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Technical Supremo, Platinum Member
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Hope everyone is well. Drove my van yesterday, no problem. Parked up normally but today no spark from electronic unit.
Back to the beginning and looking at things from another angle ..... can we have some more background info please

a) is van in daily or occasional use
b) how many miles did you drive the van on the good day
c) did it refuse to start at home
d) does it have any kind of alarm or immobiliser fitted
e) had the engine ran well without any roughness at any time
f) is your engine a carb or fuel injection model

Of course vehicles can stop working suddenly but if a problem was happening I'd expect some kind of warning signal while you was driving or a breakdown in the middle of a journey. It is a little puzzling while your van is now playing up ( but having said that my van becomes hard to start if I don't run the engine daily for a couple of minutes at least).
 

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As RW stated , bit more info could help , but in the mean time , assuming dizzy cap and rotor arm all good, ie no damage/burnt contacts etc , need to test coil primary & secondary resistance - disconnect HT lead , undo the 2 torx set screws , lift off coil from electronic unit . will see 2 "pins" ( spade connector in between) - need to test across the 2 pins set your meter to lowest ohms setting , looking for a reading around 0.4 to 0.8 ohms - next set meter to 20K ohms setting and test across 1 of the pins & the HT connector - looking for around 2000 to 12000 ohms ( prob be around 6500 ish ohms ) just a note* meter on 20K setting would read 6.5 for 6500 ohms .
 

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As RW stated , bit more info could help , but in the mean time , assuming dizzy cap and rotor arm all good, ie no damage/burnt contacts etc , need to test coil primary & secondary resistance - disconnect HT lead , undo the 2 torx set screws , lift off coil from electronic unit . will see 2 "pins" ( spade connector in between) - need to test across the 2 pins set your meter to lowest ohms setting , looking for a reading around 0.4 to 0.8 ohms - next set meter to 20K ohms setting and test across 1 of the pins & the HT connector - looking for around 2000 to 12000 ohms ( prob be around 6500 ish ohms ) just a note* meter on 20K setting would read 6.5 for 6500 ohms .
Just an after thought - on previous voltage tests, did you get a 12V reading ? as control unit needs at least 9.5V to fire up
 

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Technical Supremo, Platinum Member
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What's your battery power like now ? .... has it been cranked over a lot trying to overcome this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Back to the beginning and looking at things from another angle ..... can we have some more background info please

a) is van in daily or occasional use
b) how many miles did you drive the van on the good day
c) did it refuse to start at home
d) does it have any kind of alarm or immobiliser fitted
e) had the engine ran well without any roughness at any time
f) is your engine a carb or fuel injection model

Of course vehicles can stop working suddenly but if a problem was happening I'd expect some kind of warning signal while you was driving or a breakdown in the middle of a journey. It is a little puzzling while your van is now playing up ( but having said that my van becomes hard to start if I don't run the engine daily for a couple of minutes at least).
Hello Renoir, thanks for your interest.
A.My van tends to be used most weekends 9 months of the year. Did 100 miles last weekend.
B. A little over a mile to fill up.
C. Yes, now dead on the drive.
D. Yes, it prevents cranking but am not aware that it also prevents spark. I have considered disconnecting it but wouldn’t know how to.
E. Been running weall.
F. Carb

I often leave the van for a couple of months over winter and it has never failed to start. In the more than 20 years I have owned her she has only once been different to start; damp I suspect. Has only done 85,000 miles.
Regards
 

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Super fantastic Mod Technical Supremo Nice Guy
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WOW, back up here, filled up, sure you put petrol in..
( Just asking) crack a fuel pipe and check.
YOU wont be the first to strip half a car for wrong fuel added
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Just an after thought - on previous voltage tests, did you get a 12V reading ? as control unit needs at least 9.5V to fire up
Thanks OPB,
Yes, I got 12.4 volts going into the unit. I will endeavour to follow the testing process you describe but not confident it is within my skills. Vehicle doesn’t have points. I don’t have a spark from the distributor end of the HT lead so I assume I have power going into the electronic unit but none coming out.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #30
WOW, back up here, filled up, sure you put petrol in..
( Just asking) crack a fuel pipe and check.
YOU wont be the first to strip half a car for wrong fuel added
Yes, good BP Green; also filled my Jerry Can so very confident I didn’t screw up, but your right to check because I have in the past started fill my diesel car with petrol!
 

