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Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - MarcS

Hi,

I have a 2007 Vauxhall Corsa D 1.3 CDTI 90BHP with just over 51000 miles on the clock. Just lately its had this intermittent problem with acceleration, and its getting more and more frequent.

Here are the symptoms:

> Sometimes the car is unbelievably difficult to start. When you do get it started, the engine is struggling to idle at normal revs and there is loads of blue smoke (when cold). Other times, it will start with no problems at all, no smoke (apart from when its really cold and sometimes I get a bit of white smoke, which I believe is normal).

> Sometimes, when you approach a junction, or need to come to a stop, just as you press the clutch in, the car sometimes does a bit of a chug and when you stop, the engine is idling much lower than normal, its more like 750 rpm as opposed to just shy of 1000. And when you pull away again like this the car moves but it has next to no acceleration at all. Its as if my motor has been exchanged by one that is used for a lawnmower or a scooter in terms of power.

> Lately, unless you can accelerate to 3000 rpm the car feels like its being held back somehow. Once a week I go home a different way, up onto the bypass and rev it much harder. Once you get to about 3000rpm it goes like a rocket, but being a diesel, going past this much further and you need to change gear.

> Sometimes the engine will hunt when its idling. Its worse when its cold at the rev counter bounces up and down between roughly 900 and 1100 rpm

The engine management light never comes on at all.

I have a video link, which shows what "code" is being displayed when I turn the ignition and press the clutch and brake pedal in. I can't read this code properly and when I think I have it, I look on the list of Corsa D codes and it doesn't seem to match up to any of them. Can anyone read this code?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-bcQ99OGXA

Does anyone know what is wrong with my car, or has anyone with a similar car had similar problems.


Any help is greatly appreciated! :)

Top Reply

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - Digit-Al

Had a quick read through this post, couple of ideas spring to mind.
Can you hear the turbo wizz up when driving up through 2,000-3,000 rpm?

If its getting seized, big issues.

Trouble starting, blue smoke (white is normal to see, in cold weather, water is a part of the combustion process) but then runs okay.
Blue smoke is oil. If it is only there when you start up, then most probable cause is valve guides. Oil seaps down them when engine has stopped.
If valve guides are getting bad, will cause lumpy running when engine is cold, as not enough heat to burn the oil, it wants regular fuel, not the oil and fuel mix.

Check the smell of your exhaust, if it makes your eyes 'smart/water' in a bad way, then oil is burning. you may also notice a bad smell when reversing slowly to park for example.

Lumpy running can also be the turbo boost pressure sensor, which can nock the car in to limp home mode (reduced power, can hardly rev). This is on the back of the inlet manifold. £17 to replace on Ebay, a cheap option, and super easy to reach with one star bolt to undo. However, your TECh2 diagnostics would show an EML code for this.

All Replies

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - MarcS

A bit of an update....

I took it to a garage that has a Tech2 machine. The mechanic plugged it in and it wouldn't talk to my cars ECU.

He seems to think that the stereo I have in there, even being the standard CD30MP3 is stopping the Tech2 from working somehow, as in he thinks that it was a replaced radio.

Does anyone know what the next step I should take would be?

Please help!

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - Chris79
Marc S,

I have a similar car to yours. 1.3 cdti 90hp 07 plate.

My car has a bit of white smoke when it starts in the morning from cold

It usually idles around 800rpm quite happily.

My car feels reluctant to get going at low revs especially at in the morning.

I find in 4th,5 and 6 gears if I try and accelarate from between 1750-2000rpm the car has a slight vibration, above that it pulls with no problems. I believe that many other corsas with this engine seem to suffer from this, but I don't know what the answer is.

I have found that it seems to run better with non supermarket fuel, ,many people will rubbish this but that's my experience.

Don't know if that's any help, but when I bought this up with the vauxhall dealer i was told that this was normal?
Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - countryroads

You might try talking to a couple of Fiat dealers as that is where this engine originated, otherwise a diesel specialist is the best port of call, dealer techs will replace things far too quickly 'just to see'. Particularly if their diagnostic equipment has a computer says no moment.

