Complete electronic system failure, then recovery, then failure.. then recovery!!! ?? - Renault Forums :: Independent Renault forum

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 20th July 2009 Thread Starter
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Complete electronic system failure, then recovery, then failure.. then recovery!!! ??

Hi. I wonder if you could help me? I have a renault clio 1.2 '97 reg 'panache'. Here's what happened...

Last night I drove home, arriving late. I dropped my stuff into the house and got back in the car to move it into the garage. I turned the key in a hurry (as I often do) and as I did so I saw the dash lights pop on in their various stages like they normally do. However, just at the point I expected the engine to start turning over nothing happened! Also, a fraction of a second earlier I had noticed the dash lights go out. Being in a hurry I thought nothing of this and assmumed the immobilser hadn't deactivated (which was silly as the car still turns over even then -- it was late :-). I took the key out of the ignitionn and pressed the unlock button while waving it in front of the sensor - nothing happened. I tried the cabin lights, nothing, windscreen wipers, nothing, headlights.... nothing - all electrics were dead.

I left it to the morning and checked the fuses - they all looked ok but I decided to replace some of the major ones anyway to be on the safe side. I took out the engine functions fuse and as I replaced it i noticed a satisfying little spark as it touched the terminals - my cd player whurrred on and the car was back to normal. Phewww I thought.

Assuming I'd fixed it I drive across town. But... it happened again!! I'd parked but, hastily decided to reposition my car so, again, I turned the ignitition quite quickly (as I often do) but all was dead again. I immediately fell upon the same fuse I had changed before but this time changing it did no good. I ummed and arred and then thought about disconnecting and reconnecting the battery to see if this would reset something. This worked. Phew again, I thought. The car was back to normal. I'm not sure if the engine funtions fuse had blown on this occasion or not, reason being when I did the battery I'd left that fuse out and it'd got mixed up with old and new ones.

I'm left with a sinking feeling this could become a recurring problem.

Has anyone encountered a problem like this in a car and
/or would you be able to suggest what the problem might be? Or perhaps a good place to start looking?? Could turning the ignition too quickly be connected to the problem? Haynes says it could either be a blown fuse, a faulty relay, bad wiring or a faulty motor. Is this likely to be a time consuming electrical fault-finding mission? Is their a good proceedure or a process of elimination you would recommend I follow?

Thanks very much in advance for your help.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 20th July 2009
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I would be tempted to check the main earth maybe
put a new one from battery to some handy point
on the engine.

Who would design a vehicle that falls over when you stop?

If you find a fix for your problem please let us know it will help others.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 20th July 2009
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Same suggestion from me also. Could be a dodgy earth. If your gonna run your own, make sure it's connected to bare metal!

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 20th July 2009
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did ALL the electrics die, including the stereo ???

did it stay dead for 5-10 minutes then come back to life...?

if so its a problem with the starter motor and solinoid.

quick fix is to pop the bonnet and tap the battery on the bit between the terminals (theres a big overload bi-metalic strip in that part of the battery, if you gently tap it with a hammer it will be encouraged to pop back into place).
(it worked for me, as a quick fix, and diagnosis)

i had similar problems and ended up having to replace the battery and starter motor on my laggy1 (twice over 2006/7)

the current overload by the starter caused the battery to eventually fail. i replaced mine with the biggest i could get that would fit, have now got a 130A battery, it was originally a dinky 65Ah one.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 20th July 2009 Thread Starter
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Hi and thanks so much for your responses so far.

The earth idea sounds straight forward enough - although do you mean get another hoop terminal connector to run from the battery and then then, what, drill and bolt a fresh attachment point or just replace the existing one (my existing one bolts to the chasis by the radiator)?

I have just looked at the earth - it seems ok.... I have never looked at it very closely tbh but it hasn't been touched since I bought the car a year ago.

If this happenes again I will definitately pay attention to the earth.

Yes everything dieds including the stereo. About the dying for 15 mins and then recovering thing...... I'm not sure mord. The first time I left it over night before tackling the problem and the second time it recovered, yeah, possibly ten minutes later but that was definitely due to me disconnecting/reconnecting the battery positive (which I suppose could have reset the battery itself, rather than something in the electrics like I had assumed). Would the battery's bi-metalic strip return to normal position very quickly indeed after dis/reconnecting the batt. positive??? Literally a couple of seconds??

My petrol pump takes some time to whurr into readiness when I flick the key onto the second notch. Could it be turning the ingition fully without waiting for this to ready itself is overloading the battery?

Many thanks. Further feedback most welcome!

Last edited by maskedwarrior; 20th July 2009 at 11:01 AM.
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