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Old 30-05-2017   #1
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2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

Hi all

I've had my Panda 4x4 since March 2016.

It had a fairly loud turbo since day one, and started having various small issues about 3 months after purchase. They were mild at first, so I let them go, but towards the end of the year, things started getting worse, so I booked the first service a month early in February and asked the dealer to check things out whilst it was in.

The first thing they said was that the turbo was extremely loud and therefore faulty, and this was probably causing all of my issues. A new turbo was fitted, but unfortunately, when I got the car back, all of the issues were still there......apart from the noisy turbo which was now whisper quiet.

The various issues are as follows:

1. When gently accelerating in 2nd gear, as I pass through 1500rpm, the car has a spit second drop in power. It basically feels like the car hiccups. I can recreate this every time, and I have some plots from a plug in OBD device that show this happening. The green lines are engine load.

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2. When driving the car after it's been stood for long periods, especially overnight, if I'm accelerating gently in 1st or 2nd gear, then it will sometimes bog down and hesitate/stutter, until it gets to around 2000-2500rpm when it will suddenly get a surge of power and take off.

3. When on the motorway doing a constant 70mph, every now and again the car would surge for a split second, then settle back down.

Whilst messing around with the car trying to force these issues so that I could demonstrate them to the dealer, I came across some other small issues.

4. If I rev the car to 1000rpm whilst stationary, I can hear, and feel the revs varying ever so slightly. It doesn't do this above or below 1000rpm. When I grabbed a trace from the OBD device, I could see that the revs were fluctuating quickly between 1000-1060rpm. It's barely visible on the plot, but as you can see, the engine load is also fluctuating rapidly.

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5. As I was getting a fluctuation when revving the engine whilst stationary, I decided to see if there was any obvious fluctuations whilst driving which could maybe be causing some of the surging.

I waited until it was nice and quiet, then got the car up to speed on the dual carriageway before depressing the clutch and the holding the accelerator at various positions. I found that one position resulted in the engine revving to over 3000rpm, then fluctuating up and down. When this was happening, the throttle was being held in a constant position.

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As the car was showing no error codes, and some of the issues can only really be seen when the car has been stood, the dealer have had a hard time tracking down these issues.

So far, it has spent over a month in the dealers on and off. I've been letting them keep it for a week at a time, as I need it every other week for work, and I can't risk taking one of their courtesy cars which comes with a hefty 1000 insurance excess.

I initially thought the issues would turn out to be EGR related, but they refuse to actually check that as there aren't any codes. They are telling me that, as the Euro 6 engine is so emissions-focused, then it would 100% have to throw a code if there was an EGR problem.

It was also suggested when I originally booked the car in, that it could be an accelerator issue, as they've changed quite a few of them. However, as there were no codes, they again refused to consider it.

We have hit a bit of a dead end, and a couple of weeks ago, the basically said there's nothing else they can do as they can't recreate the issues that I'm seeing, and every time they've drove it with the computer hooked up, everything has been normal.

I pointed out that they could very easily check over the accelerator throttle sensor and that it could be a good trouble shooting step, and they eventually agreed to change the pedal just to see if it helped.

Initially, I thought it hadn't made any difference, however, I now believe it has. The surging at motorway speeds seems to have stopped, and I can no longer get the revs to fluctuate whilst driving as I mentioned in number 5 above, so I think the throttle sensor could have been the cause of that.

Issues 1,2, and 4 are all still there. I'm now talking to Fiat, and hopefully the next step will be for them to send some engineers to have a look. Something is definitely amiss, and I still suspect it's EGR related. I have a video of the rev counter when this happens, and it's extremely similar to the video in the first post of a thread called "150 multijet... nothing, nothing, nothing... WOOSH!" in the Bravo section. Forum won't let me post an URL yet .

