012 white // Smart 4two cdi 2010 blue //
Garty
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2007, 08:14:53 pm »

Welcome aboard Garty

Could it be something as simple as a faulty ignitioncable from the coil ?
That certainly would be a lot easier to fix.

/Lennart



Thanks for the reply Lennart,

I wish it was the ignition coil - if it had one! I have the type with ignition coils built into the plug tops, they are all fine, I know that from when i changed the plugs last time, so it can't be that. The engine runs very smoothly indeed when it starts, and at the moment that is only when the air temperature is over about 12 degrees C!

It sounds stupid I know, at the moment it is a warm dry evening and the car starts faultlessly every time. Tomorrow morning it will be about 6 degrees and the immobiliser light will flash rapidly when i insert the key, and when i turn it, the car just won't start.

I'm going to put an electric heater under the bonnet and leave it on for 20 minutes tomorrow morning.

John
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Garty
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2007, 09:49:34 am »

Well, here in Herefordshire, UK it was misty and a chilly 2 degrees this morning, so I valiantly went outside and put an electric fan heater under the bonnet and left it running for 30 minutes in the hope that it would 'cheat' whichever sensor appears to be preventing the car from starting.

I'm sorry to say it didn't work  Sad

Anyone got any ideas what I can try next?

Garty
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2007, 10:35:17 am »

If the immobiliser is telling you it hasn't recognised the key when it won't start, then that is the source of the problems. To diagnose or fix, I would:

1. change the battery in the key or try exhanging keys with my wife (I don't think the immobiliser code is battery powered, but just to be sure)

2. disassemble the steering column covers and check the immobiliser coil sitting around the key lock. I remember that the wires to it are very thin. It would also have a connector somewhere.

3. lift the "sandwich box" (computer) in the fuse compartment and redo all the connectors on the underside.

4. and if that doesn't help either, then I'm afraid there is no way out of the problem than trying to reproduce the probelm while the Renault diagnostic tool is on the car. I know you aren't happy with your old garage, but perhaps you can find another? Being in Denmark, I can't recommend any, though.

Good luck!

- Anders
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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
Garty
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2007, 09:26:26 am »

Thank you Anders, I did check the key fobs (both of them) and the transponder part is not connected in any way to the batteries in there, its self-powered. I changed the immobiliser coil/transponder antenna to no avail, and have re-checked all the 'sandwich box' connectors and fuses, but they all appear good and clean.

I persisted yesterday with attempts to start the damn thing, and found that it was nearly 1PM when i finally had success. The engine ran as if nothing was wrong. The answer to this may be that we had a dense mist until about midday, and the temperature was about 4 degrees until the sun came out and sent the temp 'rocketing' to 9 degrees. I am still convinced that an enngine management temperature sensor has gone wrong, but will try the obvious course of approach - Like you say, I think that I shall be booking an appointment with a dealer equipped with the diagnostic equipment, I shall keep you informed of a) how good a service I get and b) what transpires from the diagnostic.

I'm sure I will be no happier then!

Garty
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2007, 10:33:36 am »

I am still convinced that an enngine management temperature sensor has gone wrong

Then why is the immobiliser lamp flashing rapidly when the car does not start?
If there was a fault on the ECU or a sensor connected to it, it would show in the square LCD display where the clock and outside temperature normally is.


Quote
Like you say, I think that I shall be booking an appointment with a dealer equipped with the diagnostic equipment

I'm afraid that's really the only way to diagnose such a problem.

Quote
I'm sure I will be no happier then!

I'm afraid these cars are known for their good amount of electrical problems. I have received my share too, so I know how you feel. I am sure the problem can be fixed, but there's really only one way of doing so - to diagnose using the Renault diagnostic equipment.

Good luck!
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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
zinx
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2007, 08:42:32 pm »

If you think its to do with temperature,try warming the sensor under the N/S wing mirror surely this will fool the car into thinking its warmer HuhHuh

Just a thought
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1998 Grand Espace RXE 2.2dt G8T
Garty
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2007, 06:35:06 pm »

Thanks for the tip zinx, I tried it and I am afraid it didn't work  Sad
I booked it in for a diagnostic at a Renault main stealer, so hopefully I will be told how much£££ it will cost to repair, I will have to wait until next thursday though, as they are busy and couldn't book me in any earlier.

On ebay i saw an electronic immobiliser bypass unit for £99 http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/RENAULT-IMMOBILISER-BYPASS_W0QQitemZ180099912638QQcategoryZ30921QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
 I wonder if it would be worth a try if the fault is tracked down as being immobiliser-related?

Thanks to all so far for their positive and helpful comments

Garty
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Garty
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2007, 01:46:07 pm »

I bought the immobiliser bypass that I saw on eBay (see previous posts) it was really easy to fit and to program, and I'm pleased to say that it starts 100% of the time now! (I've tested and tested and tested it!) The unit records the immobiliser code (or if the transponder isn't working you key a PIN in using the master lock/unlock button) and then the unit plays the code back for evermore whenever the ignition is turned on.

I reckon that the problem all along was the transponder/pickup antenna/dash wiring, but for a time it did seem that the problem was temperature-related!

Many thanks to you all for your kind and positive help, I don't suppose any of you want to buy it now eh???........

Regards

Garty
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Lennart Sorth
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2007, 12:10:29 pm »

That is wonderful news Garty !
I'm sure you will regain confidence in it, and fall in love again. Give it time :-)

/Lennart
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Lennart.Sorth@matrasport.dk
Murena 1983 1.9i silver // Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0d 2012 white // Smart 4two cdi 2010 blue //
roy4matra
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2007, 11:13:03 pm »

You put the key in the ignition first thing in the morning, the engine turns over but it won't start.

Our local (non-Renault) garage told us they thought it was the immobiliser transponder antenna (£55), I changed this and the problem remains. The immobiliser LED flashes instead of the usual stays on then goes out sequence.

Garty

If you turn the key to the ignition position Garty, and the immobiliser light flashes, then the problem is with the imobiliser system no question.  If the warning light does not stop flashing then the engine will not be authorised to start, plain and simple.  Temperature or sensors or anything else has no bearing on this.

If you managed to start the engine any time, you will notice, if you watch carefully that it only happens when the immobiliser light has gone off.

The fault may be with the key, the code ring, the immobiliser decoder, the wiring or connections...
you need to get the system read on the diagnostic equipment to see what codes are coming up, and check signals etc.  As an ex-Renault RTE I have seen this a lot, but you cannot diagnose this type of thing remotely.  You need to see what is happening and to various tests.  Anything else is guess work and you can waste a lot of time and money on that route.

Oh, I forgot to add, if the immobiliser warning light goes out and it still won't start then you have a different problem and therefore you could have two intermittent problems that are not necessarily related.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2007, 10:58:03 pm by roy4matra » Logged

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