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Vauxhall no longer starts after overheating by Cliff Pennock
Started on: 06-22-2022 10:43 AM
Replies: 16 (302 views)
Last post by: RWDPLZ on 07-25-2022 01:06 PM
Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post06-22-2022 10:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My daily driver is a Vauxhall Astra G from '98. I know it has a coolant leak somewhere because I always had to add about a quart of coolant every few months. Last week I needed to a about 2 quarts and a few days later the engine overheated again, just barely below the red line. I parked the car in front of my house and the next day when I wanted to start the car, it made a very strange noise and it wouldn't start. It sounded like when you try to start a car with a low battery. As if the starter turns, but the engine doesn't (if that makes sense). At first I thought it indeed must be a low battery because when I left the car the prior day, the fan was still running and must have kept running for quite some time. But I checked, and the battery is good.

It's not a stuck starter on anything because I turned the ignition while in gear and with the clutch released, and the car hopped forward.

I've made a recording, I'll post the soundclip soon.
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Jake_Dragon
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Report this Post06-22-2022 11:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Pull the spark plugs and see if they are wet. I would be worried about a head gasket issue.
See if it turns over without the plugs installed compared to with them installed.

Could just be a tired starter after getting heat soaked over and over.
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RWDPLZ
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Report this Post06-22-2022 11:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If the battery is good, failing/intermittent starter or loose/dirty battery cable connections (at battery and at starter) would be the next thing to check. Is it a manual? Bad clutch safety switch? Late 90's GM stuff is pretty easy to work on, unless it's a diesel.

Do European cars have an OBDII port you can plug in a code reader to check for any stored codes? They were introduced here on 96 model year cars.

Failed head gasket might cause it to not start if it's hydro-locked, unlikely.
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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post06-23-2022 05:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is how it sounds when I try to start it.



Which is of course not even close to what it usually sounds like. Also, I just remembered that the last time I drove it, the "check oil" light went on.
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RWDPLZ
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Report this Post06-23-2022 05:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sounds like the starter is just spinning, not even engaging the flywheel? Can you remove a spark plug and put your finger over the hole, and have someone else turn it over? Maybe the starter bolts worked their way loose?
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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post06-23-2022 05:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well, like I said, the starter motor is actually turning the engine because if I try to start the car in gear with the clutch released, the car hops forward.
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Jake_Dragon
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Report this Post06-23-2022 05:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sounds like its lost compression.
Can you see your timing belt? If the belt broke or jumped it could cause the car to not start and have no compression.

How does the water and oil look today?

[This message has been edited by Jake_Dragon (edited 06-23-2022).]

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SKJSS
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Report this Post06-24-2022 07:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SKJSSSend a Private Message to SKJSSEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Jake_Dragon:

Sounds like its lost compression.
Can you see your timing belt? If the belt broke or jumped it could cause the car to not start and have no compression.

How does the water and oil look today?



I hate to say it, but that's kind of what it sounds like to me. The engine sounds as if it's spinning rather "free". If you've lost compression, the car will still jump forward if you turn the ignition with the clutch engaged because the starter is essentially driving the car. The engine is spinning in that situation, but making zero compression, hence the noise. I hope we're wrong, but afraid we're not.
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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post06-24-2022 08:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What's strange is that this apparently happened while the engine wasn't running. I had driven the car and noticed the high temperatures. Car wasn't making any strange noises or anything. I parked the car in front of my house, switched it off an checked coolant. It was very low so I added about a quart. Two days later it didn't start. Also, oil is very low.

I don't have the time to work on it until sunday. Sunday I'll try all your suggestions. Good thing the Fiero runs so I still have a car to drive. 😄
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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post06-24-2022 08:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Cliff Pennock

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Just wondering, couldn't low oil cause the hydraulic valve lifters to not operate (properly)? That would also explain the engine having no compression.
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Report this Post06-24-2022 11:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:

Just wondering, couldn't low oil cause the hydraulic valve lifters to not operate (properly)? That would also explain the engine having no compression.


No that's not how that works. Valves will still open and close turning the engine over even with NO oil.

The finger test or a compression tester (easier by yourself) will likely tell us what's going on. My guess at this point is overheating warped the head. If it has compression take off the timing cover and see if the belt is still on.
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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post06-25-2022 12:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ah ok, I thought hydraulic lifters needed to be filled with oil to work properly...
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Jake_Dragon
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Report this Post07-03-2022 05:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Any luck with your car?
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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post07-06-2022 07:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Haven't had the time to look at it... The Fiero also developed a problem (leaking transmission line) so I'm trying to get that fixed first.
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Report this Post07-06-2022 03:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Good luck, I know its frustrating to have issues with cars you depend on.
My Girl friends Civic is having issues and I'm pretty sure its the head gasket.
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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post07-25-2022 07:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I called a few garages and they all suspect a blown head gasket. Cost for repairs ranged from $1,500 to $3,000.

The car isn't worth anything near that so it's probably junked.
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Report this Post07-25-2022 01:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If the used car market over there is anything like it is over here, are repairs more than a replacement car? If you're going to have it towed off to a junkyard anyway, might be worth the time to take the head off and see if the block and/or head are warped? A head gasket set is maybe $100, and re-surfacing the head at a machine shop a few hundred?
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