Author Topic: Ecotec - Is this serious?  (Read 1868 times)

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Ecotec - Is this serious?
« on: November 05, 2011, 17:45:14 PM »
Friend was driving my ecotec this morning up a hill, and said it suddenly seemed to be start over revving. It went in gear fine, but just seemed to over rev without responding. He pulled over and said there was steam or smoke coming from the engine bay that smelt acrid. He couldn't then restart it.

I've since looked at the car. All fluids, Cambelt, gearbox and clutch seemed fine, although i could smell the funny smell mentioned earlier. It started on the key as it normally does. First thing i noticed whilst the engine was running, was that water was leaking out of the joint between the metal rail bolted to the exhaust manifold and the manifold itself (see pic below). The water was leaking onto the exhaust manifold which is what i suspect was causing the steam issue, although i can't see why it would cause a loss of power, unless there is a secondary issue.

I didn't have any tools on me at the time, is this something that just needs tightening, or could it be a sign of other problems, pressure etc, that is causing water to escape from here?

Also what are the crusted white deposits on the manifold? I was a bit worried it might be signs of head gasket failure, but there's no oil or water mixing that i can see?

Any advice on this one welcome?

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Offline ALZ1307

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Re: Ecotec - Is this serious?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2011, 17:47:00 PM »
Pic?
Lewis Hamilton said that winning his first race felt better than having sex. Kimi's reply to that was, Maybe he never had sex.

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Re: Ecotec - Is this serious?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2011, 17:47:49 PM »
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Offline ALZ1307

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Re: Ecotec - Is this serious?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2011, 17:56:34 PM »
I'm tempted to say the white deposits are coolant TBH, don't see what else it could be. Is it running OK, getting hot etc? Unless that connection is loose pressure would cause it to leak wouldn't it? Excess pressure?

I know when the Landy head gasket failed (twice!) we had no mixture it just used coolant like it was going out of fashion.
Lewis Hamilton said that winning his first race felt better than having sex. Kimi's reply to that was, Maybe he never had sex.

Offline Gordo

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Re: Ecotec - Is this serious?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2011, 05:10:44 AM »
You're looking at two or three issues there.
First, the deposit - no waterways that would allow coolant onto the manifold, AFAIK, and as that looks like an exhaust sealing paste, I would surmise that's what it is.
The loss of drive, and smell, could be a badly slipping clutch* - possibley due to a sudden failure of the diaphram spring or presure ring - I've had this happen on other cars and one moment fine, the next no drive - did the clutch pedal feel different? other thing could be a drive shaft slipping out of engagement.

I'd suggest first checking the driveshafts are still fullhome, then checking the clutch.

*If an auto, check the transmission fluid levels by the book - method varies a lot - it could also be a slipping brake band but if it doesn't work in reverse either, I'd suspect something a bit more serious.

BTW, clutches can really smoke up - check this clip out...
Corvette Burnout Fail Destroys Clutch

Offline Butcher

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Re: Ecotec - Is this serious?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2011, 09:43:09 AM »
Going up hill, starts over reving with loss of power followed by smoke and a bad smell sounds like a cooked clutch to me.

The water you saw may just of been condensation this morning from the cold temperature and an engine starting to warm ???

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Re: Ecotec - Is this serious?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2011, 10:08:45 AM »
I think you're right mate. Didn't test drive it more than a few yards just to check basic operation, but going over the possibilities in my mind, clutch failure seems most likely cause of loss of drive.

Regarding the secondary issue of the water I saw leaking out of the joint (see arrow in pic), it was definately squirting water out, as i saw it coming out from there whilst the sngine was running, it wasn't  just condensation.

Can someone ID the pipe and wether there should be water in it? I havnt gone back to the car yet, but just trying to work out if water escaping from this join is a major (ie head gasket) or minor issue.
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Re: Ecotec - Is this serious?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2011, 18:57:56 PM »

The water you saw may just of been condensation this morning from the cold temperature and an engine starting to warm ???

Here's a video of the engine running, showing the water bubbling out of the joint I indicated earlier

X20XEV Water Leak
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Offline tiff_lee

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Re: Ecotec - Is this serious?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2011, 21:20:06 PM »
What is the purpose of that pipe running across the front and connected to the manifold?

Offline ascari

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Re: Ecotec - Is this serious?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2011, 03:03:22 AM »
Can someone ID the pipe and wether there should be water in it? I havnt gone back to the car yet, but just trying to work out if water escaping from this join is a major (ie head gasket) or minor issue.


Looking through some online part shops it looks like its called a Secondary Air System Tube


http://www.vauxhallworldparts.com/vauxhall.php?partnumber=90500544



Offline Gordo

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Re: Ecotec - Is this serious?
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2011, 03:39:28 AM »
Where it's located, I would say it's 99.9999999999% probable that it is to pass air from a separate air pump into the exhaust, te react with any unburned fuel - either there or at the cat' for lower emissions.
No idea what water would be doing in there, unless it was some sort of condensation in the system that was getting forced out.

Offline Butcher

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Re: Ecotec - Is this serious?
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2011, 07:12:46 AM »
Secondary air system sounds about right, this is to help heat the cat up quicker if i remember rightly to reduce emissions quicker, no 100% sure about the theory behind it but im sure someone will.

Looking at the pictures it looks like the pipe should un bolt, id be tempted to take it off and investigate, if it is secondary air injection, the current cold moist air hitting the hot exhaust manifold will produce a quite a bit of condensation.

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Re: Ecotec - Is this serious?
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2011, 12:16:36 PM »

Looking through some online part shops it looks like its called a Secondary Air System Tube

Yes i eventually found the same late last night via a few threads below, seems its also referred to as the SAI system:

http://www.clubcalibra.com/technical-troubleshooting-servicing/x20xev-secondary-air-injection-system/
http://www.vauxhallownersnetwork.co.uk/showthread.php?270393-2ndary-air-pump-thingy!-X20XEV-Ecotec

Looks like its not an essential part of the running of the engine, and many people remove it.

The expelling condensation theory Butcher suggested is one possiblity, although it had been running earlier on the same day i took the video, and i could still feel some warmth on the manifold, so this would seem less likely.

Still the video shows i'm not imagining things. There's definitely something bubbling out of that joint lol.
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