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Strange issues with a 1.1 08 clio, slow starting with a rough idle, but battery, alternator and spark plugs are all good.



  Renault Clio 2008
Hello, this is an update to an issue I’ve got with a 2008 1.1 Clio I bought, the original thread is here
You don’t have to read it as I will explain everything here also


So. I bought this car end of August, however I’ve only been regularly driving it since September 19th. I got it cheap from a local seller as it needed a new clutch. Upon driving to the clutch place (8 miles away) I sat outside with the ignition half turned, after about 10 minutes the car wouldn’t start at all, the only audible sound was a clicking noise from the passenger footwell and the window wipers malfunctioning. Instantly I thought old battery, the mechanic jumped me and I went on my way home leaving it with him

when I returned, I asked if he’d figured out why the car wouldn’t start because surely after an 8 mile trip it should’ve had enough charge - he said he isn’t sure, but the battery came back all green upon testing, and he didn’t think it was the alternator either. I drove it home and forgot about it for the time being.

Now I’ve started driving it regularly I’ve gotten to know the issues better so here we go.

The car struggles to start cold, especially after using electrics beforehand. Last night I sat with the ignition turned for around 15 minutes, and it barely started. The revs went up and dropped right down to 200-300 before clawing and chugging it’s way upto idle speed. Several days ago it also stalled on start up (but started the next attempt right away) the clutch mechanic said the battery tested good, so I changed the spark plugs myself and this did not solve the problem.

The also car has a pretty rough idle. It goes from being pretty smooth even on a cold start, to dropping to 730rpm and goes in intervals between feeling quite vibrate(y) and shakey to being smooth again without the revs actually changing. The revs also fluctuate, though. When coming to red lights it’ll drop from 800 to low 700s even at a complete stop in neutral.

And finally, there is a slight whirring sound when the car accelerates. It literally sounds like a turbo whistle, exactly like one - but without a turbo. It starts at around 3000rpm and isn’t very noticeable, it doesn’t sound badeither but I’m aware it shouldn’t be making that sound.

I understand this is a lot of writing but these are odd issues with this car. If it isn’t the battery, alternator or spark plugs the only thing I can think of is ignition coils or filters?

thanks a bunch to anyone who may have any insight as to what I should check next.
 
  Renault Clio 2008
Coil pack possibly? Others may advise if I'm right...or wrong
Hello. Thanks for the suggestion,

The thing is with that, I’m not experiencing any loss of power or performance issues, and once the engine is warm is starts alright. It also doesn’t add up with why using the electrics before turning the engine over causes problems.
It’s very strange I’m not really sure where to go from here

possible it could be a faulty battery along with needing a new coil pack.
 

MRBILLYUK

ClioSport Club Member
  FF Jeden Osiem Dwa
Sounds like battery or earth problem to me.
Get the battery tested by somebody else , not the guy who fitted your clutch or test it yourself with a multimeter.
 
  Renault Clio 2008
Here is a video of the rough idle. I rev the engine upto 1500, when it drops back to idle it will drop to around 550? And then return to a better speed. While it’s at the higher speed the car will still slightly shake and vibrate. When it drops to 550ish it sounds like it’s going to stall but it’s yet to do that so far and hasn’t cut out while running once yet.
 

Attachments

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  Renault Clio 2008
Update:

I read it could be the Mass Airflow Sensor, so I took it off and cleaned it out. It made minimal difference, to the point where I’m not sure any difference was all in my head or not. The RPM’s still drop and it seems to only do it when decending from lower revs slowly and it’s worse when the headlights are on.

i tried removing the Sensor completely to see how the car ran limp, and weirdly, the idle was smooth, it rev’d a lot quicker, there was no shaking, but the car ran like s**t. It was very jerky And undriveable I had I turn back after going 25 meters down the road.

what could this mean? Maybe I need a new air flow sensor?
 
  Renault Clio 2008
Have you checked all of the intake? From the inlet to the air box?
Hello.
I have ordered a new air filter which is due to come today, while I’m changing it I’ll check the entire intake but Im not getting my hopes up.
 

MRBILLYUK

ClioSport Club Member
  FF Jeden Osiem Dwa
Have you check all the earths like somebody recommended in your original post?
I had a loose earth and it would struggle to start and there was a loud clicking noise coming from the passenger footwell.
If you're not too sure where to check find a decent local garage.
 
