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Old 07-10-2004   #1
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Unhappy Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

Hi Everyone,
I'm a newbee. Just joined.

Just got this second hand Brava 1.4SX last week. It's a nice car and drives fine. However, I hit a couple of problems. It might all be my own fault (being a total amateur on cars!).

I've read through most of the threads about Injector Warning Light and Temp Gauge (on dash) issues, but the symptoms are slightly different to mine.

1) Injector Warning Lights Coming On:
------------------------------------
During the past week, whilst driving the car, this light sometimes comes on (could be after a few miles or sometimes after 10-20miles). When it does, it stays on until I stop the car and turn the engine off. When I stop and restart the car, it disappears, and might not come on again for the rest of the journey. The next day, everything looks back to normal, then later on in that day (or perhaps stretching to the following day). Then, the warning light would come back on again (I don't rev the engine in anyway).

The only thing I did (before I noticed the light coming on) was that I cleaned the throttle body with carb/injector cleaner as it was covered with (what I think) was oil. I suspected perhaps the previous owner may have put too much oil, as there was some oil around the throttle body and in the little tray around the throttle body (which I mopped up as well). Anyway, the cleaner did the job, and there is no more oil around the throttle body or in the tray since I cleaned it up.

I read up some info that the IAT sensor is an integral part of the single point injector unit. Could I have damaged this sensor with the injector cleaner ?

As far as I can tell, I do not feel loss of power when the warning light comes on, so it does not look like the injector is damaged.

2) Temperature Gauge always near Cold:
---------------------------------------
Even after travelling over 100 miles, the pointer on temperature gauge only moves a little beyond the "C" (cold) mark. Does this means the thermostat is faulty ?

So far I have not yet seen the electric cooling fan kick in, but when I checked it, I had only driven the car for ~15mins, so perhaps the engine has not reached the kick-in temperature (I could just about put my hand on it - so most probably the case).

At this stage, I suspect the coolant fan switch may be faulty as well (and/or perhaps the cooling fan is not working either). I plan to check the cooling fan switch and cooling fan, do radiator flush and change the coolant (it's looks quite muddy brown).

Any suggestions ?

..sigh.................
Oh well, perhaps I really overlooked the obvious this time, i.e. the engine compartment!

Apologies for such a big thread. I thought if I give as much details as possible, someone might spot the obvious.

Thanks for reading the thread.

More thanks for any help/suggestions.

Best Regards,
Chuck
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Old 07-10-2004   #2
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Lightbulb Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

Hi

Temp Gauge
Have you got any heating in the car, my temp gauge goes up to the half way quite quickly and soon have warm air as well, if your thermostat is the problem engine temp does not rise therefore no hot air from heater, if you have hot air, then the thermostat is not the problem, nor is there an air lock in the system, so it could be the temp sender unit not working properly, donít know where that is off top of head
Incidentally I drive my car on the expressway for 35 mins and my fan does not come on, try; after a trip out in the daytime leave it tick over out side your house but keep a close eye on it incase it cooks itself, but to be honest it is not worth it until you find out what the temp gauge problem is, because if it is an airlock or thermostat then it will sit there for ages before it gets warm enough.
So:
Is there heat from the heater when engine has run for a while?
TURN OFF ENGINE. Feel the hoses, are they warm, hot or cold all of them, they should all be warm/hot, if there are cold ones you may have an air lock, BECAERFUL as the engine will be hot & so may the hoses
Personally I would bet on Thermostat though

Injector warning light
Never had a problem yet , but it sounds as if there is some crap in there, read your handbook if you have one, it tells you in there about this warning lamp and the different things it means, but I would run some injection cleaner through the fuel system for a start, see if that cures it.
good luck

verde green low cc machine.
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Last edited by Thrisey; 07-10-2004 at 15:39.
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Old 07-10-2004   #3
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Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

check the coolant temperature sensor (intemittent fault I think) & its connector & other wirng harness such as Throttle Position sensor (TPS), MAP sensor wiring hardness. Check also the throttle cable - neither too taut nor too loose.

Good Luck
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Old 07-10-2004   #4
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Smile Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

RUn the engine till you get the temp gauge registering something the go for a drive watch the gauge if it starts to drop a little when driving it will be 99% chance of the thermostat at fault, this can also cause the injector light to come on, as ecu sees the coolant temp drop so it attempts to adjust the engine parameters for cold running but it knows that engine running= warm/hot coolant but its cool. hope this helps
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Old 07-10-2004   #5
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Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

Hi Thrisey,

Thanks for your reply.

