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1.8 died suddenly, no starter, fuel or sparks


41 replies to this topic

#1 Oss

Oss

Posted 01 August 2008 - 01:43 PM

Hi,

Got a problem with a 97 GTI 1.8 that I'm hoping someone can shed light on.

I'll try give a complete picture as half a story can be quite annoying, so apologies if the post ends up too long:

Driving along, nipped through Sains car park and banged over huge new ramp (this might be relevant I guess), carried on up the road (say 3miles) and pulled into layby to use the phone. Stopped the engine and there about 15 mins. Car had been running fine as far as I can recall up til this point.

Started car and got literally 10 feet and it died instantly. I can't be sure if fuel pump had spun up at this point.
Got towed home.

What works:
All the lights work, horn sounds, full beams good and strong, radio and clock ok. Battery fine as below.

Symtoms:
Key in ignition, red (PATS) LED flashing every second. Turn to postion II just before starting and dash lights up as expected.
PATS light stops flashing and goes out [1]. At this point the ignition relay clicks as does the fuel pump relay. However no sound of fuel pump running.
Turning to 'run start motor' position results in silence - no starter motor turning, no click of solenoid, nothing.

With the fuel pump connector still attached, I can puncture the insulation of the +ve cable and apply 12v - the pump spins up.
I discovered that inserting a link into the fusebox, busbar link #2 (which was empty) allows me to get the starter motor to turn, so it works. There were no sparks at the plugs however so I cannot make the engine start at this point.

I was of the opinion that the problem may be in the fusebox somewhere, so that has been completely unplugged, removed and visually inspected. Nothing obvious, no cracks across tracks, no broken solder joints, no burn marks on the boards.
The diode on the fuse box circuit board works. All fuses tested and work.

I've not tested all the relays. The black ignition relay clicks when the dash lights up, as does the fuel pump relay. I have swapped it (fuel) with the main beam relay to make sure the relay is working properly and not just pretending!

I can only think that the problem may lie with the ECU or alarm/immobiliser. The only test I could do (which I did years ago) was to lock the car while inside it and try start the car. It doesn't start of course but at least the alarm goes off.

[1] I'm confused by conflicting reports where the correct key makes the LED stay constant for a few seconds before going out. Ford 'guide to your car' manual wasn't any more help.

Open to suggestions?
I'm very reluctant to take it to Ford. I preempted the cam belt change - gave them £400 odd quid and a working car. Got back a car that stalled at lights all the way home. They responded with 'we're too busy to check it out, but it could be this, this or this'. So I replaced the ICV, Pulse valve and MAF (this was not needed pretty sure) and it was ok again.
This was all over a year ago so should be irrelevant.

Thanks if you made it this far!

Oss

#2 Squiz

Squiz
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ripley, Derbyshire.
  • Drives:00 Mk6 finesse estate, 02 Mk6 55TD van, 00 Mk6 Finesse

Posted 01 August 2008 - 02:08 PM

When you turn on the ignition the red LED under the clock should illuminate constantly for 3 seconds..
This shows all is well with the PATS system.
If it doesnt illuminate for three seconds I would say something has gone wrong with the PATS.
btw the alarm system has nothing to do with the PATS system as such they are two seperate features.
One is alarm and one is immobiliser.
The alarm works if the car door is opened without use of a key once locked and armed.
The immobiliser works by reading the key signal and passively arming the system if the key isnt read.
seems odd that your key is no longer recognised as the proper one though X(
Maybe take it off any keyring you have it on and try it bare.
I have heard this can interfere with things.

Also maybe check the small wire that runs from the immobiliser sensor down the right side of the steering coloumn
to a black block connector attched to the lower panel (take the panel off with the 6 screws)
May be as simple as that became dislodged at the ramp in the carpark and finally came off when you stopped in the layby.
If that is disconnected you wont be sending a signal to the ECU to tell it youre legitimately trying to start the car.
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#3 Oss

Oss

Posted 01 August 2008 - 02:51 PM

Squiz, thanks for the reply..

I should have mentioned previously that I tried all 3 original keys with same negative results, but worth a shot.
In ref to your post, the LED does not light for 3 seconds but just goes out permanently.

There are 4 black wires from the PATS sensor ring round the ignition going down the column where it disappears under the main dash and I can't even get to feel where they go, less see!
The same style of cables emerge from the dash again and connect to a block, which is what you are referring to I suspect. Only 2 wires come from behind the dash however, so where the other 2 disappear to I'm unsure.
The connectors are all secure and I reseated them to be sure. Pulling either turns out the PATS LED.

Is there a next step?

