1998 Vauxhall Vectra Loss of power when accelerating

Tiny
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  • 1998 VAUXHALL VECTRA

Engine Performance problem
1998 Vauxhall Vectra 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual 50000 miles

Hi guys,

I have a 1.6 16v vectra which runs like a dream first thing in the morning but as soon as the engine begins to warm up I lose power.

When I put my foot down to accelerate, the car sort of jumps as if fuel or air aren't getting into the mix properly. Thing is i've had friends say it could be fuel or air or exhaust gasses not escaping or problems with various sensors but I haven't a clue where to start!

I do get my ECU light coming on now and then but by the time I get it to the garage for a diagnostic, the light has gone out and the diagnosis comes up with no faults!

I would be really grateful for some help because I really like the car!

Many thanks,

Matt

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 12:31 PM

23 Replies

Tiny
DAVE H
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Hello. Thanks for the donation. Much appreciated

You seem to have what's called an "intermitent" fault occuring. Unfortunately tracking it down is going to be the hard part. It could be on any one of the sensors the car has. Usually when the MIL has been on, the car will store the code for a little while so next time it appears on. Take the car immediately to have it diagnosed. This will be the easiest way of tracking it down. From your description. It could be an injector fault or even a spark fault/MassAirFlow/ThrottlePositionSensor etc. Etc.. It's really hard to diagnose without the code and we could be changeing parts without reason till we track the cause. Because you say it does not start till the vehicle gets warm. I would first be looking at the coils or CKP(crankshaft Position Sensor). But as I said earlier. Without the fault code we are guessing and could replace these without reason. If you can get the codes. Repost with them and we can diagnose the cure. Hope this helps in some way. Let me know !

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 5:41 PM
Tiny
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Hi dave,

Thanks for your response, you're right I am having real trouble diagnosing the fault.

It is almost like the fault codes are not being saved on the system. Do you know if there is anything that I can plug into my OBD whilst I'm driving that would pick up the fault as it occurs?

The reason I ask is because I have taken it to the garage 4 times now but the diagnostic never finds a fault!

Many thanks,
Matt

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 AT 1:24 AM
Tiny
DAVE H
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Hello Matt.

You could buy an OBD handheld reader to plug into your car whilst driving around .. these machines are very good .. I own one myself and couldn't do without it nowadays .. unfortunately they are expensive in england ..(I'm presuming thats where your located) I bought my first one from the USA whilst i was still in england and believe me it was invaluable ... bear in mind the prices are in dollars so with the exchange rate it will be cheaper in pounds but you also have to take into account the shipping cost's ...you may also want to take into account the fact that the cheaper readers only give you the fault code then you have to research it's meaning .. if you go for a reader that will give you definitions it's a lot less hassle and it also keeps track of sensor working property's .. ie. it checks/monitors fuel trim and air ratio etc. etc. whilst your road testing .. it's worth the extra in the long run .. most garages charge at least fifty pounds to just diagnose a fault .. so you could actually make your money back just off friends and family and everybody who likes to do there own repairs will need one of these sooner or later so it will be a great help in the future..most DIY mechanics have there own reader here .. One more thing you need to take into account .. 1998 was the year vauxhall changed from OBDI to OBDII so we will need to see which type of DLConnector you have on your vehicle ? if your DLC (data link connector), which is usually located under the plastic cover under the handbrake on vauxhalls, looks like the diagram below .. the it's OBDII if it's more square looking it's OBDI ... let me know


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/266999_dtc_4.jpg

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 AT 7:07 AM
Tiny
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Hi Dave,

I finally got around to checking my OBD and although it's not the exact shape you have drawn (it's more like a solid rectagle) it does have 16 points so am I right in assuming this is an OBDII port? If so I will by the expensive reader so I can hopefully get the problem fixed once and for all!

Regards,

Matt

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Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 AT 4:21 PM
Tiny
DAVE H
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Yeah if it has 16 pins it is OBDII ... you will not regret the purchase .. it will come in handy for the future as well as now .. all cars are OBDII(can) (control area network) ..nowadays ..the one your thinking of buying should perform these checks ..let me know how you do ? .. if you need any help once you have the codes let me know ..

Dave H

PS. Just checking on a point ? .. if your DLConnector looks a bit like this it is OBDI .. let me know


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/266999_dlc_2.jpg

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Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 AT 5:05 PM
Tiny
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Yes it looks exactly like the second diagram so I guess it's OBDI. Does this make things more awkward or are there other readers out there?

Matt

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Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 AT 11:55 PM
Tiny
DAVE H
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Most good OBDII scanners will read your vehicle. They just don't do everything on your actual vehicle they will do for the most modern vehicle's. The problem with your vehicle is the connector. Vauxhall in their infinate wisdom decided to use a different connector from every other manufcturer, I guess so you had to buy from, or take the vehicle back to them, the law changed and every manufacturer had to us the same connector, but vauxhall didn't start putting the new connector on untill 1998. Unfortunately you still have the old connector? I had this trouble when I was an RAC/Greenflag Tech back in england, I had to buy a seperate connector just for vauxhall, as vauxhall wasn't released in the states, I never brought it with me and gave it to a friend, so you can get them, it's just a pain in the A***.. Lol. Let me look into a retailer for you. I will get back to you a little later.

