Just had a call from the daughter saying she went to move her T220 van
(1.8 and whatever the older spec engine was) after driving a few miles
and leaving it parked for a while and it wouldn't start. It spins over
ok, oil and water ok, no immobiliser (I don't think it turns over if
immobilised), plenty of diesel ... ;-(
I asked her to see if she could see the camshaft though the oil filler
hole (thinking cam belt / chain) but she doesn't seem able to so the
AA are on their way.
If they can't fix it, don't know what it is and relay it here ... are
there any 'typical' compatible failure modes for that engine / vehicle
and 150K+ miles please?
Up to this point it's been super reliable and runs well considering
it's age / miles etc.
Cheers, T i m
I guess it could be if 1) They are known to be a common failure point
and 2) that it tries to fire when stuff is sprayed into the input
hose (therefore feeding the engine with fuel)?
I'm sorting out my netbook with Forscan / OBD dongle and will see if I
can see anything working (sensors etc) or not?
Cheers, T i m
I couldn't see a gauge that measures the output of the crank position
sensor but the RPM was around 225 when cranking it over?
This doesn't show that but just some sensors I thought might show
something happening. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
No idea about that screenshot.
I would start with the simplest thing: the fuel supply delivery.
If it looks like being a Royal Pain to sort, I would usually transfer it
to my local diesel specialist. Did that last week with a late VW diesel
that lost a cylinder, likely fault was a dodgy injector, but even
getting an injector out needs a special extractor, so I left it to them
to sort, a week later it has still not come back, so I am glad I did not
get deeply involved.
Nor me, just I thought the concept was cool and it might just be a
matter of finding the right things to monitor (if such was available
Check. We have already added another 25L of diesel, just in case the
fuel gauge was lying to us. We could also replace the fuel filter
(because) and can check the pump at the same time.
Apparently our has at lest 1 weeks lead time and they aren't known to
be cheap (and this is a 14 year old van etc).
Quite, but I'm keen to at least be able to tick off some of the basic
things before she has to be without the van for a week+ and it costs
her unnecessarily (if I (we <g>) can sort it etc).
Cheers, T i m
And should it get too expensive (worst case here then), are there any
petrol Connects that don't have such expensive bits (or likely to have
such issues for 200k miles) or are all fuel injection things equally
Cheers, T i m
There was only one petrol offering, a 1.8. The additional fuel costs over
200k miles would wipe out any possible savings on maintenance. Consequently
they are fairly rare.
You have to be realistic if running any every-day vehicle that is 14 years
old, and essentially treat it as disposable if anything other than trivial
goes wrong. Have a realistic idea of its replacement cost, and if a repair
is more than 2/3 of its value, scrap it.
The problem with that (of course) is you could easily be 'out of the
frying pan, into the fire' / buying someone else's problem. ;-(
e.g. Short of buying something new with a warranty (that actually
covered the bits that break) then anything just outside of warranty
will probably cost more in depreciation and I'm not sure if it would
be (statically) less likely to go wrong (later = more complex = lower
MTBF?) or cost any less to repair?
Don't get me wrong, spending (risking) £1000 on a £1000 vehicle may
seem pointless but it's still £1000 even if it's a £8000 vehicle and
you are more likely to lose more if you don't spend out on having it
fixed (and sell it as a repairable).
I'm guessing the costs of one of these extra warranties would also be
more money down the pan and probably not fully cover the cost of
replacing a fuel pump in any case?
All food for thought though ... ;-)
Cheers, T i m
OTOH, if you spend the cost of the vehicle in repairs, a subsequent trivial
repair will make running costs stupidly high.
Any vehicle of the last 10 years or so is sufficiently complex that repairs
are likely to be expensive. They are also infinitely more reliable and
better to drive than cars of my youth!
In my way of looking at things, if you buy a £1,000 vehicle, it is
disposable. You hope to get a couple of years out of it, and anything after
that is a bonus. Once it needs an expensive repair, weigh it in.
I doubt you would even get warranty cover on a 14 year old van. They are
most definitely not worth having in any case.
I'm not sure about your youth <ducks> but ignoring a trunion failing
on my MM Van (that I roped up to get home) and a half shaft snapping
on same (I pushed it home), it never let me down in spite of being
used pretty hard all over the place (inc regularly traveling from Nth
London to Crewe to see my girlfriend of the time). Mk2 Escort, no
trouble, M5 Cortina Estate no trouble, 2L Sierra Estate, just a
cambelt and one brake caliper hot seizing) and the latter was over 23
years! The Rover 218SD came with some issues (for £100) but cost
little to fix and did another 50k miles and 7 years (and got me home
twice with little coolant in the system). Similar with the 93 Astra
that always got us home.
