Help!! getting fed up now 1.6 probs

  • ok here goes i bought a well looked after 97 1.6 16v mx-3 (87k miles) off a local lady she described it as having a misfire. i thought maybe a broken air intake pipe as it had a bad idle and was loosing power between 3 n 4 k revs or a bad air flow sensor. so i fixed the pipe which helped a bit but not much still bit of a misfire. i noticed that the distributor had been advanced fully but i dnt want to touch it. i was also pointed in the way of the egr valve which i took off and cleaned n looks ok. recently i had it motd which it passed with no faults but as luck would have it the alternator packed in on the way home with no warning apart from a slight burning smell. no light on the dash. so i replaced it and as luck would have it again its the wrong alternator and is now going crazy. the revs are all over the place especially when you brake at lights the needle goes crazy untill u let off the brake then it just sits about 1500 the dies to about 400 with serious engine movement. i will be putting the right alternator in this week but any help as to what the original problem may be would be great. i would also like to know if anyone knows the procedure for setting the idle on these engines and also the tps postion as i think these have been tampered with. sorry bout the long read. help :?

  • hellp :cry:

  • Did you check the VAF? When was the last service? Not too clued up really but I'm surprised no-one ellse has answered yet, suppose you could start by taking each HT lead off and seeing if car runs worse when doing so, take NO 1 off put back on, take NO 2 off put back on etc

  • Sorry vaf?? Im bit clueless with cars ive also been told the cat could be blocked but i havent got round to checking this…what does taking one lead off at a time test?

  • I was gonna say check the leads and the spark plugs also. Mine were manky(well, actually they were dead). Here's another one, everyone is familiar with, check the big assed rubber hose from the air box to see if there are any splits in it.

    If none of these easy checks are visable, check to see if there is a hole on the front side of the airbox also, where there could be a pipe, mine has one and when it has come off in the past the car goes daft. I have no idea where the pipe goes to but it causes problems when it is detached.

    Other than that without seeing, feeling or hearing the engine I am at a loss.

    Hope these will help.

  • @98114eee72=shorty-mx-3-97:

    Sorry vaf?? Im bit clueless with cars ive also been told the cat could be blocked but i havent got round to checking this…what does taking one lead off at a time test?

    If you can, take a picture of your engine, the air filter box and leads for us. It seems like the same problems I had when i got my car. Mine was a simple (but expensive) fix.

    I was told the cat may have been blocked but it was actually a huge tear in then rubber piping.

  • Cheers for the replies the air intake pipe is fine there was a split but i sorted it its weird if you hold it at say 2000 revs you can feel it spluttering every cple of seconds i find it strange the distributer is advanced all the way forward thats y the blocked cat sounded more realistic n its runnin rich

  • The leads n plugs also look fine and all hoses seem fine i need to put the right altetnator bk in but all this was happening before the alternator failed


    Undo the battery and hold down the brake pedal for a while


    The Dizzy you can usually just set at half way and the ECU will adjust itself anyway. But there are instructions in the Chiltons Manual on how to do it. (worth buying one of those anyway)


    Assuming its the same as on the 1.8.

    Open diagnostics box.

    Get a piece of wire, bridge the GRD and TEN in the diagnostics box.

    Start the car.

    Should sit at around 700 rpm.

    Loosen the TPS.

    Turn it until the RADIATOR FAN comes on, then slowly turn it until the fan just goes off.

    That gets it close enough.

    Turn off the car and then undo the wire.


    Missfire is usually spark or fuel. Cheapest way it to meet up with someone with the same car.

    • Inspect / swap spark plugs

    • Inspect / swap spark leads

    • Swap over the VAF

    • Check fuel is flowing good

    • Check for any ECU codes (think its bridge FEN and B+ in diagnostics box with a bulb in between the bridge wires, a continuety tester screwdriver might work with a paperclip taped to each end? Just do a search for it on here for more info)
      As it could be faulty O2 sensor messing with the fueling.

    • swap over the dizzy ( i'd mark up the other guys car first so you can put it back in the same place, just in case)

    • If its seriously losing power and not wanting to rev, it could be blocked CAT, blocked Exhaust or faulty Crank Sensor

  • Cheers for that ill try that when i get home oh and my friendly machanic put it on the diagnostics for free (good chap) and there were no fault codes im convinced its the cat on that one. Any ideas how many tuns the idle screw comes out?? Oh will this still sit around 700 if the airflow meter it givin probs??

  • Cheers for the help guys the car idles lovely after admin advice but it has now seemed to strangely become slower the pickup just isnt as nippy as it was when it was runnin like crap i no that sounds stupid…still think its runnin rice morevadvice welcome :D


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