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Old 22nd October 2013, 11:29   #1
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Exclamation Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

I have a 10 month old Renault Scala RxZ Diesel car that was my pride and joy until last night. I was returning to my house in Basaveshwaranagar from Electronic City via NICE road and reached the Magadi Road junction. I slowed down and the signal and was waiting for the green light before taking the turn in to KHB Colony. When the lights went green, I noticed that my engine had turned off mysteriously! I used the push button to start but there was no joy.

Due to the slight slope downwards, I released the brake and took the right turn slowly struggling with the tight steering and somehow managed to park the car next to the divider, inadvertently blocking all traffic behind me. I tried starting the engine by pushing the button start but there was no response at all. The engine did not crank either. I then turned off the ignition switch, waited for few seconds ignoring the loudly honking traffic behind me and tried to start again, but no luck. There simply wasn’t any response at all. My fuel tank was full as I had refilled just the day before.

My good friend and colleague, who is also my carpool partner, signalled to people that we had a problem. I had also put on the hazard warning blinkers. My friend pushed the car and we managed to get on to the left side of the road where we tried to start the car a few times.

It was then that my harrowing experience started. I first called the Trident Renault service guy, whose number I had. It was about 7:10pm and I did not expect anyone to help. However, he asked me to check the lights on the dashboard and confirmed all looked OK. Then I tried starting the car a couple of times - no luck again. He then advised me to call the Toll-free number for a free pickup from the TVS Towing service they had tied up with. I called the number and spoke to a friendly chap who said he will arrange for the pickup. Estimated time was 1 hour which seemed fair. Then I got a call from a Trident service guy asking my exact location and once I mentioned it, he said OK, I will be there to attend your Fluence bearing number xxxx. But that was not my number and not my car!

Coincidentally, a Fluence had broken down just 30 feet ahead of me! I told the chap that my car is a Scala. He was confused but assured me that he will come soon. My friend and I had a cup of tea and when we returned to the spot where we parked our car, there was no sign of the Fluence. Perhaps his luck had changed and his vehicle fixed itself.

The mechanic arrived with another chap in tow and both got down to investigating. They had no tools but gave it their best shot, which was repeating the same steps that I had. I was slowly beginning to lose hope. They gave up in 5 minutes and said that the vehicle had to be towed. They left the scene and I continued to check with TVS on the status of the towing vehicle. I got several repeated assurances from the shift in-charge but time was ticking by. I called the Trident guy a few times to follow up on the towing and he said that he was trying to arrange from his side as well.

The TVS guys then told me that their vehicle was somewhere far and would take some more time to arrive. Then I was told that a mechanic would arrive to relieve me so that I could return home and he would wait for the Tow truck. A few more minutes later, a Mitsubishi Lancer turned up mysteriously and two men approached my car. My first instinct when I saw their appearance was that both were tight as owls. When they opened their mouths, this suspicion was confirmed. They smelled to heavens of cheap liquor. One of them gave the same name that the TVS guys had given me. He took my keys and tried all kinds of things to start the car. His friend opened the hood and tried fiddling with the various wires. They loosened the battery cable and tried to reconnect and start - I was watching with horror. I was further shocked when one of the two opened the "key" from my key fob and was struggling to find the slot to insert the key into. I told him that this car only had a button - it was his turn to be shocked.

In the middle of all this, both were also trying to call the tow truck to find its whereabouts. I was convinced that I should not hand over my car to this duo. I called the Trident guy and told him that 2 chaps had turned up drunk and he asked me to not to hand over my car to them under any circumstance. He could not identify them either.

My friend prodded me and I told these two guys to stop whatever they are doing and politely asked them to leave. I say politely because I did not want them to pull a knife on me! These two chaps were dangerous looking and I was glad to see their backs.