Edit:
Sorry...got so excited to post that I forgot to say:

Thanks for reading......all input appreciated
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Last edited by Ventmore; 30-05-2017 at 16:12. Reason: Fixed my lack of manners! :)
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Old 30-05-2017   #2
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Re: 2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

I don't really have anything to add, since I haven't faced the issues you mention, but damn are you thorough! Good job!
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Old 30-05-2017   #3
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Re: 2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

Quote Originally Posted by oyumurtaci View Post
I don't really have anything to add, since I haven't faced the issues you mention, but damn are you thorough! Good job!
That's just what I was thinking! Good luck - and persevere!
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Old 30-05-2017   #4
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Re: 2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

Thanks guys!

The wife calls it OCD, but I just call it attention to detail.
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Old 30-05-2017   #5
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Re: 2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

Quote Originally Posted by Ventmore View Post
Thanks guys!

The wife calls it OCD, but I just call it attention to detail.
Think your wife may be correct!

Some of that sounds very similar and my one was also registered in March 2016. It may well be the case that it is the same thing causing the problem, or be related closely to the problem, or you may have multiple issues.

What OBD device and software are you using? I did buy a Bluetooth OBD dongle for use with my old 2006 Panda MTJ and Android tablet, running the free version of Torque Lite, but it didn't work very well - it wasn't keen to start when it was plugged in. I'll see if I can find it again and see if it will play in my 4x4, then try to watch the app and see if there are any clues. If an OBD plug like yours isn't too expensive, that might be a better idea.

Also, if I do find my OBD dongle, where do you plug it in. The handy wee flap that was to the right of the steering column in my 2006 beastie isn't there in this one.
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Last edited by MikeySkiBoy; 30-05-2017 at 20:17. Reason: Correction
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Old 30-05-2017   #6
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Re: 2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

Quote Originally Posted by MikeySkiBoy View Post
Think your wife may be correct!
Lol......it's a gift, and a curse!

I bought one of these years ago...however, they were a lot cheaper back then.

http://www.innovatemotorsports.com/products/ot2.php

I'm using it with their Logworks iOS app. I think there's a good selection of loggers available now, but I couldn't comment on the quality of any particular one.

I think my car has almost certainly had several problems. The turbo and the throttle pedal were both definitely faulty, but each one caused their own issues.

I'm not glad you're also having issues, but it is nice to hear that some of this is familiar. Things are much harder to track down when it's a problem with a single vehicle. Hopefully Fiat will be able to get to the bottom of this, and if they do, it might give your dealer some idea of where to look too.

OT, but my car also had a faulty front heated screen when I got it. Getting the feeling it's just "one of those cars".
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Last edited by Ventmore; 30-05-2017 at 20:28.
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Old 30-05-2017   #7
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Re: 2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

Apart from strange noises when reversing, this is the only problem that I've had.............. that is until the rear passenger door now won't open from the outside!

That kit looks a bit pricey for me. I've found my Bluetooth dongle, just need to figure out where to stick it and I'll see if I can find an app that works. As you have clearly already found it, any clues as to where they have hidden the connector?
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Old 30-05-2017   #8
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2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

I often get very loud squeaking noises when reversing.

The OBD port is behind a panel near the drivers right knee. You'll need to keep the door open to take it off.

Be careful, as I've broken one of the clips on mine.

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Last edited by Ventmore; 30-05-2017 at 21:42.
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Old 30-05-2017   #9
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Re: 2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

And that's exactly where it was on my old 2006 MTJ! I did look at that panel, but thought it was far too well fitting and secure to pop out. The old one had a handle on it!

Anyway....

Just got my old Bluetooth dongle connected and Torque Lite on my Android tablet and I seem to be able to see some ECU stuff. Just not sure that it has the resolution to see things like your fast but slight variation in revs.

To try it out I went for a quick run around some locations where she regularly hiccups and she behaved absolutely perfectly! I can normally tell as soon as she starts up whether she is going to behave and it was clear she was going to be as good as gold. Obviously playing hard to get - unless having the dongle connected has given her something else to think about and she forgot.

