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Car Problem - advice please!

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Car Problem - advice please!

A couple of days ago I was happily driving to work when I stopped at some traffic lights on an uphill road. When the lights went green I got ready to set off, got biting point on the car and it started moving, then all of a sudden it seemed to stall. This wasn't a big shock or anything, I simply restarted the engine and tried again. Same thing. I tried another 2 times before putting on the hazards.

fortuatly a good samaritan stopped and offered to tow me to a safer place, as I said it was uphill and more or less outside a firestation, in the outside lane of a main A road (not the best place to break down).

The guy towed me and I told him what happened with the car, he tried it himself thinking the clutch had gone, but decided it wasn't the clutch after he had tested it. This is also my interpretation since it reaches bite and then looses power once the engine seems to take some strain, the revs quickly fall although the electrics stay fine. Also it works fine in reverse.

I also tried it in second gear, but it still doesnt work (it will normally set off on a flat road in second, although it doesnt like it.

We get a garage to come and collect the car and take a look, at first they couldnt decide what the problem is, but now they reckon its the ignition coil (not knowing much about cars, I consult google to confirm there is such a part), the garage aren't a 100% sure yet though, but they reckon if it is the coil it will cost about £200 and take a few weeks for the part. A search on google and Ebay says otherwise, a couple of quid and easily available. Although of course I understand they have to fit it etc.

My questions to those knowlegable people out there are -
1. does it sound like a coil problem?
2. Is this expensive for a coil to be fitted?
3. Is it easy to do it yourself?

The car is a 98 Renault Megane, Petrol, Manual gear box if this helps anyone.
24 REPLIES
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Car Problem - advice please!

Hi
it doesnt sound like anything to do with the coil, when the coil breaks your car wont start or will start intermittently untill it breaks alltogether as its an electrical component

£200 to supply and fit a coil sounds like lets think of a number double it times it by four and there you have it, whenever mine break which is very seldom cant remember the last time i just went to the local scrap yard and picked one up for a couple of quid, yes a new one is going to be dearer but thats a lot of money to charge just to be told it wasnt the coil after all, and it shouldnt be anywhere near £200

yes there very very easy to fit just a matter of unplugging the old one and replacing with the new which when you look at the coil you will see

im not going to hazzard a guess at what the problem is it could be a multitude of things and i would recommend finding a reliable second and third opinion
Cloudmaster
Grafter
Posts: 257
Registered: 01-08-2007

Car Problem - advice please!

Sounds to me that it could be the ignition advance not working right (do modern cars still have this?). There used to be two types, mechanical advance in the distributor for low engine speeds & vacuum advance for higher engine speeds.

I suspect in your case the mechanical advance has gone wrong resulting in incorrect timing when you're trying to pull away.
N/A

Car Problem - advice please!

Sounds to me like 1 of 4 things.
The engine computer management system has done it's last. Expensive
The accelerater cable has become a bit strechted/frayed. Stopping you getting enought revs to pull off. Reverse is so low geared that hardly any revs are need to get moving. Cheap
Or you carb needs some attention/setting/cleaning. Fairly cheap
Or fuel starvation, check your fuel filter. Next to nothing
All these can cause revs dropping off under drive take up.
No way is it the coil, even if it was they only cost a few quid and dead easy to fit yourself. assuming cars still have them. Cars are so reliable nowdays I haven't fixed any major fault on mine for years. No idea whats under the bonnet these days except 2 litres.
Could be the flange grumblers knocking on the middle numble cog causing the plangers to mesh out of phase with the large nibble selector, or maybe not Smiley
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Car Problem - advice please!

Quote

Could be the flange grumblers knocking on the middle numble cog causing the plangers to mesh out of phase with the large nibble selector

yes must be that cant it be anything else can it !

or fuel starvation but that would be really far fetched Cheesy
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Car Problem - advice please!

Try posting the problem on one of the Renault usenet groups.

Chilly
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Car Problem - advice please!

Thanks for the help guys. I went to visit my car in hospital today, (I had to pick up a curtosy car) they still aren't 100% sure but I will check usenet for advice.

Thanks again.

Chris
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Car Problem - advice please!

If it runs Ok in reverse then no way is it the coil as the engine is still turning in the same direction.

Can't imagine just what the actual fault is though that would stop you going foward in any gear but allow reverse to work.
I suspect it's a gearbox problem but without having the car to try myself then I'm guessing.

No I cant come over to Sheffield !! Smiley
N/A

Car Problem - advice please!

Just a thought, your hand brake isn't sticking on is it. If you have drum brakes on the back of the car (the hand brake only brakes on the back wheels) the hand brake works well when travelling forwards, but they are not as effective when moving backwards. Maybe thats why it doesn't stall so easy in reverse. Also reverse is not all that high geared to be honest, it's usually has a ratio similar to some where between the ratio of 1st and 2nd gear, maybe a bit closer to 1st tho.

Andy.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 12-04-2007

Car Problem - advice please!

That is good thinking! And has to be a possibility imo. Did the problem appear right after having h/brake on at some traffic lights or something? If so, check out this suggestion by djandyq.

Modorators note by John (johnessex) Full quote of preceeding post removed as its unnecessary
N/A

Car Problem - advice please!

fa55dsl - the exact same thing happened to my car a couple of months ago. It has been on the drive ever since! Someone told me it may be the battery, but i'm not so sure. Have been a bit skint since it happened, hence the reason why it's been on the drive all that time. If/when i find out the problem, i'll let you know!
N/A

Car Problem - advice please!

found this on the Renault group maybe worth a check

It sounds to me that it is a fuel problem - when you put load on the engine
the demand for petrol increases drastically and something is preventing that
need from being met and the car stalls.

So where do you start. In order of expense

1) blocked fuel filter/fuel line
2) petrol pump not delivering fuel at sufficient pressure
3) fuel injection system fault

Given that the fault seems to have suddenly occurred; I'd probably go for a
bit of filth partially blocking the fuel line, which you should be able to
blow through.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Car Problem - advice please!

Yep that was in response to the post I made in that forum Smiley

Hopefully I'll get a few more suggestions and ideas. In the mean time the garage have given me a curtosy car, it's a nasty Fiat Panda, although it is brand new (600 miles) it's not a Renault though Sad
N/A

Car Problem - advice please!

Quote
Yep that was in response to the post I made in that forum Smiley


OOOPS!!!!!!!!! I forgot you would not be "fa55dsl" in there :-(

I consider myself severely chastised
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Car Problem - advice please!

lol, no problem!

Chris