Cut­ting out

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Help! -

We are hav­ing a prob­lem with a 2002 Vaux­hall Omega 2.2 diesel es­tate, which we have owned for five years. It came with full ser­vice his­tory and just over 100,000 miles. Its pre­vi­ous owner was told the head gas­ket had gone be­cause it was us­ing wa­ter, but it turned out that it was the heater valve that was leak­ing, so we got the car very cheaply. It’s now done about 140,000 miles.

About six weeks ago, it started cut­ting out. The EML would come on, then the car would be­come un­drive­able, with a mis­fire, cut­ting out and a re­fusal to rev. If left for a pe­riod of time, it some­times would set­tle down and we could drive it home – the next day it would be fine.

The AA have been out to it twice and have read the codes. The pa­trol found the fol­low­ing fault code/sys­tem: ‘En­gine con­trol – 73L / Diesel EDC 15C4P1220 – Un­known fault’, ‘Er­ror Mes­sage: P1345 – Un­known fault’ and ‘Er­ror Mes­sage: find crank sen­sor multi-plug had wa­ter ingress, clean, ok’. There was wa­ter in the plug to the crank sen­sor run­ning off the scut­tle. It was then OK for two weeks, then the AA found the codes: ‘Sus­pect fuel in­jec­tion pump fault’, ‘P1220 – START OF IN­JEC­TOR CON­TROL’ and ‘P1345 RO­TARY AN­GLE SEN­SOR. Ad­vised fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion’.

To con­firm it was the fuel pump at fault, we had a lo­cal garage look at it, but they could not find any is­sues. We had it back, then it died again, so I tried clean­ing the fil­ter in the fuel tank. I took out the sender unit and cleaned it, but did not find any prob­lems. I took the car out again and it played up af­ter about five miles. This time, I re­placed the crank sen­sor and did 45 miles be­fore it did the same as be­fore. The fuel fil­ter is about six months old, so I don’t think that will be an is­sue.

The Omega will still start and drive, but at some point it will play up, so we don’t want to drive it at all. We don’t want to scrap the car as we know it has been well looked af­ter, but if it is the fuel pump then it will have to go to the scrap­yard. Ray & Jackie Austin

The code ‘P1345’ is a generic code which nor­mally in­di­cates crank­shaft and camshaft po­si­tion cor­re­la­tion prob­lems. How­ever, be­ing a generic code, this means that it can have a dif­fer­ent mean­ing on dif­fer­ent ve­hi­cles. On your Omega, the code ac­tu­ally refers to an in­jec­tion pump sen­sor mal­func­tion.

As wa­ter was found in the crank sen­sor, it may also be the case that wa­ter has found its way into the loom and is caus­ing the pump sen­sor mal­func­tion. This should be your first check. Ac­cord­ing to my data, your Omega should be fit­ted with a Bosch VP44 in­jec­tion pump. This unit uses two elec­tri­cally-con­trolled com­po­nents: the fuel me­ter­ing so­le­noid and the tim­ing ad­vance so­le­noid. These so­le­noids are op­er­ated by the ECM from in­for­ma­tion it re­ceives from the sen­sors. The in­jec­tion pump sen­sor (called the an­gu­lar en­coder by Vaux­hall) is deep in­side the pump and con­sists of a sen­sor wheel fixed to the pump drive­shaft, so is very much part of the pump. A quick check round has given me an ap­prox­i­mate price of £600 for a re­place­ment pump if the wiring and con­nect­ing plug proves to be in good con­di­tion.

The Bosch VP44 In­jec­tion pump unit.

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