205 GTi Starting Problems
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default 205 GTi Starting Problems

    Hello all,

    It's been a while since I've been around here. And I see lots of posts and good info seems to have disappeared!

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    I ended up buying a 205 GTi around 18months ago or so and I had big dreams for it at the time - nice powerful donor engine, engine management system and big brakes etc. But my car is really a joy to drive the way it is and it goes fast enough for me. The recent floods in Brisbane have also helped to put things in perspective.

    Anyway, my 205 has a few electrical gremlins. I can live with the radio turning off nearly every time I touch the brake pedal, but it's the starting (or lack there of) that has me really bothered.

    Very predictably now, the car won't start when required. Sometimes I hear a relay energise within the engine bay, but the starter motor doesn't engage. Sometimes I don't even hear the relay click when the key gets to that spring return "start" position. Sometimes it just starts first go. It almost always eventually starts with the key. Its only been on a very few occasions I have had to bump start it.

    My battery is fine. It gets regularly charged and has one of those "green windows" to say all is well.

    I gave UltraTune $120 the other day to find the problem, but of course the car just started every single time it was required to throughout its day long stay.

    Any suggestions gratefully received.

    I have other electrical issues too, but happy to solve one at a time.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts gezza's Avatar
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    Clean the ignition amplifier module...If not not that maybe a dodgy coilpack....

  3. #3
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    had a similar problem with a 206 it was a loose earth strap , not sure if the 205 has something similar

    Dave

  4. #4
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    i'D say you have 2 things going on here....
    1. the bushes in your starter motor are on the way out.....probably cost $150 to recon it by an Electrician. Next time it happens try hitting the starter with a hammer and then see if she goes then...if it does it is deffo your bushes.

    2. 205's are notorious for having bad earths...so locate them all and wire brush the metal under the clip.
    The one under the battery tray is a special to play up :}

    Haynes may have a list of earths ????
    jr20516v

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  5. #5
    1000+ Posts gezza's Avatar
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    Mine was the same problem as yours and like i have said, i replaced the ignition amp and coilpack and now its cured!!

    I used to have to turn the ignition on and off a few times before the car would eventually start and i too had that annoying clicking noise yet nothing else happened.

    Hope this helps cleaning the earth straps and connectors etc is a good thing anyway, but my money is on the ignition amp and maybe coil.

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! chez00's Avatar
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    I also had the same problem - ignition amplifier replaced and cleaned the earth cable contacts now she starts first time every time. $60 and five minutes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chez00 View Post
    I also had the same problem - ignition amplifier replaced and cleaned the earth cable contacts now she starts first time every time. $60 and five minutes.
    The starter motor isn't working, the ignition module has nothing to do with this.
    Fit a relay to the solenoid feed if it hasn't already got one.
    To check this out next time it doesn't engage run a wire direct from the battery to the solenoid connection.
    Graham

  8. #8
    Tadpole
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    Thanks for the replies - much appreciated.

    There is a dodgy looking relay just hanging loose in the engine bay. It doesn't look like a factory installation - at least it better not be.

    For the relay, one of the four wires (brown) goes to the battery positive terminal; another (also brown) goes to the negative terminal; another (brown and green) goes into the cab through the grommet with the bonnet cable; the final one (also brown and green) disappears somewhere near the starter motor.

    I'll give this a good clean up after my mandatory weekend domestic chores are out the way.

    Would you believe I've turned the house upside down and can't find the workshop manual. Darn it. I used to read that thing like a bible.

    Thanks again for the replies.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr20516v View Post
    1. the bushes in your starter motor are on the way out.....probably cost $150 to recon it by an Electrician. Next time it happens try hitting the starter with a hammer and then see if she goes then...if it does it is deffo your bushes.
    This is the story with mine. Once every few months it won't turn over. Give it a tap and she fires first go.

    Jim

  10. #10
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    OK I'll try and check the starter motor too.

    Would an auto electrician really charge $150 to replace two motor brushes that would cost $2 each?

    Maybe its $146 to get the starter motor out and $4 for the overhaul?

    I'm definitely getting more pessimistic as the years go by.

