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Zafira b pinking

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On acceleration of mostly 2/3/4 there is a pinking sound going on so the garage think it is.
they told me to use shell v power in stead of supermarket fuel and that might fix it if not might be a knock sensor all guessing.

I'm waiting to run the tank down before trying that just wondering if there a known issue to cause this ?

its the xe1 engine petrol 85k (zafira b petrol)

Serviced a year ago.

Spark plug tips are white. Oil level fine.
water pump working
aux tensioner has no play

I scanned some live data that may help change the file extension from .txt to .csv to view

With any luck someone who understands what to look for in live data may be able to find out whats up.


I've filled up with shell v power (97 octane) and done about 13 miles and has made no difference.

The only fault code is for a brake light switch which the local garage said to ignore as the brake lights work.

Appreciate any help.

Livedata_2009 (9)_Zafira-B_Engine__Z 16 XE1_202107201840.txt 1131945777_Livedata_2009(9)_Zafira-B_Engine__Z16XE1_202107201844.txt

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I think you may have fallen across the fault at the end of your post.....the brake light switch also sends a signal to the Engine Management System (EMS) to indicate the engine is on overrun.

A lot of cars have two brake switches, one to control the brake lights and the other to control the EMS.

Worth replacing the switch and see if that makes a difference

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Posted (edited)

I live and learn. Great spot! I had no idea why I have two. 

Surely worth a try at the low cost of the part!

Thanks will, report back after I get hold of one and fit it.

Interestingly the brake light switch error code has been logged three years, clear it every now and again but always comes back. I just assumed the garage knew better.  


Edited by zaffyb
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Posted (edited)

Changed the brake light switch just now and cleared the fault. (that was a fun hour lol) Disconnected the battery to reset anything module wise too then will test it later. Used a genuine gm sensor never want to come back to that job 🙂

to be updated

Edited by zaffyb
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Changing the brake light switch sadly didn't make any difference.

Changed the spark plugs this morning and took if for a 20 min drive and its slightly better. 

Considering changing the plugs helped a bit I wonder if the fault lies within the coil pack on the verge of going but under the threshold to trigger a engine light.

That said I don't want to chuck parts and money at it. The plugs needing doing well in August, but there about and the brake light switch as well.

I'm wondering if anything seem stands out for my last two posts that may help. 



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I'm thinking that sometimes the brake light switches sometimes don't latch in far enough to make contact with the pedal and switch on and off when the pedal is moved (listen for slight clicking noise).

It may have moved back slightly if the light went out but has now come back?

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Brake light seems to be functioning correctly when the peddle is pressed and no further codes have come back or lights on. 

I decided to shoot the parts cannon at a new delphi coil pack as I had a haas one which I've read can cause issues on this engine. That made no difference. pffft.

New air filter was put in as it was due, not in too bad a condition.

Two new delphi wishbones as well, a bush was detached did wonder if that could be the issue of the noise but not that. All these things needed doing except the coil pack which was just a shot.

local usual garage said they haven't got a clue and suggested going to vauxhall, who said it will be £110 to look at in end of August. The garage mentioned the drop links twist left and right without much force but not knocking/worn on the ball joint. They don't make the noise I have he said.

He said he's fairly sure it must be engine related but doesn't sound like transmission issues. He said he would expect a pre detention error code or something but nothing is there.

Or I could save that diagnostic fee and put it towards to egr channels and hope for the best. He said his diagnostic machine says the egr gasses are flowing. I did wonder if its flowing enough or partially blocked.

He mentioned the knock sensor was reading ok.

Had a look at my egr valve and it looks like one of the bolt is stupidly corroded and will crumble literally coming off, did think maybe worth cleaning that.

Just thought I'd post an update.

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Thanks for the update.

Still confusing as to what the fault is but at least the warning lamp is now off.

Another area to consider for noise is the crankshaft pulley as this can create very odd noises and is diagnosed by removing the auxiliary drivebelt which runs the alternator, etc. If the belt is removed and the noise disappears then this is the issue.

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  • 4 weeks later...

hi there i have the same year car and the same engine too i have an issue with my brake warning light i also have the audible alarm   too i plugged in opcom faulty brake switch same code changed out the switch with no change assumed it was handbrake related and wrong again still no change audio and light went under bonnet disconnected the switch to the reservoir (where you top up) took for a drive no alarm or warning light so i need a new reservoir/master cylinder also have you looked under the car? i had a vibration/tinking noise i traced this down to 2 rotted out screws on the heat shield to the exhaust i fixed mine by undoing bolts and adding a couple of large washers to cover the rotted holes then tightening back up i know thats a long shot but worth a look my car is the same age and has just 73k on the clock so its pretty much similar  

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