  Renault Clio 2008
Have you check all the earths like somebody recommended in your original post?
I had a loose earth and it would struggle to start and there was a loud clicking noise coming from the passenger footwell.
If you're not too sure where to check find a decent local garage.
Hi

I don’t know where the earths on this car are located and i don’t think I have the capacity to check, very basic mechanical skills. the car will start fine once it’s warmed up though if that matters. That made me think it’s maybe not a loose earth

if this air filter replacement and cleaning the throttle body doesn’t work I think a garage is my next step, I was debating changing the ignition coils over because I can get the part for £40ish but it’s a waste if it’s not even that
 

Big Toe

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio Campus
Hi

I don’t know where the earths on this car are located and i don’t think I have the capacity to check, very basic mechanical skills. the car will start fine once it’s warmed up though if that matters. That made me think it’s maybe not a loose earth

if this air filter replacement and cleaning the throttle body doesn’t work I think a garage is my next step, I was debating changing the ignition coils over because I can get the part for £40ish but it’s a waste if it’s not even that
Have you had it scanned for faults? A basic fault code reader might identify a misfire
 
  Renault Clio 2008
Have you had it scanned for faults? A basic fault code reader might identify a misfire
not yet - my friend has a code reader but he hasn’t had time to come over yet. He’s going to do the air filter and throttle with me due to my lack of tools. there is no check engine light or nothing so I don’t have high hopes for it to throw codes at me
 

MRBILLYUK

ClioSport Club Member
  FF Jeden Osiem Dwa
Hi

I don’t know where the earths on this car are located and i don’t think I have the capacity to check, very basic mechanical skills. the car will start fine once it’s warmed up though if that matters. That made me think it’s maybe not a loose earth

if this air filter replacement and cleaning the throttle body doesn’t work I think a garage is my next step, I was debating changing the ignition coils over because I can get the part for £40ish but it’s a waste if it’s not even that
I wouldn't throw parts at it if you're not sure what part needs replacing. You'll just waste money.
That's the reason I suggested taking it to a garage . They should be able to check if any of the earths are loose. Or maybe your mate had some idea if you're not that mechanically minded?
Like @Big Toe said . A scanner " might " show you any faults depending what's causing the problem.
 
  Renault Clio 2008
I wouldn't throw parts at it if you're not sure what part needs replacing. You'll just waste money.
That's the reason I suggested taking it to a garage . They should be able to check if any of the earths are loose. Or maybe your mate had some idea if you're not that mechanically minded?
Like @Big Toe said . A scanner " might " show you any faults depending what's causing the problem.
I’ve also noticed increased fuel consumption today. I drove 5 miles-ish today and my fuel gauge miles remaining estimate dropped 22

very odd, I hope it’s not a big fix
 
  Renault Clio 2008
Have you had it scanned for faults? A basic fault code reader might identify a misfire
Hello

today I replaced the air filter, cleaned the throttle body, retested the battery and scanned for codes with absolutley no joy.

The air filter and throttle clean done nothing, the battery came back 12.6 off, 14.3 on. When the car was turned off the voltage slowly decreased and the alternator wasnt acting up or anything.

the code reader showed nothing
im really stumped for solutions at this point
 

MRBILLYUK

ClioSport Club Member
  FF Jeden Osiem Dwa
Hello

today I replaced the air filter, cleaned the throttle body, retested the battery and scanned for codes with absolutley no joy.

The air filter and throttle clean done nothing, the battery came back 12.6 off, 14.3 on. When the car was turned off the voltage slowly decreased and the alternator wasnt acting up or anything.

the code reader showed nothing
im really stumped for solutions at this point
Well your alternator and battery are definitely ok with those readings.
You said you had increased fuel consumption. That " can be " a bad or faulty lambda sensor.
Is there no garage near you that you trust, or a renault specialist?
Whereabouts in the country are you?
 

Martin_172

ClioSport Club Member
First post points directly to the battery, the fact it drove fine after being jump started shows the alternator is charging and running the car when the engine is running. the 14v when its running also.
struggling to turn over and going flat after only 15 mins points you in that direction.

poor fuel consumption and general poor running would point towards upstream lambda sensor.
 
  Renault Clio 2008
Well your alternator and battery are definitely ok with those readings.
You said you had increased fuel consumption. That " can be " a bad or faulty lambda sensor.
Is there no garage near you that you trust, or a renault specialist?
Whereabouts in the country are you?
I’m in the northwest UK.

I think I have increased fuel consumption yeah, it’s a bit hard to tell the longer I focus on it. Sometimes I’ll be on a trip somewhere an I’ll notice my miles have dropped 5 miles since I began, and then I’ll think “well, it’s been about 3 but stopping and starting could take more off me” but in the long run I definitely have when I look back. I had 212 miles remaining on Monday, and now I have 119 and I havent drove anywhere NEAR 100 miles.

