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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
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1.2 8v Hesitation

Hi guys and girls,

I'm not sure if this is normal operation for a 1.2 8v grande.

Its 2006 with 78k miles.

Its my partners car so I hardly drive it, but when I have to i always think 1st and 2nd gear is dreadful.

Pulling away always feels like drag and even in 2nd if you want to over take something it feels like the power isn't just quiet there.

For instance I was over taking a van today that was doing 10mph on a 30mph, so I dropped it into 2nd gear and started to over take. But the car felt like it was being held back, then there was a slight surge in power for a slight second.

I know there's 1.2s ain't rockets, but there's time when I get in it and think this is nippy and then there's times were it feels like its being held back

I service the vehicle myself and thats been recently done (ngk spark plugs, oil and filter, pollen filter, Air filter.) brakes were also serviced and each wheel moves freely by hand. I fitted new HT leads last year with HAAS from ECP

There no EML on or fault codes.

I've been using millers ecomax in the fuel, but can't say its made a difference unless you only see results from a few tanks.

The cars 14 years old with 78k miles, couls it be possible the throttle body needs cleaning or it isn't opening fully when needed? Would MES actuate the throttle body to simulate 0%-100% throttle?

Just wondered if anybody has experienced this?

Apart from this the car drives absolutely fine.
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Last edited by Liam1804; 1 Week Ago at 20:52.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
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Re: 1.2 8v Hesitation

Grande is heavier than previous generations of Punto (first and second), extra 200-300 kilos or so easily.
So it is normal - Grandes are slow (1,2 and 1,4 8V). Not much you can do about it. Do not compare it to the modern cars, with bigger engines (and most are turbo of course).

But check some sensors, like MAP (it's 2in1: pressure and temperature) and lambdas if they're operational.
Car is old. What about timing belt (how old it is)?
How 'bout valve clearances adjustment (shims)? Probably never been done...
Clutch slip maybe?
Old faulty (weak) ignition coil module?
Intake (vacuum) leak?
Exhaust leak (starting at manifold) or restriction?
Fuel pump (worn out) or clogged inlet (there's no real filter) possibly.
PCV system ("breather hoses") intact (and clear inside)?
As for throttle, you can remove the air filter box and watch the operation (engine running and someone must step on the gas/accelerator).

PS
Check Guides section, first 2 pages. Basics are covered there.
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Last edited by GrandePunto PL; 1 Week Ago at 22:44. Reason: ...editing.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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Re: 1.2 8v Hesitation

I had similar issue and the culprit was exhaust manifold studs broken with exhaust manifold gasket leak. Very common on Fiats the mechanic said. All it needs is a small leak which does not affect emissions test. If engine rattles when cold, then you could suspect that.

If there are no codes for map or lambdas , don't change them. They're constantly being monitored by the ECU. You could try cleaning the map sensor. Sensors are made to last the life of the vehicle, but of course some failures are possible at older age.

Maybe exhaust has become blocked ? Maybe catalyst is clogged or the muffler internals have disintegrated? How about engine condition? Does it consume oil or/and coolant. Btw I've found third gear best for acceleration even now when it's fixed.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Re: 1.2 8v Hesitation

Quote Originally Posted by GrandePunto PL View Post
Grande is heavier than previous generations of Punto (first and second), extra 200-300 kilos or so easily.
So it is normal - Grandes are slow (1,2 and 1,4 8V). Not much you can do about it. Do not compare it to the modern cars, with bigger engines (and most are turbo of course).

But check some sensors, like MAP (it's 2in1: pressure and temperature) and lambdas if they're operational.
Car is old. What about timing belt (how old it is)?
How 'bout valve clearances adjustment (shims)? Probably never been done...
Clutch slip maybe?
Old faulty (weak) ignition coil module?
Intake (vacuum) leak?
Exhaust leak (starting at manifold) or restriction?
Fuel pump (worn out) or clogged inlet (there's no real filter) possibly.
PCV system ("breather hoses") intact (and clear inside)?
As for throttle, you can remove the air filter box and watch the operation (engine running and someone must step on the gas/accelerator).

PS
Check Guides section, first 2 pages. Basics are covered there.
Ill give them a check. In the service book the timing belt was done in 2015 at 63k miles. I did inspect the belt when I serviced it and it looks in good condition. Valves probably have never been done. Ill check everything you suggested, see it anything needs cleaning or replacing.




Quote Originally Posted by eeeno View Post
I had similar issue and the culprit was exhaust manifold studs broken with exhaust manifold gasket leak. Very common on Fiats the mechanic said. All it needs is a small leak which does not affect emissions test. If engine rattles when cold, then you could suspect that.

If there are no codes for map or lambdas , don't change them. They're constantly being monitored by the ECU. You could try cleaning the map sensor. Sensors are made to last the life of the vehicle, but of course some failures are possible at older age.