I hope you are right too. I got the new (expensive) thermostat, and waiting for the cooling fan switch to be delivered. Once it arrives, I can then get to work. Depending on how things I go, I might just do the thermostat first, taking one at a time - just means I have to drain the coolant twice.

...my other concern now is if the cooling fan actually works. I'll find out this weekend. I think I can just hook it up to the battery (or some 12V source) briefly to check if it turns or not.

I drove around most of today, no injection warning light came on, so it looks happy again. But the cooling fan never seem to kick in though, so still could be bad cooling fan switch and/or cooling fan (I hope it's not the latter).

I do have heating inside the car, even after driving for a few miles. The radiator gets hot as expected, so do the hoses, so it's not as though there is any airlocks in the system or the coolant pump not working. I left the engine idling for around 10mins, and the pointer on the gauge just does not go much above the "C" mark. Hopefully, I'll find out when I change the thermostat.

Many Thanks for the great advice. I got burnt once before (nothing serious) so I will definitely be extra careful.
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Old 07-10-2004   #6
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Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

Hi subija

Thanks for your reply. I will take a good look under the hood tommorrow.
It's a bit wee dark right now.

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Old 07-10-2004   #7
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Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

Hi Ned

Thanks for your suggestion. I'll give it a go tommorrow.

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Old 09-10-2004   #8
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Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

Hi again

Did a few tests today...

I drove for 30 mins and then left idling for 20 mins, the temp gauge went from the "C" mark upto around a third of the way up the scale. Drove the car around and the temp gauge went back down (not just a little) but right back down to just above the "C" again. No injector warning light came on during driving. So it seems like the coolant temp sensor is "sort of" working (???).

However, on the way home just now, quite cold outside, drove a 15-minute journey, the temp gauge again did not get as far as the "C" mark. Just when I thought everything is fine, the injection warning light came back on again. This seems so weird as earlier in the day, I drove for 70 miles without the injector light coming on during driving. Even three hours back, I drove around without any injector warning light coming on.

Does this means the thermostat is faulty?

Perhaps, the thermostat is really stuck open, so the engine never (or takes forever to) gets up to the right temperature. Therefore the coolant temp sensor always registers low. Even though, I would have expected the coolant sensor to show a bit hotter than just above "C" after driving around for so long.

Is this the normal operating temp reading whilst driving ?

...As subija said in his reply..."check the coolant temperature sensor ..."

I have a feeling that the coolant temp sensor is also faulty, and thus not really registering the temperature correctly. Feels like it is not quite following the temperature and taking a lot longer to register to the correct temp.

As Ned say, if the ECU expects the coolant to have warmed up, but the coolant temp sensor is still registering a much lower temp. The injection light comes on to say there is a fault.

This seems to make so sense, because, when I continue driving the car 20 mins of driving with the injector light on, then stop for 10mins (say) and then restart the engine, I could drive the rest of that journey without the injector light coming on at all. Probably, by this time, the coolant temp sensor has actually "caught up" and probably within the correct operating temp region.

Is this pointing at a faulty coolant temp sensor ?

I checked the radiator fan today, and to my great disappointment, it looks like the fan is faulty. When I connected the 12V source directly to it, I see it's trying to take some power (and sparked a little !). I'll take another look later on. Perhaps I created a short across the 12V source rather then connecting the fan correctly. Oops !

Appreciate any further help/suggestions. Many Thanks in advance.

Many Thanks for the advice/suggestions you great guys have given me so far.

----------------------------
I feel I am fighting a losing battle...
The trip(s) to FIAT services looks to be ganging up on me...
...but not yet giving up
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Last edited by chuck; 09-10-2004 at 01:15.
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Old 11-10-2004   #9
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Thumbs up Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

I still feel your problem is the thermostat, also check the fan has not siezed up, will it turn? there is a temp sender screwed into the radiator if its a 2 pin connection turn on ignition and unplug the sensor and bridge the wires to each other this should activate the fan so watch your hands on the blades, if this works your fan is ok its just the coolant not getting hot enough to activate it.
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Old 13-10-2004   #10
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Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

Hi Ned,

Thanks for your reply. I totally agree with you after looking at the thermostat.

