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Old 30-07-2008   #1
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Mystery problem...possibly ECU or earth wire??

My car is a 45 reg Fiat Punto Active 8v, nothing special! I'm having some problems when I start the engine, the RAC geezer tested it with his laptop and guessed it was something to do with the ECU, and possibly the earth wire. From reading the forums it seems that either of those problems are very likely. Here are the symptoms:

- Car doesnt start from cold almost all of the time unless I give it about 2000-3000 revs and then it reluctantly ticks over.
- Once I have left it ticking over for a couple of minutes if I put in the clutch the engine stays on, but AS SOON as I shift gear towards reverse the engine cuts out! On the second or 3rd attempt of doing this it is possible to stop the car from cutting out by revving really high and lifting the clutch very slowly to creep backwards.
- Once idling the engine lets me shift into 1st no problems, and I can coast away, after that there are seldom any further problems. However on occasion the engine will cut out when I shift into 1st.
- Approximately 50% of the time the power steering takes around a minute to kick in - when this happens ALL of the warning lights are on but as soon as the steering kicks in they cut out.
- Once the engine is fairly warm the symptoms completely dissapear...stopping at traffic lights is no problem, going round roundabouts etc...I quite often do 2 hour journeys after having the ignition problems!

Any help with this is much appreciated. I have been advised to go straight to a fiat dealer to help solve this mystery but I am reluctant to do so without learning a little extra from the fiat forum! Hopefully you guys can arm me with some ammo so the guys at the fiat garage dont rip me off! Any suggestions on fiat specialists in the yeovil area are much appreciated too. Many Thanks
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Old 30-07-2008   #2
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Re: Mystery problem...possibly ECU or earth wire??

fiat dealer is your best bet we could all say things we think it is and may be right first time, but you may end up swapping a lot of things and it will work out more than a diag at the dealers. worth trying some add to tank injector cleaner like comma or forte though,

also checking and cleaning battery terminals wont cost you nothing either
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Old 30-07-2008   #3
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Re: Mystery problem...possibly ECU or earth wire??

it sounds like a rear earth problem concerning the fuel pump and rear lights it's under the carpet left hand rear off boot

reverse lights coming on my be tiping the balance and making it stop it's quite common sometimes happens when brake lights on also

hard starting can also be related to a starter motor issue that there is a remap for but check the rear earth first sounds more likely as it's cutting out with the reverse lights on aswell as breaks i assume at the time

try putting brakes fog and indicators on but not reverse see if that also cuts it out
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Old 30-07-2008   #4
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Re: Mystery problem...possibly ECU or earth wire??

ps. never ever let the aa/rac/greenflag look at your car i have seen horror stories of there work ruining cars they are there to tow you home nothing more maybe change a wheel but they get that wrong too

failed mechanics go to work for them
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