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Technical Supremo, Platinum Member
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The trouble is electrical problems and fuel problems often display similar characteristics ... knowing which side to chase is down to experience, knowledge and luck. I had a similar no-spark situation to you once on another vehicle but everything on a meter checked out ok .... in desparation I borrowed a friends distributor cap and leads (he had the same car) and it worked !..... refitted mine and nothing !! ... it turned out there was nothing wrong with my cap and leads but the fault was something else I discovered ( a really freaky problem that you wouldnt expect to happen) but I won't mention it here as it definitely doesn't apply to our Trafics.

Just staying with the 'fuel' side for a second could you crank the engine a few turns then immediately remove a spark plug and check that the electrodes are getting wet with fuel.
 

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Thanks OPB,
Yes, I got 12.4 volts going into the unit. I will endeavour to follow the testing process you describe but not confident it is within my skills. Vehicle doesn’t have points. I don’t have a spark from the distributor end of the HT lead so I assume I have power going into the electronic unit but none coming out.
Thanks
get back to us if you have trouble testing the coil - also if coil good i can give you a few pointers on testing electronic unit , although these are pretty robust , - also can you confirm if you have checked resistance between electronic unit body/ground & van body/chassis - ( meter set to ohms - should read 0.00 if good )
 

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Discussion Starter #33
The trouble is electrical problems and fuel problems often display similar characteristics ... knowing which side to chase is down to experience, knowledge and luck. I had a similar no-spark situation to you once on another vehicle .... in desparation I borrowed a friends distributor cap and leads (he had the same car) and it worked !..... refitted mine and nothing !! ... it turned out there was nothing wrong with my cap and leads but the fault was something else I discovered but I won't mention it here as it definitely doesn't apply to our Trafics.

Just staying with the 'fuel' side for a second could you crank the engine a few turns then immediately remove a spark plug and check that the electrodes are getting wet with fuel.
Plugs are wet after cranking and I don’t have a spark at distributor end of the HT from the ignition unit. I have tried two HT leads but don’t know any other way to check what, if anything, is coming out of the coil. I do have 12.4 volts going into the electronic ignition unit. I have tested and cleaned the TDC sensor and appear to have vacuum. I am searching for a replacement unit but no luck so far. Any idea appreciated.
 

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t
Plugs are wet after cranking and I don’t have a spark at distributor end of the HT from the ignition unit. I have tried two HT leads but don’t know any other way to check what, if anything, is coming out of the coil. I do have 12.4 volts going into the electronic ignition unit. I have tested and cleaned the TDC sensor and appear to have vacuum. I am searching for a replacement unit but no luck so far. Any idea appreciated.
Test the coil before throwing new parts at it
 

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Discussion Starter #35
get back to us if you have trouble testing the coil - also if coil good i can give you a few pointers on testing electronic unit , although these are pretty robust , - also can you confirm if you have checked resistance between electronic unit body/ground & van body/chassis - ( meter set to ohms - should read 0.00 if good )
Thanks OPB. I have removed and cleaned the earth but it did seem fine. When testing earth as described should I just place one multimeter connection on unit and one on van body?
 

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Thanks OPB. I have removed and cleaned the earth but it did seem fine. When testing earth as described should I just place one multimeter connection on unit and one on van body?
Yes - but need to test coil as i described before , process of elimination needed
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Just an after thought - on previous voltage tests, did you get a 12V reading ? as control unit needs at least 9.5V to fire up
Tested ohms between the Pins: the reading is all over the place but the most consistent is 1.5
The reading is also very volatile between one Pin and the HT connection point but 4.7 appears most often. I am not confident my meter is reliable because the crocodile clip is broken so it could be reading me. Hopefully I can get my hands on a better one tomorrow but isolating makes life difficult.
 

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Technical Supremo, Platinum Member
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Plugs are wet after cranking
Good ...that is one positive result in the list of things.

An open suggestion .. could it be worth checking electrical connections starting from the column ignition switch? Have all fuses been checked to ensure they are intact?
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Tested ohms between the Pins: the reading is all over the place but the most consistent is 1.5
The reading is also very volatile between one Pin and the HT connection point but 4.7 appears most often. I am not confident my meter is reliable because the crocodile clip is broken so it could be reading me. Hopefully I can get my hands on a better one tomorrow but isolating makes life difficult.
On separate note, is there a fuse for the Ignition Unit? I followed the thick red cable to the fuse board below the steering wheel but find if attaches but not it seems to a fuse. I did find a black cube, also attached to the board which to my uninformed eye appears to be a relay of some sort of relay.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Good ...that is one positive result in the list of things.

An open suggestion .. could it be worth checking electrical connections starting from the column ignition switch? Have all fuses been checked to ensure they are intact?
I have checked all connections as best I can but can only find low amp fuses below the steering wheel. Is there a fuse for the ignition unit?
 
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