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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First some history.....

I've been given a 1.0 Corsa by my neighbour for my son to learn in, I originally advised neighbour to buy the car 10 years ago and it's been a great car. It has sat on my drive for 8 months with occasional start ups and runs up and down the drive (private road)
As my boy was approaching 17 I thought I'd make sure it was OK, and it sailed through MOT which was good!

The neighbour advised of a fault which happened twice during their ownership (and may or may not be relevant) where the car completely cut out and was cured by AA man bang on a particular part of the dash as 'it's a common fault with these'???

So I have been driving to work 30 miles daily for a few months and right from the start it's had what seemed like slight misfire.

It got full service, oil, filters, fuel filter, plugs and was no better.

Changed the coil pack, no improvement.

The misfire has slowly got worse

the car starts well and drives fine for 200 yds then it starts to misbehave, it is most noticeable under load, light throttle 2600 rpm, if you allow it to stay in this region the misfire becomes more pronounced and twice it has seemingly cut the throttle signal (ECU limp mode?) as the car just rolls to a stop, idles fine but will not rev. Ignition off and on cures fault and you can drive again with slight misfire as before.

Unplugged MAF, was better for a bit so I've changed MAF for new genuine, seemed better for a day and then back to the same misfire kangaroo petrol syndrome, barely noticable if you thrash it and keep over 3000rpm - not ideal for learner though!

I've just bought new injectors, but worried that this free car is starting to work out expensive as I keep throwing parts at it.

Read codes repeatedly - nothing. On the two occasions it rolled to a stop with no accelerator pedal input, it did light up CEL but I was not in a position to plug in and read codes, needed to get going again because of traffic.


So....

I've been googling like mad and pretty much every answer leads me back to this forum, I've tried the advice I've read, so thought I may as well join and ask the question directly and give as much info as possible to get better diagnosis as what I've tried so far has not worked. You guys know these cars inside out and may have seen these symtoms before...

help!
 

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It looks like the crankshaft sensor or cam sensor is failing, it is a common failure, for years or crap that they catch and measure wrong, the crankshaft sensor usually fails hot, and the car turns off, very few manage to fix it cleanly and putting something 3 in 1 in the connector, but you have to change it, on the cam sensor the same, check that they are clean and grease the connector, I do not know if with vauxcom you can see if they measure the engine revolutions wrong, others They usually report faults in the camshaft sensor wiring, check the area well and I hope it is something of this and no more mess
 

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If the EML has come on it should have stored codes on the ECU?
Poor connections on the back of the dash are supposedly common and fixed by thumping the top of the dash, how ever in near on 15 year of Corsa C ownership I have never had this or seen how the so called fix of pushing the dials inward or thumping them will help at all as the plug is on a loom and not fixed to the dash just the dials. Checking the plug is clean and fitted correctly is worth a shot.
Also as said the crankshaft sensors do fail and cause poor running before they totally stop working sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If the EML has come on it should have stored codes on the ECU?
Poor connections on the back of the dash are supposedly common and fixed by thumping the top of the dash, how ever in near on 15 year of Corsa C ownership I have never had this or seen how the so called fix of pushing the dials inward or thumping them will help at all as the plug is on a loom and not fixed to the dash just the dials. Checking the plug is clean and fitted correctly is worth a shot.
Also as said the crankshaft sensors do fail and cause poor running before they totally stop working sometimes.
The two occasions it has cut out and coasted to a halt, still idling but not responding at all to throttle pedal are the only two times it lit up the EML.
Those two times I've been in busy traffic in a bad place on the road, so the priority has been getting going again rather than reading codes. As soon as I turn ignition of and on again it puts the light out and no codes have remained stored.

On Friday I drove to work the air temp was near freezing and it ran really bad misfiring everywhere, on the way home it was sunny and probably 10 degrees, run so much better, barely mis fired at all.
 

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What code reader are you using? Until the code has been cleared from the ECU it will remain as a stored code even if the EML is not on.
It does sound like its temperature related but as you have already fitted a new genuine MAF that should be ok.
Where does the temp gauge sit when driving?
Have you replaced the crank sensor yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What code reader are you using? Until the code has been cleared from the ECU it will remain as a stored code even if the EML is not on.
It does sound like its temperature related but as you have already fitted a new genuine MAF that should be ok.
Where does the temp gauge sit when driving?
Have you replaced the crank sensor yet?
Using a memoscan u480 cheapy from ebay, it's normally good at getting codes, use it on a lot of vehicles when I cannot be bothered to get the laptop out. It picked up the MAF disconnected code when I drove for a day with the MAF unplugged to see if it made things better.

