Register Login
Lamps by Post - For all your lighting needs
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #16
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Greece
Posts: 20
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
Greece 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

Thank you bluejohn!

I quite enjoy small engined cars but I feel the wide rims on mine make it much more sluggish than it would be stock and honestly, it's getting extremely bothersome. Another negative side effect is dreadful fuel efficiency. Currently, it sits around 12.5l/100km, suburban city driving without too much start/stop traffic and short jaunts (6-15km max). Plus whatever's consumed while getting the car warmed up statically - I never run it cold. That's truly appaling, even the grand vitara managed somewhat better if driven like I drive the Brava!

I'm pretty sure that's the rims doing their black magic because everything else seems fine - excluding the gear grind, of course!

So far, I've been quite unsuccessful trying to swap my alloys for smaller ones. I've been to every tyre shop in town and no one would cater to such a swap. I even offered to trade in the alloys for steel ones but, alas, no luck whatsoever.

Trying to source some from the local classifieds, I had the same luck. I found steel ones a town over but they overcharge and, along with new tyres, it'll be too rich for my, now empty wallet!

I'm hoping I can rectify this soon because it's really spoiling my experience with this car and I have no plans to sell it.
__________________
Happiness is the road
MrSlowly is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #17
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wirral
Posts: 1,599
Thanks: 73
Trader Rating: 0
bluejohn125 has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

Your fuel consumption sounds very bad, you could service your cooling system to make sure that it warms up quickly. Flush the radiator and fit new coolent, also consider changing the thermostat because this is cheap and easy.

Check the air filter (in the UK with damp weather the bolts for the cover often seize and break) and of course spark plugs and leads, maybe run through with an injector cleaner.

It's also possible that there is a problem with a temperature or lambda sensor, if there are no engine warning lights or rough running you could always do an ECU diagnostic scan.

I'm surprised that it is hard to find cheap wheels for a Fiat in Greece... in the UK it is very easy with scrapyards, Ebay and Forum adverts.
Likes MrSlowly, varesecrazy liked this post
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

bluejohn125 is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #18
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Greece
Posts: 20
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
Greece 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

I've checked everything else (can't do the ECU scan at home, though) and all seems fine and the car warms up pretty quickly. Hence my suspicion that the wheels are to blame. I'm all tapped out at the moment but I'm planning to do a full service as soon as I can, see if that makes it any better, although I'm fairly certain it's the wheels that burden the car so much. It's only logical that it takes a great deal more effort-power-fuel to spin 8 inch wide wheels than the stock 5.5's, it's a 1.2 after all and not a very low-down torquey one at that!

As for the wheels, you'd really think it'd be easier but alas, so far it seems pretty much impossible, which is bewildering! Even repurposed steel wheels, which are just cleaned and painted really, go for about 200 euros! I can find used alloys for that kinda money!!! Can't even find anything on ebay or something.

So, yeah, here's hoping something will turn up soon!

Many thanks again!
__________________
Happiness is the road
MrSlowly is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 3 Weeks Ago   #19
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Greece
Posts: 20
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
Greece 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

Hey guys! Back with another problem (big surprise, I know!).

So, my rear right wheel is literally smoking after about a 10km ride. ONLY the rear right wheel. First thing that came to mind was the drum brake or the handbrake sticking. So I took the wheel off, somehow managed to remove the cover which was as if it was welded on and took a look inside. Well, everything seems to be in order. The little barrel thing (excuse my lack of the proper term in English) was working fine, there was still material on the brakes.

In any case, I bled the brakes, filled up the fluid, tested and firmed up the handbrake and put it back together. The cover was moving freely once it came back on and the car rolled just fine. Took it for a spin and everything seemed dandy.

Fast forward an hour later, went for a 10km ride and upon stopping, I smelled the burnt plastic (closest thing I can describe it as) from the wheel and saw it smoking. The drum and even the rim was HOT. Left side wheel remained cool as!

Now, testing it on the drive back home, I stopped a few times after doing about 3-5km each time without having applied ANY brakes at all. Still, the wheel and drum was getting hot, every time.

I'm out of ideas here. Only thing that's left is the bearing but I suppose I'd have... sounds(!) if that were the case.

Please, any help would be greatly appreciated!
__________________
Happiness is the road
MrSlowly is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 3 Weeks Ago   #20
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wirral
Posts: 1,599
Thanks: 73
Trader Rating: 0
bluejohn125 has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

Logically it has to be the brake seizing on... you should be able to check the bearing for wear by spinning it and wobbling it to check for play. If the brakes are OK after inspection but the problem comes back after driving then presumably the application of the brakes causes it to stick somehow.

