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1994 VR berlina 5 ltr Idling problem...mins..accelerator..braking…

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1994 VR Berlina 5 Ltr...
1994 VR Berlina 5 Ltr Idling problem. When started cold and left to idle the engine will cough after one minute then again after three mins.When moving off the transition to gentle accelerator will sometimes cause a stall. Until thoroughly warm the engine sometimes stalls when braking to a stop- worse in reverse. Have spent $2500 trying to fix.... Read full answer
1994 VR Berlina 5 Ltr Idling problem. When started cold and left to idle the engine will cough after one minute then again after three mins.When moving off the transition to gentle accelerator will sometimes cause a stall. Until thoroughly warm the engine sometimes stalls when braking to a stop- worse in reverse. Have spent $2500 trying to fix. There is no fault coding. Attempted fixes as follows: Clean out idle speed control motor assembly. Replace air temp sensor- stepper motor and map assembly. New battery (unnecessary). Clean idle speed control motor assembly- clear codes - check timing. Replace air temp sensor-idle step motor-map sensor. Rep;ace ignition module assembly. Replace fuel injectors. Replace brake booster ( supposed vacuum leak) !!!!!
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Australia Car
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
12/8/2010
AU Auto Mechanic: Clement, Diagnostic Technician replied 8 years ago
Clement
Clement, Diagnostic Technician
Category: Australia Car
Satisfied Customers: 208
Experience: VW, BMW & GM Holden factory trained, Applied Design (Auto), Diploma in IT
Verified
Ok it looks like you've spent quite alot of time/money trying to fix the problem! Let us see if we can try and work this out step by step.

  • When turning on the hi-beams, air-con, and turning the steering wheel full lock to the right/left, do you see a change in engine revs? Do they go up or down?
  • when you say you've replaced the stepper motor, do you mean the ISC motor?
  • have you had a major service recently? (spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter done?)
  • was the vacuum leak fixed in the end?
  • what other parts/components have you tried replacing?
  • how have you (or your mechanic) tried extracting fault codes?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Qustion 1. Air-con ON revs drop slightly and recover. Hi- Beam no difference. On FULL
lock, on the stops, revs drop and recover
2. Yes it's the ISC motor
3. Major service in March trouble started about a month later
4. Replacing rhe brake booster DID NOT fix the problem IF indeed it is a vacuum
problem? They pressure tested all components and said the brake booster
failed.
5. Only the ones mentioned in my email
6. With multi P1 scanner
PS. ECU tested OK
AU Auto Mechanic: Clement, Diagnostic Technician replied 8 years ago
Ok, thanks for the info. The if the P1 scanner is a Hannatech Ultrascan then that is a good scanner. Let's take this one step at a time. This is what you might want to try:

  1. Hook up a scanner with the engine cold and go into the live data stream. Look at the ECT sensor, does it report the same or close to ambient temp? Start the vehicle and watch the same sensor as the engine warms up, does the ECT sensor work like it should? See if you can try another (new) sensor. (A faulty ECT sensor is the most common cause for rough idling/start up when cold)
  2. Stick a vacuum gauge directly into the intake manifold and see if your vacuum readings are normal.
  3. Replace (or at least check) your fuel filter, even if it was replaced during the last service. A new filter can still get blocked by dirty/contaminated fuel, especially so if you have put a fuel injector additive into the tank recently.

See how you go!
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Dear Clement. The mechanic will get to your suggestions in the next few days .. Many thanks Dick Evans
AU Auto Mechanic: Clement, Diagnostic Technician replied 8 years ago
Not a problem, hope it all goes well!

Please click 'accept' if this has helped you. Thanks!
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
The intake manifold was normal 16-18 mg.Fuel filter OK. Mechanic replaced fuel pump two days ago BUT did NOT fix the problem. I can't believe this mystery!!! I will ask him if he checked the other items in (1) Dec 10th email. Must keep going the car is too good to trash !!! Tks Dick Evans
AU Auto Mechanic: Clement, Diagnostic Technician replied 8 years ago
Hi there,

Yes do get your mechanic to check the ECT sensor and try another one if it is suspect. I would not have thought that a fuel pump would have affected it if there was sufficient fuel flow/pressure.

