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Old 31-01-2008   #1
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Unhappy MK1 Starting problems

Hi,

I have a Punto 55S, P reg.

Basically I am having problems starting it, i suspect the alternator or starter motor.

When I turn the key, the ignician works fine, all lights inc headlights have full power. As soon as I try to start the engine it sounds like the starter motor is turning very slowly. I have tried jump starting with sucess and also bump starting. If I leave it ticking over for a long wile it seems fine. But then after say a drive to work 9with head lights on0 it will not start.

It did over head last week, due to a problem with the fan which has now been fixed.

Another problem is the emobaliser, starting it when it starts uses so much power when it does start the code light displays.

If I have problems tonight I am going to charge the battery wile at work and see if this makes any difference. Also read that I can use a voltmeater on the battery to test the alternator. I also plan on doing this.

is there anything else it could be, or anything that I should try?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 31-01-2008   #2
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Re: MK1 Starting problems

try attaching jump leads to the car and start it that way, if it turns over fine then the motor is fine and its a problem with the power, it can either be the alternator or the battery. when the engine is runing you should have a reading of between 12 and 15volts with a multimeter across the battery any lower and it will show that the alternator isnt doing its job., changing the alternator is a pretty easy job, theres 3 bolts holding it in place and 2 wires attached to it with nuts., a second hand one will be pretty cheap so if its either the battery or the alternator it shouldnt cost more than about 30quid to sort.,

EDIT: are you using the red key for the car? if so that will explain why the code light is on.,
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Last edited by vtec; 31-01-2008 at 17:45.
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Old 31-01-2008   #3
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Re: MK1 Starting problems

Quote Originally Posted by vtec View Post
try attaching jump leads to the car and start it that way, if it turns over fine then the motor is fine and its a problem with the power, it can either be the alternator or the battery. when the engine is runing you should have a reading of between 12 and 15volts with a multimeter across the battery any lower and it will show that the alternator isnt doing its job., changing the alternator is a pretty easy job, theres 3 bolts holding it in place and 2 wires attached to it with nuts., a second hand one will be pretty cheap so if its either the battery or the alternator it shouldnt cost more than about 30quid to sort.,

EDIT: are you using the red key for the car? if so that will explain why the code light is on.,
also if you are using red key you will destroy your ecu eventually especially if your having trouble starting you should get 2 new blue keys made up will only cost about £90 for 2 fiat keys to be ordered and cut then you can pm me for the programming procedure there is a minimum of 2 keys for programming so you cant just buy one

you should turn your car on and turn on heated screen main beam lights heater fan full wipers etcetera

then check battery voltage wile engine running it should be 14.2 or somewhere close

13 or 12.5 is too little

if this is ok under load turn every thing off

then turn main beam on for 10 seconds then wait a minute and measure battery voltage

it should be more than 12

a fully charged battery is 12.76v a half charged battery is 12.4

if this is ok check back on the battery every half hour and see if it is loosing any charge

if it is disconnect it from the car and check again in another half hour

if it is still losing power it's internally short circuited due to sediment forming in the bottom of it

if it doesn't you my have a small power drain on the car
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Last edited by The Sultan; 31-01-2008 at 21:56.
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Old 01-02-2008   #4
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Re: MK1 Starting problems

Thanks for the info.

I replaced the battery due to a similar problem at the beginning of winter 9the old one had a crack), so its still in its 3 years warranty.

I do not have a red key for the car. The code light does not stay on all the time, just the odd time hear and there. But at this time im not to worried.

It has been fine yesterday and today, starting first time. Maybe the battery was just low?

I did leave the radio on for 5 hours wile at work last week. It started fine after, but due to weather I am almost always driving with the lights on, I have been letting it tick over to recharge it and this seems to be helping.

I will check the voltage tonight.
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Old 02-02-2008   #5
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Re: MK1 Starting problems

Quote Originally Posted by darrenl View Post
Thanks for the info.

I replaced the battery due to a similar problem at the beginning of winter 9the old one had a crack), so its still in its 3 years warranty.

I do not have a red key for the car. The code light does not stay on all the time, just the odd time hear and there. But at this time im not to worried.

It has been fine yesterday and today, starting first time. Maybe the battery was just low?

I did leave the radio on for 5 hours wile at work last week. It started fine after, but due to weather I am almost always driving with the lights on, I have been letting it tick over to recharge it and this seems to be helping.

