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Old 07-09-2017   #1
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Panda Twin Air ignition issues

Hi guys I have a lovely little Panda Trekking which has been running great for a year. Just recently, about 2 minutes after starting the car, it runs roughly then the engine warning light and general warning light come on, and the car loses power. I suspect this is some sort of shut down/safety mode.
If I park and then restart the engine, it runs OK but the general warning light stays on ( but engine warning light off ). After another few mins if I stop/start again, all warning lights go off and the car drives great but with "stop start unavailable" warning message on screen, and the stop start light on the button activated.
Garage diagnosed a left side ignition coil fault and I had that replaced yesterday, but today I had a repeat of the same issues.
Any ideas?
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Old 07-09-2017   #2
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

They can have coil issues, probably wise to change both to be sure
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Old 08-09-2017   #3
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

What year is your car? The earlier years had a bit of an issue with dodgey coil packs.
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Old 10-10-2017   #4
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

A few hundred pounds later and with 2 trips to main dealer, no progress with this issue.


Main dealer diagnosed coil fault and changed coil and spark plugs and car seemed to work OK afterwards, with perhaps a bit of hesitation in the engine. This morning it again lost power, stop/start unavailable message was displayed, and engine and general warning lights came on. After a bit, the car started to run OK, but with warning light still on.


I will be getting rid of this car, it seems to me to be very badly designed with very poor build quality. Fiat - never again.
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Old 10-10-2017   #5
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

I wouldn't be surprised if it turns oyt to be the uni air unit. Friend if mine had similar problems and they also first went the coil/plug route.
Problems with his car where mainly at freeway speeds though and resulted in a loss of power and lights on the dash.
Sad thing was that they only found out aftet the warrenty had passed...
Don't know if your car is srill under warrenty but if it is find a good dealer and have it fixed.
The remark about poor build quality and design is understandable but not realy correct. Lot's of twin airs running fine and done plenty of miles. Yoyr hard pressed to find a manufacturer that doesn't have some or major engine problems.
Hope things will get fixed and will turn out well for you. Also ask for coulance from Fiat uf your car is out of warrenty, with my friends car they paid for half of the uni air unit.
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Old 10-10-2017   #6
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

Sadly no warranty!
Fault typically occurs when engine cold, usually when accelerating for the first time.
Once I have stopped/restarted the car, it runs fairly well but as I said, slightly hesitantly.
I don't want to spend another 1000 on the car unless I can be guaranteed of a solution, so I will be trading it in for a non-Fiat vehicle.
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Old 10-10-2017   #7
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

When i bought my Panda twin air 4x4 i had misfire when accelerating.
I replaced both coil packs but proplem remained.
Fiat serviced the car and replaced the spark plugs and all is well.
I understand plug only last around 20K, and interesting to note there was no problem in ECO mode, only when eco was off and you needed the extra boost.
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Old 10-10-2017   #8
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

Quote Originally Posted by trekkingpaul View Post
Sadly no warranty!
Fault typically occurs when engine cold, usually when accelerating for the first time.
Once I have stopped/restarted the car, it runs fairly well but as I said, slightly hesitantly.
I don't want to spend another 1000 on the car unless I can be guaranteed of a solution, so I will be trading it in for a non-Fiat vehicle.
Hi.
Sad to think that replacing a car with another make when bought used will be trouble free. Fiat are no worse than others and often a lot better. Let's not forget if you buy a Corsa, you could be sitting on a Fiat floor pan or a Fiat MJ engine. If you buy a Ford Ka it is very closely related to a Panda, then of course the Jeep Renegade.
Personally I'd put the problem down to incorrect servicing and the dealer stabbing in the dark. I really dislike the way garages fit parts Willy nilly, charge an arm and a leg then the customer comes back with the same issue. The garage should then refund the bill and ideally refit the perfectly good old parts. You cannot blame Fiat for incompetence by the repair operative.
The Twin Air engine in my view should be serviced more frequently using the correct spec oil and like every closed circuit breather system.... have a vented oil catch tank.
So I'd say you are better off with what you have rather than buying another car with someone else's problems that could cost you dearly.
Thanks TheR thanked for this post
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Old 12-10-2017   #9
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

Cheers Trevor I know what you mean. But there comes a point when you have to question spending 1000 plus on a 4000 car.
I'll run it a bit longer and see if I can identify the exact situations where the warning lights come on/engine misfires. At least I can discount plug/coil issues now as they have all been changed ( twice! ). Oil also been changed.
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Old 12-10-2017   #10
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

Granted the TA seems to have far more issues than the FIRE engined cars. I'm wondering how easy it is to remove and clean the uni air unit? Perhaps if it's a reasonably easy DIY job then a clean every couple of years would be an idea.
Not having a TA though I'd not really know.
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Old 12-10-2017   #11
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

What does the uni air unit do?
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Old 12-10-2017   #12
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Quote Originally Posted by trekkingpaul View Post
What does the uni air unit do?
It inject the fuel AND AIR..

THE engine has no inlet valves.. the uni air unit injects the fuel:air mix...
Up to 7xper induction stroke..
Hence the clean running..and good power.

There is supposedly a filter on the multiair unit that garages ignore...

Out of interest how many miles...
And has it had proper servicing?

An owner on here has covered 100k miles..without engine issues

Charlie 2012 punto TA
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Old 12-10-2017   #13
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

It alters valve lift.

Oil is used as a link between cam and inlet valve lifters.

Solenoids control the oil in these links so it's able to alter valve lift and timing depending on engine load.

https://www.schaeffler.com/remotemed...2010_18_en.pdf

(Very) Basically, these engines are fitted with what's often called a "hot cam", it has an aggressive profile designed for best power at higher engine speeds, but they're pretty useless for power at slower speeds and usually need a very high idle just to keep the engine running.

The Uniair backs off the aggressive lift profile at lower speeds/load by opening the solenoids and removing some oil in the links, making it work better at these lower speeds and loads.


With the inlet valves controlled this way, it elminates the need to further control air entering the engine, so it does away with the need for a throttle body/butterfly flap.
This elminates engine pumping losses that occur at slow engine speeds (the energy used by the engine caused by differing pressures between inlet and exhaust strokes).

With a normal intake arrangement, some power stored in the crank/flywheel is needed on the intake stroke as it "sucks" against a closed throttle butterfly, like on the over run or at slow engine speeds.
With the Uniair system there's no butterfly so it can breathe freely on the intake stroke.

I believe the system is safe, so if anything does fail, the valves remain closed and won't come into contact with the pistons.

Obviously the system is reliant on engine oil, low engine oil and the valves/solenoids can't lift the valves and I seem to think there is/are "oil strainers" fitted to stop debris suspended in the oil entering unit.
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Last edited by Goudrons; 12-10-2017 at 14:17.
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Old 12-10-2017   #14
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

WOW! Thanks for that!


Could a slightly low engine oil level cause the uni air system to stumble, whilst at the same time not tripping the usual low oil pressure sensor warning lights?
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Old 12-10-2017   #15
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Re: Panda Twin Air ignition issues

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
...
THE engine has no inlet valves.. ---
That sounds highly unlikely - as it would give the engine a permanently open hole in the head (!) hence no compression - or no controlled means of allowing the air/fuel mixture to enter the cylinders - I thought the valve opening was a combination of camshaft and hydraulic control.
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