Author Topic: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.  (Read 266 times)

djbthatsme

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Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« on: February 02, 2017, 06:32:15 PM »
Xmas and the New Year wasn't particularly great for me this year. Her inside was taken into hospital, the dog had to be put down and I was also unwell with the virus that was circulating.
With this hanging over me I made my way to the local hospital in Ripley but having driven about 2\3 miles the car suddenly lost power. I expertly (HA -HA) steered the car between parked vehicles but this still left the cars boot sticking out into the line of traffic. I don't know about you but I don't often push Carltons around our road network - although this is now starting to become a habit. On this occasion it was even more difficult trying to push the car due to feeling pretty rotten. A number of people had passed but never offered to help until a woman, who must have been in her 50s, asked me if I wanted a push and together we managed to park the car out of the way of traffic. Thank goodness for 50 year old women, looks like I've still got the old charisma, well I have to have some self belief don't I.

The breakdown outfit arrived about a hour and a half later but shortly before he appeared I tried and started the car.  Of course the operator wasn't a mechanic and couldn't offer any advice or technical support, which seems to be normal nowadays. Days gone by breakdowns were repaired at the roadside but not now. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the breakdown  operator followed me to the local hospital where I was eventually attended to. At this point I stated that I wanted someone to come along with test equipment to check the car over  which would then give me the chance of remedying the problem. I was put in contact with another Breakdown Company who stated that they carry test equipment but not for cars as old as mine. So i was left high and dry at the hospital should the Carlton fail to start after my session with the doctor. Fortunately the car did start and I was able to drive home without any further problem. Shortly after this I took the car into the local garage and asked them to conduct a diagnostic test to find out what was causing the problem. Although the fuel filter was changed at my behest I don't believe much more was done. For about 4\5 weeks the car was running well without  any hiccups so I believed that there may have been a partial fuel blockade that was now remedied. I continued to use it locally and then ventured on one of my frequent trips to Wales covering 165 miles, give or take an inch. Then I used the car locally to do things one as to do, all without a hitch.

NOW THE HIDDEN BEAST STARTS TO SHOW ITS UGLY HEAD.

On the way back from Wales to Derbyshire the car suddenly loses power and comes to a halt. We were only 33 miles into the journey and the weather conditions were similar to what they had been all week and when I drove to Wales. Again I was in a precarious position with the car parked on a "B" class road but alongside a heavily used "A" class road with traffiic thundering past very near to the car. I phoned up the Breakdown company and was told I would have to wait about 75 minutes before they appeared.  I didn't like this at all because the car was in a dangerous position and I could envisage some idiot smashing into the Carlton, so I tried a number of times to start the car but failed. Fortunately after about 45 minutes the car started and i was able to drive into a parking area some 250 yards away, where we were all much safer.
 
When the breakdown operator arrived it soon became obvious that he wasn't a mechanic and didn't know much about cars, only about towing them. At this point the car was running and I was left with the dilemma of either driving the car back home or have the car trailered home. There was a possibility of breaking down again so I took the latter option and we were all transported to my door. At this stage I was able to drive the car off the trailer and parked it onto my drive unaided and since then I've  driven it to the shops for groceries on one occasion. It has started and driven without  any problem but I'm left  with the problem to solve.

SO WHATS CAUSING IT?

My thoughts lay with the coil as a first guess - this was changed about 20 months ago (according to my records). At the time of purchase 2 others had been fitted and had to be returned because they were defective. The current coil, same make as the previous two,  came from a local Motor Factors priced 38.49 and I'm not sure of their pedigree but they were not Bosch. This as left me wondering whether they were all cheap imitations which were only designed to last a short time.

My second thought was could the problem be a dud crankshaft sensor .

A number of other thoughts went through my mind including turning to the TotalCarlton club where there is a wealth of knowledge to be drawn from. With this in mind I would like to know what other members think.

Any valid  input will be gratefully accepted.


PeterC

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 06:45:11 PM »
Mine was similar a few years ago. A few calls to RAC resulting in third party recovery trucks. Then  on the last time I called the RAC I got a real RAC person who checked most of the ignition route. He decided it was the distributor especially as I had a spare known good coil that he tried. When I got the distributor cap off I could see it was bad. No problem since replacing it.

That was on a 4-pot 2 litre.

The hardest part was getting the old cap off as the three (?) bolts were a bit corroded and I could only manage a fraction of a turn for each swing of my tool !. New one had newer so easier bolts that I could wind in by finger tip so only a bit of (over) tightening required.
1993 2.0 CD(X)i Auto Estate (Rioja Red very little tin worm & reasonable paint).
RIP - 1992 2.0 CDXi Manual Estate (Spectral Blue with far too much tin worm, now only parts).

