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Old 18-08-2015   #1
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Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

Hello!

I recently purchased a 62-plate Fiat 500 TwinAir, and I have just been having a few issues with the stop start system. The vehicle is still under warranty (until September) and it is currently in the garage for the fourth time Ė being transported between the garage and Fiat, and no-one seems to be able to fix it.

I have been having a few issues with the start stop system, with it working very intermittently, and rarely staying cut out for more than 3 seconds before starting itself up again. However the main issue that I have been having is to do with the restart. When the engine is cut out, I will depress the clutch and the car will attempt to fire-up, however it fails (the start stop symbol will appear on the dash again), and I have to raise the clutch and depress again. This can take two or three attempts, and happens on average on a quarter of the times that I try to start the car up again. This can be very frustrating at traffic lights and junctions, with impatient cars behind.

Also, on one occasion, the vehicle did start up, however, it felt like it only fired on one cylinder. The car was running very roughly, but it had no power and would not drive. I had to turn the car off and restart.

Has anyone with any experience with Fiats or TwinAir engines got any ideas. The dealership have currently got the car, but it obviously never misfires in front of them (depite them acknowledging the StartStop system isnít working as it should). The dealership have replaced the Battery Sensor which didnít fix it, and they have just replaced the battery (which I cannot imagine is causing the issues, as they tested the battery and said it was fine). My limited mechanical knowledge suggests maybe an ignition coil issue or similar? Any advice gratefully received.

Thanks in advance
Adam
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Old 18-08-2015   #2
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

Hi and welcome.

Some questions first:
How many miles has this car got on it?
What sort of service history does the car have? Do you have any paperwork?
Where did you buy the car from? Fiat dealership or independent garage?

I would hope by now that if the car has more than 18k on the clock, that the plugs have been changed. You may be correct, it could be a coil pack failure, though I would hope that if the Fiat dealership have put diagnostics on the car, then this would have been picked up. Indeed, ask them point blank, have they checked the car diagnostically? That to me would seem an obvious start.

62 plate, I'm assuming then this is a 2012 built and registered car? As far as warranty is concerned, your initial two year Fiat warranty is now up, you just have the dealership 3rd year warranty? Did you transfer that 3rd year warranty into your name upon purchase? If you didn't and you have bought the car from a Fiat dealership, then I guess you'll have whatever warranty they've given you on the purchase. If bought from an independent garage, you may well struggle to get any warranty work done under Fiat if you don't have that 3rd year dealership warranty in paper with your name on it.

As for the battery, well just because Fiat say it shows it is good on their test, enough owners have had to replace their Stop/Start batteries after just 3 years because it seems that the slightest impairment can cause S/S issues. I've just recently ended ownership with our own Fiat TA, which by the way was a lovely car, but the Stop/Start was problematic on it from the day we bought the car. In the end, we just permanently disabled it using the dash button.
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Old 18-08-2015   #3
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

Hi Frupi

Thanks for the welcome and the time you've taken to help.

The car was first registered in September 2012 and has almost 17,000 on the clock. It has FSH and was bought from The Car People with their 90 day warranty and with a Fiat warranty that had extended to 3 years. They are doing all work free of charge and taking it to Fiat when their technicians are stumped. To be fair, the service from them has been great, they just can't get to the bottom of the problem.

Apparently Fiat have checked the diagnostics and no fault is showing. They first ran a software update which they hoped would fix it. They then replaced the battery sensor which appears to have made the s&s run better, but we still have this misfiring issue when the clutch is depressed. They have the car now, and they aren't convinced the s&s is running correctly, so they have just replaced the battery, but I am just unsure if this will work with the misfiring.

Would a faulty coil pack always show on diagnostics?

Thanks again!
Adam
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Old 18-08-2015   #4
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

Normally misfiring of the TwinAir engine results in stored DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes).

If I remember it correctly, there was a batch of TwinAir engines with faulty coils around 2011-2012. However, these faulty coils should have been replaced already during maintenance.
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Old 19-08-2015   #5
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

When the car starts by depressing the clutch, sometimes it starts but misfires ........... is what you are saying.

However, if you stop the car by switching off, will it always restart perfectly?

Mick.
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Old 19-08-2015   #6
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

Hi Mick F

Thanks for your response

Yes, that is exactly the problem. It always starts first time with the key, but frequently doesn't start first time with the clutch.

Adam
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Old 19-08-2015   #7
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

That therefore tells me that there's nothing wrong with the engine, the ignition or the starter system.

What it does say though, is that there's a problem with the SS system in isolation. A new battery will sort out most ills and it's worth a try.

I'm no expert at all, but I'm learning all the time.

We had a SS problem and I bought a new SS battery and it cured everything. SS now works perfectly and reliably.

However, the old battery now resides in our 14 year old Clio. Her battery was on its last legs, but the old battery from the 500TA works absolutely perfectly in her. She's not a SS car but has many electronic and computerised equipments and stuff, but the old SS battery is perfect in her.

It's useless for the 500TA, but perfect for the Clio!

