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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #16
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Re: Looking for advice

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post

Which yellow light? Immobiliser, or engine management?

When starting, the chip in the key is read. It is always a good idea to turn the key to 'Mar' (ignition on, but not yet engaging the starter), pause a second or two to allow the key to be read, and the fuel pump to pressurise, then turn to start. Often if turned too quickly, the car will struggle to recognise the immobiliser chip, and either refuse to start, or take a few turns to do so. A flashing immobiliser light will show at this point.
I've got glow plug light flashing almost every time when starting (first turning key to Mar, then waiting for the glow plug light to comes off, and then start).
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #17
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Re: Looking for advice

OK. A long thread, with a lot of text, and some issues a bit hidden within.

Please ignore my stuff about plugs, leads and coils, not relevant to the diesel. Hadn't bothered to re-read the lot again. Sorry.

Early on you said someone told you that you needed a turbo. Questions were asked about that diagnosis, but I cannot see any reply to that. Loss of power coould be turbo related, but intermittent faults tend to point at control functions, not a main component. A sticking wastegate or exhaust gas recirculation valve perhaps. But first checks should be simple, have a good look at all teh intake pipework, especially after the turbo, as any pressure loss will affect running. Look for splits or poor sealing of hoses.

Otherwise we need to know more about the turbo diagnosis.

A flashing glowplug light usually indicates one of more failed/failing glowplugs. This will affect cold starts and the first few minutes of running, but after that is irrelevant. This does need fixing, as cold starting will get progressively worse, especially as the weather gets cooler.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #18
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Re: Looking for advice

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
Early on you said someone told you that you needed a turbo. Questions were asked about that diagnosis, but I cannot see any reply to that.

Otherwise we need to know more about the turbo diagnosis.
The mechanic told me, he even changed a sensor before that (as he thought it will be fixed) and didn't charge me for it.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #19
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Re: Looking for advice

I have another question - I have noticed that at neutral speed, sometimes when pressing the accelerator at maximum, a lot of dirty air comes out from the exhaust. Is there something wrong and should i keep doing it from time to time?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #20
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Re: Looking for advice

Quote Originally Posted by viktorkalev View Post
I have another question - I have noticed that at neutral speed, sometimes when pressing the accelerator at maximum, a lot of dirty air comes out from the exhaust. Is there something wrong and should i keep doing it from time to time?
Hello Viktor. I've only just come across this thread and see there's lots of very good advice being given by some very knowledgeable forum members.

Your last post mentions "dirty air" from the exhaust when in neutral on full throttle? I take this to mean black smoke? Exactly this "maximum revs" procedure would be done at MOT time and any sign of smoke emission will result in an immediate fail. Also you mention that the car was "professionally" serviced by Kwik Fit so, although opinions on our forum of these people are pretty low, I would hope that they fitted a new air filter and carried out the service schedule as required. (A dirty air filter could make black smoke) What they probably won't have would be a diagnostic device that could correctly reeducate the ECU after service - I think only the Main Dealer or someone with Multiecuscan can do this - It's not enough to simply reset the service indicator on the diesel. Black smoke and lack of "go" is typical of an interruption to the pressure side of the turbo such as a turbo pipe being blown off at a joint or split in a pipe or intercooler etc. (the engine overfuels due to lack of expected air supply) Splits in turbo pipes can be quite hard to find.

It's strange that your problem, which does sound as if it's boost related from what you are telling us, seems to come and go. Sometimes she's going good and then later there's this lack of power. If it was the mechanical parts of the turbo you wouldn't expect these effects to come and go. but it might be wastegate related especially if the turbo is of the variable vane type. I don't have much experience of Fiat Diesels (both our Panda and Punto are petrol engined) but the VAG vehicles I worked on had these and they used to cause a lot of trouble when they gummed up with carbon deposits. If I were trying to "fix" this I'd be starting by hooking it up to my Multiecuscan program and looking to see if any fault codes were stored which might give you a pointer towards Sensor, actuator or a break in continuity somewhere. I'm getting the impression you don't have a lot of "spanner handling" experience and I'm guessing you don't have a dedicated Fiat Scanner so I think you'll need a "proper" independent Fiat workshop for this (or a friendly forum member who has MES - where do you live? maybe there's someone nearby) Most independent workshops will have generic scanners which are not so likely to be able to do these dedicated functions. Worth looking for a diesel specialist if you can't find a decent Fiat independent.

One thing you could do would be to follow rmjb's advice about the rear axle. It's a mucky job but well worth doing.