Old age means wondering: Do I really have to struggle to become an expert in something I might never need to do again.

0795omega

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 10:26:32 PM »
how old is fuel pump relay?

djbthatsme

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 06:35:32 PM »
Thanks PeterC and 0795omega for your replies,
First of all its worth mentioning that the sparkplugs, leads, rotor arm and dizzy cap were replaced in  April 2016 with new ones. The mileage at the time was 180860 and currently the mileage is approx. 184000. These were previously changed together with the coil in July 2014 with approx K10 less on the clock.

I like to think that the above demonstrates I was maintaining the 2.0L carlton, at least the ignition side,  at a good standard. However the fuel pump relay as never been touched since I bought the car in October 2003. It may also be the original unit - who knows. The previous owner bought the car in 1994 just 3 years after it was manufactured.

Whats your thoughts guys.

0795omega

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2017, 03:01:02 PM »
well worth changing especially if its that old! and their quite cheap considering the inconvenience factor of a let down by it!

djbthatsme

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2017, 06:41:55 PM »
Thanks for your reply 0795omega ,
I'm going to take your advice. If it doesn't solve the problem at least it will help reduce the alternatives and its cheaper of course.
Unless I'm mistaken the fuel pump relay is located at the bulkhead and should be just replacing the one that already exists, one out one in.
I'll let you know what happens but it may not be for a while considering that it sometimes takes a while for the symptoms to recur.
Thanks once again.

0795omega

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2017, 09:29:15 PM »
some are at bulkhead area mine was up and under drivers side of dash! differs from earlier mk3s to later ones i believe? mines an L reg for your information.

Dave the Builder

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 02:40:25 PM »
fuel pump relay is next to the ecu on the later models
(behind the plastic cover to the right of the GOGO pedal)
it's a very common problem
also worth mentioning the plug that powers the pump itself
having owned 4 carltons,2 had poor connections that stopped the pump delivering gogo juice
i currently have a fuel pump relay bypass loop fitted that i use....
1: when the carlton has not been started for a couple of days ,
(makes sure there is pressure in the fuel rail by activating it for a few seconds.)
2: if my carlton won't start , activating the bypass allows me to listen and make sure my fuel pump is running.

the coolant temperature sensor used to be a common fail too

also, check all the earth terminals are good
beef up the earth to the coil with thicker cable
beef up the earth strap between the alternator and cam housing
(the original is way to thin and gets hot )


as for roadside diagnostics
minimal tools and very little skill/knollege are required to ...
remove a spark plug and check for spark or check if fuel is being delivered to the rail
modern "mechanics" rely far to much on computer diagnostics

have you done a "paperclip test" ecu diagnostic after your carlton decides it needs an unscheduled rest ?
clicky topbuzz diagnostic


If the above post contains spelling mistakes / grammatical errors / poor use of the quote function / a very weak retort, or is generally shyte; it's because I'm feked on a cocktail of drugs,homebrew and carb cleaner.sorry

djbthatsme

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2017, 07:50:50 PM »
Its time for me to move this on so I'm bringing fellow Carltonians up to date.   ::)

I'm confused about where the fuel p\p relay is located because it was situated in different locations dependent on the date of vehicle manufacture. ???
My Carlton  2.0L manual is  registered in 1991 on a J No. plate.

From my understanding the relay could be located underneath a rubber cover placed on the N\S (passenger side) bulkhead in the engine compartment.
The top of the rubber cover is stamped with the numbers 1 to 9 inclusive. If I'm correct lifting the cover off, which is straightforward, reveals what looks like 3 relays.

The most frontal of the three has the code GM90275794 35222015 marked on its body, which I believe is the ABS relay and it is proving to be very difficult to remove.
 
The other 2 units, which are to the rear of the ABS relay, remain a mystery at the moment because they are also proving to be very difficult to remove ie. Very tight.
So Its difficult to determine any markings or Code numbers. 

Is this tighness commonplace and should I need a 14lb hammer to prise them from their terminal sockets.
According to Haynes the control relay for the fuel system  is the unit that fits in the black coloured socket.
Is this correct?

Looking at the rubber cover from the front of the car, there is also what looks like a mast or antenna to the left  of the cover.
Does anyone know what this is called and what its function is ? ???