Maybe exhaust has become blocked ? Maybe catalyst is clogged or the muffler internals have disintegrated? How about engine condition? Does it consume oil or/and coolant. Btw I've found third gear best for acceleration even now when it's fixed.
I had to fit a new back box when I brought it, previous owner just bodged the joint for the clamp to middle section. So thats fairly new, I did wonder about the cat restricting the flow,

Last years MOT the guy said it just about passed the emissions test, he had added some fuel cleaner to lower them, no charge though. (halfords this was, so assume it was CataClean)
On the way back home the car drove absolutely great 1st and 2nd gear flew, it felt like a different car.

She only drives local, and looking at previous MOT history it's done about 4k miles a year.

I wonder if its a case of the cars absolutely fine but could do with an old fashion Italian tune up with a bottle of cataclean very 3 months.

The car drives absolutely fine in 3rd, 4th & 5th with plenty of pull. Its just 1st and 2nd feel dead.

Italian tune up i think is what ill try.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Re: 1.2 8v Hesitation

So there's the clue! Bad emissions points to the engine being worn or catalyst being bad. Some deposits could be cleaned by doing more highway driving.

Of course valve adjustment could help and the timing belt should be changed soon.

So many possibilities which could be costly and probably only one is the cause which fixes everything.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Re: 1.2 8v Hesitation

The MOT is booked in for early December. Ill put some cataclean in and give it a good hard drive before hand and see what the emissions say this year compared to last years.

If it down to a partially blocked cat would giving it a hard drive clear things out?
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Last edited by Liam1804; 1 Week Ago at 20:37.
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Re: 1.2 8v Hesitation

It may be possible to revive the cat, clean the engine and also lambdas with a long distance drive at least twice a month. City driving will clog the cat much sooner. It doesn't cost anything at all if you can change driving habits and go on a longer family trip with Punto for example. Of course if it doesn't leave you stranded somewhere far away.

I did have a low mileage car which was clogged up. The previous owner had only done 1,5 mile trips each week for over ten years. It had sluggish acceleration for no apparent reason but got a lot faster by just driving it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Quote Originally Posted by eeeno View Post
It may be possible to revive the cat, clean the engine and also lambdas with a long distance drive at least twice a month. City driving will clog the cat much sooner. It doesn't cost anything at all if you can change driving habits and go on a longer family trip with Punto for example. Of course if it doesn't leave you stranded somewhere far away.

I did have a low mileage car which was clogged up. The previous owner had only done 1,5 mile trips each week for over ten years. It had sluggish acceleration for no apparent reason but got a lot faster by just driving it.
Judging by the MOT milage history this sounds exactly whats happened with the previous owners. Ill report back in a month or 2 to update, thanks for the replies
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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Re: 1.2 8v Hesitation

Have you checked the hoses that run underneath the airbox? The big one rots through and the small one breaks off at both ends. That let's the car run lean. Mine felt much better after changing for the Fiat revised big pipe and replacing the small one with a length of Silicone pipe
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Re: 1.2 8v Hesitation

Pcv breather system on the airbox might even have three hoses on it (on 1.4), one the size of a straw which is still a mystery what that is. The guide doesn't mention about that straw sized hose at all.
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Quote Originally Posted by DGPunto View Post
Have you checked the hoses that run underneath the airbox? The big one rots through and the small one breaks off at both ends. That let's the car run lean. Mine felt much better after changing for the Fiat revised big pipe and replacing the small one with a length of Silicone pipe
Ill replace them now you've said this, because when I brought the car I noticed that big pipe had splits at the end. So all I done was cut the ends off and rejoined it. But for the price ill change them both.

One connects to the rocker cover doesn't it? Thats the big pipe?
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Last edited by Liam1804; 1 Week Ago at 20:23.
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Re: 1.2 8v Hesitation

Yes big pipe from the airbox to the rocker cover. Fiat upgraded that a few years ago from the original version that was bad. The small one again goes from the airbox down the back of the engine to the manifold

There's a guide that should help here: https://www.fiatforum.com/grande-pun...-2-1-4-8v.html

The pipe is not cheap - I think this is the one (but it's a while since I did mine: https://www.shop4parts.co.uk/?name=s...ct&ProdID=4637
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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Quote Originally Posted by DGPunto View Post
Yes big pipe from the airbox to the rocker cover. Fiat upgraded that a few years ago from the original version that was bad. The small one again goes from the airbox down the back of the engine to the manifold

There's a guide that should help here: https://www.fiatforum.com/grande-pun...-2-1-4-8v.html

The pipe is not cheap - I think this is the one (but it's a while since I did mine: https://www.shop4parts.co.uk/?name=s...ct&ProdID=4637
Great stuff. I don't recall myself ever checking the small pipe at the manifold end, so that might possibly be cracked and damaged. Ill remove it tomorrow to measure it, 👍

I've ordered the big pipe off ebay.
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