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Old 01-12-2014   #1
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Software update makes a big difference

My wife used the 4x4 for a week while her car was in the garage and reported a strange problem:

After a long fast run, the engine cutting out when slowing down to a halt from the slip road off the main road. It happened 3 times during the cold / wet conditions we had recently. I've personally not managed to get the car to do this, though have a had a couple of instances where the revs have been very weak at idle.

Anyhow, i booked the car in with the dealer who sold me the car (Westover, Salisbury) who reported that the car needed a software update to the engine management system, which they duly carried out. The fact they diagnosed this and carried it out within a day suggests to me that they knew exactly what to look for...

Anyhow, the result is that the car now runs a good deal smoother and with more apparent power than before (not that I thought it was particularly lacking before...). I don't want to call it 'transformational' for fear of jinxing the car, however thus far it feels very good.

Another notable thing is that the difference between ECO mode on and off is more pronounced. Not sure what that should be.

I have to say I had blamed the original problem on my Mrs filling up with Murco ordinary fuel rather than Shell V-power or BP super-unleaded; however I've not refuelled since so I do believe there was a problem with the original engine map.

My car was delivered end of May 2013, so I guess an early May build.

Just thought i'd post something positive as i haven't been on here for a while!

tim
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Old 03-12-2014   #2
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

I spoke to the garage today and asked if they could send me the service note - hopefully this will show a bit more info on the update, in case it is of use to others!
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Old 03-12-2014   #3
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

Quote Originally Posted by 4x4Panda View Post
I spoke to the garage today and asked if they could send me the service note - hopefully this will show a bit more info on the update, in case it is of use to others!
I have noticed a slight hesitancy creeping in now & again. Maybe this explains it.....
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Old 03-12-2014   #4
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

Slightly off topic, as this is for Fiat 500s- but suspect similar info out there for the panda: list of service note for the USA market can be seen here: http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/forum...ns-and-Recalls

Note that most 'software updates' are for small things (like the clock gaining time)
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Old 05-12-2014   #5
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

I experimented with higher octane fuel recently in my 4x4 TA - filling up in Luxembourg where petrol's less than a pound a litre - and I'm sure it made no difference.
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Old 05-12-2014   #6
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

im sure it didnt, its all in the mind
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Old 05-12-2014   #7
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

I tried my old Panda 4x4 on both super and regular. It ran better on the super so I stuck with it and have done so also on the current car (unless my Mrs forgets and fills up at the local Murco station )

Surely one would get slightly more oomph from the higher octane fuel - which should be noticeable??
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Old 06-12-2014   #8
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

Quote Originally Posted by 4x4Panda View Post
Surely one would get slightly more oomph from the higher octane fuel - which should be noticeable??
Not normally, unless you've a super car
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Old 06-12-2014   #9
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

Quote Originally Posted by 4x4Panda View Post
I tried my old Panda 4x4 on both super and regular. It ran better on the super so I stuck with it and have done so also on the current car (unless my Mrs forgets and fills up at the local Murco station )

Surely one would get slightly more oomph from the higher octane fuel - which should be noticeable??
Unless there's something untoward going on with normal fuel - such as detonation - there's very unlikely to be any difference. If you took advantage of the higher octane/anti-knock characteristics to employ some more ignition advance there would be a noticeable gain but I doubt that the TA's management system is that clever.
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Old 06-12-2014   #10
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

Has anyone noticed an improvement on MPG using higher octane fuel?

I might try and take an average of normal unleaded next time i fill up and do the same with higher octane fuel
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Old 06-12-2014   #11
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

Quote Originally Posted by babbo_umbro View Post
I experimented with higher octane fuel recently in my 4x4 TA - filling up in Luxembourg where petrol's less than a pound a litre - and I'm sure it made no difference.
Same here- tried a couple of tank fulls of the full cream stuff in the Panda and didn't notice any difference.
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Old 06-12-2014   #12
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

Quote Originally Posted by Most Easterly Pandas View Post
Not normally, unless you've a super car
Hey - are you saying my Panda is not a super car??

It has a higher proportion of turbo-chargers to cylinders than a 911 turbo, so it must be a super car!!

I stand by my findings with the old Panda 4x4, but perhaps I need to conduct a more scientific test with the twin-air
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Old 06-12-2014   #13
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

Same here, 100 octanes makes no differnece to TA. Go with cheap fuel
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Old 07-12-2014   #14
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

Completely irrelevant but we get 3-5mpg more using the posh Shell diesel instead of tesco std in our alfa GT, goes better too....
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Old 07-12-2014   #15
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Re: Software update makes a big difference

You need to do the maths... Super unleaded is up to 10p a litre more expensive. So that means its over 45p a gallon more than 'regular' unleaded petrol. You'd need considerably more that 3-4mpg improvement before you recover this extra cost of the fuel.

The car's ECU is set up to use 95 RON fuel. Giving it something better is not likely to deliver a noticeable improvement in power. Conversely, a car designed to use Super Unleaded will run on the weaker stuff (not so well, admittedly) because the ECU is programmed to compensate if it detects pre-ignition.

Only real advantage (and so not needed every tankful) is that the Super Unleaded fuels have (according to Esso) double the engine-cleaning detergents in them. But since a modern, fuel-injected and computer-controlled engine runs very 'clean' anyway (when did you last see a soot-covered spark plug?), how much benefit this will bring is also questionable. If you look at the websites of the various fuel companies, it is the 'cleaning power' of the super unleaded fuels that they talk about most, rather than any improvement in actual power:
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