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View Full Version : My dear little Compact went into wobble home mode.


Loose rivets
3rd Jan 2018, 18:25
Is anyone good at pulling codes from the dash indications, or maybe recommend a good code reader? Prefer not, as I'm trying to get rid of just about every material object in my life. My cars are high on the list, so this is not good timing. But that's life.

I've had such good luck with this little car that I kind of supposed it would just keep going. I put this on a BMW forum this evening, but am astonished I can't find a way to pull the codes. Kids that can barely speak, let alone hold a camera still, seem to be compelled to make a television production out of pressing a button in a certain way. One wishes to stop here to bang one's head. :ugh: That's better.


Hi, my little BMW compact 2002 318ti has been great since a new chain and kit. Recently I fitted a new air filter - I THINK I put all plugs back in correctly, but it's been fine for some weeks since. Today, it was fine, then it wasn't.

Rough running. Like at least one pot out. Engine Warning and EML on.

Limped home. Restarting later warnings were out and idle running better than was, but sill missing badly c 2000 rpm. Hi revs there but suspect it missing a bit.

When cool this evening it is putting on both warnings within a few moments of starting every time. Serious miss-fire, enough to wobble engine. Hi revs smoother, as before.

I was surprised I couldn't find how to pull the codes off the display.

So, A/can someone point me to a link made by someone that can hold a camera still? Oh, and can explain just what they're doing?

And B/ Send me a cheque for 200 quid so I can stay in the warm and have someone else fix it.

Of course, I'll check over my refitting of the air box and air sensor plugs. But it's freezing here on the coast and I'm too old to enjoy being covered in greasy icicles so hope I can pull a specific code that will point me to . . . specifics.

G-CPTN
3rd Jan 2018, 18:33
My Volvo (Ford diesel engine) illuminated the antiskid warning light before dropping into limp-home mode.
The mechanic (using the fault-reader) declared three unidentified (to him) faults.
The dealer diagnosed (and replaced) an injector - fault cured.

G0ULI
3rd Jan 2018, 18:39
You need a device that plugs into the diagnostics port on your car. All modern cars are fitted with a standardised plug, usually but not always near the fuse panel. Halfords sell an RAC approved model, or you can buy cheaper off various Internet sites. You plug in the module, switch on the ingnition without starting the car, and read off the various numbers that are displayed. Then check the numbers against a list of error codes in a booklet supplied with the device.

Unless you have access to a full garage system, the codes will be rather vague as to the exact cause of the problem, but they will identify the area where the issue lies.

After the recent weather, I would suspect moisture in the ignition system or plug leads if it is a petrol engine. A gas sensor fault in a diesel.

andytug
3rd Jan 2018, 18:47
Sounds ignition related, would say either your new plugs are loose (maybe the very ends) or a coil or coils is duffed.

Loose rivets
3rd Jan 2018, 19:05
I've never touched the ignition plugs - except one exploritary look at one when I first got the car. I don't know if they were changed when the chain was done about two years ago. The plugs I touched were those I had to pull to get the airbox out. Really the most work I've ever had to do to change an air filter.

I'll look tomorrow, but the car does produce a lot of codes, I just don't seem to find a clear link to tell me how. Pressing the t1t on the display puts one into a veriety of searches, but I want to be sure I don't reprogram the key - having successfully got all three right years ago.

Sad thing is, I've done this before, and it's as though all sane people have been removed from y-tubes and barmy ones put in their places. One bloke couldn't work out how to hold the camera and press the button (sustained and pulsed) so he pressed the button with his camera.

If I'd been less stressed, it would have at least given me a larf.

Thing is, I've just driven from a company that sells kit, but really desperate not to break down miles from home. Just didn't dare stop the engine and put it in N and revved it every time I had to slow down. Nasty. Reminds me of coming all the way down from Newcastle with severe carb icing. If I'd dared stop, I could have repositioned the air intake, but just pressed on cos the night looked so black.

Effluent Man
3rd Jan 2018, 19:08
Unless you have access to a full garage system, the codes will be rather vague as to the exact cause of the problem, but they will identify the area where the issue lies.

After the recent weather, I would suspect moisture in the ignition system or plug leads if it is a petrol engine. A gas sensor fault in a diesel.

Even with access to several grands worth of full garage system the vagueness persists. A totally useless and costly system.

Blues&twos
3rd Jan 2018, 19:33
I reckon the most likely culprit will be one or more of the individual coils fitted to the plugs, unrelated to the work you've recently done. (Assuming your type is petrol and has individual coils!) I've changed these failure-prone components several times on several different makes of car, all with the same symptoms you have described.
Doddle of a job on the vehicles I've had to do this (5-10 mins). You can buy OBD code readers very cheaply, slightly more expensive ones will also allow you to reset some of the fault codes too. I use a Maxiscan, cost me fifteen quid from eBay. It tells me which cylinders have a fault.
If this does turn out to be the problem, you're probably best off changing all the coils at the same time. My experience is that once one coil fails, the others will follow quite soon afterwards - assuming they are the same age and type, of course.

