Technical 999 fire engine SPI cold start problems

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Technical 999 fire engine SPI cold start problems


New member
Jan 15, 2006
North East Wales
I have a problem. My wife has a Uno with the 999 fire engine and a single point fuel injector. We have had the car for about 2 years now, and it has been fairly reliable, but has always used water. 4 weeks ago the car was loaned out and I suspect was run with a lack of cooling water.

When it came back it would barely run, and had a large cloud of smoke coming from the exhaust, and there was water in the oil. The head gasket had gone. I changed the head gasket, and the oil and filter. I then tried to start the car and found it would turn over, but would not fire. After being tow started behind another car it ran, but with steam coming from the exhaust, which must be from the resudue of water that was in the oil. The more I ran it, the less was the steam, and the more power the car had. In fact it seemed to be better than we have ever had the car.

My problem is that the car will not cold start. The car will crank over fine but will not fire. If I press the throttle and release it whilst cranking it over, it will try, but with so little power it will not run. The only was I can start the car is to take the air filter off and to pour a small amount of petrol down the air intake. It then runs (roughly) until it warms up. Then it is fine. If it had a carb, I would of said that the choke wasn't operating. When it is warm, it is good, and has taken us over 80 miles up the motorway at 70-80 mph(oops) without a hitch. In total the car has done over 200 miles since the head gasket change.

I have tries a new air filter/no filter, but this makes no difference. All 4 spark plugs look good, with a good colour. The dizzy cap and rotor arm are virtually new and are in very good condition. The fuel injection unit was covered in emulsion from the water in the oil, but this has now cleaned itself and looks visually clean.

Does anyone have any ideas?:bang: :bang:

Many thanks in advance

Check the temp sensors and other sensors, as it sounds like the ECU doesn't know the engine is cold, probably a disconnected wire or dirty connection.


Welcome to the Fiat Forum (y)

To add, how tight is the throttle cable? If it’s too tight, the Idol switch on the throttle body won’t get struck. I have this problem at the moment* and the results are stalling or really slow idol when cold, faster idling when warm (I a tachometer in my 1.0 IE ;)).

* Not sure why my throttle cable has suddenly became tight :confused:. I really should have slackened it off by now but it’s gone dark.

Thanks everyone,

I have found the problem. It was a problem with the plug that goes onto the temperature sensor on the inlet manifold. I think I had damaged it whilst I was changing the head gasket. It now starts well and goes well also.

Many thanks