Elec­tronic Di­ag­nos­tics: Vaux­hall Corsa C 1.7 DTI

Denso V5 man­age­ment sys­tem.

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

Vaux­hall’s diesel-pow­ered Corsa is a pop­u­lar ve­hi­cle and older ex­am­ples are in­ex­pen­sive to buy. But how do they fare from a di­ag­nos­tic point of view? Kim Hen­son and Ed­ward Hag­gar in­ves­ti­gate.

In Bri­tain, the his­tory of the Vaux­hall Corsa can be traced back to the rear-wheel drive Chevette of the 1970s (at that time the small­est model in the com­pany’s line-up), with the front-wheel drive Nova hatch­back ef­fec­tively re­plac­ing it in 1983. For nonuk mar­kets, the Nova was known as the Opel Corsa and, in terms of GM model des­ig­na­tion, this was the Corsa A.

The Corsa B – far less an­gu­lar in its body­work than its pre­de­ces­sor – ar­rived in Bri­tain in 1993, with the Nova name no longer be­ing used. The restyled Corsa C made its de­but in 2000 and was pro­duced un­til 2006 (re­placed by the Corsa D), with a mid-life facelift hav­ing been ap­plied in sum­mer 2003.

En­gine choices in­cluded a range of Ecotec petrol units, with ca­pac­i­ties rang­ing from 1.0 to 1.8 litres, plus 1.3- and 1.7-litre Isuzu diesel mo­tors. Here we have a 2003 Isuzu dieselpow­ered Corsa C, with en­gine code DTH. A Denso V5 man­age­ment sys­tem is em­ployed.

Our guide to this model’s en­gine and its sys­tem is Ed­ward Hag­gar.


The car’s VIN plate is help­ful in terms of con­firm­ing de­tails of the car you are work­ing on. The VIN plate is found un­der the bon­net, on top of the right­hand front sus­pen­sion strut.

The Isuzu en­gine is in­cred­i­bly easy to work on. They are known to be ef­fi­cient, re­li­able units, and it is in­ter­est­ing to note that, in tweaked form, they are still em­ployed in the lat­est Vaux­halls.

It is es­sen­tial that the fuel pass­ing through the in­jec­tors and en­gine is clean and free from con­tam­i­nants. For this, the fuel fil­ter needs to be re­newed at least as of­ten as spec­i­fied by Vaux­hall, prefer­ably twice as fre­quently. The fil­ter assem­bly is not shown sep­a­rately in our close-up pho­to­graphs, but is vis­i­ble in our main en­gine bay photo, im­me­di­ately ad­ja­cent to the coolant reser­voir, to­wards the left­hand side of the en­gine bay.

The fuel fil­ter assem­bly, which in­cor­po­rates a Wa­ter In Fuel sen­sor, is se­cured by a sin­gle Torx T50 bolt at the

top. Al­ways renew the seals to­gether with the fil­ter. If avail­able, a primer pump is rec­om­mended for draw­ing fuel through the sys­tem fol­low­ing re­newal of the fil­ter. How­ever, the job can be done with­out a primer pump – al­ways fill the hous­ing with diesel cleaner or neat diesel fuel, which does the trick.

A clean diesel sys­tem will en­able the en­gine to per­form at its best, and we rec­om­mend the on­go­ing use of a diesel cleaner at least once ev­ery month, as the

pre­ven­tion of dirt build-up is bet­ter than a cure. Su­per­mar­kets such as Tesco, for ex­am­ple, sell Redex fuel sys­tem clean­ers for about £2.50 per bot­tle.

The oil fil­ter is not far down at the rear of the en­gine; the fil­ter head re­quires a 36mm span­ner. There is no par­tic­u­late fil­ter to worry about on these units.

The worst job on the Corsa, as well as other mod­els in the Vaux­hall line-up, is a clutch change – a night­mare if the sub­frame bolts have seized.

All ref­er­ences in our text and cap­tions to ‘left’ and ‘right’ sides are from the point of view of some­one sit­ting in the car and look­ing ahead. NOTES:

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