Also worth double checking the fuel filter! If you cannot blow through it easily then it is blocked and will need to be replaced.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Dear Clement. Many thanks for your help. I have to use the car over the next few days but will leave it with the mechanic on thursday to have him check your later suggestions. He says he checked the fuel filter. He also says he gets a strange unintelligible reading on his scanner (gobbleydook) on a setting . I will letyou know what the setting is.
AU Auto Mechanic: Clement, Diagnostic Technician replied 8 years ago
Not a problem, let me know what the error or fault code is and we will go from there!
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Dear Clement. Re your emails Dec 10 & Jan 9, mechanic has changed the ECT sensor TWICE with new ones but no help. Re, my email Sunday 9th, the 'Gobblydook' the mechanic says it has has NO ERROR code attached. Yesterday ( Mon 10th) returned form Perth: a drive of 1.5 Hrs, a 38 Deg day and when in garage at home and engine in idle prior to turning off the RPM wouldn't come below 1200 ( normally 650). Today after a short journey (25 Kms) it was normal idle whe turning off. The local mechanic wonders whether City Motors (Perth) statement they tried a new ECU (29thOct) and found it did NOT correct the fault was TRUE !!!!! They then changed the brake booster and said car tested OK. BUT IN FACT NEXT DAY ON START UP COLD ALL THE PROBLEMS STILL THERE> That cost me $960. So I have returned to the local garage. They kindly are only charging me for the parts changed and not labour. He is finding out whether he can find another ECU !!! Thanks Dick Evans
AU Auto Mechanic: Clement, Diagnostic Technician replied 8 years ago
From what I understand, you mentioned that the ECU had been changed before but made no difference? I'm just trying to understand why your mechanic wants to try yet another ECU?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Dear Clement. I quote City Motors: "Suspected ECU tried new ECU - Failed" They didn't
change the ECU but fitted a spare ECU to test, but it made no difference. IE they didn't charge for a new ECU. Cheers XXXXX XXXXX
AU Auto Mechanic: Clement, Diagnostic Technician replied 8 years ago
Ok. Worth checking also is the throttle plate in the throttle body. Check to see it is not binding and give it a good throttle body de-carbon to get rid of all the buildup. If the throttle plate is not closing properly then it is going to cause idle issues. Also check the throttle body gasket - make sure it is not torn, damaged or missing an is sealing properly.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Dear Clement. Will take the car to mechanic tomorrow. QUESTION should the throttle plate close completely OR is a slight gap left Thanks Dick
AU Auto Mechanic: Scott B, Australia Car Mechanic replied 8 years ago
Scott B
Scott B, Australia Car Mechanic
Category: Australia Car
Satisfied Customers: 536
Experience: Qualified Automotive Mechanic, Service Manager & Proprietor 20+ years
Verified

Hi Im Scott I can help with your question.

No the throttle body should not be closed completely, there should always be a slight gap for air intake while at idle. I am betting that your problem is a vacuum leak at either a vacuum line somewhere or more likely a gasket leak in the inlet manifold. I have been following your thread and have waited for the obvious to be recommended Sorry Clement could not wait any longer customer satisfaction is the ultimate aim here, if you feel the need to complain about me stepping in I can deal with that it just seems you are ignoring the basics and over complicating things. If they carry out a simple soapy water test on the inlet manifold they will more than likely find it sucking air and usually this occur around the back of the inlet manifold. If I am wrong I will gladly opt out



Edited by Scott B on 1/13/2011 at 10:47 AM EST
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thank you Scott for helping. Will copy your advice when I see the mechanic tomorrow Friday 14 Jan will keep you informed.. Many thanks Dick Evans
AU Auto Mechanic: Scott B, Australia Car Mechanic replied 8 years ago
Thanks Dick I didnt want to step in on the other expert as I have been chastised before for this. we are here to help you it just gets frustrating sometimes when things get over complicated I dont care if you pay the answer to Clement or myself, just want to help
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AU Auto Mechanic: Clement, Diagnostic Technician replied 8 years ago
Scott there is no need for all that assumption/aggression. If you have been reading the thread thoroughly, you would have seen that Dick has already had his mechanic check for vacuum leaks and it was stated that all was good. And yes Scott is correct, the throttle plate should not be completely closed at idle.
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AU Auto Mechanic: Scott B, Australia Car Mechanic replied 8 years ago

It appears I have upset another expert here I will opt out so that they may help you further

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Dear XXXXX. Sorry you had a 'mix up'. Incidentally the mechanic said the soapy water test is for a PRESSURE leak NOT a Vacuum ???? Thanls Dick EvansDear Clement . My local mechanic has done everything that has been suggested in your emails. He feels we are getting close to no more options!!! He is getting a repaired second hand ECU from Repco, even though City motors said they tested with a spare ECU some weeks ago. Apparently you can't get NEW ECUs. He is also going to replace the distributor. Regards XXXXX XXXXX
AU Auto Mechanic: Scott B, Australia Car Mechanic replied 8 years ago
Its OK Dick I hope you sort the issue out
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AU Auto Mechanic: Clement, Diagnostic Technician replied 8 years ago
Hi again Dick, you mentioned previously that the timing was checked and that you had the ignition module replaced. Do you know if your ignition coil, distributor cap, rotor, spark plug leads and spark plugs were replaced? It may be a good idea to check and replace all those items as they are all integral to you ignition system. These are high wear and tear service items which will need to be periodically changed. Your mechanic is correct about the soapy water test, soapy water is usually used to identify air leaking from tyres. If there is a leak the air will cause the water to bubble on the surface. The way to test for vacuum leaks is a bit of the opposite. Brake or carby cleaner is used instead and sprayed around the suspected leak. If there is a vacuum leak the solvent will get sucked into the motor and as a result the engine will audibly increase in RPMs, indicating a leak.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Dear Clement. The car goes to the mechanic on Monday 17th jan. I print out ALL the info I receive from 'Just Answer' to give him. so we'll try replacing the items in your email 14th Jan 8.19 AM will advise. Many many thanks for your assistance Regards Dick
AU Auto Mechanic: Clement, Diagnostic Technician replied 8 years ago
Not a problem, keep me updated!
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