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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
This is my first post so sorry if its in the wrong spot etc...

my 1996 corsa wouldn't start today, it just keeps trying to kick over and some smoke comes out of the throttle body.

by towing the car we got it started after a long time but when trying to rev it, it loses power and sorts of cuts out. i had it idling for a while but it eventually stalled and i was unable to get it started again. (I killed the battery from trying so long).

I have checked things like seeing if the oil is milky (it isnt), checking the spark plugs (were covered in grease/oil/something black), checked to see the throttle body (took the cover off, since i noticed a spitting noise from there and the grayish smoke).

it did something like this once before (a couple months ago). wouldnt start and blew white smoke. it eventually started but trying to go up a steep driveway lost all power straight away. eventually got it out and it ran fine ever since. no more smoke, just hinted at power loses every now and then (i thought maybe it was water in the fuel). but that time there was no smoke from the throttle body at all.

any help at all would be appreciated. I had to leave my car 2 hours from where I live and I need to be able to go back to get it with a bit of an idea of whats wrong.

any ideas?

Thanks.
 

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How about telling us what engine it is please? (And depending on which engine then which ignition system does it have? Some of them changed from distributors to DIS modules around '96)

And when it was last serviced?

Did you clean the plugs when you checked them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a opel corsa eco 1.4, i dont know what more to tell you about the type of engine.

the type of ignition, thats what im not sure about. how can I tell? can you tell from a picture of under the bonnet (if so I put a link below)?

http://intranet.neosoft.cl/corsa_smoke.jpg

thats not a photo of my actual car (like I said I am two hours from my car at the moment, but thats the closest picture I could find).

it was last serviced in september.

I did clean the plugs, not like sanding clean, but wiped them as clean as possible.

sorry for being vague, just I have no idea about cars.

any ideas why smoke would come out of the part I circled or why I cant get it started?

once again, sorry about vagueness.
 

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Check the inside of the distributor cap - the orange bit on the right hand end of the engine. Inside the cap there are four outer contacts and one central one. Make sure the four outer ones are clean and not pitted. Check the central one still has a spring loaded carbon brush intact (ie you when the push the brush it moves smoothly.)

Then check the rotor arm - the central top bit where it contacts with the central brush should be clean and smooth. And the outer tip should be clean and again not pitted.

Any signs of pitting or dark areas suggests arcing which will cause a poor spark.
 

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What colours were your plugs before cleaning them?

Also check the timing belt hasn't jumped a tooth, it may have knocked your timing out so also get that checked out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Check the inside of the distributor cap - the orange bit on the right hand end of the engine. Inside the cap there are four outer contacts and one central one. Make sure the four outer ones are clean and not pitted. Check the central one still has a spring loaded carbon brush intact (ie you when the push the brush it moves smoothly.)

Then check the rotor arm - the central top bit where it contacts with the central brush should be clean and smooth. And the outer tip should be clean and again not pitted.

Any signs of pitting or dark areas suggests arcing which will cause a poor spark.
ok, thanks will check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks guys, tomorrow morning i'm off to try and get it back to where I live. hopefully i can get it started... Im in south america and in the little town where my car is stuck, I have no chance of a mechanic :(

will let you know how I go...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to everyone for your help. I went out to my car, cleaned the distributor cap (was very dirty), charged the battery and it started first go.

idling it still runs a bit rough (so maybe the cap has had it), but the important thing is it is now back in my city so I can find a mechanic that can fix that and any other problems.

thanks again for the help.
 
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