Rover Owners ClubRover 200, 400, 600, 800 + 25, 45, 75  


. Engine/Gearbox/Exhaust .


Q/ Car 1
1990 216gsi with the Honda D series engine (engine code D16A7EO11909). To date this car has done 210,000 miles and still goes really well except for the following problem. The car has an misfire which varies in severity, on some occasions the miss fire is really noticeable (like a tractor) below 2,000 revs but once above 2,000 it revs fine right up the range and on other occasions the miss fire is really noticeable almost up to 3,000 revs and then fine right up the range. The miss fire can also be felt if the car is put in a high gear at a low speed. Back in my Triumph Dolomite Sprint Days, this was the sign that the condenser needed changing, but as far as I can see no condenser fitted so I've tried the obvious like changing the plugs, leads, distributor cap & rotor arm, all to no avail. Because the severity of the misfire can change between turning the engine off & on I believe it may be an electrical problem, located where I know not. Has anyone experienced this problem before or have an idea where the problem may lie? Thanks John e-mail:
A/ ?

Car 2
1996 400series tourer (engine code 16K4FK88399018) This car has done about 65,000 miles. recently after a local run I noticed the engine cooling fan was running all the time the engine was running, on investigation I found the expansion bottle to be empty and when I filled it you could hear the water draining into the cooling system before it filled the bottle up to just below the maximum capacity line.
Has anybody any idea what might have caused the engine to lose/use this coolant, what effect if any this may have had on the engine and any signs of
the effects to look out for? Thanks John e-mail:
A/ ?

Q/ My Rover 820Si is '99, T reg. It has a persistent small misfire, worst when cold, but there all the time. It seems to be worse on very small or steady speed throttle openings and at particular speeds - when accelerating, or at 75 in 5th, it is nearly absent. The miss is just occasional small hiccups - I would be changing the condenser if it had one. I had a Bosch specialist and the dealer look at it but they gave it a clean bill of health. I have put can after can of injector/tappet cleaner in the oil and it is on full synthetic oil and still does it. Any ideas? (Andrew Whitehouse).
A/ ?

Q/ I have 220 gsi turbo which i have been slowly getting sorted,but there is one problem which i cannot cure,this is a juddering clutch.. it is only a problem when pulling away in first,sometimes its as smooth as anything and the next time it judders quite badly. i have had new clutch fitted (complete kit genuine unipart turbo clutch) and also had the flywheel skimmed because of black deposits on the flywheel surface,which suggests overheating,then the clutch was ok for 2 months or so,now the problem is slowly coming back,there are no oil leaks,and the old clutch was dry.i suspect that as with most things on the car the standard parts are not able to cope with the power ,therefore i was wondering if anyone has had this problem and perhaps cured it, maybe by fitting an upgraded clutch which does not overheat and produce the fouling of the flywheel,resulting in clutch judder. i would appreciate any help from fellow members very much.(Matthew Allen)
A/ I have experienced the same problem on my coupe turbo, it is easily fixed with copper grease. Did you notice rusty dust on the clutch splines if so this is your problem. Smear copper grease on the shaft splines and also the clutch plate centre hole splines. IMPORTANT - wipe excess grease off as the clutch dosen't like grease. (Just a very thin coating is sufficient). Also check the clutch arm moves freely with no resistance and check clutch cable for smooth operation. This should cure your problem. If it dosen't then it could be gearbox bearings, easy to replace but expensive. Also use 75/90W synthetic gearbox oil. The standard clutch should take up to nearly 250 bhp. (Dave Williams).

Q/ I have a problem on my 1992 Rover 827's automatic gearbox. The problem is two fold:
(1) the S4 dash warning light flashes, which I am led to believe indicates a problem with the gearbox. This is also backed up by the second problem which is
(2) the gears snatch. For example, when taking off from a standstill the engine will rev normally and a fraction of a second latter the gear will suddenly engage giving a rather jerky start. This snatching is common throughout the gear range and the ability of the engine to pull the weight of the car does not appear to match the amount of rev's that the engine is giving out. I have checked the transmission fliud as per the owners manual, and it is the correct level and colour. Any ideas !!!!!!!. (Martin Dunning).
A/ Martin Dunnings 827 autobox problem is almost certainly code 14 - disconnected or short in the wire from the EAT to the PGM-Fi ECU. It could just be a bad connection, or a broken wire. If he goes to - you'll find details of all the autobox fault codes. When it refers to pulling out fuse S to reset the ECU it means the one in the underbonnet fusebox as shown in (The above links have since disappeared, if anyone knows where their new home is, or where there are other links, please let us know. (RoverTorque)

Q/ With the 1.8Ltr Lump put into my 214 SLi (L reg with metal manifold), I've noticed that it gets to 4500/5000 rpm very quickly in all gears, but the final 2000 rpm or so seem a struggle. I thought this would be sorted by fitting a stainless steel exhaust system, but because of restricted backpressure it still takes a while. I wondered if I got a power boost valve fitted would it help matters any? or will I have to combine it with a superchip? (Alan Temple).
A/ If you haven't already done so, fit a decent air filter. It sounds very much like the engine is having difficulty 'breathing' at high revs. An FSE rising rate fuel pressure regulator will be beneficial. I had one fitted to a 1.4 K series Metro GTi MPI and combined with a Pipercorss filter, it would pull extremely well through the rev range, right up to the red line. I now have one fitted to my 220 GTi turbo as well.
Gary (Via e-mail)
A/ I would say his problem is almost certainly the fuel pump. I knew someone who had the same problem going from a 1.4 spi to a 1.4 mpi, all because the mpi required a higher fuel pressure than that provided by the spi pump. I guess an 1800 requires even more. Get an aftermarket fuel pump.
Ian (Via e-mail)

