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Car 'Disabled'. any ideas?

So, a rather complicated situation has involved my car being ‘disabled’ as a sort of revenge from a family member. I went to start the car the other day and came to find that the starter motor was turning, but the engine wouldn’t start. I believe that it is something to so with the fuel pump or delivery so I checked fuses and all seemed to be fine. I haven’t looked at the spark plugs but that’s on my to do list. I’ve read online a bit about how this might’ve been done and I think the ECU may have something to do with it. Just to clarify, everything else works as intended except the engine wont start. if anyone has any ideas for things I can check it’d be greatly appreciated.
Also, according to the loudmouths in my family, the alteration to my car cant be diagnosed unless you’ve done it yourself. I’m thinking wiring to fuel pump, However there is a lot more experienced people around than me so I thought i’d ask.

The car is a 1998 Peugeot 106 1.1L Independence.

This reminds me of the time on our wedding day, many moons ago, our so-called “friends” removed the ignition rotor from our get-away-honeymoon car … lol … Well, they had been drinking quite a bit at the reception … Do your relatives have a nip or two also? :slight_smile:

Few Peugeots in these parts, but I’m presuming your Peugeot 106 is configured as a standard electronic igniti9on electronic fuel injection configuration. So you may not have an ignition rotor. But if you do, check on that first. It’s inside the distributor, to see if it is there, you’d remove the distributor cap. If there’s a shaft sticking up that looks like it should have something on top of it, that’s probably the problem. No go? Next thing I’d do in that situation is check for diagnostic codes from the engine computer. Especially if the check engine light is on. But I’d check for codes even if it wasn’t. Finally I’d check if the fuel pump relay had been removed. You’ll have to do a little cyphering and investigating to figure out where it is located on your car. Best of luck there OP.

And remember, the best course of action in situations like this is : Don’t get mad, get even … LOL

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There’s no way of knowing what they did and especially since no information is provided as to what is missing; spark, fuel, etc.

You did not mention what “sort of revenge” was but sticking to the sabotage factory only I wonder why you’re still speaking to them. I would have already taken it a step or two further.

I think this is another aspiring novelist trying to get credible on how to disable a car for their story.

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That was also my first thought, although I doubt that even Peugeot was still using that type of distributor in 1998. Back in “the old days”, removing the ignition rotor was always considered to be the best way to prevent your car from being stolen if it was going to be sitting–unattended–for an extended period of time.

So you checked fuses? Did you check to see that all the relays are in their respective sockets? Removing a relay anything important, like the fuel pump, will disable the car. Generally looking around for disconnected wiring is in order as well. I assume the family member is generally lazy and will pick the easiest to reach connector. Look around the engine compartment and wiggle connectors to see if one falls loose. Look for cut wires, too. Same for under the rear of the car (fuel pump again) just to make sure.

Good Luck

Yes. Rotor removal was a popular anti theft procedure. Now days a manual transmission seems to be nearly as effective.


I assume you mean the starter is turning the engine (not free wheeling) and the engine does not start.

Look for a potato or other blockage in the exhaust.

Check for spark, check for fuel delivery. One of those is usually missing for a no start. Once you know what is missing start working backwards until you can find the culprit. I will bet on a missing fuse or cut wire to a fuel pump, that is the easiest thing to tamper with–other than a potato.

In the old days we would have just taken the rotor or the coil wire or pulled the wire out enough so it doesn’t make contact but looks intact. After moving, I guess I would start by trying to separate fuel from spark. Do you hear the fuel pump run? If not check fuses, relay etc. If yes, is there spark? Check connection ECM fuse, connectors slightly pulled etc. Just tow the dang thing to a shop. Nothing is undiagnosable but may cost a couple hundred, but then sue the jerks for the damage and find a new family. There are lots of lonely people out there.

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Interesting read here,
Wrong key to try and start kicks off immobilizer?
Occasionally, the immobilizer may not recognize the owner of the vehicle and refuse to start even when the correct key fob is present.
Fixes on link.

Removing the distributor rotor! That was how Onslow’s car was disabled (by Hyacinth’s father) on the"Keeping Up Appearances" BBC TV show :slight_smile: .

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Thanks, will have a look at these in a mo. i’d check for codes but my OBD2 scanner doesn’t seem to recognise my car… weird…
This whole situation is extremely irritating but I have gone down the revenge path of doing irritating things to get back at people. for instance just removing the battery out of their keys. i’d rather not stoop down to their level however.

apparently it was a mechanic who did it so im doubting potato. all of this is starting to sound pretty in depth so thank god ive got a haynes manual haha

UPDATE: After setting up an extremely dodgy battery connection, I’ve tried to start the car with starter fluid. I’m guessing spark plugs now?

I understand that saying ‘revenge’ makes it sound that way but i had no other way of explaining why my car is in it’s current state. I assure you this situation is real.

It’s not revenge. It’s sabotage. The “perp” could pull fuse for ecm or fuel pump. Remove pos lead from distributor. Remove plug. Or use xtra plug and. Crank motor. Any spark? Are plugs wet? No fuel. That point to fuel or spark issue. If u have neither, than ??

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Update 2: I tried talking the distributor cap off however i need a torx/security screwdriver the right size to undo it. Although it doesn’t look tampered with. will move on and check ignition coil when i have a chance

If you get a spark, I would remove each spark plug and make sure the electrodes were no tampered with.

If you can’t figure out what your family member did I would purchase a wheel boot on Ebay for $25 and put it on the family member’s car. Now you have something to bargain with.