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Old 17-01-2015   #1
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Fiat 500 multijet running issues

Hi folks,


Two weeks ago I took my car for a drive to try to unblock the antipollution filter. As I didn't have time to take it on a motorway I decided to drive the car in third gear with a speed between 50 - 60 mph. After approximately 20 minutes the filter light went out. Moments later the revs rapidly gained accompanied by thick smoke and I quickly managed to slow the car and the revs dropped almost as quickly. A check engine message then appeared so I pulled over a few minutes later in a layby and was able to turn the car off. I restarted the car and drove home cautiously but found the turbo to be functioning okay. The car running quite rough though.


A couple of days later I took the car into my local garage (not Fiat) to be looked at. The fuel jets were tested and the parameters from the live data were the same found by Fiat for number 4 as when I previously had a fault with the same jet last year. The car was under warranty (not with Fiat) and the number 4 jet was replaced.


I took the car back to the garage (the car taking a while to start, occasional plumes of thick white smoke appearing from the back of the car until it had warmed up and was still running rough) and told them that a fault had been diagnosed by another garage and that the fuel jet they had supplied wasn't functioning properly. The warranty garage tested the jets and claimed that the number 4 jet was working correctly.


I then told them what had happened when I had driven the car and when another "test" was done they found that there is low compression on cylinder 4 but gave no suggestion as to why.


I decided to leave the car with them assuming that they would try to fit the car in and after three days of them having the car and me being fobbed off over the phone they still haven't diagnosed the problem. As I am a driving instructor not having a useable car for two weeks is obviously not a great situation! I think Monday if they're not going to spend any serious time on the car I will drive it back to my local garage LMC in Pulborough as they do the job well!


Anyway has anybody come across this before or have any suggestions?


Cheers!
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Last edited by steve76; 17-01-2015 at 22:39.
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Old 17-01-2015   #2
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Re: Fiat 500 multijet running issues

That sounds horribly like a diesel that has gone into diesel runaway.
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Last edited by zanes; 17-01-2015 at 22:44.
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Old 17-01-2015   #3
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Fiat 500 multijet running issues

Plumes of smoke is usually fueling or turbo I'm gonna assume the turbo is fine as you say but it could be the possibly suspect injector is over fuelling or the engine thrashing you gave it to clear the DPF has seriously disagreed with something and maybe damaged a piston ring
Low compression in one cylinder could explain the rough running and smoke as could a leaky injector or damaged turbo so it really is anyone's guess?

Depending how long you ran at 50-60mph in third you could even have damaged an exhaust valve
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Last edited by AndyRKett; 17-01-2015 at 23:34.
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Old 18-01-2015   #4
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Re: Fiat 500 multijet running issues

As a driving instructor you really shouldn't be running a car with DPF. Adding DPF cleaner to every tank is essential and the cost is equal to the fuel saving so you eliminate DPF related problems for 'free'.

I've hear stories of excessive DPF regens causing melted piston on some cars IRC.
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Old 18-01-2015   #5
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Re: Fiat 500 multijet running issues

Regrettably, and as UFI says, diesels are no longer the best choice for driving schools.
They used to be bullet-proof in the hands of new drivers, but not any more, due to their added complexity in order to meet modern regulations.
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Old 18-01-2015   #6
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Re: Fiat 500 multijet running issues

I have already decided when the car is repaired I will be trading it in for petrol. I had been considering looking at the Twinair 500 before I bought the diesel but was put off by the Fifth Gear fuel economy review on Youtube. But with the constant oil services and DPF issues I wish I had just bit the bullet done a little more research and got the Twinair! The 1.2 petrol would be pretty lame to be constantly driven over the South Downs.
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Old 18-01-2015   #7
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Re: Fiat 500 multijet running issues

I used my TA for driving school practice and it returned around 45mpg, still on a fairly tight engine though. Be warned though, your students may find it harder to pass their test as the examiner decided the TA's character meant 'poor clutch control' or some such mark down. I'd maybe go for a 1.4, but more sensibly something Japanese.
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Last edited by UFI; 18-01-2015 at 13:45.
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Old 25-01-2015   #8
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Re: Fiat 500 multijet running issues

Sadly the car is going to be far too expensive to repair so I have had to take a serious hit on the px from Fiat! There's low compression on cylinder 4, two fuel jets are leaking, the engine control unit needs to be replaced and that's before they've found out the engine problem!
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Old 25-01-2015   #9
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Re: Fiat 500 multijet running issues

I am so sorry, Steve. Not news you were hoping to hear!

My 1.3mj was an ex BSM car - bought with 29000 miles on the clock after just one year. But did I worry?

Not a bit, its a diesel, right?

Not quite! My first diesel was a Visa 1.9 xud. Beautiful! Easy and cheap to maintain, bombproof engine. But todays delicate units.......

That's why I p/x'ed my multijet for a petrol up!. There was always the nagging thought that if something did go wrong, it could be horribly expensive.

Others on here have taken their multijets around the clock without issue, but I lost my nerve.

What are you going for now, Steve? At least you'll get a big driving instructor discount to ease the pain.
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Old 25-01-2015   #10
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Re: Fiat 500 multijet running issues

Unfortunately as I'm an independent driving instructor and don't lease a car I don't have any backup. I've basically had to take one of Fiat's trade in cars. It's a 2013 Peugeot 107 Active. Nowhere near as nice as a Fiat 500 but I've got to keep my business going plus it's petrol! I will probably run it into the ground and then go back to another 500.
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