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Author Topic: epace 2.2dci intermitent starting problem  (Read 23692 times)
brian
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« on: October 08, 2007, 02:45:42 pm »

Hi folks
sorry if this topic has been covered before as this is my first post .
espace the race 2.2dci 2001 90,000 miles serviced with 5-40 fully synthetic every 10k. last 6 months I have had a problem with starting which only happens at the most inconvenient times, its as if the car knows when I have realy got to be somewhere and just refuses to start. it turns over ok no warning signs , imobiliser all ok , but it wont fire? so I call the RAC out and as soon as they get there it starts ok?
 one time after I ran the battery right down trying to start it, I put the charger on the battery and 2 miniuts later it fired up ok. another time I disconnected the battery for 5 minuits so everything reset and it starded up first time.(but this doesent allways work)   the last time it happened was last week when I was just going to collect my son from school ! so after thrashing it with a branch I called the RAC, and all he did was spray something in the air filter compartment and it started.? other than that it starts first go and drives perfectly. he said something about maybe the ECU or fuel pressure sensor?
 i would be gratefull for any advice as I am very reluctant to take it into a dealer yet after some of the horror stories I have read about the costs.
 Undecided
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Martin Tyas
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2007, 10:28:01 pm »

As your starting problem is intermittent it seems to me to be more electrical than fuel related.... I had poor starting on my 2.2dCi which turned out to be a leaking injector but once the fault developed it consistently started badly and only the degree varied as to how badly or otherwise it would start.

It could still however be a problem with the electrical side of the fuel system if for example the low pressure charge pump has a poor connection or is on it's way out... it's located under the right hand centre section of the car side next to the fuel tank and with the ignition switched you should hear it run for 30 seconds before it automatically switches off if the engine isn't started.
The RAC man mentioned the fuel pressure sensor. It's located in the rear end of the injection pump and is easily accessible being in front of the engine but usually they either work or they don't and not intermittently unless there is problem in the connector. However they can be changed separately without having to buy the complete pump. I think that the pressure sensor is about £70 from Renault but possibly cheaper from a Bosch injection specialist. The Bosch CP1 pump is used on other makes including Peugeot and Mercedes.

However, the fact that the RAC man can get it started with easy-start squirted in the air intake suggests that it could be an engine sensor that is at fault. Because easy-start is more volatile than diesel the engine has fired up and is running before the computer systems realise that there is a problem with one of the sensors. Do you know if your car has previously had the Top Dead Centre Sensor changed?
My money would be on that being the culpit if it hasn't previously been changed as it has been known to have caused the sort of intermittent problem that you are experiencing. A Renault dealer will charge about £140 incl VAT for putting the car on the diagnostic system, checking if there is incoherance between the cam and TDC sensors and replacing the sensor if re-adjustment will not cure the problem. The TDC sensor itself is just over £20 plus VAT. It's quite accessible with the engine undertray removed and the vehicle on ramps or on axle stands and is held in place with a spring clip (a new one comes with the sensor - Part Number 7701475257) on almost the lowest point of the engine next to the flywheel. The sensor has to be located as close as possible to the flywheel.

An option would of course be to book it into a Renault dealer to get it on the diagnostic box and see what fault codes are present in the system... that would cost you about an hours labour without authorising any further work and see what they come back with before letting them do anything more.

Martin
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 09:44:02 am by Martin Tyas » Logged

1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
brian
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2007, 08:46:50 am »

Thanks Martin,I dont think the cam sensor  has ever been changed as I have had the car since 2003 . the flywheel sensor sounds easy enough to change but I will probably get it put on the diagnostics over the next couple of weeks and post the outcome.
 by the way I have had the battery checked just in case it was dropping too much voltage when being cranked over but it seemed to be fine , anyhow the RAC had it hooked up to a powerfull charger and it still wouldnt fire untill he sprayed the easystart.so I guess that rulles that out.
thanks for the reply
Brian
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 08:57:58 am by brian » Logged
Martin Tyas
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2007, 10:06:43 am »

Although they check for incoherance between the Cam and TDC sensors the Cam sensor seems very rarely to be the problem.... it's almost always the TDC sensor that's at fault and the first thing they change.... it is of course in a harsher environment and relatively exposed. The TDC sensor was also subject to a technical bulletin due to a potential problem with the wiring to the sensor. Lennart, who's site this is, had that issue and they spliced in the wiring whilst changing the TDC sensor.

If you do get it hooked up to a diagnostic box they can also obtain a fuel pressure reading so its worth getting them to check that at the same time. When the engine does start OK does it do so quickly... as quick as it always did... or is it taking longer to burst in to life than it previously did?

Martin
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1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
brian
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2007, 01:10:39 pm »

yes it is allways been about 2 or 3 chugs then fires up , since I had it it has allways been the same whtever the weather is like or hot or cold start its allways spot on! about 2 seconds at the most. If it doesnt fire after that first turn I know its going to play up ! then out comes the branch!! Im not bad at DIY mechanics so do you think it would be the cheaper option to change the TDC sensor first to see if that clears the problem? before getting it tested?
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Martin Tyas
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Espace, because it's worth it!


« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2007, 03:24:48 pm »

OK Brian so that rules out it being the same problem as I encountered with an injector.

Changing the TDC sensor is a £25 gamble and less than an hour of your time including getting it off the ground and back down again. If it cures the problem all that you are left with is the fault codes stored in the system until such time as it may have to go on a diag box at sometime in the future. If it doesn't then at least it is one thing that's already ruled out of the equation, they know to look for something else and it's one less thing that they can change and charge you for if you do end up having to take it in to be put on the diagnostic system.
If you do decide to do it yourself be advised that there are two types of bolt retaining the engine under tray. They are all M6 (i.e. 10mm heads) but the 4 across the front are fine threaded and go into captive nuts in the front cross member and the others are more like self tappers that screw into retaining clips on the underface of the plastic inner wheel arch protectors. When you re-fit the undertray the back end of it has two hangers moulding in to it that need to be located first before lifting it up at the front to insert the retaining bolts.

Im not bad at DIY mechanics so do you think it would be the cheaper option to change the TDC sensor first to see if that clears the problem? before getting it tested?

It's always difficult to answer such a question Brian.... other than for Roy, who's a Renault Trained Engineer and who drops by the forum when he has time, most others are providing information/advice based only upon our own experiences and of course using only the information provided without actually getting hands on the problem. Also different people have different perspectives on what is a reasonable gamble and how they perceive the financial outlay they are risking.
So, instead, let me put it this way.... the TDC sensor seems to have been a common enough problem on 2.2dCi engines fitted to Espace's and Laguna's that it would be surprising if you went into any of the larger Renault dealers and they didn't have one in stock in their own branch or available same day or next morning from one of their other branches.

Martin
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 06:39:51 pm by Martin Tyas » Logged

1968 Cessna 182L Skylane
1991 BMW 520i SE Auto
2002 Grand Espace 2.2dCi "The Race"
2003 Astra 1.8i Cabriolet "Edition 100"
2011 Insignia SRi VX-Line Red
2011 Honda VT1300CX Fury
brian
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2007, 06:36:41 pm »

Thanks Martin , good advice.
I will have a think about it before I do anything.  its been ok now for a while. I have changed the oil and filter about 6 times so taking the cover of is not a problem .I also found a pdf file on how to change it and it doesent look too bad so I might have a go next time it happens.
cheers
Brian 
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Lennart Sorth
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2007, 01:13:06 am »

Lennart, who's site this is
small correction Martin - I may own the domain, run the server and keep the software running, but with all this great input the site and content really belongs to all of us. :-)


Quote
had that issue and they spliced in the wiring whilst changing the TDC sensor.
and I might add, the same garage just replaced the same TDC again (!)

Car refused to start - and all attempts failed. Was towed to the garage, who found two glowplugs not working, but even when they were replaced, the car wouldn't start. Then they discovered that the TDC needed replacing...

maybe because they were embarassed to redo their own work (some 2 years ago) the cost of the entire operation was very moderate - even if it includeded fixing the foglights - which turned out to be a broken switch in the stalk.

The foglight-fault was odd, as they are almost only used for MoT tests, so how the switch had gone broken is hard to tell.

/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 #8 on: October 19, 2007, 10:47:44 pm »

Espace, the race, 2.2dci 2001 90,000 miles serviced with 5-40 fully synthetic every 10k. last 6 months I have had a problem with starting... I called the RAC, and all he did was spray something in the air filter compartment and it started?

Hi Brian,

The spray he used was probably 'easy start' which is a volatile fluid that fires easily and helps start reluctant diesels.  The fact that it started straight away AND kept running afterwards, suggests you may have a fuel pressure problem.  These common rail diesels need at least 150 bar fuel pressure to start and idle at about 300 bar.  When running on the road the pressure can go up to 1400 bar!!

As you can tell from this, if the pressure is slow to build or low when cranking it will never start and there has to be a fault.  First job is to get it checked to find out what the pressure actually is, and what fault codes are shown in the system.  These should give you an idea where the fault may lie.

These are not really DIY fuel systems, and there are special tools and skills required, which is one reason costs can be high.  There are also safety concerns because of the very high pressures, so don't do anything unless you really understand what you are doing, because you could injure yourself, or cause further problems.  Sorry if this is not what you want to hear but I have been dealing with these for at least six years and know what can happen.

To maintain these extremely high pressures everything has to seal perfectly.  The holes are sometimes smaller than a human hair so it doesn't take much to block them or stop a seal and ruin the pressure.  You might have a tiny bit of dirt that is intermittantly losing you pressure, or a bad connection to the TDC or other sensor.  TDC sensors are a known problem, so that could certainly be the fault, but if that were the case then spraying 'easy-start' would make no difference unless the fact that it started was just coincidental.

