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Old 28-12-2007   #1
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Clock Resetting during start up / cranking

Hello

My wife has a 2004 1.3Mulijet TD Punto. When the car is started from from cold fisrt thing in the day, all the dashboard lights go out including the clock. When the car has started the clock display will have reset to 0:00 and will be flashing. The car is started correctly, key turned to ignition, wait till the glow plug light goes out, then turn to start. At thsi point the entire dash goes dark while the engine is cranked. The engine cranks quickly and fires quickly. The battery is good as the car was recently left outside for 10 days in the cold weather without being started, after 10 days it cranked quickly and fired up straight away.

I have checked to see if there are any loose wires on the battery, they appear OK (it was rainning when it checked, so it was a quick check).

Could this be a relay problem?
Any advice is welcome?

Many thanks
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Old 28-12-2007   #2
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Re: Clock Resetting during start up / cranking

with diesels the glow plugs take a large amount of power from the battery in order to heat up which may be partly responsible for your problem,even if you think its a good battery, have you tried testing alternator output ,,you should have min, of 14v, apart from that have a look at main earth try removing the lead from battery and cleaning both ends
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Last edited by jaybee; 28-12-2007 at 22:21. Reason: correcting spelling
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Old 29-12-2007   #3
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Re: Clock Resetting during start up / cranking

sounds like the dash is loosing it's permanent live feed during cranking for some reason

posibly a faulty ignition switch but i cant see suchashort loss clearing the clock

it may be a dealer thing though might need the dash software updating

i would have to look at service news for your car to see if there were any reported problems with earlier instrument clusters so cant say for sure worth giving your dealer a ring and ask
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Old 29-12-2007   #4
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Re: Clock Resetting during start up / cranking

battery 4 years old.
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Old 29-12-2007   #5
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Re: Clock Resetting during start up / cranking

Quote Originally Posted by T14086 View Post
battery 4 years old.
he seems sure it's fine
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Old 29-12-2007   #6
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Re: Clock Resetting during start up / cranking

Thanks for the comments above. I have provided some more information below which may clarify the problem

I am sure the battery is good, as the 9 days the car was left unused outside were very cold days (daytime temp of only 1 or 2 degrees C), after the standing period the car started as if it was summer (cracked fast and fired quickly). If the battery or it's charging was dodgy that cold standing spell would effected the battery and the car would have struggled to start, but it was fine and started as normal.

I have owned and driven a wide number diesel cars over the years, so I understand the role of the glow plugs. I have never come accross another that appears to lose current to the dash during cranking. Are you saying it is normal for Fiats to struggle to power the glows and then to crank.

By the way it only seems to lose its current and drop the dash out during the first cold start of the day, through all the other starts it is fine and the dash remains powered.

When it is dry I will try cleaning the battery lead and terminal. As I am new to Fiats, if I disconnect the battery will I have enter various codes went it is reconnected. Or can you disconnect the battery without having to enter codes (I have the key code, but no radio code)

Any advice please.
Thanks again
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Old 29-12-2007   #7
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Re: Clock Resetting during start up / cranking

radio code is stored in the body computer and sent to the radio on next power up over the can network so no worries there

your perfectly fine to disconnect it

as i say fiat are always updating the software in various controllers on cars engine ecu dash body computer things like that so it's worth having the lates update on the dash at a dealer to see if it stops the problem

allot of 188 petrol cars had a problem with starter motors taking so much current during starting they caused the engine ecu to switch off due to voltage drop but because of this the engine was still turning over at a fast rate so it seemed as if it should start fiat later released an update allowing the engine ecu to run at a lower voltage

every ecu on the car will have a pre determined voltage cut off point to avoid damage or miscalculations leading to damage

so it may just be a case of the voltage on first start of the day being to little for the dash

have any ecus on your car been replaced or disconnected from power

it may just need a proxy alignment
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Last edited by The Sultan; 29-12-2007 at 23:41.
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Old 30-12-2007   #8
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Re: Clock Resetting during start up / cranking

Agreed battery needs to be checked but also seen this problem with a faulty earth cable on to the body. Earth cable goes from battery to body to gearbox. Although the engine cranks ok it may be losing its earth through the body. Take off the earth at the body and clean it. Easy check for earth problems is to load the joint as heavily as possible (as many electrics on as possible) and with the engine off keep a finger on the earths, if it starts to warm up or get hot then the earth is faulty.
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Old 30-12-2007   #9
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Re: Clock Resetting during start up / cranking

Quote Originally Posted by NumanR View Post
Agreed battery needs to be checked but also seen this problem with a faulty earth cable on to the body. Earth cable goes from battery to body to gearbox. Although the engine cranks ok it may be losing its earth through the body. Take off the earth at the body and clean it. Easy check for earth problems is to load the joint as heavily as possible (as many electrics on as possible) and with the engine off keep a finger on the earths, if it starts to warm up or get hot then the earth is faulty.
could also put a test meter to voltage and see if there is a voltage drop over the connection when yu put one lead on the cars body and one on the earth cable near by again this needs to be done under full load engine off

more than half a volt difference is too much

actually numanr you just jogged my memory i remember an earth lead that was lose and when the engine was cranked it moved the cable enough to cause this especially as a diesel engine will move quite a bit before it starts and settles down
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Last edited by The Sultan; 30-12-2007 at 16:00.
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