Loose rivets
3rd Jan 2018, 22:26
I had hoped it would be one of those individual coils. Can the computer really show a fault that far down the line?

My second line of attack tomorrow will be to isolate the missing one in the time honoured way. :8 This looks like the most appropriate emoticon. An idiot in specs.

Huh! There they are. The BMW's. Street View. CO14 8SP 114 Rochford Way - the little house I'm borrowing.

There's an element of irony in this address. I fished into my pocket when they were new and loaned my pal the capital sum to buy number 108. 9,000, brand spanking new. Now, this little semi would buy a 5 bed house in a lovely road in Austin Tx . . . with enough change to buy a nice car. Well, such a sum did, five years ago. Mostly, it houses Bowser, a lovely dog belonging to one of my kids. Don't worry, he's much loved, and has parkland walks just 100 yards away. I miss Austin.

While in the Street View mode, and in my cups, I looked at 1005 Stobaugh street Austin. My dear little house with a big garden. I knew it was a winner, but life just got in the way again and we scuttled 'home'.

O M Goodness . . . I've just noticed. The home in my Stobaugh street garden is two homes. The multi-eaved monstrosity has two drives. The cottage on the right - just 8 minuets from the Capital centre - was a snip at $65k - c 38k back then. I thought one house in the garden, but two . . . . . . .

Why then am I worrying about the cost of a tester thingummy?


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ExSp33db1rd
4th Jan 2018, 04:10
WTF did we ever invent the wheel ?

Where have all the "manual" cars gone ? Like the ones that one could start with a starting handle when the battery is too flat to turn the starter, but has sufficient urge to provide ignition if the motor can be turned ? ( like when my Auto headlights don't Auto extinguish 'cos I forgot to turn them off having had to move them to Manual to get them to light up in daylight fog )

greg47
4th Jan 2018, 05:43
the odometer on my kia cerato has jumped 4-5000ks when i was having a little fiddle with the trip computer. The local service centre say its impossible.
Anyone had a similar problem
cheers

jolihokistix
4th Jan 2018, 07:02
Like Apple slowing down older iPhones, maybe BMW are hinting that you need to upgrade to a newer, perhaps infallible electric vehicle, LR.

Elephant and Castle
4th Jan 2018, 09:06
The only way to pull the codes is with a code reader. You cannot pull codes without one. I would unplug the coils one at a time then start the engine in sequence. If one the plugs being unplugged makes no difference to the running of the car I would take the spark plug off and have a look. If it looks bad I would replace all the plugs, if it looks ok I would replace the coil.

I would also look for disconnected or split vacuum hoses

Loose rivets
4th Jan 2018, 11:19
There is supposed to be a way to get the codes, but I just can't remember how. 99% sure, for what that's worth these days.


Having done my usual thing of studying astrophysics until 02.00 plus some, I was awoken this morning by the electricity lads telling me they were going to dig up the path across my drive. Sheesh.

So, working on the little'un will be restricted to the drive.

There's a break in the weather so . . .

Ancient Mariner
4th Jan 2018, 15:15
WTF did we ever invent the wheel ?

Where have all the "manual" cars gone ? Like the ones that one could start with a starting handle when the battery is too flat to turn the starter, but has sufficient urge to provide ignition if the motor can be turned ? ( like when my Auto headlights don't Auto extinguish 'cos I forgot to turn them off having had to move them to Manual to get them to light up in daylight fog )

Yeah, had one of those. A '57 Hillman Minx. It could, and with a 6 V system, normally had to be crank started. The rest of the car was pure, utter crap, like most cars of that vintage.
I'll take a modern car any day, thank you very much.
Those waxing lyrical over old cars must have a very short memory.
Per

Loose rivets
4th Jan 2018, 15:39
Indeed. A Wolseley Siddeley was a fine car but one had to pay as much again to have a Lighting Set. The price of a nice house.

Coppied from another thanks post:


Yep, it was one coil pack out. Thanks for the input, made me sleep easier last night.

But why could an old-timer be confused with a simple one pot miss-firing? In the old days it was immediately obvious.

I guess it's the sudden change of several characteristics. Going into limp mode is the first change and then the Steptronic box blurs the issue with a changed set of speeds as the gas pedal is depressed further.

Of course, we all know what a plethora of warning lights can do to a pilot's mind. :\

Ah well. Live and learn.


BMW Part 57 quid plus. Pattern part, 17 inc VAT. And the kind folks delivered it to my door.


. . . which was a good job having very limited access to my drive. It's odd, you know, this letting smoke out of electrical things. I think I must have been the cause.