The newest car we have had is the 2004 Meriva and in spite of it have
the lowest mileage of any car we have ever owned, has cost us the most
so far in time and trouble (always got us home so far though, all be
it we had to wait several hours for it to start). ;-(
Quite, except this cost her about 2K 18 months ago and she has spent a
bit on it (5 new tyres, roof rack, locks, keys etc) and doesn't know
anyone we trust enough who is selling something similar to know if
it's simply going be buying someone else's problems?
Update: The lads got the pump out and we took it to an Injection
Specialists and they stuck it on their jig and read a Code 59 (Timing
error or summat) which they said confirmed a faulty EDC (at least). A
new pump was going to be c £900 so I got them to take the EDC off and
ran it round to the Co who re-manufactured the Meriva ECU a couple of
It will take them a couple of days to process and then we can either:
Fit the EDC back on ourselves and then:
1) Give it back to the lads to fit untested and cross our fingers.
2) Give it back to the Injection specialists and get them to give it a
quick functional test (about £150) and assuming it is ok, then give it
to the lads to refit.
I couldn't really justify daughter spending that much money on a *new*
pump for van with those miles?
Cheers, T i m
What does she use this van for?
I can't imagine anybody having one unless it was for a business where it
has to earn its keep. Unless you can explain otherwise ...
So what is the cost to the business of not having the van?
If the business can't afford the realistic cost of running the van then
perhaps it should close ...???
What is the long-term viability of the business? If successful, how
long before it can pay the proper costs of the transport it requires?
For a viable business it should be possible to borrow funds to start up.
Is this a hobby where she is trying to minimise its costs, or a business
which is expected to provide an income?
Does she have professional business advice?
It seems that potentially the success of her business will rely on luck.
The luck that spending not very much on her van will keep it going for
long enough to be useful. From what others here have said, that's not
Will another sort of vehicle meet her business requirements? Perhaps
something with more predictable maintenance costs?
Can the business contract out the transport requirement to get clearly
identified costs, incurred only when actually needed?
Can the business operate in such a way as not to need transport?
<snip> >> Sorry, I'm not party to such numbers ... I'm just her Dad, helping out
Sort of the former than she hopes will turn into the latter.
Not that I'm aware of.
Don't most these days?
Time will tell. I got given (£100) the Rover 218SD on 150k miles with
2 new tyres and 6 months TAX and MOT (at the time) *because* my mate
was 'fed up spending money on it'. In a few days I had sorted out the
outstanding bits (for next to nothing other than some of my time) and
ran it for next to nothing for the next 7 years and 50k miles
(including towing all sorts of things including our folding caravan on
As long as it was very similar to a LWB / high top Connect, with a
towbar, solid bulkhead and roof rack, potentially yes.
What she wants is something that is as roomy as possible whilst not
being much wider than yer average car.
Is there such a thing?
Nope, it's used every day.
The bottom line is that whilst she lives with us and has no debts and
loans she has the opportunity to trying stuff, stuff that she might
like (or not, in time) to see if it could be both a viable business
and something she actually wants to do for the foreseeable future. If
it's not there is nothing stopping her using those experiences to
change direction or sell her soul to the man and do something that may
pay well but that she enjoys less.
Personally, I / we think she is capable of much much more (she was the
'Highest Girl Achiever at the last year at school and invited to join
NAGTY (which she declined)) but it's not for us to decide what she
does in / with her life and we think she has achieved quite a lot (the
vast majority under her own steam), considering how shy she was not
many years ago. So, all we can do is try to help her within her own
preferred constraints. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
<snip> >> Personally, I / we think she is capable of much much more (she was the
It may well ... however, 1) I can't see it failing to exist (even if
it's not hugely viable), only if she decides to knock it on the head
as she is banged out 6 days a week. 2) (Therefore) I'm not sure she is
interested in any formal 'efficiency / T&M exercises because she is
physically working as hard and efficiently (when working) as is
possible for anyone (and such has been commented on by her customers).
And I graciously accept the positive thoughts on her behalf. However,
imagine that you love making chairs in the woods and part of that love
is the fact that you don't have to work to any time scales and aren't
making more than one or two at a time ... and that your overheads are
low because you are living in a caravan in the woods.
Now, that person might be happy earning 'a living' and simply may not
want a brick built workshop, 10 machinists and all that goes with that
as it's no longer doing the thing that make it all worth doing *for
Another real-world example of that was a mate ran 4 record shops and
as all the electronic downloads / streaming started he gradually
shrunk down to just one shop. I asked him why he didn't just go online
and he said he'd rather just sell up and go minicabbing. A big point
of him running a record shop was the people, his customers, not
something he would get surrounded by boxes in a warehouse. ;-(
Cheers, T i m
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