Problem with 97 Carisma

I've been having a problem the last couple of weeks with my car. Its a 97 Mitsubishi Carisma, 1.6 petrol, with 85,000 miles on it.
I first noticed a problem while driving the engine managment light was flicking on every now and then while driving, this happened a couple of days running but there was no apparent issues, no mis firing or cutting out.
After a few days I found the car would start and cut out straight away if I was starting it within a few minutes of stopping it e.g. driving to shop, running in and coming out to find it was going nowhere. After a few minutes the car would start fine and drive fine but with the engine light pretty much constant.
I rang around a few garages. Most said their computers would not interface with the car due to its age. One guy guessed that it was the throttle position sensor as its the most common fault.
The length of time after which the car will start has gotten longer and longer, now up to 3 hours. I did a few checks myself on the car while it won't start. I found that the left hand coil on the engine is not energising when I turn it over, I switched the 2 coils around and this is still the case. I checked the input to the coil and the signal to energise the coil is not being sent when the engine is turned over.
My best guess is a sensor on its way out somewhere but after that I'm clueless.
Any ideas?
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More likely they just didn't want the job.
The throttle position sensor will not cause a spark problem if that's what it is. You need to find a garage that will at least read the error code.
In the meantime, since the engine does run sometimes ... a) take out the ECU and open the case. Look for burned components or electrolytic capacitor cans leaking. If so, locate a replacement ECU at a wrecker. Also check the MPI relay. This is a big can usually near the ECU and controls power to the ECU and to the fuel pump. You should hear it clicking when the IGN is turned on.
b) Go over the engine compartment and R/R all the engine sensor connnections you can find, using a squirt of WD40. Can't hurt!
c) Check the cam belt timing. A belt that's jumped a tooth will still allow the engine to run, but will be hard to start. At 85000, its about due for a replacement anyway.
d) Check that the engine coolant temperature sensor (a 2 pin device usually on the top rad hose housing on the engine) connector / wires are not damaged. There's likely a 1-pin gauge / idiot light sensor, and maybe a 2 pin A/C temp switch there too. The temperature sensor is used by the ECU to adjust the timing and mixture when starting. If the output is not available (eg damaged wires), the engine can be really hard to start.
e) Locate the fuel filter on the firewall. If you can get this off without breaking the input tube, giving it a whack and a reverse flow blast with compressed air is often enought to clear any blockage.
--
Stewart DIBBS
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Nothing to do with the throtle position sensor at all , Throttle position sensors rarely fail on the Carisma , if ever !!!!! But The Cam shaft position sensor would be more probable. This sensor if faulty has exactly the motions you describe. Complete and sudden engine cut .with restart after a few moments. You can sometimes get it to fault by heating it with a hair dryer. Eventually it will fail completly. Its located at the end of the block (gearbox side) and has a black connector. By the way Very easy to change , all you need is 10 mm spanner. You really need to get a garage to read the code ,As for your car being to old for their equipment ,Well i find this rather odd. As Stewart suggests they dont want a fault finding job.
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jonny wrote:

That was it alright, picking a new one up in a couple of hours after ringing around scrapyards with no success. Tested it by putting it in the fridge to cool it down, car started fine. Took it out and heated it up with a hair dryer and problem back.
Thanks mate.
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Try this, Its a copy of an old mail ,But sounds like it pertains to your case as well. You can find the complete thread 20 /11/ 2006. jonny.
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.autos.mitsubishi/browse_thread/thread/bb81699146ea36b7/0480b457d961abdd?hl=no#0480b457d961abdd
Nothing to do with the throtle position sensor at all , ( or in your case oxygen sensor) Throttle position sensors rarely fail on the Carisma , if ever !!!!! But The Cam shaft position sensor would be more probable. This sensor if faulty has exactly the motions you describe. Complete and sudden engine cut .with restart after a few moments. You can sometimes get it to fault by heating it with a hair dryer. Eventually it will fail completly. Its located at the end of the block (gearbox side) and has a black connector. By the way Very easy to change , all you need is 10 mm spanner.
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