Rover 1.4 SLI with Rover Engine Doctor ! - Pye
I've got my 1992 Rover SLI. I bought it 3years old from a leasing company second hand at auctions cost £3500. It had 52000 miles on the clock. The car now has 118,000 miles on the clock that i've done. The majority of my miles now done traveling England to Spain where I know live. She's never gone to the garage. I do the basic yearly service. Now! my baby has developed a cough! and I'm still in spain. I've confidence she would make it back mechanically wise. The engines not leaking water. I just need some help diagnosing what the fault may be.

The symtoms are asthough the car is gasping for oil or air. I can almost feel her choking to beath. Twice she has coughed to a stall. Now it may be another problem but the exhaust has black try carbon more than she's ever had. the Spark plugs are coated around the edge with black dry powdered carbon. although the central part is nicely colour beige, as a good firing spark usually is. THe car runs a dream until I get this stuttering. Thats why I think the engine is ok ie moving mechanics are as normal.

Last year I had a Drive belt change, first Ever. long over due could this be the root cause of my problems? Maybe a timing error could cause these symtoms. When shes idling sometimes The Engine management, ( I beleive) is trying to conpensate and the revs go up to 2000 for a second or so, but slowly reduces. The power loss is in all gears, and only this week power lost so much she stalled again, there was some black/greyish smoke comming out the back, then she cut out. I started her up again, and the revs picked up to constant idling and she was spat out the blak smoke and ran perfectly again! It's quite interemittent, Funnily always fine first think in the morning. Spain is quuit hot so maybe the heat affects so thermal bi-metalic strip detector or something! Air filter is new, spark plugs only 6 months from new. Look good and normal spark witdh but now there getting to much fuel I suppose!. The exhaust no is nicely coated in jet black soot! around the outside edges

What do you think guys. I just want to try some test you suggest to try find out if I can narrow the fault before the first visit to this garage. or have an idea what the solution could be, options are always nice. Luckilly theres a Rover Dealer 20 miles away. they don't have a diagnostic tools but can order once from there sister garage temorarily, so the mechanic say. He's gonna do that next week, unfortunatly My spainsh is not to good, so i'm looking to get informed with your help before going over there.
Rover 1.4 SLI with Rover Engine Doctor ! - Pye
Heres a picture of my engine , so you can see the Engine type for yourself. Click the link to show photo
Rover 1.4 SLI with Rover Engine Doctor ! - David Davies
I'd suggest you renew the coolant temperature sensor and check the harness plug which connects to this part.It is located under the inlet manifold on the right if you are viewing the engine from the front.Also looking at your photo. the distributor cap (and rotor) look ripe for replacement! One other common problem is partial blockage of the vacuum pipe running from the manifold to the engine ECU.An oily residue can accumulate in this pipe and cause erratic engine running
David Davies (Tune-Up Raglan)
Rover 1.4 SLI with Rover Engine Doctor ! - Pye
Thank you for replying so quickly with your good advice

I didn't know this Sensor existed so I looked it up in my Haynes manual now and interesting it. Your advice to my problem does fit the bill.

"The sensor information in conjuntion with other inputs control idle speed, injector opening time duration and ignition timing"

"If the sensor fails to provide adequate information then the ECU's backup facility assumes a value corresponding to 60 degrees"

Which does make sense if this is a faulty switch and why the engine recovers after the a while and also why the idle speed goes high.

let you know how I get on. Thanks again David
I let you know how I get on.
Rover 1.4 SLI with Rover Engine Doctor ! - Pye
PS. I'll check the Vacuume pipe also and make sure it's clear. Blimey, I didn't know about that either.

I appreciate for your helping me.
Rover 1.4 SLI with Rover Engine Doctor ! - Robin the Technician
Hola, Senor.
My initial thoughts are that the distributor cap and rotor arm need replacing. The symptoms you describe are indicative of this problem. Assuming you've never changed it before, its way overdue. Its unlikely that the change of timing belt some while ago is anything to do with this problem as it would have been apparent immediately afterwards.

Hope this helps...

These are the views of Robin the Technician with 35 years in the trade. I fix, therefore I am...
Rover 1.4 SLI with Rover Engine Doctor ! - Pye
gracias Robin,

I wouldn't count out that two problems can appear at the same time, so you idea is appreciated also.

If it is the distributer cap/arm; what would be happening?. It guess it would me missing sparking the fuel regulary, so that would cause loss of power, and more fuel than needed in the cylinders, so when it did spark it would be two much so, black soot also. I'll have them both checked. I did take the distributor cap of and cleaned the surface but it's impossible to tell the distances betwwen the arm and the caps 4 nodes. that did seem slightly angled. that must be wear. And it's never been changed since I've had it. so I would say 11 years old which!!

Rover 1.4 SLI with Rover Engine Doctor ! - Robin the Technician
The problem will be the carbon brush in the centre of the cap inside- its probably worn out completely by now. It is on a spring to keep it forced against the centre of the rotor arm. After this time period you should change it. You will suffer from weak spark causing the sooting of the plugs due to poor combustion in the engine. Change this first as its probably the cheapest option- I'm confident it'll run a whole lot better.

Hope this helps!!

These are the views of Robin the Technician with 35 years in the trade. I fix, therefore I am...
Rover 1.4 SLI with Rover Engine Doctor ! - Mark (RLBS)

Algo más.
Rover 1.4 SLI with Rover Engine Doctor ! - DL
Combine the dizzy cap & rotor arm change with a new set of HT leads aswell......
Rover 1.4 SLI with Rover Engine Doctor ! - Pye
Well, The car diagnosed no problems on the Rover Diagnostic COmputer. The cap and spindle got changed. and still the same problem. Then changed the sensor for the coolant. Suprisingly still the same problem.

So the fuel filter was changed and cleaned the feed pipes and resevoir and hey voila! the car is breathing properly again!
I can't say what part got blocked or clogged exactly.
It would be interesting to know, but I couldn't go to the garage and ask myself, I had to get my girlfriend to collect it. And she admits she couldn't understand the answer she would have been given!

Thanks guys for your help. Those parts are now replaced with new. thats cost very little. So thats a comfort to know I shouldn't have to worry about them for another 7 years or so ;). And the car feel great to drive, I'm sure the cap and spindle have a big part to play on that improvement. thanks again for your solid advice!

Value my car