10 Jun 2007
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United Kingdom
In the last couple of days, we've started to experience problems starting our clio. It will start to turn over but then just die. After a dozen times or so trying this, and some coughing and spluttering (the car, not me), it will eventually kick into life, cough plenty of smoke from the exhaust, and then run normally. But, with a bit of a new rattle. I have looked underneath for loose exhaust fastenings but can't see anything. The rattle isn't very loud and is intermittent, appearing when driving when the engine is working hard. I've used it on some long runs in the last week (3 No. ~200 mile trips) when normally it is my wife's run around to work and back. I've also been filling it up recently at a petrol station I haven't used before. I say this because my first thought was fuel filter or dirty fuel? No warning lights coming on either. Anyone have any idea what's going on? :confused:
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poor starting and what sounds like pinking under load. Could be;

split in the air filter causing it to run too lean
the timing has retarded itself somehow
too low an octane rating for the fuel

check the air filter
get a timing check done on the ignition (DIY or Halfords or hometune or dealer)
quick fix to check the fuel is to add a bottle of Millers Octane booster.

let us know how it goes.....or doesn't.
Thanks for the great advice. I didn't get a chance to look at it myself so brought it to our local garage instead. They emptied the petrol tank and put clean petrol in and replaced the fuel filter. It worked as the car started no problem after that and ran really well. Upon further inspection, we (the guy at the garage and myself) surmised that the petrol was contaminated as it was slightly darker colour than normal petrol (yellower) and had a more chemically (is that a word? - it is now!) smell. As the work had cost me a bit for labour, fuel filter, replacement of a temp sensor (can't remember which one, but it was related to the fuel system - and was knackered - possibly caused by the contaminated fuel) I revisited the garage where I had got the 'dirty' petrol and was told that there had been a lot of similar complaints recently and the owner of the petrol station was taking names and numbers and would contact everyone individually. Anyone know what my rights are in this situation or do I have to go on a legal forum?????!!!! :LOL:
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