Regarding who to look for to help you look after the car. Jim's recommendation of a mobile mechanic can be a good solution. These guys are generally "one man bands" and will be hoping for repeat business with you. Their prices are usually good too as they don't have much by way of overheads to cover. In my experience they are often main dealer trained guys who have decided to have a go at their own business and tend to be quite good at their job. My own preference is for a make specific independent workshop. I know of two near me who specialize in Fiat/Italian cars and both have ex main dealer mechanics in their workshops and with less overheads and using Generic, but good quality parts, prices are often around 75%, sometimes less, than what you'll pay at the main dealer for any job. Main dealers can sometimes be worth a look for a specific, menu priced, job but generally they have very high overheads to cover so it's difficult for them to compete with a small independent - I would use them for an "in warranty vehicle" then go for the independent after out of warranty. Also older cars can be problematic to fix due to corroded fittings so it can be hard to price the job realistically. Main dealers would rather not have the hassle when there are lots of nice clean shiny new ones to work on so will sometimes price a job excessively high. If the customer goes away that's the best solution, if they persevere and the job goes well you make good money, if it goes badly at least you don't loose out. The big "Drop in/Fast Fit" type operations are a very mixed bag I find. It's just the luck of the draw whether you drive into one which is intent on maximizing it's profits (and that's what it's all about with them) or perhaps has a manager with a conscience and you get assigned one of the mechanics who really know their stuff. I've recently had a couple of good encounters with them - Farmers up here in Edinburgh being one - but I am a retired mechanic so I know when they start to "try it on" - often recommending repairs which are not immediately necessary, but perhaps desirable to make the car "perfect". I would argue that no older car warrants being made "perfect" (unless you are doing it all yourself at minimal cost) so I think people with little in depth knowledge of their cars are better to stay away.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #21
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Re: Looking for advice

To all the people who answered here - thank you very much for the comprehensive answers and for the time you took to explain to me. I learned a lot about my car and I'm even sorry I didn't get involved earlier. The most important lesson, in my opinion, is that from now on I should not do service together with MOT. And the only things that NEED to be fixed are the ones that fail my MOT. As for the MOT, each garage judges according to its views whether the car is fit for driving, or there is a standard that everyone follows and there is no way for one car to have two different opinions, from two different garages?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #22
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Re: Looking for advice

"The only things that need to be fixed are the ones that fail MOT" No Victor, I wouldn't agree with that. The MOT is an examination of the car for, mostly, safety and pollution purposes. There's a lot of other stuff which will not be picked up by it - for instance - a small water weep from a coolant hose/pipe or maybe a brake caliper which is "dry" and gummed up with brake dust, I could go on. Then also it's a good idea to always have new oil in the engine. Why? Well, old oil will have lost some of it's viscosity through degradation so it will be more likely for a little to be getting past piston rings etc. This might affect emissions.

I service all 5 of our "family fleet" (the Kia is still under it's 7 year warranty so goes to the dealer to maintain warranty) in the month before their MOTs are due - this is a bit of a nuisance as 3 of them fall due in the new year, just when the weather is coldest!

As to your last question about opinions. Technically the garage is acting for the department of transport when carrying out an MOT so the standards should be identical from one test station to another. My perception is that things have improved a lot in recent years but there's no doubt that a garage that does MOTs generates work which others miss out on. When I first was promoted to workshop foreman/manager we had a very keen apprentice who was very keen to learn. I let him work alongside one of my MOT testers who would get him to examine the vehicles and tell him what he thought was failable. Of course the qualified man was actually doing the test and signing the certificate - all above board. Unfortunately one of the DOT's anonymous engineers booked a test with us and got the wrong end of the stick, thinking it was the apprentice who was doing the actual test. He immediately stopped us testing and we had to jump through a whole load of hoops before we got our authorization back. Our workshop revenue fell measurably during that period of time (and head office were very unhappy with me, but they didn't sack me and all came good later) The Irish have government centres where your car gets tested. In theory I think this is a good idea as there is no vested interest but I know it's not problem free - you have to book well in advance and if you fail I believe it can take some time before a retest? One of the small garages I worked in (it was the DAF agent) didn't do it's own MOTs and we used to take our MOT vehicles down to the CO-OP in Musselburgh who mostly did MOT's on their own vehicles - including the hearses, very interesting coachwork to look at on them. Any member of the public could take their car there but the workshop only repaired their own fleet so if you failed you had to remove and repair, or arrange for repair of, the vehicle yourself. This was a good thing as they had no vested interest in failing you. Their MOT's were strict but very fair and I continued to take my own cars there for many years after I moved on from the DAF garage until I went there one day to find them all closed up and gone.

