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Old 02-12-2018   #1
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Unhappy Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

Hi all

I am new to here and I have recently purchased a second hand 2004 Fiat Panda Eleganza for 250!!! ..


Nothing much wrong with it noisey gearbox but runs okay for the money (I'm a learner and needed summet cheap for practice.)

So my girlfriend took my lil yellow bug to her dads and he had a drum of fule 40litre I believe and the car was already about a quarter full. He puts the whole drum in :/ my girlfriend drives it back, on the way it starts acting up as though there was no powere. She only just got the car on the drive after it cut out a couple of times.

Well I got back home from work and she tells me what happens, I sit in her and turn the ignition and well.. It sounds like its running on 3 cylinders and I have to give it gas or else it cuts out.


Does anyone know what the potential damage is here because im thinking, for a start, something is flooded at bare minimal but I got a bad feeling something worserer could have happened .

Her dad is coming round tomorrow to siphon some of the excess out, but I have my doubts this will solve a potentially ruined engine.
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Old 03-12-2018   #2
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

Don't know how you would fit 40 litres into a 35 litre tank. You can't exactly overfill it with fuel. It would just run down the side onto the ground. Was a fuel definitely petrol and not diesel? Perhaps the fuel had been sitting around for a while and had perhaps gone off.
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Old 03-12-2018   #3
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

Quote Originally Posted by Wee Smurf View Post
Don't know how you would fit 40 litres into a 35 litre tank. You can't exactly overfill it with fuel. It would just run down the side onto the ground. Was a fuel definitely petrol and not diesel? Perhaps the fuel had been sitting around for a while and had perhaps gone off.
I understand what you are saying and I thought the same about fuel ooozing out, apparently, this wasn't the case. No fuel spilled out from what I know but the fuel came out of an old Citroen Picasso after a de-pollution, looked like it was sat around for a while.


So maybe the fuel was bad then?. What would that have wrecked?.
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Old 03-12-2018   #4
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

I'd drain the tank, and fill it up again with proper fuel.
Then flush the fuel lines to the engine, and replace the fuel filter. Shouldn't cost the world, and chances are it is time anyway to change it.
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Old 03-12-2018   #5
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

Petrol is very volatile, and evaporates easily. However, the more flammable constituents evaporate more easily, leaving behind less flammable stuff, eventually becoming a sticky brown goo. Old fuel will have lost a lot of its volatility, and this is probably what you have experienced.

Drain it all out.
Fuel filter is in the tank, part of the pump, so best left as is.
With new fuel in, only the pipes will still have the rubbish stuff in it, so should go through quite quickly, then it will run well again.

Old petrol is a problem to dispose of. Easiest way is to mix it with new fuel, adding a couple of litres to each tankful, but that is a job for the girlfriend's dad, in his own car, not yours!
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Old 03-12-2018   #6
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

Right, well we'll see what happens today. Apparently the Citreon wasn't sitting around for too long and was running prior to depolution. The fuel may have become contaminated some otherway beause prior to that my car was fine but acted up after the refule.

He's a recovery dude so I think in his eyes he was doing me a favor but this is a learning curve for me and I was naive at the time. So that 20 quid for the petrol sounded fantastic but could now turn out to be way more due to potentially conaminated fuel.

I'll find out the verdict in an hour or so now, he's coming up to have a look. It could all be coincidence, with nearly 100,000 miles on the clock something else may have popped in there but it did get poorly after the re-fuel. So we'll see.

Thanks for the replies guys, I will definitely using the proper stuff from now on and never do owt like this again >.>.

I'll keep yous in the loop.
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Last edited by Vanadeo; 03-12-2018 at 08:09.
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Old 03-12-2018   #7
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

Who knows if the petrol was stored with the lid on properly. Old (part evaporated) petrol will make the engine run weak. In the old days of carbs and chokes it would only run with the choke on.

Another issue could be water in the old fuel though I suspect the car would refuse to run at all on that. As others have said, old fuel (not containing any water) can be used by adding a litre or two to a (nearly) full tank. The car wont notice that much.

A whining gearbox could be many things. Check the oil level, top up as necessary and then see how it behaves.
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Old 03-12-2018   #8
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

Welp. Her dad took it round the block and it sounded a rough as owt, kept cutting out. Then I rang my friend and he advised me to pull the HT leads off one by one and start the engine until it sounded the same to identify the misfiring cylinder.