You are going to have to have the fault codes and pressure read before you will get anywhere I think.

Roy
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brian
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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2007, 12:34:25 pm »

Thanks roy,
its been ok for a while now .not since the RAC guy sprayed easy start ! so with christmas looming I am going to see how long I can go before I book it in to a renault dealer.
thanks for your avice
Brian
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brian
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2007, 08:20:44 pm »

well like I said , its taunting me! happened outside tesco today ,on my way to pick up my 7 year old, and running a bit late.
got someone to spray easystart (keep it in the car now) while I was cranking it and it fired up first time and has been running well ever since.
seems to backup what you just said Roy! and no way will I be touching it myself.
Im just curios of what could cause the low fuel pressure ?if that is what the diognostics say.? leak? injectors? poor electrical fuel pump? blockage? I can hear the fuel pump goin when I turn the key.
just want to brace myself for what size of bill ,or what jargon they might spin me!
cheers
Brian
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roy4matra
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2007, 07:46:48 pm »

Im just curios of what could cause the low fuel pressure? if that is what the diognostics say? leak? injectors? poor electrical fuel pump? blockage?

A leak (particularly an internal one) or a blockage, or a poor pressure regulator, or a wiring fault, or a worn pump...  It could be any of these.  The most likely is an injector leaking back-pressure, but that is a wild guess and you cannot afford to guess with the costs involved.  First thing is a proper diagnostic check, followed by injector back pressure leak test (uses special equipment) if a pressure problem is indicated.

Quote
I can hear the fuel pump goin when I turn the key.

That is only the low pressure pump in the tank that supplies the high pressure pump on the engine.  The low pressure pump only produces something like 5 bar.  The high pressure pump has to produce between 250 and 1400 bar.

Quote
just want to brace myself for what size of bill, or what jargon they might spin me!

Ask only for a full diagnostic first.  Another owner here had a similar problem, and I dealt with that earlier.  You can save a lot of money, if they try it on, and if you know how!  Come back with the diagnostic.  Better still email me.  I don't often get in here.

Roy
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fredflintstone
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2007, 08:46:03 am »

Hello All,
I am new to this forum and have a 2002 2.2dci Espace Expression bought in 2002 with 5000miles and it has now done 82000miles. It also has a full service history. The car started cutting out last week when accelerating through the gears. This was a dead cut out, no warning, no limp mode just a dead engine then a beep then the squiggly lines on the dashboard. If I drive the car carefully the car is ok and the engine does not cut out. If i accelerate too quickly the engine cuts out. If I then cycle the ignition key off and on everything is ok again. The car is also become very hard to start over the last few days. Yesterday I had the car checked out by a Renault main dealer who said that:
 Quote "The computer says there is a pressure loss problem and we will need to change 4 injectors, the fuel rail, the HP pump and clean the system and it will cost you £2200...........oh and by the way it is beacause you used dirty diesel!!!!!!" Unquote.
Reading through all the various forums online i reckon this is a very common problem and wonder what Renault are doing about this as it is unsafe. Has anyone a quick fix for this or will i need to pay out more money to stay on the road??
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2007, 09:16:37 am »

I am new to this forum and have a 2002 2.2dci Espace Expression bought in 2002 with 5000miles and it has now done

Hi Fred,

Welcome to the forum!

There's a thread about this problem here: http://www.matrasport.dk/forum/index.php?topic=424.0

As you can read from Martins story, the problem is known. Whether it's caused by dirty diesel or just a simple breakdown of one of the components in the pump is difficult to say - the car does have a fuel filter, so I don't really find the idea of dirt in the fuel finding its way into the high pressure system that plausible. And if you think about it, there's a lot of stuff that can find it's way into the tank if you are filling it on a windy autumn day, for example, so if it was such a big problem, petrol stations would look quite different.

The "standard fix" seems to be to replace all the components you mention, but as you can see from Martins thread, there may be cheaper solutions but they require that the pressure drop problem is diagnosed correctly first, and most garages can't do that.

- Anders
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fredflintstone
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2007, 08:53:00 am »

Thanks for the reply Andres and for the link to the other page.

This problem seems to be very common on 2.2dci espace engines and i wonder what Renault have to say??

We bought our espace in 2002. It was an ex demo, 6 months old with 5000miles with the plan to keep the car for 10 years. "No problem" said the Renault salesman, adding "With the fibre glass body and unbeatable 2.2dci engine, the car will last for years......"  used car salesman talk eh?

We really like the car as it is a true Multi Purpose Vehical but it is very expensive to maintain......we have already spent out thousands this year for drive shafts, front shocks, rear wheel bearings and a 72.000mile service including timing belt.....dont forget the yearly front tyre change out.......

To add insult to injury, the second hand value is now only around £4000.......

It is amazing that what used to be the King of the MPVs has fallen from grace.

Anyway, enough moans for today, we are away to book the car in for the diesel system "transplant" and will dig deep to pay the Renault Ransom...at least we will have gaurentee for 12 months.
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