Q/ I have a 1993 Rover 216 coupe which I have just fitted a K&N 57i air induction kit to. The problem I have is that it whistles at low acceleration which you can imagine is very annoying. It is not the filter that whistles itself but the rubber intake hose that is joined between the filter & engine. Has anyone else had this problem and how do you cure it??? (Dan Page)
A/ A noisy k&n 57i filter sounds familiar! I have a 220 turbo coupe and I have just removed this particular filter after 2 months use as the noise was just unacceptable. I thought the noise was the cone itself, created by the engines need for air during brisk acceleration. However, together with the non standard dump valve I fitted and the bangs from the uprated suspension as I travel over our lousy road surfaces I decided the car was becoming too noisy altogether. I have replaced the standard system and used a k&n replacement box type filter which is a good compromise. (Terry Wright)
A/ The cure is to put your old airbox back on! Motor manufacturers spend a lot of time and money developing cars, and one of the requirements is noise reduction (interior noise for comfort and "pass by", which is the noise someone hears as a car drives by) - some of which is covered by tough legislation. Part of this exercise is to reduce or eliminate induction noise - this is why cars have an air box and sometimes quite long and odd shaped intake hoses. The intake system is designed to eliminate all the roar and whistle that the air itself makes as it passes into the engine. By removing all this hardware you have undone all Rovers hard work. The extra noise is the price you pay for any extra donkey power you have gained.

Q/ I have a Rover 1992 820i manual. The small pipe going into the radiator header tank fell off the other day after the fitting cracked, resulting in the engine boiling off its coolant and over heating. Now, after fitting a new header tank, the engine will not start. It turns over and fires once just enough to disengage the starter but will not run. The petrol pump is working and there is a spark, but the plugs do not appear to get wet at all. The only possibilty that I can think of is that the engine management temperature sensor has fried so it does not enrich the fuel enough to cold start. Has this happened to any other members? This is the second header tank that I have had to fit, for exactly the same reason. I guess I should have bought a new one last time instead of going to the breakers!
Steve Waldron via e-mail.

Q/ I wonder if you could solve this one. 218vvc coupe will not start if left overnight and its wet[rain]. Turn ignition key, fuel pump doesn't prime engine turns but no joy. Eventually [10 mins] will start. Checked obvious things [loose fuses] no luck. Any ideas greatly appreciated
thanx Robbbie Fae Scotland Via e-mail:
A/ The VVC unit has excessivly long ignition leads which are prone to breaking down over time. Chances are these are shorting when damp (like mine did), only solution is to cover everything in damp start (not WD40) or get some new leads. Approx 50 quid from a dealer. Pain in the arse to fit as the ignition block is located convienently under the fuel injection system. Change the leads one by one or you may risk messing up the firing order as you have to fit them almost blind. Hope this helps. James Darby.

Q/ Club member Geoff Coley asks, "Tech query, is it a realistic proposition to convert a 1992 k series 214 manual, to an automatic. Any advice would be appreciated".
e-mail th club with your answer(s).
A/ This is not likely to be a realistic proposition. I don't believe Rover ever produced an auto version of 214s. There will be a reason for this - there were however auto 216s. It's likely that the 1400 engine in a car the size of 200 is too weak for an auto box. It might struggle to get the car going well and the torque curve may not match the driving requirements. This would cause the 'box to become confused about which gear it should be in and hunt (ie change gear a lot). This would be bad for economy and driveability and would significantly reduce gearbox life expectancy. OEMs spend a lot of money developing cars - if something like this were
worthwhile or achievable it's likely it would have been done. From a purely practical point of view, if it's not commercially available where will you get the hardware ('box, bellhousing etc etc). (Paul Carter)

Ian & Steve, Just a Query,
Q/ Just Bought a Rover 420 SDi & Wondering If you have had many Complaint from other drivers about how heavy they are on fuel compared to what it says in their book. Can only get about 40mph on a run and thats driving it tidy. 50340 miles on the clock any comments greatly appreciated.
Via e-mail: chris.davies

Hi Ian & Steve
Q/ What would be the most likely cause of high co2 factor? e.g 1.7% on my Rover, failed mot due to this. Occasionally the check engine light comes on, flash code on ecu points to lambda sensor (possible?). Hope to hear back soon
thanx Billy Beatson

Q/ I have a 97 1.6SE 400 that has been modified with springs/shocks/air filter / SS exhaust / brakes and ice. In the quest of ever progressing the car, I am fitting a set of additional gauges to read oil pressure, oil temp and Volts. The question(s) are does anybody know the thread size for the oil pressure sender fitted to the 1600 K series and also where can I get a 'T' peice and nipple (otherwise I will have to make one) to fit into that hole. This will enable me to refit the factory sender giving me a warning light and also fit a sender for the additional guage.
A/ ? (Iain Davies)

Q/ My Rover 820 suffers with a persistent oil leak at the front (T series engine), even though I have had the cylinder head gasket replaced it only stopped for about three weeks.
A/ According to one of our members, a very good mechanic friend of his suggested that you need to torque the head bolts in the correct order, but add an additional 10lbs torque per bolt & then turn them through a further 90°!
The problem goes back a long way, even to the days of the old Montego/Maestro. Members have stated that even when they use a Rover original gasket, they still get leaks after a short period of time. Does anyone else have suggestions?
A/ There has been much debate about the 'mythical' Rover gasket, which replaces the original gasket, to help prevent oil leakage at the cylinder head. We can now confirm that the gasket does exist and details are available to our members on the 'Members only Area'.