So I pulled one HT lead off started it and it sounded as bad but not worse, I then connected it again and it started and sounds and drives just like it did before O.O.. Odd bit of sputtering but it's definitely running on all 4s again.


My friend is coming round tomorrow morning and we're going to have a closer look at things inside. As for the gearbox, I have put 1.65l of new fluid in so I think there is some sort of underlying issue with the clutch or gearbox, which might explain also the kangarooing I get in first and second once i take my foot off the accelerator.


Yeah she's a quirky old thing but I don't think I have broken it might just need a bit of TLC then. Thanks guys I will report back tomorrow.
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Last edited by Vanadeo; 03-12-2018 at 13:12.
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Old 03-12-2018   #9
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

The kangarooing wont be the gearbox but an oil contaminated clutch can cause judder when moving off.

Properly jerking about suggests a missfire. When you pull the plug lead off a good plug/cylinder the symptoms get worse. On a bad one they stay the same. The Panda uses two coils to drive two pairs of plugs. When one of the pair is faulty the other one grabs all of the spark.

Step one change the plugs, then repeat the test in case it needs new leads.

A missfire will cause the ECU to increase the fuel flow making it run rich - black spark plugs and a VERY hot exhaust catayst as it burns off the unused petrol.

By the sounds of it the gearbox was empty no surprise it was noisy.

You did use the fill/level plug on the side? Granny & eggs mode. Now where is the oil leak?
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Last edited by DaveMcT; 03-12-2018 at 13:37.
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Old 03-12-2018   #10
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

Quote Originally Posted by Vanadeo View Post
... which might explain also the kangarooing I get in first and second once i take my foot off the accelerator.
The throttle off is a bit abrupt, especially so at low speeds. You let go of the throttle and smack your face in the dash. The computer reacts to the almost stall and adds too much fuel, then lets go when the engine recovers. This is a 'characteristic'.

When trickling in slow traffic you learn to use the clutch as well to remove the jerk. At faster speeds, you just reduce the throttle more gently. This is not a fixable fault, so just go with it. There are threads about it, but no answer better than 'live with it'. Sorry. I've got quite used to mine over nearly nine years.
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Old 04-12-2018   #11
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

The 1200 with cable throttle has a nice soft take-off. Those with electronic throttle will quite easily spin a wheel if you try a bit too hard. It's definitely worse when the clutch hydraulics are drawing in air. Its feature so feather the clutch to keep it smooth.

My point was a full on judder could be the clutch plate especially as the gearbox has lost its oil. That oil went somewhere so needs investigating.
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Last edited by DaveMcT; 04-12-2018 at 10:07.
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Old 04-12-2018   #12
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

Sorry I wasn't too clear I emptied the old oil (which was really black) and replaced it ith fresh oil as a precautionary measure. So I think the fuel was good, I figured that whoever put the HT leads on didn't plug one in right and it came loose going over bumps..After I replugged it, she is running fine now. I bought a tool kit and I may inspect the plugs and coils see if they need replacing. But for now the problem seems to have gone.


As for the kangarooing I have looked through many a thread here but as Portland said there aint no answer to this characteristic and to be honest I am getting quite accustomed to it but I thought i might bring it up as an off chance to see if there was anything I may have overlooked.

Cheers for the replies guys if owt else arises I'll pipe up. Might post some pics of my car as well
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Old 04-12-2018   #13
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

One of the often overlooked reasons for kangaroo-ing is the rear engine mount (a.k.a Dogbone). Worth checking that it is OK. There should be almost no movement when flexing it with a pry bar.
They are pretty cheap and easy(ish) to change and fixing a bad one can transform the driving experience. And save the exhaust flexi too.
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Old 04-12-2018   #14
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

You say it "kangaroos" but what do you mean exactly?


The description could mean anything from clutch judder to violently bouncing the throttle/transmission.
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Old 08-12-2018   #15
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Re: Fiat Panda Eleganza 1.2 Too much fule

The Kangarooing happens in First or second when i let my foot off the throttle.


I have since replaced the Sparkplugs and rocker cover gasket and ignition coils just as a bit of TLC.. Im gonna keep an eye on the coolant pipe and fluids as well but the car is definitely sounding a lot better than it was. No more dipping RPMs after giving it some throttle and the misfires have been eliminated as far as I can tell. I just need to take it for a spin at some point now.
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