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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

A good while back now daughters 2001, 1.2 Corsa Comfort failed the MOT on an 'excessive oil leak' just short of 200,000 miles and we wanted to see if we could just get it past the 200,000 mark. Well, following some advice here ('what do you have to lose' sorta thing) we added some oil leak stopper stuff and it worked well enough to get it though the MOT ... and 5000+ miles later, it's still not leaking! ;-)

A couple of days ago daughter mentioned the EML had come up so I leant her a BT OBD dongle and she installed Torque on her phone and it showed a couple of missfire fault codes, one general one and one specifically citing Cyl4. She cleared the fault codes and about half way home (~5 miles) the EML came back up and when she checked it when she got home, it was the Cyl4 missfire again.

She popped back earlier and we did a compression test and it Cyl4 was way down (45 rather than 120+ PSI) so that might explain the missfire. ;-( Adding a drop of engine oil saw the compression test back up to 120+ PSI so I think we are looking at rings / bore? (No4 plug was 'slightly' sooty compared with the other 3).

So, unless there is another 'magic' potion we can apply that will fix things again, (also done the coolant leak on the head gasket <g>), I guess we are looking at the end <sniff> but we wonder how long me might have?

eg, Might it be ok for her to potter about in the Corsa for a while till we can find a replacement (she fancies an estate and I was wondering Astra?) and it finally gives up, what's likely to happen please?

Cheers, T i m
 

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It should be ideally over 200psi across all cylinders but you dont know how accurate the gauge is.

Another thing that can cause this is bore wash especially if it's been misfiring. I had this on a astra a few months ago across all cylinders. 3 cylinders were 120psi and 1 was 50psi. It was a none runner. I removed all plugs. Put a load of oil down and turned it over a few times by hand with the plugs removed to restore the oil to the hatchings on the cylinders. I then sucked the excess out, refitted the plugs and it started first go. Took it for a good run to blow the oil out and get it warm. I then compression tested it a day later when cold and all were over 200psi. This is the first time I've actually seen it to this degree but dont overlook the basics. 2k later it's still running perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Marks and thanks for the reply.

Would a bore that has done over 200,000 miles still have any cross hatchings as I thought they only put them in to help keep the upper cylinders lubed during initial break in?

You don't say how the Astra you mention got to be in the position it was but could it have been possible the rings were stuck and the oil helped free them off? I ask as because I would have thought that any oil added in the top would simply burn off after a short time, to be replaced with some from the sump via the little end (and mostly removed by the oil scraper ring)?

I'm guessing the little Corsa engine is 'worn out', (it owes her nothing), it's just concerning what might happen next etc?

Cheers, T i m
 

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The astra just refused to start one morning after the owner moved the car 10 yards before turning it off the night before and the owner must have cranked the **** out of it. Obviously I wasnt told this until after I'd put hours into it.

I've stripped engines with 150k on them and they still have the cross hatch.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the update.

Daughter drove the Corsa 75 miles and back later today (mostly motorway / ~60 mph) and it only brought up the EML when she was queing in stop-start traffic. The ELM cleared itself once they got going again. So whatever the fault doesn't seem to be 'fixed' by the use of oil in this case? ;-(

She did say it feels less smooth on tickover and she's stalled it a few times when pulling away ... not something she normally does, given she's driven the Corsa for probably 7+ years.

(She also drives lots of work vehices, rides a 600 Bandit motorcycle and can drive a JCB CX4 backhoe). ;-)

So, any idea what might have gone wrong to give this loss in compression suddently like that? Broken ring maybe?

How easy is it to get the sump off that engine? ;-)

Cheers, T i m
 

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Sump removal is pretty easy if the manifold nuts come undone on the bottom of the cat. Disconnect the rear lambda. Remove the 3 nuts from cat to down pipe. Lower the exhaust. Undo all the sump bolts and remove it. If the cat nuts snap then drill them and use a nut and bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again. ;-)

Hmm, realistically though, assuming I could get the piston out from the bottom (can you?) and assuming it's a broken ring ... and there was no other real damage (to the bore etc), can you still get Cords stepped rings and would all that be worth it on a 200,000 mile 1.2 19 year old Corsa? If you take the top off I think the gasket set alone might be a bit and we would really need to do the cam chain as well (it's a bit rattly) and it all adds up.

Don't get me wrong, she loves the little car and it's taken her all over the place (even towing stuff) and many times, loaded to the gunwales (even to Scotland to London a few times) but it also has a hole in the left rear inner arch (into the sill) that I doubt has got any better since the last MOT. ;-(

The shame is that it's still pretty clean / straight inside and out and up to recently, drove like new. ;-)

Whilst she will be sad to see it go (as will I as I've done numerous jobs on it for / with her over the years, inc taking all the interior out after sealing the pedalbox / bulkhead seal and welding under the o/s rear inner sill floor) I think she fancies something with a bit more luggage space, especially when doing the 'big shop' for herself, us and her Granny (lockdown, how she get's that many bags in the Corsa I don't know)!

She drives an Astra panel estate for work sometimes and would be happy with something like that (4dr, windows etc), subject to it being as reliable as her Corsa and not too bad tax / insurance / mpg etc.

She would still like a 'car', not a Meriva like ours. ;-)

Would it be worth putting a 'Wanted' on the right board here?

Cheers, T i m
 

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The pistons come out from the top. Cheapest options going to be a used engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The pistons come out from the top. Cheapest options going to be a used engine.
Thanks again for the fast reply mate. ;-)

I feared as much re getting the pistons out and I really don't think the vehicle warrents the effort of s/h engine. Had she got some alternative transport or we had the space to work on it I might have considered it but we don't so ... plus I'm not sure how much structural work the body might need next MOT so ... ;-(

That said, if it lasts till the next MOT (October I think), what is the chance of it getting though the emissions test with that cylinder with so much leakage?

Cheers, T i m
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just a quick followup.

The EML came on on her way out, about 40 miles into a 75 mile trip but put itself out once she got moving again.

It didn't come on on the way back (although there was no slow traffic on the way back), nor after running about since?

Now it could just be coincidence or maybe adding some clean engine oil into that cylinder did do something?

We won't know till she's done a few more miles across a range of conditions (or we do another compression test) but she did add that it also felt much smoother again. ;-)

Christina the Corsa!

Cheers, T i m
 

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Get her to check the fault codes using the pedal trick.
 

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Not all codes show on generic obd.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I thought most OBDcode readers, if they did anyhing at all would show engine codes, even if they didn't also show BCM, Environmental, Powertrain etc?

I also have Opcom somewhere if you feel that could be better?

(Or remind us how to do the pedal trick please <g>)

Cheers, T i m
 

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Nope I've seen many codes not displaying on obd. For example. If you take you battery off and connect. You will have p0560 but obd wont see it but opcom will.

The pedal test will show all engine codes.
 

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