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Old 29-09-2008   #1
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Starter motor problem

Another problem with our Idea. It refused to start last Thursday evening, with no response from the starter motor on turning the ignition. Called out the RAC and they said we needed a new starter motor. Took it into our local Fiat dealer who fitted another one, but when we came to pick it up it was exhibiting exactly the same problem. Don't they test cars when they have repaired them?!! They are now saying it wasn't the starter motor after all (so why did they fit one?) and we need a new body computer at a cost of 500!
We paid 200 for the starter motor fitting (I know - we should have checked the car before we paid...lesson learned) which we are attempting to recover. The dealer says he will try to get Fiat to pay for the computer on a goodwill basis as it should not have failed (it's a 54 plate car), but worst case we have a potential bill for 700.
As can imagine we have somewhat lost confidence in this dealer, so does anyone have any thoughts on whether the computer is really the source of the problem and what chances we have of Fiat paying for it?
Incidentally, I know the consensus on my earlier post about the headlights being on permanently was that it was a switch problem, but could it be that the body computer is the cause of that too?
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Old 29-09-2008   #2
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Re: Starter motor problem

Surely a positive can still be brought to the coil of the starter and the starter would turn even on these more modern cars. That would rule out the starter motor itself.
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Old 03-11-2008   #3
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Re: Starter motor problem

Update, for anyone interested. After a long delay, last week we got the car back, having managed to get Fiat UK to pay 50% of the cost of both the starter motor and the computer (though I argued strongly that we should not have to pay for the starter motor at all as they should have checked it before replacing it). But anyway we ended up with a bill for 288, which I thought was not too bad.
...until today! When the car refused to start again, with exactly the same symptoms. Took it back to the dealer with an angry face on . He said "funny that, we had an Idea in last week with an identical problem"!. Anyone know of a generic problem here? Will keep you posted on progress.
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Old 11-06-2010   #4
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Re: Starter motor problem

Solo, I am in sympathy with you as my Idea is exhibiting starter motor problems (11/06/10) I shall keep my eyes and ears open for problem solvers.
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Old 11-06-2010   #5
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Re: Starter motor problem

Thanks for your sympathy Rotterdam. We still have the car 2 years on, and it's still dodgy at starting. The dealer said he couldn't find anything wrong, but even now every few days it refuses to start. But we've found a work-round: it seems if you press the "lock" button on the key to lock the doors and set the immobiliser (whilst you're still in the car), then quickly unlock it again before the alarm goes off, the car will then start. Usually. So I think it's something to do with the computer still but I really can't be a****d to get it fixed any more. We're selling it later this year. Anyone want to buy?!
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Old 11-06-2010   #6
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Re: Starter motor problem

petrol or diesel?
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Old 12-06-2010   #7
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Re: Starter motor problem

Diesel.
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Old 13-06-2010   #8
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Re: Starter motor problem

Quote Originally Posted by solo3583 View Post
Diesel.
PM me for solution to this problem.
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Old 28-05-2011   #9
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Re: Starter motor problem

Hi there,

We have the very same problem with our 54 plate diesel idea we bought 2 months ago. We have had the starter motor changed but it still doesn't start occasionally and the mechanics at our local garage don't seem to know what the problem is. Next step it would be to take it to Fiat service to have a look at the ECU but apparently it didn't solve your problem. We will try the trick with the immobilizer but it would be nice to know what is the proper and final solution. Have you had your problem sorted?
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Old 09-11-2011   #10
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Re: Starter motor problem

I have the same problem with my idea, went to te store, wanted to start again, nothing happened. I replaced my starter engine, and the engine is still death. Now the computer says the glow starters are broke.
Can that be the reason why my engine won't start or is it something else?
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Old 09-11-2011   #11
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Re: Starter motor problem

Even if all four of the glow plugs were dead at the same time, that should not keep the starter motor from turning. It may very well keep the engine from starting, but it wouldn't prevent the starter motor from turning.

Another possibility is to take apart and clean the inside of the ignition switch. Also check the wires leading to it and maybe the fuses as well.

I bought a new 2005 Idea Emotion Multijet 1.9 from Marcassin in Soignies. When I bought my new Qubo I went to a different dealer because I wasn't too happy with the service. I replaced the Idea with a 2000 Punto ELX JTD 80 after the Idea was a total loss after an accident. I got about two years from the Punto before I took it off the road. It was 9 years old and had over 306 000 Km. I took it off the road because of the same problem that you're talking about. The difference was I didn't want to spend any more money on a car that was already worn out.

Where are you in the Little Land of Chocolate, Beer and Lace? I live about 10 minutes from the Walibi park.
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Old 04-03-2012   #12
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Re: Starter motor problem

Hi all.
My mjet Idea had a similar issue last night, thankfully happened at the local shop and bump starting it worked (possibly not the imobiliser?)
There was no action/ clicking at all from the starter motor and am a bit clueless at what the fault could be (starter solenoid?)
went to it this morning and it fired off without incident.

Any clues on this?
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Old 05-03-2012   #13
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Re: Starter motor problem

I know on the panda diesels a copper washer holding one of the wires on the starter corrodes so might be worth a look.
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Old 06-03-2012   #14
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Re: Starter motor problem

Spoken to Fiat who currently have a doblo in with the same issue, I say the same issue but they have yet to replicate it on the doblo, they also say they have heard of this before and put it down to the key and body computer, they say locking the car and leaving it 10 mins for the body computer to power down should cure this............just keep telling yourself that
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Old 12-03-2012   #15
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Re: Starter motor problem

Agggrrr!!!! Just happened again to me this time,
It's a good 15 mins wait before the starter comes back to life, unsure if its the starter or the body computer, Had the spare key with me too and still no joy so that is ruled out. Taking it over the garage to have a wire attached to the starter live Wednesday, next time I get the fault I can try the direct live on the battery terminal and see if it throws the starter over, If it does then its the body computer
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