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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Its a mk 1 1998 clio 1149CC, with the D type engine.

Its have all the tell tale signs of needing a TDC sensor clean/replacement, and thats something Im definitely going to do. Its the usual cutting out at junctions, not starting sometimes (engine turns over, but apparently no spark/fuel injection)

Anyway, like many people most likely on here, Ive got myself the Haynes manual for the car, and although I havn't carried out any work, i just wanted to check the condition of all the components that are visible.

Something thats not mentioned much on here, but would seem to factor largely in my car troubles, is any fault with the 'evaporative canister' under the right hand headlight, which has a fuel hose going to a solenoid valve.

Anyway, while just checking I found this had happened:



What you can see there is a photo of the top of this canister, and the hose going from the solenoid valve has snapped clean off the top. (the hose is in the bottom left of the picture, and being under the headlight, id have never discovered it, if it wasnt for Haynes, and me wanting to find this canister)

Now, reading about, if the ecu decides to open the valve, is supposed to transmit fuel which is present in the canister to the inlet manifold, when the engine is warmed up.

Now i have cutting out issue what seems to be in the same place, or near the same place on a specific journey to work.. thinking now, its likely the point where the engine is warm enough, and explains why its here i find the engine revs drop dramatically, only momenterily, as its likely when the valve is opened, allowing fuel to be sucked from the canister, but all it gets is air! as soon as the ecu recognises fuel starvation, it rectifies, and as long as the engine was at a high enough revs, it doesnt completely cut out luckily.

The parts of the puzzle fit, im just thinking, its a case of i do not want the valve opening at all now i know theres a break in the line. should i disconnect the power cables from the valve?

I reckon a combination of getting this sub-system fixed, as well as TDC sensor, i could be lookin at lowering the problems currently making me scared to not rev like a boy-racer when at lights, in case the engine cuts out.

Opinions? The behaviour matches the problem when thinking logically about it, but who knows?
 

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Nice bit of investigation work there Leon :)

My Megane suffers similar cutting out problems (temporarily fixed by cleaning the TDC sensor the other day, but the revs drop a lot when it's cold). I'm reluctant to spend the 25 squid on a new TDC sensor as the car starts first time, every time. I wonder if it's something similar to your car, Clio and Megane's might well have similar components under the bonnet. I'll have to investigate for that, cheers!

EDIT: I know it might seem tight not spending £25 on the sensor, but I'm tight! Just last night I managed to weasel my way out of buying a round! :d
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks bob, and seriously, im the same! Im hoping i can just clean the TDC sensor instead of having to get it replaced, and even then, im likely to hit the scrapyards for a low milage TDC sensor!

It was a worthwhile investment gettin the good old haynes, I'd been puzzled for month as to what the hell the map sensor was as it was just dangling about on top of my engine block.

Anyway, im going to test how the car does with me disconnecting the power from the valve. I personally do not want my engine sucking up whatever debris happens to to floating about under my right headlamp (as you can see in the pic)

Hopefully, even if the ecu send the command to open the valve, it will get no response, and just keep fuel going as normal.

This explains another factor, I have a good feeling that when the engine is warmed up, but is stopped, when its started again i reckon the ecu opens the valve to allow a bit more fuel into the manifold by opening this valve, but at that rate it would get less fuel, therefore i am stuck usually for ages getting started when the engine ha cut out likely for that reason.
 

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Hi disconnecting it of power may well work but i know the car is getting on and your tight:d but if it was me i would replace this part or even repair it,it will make all the difference if this is what is causing you problem,keep us updated all the best Donald.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Oh i certainly intend to, and will be getting it done at a quick fit where my uncles good friend is manager, so i usually get decent discount on labour and pay wholesale on parts.

But, the reason for the quick fix is that the garage is at home, in middlesbrough, and im currently in newcastle, and wont be going home for a week yet, so need to do something that will ease the problem for the journeys i make here and there.

Ive cleaned the TDC sensor as best as I could:


Does it look like it needs replacing?

