C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

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Mildly peeved pa
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C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by Mildly peeved pa »

Evening chaps and chappesses.
My stepdaughter and her hubby bought a 10 plate c3 1.4 diesel a while back, which performed faultlessly, as far as I'm aware, their first car, she can't drive and he'd only just passed his test. His work involved a deployment abroad for 6 months and he asked if we'd occasionally start it to keep th battery in good nick, they live an hour away, and I was working miles away for th last two years, so this was left to my beloved and his mother.
However, when they tried to start it, it wouldn't crank, all dash lights came on, but nada. I suggested trying a trickle charger, but none of them could work out how to access th battery (no handbook). Eventually I managed to have a look, confirmed no crank situation, tested battery voltage (12.1v) by then it had been sitting for around 3 months. A trickle charger was put on it, battery showed 12.6v. Still no crank, no clicks from th starter, but I hadn't brought much with me, tool wise, as I assumed a bit of oomph in the battery would suffice. As he was due back on leave this week, th daughter was keen to have it running, so had a friend's brother have a look, he suggested a new battery, which was bought and, I presume, he fitted it. Still nothing. Then she asked me again, I had a quick read of this forum and suggested trying a new fob battery wouldn't hurt, and to get back to me. She called a mobile mechanic, and ordered a new fob battery. Mobile mechanic arrived, I'm presuming he ran a diagnostic as th obd port was left uncovered. He tried reintroducing th key, I don't know what he did, I wasn't there, and both of their knowledge of cars is limited to being able to identify a 4 wheeled vehicle as, probably, a car, so they don't know either. He left, £150 richer and having popped their old battery into his van after saying it was scrap, tho it wasn't, but that's another tale I'd imagine, as I'll be making a call tomorrow as he's not answering his phone.
So, to th meat of th story. He said it was th starter motor, which it can't be, as he tried towing it up and down th road with my son in law in his car with th switch on and ready to go, and nowt happened, so, unless they've radically changed how diesels work, even with a dead starter, it should have fired up.
I went down yesterday, to actually have a bit of a dig around to see if there was something obvious he'd missed, as he seems to have definitely just conned em so far.
I tried th method of resetting th key, using th position 1, press lock button on fob for 10 seconds stuff, as I wondered if being sat for so long had caused th key and immobiliser to fall out of love, tried it a few times, nothing, all dash lights ok, but no crank no clicks. Battery voltage was 12.6. I don't know if you can hear th fuel pump run from outside, I can hear them prime in my old Volvo after a bit of sitting, but nothing. I tested for bad earth's on th ECU body, tested all of th fuses beside th battery, all good, couldn't access th other fuses, as th way th car was left meant I couldn't have th passenger door open, I've had several heart attacks, so I wasn't going to push it into a better spot unless I have to. I also noticed that none of th electric windows operate now, neither do wipers, it was getting dark by then, so I had to conclude matters there. They're so disillusioned they're talking about scrapping it, as they can't afford to take it to a workshop, so it's down to me. I've got a reasonable knowledge, but I don't do moderns, my 1993 Volvo and my 2000 Merc (which horrifies me, tech wise) are th most modern cars I own and work on, I used to do Alfas but I did spanners and left th techie stuff to th others. They've spent 2k buying it, and spent 400 quid on these so far futile efforts, so if anyone can come up with any suggestions....they live in married quarters so access is restricted on base, and he's back off in a week.. I'd be most grateful for any steers, are th starter motor/wipers/windows/fuel pump (I'm assuming that's not running) or the injectors on a common circuit? Would a battery swap done without some arcane procedure have caused this or should I just blow th damn thing up?
It was absolutely fine and everything worked when he parked it....oh and th display shows economy mode, which I suppose is very true as it's using no fuel at all at th moment, but he can't remember if that came up at all beforehand.
Thanks in anticipation,
John.
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moizeau
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by moizeau »

Economy mode isn't a problem. Key fob batteries aren't a problem. Neither will stop the car from starting. It might have water ingress in the fusebos, might not. When the battery was charged/changed was the BSI reset procedure adhered to? Tough one without having the car plugged in to Diag to give a clue
Pete
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Mildly peeved pa
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by Mildly peeved pa »

Thanks for th prompt reply Pete, I've got no idea what this mobile mechanic did or didn't do, in all honesty, I don't even know if he succeeded in getting any info out of it, not having been there to see what kind of kit he had. I've read about water ingress below th engine bay fuse box, I guess I'd best steel myself for a few hours of wrestling and swearing at it tomorrow, as, apparently, they're borrowing either mine or th beloveds car for a week, so if I'm there, I may as well have a furtle around again. It just seems odd that everything that's happened has occured whilst unused for maybe 3 months, which does, indeed, sound more like water ingress, unless there's some built in revenge mode for not paying it enough attention so it hits you in the wallet... It's times like this I fully appreciate my old Volvos cavernous engine bay, there's room enough for me to actually get in there with th engine, whereas this thing, can't even see th under tray...
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by xantia_v6 »

Can you give us a few more clues? What type of transmission is fitted? Manual, piloted manual or full auto?

