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I have a Corsa b 1.6i. My car was working perfect and friday I took my battery out and put it back the same afternoon. The next day I tried starting my car and it refused to start so I kicked started the car. It backfired and started but would not rev up pay 2000rpm. I switched it off and started again but would not change. I have changed the plugs thinking it was old, but still the same. I have checked fuel air n spark, all seems to be doing its required duties. My mechanic has failed to sort my car out and it has 3 weeks. We tested crank airflow and map sensor and all working but last tried he retarded the timing backwards 3 teeth and it revs up to red line but still lacks a large amount of power. It drives now atleest but will not climb a slite steep hill even in 1st.

What might be the reason?

  • Start by checking the timing again then re- check all the fuel control components maf, map etc – Solar Mike Dec 3 '17 at 13:59
  • thanks for the response. the timing was right on point but at that time it wasnt reving past 2000rev but we off set the timing and it started running better but wen we set the timing back right .it goes back to square one. i previously overhauled the engine bwt 6mnths back. changed head gasket and replaced two valves and stem seals. but i must just add i thought my hydrolic lifters were making noise but its actually a blow from the exhaust at the joint from 4 to 2.. – IRFAAN Dec 4 '17 at 6:23
  • and on the 1st day i had this problem. it was over heating due to the fan stopped working. at one ;point i did see some creamy stuff on oil cap. but now wen i leave the car idling i dont see it anymore., – IRFAAN Dec 4 '17 at 6:30
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This sounds like compression. In fact, I'm almost certain. (Nice car, by the way. I love these little B models!)

Low power, yet with all the 'fire triangle' working fine, is pointing towards a loss of compression.

Pull up the oil cap; Is there a creamy substance on the inside? Same for the dipstick, is it creamy? If so, there's coolant getting in, meaning a headgasket problem. Take out the spark plugs and rent a compression tester or ask the mechanic to test compression; Does the gauge needle raise to about 10-12 bar? If it doesn't raise close to that, it's almost certainly piston rings or perhaps a cracked block. Has the engine overheated?

If it won't climb a hill in first gear, it's almost certainly compression. The compression is what creates efficiency. The explosions can be going off in the cylinders, but if there's no proper seal for the exhaust gases, it's not going to produce much power. It being a model B Corsa, these are about 1997, so twenty years old. That's a LOT of wear to the engine if it's used frequently. An engine loses horsepower over years because of wear to the seals on the pistons. If the seals have worn so much that the horsepower is not enough to pull it up a hill, it's time for an engine rebuild with new rings.

Good luck with the Corsa, I have the 1.2 Breeze model! Engine on mine runs fine, though... :P (Merely in jest, my friend.)

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