I guess your car is non-ABS? If you can move the shoes etc. about with the drum off then it would seem that nothing mechanical is sticking, so you could suspect the cylinder maybe. You can undo the bleed nipple and force the cylinder back at either end to check this. Cylinders are cheap and easy to change (unless rusted up in the UK!).

You say the self-adjusters seem fine, if they stop working automatically you can flick the little wheel round with a screwdriver until the drum clears the shoes with just a light contact.

Anyway this is most probably the main source of your high fuel consumption!
Likes MrSlowly liked this post
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

bluejohn125 is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #21
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Greece
Posts: 20
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
Greece 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

Well we're beyond logic right now, to be honest. I couldn't do much else so I just took it to a local, supposedly trusted mechanic. Couldn't find anything himself but we did discover a very slightly torn brake cable (once again, excuse my lack of knowledge of the correct term in English), which I'm going to replace tomorrow, have him readjust the handbrake and take it from there.

It's really bumming me out because it's pretty temperamental. After I slightly slackened the handbrake from the lever side adjuster, it doesn't get that hot anymore. At times, it gets really hot again, other times, cool as.

Ah well, it's a used car I guess, I'll keep replacing stuff since I do love the bugger!

And by the way, still no luck finding wheels! For God's sake!!!
__________________
Happiness is the road
MrSlowly is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #22
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Greece
Posts: 20
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
Greece 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

Just an update...

Three different mechanics could find... nothing! On the rolling road brake tester the thing showed absolutely nothing. Both sides brake equally and release fine. Nothing else could be detected and the only problem right now is that it only gets sliiiightly hotter than the other one, but still within normal.

Is it just being Italian? No one knows! I'm going to keep an eye on it and leave it alone for the time being.

Still no luck finding rims in any of the nearby breakers and buying from another place means the price skyrockets considerably adding the shipping expenses. And by the by, the rims are 7j after all. Still huge for my liking but, yeah. That.
__________________
Happiness is the road
MrSlowly is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #23
No strings on me
 
Eklipze3k's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: York
Posts: 13,327
Thanks: 557
Trader Rating: 0
Eklipze3k has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

If you jack the back end of the car up, is that wheel noticeably harder to spin by hand than the other? If the brakes are testing OK, it could be the bearing.
__________________
Eklipze3k is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #24
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Greece
Posts: 20
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
Greece 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

Nope, no difference whatsoever, other than just slightly hotter. No noises, no squeals, nothing else. The handbrake line seems busted on that side, that much I know, but for now it doesn't seem to be doing anything to it so I'll leave it be until I have enough to replace it.
__________________
Happiness is the road
MrSlowly is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #25
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Greece
Posts: 20
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
Greece 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

Hey guys, quick question. I think it's about time for a little service, oil change, plugs etc. I'm also thinking about changing the tranny oil as well.
Now, I know FIAT recommends selenia 20k 10w40 (it's semi synthetic, IIRC) but, it's 2017 and we have a plethora of different ones to choose from!

So, question is, what do I go for? Is the Castrol GTX or Magnatec a good choice? Should I perhaps go fully synthetic 10w40? Any tried oils for the 1.2 16v?

Same goes for the plugs. They recommend Champion and NGK. I'm thinking NGK for this one.

The transmission fluid I'll probably leave to the mechanic. Same for the antifreeze, can't seem to find the plug to flush the system and I'm not a fan of pulling hoses!

Many thanks again!
__________________
Happiness is the road
MrSlowly is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #26
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wirral
Posts: 1,599
Thanks: 73
Trader Rating: 0
bluejohn125 has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

I'm not a fan of Castrol as they are overhyped and overadvertised in my opinion... the GTX was always a budget mineral oil that may have been upgraded slightly to part synthetic in lighter, more modern grades, and Magnatec is only able to be called "part synthetic" or "synthetic technogy" rather than proper "semi-synthetic". I avoid Castrol (though Magnatec 10/40 will be fine for you), I prefer Valvoline or Mobil for good value top spec semi-synth (and specifications vary a lot along with prices for this type of oil).

I'd be very surprised if you find a fully-synth 10W/40, you might in 5W/40 which is what modern 1.2 FIRE Fiats are now meant to use and that would be fine for you in sunny Greece.

Gearbox oil is 75W/80 (Tutela recommended), changing it is easy and worthwhile.

