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Mike, UK Car Mechanic
Category: UK Car
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Experience:  Hi, I am a Car/ vehicle technician of 34 years. 29of -running my own repair/diagnostic business.
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Vauxhall como: My Vauxhall combo 1.3 1700 diesel van will not

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My Vauxhall combo 1.3 1700 diesel van will not start everytime. Sometimes will start and will go but next time stops after about 3 seconds. Taken to Vauxhall and they couldn't find anything wrong. Serviced and changed filters.
Hello and Welcome to justanswer...

When this happens - ie, it starts and runs for 3 secs - how does the engine, does it "sound" fine, rev good etc - but cut dead in 3 secs time ?

To -do you have any lights on the dash - flashing or otherwise when this situation occurs ?

Rgds - MIKE..........................................

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Engine sounds ok and no there are no indication lights flashing or otherwise.
HI again - thank you for your reply..

Ok - this situation is usually indicative of an immobilser issue / , the engine starts and revs fine - but will cut dead after 2-3 secs...

If thats whats happening - you will need the vehicle connecting to suitable diagnostic equipment at a local garage to trace the fault down - although... try a different key first. If the key is faulty ( the chip in it ), that will cause this too - and a different key, so long as its good, will mean it will work fine then... so try that .

The problem with diagnostics is, if the fault isn't there when tested - it wont show up - so it does have to be tested when its playing up ideally.

Other than that as above Alex, there is a common fault on these that will cause the engine to die after starting , or not start at all , and that is porous diesel pipes - the pipes that link the injectors together - and the one pipe, that looks the same, that comes from the diesel pump to the injectors..

Vauxhall supply a new type of upgraded piping to replace these - to cure this problem - you can buy it from the parts dept and fit it- you buy it in one length and cut to size.

So given all that you have described - work through as above...and one way or the other, Im sure you will find the problem cured then.

Im very pleased to have helped you -

Please click the Accept button for me now - Thank You ...and if you do need / wish to get back to me after - you can do so just by coming back to this post and use the Reply button - your reply will then come straight back to me .. and Im always happy to help further....

.Kind Rgds to you - MIKE.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I do have 2 keys one with the immobiliser and one without and neither key will start the van. It turns over but doesn't fire. You were correct in saying that the problem with diagnostics is, if the fault isn't there when tested - it wont show up - so it does have to be tested when its playing up ideally. Vauxhall had the van in last week for 3 days and they say that the van behaved properly and apparently they say that the problem was due to an incorrect air filter which they replaced which I can't understand. They said they carried out a tech test and there were no codes stored, and they carried out a road test which showed that it ran ok. Thank you for being pessimistic but the van remains unstartable at the moment. The van is a 2006 model, I am unable to see the diesel pipes as mentioned as there is a casing over the top of the engine.
Hi again, thank you for your reply..

No I cant see that with the air filter neither to be honest - unless it was totally the wrong one - and that can affect air flow and cause problems - maybe that was it..but its not the root cause otherwise it would be ok now..

As regards XXXXX XXXXX pipes, you have the different system to the one I was referring to then, that was my mistake I apologise..

In that case, the next suspect -and one that does cause such starting problems, assuming is not an immobilser fault as discussed above, is a sensor fault..

This is the ECT sensor - this Engine coolant temp sensor, sends relevant temperature info to the ems - engine management computer and if it sends erratic / false or no info .. the ecu the commands the fueling / air incorrectly -and will cause starting problems - I would suggest renewing that sensor regardless of diagnostics - because 9 times out of 10, it wont show up s faulty on these models. The sensor is cheap (around 20£ depending on exact one ( give Vauxhall parts dept the vehilces VIN to get the correct one )... and it takes 5 mins to change it..

Just check the connections are good too - as bad connections there will cause the same problems...

To help you further - click the link I have uploaded for you HERE - which shows the location of the Ect sensor - item 6...

I suggest renew that now - Other than something more serious , such as trouble on the immobilser system or with the diesel pump, theres every chance thats whats causing your problems here now..

After that - IF you still have trouble - I suggest take it to a diesel specialist ..who will test the pump / injection system / fuel pressure etc trace the fault down.

I hope that helps you further -

Please don't forget to click the Accept button for me now - Thank You ...and, again - if you do need / wish to get back to me after - you can do so just by coming back to this post and use the Reply button - your reply will then come straight back to me .. and Im always happy to help further....

Best Rgds - - MIKE.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have taken your advice but have been told by the Vauxhall dealer that the ECT sensor does not exist on a diesel engine. So therefore, I was unable to even find the sensor or even order one. In the meantime I have established that there was a slight leak on the fuel filter which I tightened up which seems to have overcome the problem. I appreciate your input and but cannot accept your answer but will pay for your time and advice.
Hello again, thank you for your reply...

All these engines have the ECT sensor -its a part/ integral part of the engine management system so I really dont know why they have said that ---

I re checked the location for you - and noted that you said in the vehicle details - "1.3 1700 ">. I took it that you had the 1700 diesel - which is the diagram / location I sent you - maybe though you have the 1.3 - - the ECT is in a different location to the 1.7 -but same area - that side of the engine,. YOu can ID by a wire - connector going on to it -

I hope that helps you further - Honestly - I would try a different dealer...

Let me know if I can help any more at all - Im always glad to..

To pay me as you mention above, you do just need to click the Accept button - thats how I get credited - Thank You - and you are Welcome back anytime..

Best Rgds - MIKE..

Please dont forget to click the Accept button - Thank you again..
Mike and other UK Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am still having the same problem with my van. After reading all the posts, the van the make oviously is Vauxhall and the model type is a combo 1700 CDTI and the engine size is 1248cc as taken directly from the log book. Let me fill you in so far. Vauxhall could not find any problems. I have had an electrical technician who ruled out the key issue. The AA man said it was the diesel pump (located in the tank) and removed it. I wired it up to an independent battery and it tested positive but found when I replaced it that there to the fuel indicator but not to the pump itself. Various people have suggested costly new pumps, new ECU and even burning it. Have you any suggestions as the main issue is still not solved.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
just checking that you received further questions yesterday 8/1
Hello again..

Ok - this question is nearly 55 days old - What exactly has been done meantime and what has been done in line with my initital suggestions? as you dont refer to those at all?

Rgds MIKE..................................

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it has sat on the drive and hasn't moved for 55 days. Your suggestions ie key has been ruled out by auto electrician, ECT sensor: vauxhall could not test because fault wasn't apparent only being intermittent. AA has suggested pump problems which has been taken out and tested and as a result has shown that there is no feed going to the pump. So basically your suggestions have been just that and I am still the proud owner of a van that doesn't go!!!