#4 Squiz

Squiz
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ripley, Derbyshire.
  • Drives:00 Mk6 finesse estate, 02 Mk6 55TD van, 00 Mk6 Finesse

Posted 01 August 2008 - 03:05 PM

where they dissapear under the dash there are 6 screws you can remove to drop that lower dash panel off.
the black block connector you found sounds right though...
the other end of that wiring goes across the dash and is connected again to a similar connector.
That then travels down to the ECU in the passenger footwell.
Thats a pig to get to though and I only know its there because I removed the dash on mine a few days ago.
If the LED is going out permanently then it would suggest the sensor isnt reading the key X(
That would be most likely the black sensor fitted to the ignition/steering lock buggered.
The problem is you need that to be compatible with your ECU & key :(
I know this as I replaced my lockset and ECU two days ago and needed to use the sensor that came with the ECU and lockset.
Not sure if that needs to be coded as well or if as mine where two different part numbers that was the problem.
Thats one you will have to ask ford about and see if they can say for definite whether the right part number will work without being coded.
But I would say the sensor would be the culprit as the only wiring that could be dislodged has been checked by you..
That could be a simple or a very costly problem I think.
Only other thing I could suggest would be the ECU breaking down..
Thats just as bad as you need another ECU then a repgram by Ford or a complete lockset and ECU swap out.
would probably be best if its just a knackered sensor.
If you really are stuck I have a complete lockset and ECU for sale but its a 60 pin version and is in the for sale section right now.
If nothing else works thats maybe a cheap option for you but only has one black key with it :(
Sorry I cant help more.
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#5 SteveB

SteveB
  • Drives:Finesse

Posted 01 August 2008 - 03:15 PM

Check the cut off switch - door pillar drivers footwell
"If you can't fix it with a hammer, you must have an electrical fault"

#6 Squiz

Squiz
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ripley, Derbyshire.
  • Drives:00 Mk6 finesse estate, 02 Mk6 55TD van, 00 Mk6 Finesse

Posted 01 August 2008 - 03:22 PM

Check the cut off switch - door pillar drivers footwell

:roll:
I did think of that but assumed he would have done that first.
Will be bloody funny if thats the problem :thumb:
Scared him for nothing :)
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#7 Oss

Oss

Posted 01 August 2008 - 03:35 PM

Yep, checked the interia switch and all ok.
That wouldn't explain the starter motor not turning, nor the lack of sparks tho :)

Thanks again Squiz for the thoughts & musings - I really am just waiting for it to be something daft.

#8 onehotminute_191

onehotminute_191
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:essex
  • Drives:rs2000 4x4 that dont work becuase its in bits

Posted 01 August 2008 - 03:50 PM

check the plugs in the bottom of the fuse box are all pushed in ok
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chuck norris is so tough that they say theres no chin under his beard, its just another fist

#9 Oss

Oss

Posted 01 August 2008 - 05:32 PM

Yep.. had all cables out of fuse box, fusebox apart and fuses checked.
Cables and plugs all looked in good condition...

#10 Squiz

Squiz
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ripley, Derbyshire.
  • Drives:00 Mk6 finesse estate, 02 Mk6 55TD van, 00 Mk6 Finesse

Posted 01 August 2008 - 05:51 PM

Local scrapyard ??
Grab a sensor that is the same part number as yours plug it in and see if it works ?
The black bit round the ignition lock :thumb:
Has to be worth a try before shelling out a fortune on something that may not be faulty ?
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#11 Oss

Oss

Posted 01 August 2008 - 06:16 PM

Tis a thought but only 1 place that is likely to be that organised and by the time I get there (not quite 'local' and petrol and cost of part) it's perhaps almost as cheap to just get a set.
Gotta work sat&sun so that doesn't help :p
Thx

#12 SteveB

SteveB
  • Drives:Finesse

Posted 02 August 2008 - 12:24 PM

Tis a thought but only 1 place that is likely to be that organised and by the time I get there (not quite 'local' and petrol and cost of part) it's perhaps almost as cheap to just get a set.
Gotta work sat&sun so that doesn't help :P
Thx


I'm pretty sure that if you unplug the transceiver the pats led flashes quickly then gives a fault code. If you're still stuck and you can't find anything loose I would try pin checking the ecu with a multimeter.
"If you can't fix it with a hammer, you must have an electrical fault"

#13 Squiz

Squiz
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ripley, Derbyshire.
  • Drives:00 Mk6 finesse estate, 02 Mk6 55TD van, 00 Mk6 Finesse

Posted 02 August 2008 - 12:37 PM

Tis a thought but only 1 place that is likely to be that organised and by the time I get there (not quite 'local' and petrol and cost of part) it's perhaps almost as cheap to just get a set.
Gotta work sat&sun so that doesn't help :P
Thx


I'm pretty sure that if you unplug the transceiver the pats led flashes quickly then gives a fault code. If you're still stuck and you can't find anything loose I would try pin checking the ecu with a multimeter.

Yes it does..
but that doesnt tell you if the transceiver is reading the key or not.
Which is what seems to be the problem.
Thats why I suggested replacing it with a known working one.
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#14 Oss

Oss

Posted 02 August 2008 - 04:24 PM

I'm pretty sure that if you unplug the transceiver the pats led flashes quickly then gives a fault code. If you're still stuck and you can't find anything loose I would try pin checking the ecu with a multimeter.


Results of this test:

PATS led flashing about once a second,
pulling 4 wire, green connector block off the transceiver ring and....
PATS led flashing about once a second like nothing happened.

So would we take it from this that the transceiver unit is faulty or the wiring from the unit to the ECU is?

I have a matching (hope) ECU, transceiver, lock barrel and key on the way. Expect it by Wed.

#15 Squiz

Squiz
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ripley, Derbyshire.
  • Drives:00 Mk6 finesse estate, 02 Mk6 55TD van, 00 Mk6 Finesse

Posted 02 August 2008 - 09:34 PM

Thats the bit I cant answer cos my PATS LED doesnt flash allthough everything works as it should :roll:
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