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Thread: Low fuel causes spanner light

  1. #1
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    Vehicle : Vectra 1.9 CDTi 150

    Trim : Exclusive (with Irmscher kit)

    Engine : 1.9 CDTi 150

    Year : 2008

    Mileage : 162000

    Default Low fuel causes spanner light

    Quick question (I have searched the forum for an answer with no luck).

    recently I have experienced the spanner light coming on and the car going into "limp" mode when my fuel is low. The low fuel warning light is on, but not flashing. I have always run my tank down to the light as I do plenty of miles and I try to fill up and get the most out of the tank every time. When I have filled the tank again, all "appears well" and the car runs OK.

    One thing to note is that I have been blowing a little grey smoke out the back under heavy acceleration recently - is this a symptom of something too?

    Is it possible for the low fuel situation to be causing the spanner light to come on? i.e. could I just have some dirt in the tank which gets pulled through into the engine causing the limp mode? Or do I have something a little more serious?

    I have a 57 plate 1.9 CDTi Vectra Hatchback with 104k miles - recent service and timing belt change. Last year I had the Engine Management System replaced under a warranty repair - just hoping it's not gone wrong again as it was similar symptoms...

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Regular Member disco dan's Avatar
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    Does the pedal test work on that model?

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    Vehicle : Vectra 1.9 CDTi 150

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    Engine : 1.9 CDTi 150

    Year : 2008

    Mileage : 162000

    Default

    I have tried it, but I dont think it does unfortunately. will try again in a bit and see if it works...

    Cheers

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    Regular Member Critch's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Mk1 renault scenic... I know I know but it drives

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    Default

    Need to get codes read mate.

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    Regular Member m8internet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richdyer View Post
    The low fuel warning light is on, but not flashing. I have always run my tank down to the light as I do plenty of miles and I try to fill up and get the most out of the tank every time. When I have filled the tank again, all "appears well" and the car runs OK.
    More likely the issue is being caused when the engine is hot, filling up is allowing the engine to cool plus enough time for the code to be refreshed, as a result the warning is cleared

    Try this and compare
    Fill the tank and run to half or at the least quarter only, then refill

    That is how I complete my journeys, filling up early in the morning and then refilling once the needle reaches half

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    Vehicle : Vectra 1.9 CDTi 150

    Trim : Exclusive (with Irmscher kit)

    Engine : 1.9 CDTi 150

    Year : 2008

    Mileage : 162000

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by m8internet View Post
    Try this and compare
    Fill the tank and run to half or at the least quarter only, then refill

    That is how I complete my journeys, filling up early in the morning and then refilling once the needle reaches half
    Will try that, thanks. I have a trip to Burnley to see the kids tomorrow, so a good run up the M5/M6 for me - hope I dont break down though...!

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    Vehicle : Vectra 1.9 CDTi 150

    Trim : Exclusive (with Irmscher kit)

    Engine : 1.9 CDTi 150

    Year : 2008

    Mileage : 162000

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by disco dan View Post
    Does the pedal test work on that model?
    just tried again and it doesnt appear to work on my model...

  8. #8
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    Vehicle : Vectra 1.9 CDTi 150

    Trim : Exclusive (with Irmscher kit)

    Engine : 1.9 CDTi 150

    Year : 2008

    Mileage : 162000

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by m8internet View Post
    Try this and compare
    Fill the tank and run to half or at the least quarter only, then refill

    That is how I complete my journeys, filling up early in the morning and then refilling once the needle reaches half
    OK - so the weekend trip to Burnley was fine - and it appears to run well now. One thing to note is that I experience a little juddering on cold start, and revving the engine a little produces a bit of grey smoke. Once started and running the juddering goes... any ideas...?

    I am thinking about getting a U480 CAN-Bus OBDII OBD2 EOBD Trouble Code Read Diagnose Tester Diagnostic Scanner, but is it compatible with my Vectra? I am also looking at i-Phone apps and OBDII compatible readers - anyone have any ideas about which ones are best...?

  9. #9
    Regular Member rich r's Avatar
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    Default

    As mine is a Dual Fuel - I regularly run it through the fuel light being on, then flashing, and then it actually turns off just before the LPG system switches back to petrol.

    So I would tend to agree that the low fuel level is a coincidental factor in your case - you need to get the fault codes. The pedal test doesn't work on that many models (mainly 1.8s) so you'll need a fault code reader or take it to any garage. I'm sure most places won't even charge you to read the codes and let you write them down if you're polite about asking.

    Failing that, if you've got a laptop, a £15 ELM327 clone off eBay should get you the codes from the engine ECU.

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