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Thread: The "flashing car picture with spanner through it" light

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    Default The "flashing car picture with spanner through it" light

    Started the car last night (2006 2.2 Petrol Elite auto) and promptly coughed, spluttered and died. Tried to start it again and nothing. I knew I had enough battery juice as all the lights were still working. Then the car/spanner light started flashing. Pretty sure I knew it was an immobiliser related fault, but I went ahead and RTFM anyway - which confirmed my thoughts. The manual mentioned something like try again, or try the spare key. Seeing as the spare was some 15 miles away, that wasn't an option. After locking and unlocking the car several times with the remote, I eventually got the car started.

    Now to my questions.
    1) I was in an area with no mobile phone signal whatsoever. The keys were in the same pocket as the phone (still switched on) for 3+ hours. Could the phone have temporarily scrambled the immobiliser chip in the keyfob somehow due to it trying to make frequent contact with the network to say that it was still switched on?

    2) I can't remember if the ecu and car/spanner light go off a few seconds after the key had been turned, but not before the engine is started. I *thought* they did, but perhaps I'm wrong and now being overly paranoid. Now they only go out once the engine has been started. Is this correct, or should they go off before I fire up the engine? Are they remaining on until the engine is started due to possible fault code being stored?

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    Well a week on and it hasn't done it since. Guessing it was just the mobile phone that temporarily scrambled the immobiliser chip.

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    I think the car/spanner turns on for a few secs. at startup meaning you had a faulty start recently...it will go away over time. If you want to get rid of it before that happens unplug the battery and reset the whole thing.
    BTW if you think that working lights, horn, door locks mean you have juice in the car battery, I´m afraid not....believe me I know...just to make sure it has juice check the green dot on the battery itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRob View Post
    BTW if you think that working lights, horn, door locks mean you have juice in the car battery, I´m afraid not..
    I knew it had plenty of juice in it as just prior to the car spluttering to a halt, the engine span over in it's usual manner moments beforehand and fired up momentarily.

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    Regular Member parapaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dave
    2) I can't remember if the ecu and car/spanner light go off a few seconds after the key had been turned, but not before the engine is started. I *thought* they did, but perhaps I'm wrong and now being overly paranoid. Now they only go out once the engine has been started. Is this correct, or should they go off before I fire up the engine? Are they remaining on until the engine is started due to possible fault code being stored?
    That's right. If the ECU has old codes stored, you'll get the car&spanner light with the ignition, but it will go out when you start the engine.

    If the same fault doesn't reoccur within (i think) 25 engine starts, the light goes out completely, but the fault code remains on the ECU and should be picked up if it's read by Tech2 software.

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    Thanks parapaul.

    I read elsewhere though that gone are the days of 25 or so clean start ups will erase the fault codes. The codes are now stored until the codes are erased by Tech2. I don't even think by disconnecting the battery will erase them either.

    EDIT Just re-read what you said, and it's basically the same as I just typed. The code will still be logged, but at least after so many clean start ups the light won't remain on until the engine is started.

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    I can now report back that it took a lot longer than 25 clean start ups before the spanner light went off without the engine running. I've had no more immobiliser problems since posting this, which shouldn't have added any more fault codes into the ecu memory.

    For the first time tonight since the 10th Jan the spanner light no longer remains lit until the engine is started. Car is used daily, and engine started at least 3 or 4 times each day. That means the fault is stored for either a heck of a lot longer than 25 clean start ups, or on a time based interval of approx 30 days.

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