I did your suggested test, and basically I let the engine warm up so that the temp gauge needle showed just above the "C" mark - took ages though. Then I went for a very short drive around, and the temp needle just dropped back down to just below "C" (as I have described in my first thread). Sure, it matches what you described.

I've been tackling the thermostat most of the weekend. What an experience it has been. Still haven't sorted it out though. One problem led to another. Firstly I battled for 2hrs just on the radiator bleed screw. Basically, the screw head just broke off ! So I had to prise the remnant of the bleed screw stuck in the radiator bleed hole. Got it out in the end - with an aching back too !

I checked the fan out and it spun round just fine (looks like I did short out the 12V source the last time ! Hope I haven't damaged anything else). I haven't got round to the cooling fan switch yet. Still just concentrating on the cool temp problem and the thermostat.

I took out the old thermostat and compared with the new one. I see that on the old one, the bit returning to the radiator never fully closes, thus I guess the coolant would be pumped round to the radiator once the engine is running. I did a test on the thermostat by boiling it in water and I can clearly see that the gap becomes wider when the water temperature rises. I think it is suppose to be 88 degress - but I do not have a thermometer. But by the time the water reached boiling point, the thermostat did fully open. So to me, it looks like the thermostat is sort of working, just that I get the 1mm gap all the time when engine is cold.

Anyway, I flushed the radiator and the engine clean, then installed the new thermostat. Refilled the coolant very slowly to the MAX mark (as described in the Haynes manual), but it seemed quite wierd, because nothing ever came out of the radiator bleed screw hole. The heater pipe bleeder screw finally looked ok (heard air coming out and then saw coolant just coming out), so I tightened that up. At this stage, I almost filled the expansion tank, and I guess I only put a couple of litres in. I'm sure it needs around 4-5 litres - since there will be little coolant in the engine after flushing it. I squeezed both the radiator pipes to see if it would help, but the coolant level in the expansion tank stayed the same level. Now I can feel coolant in the lower hose, but the top hose just felt completely empty. I could hear the air coming out of the radiator bleed hole each time I squeeze the top hose.

Anyway, I was temporary able to fill the radiator bleed whole with a screw and some PTFE tape. Then started the car and left it idling. After a few minutes, the heating inside the car got warm. However, the level in the expansion tank remained where it was. I kept an eye on the temp gauge and surprisingly, the needle started climbing up. I touched the thermostat, and I felt it getting hot, but both radiator hoses was still quite cold.

As I let the engine idle for longer, the temp gauge was showing a little above the centre mark now (the highest I have ever seen), however, the hoses are still quite cold. I touched the thermostat again, and this time it was pretty hot to touch. I tried sqeezing the hoses, but did not seem to help. Top hose just felt empty. After idling a little longer, I gradually felt the top radiator hose getting quite hot now but lower hose is still cold. The top of the radiator was just getting warm. At this time, the temp gauge continued climbing (3/4 of the full temp range). I chickened out and turned the engine off to avoid overheating. I daren't unscrew the radiator cap. I am sure it will squirt out everywhere and make a big mess.

When engine was cold again, I took off the new thermostat, and did the same test with boiling water, and it looks like the new thermostat does not start to open until the water is near boiling (i.e. a lot than the old thermostat). The new thermostat is an exact model of the old one (identical fitting) with 88 degrees engraved on the housing. It was ordered for for this model of car. So it does not look like I have the wrong one.

Anyway, just for the sake of it, I put back the old thermostat. This time, I was able to fill up the radiator. probably because the coolant is circulating round thorugh the 1mm gap in the thermostat (which is fully closed on the new thermostat). Fired up the car, and let it idle. Of course as before, it took ages for the temp gauge needle to go pass the "C" mark. Checking the hoses, both are warm, and so is the radiator. So looks like, coolant is circulating round OK.

That is how it is left at this moment. My weekend just flew by !

So...
Does this mean that there is a problem with the new thermostat OR is this normal because it is a new thermostat?

I think perhaps I have just got "big" air pockets in the system, so the coolant pump cannot do it's job.

When I get the new radiator bleed screw, I'll have another go with the new thermostat. I think the operation of the new thermostat is correct, though I am a little concern with the temp when it actually starts to open. I guess once it is opened, provided there is no air pockets, the coolant should get pump round, and hopefully the correct temp is maintained.

I hope you can shed more light on the problem.

Sorry for the big post reply.

Many Thanks for your good help so far.

