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Discussion Starter #1
Hi to all of you..
I'd be most grateful of any input / response to the issue I'm having with my Spark
Firstly the spec:
2011 Spark
1.2 LS Petrol
31k on clock. Purchase years ago with 13k.

Spark was absolutely fine and nothing needed over the time apart from service and tyres.
Started to have an intermittent starting problem where the red immobiliser light would be permanently on.
The engine would crank but not fire up.
Turn ignition off for a moment and then back on, this would then do the trick and would start most times.
New battery approx 3 months ago and was still having trouble, not better or worse.
New batteries in both keyfobs and still had the same symptoms as above.
The issue became progressively worse lately so i decided to check any corroded fuses and tested each one on a mustimeter. All fuses in good order.
Started to check wiring around the halo / ignition immobiliser. All seemed good.
Vehicle still had starting issue.
The next day the immobiliser light decides to flash when ignition is on and cranking the car, It cranks very well but the usual trick of ignition off then on wont work. The flashing red light remains.
My local mechanic plugged the vehicle in and has the following info:

U0167 / Lost communication with immobiliser control module
P1648 / Manufacturer specific

Any advice or help is greatly received, Cheers..(y)
 

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Rob, U0167 is a 'generic' code which can be caused by several possibilities.
The most common cause is a defective earth (somewhere). Check for corrosion on all earth straps.
U0167 Lost Communication With Vehicle Immobilizer Control Module

Code P1648 is due to incorrect Anti-theft Security Code. (possibly due to insufficient earth signal?)
https://obdii.pro/en/code/P1648

Other Helpful Tips for new Forum Users can be read here:-
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Discussion Starter #3
Ed, A thank you for the response,
I'll check out the earth soon as i can. I understand what the earth point is, Is there a specific place i should be looking?
Or test with some jump leads?
Much appreciated..(y)
 

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Rob, I dont have a Spark so have no first hand knowledge of the various earth locations on this model.
There will be several earthing points throughout the vehicle but those within the engine bay would be a good place to start.
Please note that earthing is only a possible problem. There are others and you should fully read the link I provided which does mention that code U0167 can be easily misdiagnosed. Did your mechanic use diagnostic equipment capable of reading the more obscure GM codes? There may be other unrevealed codes.
Possibly one of our Spark Forum gurus may offer suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Help is appreciated Ed.
Links are helpful.

I have spent a day going through the whole vehicle earthing point.
Battery taken out and charged, Then going around the whole loom inspecting and redoing earthing point.
They all looked totally clean but i still rubbed each one back and / or cleaned it to a shine.
I removed the external fuse box completely and stripped it apart / inspected all the wiring and circuit board.
Same with the internal one, but i couldn't get it apart. All fuses / relays tested before re inserting them all the way into the slots.
No difference on anything / red light still flashes.
I'm unsure what code reader my mechanic has but i know its not a cheap one.
I can find out if it helps. I doubt he managed to pull other obscure codes.
Is there a specific code reader more suited to Chevrolet vehicles?
Cheers.
 

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If you exhaust earth possibilities then the next possibility is to check cables to the VICM (module) but I dont know where this is located on the Spark (up under dash somewhere maybe). There could be a vibration chafed wire to the module. This is really no more than working your way through the possible causes mentioned in the link I gave previously.
The code P1648 'nags' as an incorrect security code. I'm trying to reconcile a meaning for this. I'm wondering if your mention of the 'key on & off' trick used to work and now doesnt is implying a cause being a fault in the ignition switch?
Have you tried the full disconnect of battery, leave a few hours and reconnect. Sometimes confused gremlins like this can reset (bit like switching off a computer and then it resets itself).
Possibly members Jasta and/or JMCroft can come to the rescue with their suggestions.

The GM Tec2 is a good reader but needs some skilled hands to operate and understand.
 