I'll try to keep an eye on her for a while and will get back to you. This may be some time because she isn't getting used much at the moment and it can be intermittent.
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Old 30-05-2017   #10
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Re: 2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

Thanks mate......I appreciate you taking the time.

Mine is also intermittent, but at one point, it did seem to work perfectly every time I plugged the box in, and only misbehave when I didn't.

On the one where the revs are fluctuating when stationary, the differences are barely noticeable on the red rpm line, but the green engine load line definitely makes it more apparent.

I'm not sure how yours works, but mine would originally only show rpm and MAP readings. I had to play with the settings to show the other readings.

The ones I have on the graphs above are:

Mass Air Flow
Manifold Absolute Pressure
RPM
Vehicle Speed
Engine Load Percentage
Intake Air Temperature
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Old 06-06-2017   #11
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Re: 2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

It seems that having my cheapo Bluetooth OBD dongle connected considerably improves matters. It's almost like a different car under my right foot. You can still feel that the occasional stumble is coming, but it rarely actually comes to much and she has been mostly rattling along quite nicely. Unfortunately there is nothing much of any interest to see on Torque Lite - in fact, nothing at all so far.

That doesn't help you much, but there might be a clue in the fact that things are clearly better here when the OBD is connected. It would look to me as if it is the ECU, or the processing performed by the firmware on it, that is the source of the problem and that the OBD dongle is somehow affecting things.

Anyone have any ideas why having my BT OBD in circuit might be helping things?

Anyone have any ideas if leaving it there permanently might be a bad idea?
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Old 06-06-2017   #12
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Re: 2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

Odd one that.

@G8rp1 maybe
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Old 06-06-2017   #13
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Re: 2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

Odd one that.

@g8rpi maybe....
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Old 06-06-2017   #14
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2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

Quote Originally Posted by MikeySkiBoy View Post
It seems that having my cheapo Bluetooth OBD dongle connected considerably improves matters. It's almost like a different car under my right foot. You can still feel that the occasional stumble is coming, but it rarely actually comes to much and she has been mostly rattling along quite nicely. Unfortunately there is nothing much of any interest to see on Torque Lite - in fact, nothing at all so far.



That doesn't help you much, but there might be a clue in the fact that things are clearly better here when the OBD is connected. It would look to me as if it is the ECU, or the processing performed by the firmware on it, that is the source of the problem and that the OBD dongle is somehow affecting things.



Anyone have any ideas why having my BT OBD in circuit might be helping things?



Anyone have any ideas if leaving it there permanently might be a bad idea?

Thanks again for taking the time mate!

I've definitely had the feeling that it behaves better with the OBD device plugged in, but always put it down to coincidence.

I've been plugging mine in every journey over the last week or so, but whilst it does seem to be having issues on a morning, they're nowhere near as severe as they have been in the past. I'm putting it down to the warm weather we've been having lately, as that's the only variable that's changed in the last few weeks.

I'll leave mine unplugged over the next few days, and see if things get worse again.
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Last edited by Ventmore; 06-06-2017 at 14:47.
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Old 06-06-2017   #15
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Re: 2016 Panda 4x4 hesitation/surging/running issues

That would be driving me absolutely ape sh-t. There's nothing worse than this sort of very specific, or intermittent, engine problem. Some years ago I had a Cinquecento Sporting that I knew had a slight misfire under certain load and throttle conditions. The dealer refused to recognise the fault, which I was sure was to do with the high-tension leads to the plugs. After an immense amount of toing and froing I eventually said, "Look, I'll pay for a new set of leads and clips that run the leads along beside the cam cover. If I can't show your service manager the difference we'll call it quits; if it solves the problem I get my money back." I got my money back.

Good luck - I've always found that firm but polite works best plus making sure the dealer knows you're not going to go away.
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