Good luck,
Mick.
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Old 19-08-2015   #8
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

Quote Originally Posted by Adam1990 View Post
....The car was first registered in September 2012 and has almost 17,000 on the clock. It has FSH and was bought from The Car People with their 90 day warranty and with a Fiat warranty that had extended to 3 years.
Good to hear it has a full service history, however, I would personally examine the service sheets very carefully. With 17k on the clock, you'll be coming up for a plug change if it hasn't already been done. I would half suspect, that even on a 2012 registered car with relatively low miles for the year and even with a full Fiat service history, the plugs won't yet have been changed, but only you will be able to check that from the service log. I'm surprised they haven't actually advised that as part of their fault finding. Also check to see if the air filter has been changed. I think if I remember rightly, it's every couple of years, but if it hasn't been changed, that might not be helping things either.

http://www.sofima-aftermarket.com/im...%20INGLESE.pdf

I would also ask the Fiat dealership if any recall work has been done on the car, such as the under dash wiring and again as already mentioned, whether your particular vehicle is one that was in the affected batch of faulty coil packs. Basically, I'm putting the question to you, when was the last certified Fiat service on your vehicle? If it was say two years ago and has since been serviced outside of the Fiat network, any recall work won't have been done because independent garages don't to my knowledge, do that. Also, lots of folk just get one dealer service done, especially on cars with low miles, and it will just be a oil and filter change. Just because The Car People have told you the vehicle has been serviced by them, for all you know, might just be a oil and filter change as well. Again, study the service sheets and actually check what has been done to the car.
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Old 19-08-2015   #9
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

If everything else is in good order if could be a S/W update needed ..see two FIAT TSB on the possible subject :
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Thanks UFI thanked for this post
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Old 20-08-2015   #10
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

Quote Originally Posted by iangray100 View Post
If everything else is in good order if could be a S/W update needed ..see two FIAT TSB on the possible subject :
It seems from Adam1990's second post, that Fiat have allegedly already done that and it didn't sort the issue out.

I would point out, that on our former TA, we had similar issues with the S/S system and when the car went in for it's first Fiat dealership service they also stated they'd carried out a software update and checked the battery sensor but neither cured the problematic S/S. I asked them to change the battery but they refused using the reason that at the time, the car was only 12 months old. That sadly was far from reality because the car was actually 2 years old at the time of the first service taking into account time spent between delivery from the factory and then being sat at a dealership for almost 9 months before we bought the car as a 'brand new pre-reg' motor.
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Last edited by frupi; 20-08-2015 at 07:03.
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Old 20-08-2015   #11
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

Hi ,

You might be right in your experience historical but as time moves with on with ECU and Car electronics with the firmware running them, so do the S/W updates to keep pace with the bugs. One of these Fiat TSB is only 6months old and succeeds all other updates, so nothing is constant and this might be the S/W fix for all know S/S problems !

You can't assume "My dealer tried to fix and update my car 2(x) years/months ago & I still have the issue", so no new S/W will fix it . Computers don't work like that, because as new bugs are found new fixes are developed all the time . It takes time for reliability to be evolve as your not driving these days a "Dump Car" , but a Computer Data Centre on wheels that gets WET! and some car companies are better at getting there then others -" You pays your money, you get the goods" ie Fiat is not a Rolls Royce !

On the positive : So far its fixed my daughters S/S stalling issue, but you might just be unlucky and have a unique issue.

FYI:
As far as I can tell there are no open reported and pending fixes at Fiat for S/S , as they internally publish a list to the network (Te.Se.O. - Technical Service Operation) plus the "Service News" ie the TechnicalServiceBulletins" , of what's unfixed and what's pending . But with a global sale of the same car, new issues will be discovered every day.
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Old 20-08-2015   #12
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

IMO this sort of firmware updating should not require a trip to a franchised dealer.

Who would buy a computer if you had to take it back to the maufacturer's service agent every time it needed a driver update?

A usb to diagnostic port cable should come free with every car, and suitable management software, diagnostics & firmware updates should be available to all on the internet.

You get at least that with most smartphones, tablets & PC's.

If any of the major car manufacturers were to do something similar, it would massively influence my choice of next car.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 20-08-2015 at 10:45.
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Old 20-08-2015   #13
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
IMO this sort of firmware updating should not require a trip to a franchised dealer.

Who would buy a computer if you had to take it back to the maufacturer's service agent every time it needed a driver update?

If any of the major car manufacturers were to do something similar, it would massively influence my choice of next car.
So your next car will be a Tesla? They do over the air updates on their cars. I think BMW or Audi were working on something similar.
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Old 20-08-2015   #14
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

Quote Originally Posted by UFI View Post
So your next car will be a Tesla? They do over the air updates on their cars. I think BMW or Audi were working on something similar.
i don't think Fiat will be doing that for a while.

Oh, slightly off topic, we changed our company rental from a Smart to a Lancia Ypsilon TA Dualogic, its a laugh the twinair but still has much worse economy than a diesel.
Doing about 7.0l/100 km in strictly urban start stop driving vs around 8.5l/100 km in strict in town driving with the 1.4 500.
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Old 20-08-2015   #15
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Re: Fiat 500 TwinAir startstop misfiring

Thanks to everyone for responding on this.

A quick update - The garage have replaced the battery and now believed all to be fine after test driving it in traffic with the s/s working. I have just collected the car from the garage and it misfired 3 times on the way home! Arghhh!

So up to this point, the car has had a software update with Fiat, a new battery sensor, and a brand new battery, yet the car still frequently does not start first time on the clutch. The technicians and I are totally at a loss with the next steps.

iangray100 - the first of the two software updates you have shown sounds exactly like the problem I have had, however Fiat did a software update roughly 1 month ago. Surely this would have solved the issue if it was a s/w problem?

frupi - the last Fiat service was completed on 17/9/14 (exactly a year ago), with The Car People only doing an interim service once the car came into their hands. A full service including oil/filter change was completed by Fiat. Unsure about air filter though - I have no record of the air filter being changed.

The garage have been informed the problem is still there, and they are going to look at some videos I've managed to get of the misfiring. I tried to upload a vid of the misfire, but it isn't in the right format. I'll try and post a link to it if I can but I'll keep you posted on any updates!

Thanks
Adam
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