36151


Unplugging the old MAF improved but did not fix things, obviously re plugged when I fitted the new MAF. Which appeared to cure the fault for about ten minutes.
I had the same effect when I replaced the coil pack, it drove fine for about 20 minutes then started misfiring again - all really odd?

Temperature gauge varies a bit, hovers around 85, wandering about 3 degrees either way, depending on how I drive.

I'm waiting for the injectors, cam sensor and crank sensor to turn up, as soon as they do they will be fitted and I'll report back.

Cheers!
 

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It should run near on 90 degrees once up to temp.
Your code reader is not pulling out stored or pending codes. A lot of basic ones don't.
Have you checked the ECU to engine plug for oil/poor connection?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It should run near on 90 degrees once up to temp.
Your code reader is not pulling out stored or pending codes. A lot of basic ones don't.
Have you checked the ECU to engine plug for oil/poor connection?
So, thermostat then? Wouldn't give the misfire though...

What code reader do people use/recommend?

I will check ECU plug today.

I'm on nights this week and it ran rubbish on way home last night when it was freezing. Does the ECU take a temperature measurement from anywhere else or is it just air temp from MAF?
 

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There are several types of thermostats at each temperature, if it is not the original one it may be that it will vary a little differently, as long as it does not go above 93c and does not fall below 80 on the street I would not worry
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There are several types of thermostats at each temperature, if it is not the original one it may be that it will vary a little differently, as long as it does not go above 93c and does not fall below 80 on the street I would not worry
I'm not concerned at the moment it sits ok around 85 and is not causing the problem.

I'm thinking if it runs better in warm ambient air then = weak mixture? Possible air leak bypassing the MAF? is this common? Do manifolds leak/break - any corsa specific common areas of failure here?

Yes I'm still waiting for bits (cam sensor/injectors/crank sensor) but when I do the injectors I'll be checking stuff carefully around the intake side.
 

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This is just from my reading around rather than actual experience (so pinch of salt) but generally a dud MAF has the engine running fine from cold (dead MAF signal pretty much the same as default cold intake) but then the misfiring comes in as things warm up. You're getting the opposite, which points elsewhere to me (again - not the informed opinion of an expert, just from reading previous troubles).
 

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No i doubt the thermostat will be causing the fault you have but it is not right and will not help the general running of the car. In the UK there will be only 1 temperature rated thermostat for your Corsa although that is not to say someone has fitted an incorrect one in the past? Just don't get a circoli one from Euro's or alike as they are pretty poor and I have found only last a few weeks at best and often are the wrong temperature rating too.

As for code readers, the cheapest if you have a laptop is to get Opcom. Others may be able to advise where to get it from. As I do quite a lot with many brands I got myself a quite expensive Autel diagnostic tool around 6 or 7 years ago, £1450 but it has free updates for life and cover most cars sold in the UK from 1995 to present day.

It is very possible you have an air leak somewhere, the inlets can crack but it is not common, more common would be a rubber pipe has split or something has come loose. One way to test for air leaks is to use brake cleaner aerosol spray around any joints/pipes with engine running, if engine rpm rises that is where the leak is. Just be careful not to get it on a hot exhaust part!
 

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If the thermostat works badly, it does not cause failures in the car at an electrical level, it will only cause it to not heat up and the ecu mets more gasoline to warm up the engine, it will spend more obviously, but from there to give misfires or anomalies in gear it does not It causes, it looks more like an electrical failure than the motor or wiring temperature probes
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No i doubt the thermostat will be causing the fault you have but it is not right and will not help the general running of the car. In the UK there will be only 1 temperature rated thermostat for your Corsa although that is not to say someone has fitted an incorrect one in the past? Just don't get a circoli one from Euro's or alike as they are pretty poor and I have found only last a few weeks at best and often are the wrong temperature rating too.

As for code readers, the cheapest if you have a laptop is to get Opcom. Others may be able to advise where to get it from. As I do quite a lot with many brands I got myself a quite expensive Autel diagnostic tool around 6 or 7 years ago, £1450 but it has free updates for life and cover most cars sold in the UK from 1995 to present day.

