K12 1.4i (2005) Cold start issues- driving me crazy

Hi,

The car would not cold start. It would start go up 1000 revs then die. You could do this a few times. Give it a little throttle and it would hold. It would hunt a little bit at cold idle. Warm start there were no issues.

Then things have gotten worse. After starting it needs 2500-3000 revs for 2-3secs or it will die. It is continuously hunting during this start procedure. After 4-5 secs it basically runs fine.

We have taken it to the local garage. There was an engine code (not currently to hand). They did a thorough check.

They changed the MAF. No change. We then bought a (cleaned and off a working engine) second hand throttle body. No change. They gave up. Suggested we took to it to a dealer for a better diagnosis.

The dealer says it is the timing chain. And it needs replacement (100,000kms).

However, I am skeptical of this (though I have read this forum on timing chain issues.) I cannot see how these specific problems relate to timing chain (they also said it was a little low on oil, and filling it would help - it of course hasn't)

Any ideas? Is it worth buying a new aftermarket throttle bottle off ebay?

Driving me nuts, or more importantly the wife is :)
 
Same problem with mine..im thinking about the fuel lines..maybe add lacquer thinner..havent tried it yet
 
Same problem with mine..im thinking about the fuel lines..maybe add lacquer thinner..havent tried it yet
Why would you consider using lacquer thinner apparently at random in this case?
Lacquer thinner is a blended multiple mixture of two or more solvents such as acetone, amyl or ethyl acetate, ketone and toluene are common ingredients that may dissolve or swell plastics & plasticised rubber components in the fuel pump, hoses & plastic fuel tank? Therefore lacquer thinner is not safe for random trial and error use and may introduce problems that currently do not exist.

Reference: Solvents Applications.

http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/27/nyregion/how-to-use-and-apply-the-many-varieties-of-solvents.html

If you suspect fuel supply it would be more logical to change the fuel filter. Save its contents into a jar to settle out to check for water in solution and then to cut open the filter with a hacksaw and check it’s contents which will give some indication of the crud contamination and water in the fuel tank.
Next would be to check the supply fuel pressure at the manifold if you have a suitable gauge available.
 
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Hi,

The car would not cold start. It would start go up 1000 revs then die. You could do this a few times. Give it a little throttle and it would hold. It would hunt a little bit at cold idle. Warm start there were no issues.

Then things have gotten worse. After starting it needs 2500-3000 revs for 2-3secs or it will die. It is continuously hunting during this start procedure. After 4-5 secs it basically runs fine.

We have taken it to the local garage. There was an engine code (not currently to hand). They did a thorough check.

They changed the MAF. No change. We then bought a (cleaned and off a working engine) second hand throttle body. No change. They gave up. Suggested we took to it to a dealer for a better diagnosis.

The dealer says it is the timing chain. And it needs replacement (100,000kms).

However, I am skeptical of this (though I have read this forum on timing chain issues.) I cannot see how these specific problems relate to timing chain (they also said it was a little low on oil, and filling it would help - it of course hasn't)

Any ideas? Is it worth buying a new aftermarket throttle bottle off ebay?

Driving me nuts, or more importantly the wife is :)

K-12 cold start/idle issues?
Have you tried unplugging the MAF and also checked the fuel supply? Can you confirm what were your engine data trouble codes or the numbers?

Early K-12’s were fitted with poor quality elastic Renault timing chains.Stretch timing chain is the source of many control issues and sometimes throws up a check engine light and corresponding data trouble error codes. At 11 years old and 100,000 kilometres or 60,000 miles, the original rubber Renault timing chain is well overdue for replacement. Suggest you check the service history records and corresponding invoices to verify whether this chain has been replaced in the past?

Fault description relates to cold start enrichment and cold start idle control. Any air leaks below the throttle plate or manifold area will greatly disrupt air flow metering and disrupt cold start/idle enrichment.

Timing chain replacement is a very expensive option for such an old car and requires expert fault troubleshooting second opinion assessment of the sources of the cold start idle issues. Suggest you find an excellent customer recommended independent garage, in your area, on the Daily Telegraph motoring correspondent’s good garage guide found at;

http://good-garage-guide.honestjohn.co.uk/


general information of owners experience with the K-12 similarly found at

http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/nissan/micra-k12-2003/?section=good

Nissan UK and or its dealers may have records and be able to verify if and when the timing chain was replaced?

Let us know how this pans out, good luck!
 
Same thing was happening with my Micra and I pinpointed the fault to a dodgy camshaft position sensor. There was a dry solder joint somewhere inside it and from cold the engine was "apparantly" hunting like mad, as soon as the engine warmed up it ticked over perfectly. This makes sense as the heat of the oil would cause the dry joint to expand. I got a new position sensor, cleared the P0340 code (it's important that you do this BEFORE fitting the new sensor) fitted the new sensor and Voila!

Hope this helps.
 
First thanks for all the replies. I only got an email about any replies yesterday, so apologies, I wasn't ignoring. I appreciate the assistance.

Re the error codes, I have just obtained a cheap OBDII reader but it doesn't seem to work (on two cars.) Does anyone know of one that works with the K12? Seems it is all hit and miss. I am trying to find the error codes.

Well, the cam position sensor was changed... see photo below for what was changed. And there was no change to the problem.

I do not believe it is fuel supply. The car runs ok when warm.

The car is first registered mid 2004, so would fall into the the "bad timing chain" period. This is the original chain for certain.

