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Bill_Crosby, UK Car Mechanic
Category: UK Car
Satisfied Customers: 3307
Experience:  City & Guilds Vauxhall Master Technician & Auto Electrician Since 1993
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Vauxhall Zafira 1.6 (Petrol) wont start..lights come

Customer Question

Vauxhall Zafira 1.6 (Petrol) won't start. Nothing happens when key is turned in ignition, except reversing lights come on! Whether car is in gear or not! No other car functions work (so car cannot be locked other than driver's door manually). However, courtesy lights still come on when doors are opened, and radio still works!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Car
Expert:  Bill_Crosby replied 6 years ago.

Good morning, I hope I can help you.


First thing to check is the battery condition as it may have gone flat for some reason.


Try either jump leads with a donor car or a battery booster pack if you can get one.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for your reply, Bill. I don't think the battery is the issue as this problem has arisen after several instances where we've turned the key in the ignition and nothing has happened, but then, after a trying again a few times, the car has started normally. And, at a previous service, the main dealer had to lubricate the ignition barrel to get it to recognise the key properly. However this current situation is far worse - when the key is turned none of the ignition lights come on, the normal car lights won't switch on, the fan/air con doesn't work, the thermometer doesn't work on the dash (yet the clock and date and radio do work), there's no central locking, yet for some reason the reversing lights come on when the key is turned!! I suppose I was hoping this was some kind of deliberate manufacturer code?!
Expert:  Bill_Crosby replied 6 years ago.

I know you don't think it's a battery fault but it is where you must start. You have an electrical problem so you must check the power supply first.


Either jump leads or power pack will do. If the fault still exists when either are connected then we can go forward to do some other tests.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
After 3 days of being totally inert, the car started normally. It's definitely not a battery problem - more likely an intermittant fault connected with the immobiliser. A diagnostic at the main dealer didn't reveal the problem as the car is still behaving itself, but they have suggested replacing the SIM? management unit that controls all the functions that weren't working.