It is very possible you have an air leak somewhere, the inlets can crack but it is not common, more common would be a rubber pipe has split or something has come loose. One way to test for air leaks is to use brake cleaner aerosol spray around any joints/pipes with engine running, if engine rpm rises that is where the leak is. Just be careful not to get it on a hot exhaust part!
Cheers,

I've got a water pump to fit as the old one looks crusty and ancient, I think there's a very slight leak somewhere near or in the heater matrix, so I'll drop the coolant and do the lot including thermostat.

As for readers, don't think I'll spend 1400 on a reader for this 'free' car, I already have all my VAG readers, several ECU programmers, couple of hand held readers, a Ford ODB wire and software, another software pack for Toyota, why are they not all compatible! I'd have thought either of my cheapo hand helds would grab something from the ECU, they've never failed before, used across loads of brands including Vauxhall? Perhaps there is a physical ECU connection issue, but they do seem to establish connection with the ECU???
 

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A lot of code readers are manufacture specific, It makes the cheaper to write the software for them I guess?
Opcom is probably your best/cheapest option for Vauxhalls if you have a laptop?
I have found Vauxhall's to be the easiest cars to read codes on and find data on the codes. A lot of manufactures still will not use the ISO standard codes like GM does but instead use their own codes. I think it is to force people to use the main dealers which is bad once a car goes out of warranty, and with the big names not offering much free warranty it's even worse. Make's it harder for the DIYer.

Your problem could well be down to an air leak as it is not storing the code, the ECU is just seeing a sensor read out of it's "normal" range. Like you said possibly running lean? Also check all the exhaust system from the head to the centre box for leaks as these can cause the o2 sensors to give false readings then alter the fueling to compensate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Three further cut outs yesterday - it's been cold mornings. Two instances gave no EML on dash, the third gave EML and I was in a position to coast to a safe spot and plug in the code reader with the dash light on.

No codes.

I have ordered OpCom - in the meantime, still waiting for cam/crank sensors and injectors, all taking far too long to arrive.
 

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In engines from the 90s they used to suffer condensation in the distributor causing failures of this type in cold, they used to open a small hole in the taps of the distributor to ventilate, the corsa C no longer has a distributor, but you still have the shots around, When you know that it is going to fail, before turning it on I would try to heat the coils and that upper part, with a hair dryer I don't think you will do anything, but the same with a heat stripper if the failure comes from there you get some change that's where the breakdown comes
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In engines from the 90s they used to suffer condensation in the distributor causing failures of this type in cold, they used to open a small hole in the taps of the distributor to ventilate, the corsa C no longer has a distributor, but you still have the shots around, When you know that it is going to fail, before turning it on I would try to heat the coils and that upper part, with a hair dryer I don't think you will do anything, but the same with a heat stripper if the failure comes from there you get some change that's where the breakdown comes
It's not that, I've changed the coil pack for a new one - still the same.

So the cam and crank sensors turned up today, the story goes like this....

Start engine
Unplug cam sensor - it carries on running
Stop engine
Swap cam sensor
Swap crank sensor
Wont start, occasional misfire
Cant be cam sensor because the engine doesn't care if that is plugged in or not...
take out crank sensor, find two orings fitted, packing the sensor off the block, remove one o ring, refit
still wont start
fit old crank sensor
still wont start
fit old cam sensor
starts!
fit new crank sensor - still starts
unplug old cam sensor and plug wire into new cam sensor but don't fit it - still starts
fit new cam sensor into head - wont start
As soon as the new cam sensor fits in the head it kills the engine???? runs fine if it is just plugged in and left hanging.

So the car is running on new crank sensor and old cam sensor - but I have a EML on
Plug in my old code reader for a laugh, (new one still not arrived) and it finds a code - 'cam sensor bank A'
Delete code, EML goes out and stays out.

It still runs exactly the same as before - rubbish.

Glad I brimmed the tank this morning, should make a good fireball. Hateful hateful Vauxhall.
 

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Check your camshaft phase timing is correct. You will need the timing locking tool kit, if you don't have one they are pretty cheap £15/£30.
I'm not sure on the 1.0L 3 potters but on the 4 potter it is possible to fit the inlet and exhaust cams the wrong way and still time it up and it will run with a few problems but no fault codes. Mechanically timing will be the same but the ECU will not understand where cams are in relation to the crank. It will try to fire at/near tdc exhaust stoke not compression stroke. As they run wasted spark they spark on both strokes anyway but only inject on the induction cycle so they still run.
You may also have a slack chain or it could have skipped a tooth. As the cam sensor has shown faults this is where I would continue.
 
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