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Hi Rob. Like Ed I do not have a Spark but suspect a Matiz is very similar. The immobilizer problem could include a wiring fault affecting detector coil to immobilizer module [VICM] or immobilizer to ECM [electronic control module] and a break in electrical supply from the ignition switch. It could also be due to the detector coil being open circuit. The condition of these elements can be verified by visual inspection and the use of a multimeter. Verification of the VICM and ECM is beyond us without the use of a scantool such as Tech2. I feel a solution will need the help of a competent auto electrician and scantool. Keep in touch as thing progress.
Regards jasta
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Guys.
Thanks for input.
Firstly. I have spend a long time going through the loom. Every inch of it.. I removed central dash and head unit.
Stuck my head as in there and went through the lot.. All looks sweet.
My mechanic gave me some auto electrician numbers but nobody is interested as its a Chevrolet / no dealer back up / Spares, Info etc. Its difficult to find the right person around here..
They wouldn't even have a look..
:rolleyes:.
So.. Although i can handle house electrics and do have a multimeter, Auto electrics is a different ball game to me..
To keep you in the loop. I've found a doner running vehicle of the same spec being broken for spares. I have allocated everything (I hope) required to get it going. Such as:
Keys, Door& boot locks, Ignition barrel, Halo on barrel, Aux immobiliser, Anti theft unit, ECU, Both fuse boxes and speedo unit.
I agree its probably the longest way around a little glitch. But my options are fading..
Once again though. Much appreciated..(y)
 

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Hi Rob in the light of the poor response from local auto electricians you are doing the right thing for a solution. Isolate the vehicle battery during repairs. Be mindful of that component connection pins are fragile and may need to be straightened with care. Stay calm and Good Luck. As before keep in touch as you proceed.
jasta
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Howdy all..
Apologies for delayed response..
Thanks for input again guys, Helpful info..
An update. I received my parcel today of the:
Keys, Door& boot locks, Ignition barrel, Halo on barrel, Aux immobiliser, Anti theft unit, ECU, Both fuse boxes and speedo unit from the donor vehicle..
I slid out the original ignition barrel and put in the new (donor car) supplied barrel.
Changed the ignition halo, the Aux immobiliser and the anti theft unit. Still would not start / Red flashing light..
Finally swapped over the Ecu.
Put the fully charged battery back on and VOILA.....Its ALIVE.....The Spark is sparking away on all cylinders..
There was no need for the speedo / fuse boxes but i thought it was wise to have them in case..
So its a result..Just need to change the door and boot locks that came with it to suit the key.
However.. I now only have one key.. Is it possible to re programme one of the original keys? or obtain one and the re programme?
Cheers.
 

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Rob, Looks like another success story and good that you have posted the outcome. So often we simply dont know.
Can I just drop you a nudge to complete your vehicle details in your Signature/Footer please.
The reason I mention this is that although you gave us this in the body of your first entry, as posts get longer and run into further pages the 'original info' simply gets lost in the past.
By including vehicle details in your Signature / Footer this info automatically follows below every post you make and a reader picking up this topic half way through is then instantly able to relate to the vehicle being discussed.
Info how to add your vehicle info was in my earlier post #2.
Cheers
 

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Rob a brilliant job you've done. Regarding a second key for the Spark. You will have to have a new key cut to match the replacement barrel. A good locksmith should be able to produce the key and have the equipment to programme both keys to enable validation by the immobilizer. The original keys are cut for the removed original barrel and are unlikely to be suitable.
Regards jasta.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi guys.

Signature sorted..(y)
Just for the record. The Ecu and all the other related bits i had used from the donor car was actually from a 1.0L.
As my spark is a 1.2L it still ran like before and it seems like the ecu had no bearing on the performance.
Just thought I'd mention..
Thanks for key advice jasta. Don't know why i asked about using the original key with a different barrel. Obviously getting the engine going again sent me into a spin...
Any recommendations on auto locksmiths is welcome.
Cheers.
 

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Rob, Signature is fine.
Erm...... Auto Locksmith can be found using your search facility such as Google.
I found The Car Key Specialist Stroud in 30 seconds.
This forum also has good entries listing the larger branches of Timpsons.
 

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I found Timpson's that depending on who is serving if they can do Chevy keys or not. As local branch told me one time that they could not program them and that was main dealer only. Then went in a few weeks later was told yes was one they could do at one of their larger branches.
 
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