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182 Trophy won't start, any ideas?



  182 Trophy, Williams
This is an intermittent fault which has existed for well over a year now.

Most times the car starts fine and runs great, however while driving the battery and stop light will occasionally flicker on for a second or two then go out.

Sometimes when trying to start the car it just won't turn over. The immobiliser light goes out when you turn the key to the ignition position as it should, there is a single audible click from the front left of the car, all of the other dash lights/clock go off as you turn the key to start, the engine does not crank, there is no repetitive clicking like you hear sometimes trying to start a car with low battery. If you push start the car, it fires fine and usually the next time you try to start it with the key it works, but then weeks pass and the problem happens again.

This problem existed both before and after the following items were replaced (possibly ruling them out?).

Starter motor.
Battery.
Alternator.

The battery and alternator are both brand new, Bosch and genuine Renault respectively, fitted by a well regarded Renaultsport specialist.

Several times before the car has gone back to specialist with starting fault, but because it is intermittent it's never acted up while with the specialist and is presumably therefore quite tricky for them to diagnose. Each time they've replaced the starter under warranty. I could push start the car and get it to the specialist, but then we'll be back to a new starter and the problem not occuring while at the specialist, only to happen again weeks later.

Anybody got any ideas? Thanks in advance.
 

Daniel

ClioSport Moderator
  Whichever has fuel
I had exactly the same on my track car and it was a rusty/corroded earth strap on the gearbox/chassi leg.
 

MRBILLYUK

ClioSport Club Member
  FF Jeden Osiem Dwa
As above. Either a rusty or loose earth strap. I had alot of clicking from down in the passenger footwell and it would struggle to start with lights flickering on the dash. It was a loose earth.
 
  BG 182FF
Several times before the car has gone back to specialist with starting fault, but because it is intermittent it's never acted up while with the specialist and is presumably therefore quite tricky for them to diagnose. Each time they've replaced the starter under warranty. I could push start the car and get it to the specialist, but then we'll be back to a new starter and the problem not occuring while at the specialist,
Who is the specialist?
 
  182 Trophy, Williams
Brief update on this (and I'll make sure I post a solution if one is found in case it helps others).

On the advice above I swapped the three brown relays including the starter motor relay with my brother's 182 which is conveniently parked right next to mine. Still no start and my relays work fine in his car so not the relays. We've both checked every earth we can find. Nothing obvious loose or degraded.

I'm at the end of my ability to continue troubleshooting really. I'm speaking to a local auto electrician today to see if it's affordable for him to come and start going through it on the drive.

Since the fault has been intermittent I figure it's a good opportunity to get it looked at while it is actually not starting so if the auto electrician isn't a go-er then rather than bump start it and drive to the specialist this time I'll flat bed it there so that at least they can experience the issue. Will report back either way in case it helps others.

The specialist is RS Four Ashes who have done lots of work for me on several of my Clio's and my wife's Laguna. They've also done an engine swap on a friend's 182 and I'd thoroughly recommend them. It's very unfortunate that each time I've taken the car there after bump starting it we've been unable to recreate the problem which they can't be blamed for obviously, it's just the nature of the fault. They've replaced the starter under warranty and have been thoroughly decent about the whole thing so absolutely no complaints about them here. Just one of those unfortunate intermittent issues that is difficult for even the best mechanics/engineers to trace without it occuring while they have the car.

Will pop back when I have more info, weather is cheering up so want to get the thing running reliably and put some summer miles on it!
 

Gus

ClioSport Moderator
  182Turbo,DCi90
The fact it isn't turning over and you only get one click, you have replaced the starter motor, checked the earth. It also starts when you push start it. It's likely to be an issue with the starter motor wire.

It's quite hard to see but at the back of the engine, if you reach down under the exhaust manifold you will find the starter motor. There is a wire with a spade connector going in to the starter motor. Give that a wiggle and then keep seeing if the car starts. It might just be the spade connector that has an issue or maybe the wire. It's easier to check if you don't have chuncky wrists as you can then reach between the manifold tubes.
 

RustyMojo

ClioSport Club Member
Have you checked the white plug of death under the fuse box? The pubs corrode slightly (even when removed it’s hard to see) I would recommend checking cleaning each pin off with contact cleaner and some fine wet abs dry paper (obviously dry) before you go much further. My short experience has told me earthing and that shitty plug cause majority of bloody issues with these cars. It’s certainly worth checking as a preventative measure before dropping into a specialist.
 

luketheduck

ClioSport Club Member
  LY 182; Octy vRS 245
Any resolution on this @Tom Clarke? Mine is doing exactly the same today - and has done a couple of times before. Previously it's magically come back to life (last time after an hours wait and predictibly literally seconds before the AA arrived). Doing my head in!
 
  182 Trophy, Williams
Any resolution on this @Tom Clarke? Mine is doing exactly the same today - and has done a couple of times before. Previously it's magically come back to life (last time after an hours wait and predictibly literally seconds before the AA arrived). Doing my head in!

I've got RAC homestart, decided I would actually use it on the off chance I got somebody out who didn't want to just load it onto a flat bed as the RAC often do. I was in luck, the chap who came out was a big petrol head who loved French hot hatches. We fixed a bad connection to the alternator which seems to have cured my battery/stop light flicking on and off, and he spent a long time testing grounds and connections too. He was able to establish that power is getting to the starter motor and that it is indeed as simple as another starter motor has failed.

As to why they keep failing, starting to consider heat as a factor. They're right down by the manifold and my car is predominantly used on track or for B road blasts. I think the plan with mine is to replace it yet again, but this time try to heat shield it a little, maybe remove the undertray so that hot air can escape more readily.

Plan is to get it booked in and sorted some time in the next two weeks so if there are any developments I'll post back here.
 


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