If you're not talking about MOTs then every mechanic is free to make up his own mind about what really needs to be done on the vehicle. The way I worked it was that the mechanic would collect the worksheet and his parts from the storeman - I only ever worked in one really big garage where there were "receptionists" (another layer of personnel which add to costs and confusion between the customer and the man doing the job in my view). If the mechanic spotted something needing done which was not on the worksheet he would call my attention to it, Unless it was something very simple - which often we wouldn't charge for but make sure the customer knew they'd got something for free, good PR! - I would double check what he was recommending and ring the customer to get permission. Because I had actually seen what the mechanic was recommending it gave me the chance to differ with his recommendation - which seldom happened - and let me describe accurately to the customer what the problem was and why it needed attention. I think this approach worked very well and we had lots of returning customers.

So Victor, I think it's actually a good idea to have the car serviced just before it's MOT test. Your problem is that you need to find a nice small independent garage who you can trust not to rip you off. That's the difficult part of course. Where do you live? Maybe someone on the forum lives near you and could recommend a reliable garage for you to try. If you don't know much about the guts of your car it can be difficult to look for a suitable garage yourself because you don't know if the guy you're talking to is talking sense or not. If you can get a look in the workshop doors if what you see looks neat and tidy and the lighting is good that's probably a good starting point. I'd be a bit suspicious if all the mechanics looked spotlessly clean though!

Ps. Of course doing the service and MOT at the same time, if you're not doing your own service work, can also be very convenient as you're only without the car for the one day. It also, perhaps, removes the temptation to just "forget" that the car could be doing with a service?
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Last edited by Pugglt Auld Jock; 6 Days Ago at 20:21. Reason: added Ps
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Old 6 Days Ago   #23
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Re: Looking for advice

Im living in Liverpool and i was chosing garages based on Google maps reviews. Now i found whocanfixmycar website and i like the option where every garage is giving you a quote and they have reviews as well. But that doesn't mean all of these reviews are real, is it?
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Old 6 Days Ago   #24
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Re: Looking for advice

This RAC guide makes very interesting reading and might be useful to you: https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/c...echanic-guide/

If you're looking at websites like "Who can fix my car" then I notice quite a number of the smaller garages up here are members of the "Good Garage Scheme" https://www.goodgaragescheme.com/
I'm sure some will be better than others but looking at ones that are local to me I see a number of ones I know to be "good garages" Might be worth a look?

Another one you see up here quite often is the Bosch approved workshop scheme: https://www.boschcarservice.com/gb/en

This Wikipedia entry mentions both the good garage scheme and the Bosch scheme if you can be bothered to read it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Garage_Scheme

At the end of the day I think personal recommendation is the surest way to go.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #25
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Re: Looking for advice

Oh, and by the way, avoid like the plague, establishments that do discounted MOTs. (unless they are known to be unimpeachable) The standard charge is a reasonable one for an MOT properly and diligently done. A heavily discounted MOT is going to loose the garage money so guess how they are going to make the loss up?

I would say also to not hope for a "lenient" attitude on the part of the tester. I do all my own servicing and most of the repairs on our "family fleet" and I rely on a strict but fair test being carried out as a check for things I might have missed.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #26
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Re: Looking for advice

Quote Originally Posted by Pugglt Auld Jock View Post
Oh, and by the way, avoid like the plague, establishments that do discounted MOTs. (unless they are known to be unimpeachable) The standard charge is a reasonable one for an MOT properly and diligently done. A heavily discounted MOT is going to loose the garage money so guess how they are going to make the loss up?

I would say also to not hope for a "lenient" attitude on the part of the tester. I do all my own servicing and most of the repairs on our "family fleet" and I rely on a strict but fair test being carried out as a check for things I might have missed.
The MOT test fee has always been no higher than a normal hourly rate for the job, and usually less. Discounting this potentially brings in much less revenue, unless repairs are generated. Many will rely on cars needing work, and will do an honest test, but there are some that will 'create' work.

My local garage does a strict test, at full price - works for me.

When I worked at a large dealer in Dorset, we had one guy who did most of the MOTs. He was very strict, but did not create work. All the staff requested another tester did thiers. I always wanted Ray to do mine, knowing that he would spot anything I missed. Always nice to have him issue a pass.

One year, failed on play in the steering rack. Morris Marina had little springs in the end of the rack, to keep the track rod ball tight, prone to breaking. Never listed separately, but identical to the Mini front balljoint springs. It was fortnight later I got it back in for the retest, and found meanwhile both rear wheel cylinders had seized. Highlighted that an MOT is valid only at that moment. Third time, a pass. Amazing how much better a car stops when the rears are helping.
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