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Odd cold start

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  • [Corsa C 2000-2006] Odd cold start

    Hi everyone!

    (Excuse my bad english and bad technical terms but I am portuguese)

    I would very much appreciate any help with the issue I'm having with my Corsa C from the year 2000 (167000 Km).

    When starting from cold (and only on the first start of the day) the motor hesitates for about 10 seconds, the rev counter goes up and down several times between 400 and 2000 revs and after that it goes steady on 1200 revs and after 1 min goes down to 800 (which I think is normal).
    From then on all the other starts during the day are normal, meaning the car starts immediatly with no effort going to 800 revs right after. This started happening rarely last summer but has become more often and permanent in the last months. I know for sure this didn't happen before (I have this car for 5 years now). I wonder why is this happening and am affraid that one day it won't start at all.
    A bit of history (I will try to keep it short):
    In 2010 the car was given to me by my mother who wasn't able to drive anymore because of her ilness. It had 70000km
    It was serviced by Opel (Vauxall) because of a power loss at 3000 revs. Crankshaft sensor replaced and everything was ok.
    HG replaced at a mechanic due to overheating because of an oil leak while travelling on the highway.
    Job badly done coolant desapearing and mayonnaise on the oil cap. The gasket was refited (or replaced) a second time and everything was ok but from then on the car is consuming oil (1 liter per 1000km). I think the metal rings on the pistons are somehow dammaged letting the oil go through. Anyway car runs well accelerates ok (goes easily to 140km/h or more).
    The car has been serviced regularly at least every year before legal inspection and several parts replaced. EGR valve replaced due to error code on the ECU
    Recently I've had some misfire errors on the ECU (I do the pedals test) and asked for a sparks replacement. The problem continued and it had also the coil pack replaced together with more new sparks. I've had a few more misfire errors but then all of a suden the errors disapeared (I can't read any with the pedal test) but it started to have this new behaviour on cold start.
    Battery has 6 months and I have measured it on start and it's ok. I think MAF is OK. I replaced the fuel filter - no difference.
    The only thing I suspect now is the throttle body which is very dirty with oil spillings. Could it be that the "butterfly" is somehow stuck when the car is cold thus provoking this behaviour?
    I would appreciate any suggestions. If you have questions I will be glad to answer

  • #2
    Is there any sign of blue / white smoke from the exhaust? If the piston rings are worn and it is using oil it could simply be fouled plugs causing the hesitation. Once the engine is running they will clean up enough for it to run ok. Take the plugs out and look at the tips, if they are black and oily looking that will be the cause.

    A dirty throttle body could be a clue as if the rings are letting oil past it will get dumped into the throttle body via the crankcase breather .
    1972 Viva restoration thread -


    • #3
      Thanks for your quick answer, Taurus.
      It makes perfect sense to me.
      I can't see any smokes until now... but the tail exaust has a black ring around it's outside (about 5mm extent).
      I forgot to mention that sometimes the rev needle doesn't even raise from "0" when the motor is struggling to start. Then after the motor goes on a good idle if I push the accelerator the needle goes up but falls back to "0" when returning to idle. If I turn the ignition off and restart the motor the needle jumps to 1200/800 revs as normal. I don't give much importance to this fact because I'm aware of the famous electrical contact malfunction of the dashboard on this model. But then again, could it be the crankshaft sensor (again)?
      I'm very much aware that I must make those rings replaced and I'm also aware that it means new HG, new bolts and some other things.
      Do you think it's worthy? How much would this cost in England, for instance?
      I must wait another 3 months until I will have the money to get it done. Is there something you advise so I can avoid major problems until then?
      Thanks again in advance.


      • #4
        To be honest at that kind of mileage the work needed to fit new rings you'd really want to rebore the cylinders and all the ancillary work - I'd suggest it's cheaper to look for a replacement engine. The earlier versions are cheaper for engines. Just run it as long as you can and in the meantime look for a replacement engine (or even replace the car.) They're decent enough engines but not worth that level of work.
        1972 Viva restoration thread -


        • #5
          Thanks for your advise Taurus. It's always good to have an honest and independent opinion.


          • #6
            Hi Guys! Just want to make an update on this "odd cold start" issue.
            When talking with a friend of mine he suggested replacing the fuel filter. I checked my pappers and found that it hadn't been replaced for more than 3 years (more than 50000 km).
            So I did it with no special result on the first days like I said on a previous post. But after some time and a 500km trip (believe it or not) the car is now starting normally with no hesitation. It's been more than one month now and the problem didn't come back.
            So I just spent 15€ and apparently solved the problem (I wish).
            I will appreciate any comments on this.