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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1999 Corsa B, 91,000 miles
X16XE with powerbox inlet and 4-2-1 exhaust manifold/full exhaust system.
Headgasket done recently (cant remember mileage, but was last summer)
FSH till I got it, I've kept well on top of it since.

Drove home from work on Friday (only half a mile (yes, I know I'm lazy, but I start at 6:30)) absolutely fine; didn't use the car all weekend; and then went to start it this morning and it wouldn't
It was turning over fine but just wouldn't fire. I put my foot to the floor and it eventually started, but was very very rough, sounded like 2-3 cylinders, and as soon as I tried to drive (wasn't planning on going anywhere by this point, just seeing if it would) it died. Tried to start it again and the same happened, so I gave up and got picked up for work.
Came home and had a look; was still doing exactly the same.
So I took the HT leads off and cranked it over, then checked each plug for fuel. They all smelled strongly of fuel.
Put a spark plug in the HT lead, pressed it against the head and got someone to crank it over, it sparked, but not very dramatically. Same for each lead.
The spark was like a dull yellow small spark, I believe it should be a bright blue?
So for this reason I'm thinking the coilpack is the culprit?

Possibly related, or not, but either way worrying:

All 4 plugs were like this. I think I changed them at 80,000 (11,000 miles ago)
 

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If it was just "a" plug wouldn't it fire on other plugs and just have a mis-fire once in a while? I thought they only fire two plugs at a time and alternate between. Could be wrong...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Correct. I know it's not a plug.
I think it's the coilpack, which generates the sparks - hence a weak spark on all 4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Actually, thinking about it, the plugs may be a lot older than that.
Can't remember if I changed them when I had a misfire about a year ago that turned out to be damaged insulation on a HT lead.

If it is the coilpack, does one of these look okay, or is it something I should be buying new?
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VAUXHALL-...arts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item2c6cc2d8e4
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VAUXHALL-...arts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item20cfc5140b

I know I'm possibly getting ahead of myself, but I could do with getting this sorted sooner rather than later, and I won't be able to get on here tonight till much later.
 

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It could be the coilpack - but first thing I'd check is the state of the battery, especially since you say you only drive half a mile to work.

OK so it's cranking over fine, but I've had that engine do exactly the same and it was the battery being slightly below top notch which causes weak sparks because the HT system on them is very fussy about the power it gets.

Before spending any money I'd put the battery on a good overnight charge and see if it makes any difference. It might not be any better, but at least you won't have wasted any money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The 'State of charge hydrometer' says its fine, but I've stuck it on the trickle charger overnight, and ill give it a quick go in the morning.
I do only drive half a mile to work, but it gets a proper run most days. Had a good long run Thursday night, but didn't get used over the weekend and it has been bitterly cold, so battery makes sense.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
http://www.gnttype.org/techarea/engine/plugs.html

I read here that blackened spark plugs is a possible sign of a weak spark? Presumably the carbon deposits can't have built up so quickly, therefore the coilpack could have been on its way out for a while?
Either that or it's over fuelling for another reason.

Ill report back in the morning when it's been charged.
 

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I know you have investigating first, but just to let you know, replace coil pack on mrs Corsa few months ago, only about £30 from ECP
 

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Imo, change the plugs first. You are bound to buy new ones anyway but they look pretty knackered lol. I always change mine max 4k mileage lol. I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to plugs.

Also, have you checked ecu for codes by any chance? :)

Also off topic, if you are still looking for a non flocked center heater surround - i found one the other day..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, that's good to know, I haven't had much chance to look at prices cos Ive been busy all day. But a quick eBay search brought back prices around £115!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Imo, change the plugs first. You are bound to buy new ones anyway but they look pretty knackered lol. I always change mine max 4k mileage lol. I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to plugs.

Also, have you checked ecu for codes by any chance? :)

Also off topic, if you are still looking for a non flocked center heater surround - i found one the other day..
You change plus at 4k? That's mental and pointless haha. They're good for 40k iirc.
The plugs are in good condition, just coated with carbon from the engine overfuelling/not sparking properly. Will probably replace them anyway though.
Not checked for ECU codes no, I don't have a reader. I imagine the ECU will be flooded with random codes that wont be of much use after it running that rough though.
Found a mfd surround mate, cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well that hasn't gone well. After being charged overnight, I went to start it thismorning and just got a horrible clicking noise like the starter wasn't engaging properly :/
Ill get a video when I'm home from work later.
 

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sticky starter? also sounds like how marks MOK was, started but ran rough, check the EGR?
 

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Sounds like how my 1.6 sport was when I bought it. Fully charged battery, clicking and not turning over :/

Lol - I am a little paranoid in regards with the spark plugs lol. I will change them less often then :)

Also, its a bit weird that after charging the battery its clicking the starter!
Any EM lights just out of curiosity? Might give you a better insight if it is lol. Mind you - you probably checked that.
 

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Try putting the car in gear and rocking it back and forward then if possible tap the starter with the wooden shaft of a hammer. Just in case the starter is stuck and unrelated. Is it possible to try your battery in another car or vice versa?

Unlikely as you mentioned the hydrometer readings show ok, but would be 100% certain then.
Could it be a corroded or loose earth lead as well?
I always thought coil packs went gradually and you'd get some rough running and backfiring before it got this bad, has there been any of that?
Does it normally throw up the EML for a faulty coil pack
 

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As above - with that happening after charging the battery I'd check for a bad connection. Did you remove the battery to charge it? I've know terminals crack internally which can cause poor power flow even though the battery electrolyte shows healthy.

The only EML you usually get for a failing coilpack is either a misfire and/or an O2 code. Both of course secondary symptoms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There's a brand new battery in my garage that my brother bought not realising his just needed a bit of water.
It's been there for about a year though so that's no doubt flat too.
Ill charge that one up and have a go.

I charged my battery on the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Right, charged new battery and gave it a go, still won't start.
It's cranking over again now though, not just clicking.
 

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have you checked what the sparks look like with the new battery? If they're still weak then I'd try the coil (so long as you know the leads are OK)
 
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