I downloaded the workshop manual, and looked at the section, and realised it is a hell of a job. It is an automatic and it says the engine does not need to come out. But looking at all the steps it isn't much of a save. I am mechanical orientated but beyond me. Unless it was summer and I had a few weeks to mess around.

We have been quoted by the local garage we trust about 400GBP (cash) for the work. But they have never done this model before. I am not sure they know how much is involved looking at the WM.

Someone mentioned a general trick whereby you can change the chain (and nothing else) old for new, "in situe". Using cable ties and popping the links, then putting them back. But I am not sure that is feasible, I cannot find anyone having done that with the Micra.

The Honest John link gave a clear description for one owner:

the engine warning light to illuminate, and eventually the engine ceases to start from cold. The deterioration from noticing the first effect to being unable to start was over about 1800 miles.

That could perfectly describe my situation, though the distance travelled was a little less.

Thanks,

 
First thanks for all the replies. I only got an email about any replies yesterday, so apologies, I wasn't ignoring. I appreciate the assistance.

Re the error codes, I have just obtained a cheap OBDII reader but it doesn't seem to work (on two cars.) Does anyone know of one that works with the K12? Seems it is all hit and miss. I am trying to find the error codes.

Well, the cam position sensor was changed... see photo below for what was changed. And there was no change to the problem.

I do not believe it is fuel supply. The car runs ok when warm.

The car is first registered mid 2004, so would fall into the the "bad timing chain" period. This is the original chain for certain.

I downloaded the workshop manual, and looked at the section, and realised it is a hell of a job. It is an automatic and it says the engine does not need to come out. But looking at all the steps it isn't much of a save. I am mechanical orientated but beyond me. Unless it was summer and I had a few weeks to mess around.

We have been quoted by the local garage we trust about 400GBP (cash) for the work. But they have never done this model before. I am not sure they know how much is involved looking at the WM.

Someone mentioned a general trick whereby you can change the chain (and nothing else) old for new, "in situe". Using cable ties and popping the links, then putting them back. But I am not sure that is feasible, I cannot find anyone having done that with the Micra.

The Honest John link gave a clear description for one owner:

the engine warning light to illuminate, and eventually the engine ceases to start from cold. The deterioration from noticing the first effect to being unable to start was over about 1800 miles.

That could perfectly describe my situation, though the distance travelled was a little less.

Thanks,

Hi Pieter,

You have to clear the fault code before replacing anything so if you replaced the camshaft position sensor with a new one but didn't clear the fault code first it wouldn't work as it should. If your code is P0340 then that would point to the camshaft position sensor. If your OBDll reader doesn't work on two cars then it may be faulty, maybe send it back for a replacement?

The one I used is this one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VAUXHALL-...374413?hash=item2eefd7848d:g:KB4AAOSwQaJXSCEe You simply plug it into the port and turn the ignition on. It reads the fault codes and can also erase them.

DON'T be fooled into believing it's the timing chain..... my Micra SX 1.4 (2003) has now done 118,753 miles and is running better than ever. It has never had the timing chain replaced so all this bullcrap you read about "early versions had chocolate chains" is mostly bullcrap! I think the people who were charged for "timing chains" probably got a new camshaft position sensor and an enormous bill for a new timing chain that hadn't been fitted, it really wouldn't surprise me!

How old is your Micra? How many miles are on the clock? It would be worth your while going into a small garage and asking them to read the fault codes....... most of them will do it for a fiver (or free)...... as soon as you know the fault code / codes then put them up here, that will give a better idea of what you're dealing with.

Under no circumstances fork out on a new timing chain to find that is not the problem. Garages these days don't have a bloody clue..... they replace something and if your car still doesn't work they charge you for it!!! That's not the way it works!!! It shouldn't be a guessing game with YOU paying every time they guess wrong!

All the best,

Mike.

 
Well, the cam position sensor was changed... see photo below for what was changed. And there was no change to the problem.
BTW.... have you checked the timing chain protrusion? It's not that big a job to get down and dirty on that (probably an hour DIY to strip down) that is your reference point Pieter...... if it "IS" the timing chain then you will know one way or the other.

The main thing is, don't worry...... the K12 is pretty much bullet proof (if looked after) get those / that error code uploaded pronto.

Mike.
 
BTW I'm Mike Grierson ( SV03 SGU) and STILL loving Steve (I gave him a name!) I drop the oil and filter every 5K miles. regardless, and Steve is going faster than ever! 1.4 engine, quite the pocket rocket, which still manages to show pretentious porches a clean pair of heels (seriously)......

Steve's daily run is a 12 mile stretch from Reay to Thurso (24 miles return) on Scottish Highland roads (no cameras) and the sweet spot of the 1.4 engine is between 70 - 90MPH........ 60MPH is just pedestrian........ I get him into 5th at 40MPH and it's 5th all the way, no need to gear down on bends..... fifth (to this day) always feels like third to me! I go to shift down but realise I'm in fifth!

SUPERB car and highly underrated!

http://micrak12.com/gallery.htm
 
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So... to confirm...

The timing chain (an aftermarket full kit) was changed by the local garage... and... and...

That was the problem. Car is now running perfectly. Seems a little quieter though that may be subjective.

So they used chains instead of belts to remove the need for a change, and ended still needing a change. A change far more complicated due to the "theory" that a change should not be necessary.

The engine itself has never had a problem. The only other problem we have have had is the ignition key barrel and internal switching had disintegrated twice. Now we just have a starter button wired in. You turn the ignition on and press the button.

I think these issues are also linked to the usage profile. The car is all short trips in the village and must be started 20 times a day.

So I hope this is useful for someone in the future. Thanks for the help.
 
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