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Old 12-04-2016   #16
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

One thought I've often had when considering this issue is that IIRC the fuel rail stays pressurised when the engine is switched off; if there is any leakage past an injector then it may depressurise into the engine, leading to a rich start next time. The fuel will be less volatile in cold weather & is more likely to hang around in liquid form inside the cylinder - if it wets the plug, particularly if it mixes with the oil film, this is exactly the kind of behaviour I'd expect, with the engine initially misfiring on startup.

If you want to see a more extreme example of this kind of behaviour, have a look online at some of the videos of vintage radial aircraft engines starting.
Here's one example of what happens if you start one with an excess of fuel in the cylinders.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 12-04-2016 at 21:33.
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Old 13-04-2016   #17
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Quote Originally Posted by Super Uwe View Post
That is such a strange one.

We have owned three 1.2s and a 1.4 8v since 2008, and all of them have displayed "farty starting" from cold when the weather is a bit chilly. As AAB1992 points out, if you pull away too quickly when it fires up then it will really splutter and a bit of blue smoke will appear lol..
Cobber, all you have to do is pull the choke out a bit and leave it on for a bit longer.
Oh, hang on.
Stupid computerised motor cars


(yes, the Morry Minor is seducing me with her simplicity and the joys of fixing things myself )
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Old 13-04-2016   #18
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Quote Originally Posted by Tom95 View Post
So, I thought I'd give everyone a quick update...

Car's been at the dealer now for nearly 2 weeks, and they've still not been able to pinpoint what the hell is going on. Apparently, no faults have been recorded/stored by the car even though they've had no trouble replicating the rough running.

As of today, they've run a compression test and found nothing out of the ordinary (surprise, surprise). They're now awaiting on FIAT for advice on what to do next...

This would be really bloody annoying if I didn't have backup transportation. Who'd have thought a 40-year-old Peugeot would be the 'reliable car'...
Given that they cannot necessarily find an electrical trace for the problem, couldn't the issue still lie with the VVT unit (or some aspect of the system), perhaps it sticking in the wrong position on first cold start up? Or it could have something to do with the solenoid. These engines are SOHC, therefore whatever the exhaust valves do; the intake valves do the same. This system works better on DOHC engines. The system should have an active or passive mode, depending on parameters and conditions.

The reason why I think this is due to my parents having had one of those horrendous MK2 Renault Méganes with the 1.6 petrol engine with VVT. Early in its life it had poor running, spluttering and rattling on start-up and it was due to the common dephaser fault on those engines, which is essentially same set up as the VVT unit on this engine. Once it was replaced under warranty, it was much smoother and started much better.

Also consult the animation in the link as it will give you a better idea of how such a system works, even though it’s for a Ford engine (the engine I now have in my fiesta since trading in my panda!)

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Old 13-04-2016   #19
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Quote Originally Posted by AAB1992 View Post
Given that they cannot necessarily find an electrical trace for the problem, couldn't the issue still lie with the VVT unit (or some aspect of the system), perhaps it sticking in the wrong position on first cold start up? Or it could have something to do with the solenoid. These engines are SOHC, therefore whatever the exhaust valves do; the intake valves do the same. This system works better on DOHC engines. The system should have an active or passive mode, depending on parameters and conditions.
It's certainly a possibility, though I've also experienced the same issue with my 1.2 Euro4 Panda (which isn't a VVT engine). I've not noticed this since fitting Iridium plugs to both engines.
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Old 13-04-2016   #20
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
It's certainly a possibility, though I've also experienced the same issue with my 1.2 Euro4 Panda (which isn't a VVT engine). I've not noticed this since fitting Iridium plugs to both engines.
I do agree with you that covering the basics is an important starting point. I've just assumed that given the car has been in the garage for investigation they would have checked the plugs etc, but maybe they haven't!
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Old 21-04-2016   #21
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Update #2

Car how now been at the dealer's for 3 weeks. Most recently, they've carried out a "Phonic Wheel reset"... From what I can gather this is something to do with the crank angle sensor?

Anyway, according to the service manager, the car started fine and ran perfectly when left over night but cut out after about 2-3 seconds. They're now awaiting advice from 'FIAT technical' on what do to do next.