More than 3 hours had passed and there was no sign of the tow truck. Finally, the Trident Renault guy called me to check the status and when I gave him a piece of my mind for the poor response. He said he had spoken to his "manager" and was trying to arrange the vehicle on priority. Finally, a tow truck arrived and my fears doubled. It was not a flat-bed tow truck but one with the old-school crane. Thankfully, the driver turned out to be one sent by Trident to wait with me until the flat-bed arrived. The driver was also a sensible guy who said they wouldn’t have towed my car with the crane anyway as it is against their safety policies. Moreover, he was sober :-)

After a few more calls here and there, a flat-bed truck arrived and I made sure that this was a genuine one. We then worked together for a quick 5 minutes and my car was loaded onto the truck. The tow truck chap was very professional in his handling of the vehicle. However, he had no receipt book on him but I let that go. I was just glad that my car would (hopefully) go to the service center. Once he left, my good friend dropped me home. Time was about 11:30pm - four hours since the issue started.

Some 20 minutes later, I got a call from the Trident Mysore Road security that my car had been delivered there and if I could give them a short problem statement. Maybe it was for their inward procedure. Once done, I slept a remarkably peaceful sleep.

This morning, 22-10-2013, I got a call at 7am from TVS informing me that my car was dropped off at Trident Renault last night. Few minutes back, I called Trident and my service advisor informed me that they are checking the car for faults.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that they find a firm and definite root cause with a permanent fix. I have enjoyed the car so far and want to do many more miles on this. I have had a Swift Dzire VDi for 3 years before this Scala and a WagonR VXi for 6 years before that, both with absolutely no issues ever.

Will post the progress here but would welcome anyone who wants to share any such similar experience, especially with Renault cars.
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Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start-dsc_0085.jpg  

Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start-dsc_0087.jpg  


Last edited by hawrie : 22nd October 2013 at 11:34. Reason: Corrected Typo
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Old 22nd October 2013, 11:42   #2
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

I know I am little early on asking this, but have the Renault ASS come back to you with the root cause of the issue? This is one of those embarrassing things to happen during peak hour traffic and the cherry on the cake being the abysmal on road support service.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 11:45   #3
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

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Originally Posted by somitra1981 View Post
I know I am little early on asking this, but have the Renault ASS come back to you with the root cause of the issue? This is one of those embarrassing things to happen during peak hour traffic and the cherry on the cake being the abysmal on road support service.
Many thanks for your message. I called Renault ASS this morning at about 10:30 this morning and I understand they are still investigating. Yesterday, the first reaction from the Trident guy on a possible cause was "Rat problem".
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Old 22nd October 2013, 11:58   #4
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

hawrie,
I know hindsight is 20/20, but did you try push start with ignition On? If the problem is with starter motor, then it would still run.

Satish
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Old 22nd October 2013, 12:01   #5
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

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Originally Posted by VeeTee View Post
hawrie,
I know hindsight is 20/20, but did you try push start with ignition On? If the problem is with starter motor, then it would still run.

Satish
Sorry, I should have mentioned, the first 2 mechanics and the drunken duo did try to start by pushing the vehicle in gear for a distance and releasing the clutch, but it just did not work.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 12:01   #6
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

Since you mentioned refueling just a day back, was it at your regular fuel station? Also did you notice any drop in performance or engine vibrations prior to stalling or in cold starting?
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Old 22nd October 2013, 12:03   #7
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawrie View Post
Sorry, I should have mentioned, the first 2 mechanics and the drunken duo did try to start by pushing the vehicle in gear for a distance and releasing the clutch, but it just did not work.
Idiots.

Please check your instruction manual. It would have a warning that this should never be done on a ECU controlled car.

Related discussion: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...-your-car.html

Last edited by bblost : 22nd October 2013 at 12:12.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 12:05   #8
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Originally Posted by Maverick5490 View Post
Since you mentioned refueling just a day back, was it at your regular fuel station? Also did you notice any drop in performance or engine vibrations prior to stalling or in cold starting?
I refueled at the same bunk as always - have been refueling my Dzire there and now the Scala for the last 5 years.

I did not notice any drop in performance or any vibrations, but honestly, I cant remember now as this was not anticipated at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Idiots.

Please check your instruction manual. It would have a warning that this should never be done on a ECU controlled car.
I totally agree and was fully aware of this. But in my desperation, I did not stop them.

Last edited by bblost : 22nd October 2013 at 12:13. Reason: back 2 back.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 12:16   #9
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

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Originally Posted by hawrie View Post
I refueled at the same bunk as always - have been refueling my Dzire there and now the Scala for the last 5 years.

