Clio starting issues- immobiliser?

Soldato
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Hi guys, sorry in advance for the long post...

I just had the servicing done on my T reg Clio, all nice and working except for a problem is persisting that won't go away.

Occasionally the car won't start, and by occasionally I'd say five or six times a week in say 20-odd journeys a week. I can turn the key and the engine sounds like it's starting to work, but it never kicks in. Turning it off completely, trying again and repeating this a few times and eventually the car will start. Once it is going the car is fine, no knocks or bangs, no racing sounds, just the boring hum of a Clio.

After the servicing the garage noticed this when they tried to start it to drive it back to me, again after a couple of tries it started. The put a note on the invoice that it is a 'suspected immobiliser fault'.

Now before I go and phone the garage and see what they can do about it, does anyone have any thoughts on if the immobiliser sounds like the possible cause of the issue and if so what do immobiliser repairs/replacements cost. I'm guessing a fortune as it cost me a staggering £150 to get the key made and programmed.

Thanks in advance.

P.S. Yes I know, a Clio. Rubbish car now I have it, the French built it back to front.
 
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Caporegime
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Does not sound like the immobiliser, easy check though, when trying to start does the light on the dash go out?

If it does then the immobiliser is not at fault.

However do go to the local Renault garage and get them to check the TDC sensor with their diagnostic unit, 99% certain that will be the fault. Approx £115 ish (depending upon your area and labour rates) to change. Have seen loads of Clios with the same problem.
 
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Associate
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I not so long ago had the same problem as best I can tell on my 182, it seemed almost guaranteed to happen if I stopped the car after a short journey and tried to start it again within 1-2 hours. However it normaly took hours of waiting before it would start again and I even had to leave it at a petrol station overnight at one point.

Garages were no use I just got charged all the time to be told they didn't know what was wrong but in the end I was able to get a guy to come out while the problem was there and it was a very simple case of a lead at the back of the engine which was loose and occasionally came away stopping the immobiliser from being disabled.

Afraid I cant be more specific right now as it happened a while back and the guy came out as a favour quite late at night so I didnt press him for exact details, all it took to fix was him reaching down the back of the engine bay for a second which was a bit vexing given the number of times it had left me stranded.
 
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Soldato
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Thanks for the advice so far guys.

Does not sound like the immobiliser, easy check though, when trying to start does the light on the dash go out?

If it does then the immobiliser is not at fault.

However do go to the local Renault garage and get them to check the TDC sensor with their diagnostic unit, 99% certain that will be the fault. Approx £115 ish (depending upon your area and labour rates) to change. Have seen loads of Clios with the same problem.

Just checked (can't believe I didn't think of checking it before), once the key is in after a few seconds the immobiliser light goes out- so not the immobiliser then!

Is the TDC sensor something that has to be tested/replaced by a Renault garage? I ask as my local one is very scammy.
 
Associate
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Does not sound like the immobiliser, easy check though, when trying to start does the light on the dash go out?

If it does then the immobiliser is not at fault.

However do go to the local Renault garage and get them to check the TDC sensor with their diagnostic unit, 99% certain that will be the fault. Approx £115 ish (depending upon your area and labour rates) to change. Have seen loads of Clios with the same problem.

This happened with my bubble clio too, I had the exact same symptoms as SiD the Turtle
 
Caporegime
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Thanks for the advice so far guys.



Just checked (can't believe I didn't think of checking it before), once the key is in after a few seconds the immobiliser light goes out- so not the immobiliser then!

Is the TDC sensor something that has to be tested/replaced by a Renault garage? I ask as my local one is very scammy.


A Renault garage, or a good independent with all the correct diagnostic gear, will take about a minute to plug it in and read the error report which will tell you what has been playing up.

Then about half an hour to an hour to change it, if as I suspect, it is the TDC sensor.

You could try some DIY if you are feeling up for it.

The sensor is located on the top of the bell housing. It is a small black cylinder with a little metal point on the end and has a banana shaped metal bracket with the sensor attached.

Remove sensor and wipe with some contact cleaner to see if this rectifies the fault. If not a replacement is required (approximately £22), and an hours labour to fit, by a garage, unless you want to do that yourself, it is not difficult at all.
 
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Soldato
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Right been googling TDC sensor issues, seems it's a prolific problem on Renaults. According to the trusty Haynes manual it doesn't look too difficult to replace, or to just remove and give it a clean.

Thanks for the help, I'm going to have a look and I'll report back.
 
Associate
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the TDC can occasionally give up, and Renault have released an updated version with a new bit of loom too - it's about £40-50 iirc and is fairly easy to swap (2 bolts) although access is a bit tight. I can't see how cleaning the TDC sensor would help, as its a hall effect sensor...

however, if the immobiliser was still active, the engine would just turn over but not start as you say. look for a flashing light on the dash which is usually an immobiliser warning
 
Caporegime
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the TDC can occasionally give up, .....I can't see how cleaning the TDC sensor would help, as its a hall effect sensor...


Fair point, I don't know the technical reasons, just that it does work on occasions. But easy enough to change anyway, if you are taking it off to clean, then you may as well put a new one on.

Been a while since I did one though, so had not realised that they had gone up so much, just like everything else I guess. :(
 
Soldato
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My mates bubble T reg Clio 1.2 also has this very problem.

It'll start first time every morning. Go 5 miles down to Tesco or something and leave it in the car park. Go back to it after 30 mins and it won't start.

It does eventually but it takes 5/6 attempts.

I'll let him know what it may possible be.
 
Associate
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Been a while since I did one though, so had not realised that they had gone up so much, just like everything else I guess. :(


that was for the new TDC sensor and the new section of loom (looks to be more waterproof? :confused:) - on an F4R (2.0 16v) but I think its a universal part?
 
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