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<!-- google_ad_section_start -->Bad 1.3 multijet air filter housing water ingress<!-- google_ad_section_end -->
Bad 1.3 multijet air filter housing water ingress
Distorted mouldings
Published by Prontissimo
22-06-2015
Difficulty Level: 2

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Bad 1.3 multijet air filter housing water ingress

The flat slab engine cover / air filter housing on the 1.3 multijet is poor in that it's easy to assemble it incorrectly which distorts the mouldings. If you take off the removable cover via the three bolts and look along the length of the long mating surfaces they're quite often not straight . This happens because the centre one of the three male tongues often doesn't engage properly with the corresponding female portion on the main body of the housing and pushes the back of the housing towards the back of the car bowing it. Engine heat and sun on the bonnet then raises the temperature of the plastic , re-memorising the glass reinforced plastic to a new distorted shape. You need to memorize it back to when it was first moulded . You remove whole housing from top of engine and with a heat gun, gas ring , or blow lamp, carefully heat up the distorted areas and reshape . Take your time and make sure heat is evenly dispersed over a big part of the moulding. Do it slowly and with oven gloves on you can make bent parts straight again. Look along the mouldings .....it's easy to see if they're straight or not. When they are just hold them in position until they cool down or get someone to dribble water or blow cool air on them.
When you've done that it's imperative you install the filter with the whole housing off the car . That way you can see that all three male tongues on the air filter cover are properly engaging with their female sockets in the main housing. You also need to make sure the three cover bolts threads aren't stripped and are tightening down properly . If they're stripped you can use a SLIGHTLY fatter (but a bit shorter ) wood screw to replace any stripped ones. Don't use a crazy fat one or you'll burst the the plastic moulding surrounding the screw .
There's been some talk on here of water entering the engine via the air filter. I think that is more likely to happen when these mouldings are distorted and particularly when the screw threads are stripped because that allows water direct ingress past the front gasket lip into the air aperture on the engine side of the filter . I also think that jet washing the engine bay on vehicles with this type of air filter housing is asking for trouble.
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Old 26-06-2015   #1
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Re: Bad 1.3 multijet air filter housing water ingress

It looks like there's a glitch on the grille moulding assembly which covers the air inlet aperture for engine air. It seems the moulding has been hand trimmed to fit the bulbous end of the air inlet that protrudes slightly....... ....it should really be shaped upwards cupping over the air inlet which would direct water away from the inlet........it means rain can be driven by air between bottom of shut face of bonnet and moulding and be directed right to the air inlet. The area underneath the grille moulding is a kind of plenum chamber reservoir for engine air. The grille right in front of the air inlet is actually blanked off so rain can't get forced into air inlet...... ....... .......but some additional gasketing is sensible to stop rain getting direct access to air inlet. Make sure you use closed cell foam. .......

......the white foam gasket acts as a water dam allowing water being pushed towards it to go to right and left of air inlet.
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Last edited by Prontissimo; 26-06-2015 at 07:56.
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Old 08-07-2015   #2
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Re: Bad 1.3 multijet air filter housing water ingress

New developments. During a rainstorm I looked under bonnet below the windscreen where the wiper motor is housed. The whole area was full of water .....at a guess 3 or 4 litres and deep. I'd noticed that that area had a lot of leaves and sycamore seeds there and had hoovered it out so I was surprised that so much water was there. Of course if the vehicle is going downhill and you brake (like one does at the bottom of a hill) a tsunami of water will well up over the lip and shower over the air cleaner box! If the gasket on the air cleaner isn't properly crimped down ( particularly the one at the front of the air box....the front lip) water will get sucked directly into the air feed to the turbo. Or if one parks the car with the nose pointing downhill the well could fill up in a severe rainstorm and pour over the air cleaner box.....and then via the front lip into the air feed to turbo. Water then can well up in the intercooler which is sited very low. Try to start the engine and a lot of water will get sucked into the bores.

