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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
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HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

I have a fiat 500 pop 2011 model, stop and start light, warning light and EOBD injection system failure light appears when I reach 70mph. The engine light flashes and goes away but the warning light and stop/start light stays on.

However, the car runs completely fine, it has never had the feeling of a misfire, with no loss of power and no noise from the engine. It runs like a good car with no problems except these lights.

I have been to the garage and the car is saying misfire - spark plugs, however i have changed these and no change to the lights. I then changed the coil pack and wires leading up to the spark plugs and no change to the lights. I am really concerned whether it could have anything to do with the piston, especially when the car is only 6 years old and done 60,000 miles.

The garage has done a compression test on the four cylinders and the results are 1- 235, 2-150, 3-235, 4-235. is there anyone who has had similar problems with their fiat or any car?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

Hello and welcome to the forum.

Sorry to hear you've got a problem.

Quote Originally Posted by maybest1 View Post
The garage has done a compression test on the four cylinders and the results are 1- 235, 2-150, 3-235, 4-235.
If those figures are accurate, then you may have a serious engine problem. Low compression on a single cylinder is generally down to one of three causes:

1. Head gasket failure
2. Valve/valve seat failure
3. Piston ring failure.

I'd strongly recommend the car not be driven until this is properly diagnosed and sorted, or you risk making a bad situation worse.

The next step is to confirm the compression readings. A definitive diagnosis is going to require the engine to be dismantled and you don't want to do this if the garage just misread the compression on #2 cylinder. When the compressions are rechecked, do the test twice; squirt a little engine oil into the bores the second time around and note any difference in the results - this can help distinguish between valve problems and piston ring issues. Also pressure test the cooling system; if it won't hold pressure, it would point toward there being a head gasket problem. Note that the head gasket doesn't necessarily fail into a cooling channel and HG failure can't be ruled out even if the cooling system checks out. Check the valve clearances; this could help identify a valve fault.

Apart from HG failure due to running the car with insufficient coolant (which is quite common), the 1.2 FIRE is an extremely reliable engine and this kind of issue is almost unheard of.

What's the history of the car?
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Last edited by jrkitching; 3 Weeks Ago at 19:16.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
I'd strongly recommend the car not be driven until this is properly diagnosed and sorted, or you risk making a bad situation worse.
Utterly agree.

One cylinder down on compression is indicative of the top end IMHO, though nothing is certain.

Head gasket or valves. JR's suggestions are spot on to test stuff out.

Get the head off and investigate. You'll need a new HG anyway, and even if the issue turns out to be the piston and/or rings, a top end inspection is the first port of call.

I'm very sorry hear of this problem, and I understand that these engines are really strong and reliable, so I sincerely hope that it's just a new gasket that's required.

Good luck, and keep us informed,
Mick.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

Have a compression test done again, this time pour 50ml of oil in the suspect cylinder spark plug hole, and re test the compression, if no different HG or valve failure is almost certain, pull the head off and check?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

Wow thank you all for the responses they are all so helpful.

The history of the car has had a service roughly every 10,000 miles with the last one being at the speedo reading 63,751 03.05.17, before that 58,330 3/5/16, from then on 53,771 21/12/15, 42674 02/05/15, 28055, 27/05/2014, 16,448 3/06/13. - In additon, the car has just passed its mot in May. Fiat 500's are suppose to be reliable cars but i am not convinced after this happening at such low mileage and to a well looked after car.

I forgot to mention that the garage did an EML scan and the error codes were P0300 -ingition failures recognition, P0302 cylinder 2 ignition failure, P0303 cylinder 3 " ". They also said they believed it could be the piston cap that has blown, but i will do my own compression test with the suggestions mentioned above to see if the results have changed.

I have booked it into fiat for the 6th sep to get a second diagnosis before spending 1000 of which the garage quoted to remove the engine and see if its the piston.

I will keep you posted on my own results from the compression test and what the fiat dealership says. Thank you all for your help.
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Last edited by maybest1; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:24.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

Is it possible that's it's been run with low coolent for too long busting the head? What's the oil look like and filler cap?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

I am not sure about the coolant but I am pretty sure it would be topped up when it was serviced. I have taken a photo of the oil on the dipstick which is attached below.

If it was something to do with the engine would the engine light not be constantly on? Why is it that it only comes on at 70 mph? Is there any other problems that it could be such as a sensor or a fuel injector?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

Your oil looks ok I have to say
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

Quote Originally Posted by maybest1 View Post
Why is it that it only comes on at 70 mph?
Could be that the problem is heat-related. Bowling along at 70mph requires some sustained power, and so the heat builds up.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

Quote Originally Posted by maybest1 View Post
<SNIP>

I have booked it into fiat for the 6th sep to get a second diagnosis before spending 1000 of which the garage quoted to remove the engine and see if its the piston.

