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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
I have an '03 1.4i Clio, 29,500 miles, and over the past few months have had intermittant difficulity in starting it.

The car was fine then started running rough, i.e. on three cylinders. I changed the plugs as a first step as they had done about 26,000 miles. I couldn't find the same plugs that were fitted (Champion RC87YCL) so bought some NGK ones that were recommended as equivalent. Replacing the plugs made no difference. Car went in to garage where an ignition coil was diagnosed as the problem and problem cleared.
Since then I have sometimes had difficulty in starting the car. It will turn over and over but will not fire, sometimes it will start at second attempt sometimes third, sometimes you have to walk away and come back ten minutes later and try to start it. Most times it starts first time with no problem but does seem to tick over a little rough for the first few seconds.
The car runs great when started.

Wondered if anyone had any ideas? My first thought is that the NGK plugs that I have used might not be quite matched to the car.
I have also read a bit of stuff about the TDC switch causing problems on starting but don't know enough really.

Any help appreciated.
 

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sounds a bit like the problem i have with my megane ended up been throttle body. i had the problem for 10 months befor it was diagnosed as this.
 

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Hard to start

HI Rods16 - does your car have a coil for each plug - if so it is recommended all be renwewed at the same time. Coils can be very fickle at times and can be easily affected by temperature and mosture in the air.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Coils

thanks madnoel, I have heard about changing all four at same time but just figured the dealer was trying to rip me, though it also mentions it in an 'honest john' article.

I had almost dismissed it because once started it runs like a dream so can dodgy coils cause poor starting but allow car to run fine once started?
 

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Clio hard to start

Hi Rods16 – coils can be quite temperamental things at the best of times especially on Renaults. Replacing the rest of the coils may help but with no guarantee – it is also possible the TDC sensor or its connections are faulty. Testing the TDC sensor can be quite tricky and diagnosis can only be successfully proved by replacing it. I appreciate this isn’t much help – but try searching the entire forum as there are many references to TDC sensors and their associated problems. Good Luck:)
 

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It could be your key/immobiliser. Does the immobiliser light on the dash go off when you're having problems starting it? My Clio was an intermittent starter, & i ended up flattening my battery one night after work. Had to get a breakdown company out who towed me home & told me to try my spare key, it fired straight up without a problem & has done ever since. The other key wasn't always shutting the immobiliser off.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the input.

I will look out for the immobiliser light next time it fails to start, though I thought it wouldn't even turn over if it was an immobiliser fault. Will also have my spare key handy.

Going to order and fit a new TDC sensor in next few days, seems a fairly cheap and easy part to try.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update...

Hi

Thought I'd give you an update,

Before I ordered the new Top Dead Centre I thought I had better find it on the engine and work out how to remove it first, so I did this and removed it to get any part numbers etc off it to aid ordering a new one.

Anyway, once off I had a good look at it and saw no visible signs of dirt or deposits or damage. Gave it a spray with WD and a wipe anyway and refitted it. Gave the car a start and she fired straight away no problems, and I havn't had any trouble since!

Just hope it stays this way, thanks for all the help and ideas.

Rods
 
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