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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Hopefully I have posted this in the correct area and like most who post here, we are banging our head against a brick wall!

PROBLEM - 16v 1.2 Clio MkII (2005) Starts fine every time, and normally ticks over perfectly. Occasionally stalls for no reason whilst idling. Problem was first detected as the car began 'jumping and kicking' (best way to describe it) whilst driving - this could be at anything between still and 40mph. At higher speeds this seems to happen less.
Other symptoms we are getting is if you sit in the car (not moving) and press your foot on the accelerator to bring the engine say to 2000rpm, it will often do just that and tick over fine, however it sometimes revs to 2000 then keeps dropping and picking up revs, like 'rev, rev, rev every second???' - sorry hard to explain with text! - all this while you are holding your foot dead still on the accelerator.
Annoyingly the car has reported actually no faults when plugged into a computer (including a very up to date Renault one - so we are told) until a couple of days ago when lights appeared on the dash board and a trip to the garage computer reported the throttle body / actuator.... This was changed for a new one and guess what - still the same....
The problems whilst driving don't seem to follow any pattern - ie Going up hills, cold / hot weather (maybe possibly a bit worse when cold??? but that may be just me)

THINGS TRIED SO FAR....
The car has been to the garage (not renault) over the past three weeks and one at a time they have tried the following (replacing with the original part when found not to be faulty...)
- TDC Sensor
- MAP Sensor
- Checked for water in Relay / Fuse Box under Bonnet
- Cleaned out Fuel Pump
- Had a Service (oil change etc)
- Exhaust Gas Sensor (Changed last year)
- Coil Pack Swapped (Was also changed last year)
- New Spark Plugs
- The Fuel pump has been cleaned out - they found a bit of iron filings here which they said could be indicative of a pump fault but they say if that was the case then it probably would not run so smoothly at other times???
- Head gasket was suspected as a little mayonnaise coloured oil has been found but they also said that we would be experiencing other problems...
- I have had a brief look at the Wiring loom but I am not a mechanic - perhaps I need to look in good day light and move / unplug things whilst the engine is running? > apart from the obvious moving parts / getting mangled in the alternator / cam belt area is there any danger in this??

THE NEXT STEPS...
- A friend at work has suggested running the tank to empty, filling with a higher octane fuel 98/99, emptying a bottle of redex or similar brand injection cleaner, warming the engine up then taking it for a hard drive???
- I have been into Halfords for some cleaner and there happened to be a mechanic in there who said it sounds like the TDC sensor or a loom problem or possibly ECU???
We are lucky that Autoline (a breakers) which have a lot of French cars, are literally 8 miles away from us - he said possibly call them, barter, get an ECU from a written off 1.2 clio for £30, take it to our garage and get them to fit it?? - would that help????

Just at a wits end now!!!

Any suggestions????? Thanks in advance!!!!
 

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Has the engine coolant temp sensor been checked?

Have the colour of the spark plugs been looked at - are they all of equal colour?

Has a compression test been done?

Has the throttle body been checked for excess oil?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply,

Spark plugs have been changed - does the colour check still apply???

I am not sure about the other three but interestingly when the car was taken in for the service (fault was happening before this) they said the coolant was quite low and topped it up???

What would cause Oil in the Throttle Body? (sorry as you can tell I am no mechanic) - it has currently got a brand new one on but is still misbehaving so they are taking it off on Tuesday and putting original back on - I suppose they may notice anything like that next week?

I will mention the spark plug colour, compression test and coolant sensor next week when we take it in....

Thanks so much - I will keep you posted and hopefully (as this problem is a typical Clio random bad running problem - hopefully it will add to the solutions list for others!)

Cheers

Chris
 

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Yes the colour of the spark plugs can give a clue to misfiring or mis-fueling.

On some of the engines the PCV valve on the crankcase breather can go faulty and engine oil gets sucked into the inlet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry - just to add to the original thread - when I said the car was 'jumping' whilst driving, it was doing just that - even at 30 - 40mph, it just randomly stalls, but because its in gear, its immediately jump starting itself?????
So whatever the problem, it stalls but is quite happy to restart again straight away and then say 30 seconds or even 8 minutes later - same thing... random 'jump restart' whilst driving????