NGK plugs are the ideal choice, otherwise Bosch or Denso.

If one side of your car has a completely cut handbrake cable then applying the handbrake will put all the effort onto the other side, this might make something either jam or not release. My 1.2 Brava (with the bigger rear drums) has a funny feature during the winter months where something in the right rear drum mechanism sticks slightly when parked overnight (on a slight backwards slope)... when you take off the handbtrake in the morning and reverse out something in the brake releases with a "twang" and then all is OK. I've poked around and cleaned / sprayed everything but never identified the cause!
Thanks MrSlowly thanked for this post
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

bluejohn125 is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #27
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Greece
Posts: 20
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
Greece 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

Thanks bluejohn, you've been extremely helpful and I appreciate it!

I got around to changing the oil today, put Valvoline semi synth 10w40 in it, so far can't see much difference but the oil it had before wasn't that old or that bad, so it was to be expected.
Also drained the gearbox oil and put fresh in. Gear changes seem a little more "fluid" after the change but still not exceptional. I'm thinking I'm going to have to keep baby-ing it until I get around to fitting a 6 speed in it, rebuilding is pretty much out of the question here, even in my most trusted mechanic. I'm pretty positive the mk1 sporting gearbox fits right in.

I've still got to flush and refill the paraflu and change plugs and of course the damn wheels but my wallet's empty for now!

Many thanks again!
__________________
Happiness is the road
MrSlowly is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 5 Days Ago   #28
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Greece
Posts: 20
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
Greece 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

Another little update, FWIW, perhaps this will act as a personal journal!

I changed the plugs today, damn near shredded my hands trying to get the previous ones out, god knows how much they've tightened them and how long they've been in there! According to NGK, my Brava being a mk2, the DCPR8EN was the right one, although the ones the PO installed were EKC.

Also, it never dawned on me to gap them until now (a few hours after I'd already installed them...) but I had no problems in a quick test drive so I guess all is dandy. In any case, the car seems to run better now, so I'm not poking it! Here's hoping it won't be an issue further down the road...

Also changed the air filter. Don't know what the previous one was but it was pretty filthy. I installed a magneti marelli one and Bob's my uncle!

All in all, I believe throttle response has improved and there seem to be less vibrations across the rev range. Also seems to accelerate more freely, for some reason. The old plugs were ok mixture wise but damn, those electrodes were absolutely knackered!

And of course, still can't find wheels. Which is bad, as the tyres need changing posthaste! I'm contemplating just changing them on the existing rims but I just can't get over the fact they're so damn wide (7 inches for god's sake!) and the 195/50/15's are really stretched, as I believe the minimum those 7j's take are 205's. Damn, damn, damn! Why on earth would someone put such wide rims on this car?!?
Likes franglais liked this post
__________________
Happiness is the road

Last edited by MrSlowly; 5 Days Ago at 14:23.
MrSlowly is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 4 Days Ago   #29
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wirral
Posts: 1,599
Thanks: 73
Trader Rating: 0
bluejohn125 has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

Glad things are moving on, they always say that modern plugs are always gapped correctly from new and don't need checking / adjusting.

I agree that changing plugs and air filter always seems to make a car seem smooth and eager, in the last year I did it to a 500 1.2 and a Rover 75 1.8. Just changed the oil and filter in the Rover too so that one should be sorted for a while.
Likes MrSlowly liked this post
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

bluejohn125 is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 4 Days Ago   #30
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Greece
Posts: 20
Thanks: 1
Trader Rating: 0
Greece 
Re: New Brava owner with a few questions

Oh the Rover 75!!! I SO adore this car - most Rover cars, actually, ever since I was a little kid I wanted one! I was actually going to get a 45 instead of the Brava but it was suspiciously underpriced, it was one of those doubtful K series 1.4 and not the civic 1.6 and the seller was too far away and I couldn't leave work at the time. Ah well, someday I'll get one!
__________________
Happiness is the road
MrSlowly is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Reply
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
(G) New Owner... with questions! ;-) Melonhead Panda 17 07-10-2016 22:28
(G) A few questions from a soon to be new owner... Jim16v 500 10 23-10-2009 19:26
(T) New owner, old questions :) Jules Sei Cinquecento / Seicento 9 22-05-2009 18:40
Questions from new Brava owner Anonymous FIAT Boo Archives 8 22-03-2005 21:26
couple of questions to allan w (brava owner) nick_wheelho FIAT Boo Archives 3 06-05-2003 18:52