Do you know your car's MoT and mileage history? Our user profiles will show you for FREE | No thanks
02 1.2 intermittent starting problem - Grahamcro
My daughter has inherited my wife's 2002 1.2 Clio. We have owned it from nearly new and it only has about 38000 on the clock. Recently the car has refuse to start about one time in ten. This seems quite at random, the engine spins over perfectly on the starter, but does not fire. First I fitted a new battery - although old one seemed OK - Next fitted new plugs (Despite huge tool kit, had to buy special spanner -Those Frenchies!) Next stop was new coil/leads from Renault dealer. All has made no difference. Usually starts instantly, but then a couple of days elapse and my daughter explains that she has spent about 15 minutes trying to start it. I'm afraid that if 'we' book it into the Renault main dealer they won't find anything wrong, or charge for unnecessary work/parts, the same old fault appearing a few days later. Any help would be gratefully received. Regards, Graham Crocker

Edited by Pugugly on 12/09/2008 at 21:36

Tags: technical issues starting problem electrical faults batteries

02 1.2 Intermittent Starting Problem - Screwloose

Many possible causes; going on the special spanner, is this a 16-valve unit?

If so; check the steel crash box on the engine-mounted ECU isn't nibbling at the loom. Engine loom degradation is a common problem on all Clios.

The most common culprit for a random non-start would be the crank sensor though.
02 1.2 Intermittent Starting Problem - Grahamcro
Hi Screwloose,
Thanks for reply. The car is the 16 valve model. I would certainly be prepared to change crankshaft sensor - I'm assuming that it's not expense or hard to fit, I have yet to get a Haynes manual. (Our local Halfords 'Superstore' seems continually sold out of the one for this 2002 model).
02 1.2 Intermittent Starting Problem - Screwloose

The crank sensor is directly above the flywheel; two bolts. Easy, once the clutter has been removed.

A dealer's one may now come with modified plug and short piece of 3-wire loom to solder in. Non-gen ones don't.
02 1.2 Intermittent Starting Problem - Grahamcro
Hi again Screwloose.
Thanks for the description of access to the Crank Sensor - I tried to buy a Haynes on-line today, but now believe they have yet to publish one! I sent off for a couple of privateer manuals on CD - Don't know how good they'll be, but a lot better than nothing at all. I did pick up from an old thread that someone had had problems with the ignition key/alarm system, giving similar symptoms - they changed to the spare key and the problem was cured, allegedly. I've told my daughter to carry the spare in the hope that when the fault re-occurs we can test the theory. Not holding my breath on this, though, and expect to be down the dealers for a sensor shortly.
02 1.2 Intermittent Starting Problem - poormansfoor
Got the same car - same year - and from time to time it goes through periods of being reluctant to fire.

I park on a slight slope and I find that releasing the brake and rolling back a couple of feet often fixes the problem.

May work for you!
02 1.2 Intermittent Starting Problem - Grahamcro
Hi Poormansfoor,

Thanks for the info. I appreciate all the help I can get.

Can you give me a bit more... Is or has the igntion been turned on before or during the rolling back? (I secretly suspect an intermittent fault with the Timing Module [AKA TDC sensor] or the car's security immobiliser or even a bad conection somewhere between the ignition switch and ignition circuitry).
02 1.2 Intermittent Starting Problem - 1rickster
I've had intermittent starting problems too.

Had the battery changed, changed the glow plugs, changed the crankshaft sensor (TDC sensor) took out all the relays cleaned and replaced. All of these seemed to work for a few days then the problem returned.

Latest fix (I hope) is changing the key. Started using the spare key and it's been 100% ever since. There's a transponder in the key and it appers to be on it's way out. Expensive to repleace but if you have a spare it's happy days.