I did not notice any drop in performance or any vibrations, but honestly, I cant remember now as this was not anticipated at all.
OK, does not make sense the car used regularly stalling without any symptoms. In the worst case, the stalling could be due to fuel contamination. Advisable to wait for feedback from the A**.

Please insist on a thorough diagnosis report and explanation from the SA if they are not able to give a logical explanation.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 12:58   #10
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

I own a Beat Petrol. I don't know how the ignition technology is different in a diesel powered car. So what I am predicting below may be different from my Beat to your Scala.

Happened to me once, the Beat won't start. Strangely, I noticed that the Fuel Gauge was showing empty. The hapless solution suggested by colleagues in office parking lot, was to fill 2 litres of fuel using bottle. Didn't help. The fuel gauge didn't move.

Called up Road assistance and the guy on phone asked me to roll up windows, switch off ac, keep the cabin quiet, switch on the ignition and identify a whistling noise for 5 seconds. I did, and there was no whistling noise. He said that the wire that controls the release of fuel from Fuel Tank to engine was cut. He came in, removed the rear seat and opened the Fuel Tank cover and there were wires, all chewed up by smart rats. Reconnected the wires and the fuel gauge showed up a tank full of fuel, and the car started.

So the only advice that comes to my mind and I can share with you, it to - Switch on the ignition and see if the fuel gauge shows empty or filled ?
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Old 22nd October 2013, 13:17   #11
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

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Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
...... He said that the wire that controls the release of fuel from Fuel Tank to engine was cut. He came in, removed the rear seat and opened the Fuel Tank cover and there were wires, all chewed up by smart rats. Reconnected the wires and the fuel gauge showed up a tank full of fuel, and the car started.

So the only advice that comes to my mind and I can share with you, it to - Switch on the ignition and see if the fuel gauge shows empty or filled ?
Thanks for the note. I noticed that the fuel guage was showing Full all the time, which is right because my tank was full and I had only done about 95km. I will check further on the rats issue when I visit the Service Center this afternoon. Thanks again.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 13:29   #12
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

hawrie,
Since you mentioned you topped up the day before, it can be an issue with air in the system. Again, I am not sure if this occurs in new age cars since there maybe ways to get rid of it already in the fuel system.
One way is to open the fuel cap and bounce the car few times so the fuel is splashed in the tank . I used to do this on my 800 and has worked, so I am not sure if it is applicable on new cars. This is if the starter motor is actually working. If there is no sound at all when you turn the key or press the button, it is something else.

Since the car is already at the service center, we can wait for what they say.

Scala is one of my favourite cars and I like the looks of it for some reason. Reminds me of the old Landmaster and Merc(the rear portion).
Enjoy the car when you get it back.

Regards
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Old 22nd October 2013, 13:36   #13
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

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Originally Posted by tharian View Post
.....If there is no sound at all when you turn the key or press the button, it is something else.......
tharian, there is no sound at all. Thanks for your comments on Scala's looks. That's what drew me to the car in the first place
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Old 22nd October 2013, 13:38   #14
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

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Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post

Called up Road assistance and the guy on phone asked me to roll up windows, switch off ac, keep the cabin quiet, switch on the ignition and identify a whistling noise for 5 seconds. I did, and there was no whistling noise. He said that the wire that controls the release of fuel from Fuel Tank to engine was cut. He came in, removed the rear seat and opened the Fuel Tank cover and there were wires, all chewed up by smart rats. Reconnected the wires and the fuel gauge showed up a tank full of fuel, and the car started.
This is interesting and a pretty useful bit of information. Going little OT, is this setup present in most cars, regardless of fuel gauge reading?
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Old 22nd October 2013, 13:42   #15
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Default re: Renault Scala (keyless go) : Just dies, and refuses to start

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Originally Posted by mmxylorider View Post
This is interesting and a pretty useful bit of information. Going little OT, is this setup present in most cars, regardless of fuel gauge reading?
OT:: My Beat and my parents' Wagon R - Whistling noise Confirmed.
So, I guess I can safely say that the whistling noise is there in Petrol powered cars. Unaware of technology difference in Diesel powered engines and ignition.
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