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Old 11-02-2012   #1
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winter too cold? Engine dead.

hi,

Now I have 15000 km on the APE clock and do mostly long distances. Had the car (new) for less than a year. Yesterday, I did a 140 km trip and the car ran fine. This morning, after an icy night, the engine did not start. It is minus 11 degrees centigrade outside. one could hear some "banging" of the valves as is sometimes the case when the engine goes below 700 revs/min however it did not fire up as there was no ignition.
I also wonder why the engine would eat 8.5 l/100 km in winter when it would almost always stay below 7.5l/100km the rest of the year.
It is more of a summer car...
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Old 15-02-2012   #2
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Re: winter too cold? Engine dead.

I still can't believe that this happened to me. I stopped the car at 11 pm, the weather report said temperature fell that night to -16 C (or maybe - 20C, not so sure). Is there any valve which might have got frozen or stuck over night?

I'm using swiss petrol 95 only, it don't know about its water or ethanol content but it's probably much less than in the EU (10%).
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Last edited by Zardo; 15-02-2012 at 23:48.
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Old 16-02-2012   #3
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Re: winter too cold? Engine dead.

With 'no ignition' what do you mean? Does the starter crank normally, slow or not at all? If slow or not at all you're problem is almost certainly your battery.

If it cranks and cranks and cranks but does not catch on then you might have a fuel problem, do you smell petrol if you pump the pedal?

I'm somewhat worried about that 'bangin' noise, is it really banging or do you mean a sound like it would be very close to stalling or maybe missing one cylinder?

For what its worth an ok petrol Fiat should start from those temperatures without any problems. My Punto has no block warmer and at this time of year is used as _the_ _cold_ day vehicle, meaning that if there is more than -25 I'll be taking Dantellini.

-Tazio
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Old 19-02-2012   #4
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Re: winter too cold? Engine dead.

Hello,

I simply waited 6 days until the cold weather quit. With 8C outside temperature, the engine started immediately without any effort.

With - 12C outside temperature, and overnigth - 16C, however, the still almost new battery (one year) had lots of problems turning the engine (200-300 rpm at most) and the engine did not start.

Conclusion: I think the engine is not yet run-in, meaning the cylinders fit very tight to the casing, and when it get's cold like that, the casing gets smaller, the oil gets thickened and there is suddenly lots of friction, which slows down the starter a lot. The starter or the battery (it's a gel battery, isn't it) might be underdimensioned and gel is probably less effective in arctic cold environnement than a liquid acid battery. I never had starting problems with my bravo even with -18C, but I I had a liquid acid battery.

Could also be that there is a faulty ECU table for very low temperatures (mixture and injection timing is in function of temperature)

Result: impossible to start the APE in very cold environnements. Starts normally in "italian environnements".
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