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Big loss of power and rapid misfires - Rover K VVC
Stuart15 - 3/6/18 at 04:00 PM

Sadly my Fury returned home on a tow truck yesterday. I was hoping for some advice, as engine trouble is all new to me.

I first noticed the problem 5 mins or so into the drive where the exhaust was making a rapid popping, misfiring noise (think machine gun style frequency), this was joined with no acceleration at all followed by a steady loss of power over the next 15 minutes. I nursed the car the remainder of the journey stuggling to maintain even 40mph on the motorway.

The noise would happen any time i was pushing the throttle any more than a slight tickle. Any uphills killed my momentum drastically. Disconnecting and reconnecting the battery didn't help and neither did disconnecting the lambda sensor.

I eventually threw in the towel and called my breakdown company for a ride home.

The engine is a Rover K series VVC 160bhp. It had been running sweetly only 3 days before. I did put most of a tank of petrol in the car yesterday morning from the local Shell garage before starting my drive. It crossed my mind that it could be a bad batch of fuel but it seems to have had pretty severe consequences if that's the case and seems to be a very low probability.

Thanks in advance,


PorkChop - 3/6/18 at 04:51 PM

I would be checking the coil packs, as from your description it sounds like the engine dropped to 2 cylinders. Not uncommon for them to fail - the ones on my VVC did. Replacement coils cost me 30 each for genuine ones IIRC.

jacko - 3/6/18 at 04:51 PM

could it be this

perksy - 3/6/18 at 06:16 PM

Coil packs would be my first thought

I did have a 16v K series engine that had similar issues before the ECU died though, but i'd be looking at the coil packs first

Guessing that you've already checked the spark plugs & leads ?

gary gsx - 3/6/18 at 07:05 PM

Is it charging? Alternator given up


melly-g - 3/6/18 at 09:35 PM

Fuel pressure OK?

liam.mccaffrey - 4/6/18 at 09:58 AM

What would happen if the VVC solenoid crapped out do they fail safe I wonder? Worth checking connectors etc?

MikeRJ - 4/6/18 at 01:14 PM

Originally posted by liam.mccaffrey
What would happen if the VVC solenoid crapped out do they fail safe I wonder? Worth checking connectors etc?

Cam duration would be set to either the minimum or maximum, but it wouldn't be causing the kind of misfire and power loss the OP describes. It would be a very unusual failure as well.

Much more likely to be ignition related, particularly since it occurs as soon as any significant load is placed on the engine.

[Edited on 4/6/18 by MikeRJ]

Stuart15 - 6/6/18 at 06:44 AM

Thanks for all the thoughts, being as I have a track day soon and dont have much time, I decided to send it into the garage. I'll update what the problem was.

melly-g - 4/7/18 at 04:15 PM

Did you get this sorted out?
If so what was wrong with it?

Stuart15 - 4/7/18 at 04:24 PM

After 3 weeks in the garage it's finally running! We think a coil pack went and because there was no fuse, fried the ecu. Found a donor ecu which was a task in its own right. It briefly burst into life then died. After much head scratching, an 8pin chip in the ecu was failing and trying to immobilise the engine. Another ecu to get a replacement chip and finally we're back on the road! What a ruddy ordeal!

melly-g - 5/7/18 at 04:48 PM

Glad you got sorted,
Sounds like it was fun to find and resolve the issue!!