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Old 07-01-2009   #1
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Lots of Cento engine problems... :( Help? :)

Hi!

Great forum!

I recently bought a Cinquecento - at the time of purchase there was a brief and hardly noticeable loss of power between 2.5-4k revs. Just sometimes, and more noticeable when engine was hot. Thought it might be condensating or something, didn't think much of it.

Then it got worse, and I've now gotten a lot of symptoms (maybe more than one problem that's causing them?)...

- Engine is stuttering pretty bad when driving half-throttle while engine is warm(ish). Total loss of power, which suddenly comes back again - just to disappear five seconds later, and so on... - This problem goes away when using full throttle, like when accelerating hard, or going uphill

- The other day, it started with very rough idling @ around 1.1-1.2k revs WHEN COLD, think it's running on just 3 cylinders when cold - gets better when warm, though, but:

- WHEN WARM, idle is too high - like 1-1.1k revs. Never gets below 1k.

- I THINK I might have heard a little bit of engine knock when running half throttle with cold engine, but that was just once (and might not have been knock at all)...

- It always starts at the first turn, if that helps exclude any possible issues...

- Engine doesn't get any hotter than about 75-80 degrees celcius when on the road, and that takes a looong time (it's very cold here in Norway now, maybe that has something to do with it). On the other hand - it rises to 100-110 degrees when on idle - fan is working properly. Don't know if it'll boil, I've always started driving or turned off ignition when the temp is rising that high... Red mark is 130 deg. celcius. Interesting mark: When engine is hot @ idle, heater is blowing cold air inside the car - when engine is cooler @ the road, the heater is blowing hotter air???



Thanks to all answers

I have not checked spark plugs/distributor cap (does it even have one?), only checked that oil + water levels were fine, and they were (the last time I checked).

Could it be ignition/timing issues or gas flow issues or timing belt (changed 10.000km before me buying the car) misalignment or... ?? I just don't know what to check first to find out what.

Car is a daily driver, but not daily driven (have a company car), so haven't put much effort in fixing, but I think it deserves to run like a champ again.
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Old 07-01-2009   #2
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Re: Lots of Cento engine problems... :( Help? :)

Compression test. Is it loosing water? I'd suspect head gasket and/or lambda sensor. Make absolutely sure the engine coolant is properly bled.
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Old 07-01-2009   #3
Ah. Not good...
 
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Re: Lots of Cento engine problems... :( Help? :)

The hesitiation at 2.5K-4K revs is pretty normal.

How's the fuel consumption? When were the filters last changed?

The first thing I would be looking at are the MAP sensor and the pipe (check it for leaks). I'm not convinced the lambda's to blame because some of the problems are when the engine's cold, and normally the lambda readings are ignored until the engine warms up...

EDIT: Hang on, I should read the whole post Check the coolant level and that the cooling system isn't airlocked. Check for signs of a blown HG (compression test as Fingers said).
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Old 07-01-2009   #4
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Re: Lots of Cento engine problems... :( Help? :)

Start by doing a full service, see if this improves things or not, it may be all thats needed. It does not have a distributor, so do plugs, oil, oil filter, air filter. Replace antifreeze and bleed the system. Check the condition of your spark plug leads.
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Old 07-01-2009   #5
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Re: Lots of Cento engine problems... :( Help? :)

Wow, three great answers in such a short time!

When I see your suggestions, I can't help to think I'm in a little over my head, I usually stick to ICE and that's it.

So I'll send the little yellow (off course) one to a mechanic! And I'll post the results when it gets back!

Thanks to everyone!!!
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Old 07-01-2009   #6
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Re: Lots of Cento engine problems... :( Help? :)

Oh, by the way - will it be just as easy to get the mechanic to use the engine from a 1.2 litre Punto?

I know a mechanic who works for peanuts, anyway...

I heard they swapped right over, might as well use this unfortunate event to make more power in the Cento!?
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Old 07-01-2009   #7
Ah. Not good...
 
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Re: Lots of Cento engine problems... :( Help? :)

Quote Originally Posted by Boomboxx View Post
Oh, by the way - will it be just as easy to get the mechanic to use the engine from a 1.2 litre Punto?

I know a mechanic who works for peanuts, anyway...

I heard they swapped right over, might as well use this unfortunate event to make more power in the Cento!?
Yeah, fitting the 1242 8v is fairly straightforward; just needs the exhaust downpipe lengthening. There's plenty of info; have a look in the FAQs and the search feature .
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Old 08-01-2009   #8
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Re: Lots of Cento engine problems... :( Help? :)

That hesitation sounds alot like the ECU problem i had
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Old 09-01-2009   #9
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Re: Lots of Cento engine problems... :( Help? :)

Its interesting the hot/cold heater problem. I think you have a water pump problem. It will pump water when above idle, but won't at idle.

Make sure the cooling system is fully bled.

You will get funny results from the engine management if there isn't water at the top of the engine, the temp sensor is in the manifold.

Cheers

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