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Old 11-02-2009   #1
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1.6 Another CAM Belt Problem? [exhaust CAM error]

Hi

I have a 52 plate 1.6 stilo (5 door). The car was serviced & MOT 2 weeks ago at an independent garage (filters, plugs oil & coolant), and having covered 50K also had cam belt and auxilliary belts replaced.

On getting the car back, it was idling really lumpy, stalling and cutting out when coming to a stop, plus the engine note sounded different, a sort of rasping/zing.

I've had the car previously serviced there twice before with out any problems. I return the car back, and they rechecked everything including redoing the timing. On picking it up it was much better. They said the noise issue was a faulty tensioner pulley which they replaced. The garage confirmed (also on my invoice) that the cam belt change was done using timing belt kit.

However the car still doesn't seem right at idle, seeming to miss a beat every so often and still cutting out 2 or 3 times per trip when for example crawling in traffic or coming to a fast stop. It's idling fairly rock steady around 750rpm, but still lumpy.

The car's been back again briefly, although they have only been able to plug computer diagnostic equipment to quickly check to see if there are any fault codes (none). The mechanic is at a loss of what's causing the problem, as everything was locked out when the cam belt was changed. I told him and he knows that the car was running fine before bringing it for a service etc. I'm taking the car back one last time on Friday. Could there be anything that could be the culpit apart form the obvious
e.g. lambada, map, crank sensors. All 4 coils have been replaced in the last 2-3 years.

Any futher views/suggestions be much apprieciated.
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Old 12-02-2009   #2
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re: 1.6 Another CAM Belt Problem? [exhaust CAM error]

Go for the easy ones first. The wrong plug gap can easily cause similar problems ie missing a beat, loss of tickover.

The cambelt stuff is very worrying, I'd be hopping mad if I'd paid for new cambelt and tensioner and it had to go back because of a noise in the cambelt area and a faulty tensioner pulley. What on earth?

MAP sensor? A 1.6 will run quite happily without a MAP sensor
Crank sensor/ rpm sensor? Most likely wouldn't start but they may have knocked the sensor a fraction when removing the crank pulley
Lambda? Possible but most likely get fault code and too much of a concidence to happen after work done

The fact it happened straight after a cambelt change and plug change i'd focus on those. Do you know if they actually used the proper 1.6 alignment tools or just locked up the camshaft with a universal locking tool?

On getting the car back, it was idling really lumpy, stalling and cutting out when coming to a stop, plus the engine note sounded different, a sort of rasping/zing.
Classic symptoms of a badly timed engine and if they haven't got the correct tools to find the timing again then it'll never be right

Garages should never need to check the valve timing again. It's standard good practise to check it again BEFORE you let it out to the customer.
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Old 12-02-2009   #3
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re: 1.6 Another CAM Belt Problem? [exhaust CAM error]

Deckchair

Thanks for the suggestions.

He did show me a small plastic case containing the triangular cam locks, and some other metal tool bits although I didn't check to see if they were specifically for the stilo or just generic. I'll ask again.

Re the plugs he did say that he re-gapped the plugs when I first brought the car back. I'll make sure that he know it should be .8, although I noticed a few others have mentioned setting the gap at .9
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Old 12-02-2009   #4
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re: 1.6 Another CAM Belt Problem? [exhaust CAM error]

My 1.6 runs best on 0.9mm plug gap with standard NGKs
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Old 15-02-2009   #5
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re: 1.6 Another CAM Belt Problem? [exhaust CAM error]

I think the fault still comes down to the valve timing, check that the cam locking tools were used and even if they have been used the condition of the locking tools may need to be checked, if the tools are old and the little notch thing in the tool can become worn over a period of time which when fitted small amounts of play my be possible, the 1.6 engine is critical of the correct timing and even if its a degree or half a degree out can cause these problems, I have had experience with these worn tools in the past and simply replacing the tools will make a difference, I would put money on it being the valve timing.

There are allot of stilos having idleing problems after a cam belt change, its not a long job to put the locking tools back on to check the timing, and to my knowledge this is the only way to get the timing right, remember its no good using the worn tool it wont solve the problem and if it went into the garage without these problems then its got to be something they did.



Hope this helps.