The obround drain hole in the under windscreen scuttle is pretty big .....maybe 50mm x 20 so it becoming blocked is surprising , but I've seen a couple of pandas with a load of rubbish like leaves etc in that area. You can clear the drain quite easily by squeezing your hand in on the right hand side and clearing the hole which is in the middle of the car. The good news is that although the blockage on this ten year old car had clearly been longstanding ( a visible green algae tide mark) there was not a hint of any rust!

Problems like these may be related to where the car is used. In a desert you ain't gonna get many leaves in there......parked under or near trees you are! For added peace of mind put an umbrella on top of the air cleaner box ( a sheet of thickish plastic that overlaps the whole box ) so any water can't get anywhere near the seals.
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Last edited by Prontissimo; 08-07-2015 at 07:31.
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Old 21-07-2015   #3
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Re: Bad 1.3 multijet air filter housing water ingress

If you're tempted to do away with the standard air cleaner and replace with a cone filter I'd strongly advise against it. Make sure the standard air cleaner is sealing properly instead because the whole system is tuned to work well with the motor and provide clean cooler high pressure air from the front of the car . The standard air cleaner also has another function .......to act as an umbrella to keep water away from the cylinder head where the injectors are . Any water in that area will run to the lowest area and cause corrosion . Further examination of the area where the windscreen wiper motor is sited shows that the drain slits in the plastic fitments in under windscreen scuttle are very small and were clogged completely with dirt and leaves. The water level , as revealed by the tide mark had actually partially submerged the windscreen wiper motor .......so maybe 6 or 7 litres of water can sit there waiting for you to brake and push a tsunami of water over the air cleaner. Corroded in injectors is a major problem in common rail engines of this type in other vehicles and expensive to fix and they get corroded in when water can drop onto cylinder head. Good idea if you've got the air cleaner off to hoover the top of cylinder head and keep it pristine.
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Old 22-07-2015   #4
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Re: Bad 1.3 multijet air filter housing water ingress

There are two obround drain holes in area under windscreen. They measure 50x20mm approx but have two rubber fitments pushed into them with very small drain slots. It's these mouldings which are the problem as the drain slots are tiny. Either discard them or pull them out .....clean them.....replace and pull em out from time to time.
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Old 25-08-2015   #5
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Re: Bad 1.3 multijet air filter housing water ingress

Really this whole issue is about poor maintenance by mechanics who are not thinking and don't ask questions.....of themselves and the vehicle they are working on , particularly on older cars. Properly maintained the standard air filter housing works fine and a thinking mechanic during a service ought to think about the possibility of blocked drain holes in the scuttle drains , that all three tongues at rear of lid of housing need to engage properly....... and also realise that over tightening the three front screws is going to strip the threads and lead to a poor gasket seal. Maybe Fiat have improved the design of newer models so that faults in maintenance procedures don't compromise these fabulous little engines . I've had my (50k) 10 year old Sporting remapped with both a programmed EGR delete and physical EGR blanking plates fitted. Performance (with standard air cleaner) ,internally cleaned intercooler , is phenomenal as is driveability and flexibility. Economy up too from 62mpg on an undulating winding 30 mile round trip to 74mpg. It's the EGR system which really compromises economy. It's dumb technology which actually impairs engine efficiency to reduce NOX emissions but at the same time increases particulates and reduces efficiency . Really dumb. These engines are pretty refined (highly strung maybe) and exceptional pieces of engineering , but they need to be driven hard now and then to keep exhaust valves , manifold, turbo and CAT/DPF clean and gas slippery. These cars , because of the way they look and their cuddly name , attract grannies and retirees as owners who pootle around clogging everything up.......ready for informed people like you to snap up a bargain , do some basic tuning stuff and get yourself a pocket rocket! Properly maintained and set up in a small light well built car like the Panda ......and the car becomes breathtaking fun . But change the oil every 6k miles max please . I use Fuchs 5-30W GT1 oil. The thinner oil is great for fast circulation to turbo , and great for economy ......especially while the engine is warming up from cold. I also use Millers EcoMax fuel additive. It bumps up the cetane rating of diesel fuel and is very good for keeping the fuel system and injectors pristine.
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Last edited by Prontissimo; 25-08-2015 at 09:45.
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