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Thread: Swirl Actuator Problem... or not?!

  1. #1
    Regular Member djr69uk's Avatar
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    Default Swirl Actuator Problem... or not?!

    Last year my Veccy went into limp home mode 3 times during the summer. I realised that it was happening when I was crawling, or stuck in heavy traffic during the hot months. The temp gauge was only hitting 90-92 degrees, but the spanner would come on and then I'd have to let the car cool down before I could restart without the spanner light being on. I tried cleaning the EGR and although it was crudded up, it didn't help.

    Anyway... I was driving to Parsco's house last night to pick up my twin SRi pipes and got stuck in very heavy traffic on the A14. Next thing you know the spanner light is back on. I tried a couple of rolling restarts as the traffic got going again but the temp was still quite high. Unfortunately on the 2nd attempt the EML came on as well as the spanner light.

    Once at Parsco's place, I grabbed my FCR and checked for fault codes... DTC P1109 came back. Scott kindly checked the forum for this code and multiple references to the dreaded swirl valve actuator problem came back. Further reading suggested the code also relates to IAT B sensor intermittent? Anyway, I cleared the code and EML using the FCR and let the car cool right down. Then drove back to the Midlands and to work and back today and she's been absolutely fine! I strongly suspect it'll be fine until I'm stuck in traffic again somewhere.

    I was running a Caterman (which I removed when I got to Scott's) but I don't think it was anything to do with that due to it happening a few times last year when I didn't have the caterman fitted.

    So, does anyone know if engine bay temperature can affect the swirl actuator or is this a red herring? Is the IAT B sensor def. to do with the swirl valve?? I'm assuming the IAT is intake air temperature sensor...? Is there an air intake temperature sensor somewhere that might be faulty - might explain why it is brought on by 'overheating' conditions - or am I just hoping here?

  2. #2
    Regular Member big rich's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra gsi

    Trim : Full heated leather

    Engine : 3200

    Year : 2004

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    you have pm m8

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    There will almost certainly be an air intake temp sensor and this sounds, to me, like the most obvious cause. Maybe the sensor is breaking down at higher end temperatures. I am at work just now so cannot go into my vx TIS to look for you but I am sure someone will be along to advise during the course of the day. Good Luck.

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    Regular Member Maverick's Avatar
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    I have my doubts about the Caterman box's, I know they give good performance, but they are the crudest of crude box's available and I would imagine that it maybe not the main cause of the problem, but for sure it won't help.

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    Regular Member djr69uk's Avatar
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    cheers guys. i know what you mean about the caterman, but it happened 3 times last year in exactly the same way - due to me being held up in traffic. i'm sure something is overheating and causing the fault.

    i went to 2 main dealers today and told them the full story and gave them the DTC P1109. both said they don't usually hear of it being a temp related problem and usually it is to do with the bar falling off the nipples on the valve. however, one said it could be just the actuator that needs replacing and not just the manifold - although he stated the field remedy was to replace both actuator motor and manifold.

    one quoted 185 for the manifold plus 6 hours @ 70 squids (+ vat)
    other quoted 185 for manifold plus 135 for actuator motor plus 4 hours @ 70 squids (+vat)

    so one said i needed the actuator motor on top of the manifold - the other didn't...

    both advised i try and live with it... as it doesn't happen all the time. just gotta make sure the satnav keeps me well away from traffic problems! lol!

    seriously though... has anyone else with the swirl valve actuator prob had spanner light on ONLY when the car is sat in traffic? then it goes out once it's restarted after a cool down period??

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    Quote Originally Posted by djr69uk View Post
    cheers guys. i know what you mean about the caterman, but it happened 3 times last year in exactly the same way - due to me being held up in traffic. i'm sure something is overheating and causing the fault.

    i went to 2 main dealers today and told them the full story and gave them the DTC P1109. both said they don't usually hear of it being a temp related problem and usually it is to do with the bar falling off the nipples on the valve. however, one said it could be just the actuator that needs replacing and not just the manifold - although he stated the field remedy was to replace both actuator motor and manifold.

    one quoted 185 for the manifold plus 6 hours @ 70 squids (+ vat)
    other quoted 185 for manifold plus 135 for actuator motor plus 4 hours @ 70 squids (+vat)

    so one said i needed the actuator motor on top of the manifold - the other didn't...

    both advised i try and live with it... as it doesn't happen all the time. just gotta make sure the satnav keeps me well away from traffic problems! lol!

    seriously though... has anyone else with the swirl valve actuator prob had spanner light on ONLY when the car is sat in traffic? then it goes out once it's restarted after a cool down period??
    Hi

    Bit odd that the two prices are within a tenner and one includes the motor!

    neil

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    Quote Originally Posted by djr69uk View Post
    cheers guys. i know what you mean about the caterman, but it happened 3 times last year in exactly the same way - due to me being held up in traffic. i'm sure something is overheating and causing the fault.

    i went to 2 main dealers today and told them the full story and gave them the DTC P1109. both said they don't usually hear of it being a temp related problem and usually it is to do with the bar falling off the nipples on the valve. however, one said it could be just the actuator that needs replacing and not just the manifold - although he stated the field remedy was to replace both actuator motor and manifold.

    one quoted 185 for the manifold plus 6 hours @ 70 squids (+ vat)
    other quoted 185 for manifold plus 135 for actuator motor plus 4 hours @ 70 squids (+vat)


    so one said i needed the actuator motor on top of the manifold - the other didn't...

    both advised i try and live with it... as it doesn't happen all the time. just gotta make sure the satnav keeps me well away from traffic problems! lol!

    seriously though... has anyone else with the swirl valve actuator prob had spanner light on ONLY when the car is sat in traffic? then it goes out once it's restarted after a cool down period??
    If it were me I would live with it just now. Maybe an idea the next time you are stuck in traffic is to swithc on the air con. This appears to reduce the engine water temp by about 5 degrees (well it does on my car when stauck in traffic). Once it gets to 91/92 the fan cuts in but only varies by about 1 or 2 degrees but with the air con on, it goes down to the mid 80s and gets no higher.

  8. #8
    Regular Member djr69uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilrj View Post
    Hi

    Bit odd that the two prices are within a tenner and one includes the motor!

    neil

    yeh not sure about that to be honest. i thought the manifold included the actuator motor? can someone confirm?

  9. #9
    Regular Member djr69uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wickedwillie View Post
    If it were me I would live with it just now. Maybe an idea the next time you are stuck in traffic is to swithc on the air con. This appears to reduce the engine water temp by about 5 degrees (well it does on my car when stauck in traffic). Once it gets to 91/92 the fan cuts in but only varies by about 1 or 2 degrees but with the air con on, it goes down to the mid 80s and gets no higher.

    lol that old trick... you can bang the heater on high and that pulls in hot air from the engine bay as well. when i know it is about to happen i'll try and see if it prevents the spanner light from coming on if the temp drops back down. might experiment a bit and find out what conditions lead to the light coming on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djr69uk View Post
    lol that old trick... you can bang the heater on high and that pulls in hot air from the engine bay as well. when i know it is about to happen i'll try and see if it prevents the spanner light from coming on if the temp drops back down. might experiment a bit and find out what conditions lead to the light coming on.
    No I didnt mean air con on with full heat, I meant air con on with the knob at full cold. It works on my car and the cabin is still nice and cold as well.

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