Jason
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Old 15-02-2009   #6
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re: 1.6 Another CAM Belt Problem? [exhaust CAM error]

A very interesting side affect of timing errors on a 1.6 is that an engine fault can be generated at a steady 80mph (obviously this will be dependant upon the degree and direction of error).

Might be worth check - since it would be conclusive.
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Old 15-02-2009   #7
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re: 1.6 Another CAM Belt Problem? [exhaust CAM error]

Doesn't take much, it can mm's out, and that would be enough, you get it set just right and the stilo will be a different animal.
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Old 16-02-2009   #8
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re: 1.6 Another CAM Belt Problem? [exhaust CAM error]

Thanks for the all the comments.

The timing has been done for a third time, plus new plugs, and a compression test. Talking the to the garage the mechanic is sure the timing is spot on, including getting another mechanic to check it in case of any error. The compression test shows within expected results, and the guy said that any error even by say one tooth would cause timing retardation which would definetly show up.

New plugs have also been put on with the gap set at 0.9mm. However taking the last set of 'new' plugs off he did notice that the plug on cyclinder 4 was slighty black pointing to a possible misfire. He thinks it maybe something electrical ie the coil. The connection lead going into the coil on 4 is a bit loose.

re: CAM tools, he did reconfirm that the cam kit covers the 1.6 16v stilo. As to their condition I can't really comment as not inspected closely.

The car is currently back with me, and still exhibiting the idling problem, although everything else seems fine, i.e. no apparent flat spots. Have taken it out on the motor up to speed without any engine faults coming on, although I did notice a slight buzz from inside the dashboard/engine bay in front of me when accelerating from say 65mph up. It disappears when you get to 70mph.

The wife who drives the car more then me, did say it sounds a bit blowey.

The car may go back one last time before the garage admits defeat. I think I need to see if I can track down a good independent Fiat specialist in the East London/Essex area.
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Old 09-03-2009   #9
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re: 1.6 Another CAM Belt Problem? [exhaust CAM error]

Just an update on the cambelt problem. Car went back one more time, still not right and they (original garage) finally admitted defeat, although they said I could take it somewhere else, and some form of recompense would be in order.

Well I managed to find an indie Alfa/Fiat specialist (Sunnyside Garage) in dagenham. Car's been in today, and they diganosed that the timing on the exhaust cam was out by 4 teeth!. Car is now sorted and running perfect. Picked the car up and went straight to the original garage who has reimbursed me for the full amount that Sunnyside charged me.
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Old 10-03-2009   #10
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re: 1.6 Another CAM Belt Problem? [exhaust CAM error]

Good stuff!
Goes to show that without the right tools and/or someone who knows what they're doing then it's false economy. The first garage were really bad to be incapable of doing the job or putting it right. Never go there go again - but then again, I doubt you will
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Old 10-03-2009   #11
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re: 1.6 Another CAM Belt Problem? [exhaust CAM error]

Yes; thanks for getting back with the final solution as that's what makes this Forum so useful
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Old 17-10-2009   #12
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stilo 1.6 engine fault light

Hi

My 04 stilo has just had the cambelt changed at 60k and since then the engine fault light comes on every time in on the motorway intermitently. The car has been back to the garage twice and the ploblem not solved after new plugs and the timing checked. The engine codes indicate a misfire on cyl2 and cyl3. This problem occures on the motorway when the engine is up to temp and is between 3 and 4 thousand rpm. Most commonly 3600rpm in fifth gear. Any ideas on what the fault could be, how to solve it or how i can diagnose the issue. Please help

Thanks guys
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Old 17-10-2009   #13
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Re: stilo 1.6 engine fault light

since it was fine before the new belt.. timing is the most likely problem.. after that coils.. and after that it is a very long story.. is the place that did your belt fiat approved?
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Old 17-10-2009   #14
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Re: stilo 1.6 engine fault light

Almost every time a 1.6 goes in for a cambelt change it comes out with the job badly done and mistimed. (And this is yet another one for sure). Doesn't anyone know what they're doing any more?

I think you'd have just as much chance throwing it on and guessing

Don't forget to charge the garage for your time and inconvenience because
1) the job wasn't done correctly and
2) They didn't check the valve timing properly afterwards

Please tell me it wasn't a Fiat garage
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Old 17-10-2009   #15
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Re: stilo 1.6 engine fault light

(they probably use the crank timing mark/lock instead of a TDC tool... thats like 2 teeth out at least)
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