I will look into a lambda Sensor, I’ve actually never heard of that, I’ll see if I can get a new one if it’s cheap because I’m really running out of options here.

In regards to garages, there’s one garage in my area that specialise in electrics that is my last resort, but I’ve had a bad experience with them with an older car I had a few years back so
 
  Renault Clio 2008
First post points directly to the battery, the fact it drove fine after being jump started shows the alternator is charging and running the car when the engine is running. the 14v when its running also.
struggling to turn over and going flat after only 15 mins points you in that direction.

poor fuel consumption and general poor running would point towards upstream lambda sensor.
Yes, having the ignition or anything else on in the car but not the engine for over 15 minutes will make it struggle to start. If I start the engine right away it’s not as bad. We tried to replicate this today with no luck so my friend thinks it could be a bad ground strap
 

MRBILLYUK

ClioSport Club Member
  FF Jeden Osiem Dwa
I’m in the northwest UK.

I think I have increased fuel consumption yeah, it’s a bit hard to tell the longer I focus on it. Sometimes I’ll be on a trip somewhere an I’ll notice my miles have dropped 5 miles since I began, and then I’ll think “well, it’s been about 3 but stopping and starting could take more off me” but in the long run I definitely have when I look back. I had 212 miles remaining on Monday, and now I have 119 and I havent drove anywhere NEAR 100 miles.

I will look into a lambda Sensor, I’ve actually never heard of that, I’ll see if I can get a new one if it’s cheap because I’m really running out of options here.

In regards to garages, there’s one garage in my area that specialise in electrics that is my last resort, but I’ve had a bad experience with them with an older car I had a few years back so
I'm in the Northwest too.
I take mine to Andy and Steve at Birchdown Autos in Malpas , Cheshire. 160 mile round trip but well worth it. They won't bullshit you or fire the parts cannon , changing this that or the other.
It's worth considering if you're struggling to get to the bottom of your problem. It's what i would do anyway.

 
  Renault Clio 2008
I'm in the Northwest too.
I take mine to Andy and Steve at Birchdown Autos in Malpas , Cheshire. 160 mile round trip but well worth it. They won't bullshit you or fire the parts cannon , changing this that or the other.
It's worth considering if you're struggling to get to the bottom of your problem. It's what i would do anyway.

That’s actually only 28 miles from me, I’m in Liverpool. It’s just over the Mersey gateway for me.

This car is terrible on the motorway also which your response just made think, 80MPS is a loud vibrating rollercoaster at 4000rpm but I don’t know what more I can expect from such a small engine
Im second guessing everything with this car because I’ve never drove anything smaller than a 1.6 untill this, I remmeber I first noticed the idle issue and somebody said it’s just the alternator compensating for the increased load and it’s only noticeable on small engines, it wasn’t untill it failed to start I began to think it was all one issue
 

Martin_172

ClioSport Club Member
Yes, having the ignition or anything else on in the car but not the engine for over 15 minutes will make it struggle to start. If I start the engine right away it’s not as bad. We tried to replicate this today with no luck so my friend thinks it could be a bad ground strap
Earth strap would cause issues at any charge level not just after 15 mins, the battery is past it by the sounds of it.
 

MRBILLYUK

ClioSport Club Member
  FF Jeden Osiem Dwa
That’s actually only 28 miles from me, I’m in Liverpool. It’s just over the Mersey gateway for me.

This car is terrible on the motorway also which your response just made think, 80MPS is a loud vibrating rollercoaster at 4000rpm but I don’t know what more I can expect from such a small engine
Im second guessing everything with this car because I’ve never drove anything smaller than a 1.6 untill this, I remmeber I first noticed the idle issue and somebody said it’s just the alternator compensating for the increased load and it’s only noticeable on small engines, it wasn’t untill it failed to start I began to think it was all one issue
It's might be worth giving them a bell. They're usually pretty busy so could take a week or two before they can book you in. I'm sure they'll be able to sort out your problem.
 
  Renault Clio 2008
Earth strap would cause issues at any charge level not just after 15 mins, the battery is past it by the sounds of it.
but a failing battery wouldn’t cause a rough idle would it? Unless the starting and the idle are just two issues themselves with two solutions
 

jameswrx

ClioSport Club Member
You need to get the battery tested properly, drop tested, CCA tested... not just voltage. I’d imagine even Halfords do a free health check? (They should have a little computer like mine where you input the battery’s CCA and connect it up, it’ll tell you what the actual health of your battery is)

You’ve a weak battery which no longer has a good capacity which is proven by sitting with the ignition on sapping power quickly (unless you’ve got some Amps etc?)

Regardless of other issues the battery should be investigated further as others have said.
 


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