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Strange engine problem

Discussion in 'Problems, Fixes, Tips...' started by baobab68, Oct 26, 2019.

  1. baobab68

    baobab68 Copenworld Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Car(s):
    Toyota Echo, Copen 0.7L
    My Copen 659CC, 2004 model is starting to show its age.

    After the clutch cable started creaking and got heavier, and gears started grinding in January, the clutch cable was replaced. Eventually the clutch started to creak again (no grinding though), and recently the radiator developed a leak as well.

    Two weeks ago, I put it in to the mechanic for an extended look at things. The clutch cable has been replaced with a custom-made one, and the pedal block (an aluminium assembly through which the cables go?) was also found to be cracked and was welded. The radiator was also replaced. These jobs seemed quite complicated, as Copen repairs often seem to be. I put it all in his very capable hands to do so.

    I've had the car back for about ten days. A few days after its return I was driving across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and noticed a slight "surge, pause" feeling in the driving attitude. I never felt it again, so I put it down to "maybe I was at that RPM where the turbo just kicks in and out".

    Yesterday the engine failed altogether. A sudden total drop in power, almost felt like an engine seize. Tried changing gears, didn't help. Managed to pull to the side safely and opened the bonnet and lots of white, oily-smelling smoke appeared. It looked to be coming from the driver's side front-most part of the engine. (Left-most as you look into the bay from the front of the car).

    Mechanic said not to drive it, so I had it towed to him. He says this morning he's not sure what's wrong but that it won't repeat the issue. He's looked at oil, water, will replace spark plugs on Monday when he can get them, says engine head is ok etc. He thought it might be the thermostat, though I didn't notice the temp being in the high end or anything.

    I told him I'd post the whole sorry saga here to see what others thought.

    Any suggestions? Anyone want to buy a heavily-renewed Copen? :)
     
  2. AFR0N1

    AFR0N1 Copenworld Regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Location:
    Greater Manchester
    Car(s):
    Daihatsu Copen L880K (KMVZW)
    Oily smelling smoke. Could be burning oil, perhaps caused by a failing gasket? What is the oil level and are there any leaks? It could be burning on the exhaust.
    And a sudden loss in power could be the hose for the inter cooler coming off or breaking as that seems to be happening to some people recently.
    Other than that I haven't got many more ideas as to what could cause this.
    If I think of something else and do some more research I'll put it here.
    Hope it gets fixed soon!
     
  3. BarnsleyRob

    BarnsleyRob Copenworld Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    South Yorks
    Car(s):
    2009/59 silver Copen 1298 cc (now gone to a new home)
    White smoke is usually caused by water vapour in the oil or fuel and is indicative of the head gasket failing.

    Blue smoke is oil burning and is likely to be piston rings.
     
    sunlover likes this.
  4. baobab68

    baobab68 Copenworld Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Car(s):
    Toyota Echo, Copen 0.7L
    Couldn’t be something with the thermostat? Mechanic mentioned it in passing. The weather was pretty hot on the day it failed. Perhaps 35°C.

    As of this morning we still don’t know what the issue was and it hasn’t reoccurred for him driving it on the weekend.
     
  5. BarnsleyRob

    BarnsleyRob Copenworld Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    South Yorks
    Car(s):
    2009/59 silver Copen 1298 cc (now gone to a new home)
    It could be the inter cooler hose to the turbo but, out of interest, do you always allow the turbo to cool before switching the car off ? It just requires 30 seconds of idling to allow the internals to cool.
     
  6. welz

    welz Copenworld Regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Location:
    Leverkusen, Germany
    Car(s):
    copen 2003
    I hope , not a small crack in the headgasket. I had before. Sounds the same..

    after a time and several kilometers driven that comes again and you sees air bubbles in the expansion tank of the cooling water. Gives a cheap tester for something like that to rule that out. Did you lost water in the extension tank? Radiatorcap o.k.?
    Good luck.
    You said,The radiator was also replaced maybe air in the watercooling system was the problem..
    DSC00480.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
  7. baobab68

    baobab68 Copenworld Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Car(s):
    Toyota Echo, Copen 0.7L
    Well, he has just told me to drive it and see if it happens again. Scrambling now to find a replacement vehicle, but they're all "boring" after Copening for 5 years.
     
    BarnsleyRob likes this.
  8. BarnsleyRob

    BarnsleyRob Copenworld Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    South Yorks
    Car(s):
    2009/59 silver Copen 1298 cc (now gone to a new home)
    Mazda MX-5 is a reasonable follow up car and it’s a lot easier to get parts, well at least in the UK.
     
  9. baobab68

    baobab68 Copenworld Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Car(s):
    Toyota Echo, Copen 0.7L
    Funny cos that’s exactly what I’m looking at!!
     
  10. BarnsleyRob

    BarnsleyRob Copenworld Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    South Yorks
    Car(s):
    2009/59 silver Copen 1298 cc (now gone to a new home)
    I wasn’t intending to change the Copen but I stumbled on the Mk 3 MX-5 which is available with a retractable hard top as well. It’s a fully folding roof (unlike the new model) and has its own stowage space so the boot is always available.

    in the UK, they were sold from 2008\9 until the new MK4 model came out in about 2014/15. Various designations are MK3, MK3.5 (mine), and MK3.75. The latter has the much hated pedestrian safety bonnet which destroys itself if the front contacts anything from large potholes, errant wheel trims, road debris etc. Usual issues with rust but just as much fun.
     
  11. baobab68

    baobab68 Copenworld Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Car(s):
    Toyota Echo, Copen 0.7L
  12. BarnsleyRob

    BarnsleyRob Copenworld Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    South Yorks
    Car(s):
    2009/59 silver Copen 1298 cc (now gone to a new home)
    Mines the 2010 slightly upgraded model.

    There are a few things to watch out for but, other than checking correct mechanical and electrical operation, you need to keep an eye on the oil. The oil pressure gauge is an emulator and doesn’t actually show the real oil pressure. The dipstick is notoriously difficult to read so some owners use a saw blade to redefine the upper level, which is where you need to keep it.

    The other thing for Copen owners to note is that it has a separate open and close button for the roof - no names here, but some numpty went back to the dealer when I couldn’t get mine to close !
     

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