This is beyond ridiculous. I originally bought the Panda with the intent to keep it for a long time, but if this is going to be what ownership is like I might have to reconsider...
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Old 21-04-2016   #22
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Bugga. At least they're still hanging in there but surely you're heading towards 'be given a new car' status - oh, hang on, FIAT in their wisdom don't import them any more... because they were too stupid to market them.
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Old 21-04-2016   #23
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Quote Originally Posted by aussiepanda View Post
Bugga. At least they're still hanging in there but surely you're heading towards 'be given a new car' status - oh, hang on, FIAT in their wisdom don't import them any more... because they were too stupid to market them.
Yeah, it won't be another FIAT that I buy. I'll tell you that much. Holden make a pretty tasty looking turbo Barina...
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Old 23-04-2016   #24
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

I have also had some cold starting issues with mine. I also made sure it stayed over at the dealership so they could start it and hear it because it was EXACTLY as your video shows. It would be erratic and not happen everytime.

Came back with the problem unresolved. I started burrowing around the engine and found that the rubber glove type thingy that hold the air filter housing to the inlet manifold was not fitted properly and was sucking in air from everywhere except through the filter.

I then re-fitted it and put a hose clamp around it to keep in place because it would pop off at irregular intervals.

Since then my cold start problem is resolved - no thanks to Fiat.
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Old 23-04-2016   #25
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Quote Originally Posted by series2a View Post
I have also had some cold starting issues with mine. I also made sure it stayed over at the dealership so they could start it and hear it because it was EXACTLY as your video shows. It would be erratic and not happen everytime.

Came back with the problem unresolved. I started burrowing around the engine and found that the rubber glove type thingy that hold the air filter housing to the inlet manifold was not fitted properly and was sucking in air from everywhere except through the filter.

I then re-fitted it and put a hose clamp around it to keep in place because it would pop off at irregular intervals.

Since then my cold start problem is resolved - no thanks to Fiat.
So why would that be so hard for a mechanic to spot and fix? Oh, that's right, the computer wouldn't spot it and tell the mechanic to do something MECHANICAL for a flamin' change
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Old 23-04-2016   #26
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Quote Originally Posted by aussiepanda View Post
So why would that be so hard for a mechanic to spot and fix? Oh, that's right, the computer wouldn't spot it and tell the mechanic to do something MECHANICAL for a flamin' change
Those were precisely my thoughts too.

In my previous post I wrote about my Panda being at Fiat for over a month trying to sort out a misfire .. which they couldn't fathom for precisely those reasons. But.... wait for it. I have trouble starting my car in the morning the day after I get it home. Rest of the day it is fine. Next morning same story. I open the bonnet and 5 SECONDS later I see there is NO rubber housing from the air filter to the manifold!!!!!!!

Straight back to FIAT and wanted to say to the foreman look and see if you can spot anything strange. Thought the better of it because I didn't want to wait around the whole day.
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Old 24-04-2016   #27
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Quote Originally Posted by aussiepanda View Post
So why would that be so hard for a mechanic to spot and fix? Oh, that's right, the computer wouldn't spot it and tell the mechanic to do something MECHANICAL for a flamin' change
No surprise, it seems quite common nowadays regardless of car brand.

Some years ago, my friend's BMW Series 5 had a problem with its engine and BMW dealer diagnosed it and told him that it needs a brand new engine costing several thousands of pounds.

Needless to say, he didn't go with it and eventually at his local garage, it turned out that there was a crack on manifold or something!
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Old 04-05-2016   #28
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Update... What is this, update #3 ?

SUCCESS!

After 5 and a bit weeks, the Panda is now back in my custody. In the end, the service manager advised that the mysterious 'Phonic Wheel' needed to be completely reset. Apparently, the car's been behaving itself for the past 6 days... But tomorrow morning will be the real test.

Is anyone able to offer a bit of an explanation as to what this Phonic Wheel actually does? From what I can gather, it effects the ignition timing; but please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 04-05-2016   #29
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Fekking hell. 5 weeks.

To be fair though, I had an issue with a BMW once. One of the wires would be pinched when the boot was closed, causing massive electrical issues. As soon as they opened everything up to check it, all appeared to be fine. Took them 3 weeks to pinpoint and repair the exact offending wire. Even though they fairly quickly figured out what it should be.


1.2 - are you mad?
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Old 05-05-2016   #30
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Well, it seems I've spoken too soon. It did the exact same thing this morning.

Back to the dealer we go...
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