Hopefully i will not be doing anything else to the engine other than disconnecting the solenoids valves power, keeping it shut. What I'll do is test by putting my finger on top of the vac hose, if its sucking, the valve is open. I need it to be closed, and permenantly, until it can be hooked up to the charcoal canister again (which i think will likely need replacing now, i reckon water n nasties will have to into the canister)

Also, i found this mayo in the oil cap.. im hoping its from a problem what has been fixed beofre I got the car, or else i could be looking at leaks internal in the engine. Ive cleaned it out, and will check if it builds up again.



will indeed keep updated, but anyone reading this with problems of cutting out (or nearly cutting out, depending on revs) when it seems the engine is running fine and warm, CHECK this system for leaks/breaks
 

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Discussion Starter #6
is anyone having trouble viewing the pictures.. they have disappeared from my imageshack account page, but i dont know if its just my pc. Let me know and I will re-up them
 

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I can see your pictures OK, but i don't know if they're chached on my HD or not.

That TDC sensor looks worse than mine, it should be fairly shiney and clean. I guess it's corroded a bit so it's probably due for a replacement.

The oil filler cap is more worrying. You mention it's from a problem your car has had in the past, was this head gasket related? That looks like emulsified oil/water. It should not look like that on a normally operating engine! Give it a wipe anyway and see if it comes back, but if it does I suspect you may hve impending engine troubles I'm afraid.

Sorry to be a bit negative! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I know very little to nothing of the cars history previous to my getting it (thats 2 years ago, so it had maybe around 110k miles on it at buying, for £250 haha) , but it holds oil pretty well with no visible leaks on the ground where I park, etc.

Also, coolant level stays pretty stable/normal, usually have to refill as the season change so about quarterly. I have read that the emulisfying happens when coolant leaks into the oil.

What im hoping is that, there may have been a problem previously, and its now been fixed but they havnt bothered cleaning the oil cap.

I have now cleaned it and will keep a close check on any build up.. i sure hope it isnt a blown head gasket. what other signs would there be? over heating? loss of power at high revs (high compression being lost to leak)?

It a pretty good little ground coverer, for a 1.2, and will pull through to 50mph in only a few seconds, thats ragging the heck out of it though.

As for the TDC, it seems to be working ok, as the engine fires on pretty much the first rotation from the starter motor, in all weathers. Being that the TDC is essential to it knowing when to spark in the cylinder, it seems to be ok, apart from when theres cut out (which im thinking is charcoal canister related)
 

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Many signs of HG failure, and has been well documented 'round these parts. Loosing coolant is the earliest sign usually, followed by emulsified water/oil, excess steam from exhaust, misfiring and overheating. As you're topping up the coolant very rarely and the oil level is good I'm not so sure! Are you using the car on short journeys so the engine doesn't heat up fully? This can cause the mayonnaise on the filler due to condensation.

TDC - ifthe car is starting then you're OK. Mione isn't as clen and shiney as it might but it's staying on the car! I've read a few posts stating the cutting out may be due to a bad earth on the engine. This is the case on the Megane, as for the Clio I'm, not sure but it may well pay you to check out the earth points in the engine bay. I'll be douing the same next chance I get! It's too bloomin' windy around here lately, I'm fearful of the bonnet being pulled from its hinges! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I admit my engine was running super low on oil not too long ago, and i ended up getting a new oil filter and new oil. Maybe the absolute lack of oil could have caused a big heat build up, and almost a 'refining' process of the oil in the sump, if temperatures soared.

I usually do small journeys through the week, and then about 40 miles pure motorway at weekends. so it does a mixture of both really.

Will be checking earth connections next..
 

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the mayo on the cap can also be caused if the car is mainly used on short journeys as the oil does not get hot enough to get rid of any condensated water in the oil creating the false illusion of a HG fail.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hmm, well it is mainly used for journeys of around 3-5 miles to work, then the same back. I guess long journeys are a little rare for it lately, hense my fuel consumption being pretty crap. (city drivin is painful, and not even dry anymore, with a leaking sunroof!)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just to update, after disconnecting the valves power, the car has not cut out on me yet, and ive put another 300 or so miles on it city driving and motorway.

It is now fine idling too. having hit the scrapyards (man they'r sooo fun) i have came across a few 'in shape' canisters, so will be checking that out soon.

So people, if your having trouble with cutting out etc.. the 'charcoal canister/valve' system might be your problem, and not neccessarly the TDC sensor
 
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