A/ 820 persistent oil leak from the head gasket. The answer I fear is live with it as many owners have resigned themselves to. On my 1990 820Si it is only a weep and I just regularly clean the oil seepage off the block every week to ensure things don't get messy. Changing the type of oil used sometimes helps reduce leakage.
A/ I have just completed a head gasket change on my Vitesse Turbo on the assumption that it was suffering from the usual problems. On removing the head, I discovered that the gasket was quite new but had failed. So, in order to find the problem, I decided on a full strip down of the head. This showed nothing untoward except one of the two 3/4" plastic/fibre collars that link the oilways of the head and block had broken in two at gasket level. A 'dry' test fit showed that this broken collar was preventing the head from seating tightly on the head gasket and so forming a tight seal. The result is false torque wrench readings and an oil leak similar to a failed head gasket! A replacement collar was obtained from the local Rover dealers along with a quick word with one of their mechanics, who confirmed they had seen the same symptoms soon after gasket repairs (not by them of course), and on removing the head, had come across the same problem with these collars.
I'm now a 1000 miles down the road since the repair and so far, no sign of oil leaks. (Club Member)
A/ The leaking cylinder head gasket on the 820 si 1990 quoted I have found to be the integral small O ring in the supplied head gasket (front R/H corner as you look at the engine ) and can be cured by a careful application of a good quality gasket sealer around this area on the new
gasket ( NOT TOO MUCH !!! ). Cyl head should also be thoroughly cleaned prior to fitment.

Q/ I have a 1993 216GSi which has a hot starting problem. The car NEVER fails to start from cold, but when the engine is warm, if I stop the engine & attempt to restart within a few minutes the starter motor will spin, but it will refuse to start for at least 5 minutes. I have changed the ignition module (twice), fitted new air & water temp. sensors, air filter, plugs etc. The ECU does not show a fault code.
Any help? I love the car but this problem is seriously getting on my nerves now & what's worse is my missus wants me to sell it & buy a Saab! For God's sake help! Carl Bland.
A/ One possible answer initially is fuel starvation by evaporation. Has the the incomming fuel pipe been moved closer to the exhaust manifold or other source of heat? Anyone else got any ideas?
A/ I have a 1990 216 GTi, which had a similar problem - I don't know whether this information will be of interest as it has a different engine. I had no problems with cold starts, but once it was hot, I had to leave it 15-20 minutes before it would restart. The engine would start, and then despite flooring the throttle it would die, and further attempts to start it failed to get it to ignite. I suspected a fuel supply problem, but left it to the garage to sort.
They changed the ignition amplifier first, but that didn't cure the problem. They then changed the fuel pump relay and after that visit the problem was fixed. I believe that on both visits they also checked the ignition timing, and cleaned the spark plugs and points.
I also tried a bottle of injector cleaner - added to the fuel tank, it didn't solve the problem but may have helped (John Silver)
A/ My 1989 Rover 216 which had exactly the same problem as the initial question. Cold starting was always OK, but even after a short drive it would occasionally fail to restart. The engine would attempt to fire and turn over hesitatingly for a second and then die. If it was left for 10 or 15 minutes it would go but no amount of 'technique' would get it to run before it was ready.
It turned out to be the Main Relay (behind the central consul) which incorporates the fuel pump relay. Simply replacing that has fixed the problem. Brian Beard

Q/ I am having trouble with the gearbox on my 216 GTi DOHC. It is whining big time. More than one person has told me that it is probably the shaft bearings. Does anyone have any ideas, also what's a fair cost for overhaul or a rebuilt box.
A/ A member had the same problem on his 214SEi (M-reg) which, although a lot of Rovers apparently can suffer from this (on the Rover box, not the Honda box), it got a lot worse and he ended up having to replace 3 bearings before the whole thing went into orbit which would have cost him approx £900 (1998) for a new one.
Get it checked - NOW!
A/ Gearbox whine. I just had the shaft bearings replaced on my 1990 820Si. Whilst I am not certain of the cost (the work was carried out under warranty) I believe it was in the region of £400 ('98). I also advise having it fixed sooner rather than later. It was not until the work was done and the gear change clunk had disappeared along with the terrible whine that I realised how bad it was.
A/ Just replaced the gearbox on my 1990 216 GTi DOHC after severe whining for around a year, not stripped it down but found the main shaft bearing is none existent with an end play of over 5mm, it also suffered from clutch judder, possibly due to this bearing.

Q/ I've just recently bought a second hand Rover 620Si, N Reg, 1995, I bought the car with the knowledge there was possibly some wear when taking up drive (I can feel and hear a slight clonk). I've driven other Rovers to try to get a feel what type of clonk I should get when taking up drive. There was no clonk from a similiar Rover 618i (done 24,000) and there was approx. a similiar amount of clonk from a Rover 620i (done 90,000). I was also interested to read from parkers used car guide that - N reg Rover 600s are prone to clutch failure.
The question I would like to ask is what clutch part fails on N reg Rover 600s and is there a connection between the clonk I hear and my clutch or is the clonk just wear in the "crown wheel & pinion" or even the gearbox.
A/ Any thoughts or suggestions? Phil.