Hope this helps.
02 1.2 Intermittent Starting Problem - rogerbill
Thanks for that very useful bit of info - got no help for starting problem on an 05 Modus, from Renault dealer, Renault UK - so scanned internet and found your comments on your daughter's Clio starting problem!! Tried my spare key - guess what? - solved the problem immediately!! Dread to think what charges the dealer fumblers would have racked up, changing everything, apart from the key!! A warning here to all car owners - look for an answer from someone who knows! - not a car mechanic - they all work by trial and mostly error!

02 1.2 Intermittent Starting Problem - Dords
Had similar imtermittent starting problems with Clio for over a year. Had it to numerous mechanics including 'Renault Technical Expert' complete with special laptop for diagnostics who recommended a whole new ignition system with new 'brain' at cost of about £600. Wasted my time with them all.
A an old guy working in a small garage eventually solved the problem. There is a circular plastic ring containing a coil of wire that fits around the ignition kehole, apparently it picks up the key code or somat, but the wire in the coil must have gone 'inter- dis'.
Anyhow got one in the breakers for £10 and fitted it myself in 2 minutes flat and problem solved!
02 1.2 Intermittent Starting Problem - totally fed up
had loads of problems recently, and totally fed up. Anyhow, had starting problems, emission light came up on dashboard and would not go out. Took advice from discussion room re the CTS (coolant temperature sensor). Whilst this was not eventually the problem, it would of had to of been changed anway, got this for £20.43. The actual problem in fact was a broken wire inside the wiring loom, situated in a rubber seal at the top of the engine. An auto electrician solved this for me by mistake! However, firstly I would change CTS and then progress to wiring. Dont whatever you do go to a renault dealer as this fault does not come up on the diagnostics and will cost you £95+ depending where you go just for this!
02 1.2 Intermittent Starting Problem - calmat

Hello, can you tell me exactley what the guy changed or repaired to cure the problem plz.

Really desperate and need urgent help

02 1.2 intermittent starting problem - zutalors
please let me know if & what solved this problem,as i have the exact same problem on my clio 1.2 sport 2001 apparentley it aready had a new loom when i bought the car but the dealer reckons i've damaged some thing when i had it serviced at a different garage
02 1.2 intermittent starting problem - ljjt
Ive experienced a similar problem. Just wouldnt start every now and then. Wouldnt turn over or any thing. Ive found the wire that connects to the starter motor can some times vibrate loose. So if it happens try removing the wire and placing back firmly. Its just a wire that fits onto the starter motor, right at the front of the engine bay. Hope this can help some one one day!
02 1.2 intermittent starting problem - farrpau

Problem engine won't turn over

I've fixed this it was indeed a lose connection on starter motor try unplugging connection, clean with wire brush, re-connect, and finally coat with some petroleum gelly or grease. problem has been clear for 4 years now. think it must of been something to do with corrosion which the grease is preventing.

Now for my latest problem, also getting the intermittent engine won't catch shall get the spare key from parents and give the earlier tip a go.

Renault Clio though it mostly works first time has to many niggling faults and build quality issues and would never buy one again

02 1.2 intermittent starting problem - JONATHAN_11_80

Please see my other post on the other clio problem. This will be a problem with the ecu or the wiring loom or could be both. The female socket on the ecu which is situated in the engine bay and is bolted to the back of the engine. The pins on this socket rot away leading to a bad connection. We had loads of problems with my wifes 2003 clio 1.2 16v and this was the cause. We have now part exchanged it for a fiesta, as it was getting to be very troublesome with over a £1000 spent on it in the last 4 months and it still wasnt right after we had the ecu repaired but was better. Hope that helps!!!!!!

Edited by JONATHAN_11_80 on 27/06/2010 at 09:35


Ask Honest John

Value my car

Amount to borrow
Sorry. The minimum loan amount is £1000
To pay back over

My credit score

Best available rate 9.20%

Total repayment £9,304.93

Total cost of credit £1,804.93


60 monthly payments

Apply now

Representative example

The Representative APR is 13.2% (fixed) so if you borrow £7,500 over 4 years at a rate of 13.2% p.a (fixed) you will repay £199.21 per month and repay £9562.20 in total.