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Mpi Not Starting Issue


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#1 ojames

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:47 AM

Hi all,

I have an MPI and I'm running into a starting issue after rebuilding the gear box. Here's the story:

It was all working, and a neighbor and fellow mini owner rebuilt the gearbox due to bad baulk rings. Got it all back together and it did start up however it was stuck in third.

So, broke it down again, and fixed that. It is all back together and I have all gears now, however it fails to start. One thing I have noticed that is working that wasn't before is the immobiliser. I have all electronics working, they weren't for a while because of bad grounds.

Now, the starter engages but I have no spark.

Does any one know what could be wrong?

My thoughts are the Immobiliser or the ignition coil pack.

Does the immobiliser disable the ignition? The starter does work, I have read that it may not be immobiliser related because it works. Is it possible the ECM is fried, causing it not to trigger ignition?

I've tride just about everything I can think of. It is strange how the immobiliser just started working randomly when it was running a week ago, before none of the buttons did anything. I never saw the blinky light before today. It seems to arm and disarm, flashes rapidly when armed and makes clicking noise when bonnet or boot is opened but not doors (bad/disconnected switches from previous owner I assume) and disarms when remote is pressed.

tl;dr car doesn't start. Doesn't spark, starter works and turns over. Was working a week ago after gearbox rebuild, but not this time.

Any help would be appreciated. I'm located in the US so it is hard/takes a while to aquire parts.

Thanks!

Edited by ojames, 15 March 2013 - 03:48 AM.


#2 ojames

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:20 AM

On a related note, I have checked fuses, cleaned the big ones up in the engine bay.

We believe it is getting petrol as it clicks as it seems to prime.

I guess another possibility is the relay module? Not sure where the ignition coil gets it's power from to test (The ECU?) I have noticed that mine only has 3 pins and a place for a forth and 3 wires on the lead connecting it, where as the picture in the minisport genuine one has 4 pins.

Edited by ojames, 15 March 2013 - 04:24 AM.


#3 Noah

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:03 AM

When working on MPI's I was always told anything can set the immobiliser off, there should be a on off switch in the boot. Open the boot, in the top right hand corner.

Try that.

#4 Mikalv

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:18 AM

Hi. I think I have the exact same problem as you, ordered a new coil pack, but still not shure that it's the source of my problems. Primes, turns over and no spark. A member of the forum told me that it can't be the immobilizer since the engine is able to turn over. http://www.theminifo...will-not-start/

#5 ojames

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:51 PM

When working on MPI's I was always told anything can set the immobiliser off, there should be a on off switch in the boot. Open the boot, in the top right hand corner.

Try that.


Thanks, Tried. I broke my boot switch off and I never had a bonnet switch when I got the car. I borrowed one from friend, however all it does is ground to body when doors are opened. Same with boot. I just grounded and ungrounded those out to simulate closes at the moment, and still have issues.

Tried to start this morning after disconnecting the battery, it's acting like there is no ground again.

Hi. I think I have the exact same problem as you, ordered a new coil pack, but still not shure that it's the source of my problems. Primes, turns over and no spark. A member of the forum told me that it can't be the immobilizer since the engine is able to turn over. http://www.theminifo...will-not-start/


Yes, that is my understanding how ever it would make more sense to me if the immobiliser/ecu combo didn't send spark, as a starter can be jumped, or the car could be bump started.


I'll take another look at it later, I'm thinking it could be the earth strap since there is no power this morning. One theory I have I guess it's possible that after the electronics drain, all of them at once can't get current through the ground.
That's the only difference now (the strap was removed during second engine removal) and no water in, was going to run shortly without so I don't have to drain it again if something is wrong. It obviously has oil :)

If that fails, I'll get a new coil, there are not too many MPi's here, so I can't just borrow one. I'll also have to consider getting a new relay module, unless I can find exactly what it does and test it. I have the rover diagrams, so I'll take a look at it.

Edited by ojames, 15 March 2013 - 03:15 PM.


#6 nev_payne

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:41 PM

If the immob. is armed the engine won't even turn over.

As Mikalv said -

http://www.theminifo...will-not-start/

We're both problem solving similar issues with our own MPIs, I've found mine won't start consistently with extremely low temperatures - possibly relating to a dry solder connection expanding/contracting, or an affected engine or engine management grounding point, of which there are 3 main ones in the MPI bay.