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Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 AT 5:58 AM
Tiny
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Thanks Dave, it's really appreciated

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Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 AT 4:00 PM
Tiny
DAVE H
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Just letting you know ! I haven't forgotten about you. I'm struggling to find anyone who does the OBDI connector. Will get back to you ASAP

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Friday, January 30th, 2009 AT 10:30 PM
Tiny
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Thanks mate,

i just found site that says its compatible with a '97 vectra. Do you think this would work?

Www. Myscantool. Com

oh and I appreciate all this help and will donate some more to the site :)

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Saturday, January 31st, 2009 AT 1:47 AM
Tiny
DAVE H
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I could have sent you to hundreds of these sites. Our scan tools are exactly the same. The problem is ALL vehicles made in the USA from 1996 had to be OBDII generic (they all had to be a standard across the board) which means that any garage/shop could read your cars computer for powertrain (emmissions/engine/gearbox) related issues. It didn't have to go back to a dealer and garages/shops didn't have to shell out thousands of pounds/dollars on different diagnostic software for the different manufacturer's as we did pre 1996, (my first diagnostic laptop was the size of a suitcase and had 32 different connectors LOL). Unfortunately this did not follow suit in the UK/europe. The standards did not HAVE to be brought in untill 2001 so although a lot of manufacturers started using the same protocols and OBDII link connecter around 1996. Vauxhall did not, as they do not sell vehicles in the USA. Now if you had a ford vehicle that reader would be great for you. And it will probably read the PCM of your vauxhall. It's just that the connector is different and in some cases the pin locations are different ! (Each of the 16 pins on the connector has specific task). So NO i'm afraid. That reader will not PLUG into your vehicle and in most cases this is only because the PLUG is different !. Vauxhall was bought out by GM(general motors) around 1997 which I think is why they started using the the NOW standard rounded 16 pin connector in 1998, plus they HAD to be ready (generic) by law by 2001 anyhow. I'm sorry, I know this is frustrating but i've seen it time and time again people (vauxhall/citreon/renault owners)have bought readers because they say all vehicles from 1996. But that is vehicles sold in or for the USA market (ford/chrysler/honda etc.) Only to find they will not work on their vehicle in the UK. Unless it was a vehicle that was also sold in the USA.I'm waiting for a buddy of mine in england to get back to me. Unfortunately this will probably be after the weekend now (time difference work/family commitments etc.)! Could you supply the general area (ie. London/manchester) of where you live?

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Saturday, January 31st, 2009 AT 6:19 AM
Tiny
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Man it's a good job I didn't buy one of these months ago - I was very close to doing it!

I live in Bournemouth, in Dorset. Its on the south coast below London in case you weren't aware.

No worries about the wait, my wife bought a new car yesterday so she doesn't have to deal with the problem anymore. Now it's up to me to fix it so I can use it for work - I do a lot of commuting!

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Saturday, January 31st, 2009 AT 6:44 AM
Tiny
DAVE H
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I know bournemouth. We had a few training conferences there when I was an RAC tech ! I'm originally from manchester. Been living here since last year. Will let you know any info I acquire as soon as I can. Enjoy your weekend. And have an english beer for me. LOL

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Saturday, January 31st, 2009 AT 7:02 AM
Tiny
DAVE H
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I am still trying to find a connector for you !. Nobody seems to have them anymore. I've got my feelers out. LOL. In the meantime could you remove and clean or replace the MAF (mass airflow)sensor. Let me know.

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Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 AT 5:17 AM
Tiny
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Hi Dave I hadn't realised that you posted this reply so i'll get on it this weekend, will try and replace it if possible and let you know what happens.

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 AT 1:09 PM
Tiny
DAVE H
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Hey Matt

Thought you had forgot all about me. Lol. The only place I can find still doing the 10 pin old vauxhall DLC is WWW. UKOBD. CO. UK. There system is expensive. But if you already have a laptop or use of one and you just purchase the connector I can set you up with some software. Or you could just enquire if they supply the handheld 10 pin aldl reader. Have a look and let me know what you think. But still clean that MAF sensor !

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 AT 2:15 PM
Tiny
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Hi Dave,

That's awesome, I do have a laptop so do I buy the 10 pin connector (for £25), even though my connection does have 16 holes?

Would you be able to send me the right software? If so that would be so cool cos I can't really afford £340!

Thanks so much Dave

Matt

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 AT 3:46 PM
Tiny
DAVE H
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Hey Matt.

I've sent these guys at ukobd an email double checking there selling the correct connector we need. I should here something later today(your time zone). So hold off on buying till I get back to you. If it's the right connector I can put you in touch with someone who supplies generic software (software for all vehicles not just vauxhall) which monitors all systems (fuel trim etc.) Whilst road testing, this will cost around 50/60 on top of the connector, so it will cost you roughly what a handheld reader would cost. The only difference is you will not be able to communicate with other systems on your vehicles. Ie. Airbag, immoboliser etc.. Let me know what you think !

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 AT 7:45 PM
Tiny
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That sounds great Dave, and a much more sensible price. This is really good timing because my other vectra that I use for work has done 150k miles and is on it's way out - head gasket is going!

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Thursday, February 19th, 2009 AT 12:10 AM
Tiny
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Hey Dave,

I don't know if you've heard anything back from ukobd but I emailed them too and they said the only thing that would work on my vectra is the vaux01 which is 340 pounds.

I know this is expensive but it would save me having to buy a new car if it helps me solve the problem.

I just had one more question (!) Do you think this is a good bit of kit and would help me with diagnosing the fault? I don't want to pay all that money to find it doesn't help!

Thanks mate,
Matt

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Friday, February 20th, 2009 AT 4:42 AM

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