Thanks in advance - this seems a very informative place!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again madnoel10,

I will mention that as well - don't want to go in to the garage as a know it all but they know I am desperately searching forums - they are being really good (we kind of know them) and trying really hard not to cost us anything (yet!) in parts...!

Just off out now but will catch up later or over the weekend

Thanks a bunch
 

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Discussion Starter #9
**** UPDATE ****

This may be of interest to everybody having similar problems....

Took the car in 4th gear for about 30 miles down the A50 at 5000rpm with Injector cleaner in the fuel just in case it made a difference - NO DIFFERENCE!!!!

However - read on....

When we were driving around Derby yesterday, the car started really having a 'kangaroo' fit - jumping and jerking whilst pulling off or even during normal driving, it started really jumping and even knocked itself out of gear twice.... Then - possibly the start of the answer.... First of all the Engine Electronics Fault light came on, closely followed by the Exhuast Gas Emissions light (on steady - not flashing)..... As soon as the Electronics Fault light illumiated... BINGO - car ran perfectly, the whole way back home - 30+ miles, tried to give it loads of stick - banks, high speed, low speed, running up to junctions from 50mph to stop out of gear, just using the breaks to stop, using the gears to slow down from 70mph - running perfect.... Until.... Switch engine off, electronics light dosent come back on, and it is back to normal again.... until 15 minutes into driving, it starts to jerk violently again, and guess what, electronics warning light illuminates and it runs smoothly - as good as new...

Its the start of a solution, because it has done this every time know for the last few trips....

Any ideas - I am suspecting ECU as the car cant just right an actual problem!!! - It is basically doing as below...

Turn engine on ---> Drive or Idle ---> Problem Appears ---> Continue to Drive ---> Problem often gets worse ---> Car begins to really jump ---> ECU 'supposedly detects' fault, and turns on Electronics Light ---> Miraculously Car runs as smooth as new ---> Finish journey ---> Switch off Car. ----> Return to car and restart ---> Electronics Light is not on and Problem re-appears ----> return to beginning...????

So experts....??? ECU??????


Thanks - Sorry for the waffle and I hope this helps others too!!!

Chris
 

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The wiring loom going to the ECU on the Clios are known to give problems whereby the cables fray. It may be worth checking that aspect before condemning the ECU.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks,

Yeah I will definately give that a check - its just that we can get hold of ECU's from Autoline near us (rear hit clio's etc) pretty cheap....

Basically to summarise - the ECU is 'fixing the problem itself' when the Electronics Light is coming up??? How wierd???

From a bit of thinking we decuded that...
1) The car and its engine system is clearly capable of running perfectly so there mustnt be anything wrong with that side.

2) The ECU changes something after the car has a juddering fit - which solves the problem that has been upon us for months! - but in the process puts up a warning light!

3) Therefor we thought either ECU or - is it switching off / out a dodgy sensor and somewho compensating???

4) Wiring Loom - we will check that - as you said in an earlier post - I will concentrate on the area near the ECU itself....

Thanks madnoel10 for your (very) useful input so far - it is much appreciated! - If anyone is reading this who has had similar problems (even in non-clio's but perhaps with the same 1149cc 16v system, it would be interesting to hear...)

Hopefully there will be some light left when I get home tonight so I can look!

Will update...

Thanks

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #12
*** UPDATE ***
Dont want to shout too loud but I think the problem has been located....

Garage have found an air leak in a pipe going to the Throttle Actuator Body, also they have replaced seals on the MAP sensor (again) - I think the air leak was more the problem though....

Anyway - so far the car is running as good as ever... - FIX, 2 x 15p seals plus some jiggery pokery with an air pipe....

Lets give it some time!

The car running smoothly when engine light on was apparently LIMP MODE - I had not thought this was the case because I had assumed that limp mode was restricted to 3000rpm...

Thanks madnoel10 for your input and I will keep you posted .....

Chris
 
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