Q/ I have a 220 Turbo Coupe (1995) and I am getting a whining noise from my gearbox on de-acceleration, which although noticeable, is not loud. The car has 45,000 miles on the clock and has been regularly serviced. Also when cold its a bit tricky changing from 1st to 2nd gear, (I normally pause for a second in neutral) but this improves after a few miles. Is the whine present in all 220's and would changing to synthetic gearbox oil solve the cold shifting problem? Do Rover specify periodic gearbox oil changes?
A/ Some whine from PG1 gearboxes (especially those on turbo versions) is to be expected. They also crunch into reverse quite commonly. It's worth noting that early cars had a gearbox oil change specified at 24,000 miles, but this was dropped around '94 or so. On higher power versions it's
probably worth continuing with this change whatever model year you run, but make sure you use the proper oil - not just 10W40, this is spec'd for top up only! The whining noise has nothing to do with the Torsen diff - this is a limited slip differential which uses a hydraulic coupling to conect the
drive shafts (rather like a torque converter) instead if being mechanical like the ones we used to use in rear drive Escorts and Sunbeams etc.

Q/ I have a 620ti and there are some funny noises coming from the gearbox the noise is like a jumpy whine and this only happens when you decelerate. Can anyone give me an answer!
A/ Bearing problem? Can anyone suggest an answer? Hart2000
A/ Some whine from PG1 gearboxes (especially those on turbo versions) is to be expected. They also crunch into reverse quite commonly. It's worth noting that early cars had a gearbox oil change specified at 24,000 miles, but this was dropped around '94 or so. On higher power versions it's probably worth continuing with this change whatever model year you run, but make sure you use the proper oil - not just 10W40, this is spec'd for top up only! The whining noise has nothing to do with the Torsen diff - this is a limited slip differential which uses a hydraulic coupling to connect the drive shafts (rather like a torque converter) instead if being mechanical like the ones we used to use in rear drive Escorts and Sunbeams etc. Paul Carter

Q/ Does anyone have a permanent solution to the problem of leaking sump gaskets on the T-series (turbo) engine)? I have had three cars with this engine and every one seems completely incapable of keeping oil in its sump.
Suggested alternatives to the standard Rover gasket, or other solutions, most welcome. (Paul Hughes)
A/ In response to the question raised regarding a Rover 220 Turbo with an Oil Sump leak, I also have this engine with the same problem and have taken it to the garage on numerous occasions to get this oil leak fixed. They have been able to reduce the oil leak but not stop it all together, they say it is a cold oil leak which only occurs as the engine is cooling down. The previous owner told me it's always had this leak even from 6 months old. I would also appreciate any advice on fixing this problem, Apart from this gripe, I love the car. Thanks, Matt bradshaw

Q & A/ I had some problems in the past with my '93 Sterling showing hot & cold on the temperature guage, after a time in the Rover garage they found the two bottom & top hoses had been connected back to front, this was having the effect of a reverse flow of water, eventually this confused all the air-con. & climate control sensors. It was thinking it was hot and as a result, it would decide to blow cold air into the car to compensate & visa-versa. A simple mistake that took place when they were replaced by the garage who took the cylinder heads off. Just thought this tip may be helpfull to other members'. (John Swainsbury).

Q/ I have a 1993 220 turbo coupe, and have problems with the clutch/gearbox. When driving with the air-con on, or after a while in stop-start traffic jams, it becomes difficult to change up and down between then gears. The clutch is hard to depress, and has to be pushed as far as it will go in order not to crunch the gears. I have had a new clutch fitted and the concerned fluids changed. Fine for a few weeks, but then the same problem. My mechanic cannot find any other faults and does not know where else to look. Does anyone have a remedy? Please contact me direct via or e-mail the club.
A/ Have you checked or renewed the clutch cable? Also check the clutch arm by disconnecting the cable from the box and making sure it moves freely and with no `play' it should just drop free if you lift it. Sometimes worn bushes in the box that the arm sits in can cause restriction in movement. (Dave Williams).

Q/ I have a 1992 Rover 420GSi with a troublesome intermittent fault. The engine performs well and normally idles at 850 rpm.
Occasionally, however, when warm, it will idle at 1500 to 2000 rpm and this is followed, when hot, by revving between 1000 and 2000 rpm ( even with the stepper motor disconnected). Switching off the engine results in some 'running on' and restarting the engine causes it to rev to about 3000 rpm. Restarting after a few minutes usually overcomes the problem and the engine returns to a steady 850 rpm idle. I have taken the car to my local Rover dealer several times but, unfortunately, the engine behaves perfectly whenever they test it. In desperation, I recently had the ECU changed but to no avail. Any guidance would be most appreciated. The temptation to solve the engine's problem with a sledgehammer grows stronger every day.
A/ This sounds like it could be the actual idle mechanism. It has a gate in it which opens and closes. It can have carbon build up which doesn't allow it to open or close properly espcially when hot.
Ask a garage to take it off and just blast an air gun in it for a couple of minutes to clear it out or get a new one.
A/ I had some erratic idling probs with my '95 coupe turbo. Rover initially changed the stepper motor settings (to no avail), then changed the e.c.u. (again to no avail). The problem was finally resolved when they stripped down the throttle linkage mechanism, lubricated it & re-assembled. The symptom I was getting was a high tickover (1500 rpm +) especially after hard acceleration. The revs were reluctant to come down to base idle. Hope this helps ! Mike
A/ I have had the same revving problem. If I went over 5000 rpm, my engine would rev between 1000 & 2000 rpm when idling. If I blipped the throttle and let it snap back, the revving stopped. I changed the throttle cable and the problem stopped. 10 minutes work, £18 plus VAT - bargain! Darran