    Is there even room to swing a hammer in a 205 engine bay?
    Last edited by brw0513; 22nd January 2011 at 06:51 PM.

  11. #11
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    No. You join a few socket extension bars together, weave the contraption through all the crap, until the end of it is touching the starter motor, and belt the other end. Sometimes I wonder where you blokes have been hanging out - on the computer, I suppose. Not where you pick up these pretty obvious little things.

    Tim

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcusack View Post
    No. You join a few socket extension bars together, weave the contraption through all the crap, until the end of it is touching the starter motor, and belt the other end. Sometimes I wonder where you blokes have been hanging out - on the computer, I suppose. Not where you pick up these pretty obvious little things.

    Tim
    Brute force is sometimes better than technique!
    And if it breaks it needed replacing any way, this is the American screwdriver/hammer method.

    And if all else fails, once the red mist clears you feel better. Or so I'm told.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by brw0513 View Post
    OK I'll try and check the starter motor too.

    Would an auto electrician really charge $150 to replace two motor brushes that would cost $2 each?

    Maybe its $146 to get the starter motor out and $4 for the overhaul?

    I'm definitely getting more pessimistic as the years go by.

    Is there even room to swing a hammer in a 205 engine bay?
    Sounds OK, would take at least 2 hours to do this job, need to remove the inlet manifold.
    New starter motors are less than $300 from EAI. Have a look on Ebay they often have specials on these there.
    Graham

  14. #14
    Tadpole
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    Well - I removed the Lucas relay and cleaned up the contacts. Put 12V across the coil and heard it click, so I reckon its OK.

    The crimp connectors of the supply wires were showing their age, so I've replaced them. Repalced the connectors at the battery terminals too.

    Couldn't get it to "not start" after this. If it re-occurs I'll look at the 12V supply at the ignition switch. After that, then the starter motor.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by brw0513 View Post
    Well - I removed the Lucas relay and cleaned up the contacts. Put 12V across the coil and heard it click, so I reckon its OK.

    The crimp connectors of the supply wires were showing their age, so I've replaced them. Repalced the connectors at the battery terminals too.

    Couldn't get it to "not start" after this. If it re-occurs I'll look at the 12V supply at the ignition switch. After that, then the starter motor.
    Let me know if you need any bits. I have an entire 8v engine and management system I'm not using. It was all working fine until I found a cracked liner, so no more 8v for me.

    Check the wiring from the dizzy to the ignition coil too. Mine was literally holding on by a thread. Took me a while to figure out why the car no longer started after I replaced a head gasket.

    2005 Renault Clio Sport 182 Cup
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gezza View Post
    Clean the ignition amplifier module...If not not that maybe a dodgy coilpack....
    If the starter motor doesn't engage wouldn't you think of that first before the ignition system?
    1992 205 Si
    Current: shortened diff (4.4), short shifter, group N top mounts, rebuilt engine and box, solid engine mounts, 1.75" exhaust, strut brace, OMP wheel, GTI suspension & subframe front and rear, lowered 30mm front and rear, solid rear bush, Koni yellows, 306 XT front discs and calipers, ADR compliant braided brake lines, 14" rallye wheels, Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec tyres, immobiliser

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    The contacts in the ignition switch barrel wear and thus can't deliver enough current to energise the solenoid. Find wire #46 and fit relay between it and the solenoid. If you have an early car with slider type heater controls, the wire is easily found near the coil and battery. If later round dial type, wire 46 is in the ecu loom and terminates in a brown plug, along with all the instruement wires, near the starter motor.

    '92 205 Mi16
    '90 Mi16x4

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts gezza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langers View Post
    If the starter motor doesn't engage wouldn't you think of that first before the ignition system?
    you would think so hey, but its needs current too turn

  19. #19
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
    The contacts in the ignition switch barrel wear and thus can't deliver enough current to energise the solenoid. Find wire #46 and fit relay between it and the solenoid. If you have an early car with slider type heater controls, the wire is easily found near the coil and battery. If later round dial type, wire 46 is in the ecu loom and terminates in a brown plug, along with all the instruement wires, near the starter motor.
    Thanks Peter. I need to look further - it failed to start again today

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