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Old 05-05-2016   #31
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Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

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Old 05-05-2016   #32
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Quote Originally Posted by Tom95 View Post
Well, it seems I've spoken too soon. It did the exact same thing this morning.

Back to the dealer we go...
Take your cannon with you, you know, the one you didn't hand back when Johnny Howard asked for it.

One would have to wonder who's more frustrated, you or the mechanic tasked with finding a solution. Maybe, while you're there, have a chat with the sales staff and hit them for a very very generous trade in on something else. Maybe a Jeep
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Old 05-05-2016   #33
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Quote Originally Posted by aussiepanda View Post
Maybe, while you're there, have a chat with the sales staff and hit them for a very very generous trade in on something else. Maybe a Jeep
Yeah, when pigs fly! I tell you, what ever I get next is gonna have nothing to do with FCA.

Here's an interesting little tidbit, not sure whether it's been bought up before... This morning I decided to stand outside the car when I started it. After a solid 7-10 seconds of cranking it eventually shuddered into 'life' and managed to chug away for a whole 15 seconds before knocking out.

In this time, I had a bit of a wander around the car and noticed smoke coming from the exhaust. It also smelt like it was running very rich. So, it seems as though this may be fuel related, rather than an ignition issue?

As a couple of previous posts mention, it may be something as simple as a cracked/disconnected vacuum hose. That still doesn't explain why it's perfect on the second go? I had a bit of a poke around yesterday and everything seemed intact, but that got me thinking... Is there anything vacuum-related that is electronically controlled? Or, for example, could there be an issue with the "drive by wire" throttle plate not opening correctly?

Apologies if not a lot of this makes sense, but I don't really have much experience with a vehicle with so much electronic crap.
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Old 06-05-2016   #34
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Quote Originally Posted by Tom95 View Post
In this time, I had a bit of a wander around the car and noticed smoke coming from the exhaust. It also smelt like it was running very rich. So, it seems as though this may be fuel related, rather than an ignition issue?
My theory on this issue (which is often reported here) is that a slightly leaking injector is the most likely culprit. The fuel rail stays pressurised (or is supposed to stay pressurised) even when the ignition is turned off; so a leaking injector would allow fuel into the cylinder, which then gives you a rich cut next time you try to start it.

If you've got the tools, it might be worth monitoring what happens to fuel rail pressure when you turn the engine off.

Personally I don't think it's an ignition problem; although fitting better quality spark plugs is known to improve matters, this is most likely because the stronger spark is better at igniting the overrich mixture in the cylinder.
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Old 08-05-2016   #35
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Thanks for the suggestion.

The workshop has already tested for leaking injectors; and they've been found to be A-OK.
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Old 08-05-2016   #36
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Quote Originally Posted by Tom95 View Post
Thanks for the suggestion.

The workshop has already tested for leaking injectors; and they've been found to be A-OK.
Depends on how throughly they tested them; they could be A-OK on a short test, yet still leak enough overnight to cause a wet start in the morning. Also, paradoxically, any leak could get worse as the fuel rail pressure drops.
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Old 09-06-2016   #37
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Here's another update (yep, this is still going on...)

On Fiat's advice, the dealer has taken the timing cover off and confirmed that the timing is spot on.

This is interesting, though: The car has been starting fine since they refilled the tank with 91-octane fuel! This is, again, on Fiat's advice even though the minimum grade for Australian cars is 95-octane.

And I'm wondering... The last time I filled the Panda up I used 98-octane rather than 95. I can't imagine that this in itself would cause the issues I've been having, but I'm starting to wonder if this is just due to a batch of bad fuel? Surely this would make the run like crap all the time and not just during a cold start.

Although, having said that, Twin Air cars seem to be quite picky about what fuel they like. Does the FIRE also have this 'disease'?
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Last edited by Tom95; 09-06-2016 at 01:57.
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Old 09-06-2016   #38
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

I can't say I've noticed this, I know it doesn't help but my Fire tends to run better at lower temp when running on 97-100 Ron, as does one of the twin air test rigs we have at work 😕 sorry I can't offer anything more on that one bud
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Old 09-06-2016   #39
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Just a thought but years ago fiat diesel engines were a pig for starting. I found that the vavle clearence was non exsistant.Got clearence problem solved.
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Old 23-06-2016   #40
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Re: Panda 1.2 Cold Starting Problem

Good news!

After draining and refilling the tank the issue seems to be fixed. I can't believe that it took so long to diagnose something as simple as bad fuel...

FIAT have also advised that I'd best fill the car with 91-octane from now on! Not sure if I'll be doing that, though.
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