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Rob
Rob, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 905
Experience:  30 years trade experience
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Hi ! I have a SEAT ALTEA 59 plate, bought 2nd hand from a garage

Customer Question

Hi ! I have a SEAT ALTEA 59 plate, bought 2nd hand from a garage in Nov 2012. When the weather is hot it won't start easily, if at all ! What do you think may be wrong ? It's not the ignition as the garage checked that ! Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Rob replied 3 years ago.

Rob :

Hi. could you please supply the engine capacity and fuel . regards rob

Customer:

It's a petrol car and engine size is 1.4 (5 door ) mileage is about 50,000

Rob :

thanks for that

Rob :

there are 3 items on this engine that can cause this issue.

Rob :

have you noticed any difference in fuel consumption or power since this has started

Rob :

any warning lights on the display

Customer:

Actually a little bit of power loss now and again, mainly pulling away, but once it's going it's great to drive. Warning lights come on when trying to start it (emissions usually) but go off once it eventually starts. Fuel consumption seems ok.

Rob :

have the garage plugged in to it for stored fault codes?

Customer:

Not sure what they did, it's not a SEAT dealer. Do you think I should take it to a main dealer ? They just said they'd checked the ignition system etc and couldn't find a fault. It's a pain !

Rob :

As the engine light has illuminated it will store a fault code and most garages will have the equipment to read this code. so leave the dealer and there exhorbitant prices alone

Rob :

having a diagnostic will pinpoint the exact fault code .

Rob :

as I have said there are three main suspects for this fault and would not wish to waste your money

Customer:

Thanks so much for that. What are the 3 things that it might be please ? I have emailed the garage and am waiting for them to call me back tomorrow. If I have an idea of what it might be that would certainly help.

Rob :

firstly I would point my finger at the engine coolant temperature sensor

Rob :

secondly crankshaft position sensor

Rob :

thirdly mass airflow sensor.

Customer:

Thanks - I have noted them down so will speak to the garage. They'll think I know what I'm talking about !! Could these sensors cause problems just in the hot weather, even if the car hasn't even been turned on ? I had trouble earlier today when the car was out in the sun (took almost 10 mins to start).When I got back to work I parked it in the shade for an hour or so, and it started first time !

Rob :

YES the engine temp coolant sensor will control the cold or hot start and can send incorrect info the brain of the car this is also the same for the mass airflow as this unit also incorporates the air intake temperature sensor.

Rob :

I did suggest the crankshaft position sensor because I do tend to replace a lot of these

Customer:

What sort of cost would it be to replace one or other of these bits ? I know you can't say for definite, but an idea would be great. Thank you

Rob :

the ect sensor is about £25 approx. the cank sensor is about the same but the air flow sensor would cost you about £60

Rob :

the labour charge for each of these should be no more than 30 minutes as they are relatively easy to acces and fit.

Rob and other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks for all your info - I had to take a phone call while I was in the middle of replying again ! Will come back to you again if I need to.

Expert:  Rob replied 3 years ago.
Hi Sarah.
if you could supply a code and need more advise I will be glad to help you further.
regards rob

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