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Old 27-05-2014   #1
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Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

I have a new Panda 1.2, 69 bhp "Lounge" that has now covered 800 miles. The car is reluctant to initially accelerate in first or second gear and it feels as if the engine has a "flat spot". The garage tell me that if I have had an earlier Panda, which I have, then I will notice a difference in acceleration due to changes in performance brought about by EU legislation!! Could that be the case or could the ECU be at fault? If the ECU is not at fault, can it be re-mapped or chipped to improve performance?
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Old 27-05-2014   #2
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

Hi, and welcome to FF,

I've seen similar posts in the 500 section ( same basic car AND engine)

use SEARCH = "advanced" and you should find them o.k.,

Charlie - Oxford
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Old 27-05-2014   #3
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

l have a twin air . To be precise my wife has it. To be more precise it is an automatic.

I may well be wrong as my car is an Alfa 159 210 bhp.

But the twin air is half theweight of the Alfa. At start vp in first gear it shudders. It is slow.

Then it makes a noise I love. It growls and grunts. Eventually it decides it is Italian. It's grip and feedback is better than the Alfa once it eventually gets into its stride.

It's acceleration from about 10 mph to 40 is a match for the Alfa. Around corners it holds on better than the Alfa.

In svmary it is not as fast as an Alfa l59 , of course not. Bvt it is more responsive as an Italian car should be.
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Old 27-05-2014   #4
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

While my older style Panda was in getting work done, I was given a 1.2 500 with around 200 miles on the clock. I know that most people would be thrilled to be driving a new car, but I must admit that I couldn't wait to give it back as it was so sluggish in comparison with my Multijet. Absolutely no go in it at all.
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Old 27-05-2014   #5
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

Quote Originally Posted by biminibob View Post
l have a twin air . To be precise my wife has it. To be more precise it is an automatic.

But the twin air is half the weight of the Alfa. At start up in first gear it shudders. It is slow.

Then it makes a noise I love. It growls and grunts. Eventually it decides it is Italian. It's grip and feedback is better than the Alfa once it eventually gets into its stride.
hi bob, and welcome to FF,
what body is that TA dragging around

the 875cc copes o.k. in my Punto,
should go really well in a 500 /or panda.

we had a 500 loaner with the VVT 1.2 , ball of fire compared to our 1.1 active ' 04 panda.
totally different drive to a diesel is to be expected I suppose

charlie
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Old 28-05-2014   #6
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

Sounds like the trouble @David Bliss has been having - you should check out this thread:
https://www.fiatforum.com/panda-iii/...sterday-2.html

I have to say actually that our 1.2 isn't feeling quite as spritely since it went in for its service and body software update. My problem is in third gear though, first and second are still great and I can pull away nice and quickly, but when you pop it into third it feels like an elephant has joined the party!

I have got the body software update number in the service manual, will dig it out later. In fact, I think I will also write to Fiat and ask them exactly what this software update was supposed to do. If it turns out that it has reduced the performance of my car then I will not be best pleased...if I had known that beforehand I would have just not bothered to get the update done as I was getting along just fine!
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Old 28-05-2014   #7
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

The Mrs's Lounge 1.2 does this, it was built in Jan this year and done 800 miles as well.
The same engine in the mother in laws 2010 plate (older model) doesn't and never done it and it's the same engine.

I think the ECU software has been "reviewed" (buggered about with) at some point to try and reduce fuel/emissions when setting off, as this is when it's likely to use more fuel and stink up the air.

It has improved slightly the the last few weeks, it isn't as noticable, but that maybe due to the fact we're getting used to it.

Remapping (re writing the ECU software) may sort it, but I'd ring a few service departments first, one may have solved this on their own as it seems quite a common issue.
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Old 28-05-2014   #8
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

You are not the only one with this problem. If you go to the 500 section and look up Throttle response and also on my post on this section 'New Yesterday', part way through, you will see other similar complaints. I think my car is particularly bad in this regard. I wrote to Fiat Customer services, who are aware of the problem and say that Fiat is working to develop a fix (but have not put this in writing!). My car went back to the dealers for the third time yesterday for checks on the ECU, throttle, and clutch full engine mapping. It is still very flat. On their diagnostic they wrote 'Fiat happy with results' and 'Vehicle driving will differ to the previous Panda due to the new emmission limits on this vehicle.'

I am not happy, and consider that the response is a danger when pulling away onto busy roundabouts or junctions, we have nearly been hit from behind once of twice already. I have book my car in to go onto a rolling road together with my old Panda, that my daughter has now, to get comparison figure for myself. I'm not going to let this rest and hope that anyone else with the problem will complain loudly too.
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Old 28-05-2014   #9
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

Thank you David. Sounds like an identical problem. I'll contact Fiat CS and see what they have to say; thereafter I might try "Honest John" in the Saturday Telegraph and see if he can bring any influence to bear.
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Old 28-05-2014   #10
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

At the start Fiat CS said they were aware of the problems and they were working to fix it. After the car went into the garage for tests and 'updates' they told us today that they can't do anything to fix the problem and it is because of the need to meet emissions targets. The fact that, unless you do a lot of dual carriageway or motorway driving, your petrol consumption is not going to be as good as it is for the older Panda (probably negating any supposed advantage from lower emissions) and that if you can't pull away normally onto a busy road or roundabout you are at greater risk of being by the car behind is, apparently, not important.