When the ignition is switched on, do you get a normal array of warning lights and messages?
Mildly peeved pa
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by Mildly peeved pa »

It's a manual, I see no undue lights on, once th initial display has illuminated, then settles down to it's basic, I'm presuming, oil pressure, no charge, handbrake on, type display, about 5 seconds after th key is turned. On th readout in th centre of th console th only message I've seen is economy mode engaged, I think it says, I'm back down there tomorrow, so I'll check all that over again.
As I'm utterly unfamiliar with this vehicle, th other week was th first time I'd seen it, let alone sat in it, so I've no real familiarity with how it normally looks, and sadly, th son in law is utterly clueless with this stuff, so can't give me any idea if th display is as it was previously, plus he'd only driven it for about 3 months before his posting, so I'd guess he hasn't really become familiar with it.
ozvtr
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by ozvtr »

If there was a problem with the CAN BUS to the engine ECU, or a problem with the key transponder, you would get a security message on the central screen. A problem with either of those would lock out the starter, but no message!?
If there was a problem external to the engine, say fuel, or something then the engine should turn over.
If it was the starter motor, then the engine should run if bump started.
HOWEVER, did you prime the fuel system? There is no lift pump for those diesels. I'm not a diesel guy but I don't think just bump starting the car would be enough to prime the system from the high pressure pump on the engine! And after sitting idle the fuel might have drained back into the tank? There is a primer bulb on the top of the engine for times such as this.
So best guess, given all the current evidence, would be a fault with the starter.
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by Gibbo2286 »

I seem to see two different problems mentioned here 'it doesn't crank' and 'when towed it doesn't start' I'd first sort the 'it doesn't crank' bit then the rest. If it cranks over and doesn't start it might be that the high pressure fuel rail has drained back and there's air in the system, a blast of easy start into the inlet might fix that if you're lucky.
Man is, by nature, a lazy beast, he does not need twice encouraging to do nothing.
Mildly peeved pa
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by Mildly peeved pa »

Hmmm, well, I'll give that a go when I pop down there this morning, however that wouldn't explain the sudden loss of electric windows, wipers and possibly other systems I haven't looked at yet. I'm no diesel expert, I'll admit, tho I used to run and service my own truck, but a 14 litre Cummins is a tad different to this lump, it wasn't a common rail motor for one...however my old Merc is a common rail and the in tank pump, despite having sat for 3 years, primed th high pressure pump so that on th key, it churned over, maybe twice before barking off...so I dunno...it's worth a punt tho, anything but trying to get th starter off as that looks like it's a suspension leg and driveshaft out kinda job...which I'm not at all looking forward to... I suppose I ought to check th in tank pump by popping off a fuel line or maybe pressing an ear into th filler neck as someone turns th key, ought to hear something going on, either pump whine or fuel returning... I'm thinking if I can't sort it today, or reach a conclusion as to what it may be, I may advise em that it's beyond me and my skill set (I restore things a bit older than this) and they have to decide how much more cash they want to throw at a third hand 13 yr old car...as this could be a money pit. A pretty money pit, but so was my ex wife, and life was both cheaper and less stressful without...
Mildly peeved pa
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by Mildly peeved pa »

Aha, sorry took so long typing th above reply I'd not seen th latest entry. I was thinking about either into th inlet and a tow to see if that cleans things up a bit, but was concerned if there's air in th line or a lack of fuel, would th tank pump be able to push fuel thru to th high pressure pump. Of course th mobile mechanic may have tried that, tho I doubt it,bill have to ask em later.
ozvtr
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by ozvtr »

Nope.
No electric pump in the tank. Only high pressure pump on the engine. If you get air in the line you need to use the primer bulb.
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by ozvtr »

Being in ECO mode will shut a lot of systems down. So the fact that things don't work is not something to worry about.
I'm not that familiar with that particular car, so I'm not sure what should and shouldn't be shut down in ECO mode. However as I said, most systems will be shut down.
FYI the car will not come out of ECO mode until the engine starts and runs. And, no, there is no way to fool it out of ECO mode.

If you can gain access to the starter at all, get someone to hold the key to start while you give the starter a "love tap" with a hammer, or a ruddy great whack with a rubber mallet! Those starters are Sh..bad. Very cheap design IMHO. Permanent magnet electric motors in them and planetary gearboxes to recover some torque. The whole lot made out of cheese!
Mildly peeved pa
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by Mildly peeved pa »

Well, that all may explain a bit, I've squeezed th bulb and can see fuel passing thru th pipe. When th key is turned to run, th display says active economy mode, but there's no wipers no indicators no blower, only sidelights no dipped and th radio is also dead. I'll strip of all th delicate plastic around th starter and get th old Brummie spanner into action, see; f I can provoke a click out of it or something, tho I'd have half expected some sign of distress from it, there again, th son in law doesn't really understand vehicles or anything practical at all, so lord knows, it could have been complaining for ages. Still, at least they've got teabags today...
Mildly peeved pa
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by Mildly peeved pa »

Ok, much bulb squeezing, fuel definitely going thru, tried several bump attempts, not even a cough. However, once we'd tried that and given up, I noticed that when I turned th ignition I could hear relays click from th glovebox area, just a couple of times and a message came up saying anti pollution faulty, tho now, that message doesn't appear and th clicking has stopped, I'm wondering, do rats eat th wires in this age vehicle or is it th less tasty type of plastic, it's out by an airfield, so undoubtedly there's a thriving rodent population...or is it time to remove th fusebox and see if there's water down below, tho, as I've been pushing this thing around for an hour, I'm feeling a tad nauseous so that may have to wait a while. This stuff was far less arduous 40 yrs ago....
wheeler
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by wheeler »

Go to the under bonnet fusebox & locate the yellow plug, disconnect the connector & locate pin 2.
Confirm the vehicle is in neutral & switch the ignition on.
Apply 12v from the battery to the wire of pin 2, if the starter & it's wiring are ok the engine should crank .
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Mildly peeved pa
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Re: C3 in danger of being beaten to pieces with a hammer and then burnt to a crisp...

Post by Mildly peeved pa »

Outstanding, thank you. I've retired defeated for th day, but I'll go and have a bash at it tomorrow...