Q/ Is it a common fault for the K series engines to suffer from leaks from the coolant rail. I have had this fault from two Rovers(214 & 416) where they have both leaked?
A/ On 17/10/99 I sent you a Email about a leaking coolant rail on my Rover 416 Since then I have had it looked at my local garage they have found it is not the coolant rail it is the Head gasket leaking on the back of the engine on too the coolant rail where I thought the leak was.

Q/ My car is a 1990 820i. I have just completed rebuilding the head. The car started easily after the rebuild and the tappets soon settled down! The engine now runs smoothly and quietly. The problem is crankcase pressure. After a few minutes it builds up and pushes the dipstick up releases oil fumes and some oil droplets. Cylinder compressions are all 170 +/- 10 psi. Could it be the breather system. I intend to take of the sump and clean all breather components before worrying about engine rebuilds. Any help would be much appreciated.
A/ Check the breather pipe on the back of the engine, underneath the manifold. This can have a tendancy to block-up and give the same results you are experiencing, including the 'popping' dip stick. If you are very lucky, you may be able to clean it, but generally it is best replaced.
Hope this helps. (Adrian Fell)

Q/ when I came to check the oil level on my 620 I found it is about half an inch OVER the maximum level. What sort of problems could this cause, if any?? Should I drain it down to the Max mark?
A/ It would be best if you drained a away a little of the oil to bring the level back to the maximum mark. With too much oil in the sump you may build up back pressure which results in a noise similar to piston slap or big end knocking, in extreme cases you may even get oil pushed back up the dip stick tube. (If the level of oil were higher you could get more severe damage).

Q/ The idle speed on my 620ti is only 750 rpm (the spec is 800+/-50) which I find too slow and hinders smooth down changes (hence I'd like to get it to 850). Also, when idling the engine hunts slightly. Can both of these issues be resolved by enriching the mixture a little? How would I do this?
A/ The low idle on the 620ti is probably normal, the MEMS system ECU stores the settings for the adaptive idle in its memory and will be different for every car, as the engine adopts it's own optimum idle speed. On most of the Catalyst engines the idle speed cannot be changed manually, and this will be the case on this model also. A proprietary "re-chip" on this car will have no effect as, to my knowledge, none of the conversions available involve a remapped ECU. Assuming the car is standard and has been recently (and regularly) serviced, in my opinion the thing most likely to get a result would be a check of the HT ignition system for current bleeding, and also check for air leaks around the inlet manifold and map sensor connections on the ECU. Failing this I could go on forever and not get anywhere, but some other things to check would be the cleanliness of the throttle body or the operation of the lambda sensor on the exhaust housing. (J. Wadeson)

Q/ I have a 414SLi 1991 with 64,000 miles. The problem is that the engine will start ok and run until warm, the tickover during this period is 1100RPM, but when warm the engine will cut out, and will not start immediately. If I wait for approximately 30 seconds the engine starts and runs OK. I have changed the distributor cap and rotor arm as that cured a similar problem at 44,000 miles. But this time, no luck . I have allowed the engine to warm up and cut out then removed a plug cap and plug, resting this on the rocker box and turning the engine over there is no spark.
Do you think the problem is either the HT leads or coil breaking down temporarily or perhaps the ECU?
A/ ?

Q/ I have a 1990 Rover 800Si fastback, It starts and runs fine from cold, no problems at all while it is moving, but once it is warm it will idle low and try to cut out if I stop at a junctoin or lights etc. If I let it stall, or switch off, and restart it straight away it idles perfectly for a few more minutes, and then I will stop again, and the idle speed drops low. It doesn't always happen, but once warm it will try and stall probably 7 out of 10 times that I stop. Weird eh, otherwise whilst the car is in gear and moving it seems fine. Oh yes, it's serviced reguarly and has had a new fuel filter too. Any ideas?
A/ I had a similar problem which turned out to be a faulty spark plug, couldn't really tell since the computer tries to compensate, but it cut out at junctions. I know you said that it is serviced regularly, but have you got the correct plugs fitted?
A/ I too had just this problem with my 1990 820i , and tried substituting the various sensors and also borrowed other ECU modules but to no avail. THe problem proved to be with the Base Idle Speed setting . This is an involved but actually easy operation which involves setting a basic idle setting of 750 rpm irrespective of the Ecu control setting which is 900 rpm .The Ecu is disabled by a procedure of disconnecting and reconnecting the stepper motor 4 times ,then the idle speed is set using either the butterfly valve stop or the second air bleed screw on the throttle body (I always did wonder what that was for ! ) depending on the type you have fitted ; both types were used on the 1990 models. THe Haynes manual describes the procedure in detail , but does not acknowledge the 'other air screw' type. Once this is done , aberrations in the ECu setting when hot or stepper motor glitches will only mean the idle speed drops to the basic 750, which will not trouble you and will not stall, and as you have noticed the next time you restart all will be reset and ok again .hope this helps .

