Author Topic: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.  (Read 456 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. 


djbthatsme

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2017, 02:27:29 PM »
About a week ago I was returning home from Ripley when It was decided that a stop was needed to buy some cake for a soon to enjoy nibble. However after returning to the car it had made a decision to stay there and have another one of its prolonged rests. It seemed to have been running OK but clearly it was tired after its 2 mile run - such a distance! Anyway it wasn't interested in running and the problem had to be overcome. I didn't have my mobile with me so I walked home, which wasn't to far away but still was arduous. My local car hospital retrieved my car later that day and took it in for examination. On this occasion they found what they described as HT leads with green ends  and new ones were fitted.  Generally I would have been euphoric at this stage but have become a cynic in my old age born out of experience. A state of mind supported by what happened next. Even though it was only a minor blip, it still was a blip. On the next journey it faultered, missing a beat just momentarily but now I am still not convinced  that the problem as been resolved.  Since then the Dizzy cap and the rotor arm have been changed but I'm not convinced that this will remedy the problem so I'm changing the coil and spark plugs soon.

There are other issues that could cause the problem so I've been trying the paper clip test to no avail at the moment - I'm not getting any readings at all. I'm going to try again using a short length of electrical wire instead to see whether this makes any difference. Wish me luck  ;D

stemo

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2017, 07:50:52 AM »
Green leads normally means they are seating properly in the Dizzy so end up corroding, I had this and it made the car run like a pig! Once the corrosion is there everything needs replacing that was connected otherwise it keeps coming back.

Hope this helps!

djbthatsme

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2017, 12:21:47 PM »
Thanks for your reply stemo,
What I believe you meant to say is " green leads normally mean they are not seating properly in the Dizzy" ... and everything needs replacing.

If that is the case then we are similarly minded. 

As I stated previously to help remove the possibility of more breakdowns the Dizzy cap, rotor arm and leads have now been changed. A coil and spark plugs are on the way and should be fitted soon.

A paper clip test as also been done but the readings leave me confused .... easily done I know      :-\.
There seemed to be some inconsistencies with the readings I took being different from one cycle to another. As we know the process continues from start to finish on a never ending cycle until the ignition is turned off or until the battery runs out of energy.  Its quite possible that I was misreading the codes but one of the readings that kept turning up was  "123" which shows on the Bosch Motronic Code Chart as "Inlet manifold valve 1" being blocked.  I have yet to find out more about this - any help would be gladly accepted. Also on one occasion there was reference to a crankshaft sensor, code 31. I have just bought a cranshaft sensor which should be fitted together with the Coil and spark plugs some time soon. When this is done hopefully the breakdown problems should be eradicated.   

Are there any special instructions I should know about when fitting the crankshaft sensor or is it just a straightforward plug fitting at one end and a bolt fitting at the other.

In closing I would like to express my thanks once again stemo for replying it helps confirm that I'm taking the correct action.  ;)

Dave the Builder

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2017, 02:05:41 PM »
Sorry to hear your still having problems
BUT
on: 11 April 2016, 19:00:50 you posted

"With this pending trip I've gone to the extent of having the plugs, dizzy cap, rotor arm and leads as well as the radiator, header tank and three of the four connecting hoses changed. "

So, in less than a year, your "new" leads and dizzy cap have corroded to the extent that the car won't start  :o
I find that very hard to comprehend , (unless you park your car at the bottom of a salt water swimming pool  :-\ )

sounds like you got charged for work that never happened ? or they used old parts

and WHY WHY WHY did no one look at the plug leads on all the occasions that your car has been attended by mobile mechanics/AA recovery etc ??

In my opinion, if it was the corrosion on leads/cap ,your engine would have been running rough anyway ,plus it would have started but run rough

as for the paperclip test,
you will always get a fault code 31 because the engine is not running during the test/diagnostic cycle
so ,crank sensor is unlikely to be the cause of your intermittent fault

but you have one ordered now , may as well fit it, careful how you route the wire from the sensor ,that it does not rub on anything and is secure (it's routed close to the belts)

I think you need to familiarize yourself with the terminals of the fuel pump relay base , so you can bypass it if your car suffers another "un-scheduled rest"
you need to link terminals 30 with 87b
 I say this because there is a known issue with the fuel pump wiring connection on the tank
(as i previously mentioned)
if it does decide to have an unscheduled rest again, bypass the relay and check the pump is running
(you should hear the pump if your close to the tank)
if the pump is not running with the relay bypassed, wiggle the electrical connector where it plugs into the pump on the tank.
if it starts to pump when you wiggle the connector, you've found your fault  ;)

you should replace with NEW the coolant temperature sensor near the alternator to rule that out.

your carlton is manual ?
 if it was an automatic or been converted to manual ,then there is an inhibitor switch on the gear change (which can be intermittent)
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

stemo

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2017, 04:29:25 PM »
That's exactly what I meant...that'll teach me to do it on my phone on the move!