There are lots of things which can cause similar and confusing issues with modern diesels and I dont pretend to know too much about them I'm afraid!

The 1.3 CDTi or in Fiats known as Multijet are pretty poor though in everything I have tried them in, nowhere as good as say Renaults 1.5dCi is when newish.

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - MarcS

Countryroads- Didn't give Fiat a thought, although I new that the engine was basically the same as the one in the Fiat Punto/Panda/500 and Alfa (Mito) I believe?

When I brought this car second hand from a indie dealer 8 months ago, it went brilliantly, so much better in every measurable way than the 1.7 DTI Corsa C I used to own. Quieter, quicker, more economical and cheaper to tax. Its just that now within the last 1 or 2 months things have started arising.

The garage I took my car to wasn't a VX dealership, but he is a electronics specialist with a good reputation in Suffolk.

I was looking at a current generation Clio DCi before I brought my corsa but I didn't like it to drive as much and it seemed to have poorer build quality inside and out.

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - MarcS

Hi Chris, thanks for your contribution.

Mine doesn't vibrate between 1750-2000 like yours although having said that I notice the engine vibrate when its idling too slowly, or if you feather the throttle when its idling. My old Saxo 1.5D used to do this, seeing that I thought diesels are better now than what they were in the late 90s.

Saying about my old 1.5D saxo, I did notice a tiny bit performance improvement with "premium" fuels over the supermarket ones. On this CDTi it doesn't seem to make one bit of difference.

On the left hand side of the engine, where the air filter housing is, what is that connection with the yellow-y coloured clip that looks like a mains power cord in shape? Only I disconnected that and re-connected it and the car went like a bat out of hell, and then a couple of miles down the road I got the same old problems again.

Plus the video I attached, a couple of friends of mine have said that its reading out "6-1-2-2". If this helps at all?

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - BenG

Poor cold starting could be marginal glow plugs, exacerbated by colder weather, but then would be consistently bad starting (at similar ambient temperatures). Also, unburned diesel tends to be whitish in colour rather than blue, which would suggest oil being burned. Could there be an intermittent fault in the wiring leading to the glow plugs, or perhaps a fault in the glow plug activation module (or whatever it's called)?

As for lack of power, sounds like the engine could be going into limp home mode, where the ECU cuts the boost to prevent engine damage. Would be worth getting a diesel specialist to read the fault codes & interpret them as there are many possible causes of this, e.g: dodgy sensors, over- or under-boosting, air leaks, etc.

Must be someone on this forum with specific experience of this engine! Perhaps bumping the thread wil help...

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - MarcS

I think the issues with my car are all related to the same part, as it seems to have produced all of these symptoms at the same time. I have already tried taking it to a garage with a GM Tech2 and there was an error that preventing the technician going any further. He hasn't got a faulty machine I don't think as he had another 3 or 4 cars in there with engine/electronics faults and the ECUs on them could be read.

Shouldn't there be a light on the dashboard to indicate that its in a "limp home mode"? I suppose it is like a limp home mode its going into. My parents car (Vectra), didn't really accelerate mega slow in limp home mode like it does on mine but it wouldn't go past 35mph at all. It just seems to go like a milk float. Slow in ALL gears until you stop and restart the engine again.

I don't know of any diesel specialists where I live, but the garage I took it to was supposedly a specialist in Engine/Electronic faults, as he has the same equipment the main dealers have, but is labour rates are basically halved.

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - BenG

I suppose you might expect a flashing glow plug light or engine manageemnt light to indicate a fault condition, or a fault code being written, but every car will be different as to how it displays this.

If your electrical specialist has given up on the car after trying and failing to connect his diagnostic equipment it doesn't exactly speak volumes for his expertise. If he suspected the stereo was causing the problems, why didn't he test that hypothesis by removing it and trying again?

