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WEN's blog of randomness

Embarrsing moment of the day (non Trainz related)...

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I know, I should keep to Trainz, but I just wanted a "WEN Point and laugh club."



Yep, its my car, nicely broken down, about a few hundred yards from a roundabout (rotary/whatever) about 8-10 miles from Chichester, when my car while overtaking another one died. One minute I was listening to the radio, the next, nothing... absolutely nothing, but the car slowing down using nothing more than just the engine braking while going uphill on a 70mph road and the hazards going. Believe me, when that happens its actually quite scary, even worse when it happens on a motorway.

I got home safely though, after calling the AA (thank you guys) and a van going past blasting its horn, I hope he gets stranded for hours next time. The AA however, were quite quick, finished with the phone, put it down and about 30 seconds later, our savour turned up after we called the police, so had to politely cancel their call as we didn't expect anyone to be there that quick. Next time, I'm getting the police out straight away in that situation, its just too risky. The perosn by the way, is my sister, I was driving her back from an interview.
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  1. leeferr's Avatar
    Glad all turned out well.
  2. Euphod's Avatar
    We've all been there, last time for me it was an $800.00 timing belt...
  3. Wessex_Electric_Nutter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Euphod
    We've all been there, last time for me it was an $800.00 timing belt...
    Luckily, my cambelt didn't go, that was confirmed by the AA patrol (we have the AA over here), however, towing a car was quite an experience, especially when you have to slam on the brakes because most brakes are vacuum assisted off either an exhauster (IIRC) on a diesel or the inlet manifold on a petrol. Trouble is, 3 pumps and you have to really really push the brake pedal, keeping the tow rope quite taught was fun and a new experience. If no one has ever towed a car or been towed by another vehicle, just think of it like a locomotive pulling wagons. You need to keep the coupling quite "tight" otherwise you risk damaging the coupling or the coupler. On my little car, risking ripping off the back end of the van or the towing eye on my car.

    By the fact I lost electrics, I would of known if the cambelt had just gone onto the road and escaped, because when I got out, it wouldn't be there (it was still there but tight), I woudn't of lost my electrics and I would of heard the timing starting to come adrift, how quickly that happens is the question.
  4. ShadyCadence's Avatar
    Sounds like you blew a primary fused power input. The real question is...why.


    p.s. - Next time, use the handbrake to augment the lack of power assist.
  5. Wessex_Electric_Nutter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ShadyCadence
    Sounds like you blew a primary fused power input. The real question is...why.


    p.s. - Next time, use the handbrake to augment the lack of power assist.
    It wasn't, I got towed to the garage (as I refused to start the car by the roadside) to which I am glad I don't have power steering. If you have power steering and get towed, it makes things soo much more heavier. Likewise as I said for the brakes. Got to the garage and the car started fine. So its still a mystery but the igition barrel is the suspect. Everything else is electrically fine, except the radio as the display is busted.
  6. ShadyCadence's Avatar
    So when it died, did you still have lights and such on the dash? I'm a mechanic by trade, so this is more professional curiosity than thrying to be nosy. What year, make and model is it? I'm sure I could find some info online and at least offer suggestions.
  7. Wessex_Electric_Nutter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ShadyCadence
    So when it died, did you still have lights and such on the dash? I'm a mechanic by trade, so this is more professional curiosity than thrying to be nosy. What year, make and model is it? I'm sure I could find some info online and at least offer suggestions.
    Nope, did 3,000 to 4,000 revs, just about to change then the car died, completely, no electrics what so ever (no radio, 12V socket which I had my iPhone in, no taco, no warning, no lights, no oil gauge - the oil gauge comes on when the engine is off, every time, the speedo still worked, because its cable driven.). Its like the engine shut down and the car started slowing down, because I still had the engine connected. The car is something you'd never encounter (probably) in the USA. Maybe their later brothers, but not these models, they seem to be a European only model.

    Its a Renault Clio Mk1 (Registered in January 1997, hence P reg. P for August 96 to July 97, R for 97-98 until you get to V and W which are 00 and 01 as most plates now have 51, 02, 52, 03, 53 you get the idea), 1.2L engine, which is actually 1149cc, its a 5 speed manual which you Americans don't have to encounter that often and the bonnet opens towards the front which is great fun when a mechanic tries to get to it that's never touched one before, because the bonnet spring is also broken, which means, you have to simultaneously hold the bonnet release , while at the same time, manually picking up the bonnet and flipping it forward. And yes, its not as basic as you think, no power steering, airbags or luxuaries, but it does have fuel injection and a sunroof.
  8. leeferr's Avatar
    It almost sounds like a fusible link blew. Happened on my wife's car when a wire with frayed insulation grounded not too long ago.

    Mike
  9. Wessex_Electric_Nutter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by leeferr
    It almost sounds like a fusible link blew. Happened on my wife's car when a wire with frayed insulation grounded not too long ago.

    Mike
    But no fuses actually blew, we know because the fuse box wasn't touched, of which there are 2. All that was checked is to see if the engine turns, the battery was charging, the alternator wasn't loose and the engine turned over, which it did.

    Head scraching?
  10. ShadyCadence's Avatar
    Ahh, yes, the Renault Clio...those are just arriving here. My experience tells me to replace your ignition switch, the one operated by the key. The problem is either there, or between it and the battery. Losing the power input through the ignition switch essentially shuts the car off completely, anything else should have left you with power somewhere.

    I'll wager you a pint on it.
    Updated February 23rd, 2012 at 01:47 PM by ShadyCadence
  11. Wessex_Electric_Nutter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ShadyCadence
    Ahh, yes, the Renault Clio...those are just arriving here. My experience tells me to replace your ignition switch, the one operated by the key. The problem is either there, or between it and the battery. Losing the power input through the ignition switch essentially shuts the car off completely, anything else should have left you with power somewhere.
    I might end up buying a new one when I get the chance. :O
    I got a few other things to do, most importantly, sort the cambelt out, the back brakes (22% imbalance), the hand brake, the mcpherson struts on the front and the steering rack which apparently has power steering even though I had no trouble steering the car when I had the engine off.
  12. leeferr's Avatar
    The fusible link is usually not in the fuse box, although it is sometimes. It's often found down below the engine next to the firewall or under the dash. Most fusible links don't actually look like fuses. They're often a wire placed in line with a wire and is of smaller gauge than the wire it's connected to. The smaller wire will melt when it's overheated due to a short.

    It very well could be something else. I was just offering a suggestion.

    Mike

    Edit: Sorry, I missed your statement that it started fine when it got to the garage, so it definitely is not the fusible link. It could be the ignition switch or a wire that is intermittently grounding somewhere. Tracing down an electrical problem can be a hit and miss adventure.
    Updated February 23rd, 2012 at 05:09 PM by leeferr
  13. AJ_Fox's Avatar
    Yo WEN

    You both look too tall to fit into that auto

    Cheers

    AJ