Symptoms are the engine turning over, fuel pump priming, but no ignition. Then a couple of days later of trying (possibly outside temperature related) the engine will start up absolutely fine.

Keep us posted never the less, seems odd coincidence that all 3 of us have had similar issues.

Edited by nev_payne, 15 March 2013 - 03:46 PM.


#7 ojames

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 05:24 PM

Update.

It was cold this morning, but the car was in the garage, was no where below freezing, I really just tested it quickly before leaving for work, it's possible that it didn't have a good connection. Came back to take a look at it for lunch. After leaving the battery unplugged, came back and same issues, turns over no spark.

Got a relay module from an SPI, new spark plug lead and new plug. Engine turns over, no spark.

My Relay module works on the SPI. Can't test the coil on my mpi since it is SPI/TBI.

The immobiliser seems to work. Arms, disarms. Will not allow the starter to turn when armed, when disarmed it will.

This pretty much narrows me down to a few things:

ECU/Immobiliser out of sync (from what I've read they have some kind of special handshake)

ECU Fried, doesn't send spark.

Ignition Coil Fried (Don't know how this would have happened, it was working a week ago)

A Bad ground strap that is causing intermittent issues causing the coil not to fire. What are the other two grounds? I'm only aware of the strap. Any point the engine touches metal I guess?

What I'm going to try to do next is to diagnose if the ECU / wire to coil sends ANY voltage at all.

It seems strange that an immobiliser would only stop the starter from turning. (it makes sense so the key doesn't work) but the car could be bump started or starter jumped. It would be difficult for a thief to send sparks to all four plugs in the correct order. This is why I thought perhaps the immobiliser gets signal from the fob and disarms, but the ecu doesn't have the immobiliser on file / handshake didn't work causing the ecu to say give no juice. Perhaps? Maybe the rover engineers designed it that way? Or they could have been just going by some standard / took the easy way out.

My ECU IS a re-manufactured unit, but this was all working before. Thanks for your help!

#8 Ipod

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 06:35 PM

Daft answer, but have you reset the cuttoff button (dunno if it stops the spark aswell of the fuel) ?

#9 nev_payne

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:45 AM

At this stage a diagnostics unit would certainly lose half of those possible causes.

I was under the impression that an SPI Relay wasn't compatible with running in an MPI?

#10 Fast Ivan

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:35 PM

see here for checking the coil

http://www.theminifo...oil-pack-check/

I had a meter on the ECU to coil wire today, I had a 12v supply when the ignition was turned. I didn't try starting it though.

#11 ojames

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:23 AM

At this stage a diagnostics unit would certainly lose half of those possible causes.

I was under the impression that an SPI Relay wasn't compatible with running in an MPI?

Yes, I did. It does appear to be getting fuel. I was under the impression about SPI too, although we tried mine in the SPI and that worked also. It was a LHD SPI, not sure if that would make a difference, but plugged right up and both worked in that. Neither worked in the MPI.

Will go through that guide and see if the coil is the problem.

Thanks for all the help.


A diagnostics unit would probably eliminate these issues, however getting access to one of those would be tricky.

Edited by ojames, 17 March 2013 - 01:16 AM.


#12 ojames

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 02:08 AM

have voltage at the loom. The ohms read incorrectly as the checks tested. Not within range. Top two cyl 2 &3? have better ranges but still a little low.
I'll acquire a new one and see. That'll be a few days though.

I suspect at this point that it is the coil. If not, It's possibly the ECU.

#13 ojames

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:58 PM

After ordering parts last Monday and paying 80 quid later and 30 of that for 2 day shipping, I got them today (7 days). New wires and coil.

Guess what, it still doesn't start or spark after getting a new coil. The measurements of the new coil match closer to the listed spec in that guide. It does turn over freely.

Getting pretty frustrated now.

Is my theory that the immobilizer does stop the spark valid?

Anyone think it is a toasted ECU?

ECU's aren't exactly cheap, it is a re-manufactured unit from BBA.

#14 rane

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:09 PM

I'm going through something very similar. I don't have much for you right now other than brotherhood, I'm afraid. Most people have indicated to me that it is usually not the ECU.

#15 Fast Ivan

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:10 PM

I'm not sure if its a toasted ecu. I think your next move really should be a fault code reader.
Failing that, the ecu gets information from the crank sensor for ignition timing, make sure the leads and connections to this are ok.
I'm not sure if you can test the sensor without a code reader, I've never done it but worth asking google.




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