   

Dave the Builder

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2017, 04:26:53 PM »

ABS relays (red and yellow bases), plus pin switch for alarm and bonnet lighting

ECU and fuel pump relay (black base relay No  90378651)with blue jumper wire connections/brown tape round

Your fuel pump relay could be with the ABS relays near the turret because yours is an early facelift model.
the red base relay  90275794 is the ABS surge relay

new fuel pump relay is 8 quid
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FUEL-INJECTION-PUMP-RELAY-VAUXHALL-ASTRA-F-CALIBRA-CAVALIER-FRONTERA-1238966-/272157392782?hash=item3f5dd83f8e:g:76cAAOSwwE5WWlSc




If the above post contains spelling mistakes / grammatical errors / poor use of the quote function / a very weak retort, or is generally shyte; it's because I'm feked on a cocktail of drugs,homebrew and carb cleaner.sorry

Dave the Builder

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2017, 04:36:54 PM »
The most frontal of the three has the code GM90275794 35222015 marked on its body, which I believe is the ABS relay and it is proving to be very difficult to remove.
leave it alone/in place ,if you damage it, it is 40 to relpace used  off ebay  ::)
The other 2 units, which are to the rear of the ABS relay, remain a mystery at the moment because they are also proving to be very difficult to remove ie. Very tight.
So Its difficult to determine any markings or Code numbers. 

Is this tighness commonplace and should I need a 14lb hammer to prise them from their terminal sockets.
According to Haynes the control relay for the fuel system  is the unit that fits in the black coloured socket.
Is this correct?
the small one is abs as well, leave it
the one with black base may be your fuel pump relay but get a new spare BEFORE you prize it out.
if you damage it the car will not start 
Looking at the rubber cover from the front of the car, there is also what looks like a mast or antenna to the left  of the cover.
Does anyone know what this is called and what its function is ? ???
see pic above, think your referring to the bonnet pin switch ?
If the above post contains spelling mistakes / grammatical errors / poor use of the quote function / a very weak retort, or is generally shyte; it's because I'm feked on a cocktail of drugs,homebrew and carb cleaner.sorry

djbthatsme

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2017, 08:04:58 PM »
Thanks for your reply Dave the Builder,
According to Haynes the black base contains the fuel pump relay which I received yesterday. The car was left to run for a short while before I levered out the relay, after disconnecting the battery of course. After it was changed the car started straight away so that side of things should be OK - fingers crossed. I'd previously upgraded the cable from starter motor to alternator so this shouldn't need changing ::). If I get round to it I shall also give the dizzy cap a good clean before I'm off again on my travels again to Wales which should test the system.

Dave the Builder

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2017, 08:10:52 PM »
took a couple of pics for the diagnostic plug location
(while i was doing a coolant and thermostat change )



ALDL diagnostic plug, (cover over terminals)



A + B pins bottom row right hand side
If the above post contains spelling mistakes / grammatical errors / poor use of the quote function / a very weak retort, or is generally shyte; it's because I'm feked on a cocktail of drugs,homebrew and carb cleaner.sorry

djbthatsme

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2017, 08:06:08 PM »
Thanks for your reply Dave the Builder,
I've changed the fuel pump relay and at the moment there hasn't been a problem but its early days and I've only had a few local runs in the car. Everything being equal I'm off on another of my runs to Wales soon and then it will or it won't play silly beggars with me. Thanks for the photo showing the diagnostic plug, a picture is better than a thousand words. Just hope I don't need it. ::) ::) 

Dave the Builder

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2017, 12:21:40 PM »
well good luck with your travels  ;)
you do know asda sell lamb chops ,don't you ?
rather than driving to Wales  ;D
if your carlton continues to "throw o wobley / take rest stops" maybe i should come see you and "have words" with it
If the above post contains spelling mistakes / grammatical errors / poor use of the quote function / a very weak retort, or is generally shyte; it's because I'm feked on a cocktail of drugs,homebrew and carb cleaner.sorry

djbthatsme

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2017, 07:16:40 PM »
Thanks for your rely Dave the builder,
Its obvious that you've never savoured the delights of Welsh hospitality, particularly the way I have. ::)

Every time I go back to Wales I hear the familiar noise of my offspring calling out to me  Daad, Daad, Daad.
I don't have a favourite they all look the same with their white curly hair and swishing tails.  ;D

Lamb chops from Asda don't give me the same kick. 8)

I find driving such a chore nowadays that its become normal for me to stop twice during the journey which is 165 miles.
Thats until the car  decided it wanted more frequent stops.