Repeated attempts at sending the other source of smoke have failed. It was a bit of the cable, a join, that had arced enough to make smoke come out of the footpath. The lads have been here over a day and will work into the night - once the new linesman gets here. He's the one that can work live - though they took a couple of metres out live. Different type of linesman needed, obviously.

NutLoose
4th Jan 2018, 15:51
BMW Part 57 quid plus. Pattern part, 17 inc VAT. And the kind folks delivered it to my door.

Similar with Audi prices, except Audi are in a big group and part of VAG, so when I need a part I phone up VW, Audi, Seat etc... you will be surprised the price difference for the same VAG part simply packaged in a different make box.

gemma10
4th Jan 2018, 16:22
I`m now wondering how much its going to cost to have a headlamp bulb changed on the wifes Clio. Bought the bulb in Halfords. "What cars` it for sir?" "O a Clio- why" snigger snigger. "Good luck with that sir". Returned with bulb, consult manwell. Jack up car and place on axle stands- Remove front bumper assembly- remove wiRing to fog lamps- remove headlamps etc etc. Bloody french crap.

ShyTorque
4th Jan 2018, 16:33
These days it's often a dockyard job to change a bulb on many cars. Changing a sidelight bulb on my BMW required the removal of the front wheel and the inner wheel arch liner! 2 hour job - and you need a special Torx screwdriver to remove the bulb holder.

My old Volvo was much easier - open bonnet, pull up stainless steel retaining strip, pull entire headlight module out sideways, replace any individual bulb you like, push headlight back in, replace locking strip. 5 minute job.

Effluent Man
4th Jan 2018, 16:45
I`m now wondering how much its going to cost to have a headlamp bulb changed on the wifes Clio. Bought the bulb in Halfords. "What cars` it for sir?" "O a Clio- why" snigger snigger. "Good luck with that sir". Returned with bulb, consult manwell. Jack up car and place on axle stands- Remove front bumper assembly- remove wiRing to fog lamps- remove headlamps etc etc. Bloody french crap.

I found it hard to believe when a customer told me they had been quoted 100+ by a Renault dealership to change a bulb. This was on a Modus. Obviously since then they have found it such a money spinner they have extended it to the model range.

rogerg
4th Jan 2018, 17:14
What you say is true but, my car is 14years old with 110000 miles and never had a bulb fail.

G-CPTN
4th Jan 2018, 17:37
My last car was 14 years old when I parted with it and had never had any bulbs changed as far as I knew, certainly not during my 11 year ownership.
When the stop lamps failed it was the switch on the pedal that needed WD40 to persuade it to continue working.

Blues&twos
4th Jan 2018, 18:24
Gemma, I found the same with my wife's Clio. A local Vauxhall dealership was advertising lamp changes for 17 labour plus the cost of the lamps. Normally I would consider this hideously expensive, but given the work involved removing the front of the car I booked it in and they changed all the front lamps (except indicators, which can be got at easily) for the cost of parts plus the 17. My knuckles remained ungrazed and my time remained unwasted.

Fareastdriver
4th Jan 2018, 18:37
When they design French cars they run their hands around the engine and services to check for accessibility and space.

When they find any they block it with pipes, hoses or components.

gemma10
4th Jan 2018, 19:47
B&twos Brilliant input. I will check them out in Hastings. Thanks.

Blues&twos
4th Jan 2018, 21:51
Hi Gemma, it was about three years ago and in Oxfordshire but hopefully your local dealer will still be doing something similar...

andytug
4th Jan 2018, 21:58
The "dismantle half the car to change a lamp" is a mystery to me, given that many EU countries make you carry a set of spare bulbs so you can change them at the roadside.... impossible on some cars!

Modern coil and plug systems don't seem to last very long, my 1.6 Zafira went through a coil pack every 2-3 years. That's a coil pack of all four at 100 a pop, as they come as a set!
At least some manufacturers let you replace them individually....
The last pack was 66, from a motor factors in Exeter, and lasted the longest, 3 years still going when I finally sold the car. The expensive ones last 2 or less. Apparently Vauxhall consider them a service item!!!

jimtherev
4th Jan 2018, 22:59
What you say is true but, my car is 14years old with 110000 miles and never had a bulb fail.
OOooooooooooh. You've done it now! :E

ExSp33db1rd
5th Jan 2018, 06:55
the odometer on my ........ The local service centre say its impossible.

Anyone had a similar problem

Bought a second hand car from a private seller, with "blank black patch" 7 8 0 0 0 ( ish) showing. Something didn't quite gel but I couldn't put my finger on it, until .... I reached 9 9 9 9 9 and .... the figures changed to 2 0 0 0 0 0 The bastard had painted out the first digit, and "wiped" 1,000,000 km off.

What was niggling me at the time of purchase was that new cars don't start with 6 blank spaces, they start with 0 0 0 0 0 0, but I failed to make the connection at the time. Cheap car, and lasted as long as I needed it to, but I felt a fool !