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Thread: 1.8 Poor running - Help!!

  1. #1
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    Default 1.8 Poor running - Help!!

    Hi chaps.

    Got a 1.8 (non VVT) Sxi Veccy on an 04 plate.

    Its been running OK since I got it, except for a recent increase in fuel consumption, and occasional "stutter" when accelerating gently at low revs (town driving).

    I put the "stutter" down to knackered spark plugs as they are long overdue for a change, and thought the increased consumption was probably a dirty MAF sensor.

    I replaced the cam belt on saturday, changed the spark plugs and cleaned the MAF sensor and the "stutter" has gone...

    Unfortunately, tickover is now lumpy and pick-up through the rev range is not great unless you give it full throttle. The engine shaped light on the RHS of the dash also came on (steady light, indicating emissions control fault).

    I ordered a new MAF from Ebay, and fitted it this morning, but it made no difference. I also fitted some standard spark plugs (as the new ones were fancy quad electrode thingies) and disconnected the battery for 45 mins. Again no change, but the emissions control light has gone out.

    Does anyone have any idea what the problem could be? I have checked VERY thoroughly for air leaks (there are none), checked the filter is clean (it is), and yet it STILL runs VERY rich... (You can smell it in the exhaust).

    Also noticed that its worse when the engine is cold, and the spanner light comes on when you sirst start the car and drive, but it goes off when it warms up?????


    HELP ME!!!!
    Last edited by abbeytec; 17th September 2008 at 15:17.

  2. #2
    Full Member Big Sig's Avatar
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    Get the codes read. could be a O2 sensor, coil pack etc..... lots of possibilites.
    Now I need a turbo to keep up!

  3. #3
    Regular Member boba's Avatar
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    get the codes read.

    There are so many possibilities on a modern engine that you could end up well out of pocket guessing and replacing at random. The codes aren't perfect but they can often pinpoint the cause.

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    Cheers... Do I call you Sig, or Big??!!

    Do I need to have it Tech 2'd, or can I use OBD2??

    Would a dodgy cam sensor cause this? I only ask about this, cos it had to be removed to do the cam belt.

    Cheers.

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    maybe clean the throttle body with some carb cleaner. thats the first thing i`d do. every vx i had has had to get the done regulary to keep it running good. does it feel like its going to stall when your about to drive off?

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    The OBD2 may help with the codes, the tech 2 would be your best bet. How many miles has it done? he coil pack it a weak point on the Z18XE engines. The TB could also be a problem, take the hoses off and check it, if its dirty, give it a clean with carb cleaner.

    Call me Sean.
    Now I need a turbo to keep up!

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    Regular Member boba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abbeytec View Post
    Would a dodgy cam sensor cause this? I only ask about this, cos it had to be removed to do the cam belt.

    Cheers.
    I wouldn't have thought so since you say yours is non-variable valve timing and the engine is still running. On VVT engines a faulty cam sensor can give poor low-speed running. Don't guess, read the codes!

  8. #8
    Ex-Staff Full Member Ian T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxouk View Post
    maybe clean the throttle body with some carb cleaner. thats the first thing i`d do. every vx i had has had to get the done regulary to keep it running good. does it feel like its going to stall when your about to drive off?
    Might be worth checking the same thing I had to get cleaned out on my 1.8 (2003).
    There is a small rubber hose that goes from the back of the cam cover to the side of the throttle body. make sure the hose is clear, as it takes oily fumes from the cam cover.
    Where this fits onto the throttle body, onto a small brass fitting, the hole in the fitting is about the size of paper clip wire.
    Make sure that hole is clear, but don't make the hole any larger.

    When the engine is idling, it uses air through this hose, along with the air being controlled by the idle valve. If it can't draw enough air in, that can give it a rich mixture reading.

    HTH

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    Thanks guys...

    Forgot to say that I also cleaned the throttle body / butterfly when I did the cam belt

    I'll check that hose, Ian - sounds like a possibility.

    I dont think its the coil pack - It just doesn't feel like an electrical problem in that sense... There is no misfire on tickover, its just lumpy - like cars used to be if you kept em on choke for too long.

    Thrash it, and it pretty much clears.

    Finally, yes it does feel like its gonna stall, and often does if I dont catch it in time.

    I'll go and check the hoses now... (runs off to garage...)

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    (Runs back in from garage...)

    B*LL*CKS....

    The hose connection Ian T was talking about was TOTALLY blocked...

    So bad, I had to take off the top of the throttle body, and put a tiny, tiny drill through (by hand) from inside the venturi...

    But it STILL runs like a bag of sh!te...

    The hose and connection is completely clear now, but its just the same.

    A mate has got an OBD2 cable and software, so gonna connect my laptop to it tomorrow, and hopefully get some error codes out of it. Failing that, anyone got access to a Tech2 reader even remotely close to Leicestershire???



    I'll keep the post updated until I find a fix, cos there's NOTHING more frustrating than this type of thread with no resolution...

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