I intend to contact Top Gear after I have put my car onto a rolling road to get some facts and figures. They gave the car a good review!
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Last edited by David Bliss; 28-05-2014 at 23:39. Reason: missing sentence
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Old 30-05-2014   #11
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

I have now done 30k in a year in my 1.2. The lack of power at low revs took some getting used to but now I hardly notice it. I averaged 60mpg over this time.
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Old 30-05-2014   #12
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

Quote Originally Posted by kawasakikz1 View Post
I have now done 30k in a year in my 1.2. The lack of power at low revs took some getting used to but now I hardly notice it. I averaged 60mpg over this time.

so in it's 2 or 3 services.. has it had any "updates" ?,

did they make any difference to how it behaved ?,

charlie - Oxford
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Old 31-05-2014   #13
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

I have a 2014 1.2 Easy and have also experienced the flat spot when moving off. Admittedly the car has only done 1,600 miles but I am not convinced that this has anything to do with the running in process. It definitely requires some deft pedalwork to ensure a clean, smooth getaway and avoid the engine bogging down.

Although I wouldn’t describe as undriveable it most certainly isn't right and makes urban driving more difficult than it should be in, what is after all, a city car.

This is my third Panda I previously owned a 2004 1.1 Active and many years before that a 1988 CL. Although general refinement, comfort and perceived solidity has improved compared to the 2004 car I feel that built quality has taken a step backwards. Examples of this 1) when I operate the door handle it has that feeling that the inner linkage is not quite right and that it might disconnect itself at any time, 2) the gimmicky handbrake lever feels flimsy in a way the old car’s one didn’t and 3) it is necessary to lift the bonnet to a point where it feels the hinges are being strained before the bonnet support can be engaged. I can’t say that I entirely trust the electric boot release either.

Don’t get me wrong the car is a likeable thing but there are too many niggling flaws, even for a cheap car, which weren’t present in the old car. It doesn’t really feel like progress.

Anyway I will persevere for a couple more weeks and then take it up with the dealer. I’ll let you know how things progress.
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Last edited by Lagnier; 31-05-2014 at 01:31. Reason: Spacing!
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Old 31-05-2014   #14
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Re: Panda 1.2 (69bhp) Flat Spot

Attachment 137614

Yesterday I took my new Panda and my daughter's 09 Panda to be tested on a rolling road so that we could compare the performance of the two. I decided to do this because of the problems we and others are having with the throttle response of the new car when pulling away.

The graph shows that the torque of the old car is better from tick-over up to over 3500 revs. Looking at the AFR the old car seems to do better and be 'greener' than the new one (a lower figure is bad).

Because of the flat spot it has at low revs, the new car cannot pull away immediately on the rollers, hence its readings do not start immediately.

Up to the speed limit this graph shows that the 09 car will always be in front, and will, I believe, be greener.

The operator of the rolling road testing station, who specializes in high performance racing cars, was so taken with the contrast between the two cars that he intends to write an article about it for the Motor Sport magazine. He also test drove both cars on the road, taking the new one out first. When he came back with the 09 car he had a smile from ear to ear, and commented that they were like chalk and cheese, the older car being significantly better. What have Fiat done? The drive to reduce emissions, which does not seem to me to have worked, has ruined the drive-ability of the car.

Fiat just tell us that there is nothing they can do, we just have to adapt our driving technique to suit the car. Even if you are a very good, adaptable driver it is still going to be a pig to drive. There are plenty of others complaining about the same problem and I am convinced that it is going to cause accidents when someone cannot get the car to pull away at a busy junction or roundabout is going to be hit from behind.

Comments from the technically minded would be welcome.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Rolling road results.PDF (1.00 MB, 152 views)
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Old 01-06-2014   #15
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Quote Originally Posted by Goudrons View Post
The Mrs's Lounge 1.2 does this, it was built in Jan this year and done 800 miles as well.
The same engine in the mother in laws 2010 plate (older model) doesn't and never done it and it's the same engine.

I think the ECU software has been "reviewed" (buggered about with) at some point to try and reduce fuel/emissions when setting off, as this is when it's likely to use more fuel and stink up the air.

It has improved slightly the the last few weeks, it isn't as noticable, but that maybe due to the fact we're getting used to it.

Remapping (re writing the ECU software) may sort it, but I'd ring a few service departments first, one may have solved this on their own as it seems quite a common issue.
I suspect your mother in law has the old 60bhp unit and not the newer 69bhp one in the Panda and 500
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