Vectra wont start - Dave Grain
I have experienced problem with my 1995 1.8 petrol Vectra (owned since 6 months old).
In certain weather conditions, a combination of frost & damp the car, which is serviced regularly, will not fire or start.
It always happens incidentally whilst on my drive.
This has happened 4 or 5 times & each time I call out the local Vauxhall dealer who has found the only way to start it is to bump start (Jump leads are not sufficient)
After full diagnostic check the dealer has never been able to find the fault. Replacement plugs do not help.

Any one who has solved this or has a solution?

One would have thought Vauxhall would have discovered the solution but it appears not, or at least if they have they've not informed their dealers.
Dave Grain
Re: Vectra wont start - Alvin Booth
Funny one Dave in respect of having to be bump started because jump leads will not do the trick.
A bump start hardly turns the engine over whereas the starter motor will spin it over at a fast speed.
The old adage is that if there is petrol in the combustion chamber and a spark it has to fire so it would appear one or tother is missing.
Because it happens during damp weather I would go for the electrics.
Your HT leads could be leaking current and not giving you a good spark. Its a cheap and easy job to replace them anyway. Have you tried WD40 or similar on your cables and plugs when this happens.
Another is to look under your bonnet in the dark and see if you can see any arcing taking place.
What do the rest of our gang think????


Alvin Booth
Re: Vectra wont start - Gwyn Parry
My old 1.8 Sport Astra (Ecotec engine on an N plate) started doing this....most irritating fault occured just after a service and prior to a continental trip. RAC managed to get it going and it farted its way to a Vauxhall Dealer in Brownhills(approx 100 miles away)....don't recall the Dealer's name but they fitted me into their busy schedule and a mechanic took the HT leads off and fiddled. He muttered darkly sayingthat a number of early 1.8 Ecotecs were doing this. He put it on a diagnostics and it seemed to be ok....The car then ran faultlessly until I part ex'd it some 10 months later for my Vectra...He also told me that a number of 1.8 sports were coming in with fried ECUs and I lived in fear ...! I have also been reluctant to jump start any Vauxhall...Rumours of fried ECUs due to Power surges abound in the local Police Force when they ran Vauxhalls
Re: Vectra wont start - John Slaughter
On the old cars with coil ignition a bump start worked because the battery volts were not being dragged down by the starter, so the ignition was more efficient. On electronic ignition the spark should be at full power even at the lower voltages caysed by the starter cranking. That said a bump start can turn the engine faster than the starter motor, which would bear out Andrews point about low compression. Certainly a compression test is worth doing, especially if plug leads are expensive. However, my money's on the plug leads, especially if the engine's cranking at a reasonable pace on the starter. Otherwise, is it the battery?


Re: Vectra wont start - honestjohn
The problem is quite likely to be the leads. One trick is to clean any oil and dirt off them because this can harbour condensation and the current rides the outside of the leads. But core break up is common on Vauxhalls, Fords and VWs these days. If you buy a new set of leads, don't buy them from Vauxhall who will charge a fortune. Get them from a motor factor or accessory shop where they will be £25 - 35.

Re: Vectra wont start - Malcolm
Yes it does point to the leads, and the best way I have found to confirm this is to crank the engine in the dark while someone watches the leads for stray HT tracking .
Re: Vectra wont start - Mark
Another possible way to spot arcing HT leads is the carbon deposits it leaves where they arc out. That was how I realised my leads were arcing out, a nice black deposit on the bonnet.
Re: Vectra wont start - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up Ltd.)
This sounds like a combination of short journeys, too long between oil changes and cheap petrol. This is causing sticky rings and gummed valves and we are losing compression. I dont think this is a lead problem unless your leads are inreally poor condition, plus they are VERY expensive. Try a good motor flush and a change of oil (NOT synthetic) and a dose of Texaco fuel additive in a tank of Texaco or Shell and continue using their petrol. Now give the car a good 20 mile run on the motorway in 4th gear. Avoid jump starting the vehicle with jump leads that don't have surge & spike protection. I get this problem regularly on Valencia & HCS engined Fiestas where the valves get thoroughly gummed up. Prior to all this it would be worth, if you can, doing a compression test on a morning when the vehicle would be most likely not to start.
Re: Vectra wont start - Alvin Booth
I suggested earlier that HT leads were cheap and Andrew Moorey said no they are very expensive!!!!
I stand corrected. In Honest Johns Telegraph Motoring supplement a letter from a reader had a similar problem to dave Grain and he goes on to relate how his Vectra 2.5 SRi 1998R had the spark plugs and HT leads replaced by the dealer.
I quote " Today I was advised by the dealer that the problem is down to the spark plugs and leads. I was surprised by this as I would have expected the plugs to last more than 6000 miles (they were changed at the last service) The cost was an even bigger surprise however.... £238.41 (including £169.20 for 6 HT leads. unquote.
You were quite right Andrew and I am amazed. The last time I bought HT leads they were about £12.00 for a set of 4 from my local Accessory shop and they were copper cored. I admit this was some years ago.
What on earth are they made from to justify this price. Titanium, silver, gold????? I'll stick to diesels!!!!


Alvin Booth

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