Q/ I have a '95 Rover 214SEi, low mileage and a well cared for example, which I am very pleased with, apart from one aspect. It suffers from a lot of engine noise and particularly engine-induced resonance at about 2,700 - 3,000 revs. One annoying tinny rattle comes from behind the drivers side dash but the main resonance could be in the cat, centre exhaust or somewhere similar - it feels as though if you could just identify what's resonating you could put your hand on it and it would stop. I've tried all the obvious things but I wonder if this a common problem and whether there are any recognised fixes for it? It's all a bit odd as the car seems pretty well endowed on the sound deadening front.
A/ I had a very similar problem on my 416sli '94 L. It turned out to be the heat shield around the catalist hat broken on one end. The exhaust centre simply put a jubilee clip around the whole assembly and everything has been fine since. Hope this helps. (Ian Watson)
A/ My 52,000 mile '95 214 SLi suffers from the same problem, and it has only recently developed. It seems to come rom the behind-top of the dashboard, and as a suggestion it could be the right-hand heater duct. I haven't been able to get into it yet, but that seems to be the position of the noise. (Craig Duncan)

Q/ "The mystery of the disappearing oil"
I have an N-reg 1996 Rover 220 Coupe, with 41k on the clock. I bought the car about 4 weeks ago, and after about 1 and a half to 2 weeks after buying it, I thought I'd better check the car over. When I cam to check the oil level, it was dry. I couldn't believe it so i checked it again. Still dry. I bought the car from a second hand car dealer near Taunton, Somerset, and it had a full service just before I picked it up. So I shelled out hard earned cash on some oil and filled it up to the max line. Checking every day, the oil level seemed fine, until, after about a week it had suddenly dropped to the minimum line. That was maximum to minimum in 350 miles. Throwing it back at the garage, they changed the oil and watched it over 150 miles - result: no change in level. They can't see where it could have gone, there's no smoke, nothing on the ground, it can't get into the gearbox only the bell housing, and in any case if it went into there, there is a drain hole for just such an eventuality. I'm getting the car back tonight after work, and will watch the oil level carefully.
A/ One answer which I have experience myself is " Hard Driving" If you red line the car in a low gear the oil pressure increases and I believe this is lost through the turbo shaft into the exhaust. I found myself in the same situation when red lining the car through 1st and 2nd gears. I ran the engine to the cut out and when I checked the oil in the morning, nothing was showing on the dipstick. I topped it up and have had no problems since

Q/ I have a 1995 M reg 620ti with 38000 on the clock, problem is on starting cold or hot the engine will not catch with a turn of key alone, you have to 'bip' the throttle and even rev. the car for a short time, then the choke will catch and the engine will idle fine. The next problem which I think is related, when driving the car and accelerating, and you press the clutch to change gear, the engine will over rev. even if you take your foot of the throttle before pushing the clutch.
A/ Initially, check throttle cable tension, throttle potentiometer & check for air leaks (split vacuum pipes etc). (Adrian Fell)
A/ It could be a fault in the ecu that forces you to give some throttle for the engine to start and then you can release the trottle and the engine idles perfectly, this problem occures most on cold engines but works fine with a warm engine. solution to change ecu.
For the second problem applying boost to the engine causes a little problem in the throotlebody pushing the seals for the butterflyspindle out, and this makes the butterfly stick until boost is wented away, solution is to change throttlebody.

Q/ My car is a Dec. 1995 420GSi Tourer with 73500+ (4/99) on the clock. On starting the car, for the first 6-8 minutes, it runs as if the choke is full on. The car, although running fairly smoothly, does not respond well to the throttle. In fact, on occasions it has cut out when pulling up. After this period things tend to settle down, but with a slightly lumpy tickover. Thereafter, every so often at idle the car will "hunt" up and down by approx. 500r.p.m. three or four times (more often after having just reversed!). On the road at speed the car performs very impressively. (This may well be due to the Pipercross induction kit and Moto Build exhaust complete with anti-cat). All four spark plugs seem to be more sooty than I would expect, even in a relatively short time. So far Southern Carburettors have checked fuelling, electrics and emissions and declared them all to be perfectly O.K. Rover main agents have just carried out main 24,000 service last week, have checked compressions and confirmed they are all O.K. During the service Forte oil and fuel treatment was used and I have used some STP 16valve cylinder teatment but all to no avail. Could this be the so-called "sticking valve" problem or has any other member any ideas? I hope someone out there can help.
A/ Look for throttle butterfly gunge. Idle hunts between 500 and 1500rpm, resulting in cutting out.

Q/ I own a 75000 mile 92 216GTi it has fsh and is sohc. I pulled out of a junction yesterday in the wet and ended up spinning the wheels. The revs would not drop in 3rd or 5th and eventually I realised the clutch was slipping. Now it seems that everything is okay, but every time I change to second it judders. Any idea?
A/ Sorry, but as you say, it looks like it's a clutch change, unless anyone else can suggest otherwise?
A/ Possible flywheel distortion/burning. Check for cracking. Clean with fine wet & dry (320 grade) + WD40 or parafin, or if too bad maybe replace, plus clutch change. (Adrian Fell)

Q/ My 216 GTI SOHC suffers from excessive engine noise when under load (idles fine), there is also a acceleration pause at 3000 rpm, I have had new exhaust, checked the air intake etc. any ideas? Could the timing be out? The engine seems to over rev! Rev count reads approx 3700 @ 70 MPH in 5th (seems high)
A/ In reply to a GTi question posted, My Gti always sounds a little high revving, the pause at 3000rpm is at 3500 on mine so do not worry. The ideal solution is a proper Superchip and rolling road check. Although is it worth it.
As for high revs at 70 well... mine is the same! Good car strange niggles!
A/ Valve Clearances? Check cam belt timing/tension. Is it definitely engine & not gearbox noise? Check ignition timing. (Adrian Fell).

