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Buying a corsa twin port 998c 55 plate petrol - what to look out for?

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  • [All Models] Buying a corsa twin port 998c 55 plate petrol - what to look out for?

    Hi all,

    ive never had a Vauxhall corsa before, however I need a small run around for my work, that's cheap to run and maintain.

    i have seen a 55 plate twin port corsa (1.0 litre engine) for sale that has 68,000 miles on the clock.
    it is a petrol engine with manual gearbox.

    please can someone give me some things that I should look out for when viewing the car this Saturday. Are there any common faults to look for?

    the woman said that the 02 lambda sensor went last year and has been replaced.

    it is up for sale for 650. Is this reasonable?

    last question... Does this car have a CHAIN or a timing belt? The black plastic engine cover under the bonnet has a Vauxhall logo and says ecotec, if this helps.

    if it is a chain, I assume these never need to be replaced?

    many thanks
    mark

  • #2
    It is a chain driven cam. The main thing to look for is a good service history. Given regular / frequent oil changes these engines are generally very reliable. But they will not tolerate poor oil changes as the oilways become restricted leading to the chain wearing. Listen for noise from the chain area, especially on starting. They are naturally a slightly noisy engine since chains make more noise than belts, but it shouldn't sound wrong. Chains should last 100k with decent oil services. Ask if the chain has been replaced. If it has make sure it is a genuine Vauxhall kit - otherwise walk away. Most aftermarket chains are rubbish and will fail very quickly.

    Check the coolant is at the right level and has been replaced on schedule - it should be red coolant in those.

    Look at the oil pressure switch on the front left of the engine, right at the top, they have a habit of leaking and oil gets into the wiring loom. That adversely affects the Lambda system since the wiring loom resistance will be altered and the Lambda system registers resistance.

    Most parts are easy to find and pretty cheap which is good news.

    The 3 cylinder engines always rock about a bit on idle since they are inherently unbalanced. That can crack the exhaust manifold, though not as common as some people suggest, but listen for any signs of blowing from the front end.

    The price sounds fair if it's in good condition. There are plenty around, most of them not looked after very well, so be picky.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Taurus View Post
      It is a chain driven cam. The main thing to look for is a good service history. Given regular / frequent oil changes these engines are generally very reliable. But they will not tolerate poor oil changes as the oilways become restricted leading to the chain wearing. Listen for noise from the chain area, especially on starting. They are naturally a slightly noisy engine since chains make more noise than belts, but it shouldn't sound wrong. Chains should last 100k with decent oil services. Ask if the chain has been replaced. If it has make sure it is a genuine Vauxhall kit - otherwise walk away. Most aftermarket chains are rubbish and will fail very quickly.

      Check the coolant is at the right level and has been replaced on schedule - it should be red coolant in those.

      Look at the oil pressure switch on the front left of the engine, right at the top, they have a habit of leaking and oil gets into the wiring loom. That adversely affects the Lambda system since the wiring loom resistance will be altered and the Lambda system registers resistance.

      Most parts are easy to find and pretty cheap which is good news.

      The 3 cylinder engines always rock about a bit on idle since they are inherently unbalanced. That can crack the exhaust manifold, though not as common as some people suggest, but listen for any signs of blowing from the front end.

      The price sounds fair if it's in good condition. There are plenty around, most of them not looked after very well, so be picky.

      Many thanks for your reply. really appreciate it.

      here is a picture under the bonnet, is the switch found just below the yellow oil filler cap? ... Or is it on the other side?

      Click image for larger version

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      Also in regards to lambda sensor that the owner had replaced, is this potentially a warning sign for things to come, or is it generally a problem on these cars?

      cheers.

      mark

      Comment


      • #4
        The oil pressure switch is on the left hand side of the engine as you look into the bonnet, on the front, more or less in front of the timing chain area.

        I wouldn't worry about a failed lambda sensor, they can go wrong but very often they get replaced as a precaution when something else (like an exhaust leak) throws an O2 code.
        1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

        Comment


        • #5
          O

          Originally posted by Taurus View Post
          The oil pressure switch is on the left hand side of the engine as you look into the bonnet, on the front, more or less in front of the timing chain area.

          I wouldn't worry about a failed lambda sensor, they can go wrong but very often they get replaced as a precaution when something else (like an exhaust leak) throws an O2 code.
          hi Tauras,

          thanks again in for your reply, appreciate it.

          so, if there is oil over the oil pressure switch, I assume this indicates a problem? If so where is the oil leak usually from? Would this be a simple fix if I did see oil on it?

          thanks

          mark

          Comment


          • #6
            It is the switch itself that leaks oil - replacements are cheap and just screw in, just don't overtighten it. The issue is that oil seeps into the wiring loom and that is what causes problems.
            1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Taurus View Post
              It is the switch itself that leaks oil - replacements are cheap and just screw in, just don't overtighten it. The issue is that oil seeps into the wiring loom and that is what causes problems.
              Hi Tauras. Cheers again

              Just a question regarding the exhaust manifold - is it easy to hear if it is blowing from the front manifold? Will it be easier to hear with the bonnet open?

              And secondly, will I be able to see the area that typically cracks, or is it awkward to get to?

              Thanks. Mark

              Comment


              • #8
                If it has cracked you'll hear either a clear blow or sometimes a tapping sound. Both are very obvious especially with the bonnet open. It's nowhere near as common as some folk suggest, and the later ones seem to suffer less so it's unlikely to be an issue. In terms of where it cracks - there's a heat shield over it so it's not easy to see but it's fairly easy to get at if necessary.
                1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you for your replies. I bought the car today. Everything seems to be running fine. It's actually a belt rather than a chain on this car.

                  Being a new car to me, do you suggest I change spark plugs? The oil looks relatively new so I think an oil change has been done recently. Would you do an oil and filter change for peace of mind?

                  Thanks. Mark

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You will see an aux belt that runs the alternator and water pump - but the timing is run by a chain hidden within the timing cover.

                    With any car new to you, always start with a full service (unless there is a service history showing it's been done) - that way you know where you stand.
                    1972 Viva restoration thread - [url]http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-builds/138-1972-vauxhall-viva.html#post1534[/url]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Funnily enough Taurus, this is the thread I came across when doing some research before buying my one at the weekend, assumed the engine wasn't in bad shape based upon:

                      "The 3 cylinder engines always rock about a bit on idle since they are inherently unbalanced"

                      Thanks for your help in the other thread.

                      Comment

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