I had it with a brand new cap - Intermotor one, didn't notice until too late but the copper contact inside was very small and the lead rubbers wouldn't seal, so where it sits between sunny days and track sessions they corroded. Caused really rough running - swapped them out, all good. It might not solve your problem but it won't be helping!

My only advice when fitting the sensor is make sure the old o-ring comes out of the block too!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 01:13:58 PM by stemo »

djbthatsme

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2017, 02:26:31 PM »
Thanks for your replies guys,
I feel the need to reply to the replies I've had concerning the most recent remarks due mostly to the service I've generally been having.
First of all Dave of Dave the Builder notoriety, the situation with my car seems to have started way back in November 2015 when the breakdown facility took about 7 and half hours to recover the car with passengers from the M42 to my home in Derbyshire. Without checking the details I was about 80 miles from home when the car broke down - so this turned out to be a nightmare journey. The first breakdown outfit sent out a foreigner who couldn't speak English and didn't carry any tools, so he was sent packing. The second recovery came with an English speaking local, who also didn't carry tools. He took me to the Birmingham motorcycle museum, where we were left for hours. The third and final recovery driver also never carried tools and also wasn't equipped in any way to check the car over. This was one trip, which I claimed and received compensation for. From the other breakdown trips I've had its become obvious both from experience and questioning that the breakdown recovery drivers are just that. They neither have the ability nor inclination to find the fault. They get paid on the mileage that they travel to recover the vehicle, so they don't have any incentive to find the fault. I've had the experience going in both directions leaving me to believe that this could be a national phenomena.

Stemo, thanks for your reply and FYI the Carlton went into the local garage on Saturday (yesterday)  and I made sure that the new Crankshaft sensor  was fitted with a new O ring. I've yet to check this over to establish whether the old O ring came out. I provided the new parts and on my request the old parts were returned to me in a carrier bag. A new NGK coil , which I bought, was also fitted and I also fitted new plugs. I think I've just about surrounded the devious little Gremlin thats been causing me a problem for so long.  Hope so  8)

In response to your comments Dave my patience as been sorely tested over time and I was becoming increasingly disillusioned by the local garage. However I don't believe that they were fitting old parts because I have supplied all the parts with exception  of a set of plug leads they recently fitted when they found the green ended leads. Its my belief that in this instance they weren't to blame because those leads were supplied by me and changed by a mechanic in S. Wales when the car broke down going in that direction. But, like yourself, I don't believe that the breakdowns can be attributed to the plug leads and the local garage should have checked these out much earlier than they have. FYI the last twice the cars been in the garage to resolve this problem I've not paid for, so they're not making a fortune out of me. 

I've have for some been convinced that the breakdown is a result of a poorly functioning coil. I may or may not be correct but we'll see soon enough when another of my journeys to Wales is undertaken. The coil that was on the car came from a local Motor Factors and was the third in a line of coils that were returned because they were breaking down in use. Again I concur with your comments which also supports my theory. If it had been the leads, plugs or dizzy cap then the car would have been running rough instead of an immediate loss of power followed by a 40 minute wait before the car would start again. On the other hand if there is an open circuit or substandard windings in the coil then this could cause the problems being experienced.

I went for a run in the car yesterday first of all to the outskirts of Derby, then to Markeaton park and finally returning to my home in Codnor circa 20 miles. It performed well at speed and didn't faulter at all, which gives me hope. I have spent far to much time and money to let it go and I like the car especially when it decides to behave itself.   ;D


 

 




djbthatsme

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2017, 06:36:49 PM »
I thought it might be useful to provide an update of the Carltons performance and because I was very lonely. :'(

Joking apart, A trip's been done to Wales and back without a glitch and the cars also been running around locally in Derbyshire since my last reply. So maybe the cars most recent medicine as done the trick.

At one stage I thought that the engine did a bit of a flutter but then that could have been me being paranoid, so I changed the air filter but the old one was nearly as clean as the new unused one. I've never had the sensation again thats if I had it in the first place.Confused you will be. ::)

 I don't drive fast usually but the other day I put the car under pressure by accelerating up a hill to overtake a lorry and the car responded well which was pleasing.   

So if I was to determine what was causing the fault I'd say it was the coil which was bought from Romac a local Motor factors .

At the moment I'm rather pleased  8) 8)

 

0795omega

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2017, 09:11:56 PM »
sounds all good happy shes behaving herself!!  dont know how many miles you do in it? but often take mine for 60 mile round trip pleasure drives to keep it all working as vauxhall intended seems to help i think.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 09:18:11 PM by 0795omega »

djbthatsme

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Re: Carlton taking unscheduled rests.
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2017, 11:10:45 AM »
Thanks for your comments 0795omega,
Its been a long haul living with and trying to resolve the problem so at the moment I'm revelling in the current feeling of warmth. I've had the car for nearly 14 years and travel about K5 miles a year now which is about 40 miles in a typical week interspersed with 165 miles (x 2) to Wales and back about every 8 weeks.  ;D

You might well be correct in thinking that a decent run now and again does the car some good. It might well be useful in discovering some of the gremlins and help toward maintaining the car at a good functional level.  ;)