I will keep you posted on my own results from the compression test and what the fiat dealership says. Thank you all for your help.

1000 pounds sounds a lot for diagnostics. I'm surprised they want to remove the engine. A head removal would be the logical next step and you should not have to drop the engine for that. It will let you inspect valves, head gasket, bores and top of pistons. Even if you can't see anything you have to replace the head gasket and that may effect a cure. Get a couple of quotes for this work first.


Another useful diagnostic tool is a borescope to look in the engine via the spark plug holes. I have a little 1/2" one that plugs into a laptop USB port. Quite cheap on ebay. also for Android tablets or phones. a couple of random examples (I've not bought from these sellers)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111929569382
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/222531366213


These will show you gross issues like burnt valves, bad cracks in head or badly scored bores.


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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

It's unrelated to this problem, but looking at the age of the car, may I ask if you know whether the timing belt and water pump has been changed or not?

If not then that is something that will need doing ASAP as it needs doing every 5 years on the 1.2 (can't remember the mileage but it's around the 60,000 mark).

Purely mentioning this seeing as your car is booked into a Fiat dealer, just wanted to be sure that you have everything all sorted in case it costs a bit

And if it has been done then no worries!
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

I believe 1000 would be the cost to open up the engine and change the piston which they believe to be causing the problem. Thank you for that suggestion of the tool i will look into that when i next examine the spark plugs.

Also i think if fiat tell me the water pump needs changing then I will just do it myself thanks for the advice!!

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
The next step is to confirm the compression readings. A definitive diagnosis is going to require the engine to be dismantled and you don't want to do this if the garage just misread the compression on cylinder.
Just a quick update I did a compression test today and the results were different to the garage. For Cylinder 1 - 185, Cylinder 2 - 180, Cylinder 3 - 185 Cylinder 4 180. This has made me even more confused, the lights are still coming on but not affecting the drive of the car. I still have the fault codes of P0302 and P0300 suggesting a misfire.

Do you think with these readings it could still be the piston? If anyone else is experiencing anything like this please comment below. I will see what fiat come up with and update you all.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #13
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

Quote Originally Posted by maybest1 View Post
I believe 1000 would be the cost to open up the engine and change the piston which they believe to be causing the problem. Thank you for that suggestion of the tool i will look into that when i next examine the spark plugs.

Also i think if fiat tell me the water pump needs changing then I will just do it myself thanks for the advice!!



Just a quick update I did a compression test today and the results were different to the garage. For Cylinder 1 - 185, Cylinder 2 - 180, Cylinder 3 - 185 Cylinder 4 180. This has made me even more confused, the lights are still coming on but not affecting the drive of the car. I still have the fault codes of P0302 and P0300 suggesting a misfire.

Do you think with these readings it could still be the piston? If anyone else is experiencing anything like this please comment below. I will see what fiat come up with and update you all.
Thse results would indicate it's not a holed piston at least, that would be a permanent low compression.
Lets see what the Fiat garage says next week before we do any more speculation.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #14
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

Quote Originally Posted by maybest1 View Post
Just a quick update I did a compression test today and the results were different to the garage. For Cylinder 1 - 185, Cylinder 2 - 180, Cylinder 3 - 185 Cylinder 4 180. This has made me even more confused, the lights are still coming on but not affecting the drive of the car. I still have the fault codes of P0302 and P0300 suggesting a misfire.

Do you think with these readings it could still be the piston?
5psi difference between cylnders is normal. Also the numbers you got are more in line with what I'd expect to see than figures into the 200's. You can sometimes tell more from the way the gauge behaves as you test each cylinder in turn; those sort of differences aren't reflected in the final hard numbers.

Given that these engines almost never give hard mechanical problems (unless run short of coolant, and there's no evidence of that), I wouldn't be taking the head off just yet.

As g8rpi says, let's see what the Fiat dealer comes up with - but I'd by wary of accepting their diagnosis as gospel unless it clearly makes sense.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #15
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Re: HELP stop and start unavailable/warning light/engine light

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
5psi difference between cylnders is normal. Also the numbers you got are more in line with what i'd expect to see than figures into the 200's. You can sometimes tell more from the way the gauge behaves as you test each cylinder in turn; those sort of differences aren't reflected in the final hard numbers.

Given that these engines almost never give hard mechanical problems (unless run short of coolant, and there's no evidence of that), i wouldn't be taking the head off just yet.

As g8rpi says, let's see what the fiat dealer comes up with - but i'd by wary of accepting their diagnosis as gospel unless it clearly makes sense.
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