Q/ vehicle: Rover 216 Vitesse EFI 1986.
problem: the car takes a long time to reach idle. It can sit at 1500 rpm then slowly sink to the correct idle speed. work undertaken:
Injectors cleaned , throttle body cleaned, stepper motor cleaned, throttle voltage adjusted, new inlet gasket, oil separator replaced, breather pipes cleaned/replaced, ECU substituted, CAS cleaned, earths cleaned. By disconnecting the road speed sensor, idle now satisfactory. But this does not actually fix the problem. Road speed sensor output correct but with a 10V spike on the trace. Any ideas?
A/ Have you checked your water temperature? One member who had erratic & fast idle speeds, changed his thermostat & it cured his problem. Previously, the computer had been keeping the choke on slightly, since the engine wasn't at the correct temperature.
A/ 216 Vitesse were always prone to engine running problems. More so than the Montego with the same engine! due to confined bonnet space (increased heat).
1) Check mixture on machine, suspect injectors blocked. Try 2 cans of 'Forte' fuel system cleaner in tank after fuel filter renewed, run engine for about 1 Hr & leave overnight. (this is a common problem) (Adrain Fell).
2) Check for secondary air leaks.

Q/ Recently my 827 Vitesse coolant warning light has been coming on intermittently, the level is fine, it sometimes stays on for between 5 and 10 mins before going off again, only seems to happen when the car has warmed up. Any help or hints would be appreciated.
A/ A member recently had a similar sort of problem, which turned out to be the actual sensor fitted to the expansion tank, it wasn't working properly & gave the wrong signal.
A/ Sorted the problem with my low water light, it was the sensor thanks.
A/ Ensure the system is free of air locks. Replace water & antifreeze. If necessary, flush with water only, first. (Adrian Fell).

Q/ Any help or hints for this problem would be gratefully received.
About a week ago my E reg 820Si suddenly started to misfire when overtaking a van on the motorway. When I had to pull up at any point the car would either die or idle very roughly. However if I put my foot down there didn't seem to be that much loss of speed or power but still noticeably missing. On getting home I parked the car up and then it would not start at all. I tested the compression and found pot 1 had 150 Psi but 2,3,4 had only 45 Psi. I thought probably the head gasket had blown, especially affecting 3 pots, and no sign that the car had been burning oil when driving the day before even when running rough. I changed the cylinder gasket and exhaust gasket ( having left the inlet manifold in place), head bolts etc. The bores seemed ok and plugs seemed fine (no discoloration).
But the problems the same, I am thinking its the piston rings but with no signs of oil being burnt and affecting 3 cylinders at the same time ??, could it be something else. I don't want to strip down the engine and replace rings if there could possibly be another cause.
A/ One of our members' recently had a similar problem on two 'pots', which turned out to be the hydraulic lifters at fault (hydraulic valves). Once these had been sorted, everything was ok.
A/ In this situation, the cylinder block should always be checked for distortion & machined accordingly. Was all the old inlet manifold gasket removed? Check for air leaks. (Adrian Fell).

Q/ I have an 820 Vitesse sport 1995 and the manual gear box has a problem when engaging 5th gear. When changing from 4th to 5th at speeds over 45 miles/hour the gear grinds then goes into 5th. To get around this I have to change below 45 miles/hour or wait in neutral for around 3 seconds the go to 5th. I thought that the gear box oil level may be low, but I am not able to undo the inspection bolt to check it. Dave Nicholson
A/ I've replaced a gearbox on a 800 Vitesse, and 5th and synchromesh for 5th on a 600ti. The gearbox seems to be weak for this engine. In the case of the Vitesse the change to 5th got worse, the gearbox got noisier and then started jumping out of fifth on the motorway. Ended up with a secondhand box fitted - gearbox bearings had gone.
A/ With the road wheel removed you should be able to get a socket onto the inspection bolt using a long extension bar. On this box it's worth changing the 'box oil - but use the proper stuff (MTF94, £15 for 2 1/2 litres at dealers). Pre 95 boxes had engine oil specified with a 24000 mile change. Post 94 spec is MTF94 with no change specified. The previous correspondent is correct that this box is on its limit with this engine, so I believe it's worth the effort of changing the oil periodically. My Vitesse Sport is occasionally difficult to get into 5th too, but this car can do 105mph in fourth so it really shouldn't be a problem to try again - however this got much better when I renewed the clutch, the old one was near its limit but had not started slipping (still, it did well to get to 97k!) (Paul Carter).

Q/ My Rover 820 develops a vibration, running through the car, when I select 5th gear (manual gearbox). I don't know where the vibration originates from, or whether it's a coincidence that it happens when I'm in 5th. It may be the speed or revs that are causing it? I believe that when in 5th gear, the engine drives the wheel direct.
A/ Probably misfire, usually only when cold and when changing down a gear or increasing/decreasing speed.