--------------
Still Not giving up yet ! But I tell you what, I'm getting quicker at changing the thermostat. Mind you, probably still miles too slow compared with you guys.
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Old 13-10-2004   #11
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Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

Hi Ned,

Injector light came on again today. Not surprised because in the end, the only thing I did was change the coolant.

Anyway, I let the engine idle after a short 3 mile run and the temp gauge needle rose from just below "C" to around 1/2 way, then I heard the fan kick in. So looks like there is nothing wrong with the cooling switch either now.

Got the radiator bleed screw, but to my disappointment, it was the wrong one (probably for one of the other models). I new it the moment I saw it, as it had a fin on it to allow you to tighten using fingers. The one I took out is basically a plastic screw (with a phillips slot head). Even the thread is smaller than the one I took out. I need M10 screw type, but was given a M8. They insist I try it, though I tried it with a M10 nut, and it just goes through, so no go. I get back to them tommorrow.
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Old 14-10-2004   #12
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Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

Hi Chuck.

Thermostat should be closed full when cold, remember water under pressure has a higher boiling point than a kettle so the 88deg may seem high but not under pressure.

With the temp only rising when car is idling, sounds like water is circulating through the system continually, the thermostat is not stopping it but there is no air flow so it gets hot, but when the car is on the move cold air through the rad cools it down so temp drops to just above the C mark

That is how the stat works it waits for the engine water temp to reach 88deg so it stays closed and doesnít allow circulation to the rad, when it gets up to 88 it opens and water flows through the rad to cool the water and then back through the engine and so on. That is basically how it works, sometimes it is easier to work out a problem by understand the principle first. Remembering that the cooling system is designed to work under pressure.

Sounds to me like you had an air lock, people do strange things with cooling systems, like put your heating on to hot in the car, fill up slowly with the top hose off, all sorts of tricks, I find that point the car up an incline works best for me with the expansion cap slightly loose for a while before tightening it with the engine running, as air always finds the high point, well most times, perhaps you should loosen of the clip to the top hose to see if you get any water flow out of the loose hose.

An air lock can make your car run very hot or even over heat, as the system canít pump water against the air cushion so it just stays where it is and gets hotter. My 1.2 runs about half way on temp gauge, reaches it quickly, and blows hot air, so that is what you should bear in mind, it reaches working temp quite quickly

Good luck
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Old 14-10-2004   #13
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Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

Bravo's/Brava's are known for injectors sticking(logs code in ECU)reckon a trip to dealer would of been a better idea in the first place(hours labour max)saves you all the stress & they would of broke the bleed nipple not you so they can pay for it
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Old 14-10-2004   #14
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Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

Hi again, Thrisey,

Thanks for your tips. I did a lot of digging and now know how the thermostat should work, exactly as you quite rightly described.

I am pretty sure that the coolant temp went high with the new thermostat because I had a big air pocket in the top radiator hose (top hose was quite hot, but bottom hose was cold). With the thermostat fully closed, there is no way I was going to fill the top hose with coolant (with the car at level ground).

It was a lot easier with the old thermostat because it never fully closes.

I now understand why you great guys out use various methods to change coolant. I will definitely keep the top hose unclipped until I see water coming out of it. The inclined position is definitely worth bearing in mind too.

Anyway, I will have another bash this weekend, and hopefully get it right.
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Old 14-10-2004   #15
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Re: Injector Warning Light / Temp Gauge Probs

Hi T14086,

Thanks for your reply.

After I sort out the thermostat, if I get the injection warning light again, I guess it really is pointing at the injector. I'm really praying that it isn't. I got Forte injector cleaner (as suggested in one of the other posts) in to see if this helps. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

I wonder if the dealers would really replace the radiator bleed screw.

Incidently, I got a reply today from my supplier about the wrong bleed screw. Apparently, they did get it from a FIAT dealer. Surprisingly, I was told that the one they sent me was the correct part for a 1.4 Brava. They mentioned that perhaps my radiator may have been changed in the past.

I looked at the pictures in the Haynes manual, and there is a clear picture of the radiator and the bleed screw being taken out for a 1.4 Brava. Both the radiator (basic frame/mounting) and bleed screw looked like mine.

I feel perhaps, it's not been added to their database or they do not make this part anymore. My supplier has kindly offered to look around for me, so I'll hang on to see what they can find.

If you know any good places to get this part. Please let me know. Any help greatly appreciated.
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