It sounds as though your turbo is not boosting as it should. Common causes of this are boost leaks in the pressure pipework, which can be hard to find but sometimes make a hissing noise when accelerating and tend to be accompanied by black smoke (overfuelling), variable vane issues (sticking / overboosting followed by boost being cut (usually a surge in power followed by very little), or perhaps the variable vane actuator isn't working due to actuator fault, wiring fault (if electrically powered) or leaking vaccum pipework to actuator (if vacuum-powered), or the ECU not driving it) - check the actuator lever moves freely and check any vacuum lines and junctions leading to it for leaks, if it's not electrically powered, or wiring if it is.

Other things include sticking EGR valve feeding excess exhaust gases back into engine, reducing power - check if the valve is coked up and clean it?, or turbo goosed. Hopefully it's not the latter.

I think it would be worth trying another garage and perhaps going online and checking out the Fiat/Vauxhall forum's mechanical sections, specifically for this engine. You could also try the RAC / AA forum's technical support sections.

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - MarcS

A bit of an update.

I brought a code reader off of amazon, and after having a bit of trouble, I managed to get the adapter to talk to my cars ECU. Handily it features live data so you can see any fault codes come up on your android phone or tablet as you're driving.

Unfortunatly, the problem still persists, and there are no active fault codes. Also now for some reason, I can be driving along and the ABS light starts flickering and the speedometer goes up and down like a yo-yo. It does this for a few times and then stops. After which point the brakes are noticeably less responsive. Is this a fault with the cars ABS module too?

Can my cars sluggish problem be related to a dodgy throttle sensor at all? Only the Torque pro software doesn't seem to pick up the cars throttle response data, but all the other readings like Engine RPM, Speed, Coolant temprature etc.. work fine.

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - Digit-Al

Had a quick read through this post, couple of ideas spring to mind.
Can you hear the turbo wizz up when driving up through 2,000-3,000 rpm?

If its getting seized, big issues.

Trouble starting, blue smoke (white is normal to see, in cold weather, water is a part of the combustion process) but then runs okay.
Blue smoke is oil. If it is only there when you start up, then most probable cause is valve guides. Oil seaps down them when engine has stopped.
If valve guides are getting bad, will cause lumpy running when engine is cold, as not enough heat to burn the oil, it wants regular fuel, not the oil and fuel mix.

Check the smell of your exhaust, if it makes your eyes 'smart/water' in a bad way, then oil is burning. you may also notice a bad smell when reversing slowly to park for example.

Lumpy running can also be the turbo boost pressure sensor, which can nock the car in to limp home mode (reduced power, can hardly rev). This is on the back of the inlet manifold. £17 to replace on Ebay, a cheap option, and super easy to reach with one star bolt to undo. However, your TECh2 diagnostics would show an EML code for this.

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - CrisTee

I see you are knowledgeable in scooters. may be this information can be useful for you. in Barcelona there is a good company which let to hire a scooter for you activities (vesping.com/). It's comfortable to have your own transport in foreign country, isn't it?

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - alan1302

I see you are knowledgeable in scooters. may be this information can be useful for you. in Barcelona there is a good company which let to hire a scooter for you activities (vesping.com/). It's comfortable to have your own transport in foreign country, isn't it?

Yes, very comfortable!

Some spam posts do make me smile :-)

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - focussed

These series of posts on the 1.3 cdti corsa/fiat diesel just about sums up this disaster zone of an engine. Do not buy any vehicle fitted with this miserable excuse for a diesel engine under any circumstances - a better and more reliable power unit could have been sourced from Briggs and Stratton or possibly Black and Decker.

Vauxhall Corsa D - 1.3 CDTI Intermittently/dangerously sluggish? - fiat fult finder
You can try and clean the map senser this has a big part to play with the low down power of this engine if its bloked up with gunk it will not work .
You can clean with brake clean or carb clean or wd40 and blow out any stuff in the hole .allso you will need to clean the maf senser this locted in the air box tubeing this senser controls fuel mix and turbo boost if this is bad you get no turboost when pulling off from stop but when rev's are over 2100 rpm you get all the power this make stop start driveing s*** only clean this with a maf senser cleaner or you may damage the senser.
Next you should change fuel filter with an oe fiat filter and if you still have the same problem the fuel rail senser may be at fult this is on the end of the fuel rail
Push on connecter get it tested as a new one may cost a lot

Good luck j.
 

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