Q/ I need to know which engine I have fitted to my 220GTi? It is a late 1992 model (J Reg.).
A/ Assuming that the car is all original, & nothing has been changed, up to mid. 1993 the M16 series engine was used. Traditionally, this had a twin exhaust at the rear. from mid 1993 onwards, the T16 series engine was used which had a single exhaust at the rear.

Q/ I have a Rover 825. What is the recommended mileage between cam belt changes?
A/ This is a good one. Originally, the cars were sold as life-time of the car. ie. You didn't need to change it. When the 827 engine came out, the mileage was specified at 96,000. So most people applied this figure to the 825 also. Recently, it appears that the figure has been halved on all Rover cars. Therefore, 825/827 is now around the 45,500 figure. Basically, if you ever have the covers removed before this figure, it would be wise to change the belt as well.
A/ I don't know what the specified change was for the 2.5 engine (try asking a Honda dealer), but it's likely have been the same as pre 1990 2.7s. Pre 1990 2.7s were specified as 46000 mile change. 1990 model year on is spec'd as 96000 miles. The change was brought about not just by improvements to the belt design but also by changes to the engine. Consequently, although you could only buy the later belt, it still had to be changed at 46000 miles on pre 1990 cars. The latest advise from Rover and Honda dealers is that all cars, old and new, should have the belts changed at 60000 or 5 years. Personally I changed the belt on my 827 at 96000. Also go to a Honda dealer to have the work done, they will charge around £260 compared to around £360 at a Rover dealer. (Paul carter).

Q/ My Rover Sterling Radiator has developed a small leak. Can I use a water additive such as Radweld or similar?
A/ NO! If you look on the rear of the label on the container, you will see that it states 'Not suitable for 825/827'. This is because of the narrow water ways within the engine block which will also get blocked by the radiator sealer. Unfortunately, as far as we know, it is either fit an exchange radiator or new unit.

Q/ Is there an easy way to stop knocking tappets on my Rover 827?
A/ We could talk about this one all night long, there are so many answers available out there, and every one will give you a different answer. An easy way of reducing Tappet Knock is to firstly clean your sump & oil strainer pick-up. Next, use a good quality flushing oil, to clean out the engine. Finally, use either a Synthetic engine oil (typically Magnatex or similar) or anti-friction additives, such as Vivax (available only through the club, another good reason to join). It's a good idea to change the oil regularly as well.
A/ After many weeks/years, I may have found the problem. It seems to be connected with the exhaust valve clearances. As you may know this should be 1½ turns after contact with valve stem. In my case it was a problem with Nos. 5 and 6 cylinders. However, it may be found that the engine when stone cold may start on 5 cylinders in which case pull off plug leads to find out which cylinder is causing the problem and back off tappets by one third of a turn.
I hope that this may be of some help. Gareth Jones
(Thanks Gareth, although we feel that this reply will only apply to the 2 litre engine, since the 2.5 & 2.7 litre units have automatically adjusting, hydraulic tappets). If you ever have the V6 engines dismantled, on re-assembly, do not fit a tappet that is full of oil, drain them first, as there is a possibility of the valves being held open when first cranking.
A/ In reply to the noisy 827 tappets question - It is correct that these engines have self adjusting hydraulic tappets but you should note that the exhaust valves only do indeed have manual adjusters as well. It is imperative that these are correctly adjusted (when cold), as per the Rover manual. The original Rover workshop manual is available from any Rover dealer. The part number is AKM6691 and the electrical fault finding manual for the 827 is AKM6278ENG. (Richard Tickner)
A/ Rattling tappets on 827s are symptomatic of irregular or missed oil changes or poor oil being used (or low annual mileage typified by short journeys). The tappet could be worn or it could have a carbon film on its surfaces affecting its operation (or even sludge). Post 1990 this engine was specified as 12000 mile change (6000 pre 1990). Personally I always changed at 6000 (3000 one winter when I was only doing 5 miles to work each day). After 30000 miles the engine ran better than when I'd bought it. The advice regards oil above is good (except that Magnatec is semi synthetic not synthetic). I always used Morris Multivis, only available from independent factors, but there are plenty of other good oils. Whatever oil you choose, change it regularly, however if the problem is wear then replacement is the only cure. Personally I would not buy an 827 with tappets that rattle when warm for the reason stated in the first sentence above (you never know what else has been missed) - these engines (like most engines) will run forever if properly looked after. Richard Tickners advice is also sound. Whilst on this subject its also imperative that the antifreeze be changed every two years. As mentioned elsewhere on this page the Honda engine has some narrow water ways which get easily blocked either by additives or corrosion products. Although the anti freezing properties of anti freeze last for many years, its anti corrosion properties only last about 2 - 3 years - hence service intervals specifying a two year change irrespective of mileage. Long life anti freezes are now being used trackside by OEMs, but these are not yet generally available. As a general comment, don't be fooled into thinking that these long service intervals now being stated for new cars are designed to prolong the life of your car. It's all about "cost of ownership" and in my view is simply a way of reducing cost of ownership for fleets who buy the majority of new cars but are not interested in their ability to last 100k or more. More servicing than that specified will always prolong the life of your motor, that specified by the OEM should be regarded as a minimum and there will be good reason for it. (Paul Carter).

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