Corsa, cutting out whilst driving

15 Mar 2010
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United Kingdom
Hi everyone,

i hope its ok to post this on here, I’ve asked so many people about my car i thought i see if anyone else has had the same problem as me.
I have had an R Reg Vauxhall corsa 1.2 for approx 8 years now and it’s been no problem at all since i bought it. i drive less than 8000 miles a year and it is mainly used to get me backwards and forwards to work (9 miles) with the odd journey over 80 miles probably ever 2-3 months and twice a year i travel 240 miles to visit relatives. This being said the car currently has done 70k which isn’t bad i don’t think seeing that its 13 yrs old and i am the 2nd owner.

Before Xmas i noticed that it would judder when driving along and thought perhaps it was cold weather and fuel as i had been letting it get to the red often whilst prioritising other bills as most people do this time of year.

This year however it has broken down 4 times so far. The first time was on my way to work i had driven from home to the 3rd roundabout (approx 1 mile) and coming up to traffic lights it lost power and died. I tried restarting a few times and the engine would turn but no power to get it going again. Similar to running out of petrol but i had 1/4 of a tank so knew it could not be that. I called the AA and ended up waiting 2 hours for them to come. Once they turned up it started straight away so the AA man could not diagnose any problem. Typical.

The second time it broke down was on the way to taking it to a garage, it got to the bottom of my road, lost power and stalled. Couldn’t re-start. After 20 mins i managed to get it going again and headed over to the garage. The garage were unable to get anything to show up on a diagnostics machine and said there were many possibilities but on a car the age of mine, is it worth trying when its not worth the money.

The third time it broke down on the way home from work (again approx 1 mile after starting) i pulled up to a roundabout, went to pull away and there was nothing there and the car stalled. Again tried to restart, power was there but no oommmfff to get it going again. I was pushed by a nice policeman to the petrol station and phoned the AA. I tried the car again after calling the AA with my foot flat to the floor on the accelerator and it started. I made my way home and cancelled my AA callout.

The last time it broke down was after travelling less than half a mile. My engine management light had come on for the first time ever the day before and also just before it broke down this time. I had stopped at traffic lights again it stalled and conked out. This time though, i tried restarting a few times and then put my foot down flat on the accelerator. The car started. I put it in gear and it lost power again. This happened a few times but finally i managed to get it started. It would seem that using the accelerator when i start the car will get some life back into it, on this occasion i knew there should not be any problem with fuel as i had put £30 in the tank only 2 days beforehand.

I know it would be difficult for anyone to diagnose a problem without seeing the car but i just wonder if anyone else had had problems with a Vauxhall that just lost power constantly and whether they solved the problem at all. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on the car when it isn’t worth a lot resale value and would rather put my money into buying another car, but i also don’t want to scrap the car if it is a cheapish problem to solve.

Any ideas or help would be great, and if you need any more info please just shout.

Thanks in advance.
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My instincts are saying fuel pump but that wouldn't affect the eml I think. Perhaps the relay?
My thought would be the mass air flow sensor needs cleaning, and possibly a main air filter change.
The symptoms you describe are of a flooded engine, too much fuel, the fact that you said the first occasion it broke down and you called the AA and after two hours it started straight away.
And the other occasion when you floored the accelerator and it started, indicates that you had a flooded engine.

You should never depress the accelerator pedal when starting a modern car (with ECU) as this confuses the ecu into delivering too much fuel, leading to the problems you are having.
A general service, air filters, plugs etc should get the car running ok again, but please have the mass air flow meter cleaned, as this is where your main problem is.

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