I will check the voltage tonight.
tick over will not charge the battery very fast you'd be better of driving for ten minutes round block as the alternator will only produce it's max rated amps above tick over

you might be wise to check the voltage at the code box under the steering column and compare it to battery voltage

there are 2 feeds to it one is battery permanent one from ignition both should be within half a volt of the battery voltage at that time any more is a problem

you should also check the battery voltage wile cranking as the starter motor could be worn out and taking more current than it's meant to meaning there isn't enough power for everything else

you should also check the earth from the code box with a multimeter

earth is black wire

permanent live is red it goes through a 7.5 amp fuse inside the car

switched live goes from ignition switch when in the ign or start position through the code light and to the code box

it is white and blue it signals the code box to read the key code when the code box is happy with the code it shuts off this wire to extinguish the light or in your case uses it to signal a problem

as it is just staying on not blinking it suggests it's simply had a power interruption during starting

ps. do you wait at ign until code light and injection light have gone out or just start straight away

i turn my car to ign then put on my seat belt to give it a chance to settle before i crank
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Old 02-02-2008   #6
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Re: MK1 Starting problems

Quote Originally Posted by littlepip17 View Post
ps. do you wait at ign until code light and injection light have gone out or just start straight away

i turn my car to ign then put on my seat belt to give it a chance to settle before i crank
As we speak I am charging the battery, it was around half changed before I began.

Yes I do wait, however when I try to start the engine if it struggles they come back on. Probably due to lack of power.

Like I said I work all day, so drive to work in dark, drive home in dark. Which means it would have little time to charge. I will see if recharging it and driving it in daylight today makes any difference.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-02-2008   #7
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Re: MK1 Starting problems

Quote Originally Posted by darrenl View Post
As we speak I am charging the battery, it was around half changed before I began.

Yes I do wait, however when I try to start the engine if it struggles they come back on. Probably due to lack of power.

Like I said I work all day, so drive to work in dark, drive home in dark. Which means it would have little time to charge. I will see if recharging it and driving it in daylight today makes any difference.

Thanks for your help.
the only part in the car the battery plays is starting the car

after that everything is run from alternator

which should in theory be quite capable of running every system on the car and still have some left to charge the battery


so in feory you should never be able to get it flat unless you

use stuff with the engine off
leave the car for a long time
or do short journeys were the cranking amps drawn exceeds the charge during the journey the journey

without any of these factors any charging problems are a fault on the car

so if your defiantly having battery charge problems your looking at
power drain
duff battery
duff alternator

if the code light is illuminating during startup but the engine still runs
it's normally volt drop during startup

as when the code box boots up off it's permanent live with an ignition live present ie you just started it it doesn't know what to do so it keeps the ign live earthed meaning the light stays on

i tried this buy unplugging my code box with the engine running and plugging it in again light just stayed on

if this is what your main problem is you need to check power and earth to code box at rest and during cranking

likely causes bad connections bad battery or bad starter motor
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Old 08-02-2008   #8
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Re: MK1 Starting problems

I finally got this fixed!

I had the alternator replaced today, all seemed good until the car wouldn't start again...

I was checking the voltage of the battery when my girl friend tried starting it, I saw a large spark from below the battery shelf. I spent a wile looking at it with her dad trying to figure out what this cable was, it went from the negative on the battry to the chassis then the gear box. It turns out it its the engine earth, the current one on the gear box is bad, due to corrosion.

So as a temporary measure I am using a jump lead from the engine to the battery and its now running like a dream.

So I replaced a perfectly good alternator, at least I can ebay the old one.

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 09-02-2008   #9
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Re: MK1 Starting problems

Quote Originally Posted by darrenl View Post
I finally got this fixed!

I had the alternator replaced today, all seemed good until the car wouldn't start again...

I was checking the voltage of the battery when my girl friend tried starting it, I saw a large spark from below the battery shelf. I spent a wile looking at it with her dad trying to figure out what this cable was, it went from the negative on the battry to the chassis then the gear box. It turns out it its the engine earth, the current one on the gear box is bad, due to corrosion.

So as a temporary measure I am using a jump lead from the engine to the battery and its now running like a dream.

So I replaced a perfectly good alternator, at least I can ebay the old one.

Thanks for all your help!
the less of that body earth wile cranking would explain the code light

very good spot from yourself and something you don't often see or suspect lol
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Old 11-02-2008   #10
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Re: MK1 Starting problems

Yeah, just unfortunate I had the alternator replaced before spotting it.

Time to clean up and ebay the old one!
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