General Car refusing to start!

Currently reading:
General Car refusing to start!


New member
Aug 19, 2007
I got my car about 2 weeks ago. It started fine every time during the first week. At the start of this week it refused to start after I'd driven for about 10 minutes and then turned the engine off.

It has done this little trick about 4 or 5 times now, and usually starts after a few attempts.

Today it took me a good 5 minutes to start the thing. I'd driven for about half an hour, turned it off and returned about 2 hours later. It worked fine, I drove for all of 2 minutes before returning and turning off the engine again.

When I tried to start it the starter motor and battery were making the effort to get it started, all the lights were coming on fine and the fuel was flowing (yes I was careful to try to avoid flooding the engine during my attempts lol). I tried turning the choke on on a few attempts using the throttle control but that did nothing.

Eventually I rolled the car back a bit and gave it a break, and it started with a bit of rocking the car and pushing the throttle right down.

It has this problem on flat ground as well, so I'm completely stumped. All the oil levels etc are fine, and it passed its MOT just a few days before I bought it.

Any ideas?!
Sorry, it's a 1996 Fiat Punto 75.

I tried the choke using the throttle because... dad said that was how it worked lol!

It's definately a Punto, only done 27,000 miles.

I've checked the manual too, (Haynes workshop) and it doesnt say anything about what mine is doing!
Choke is won't be changing it at all...

You can flood injected cars...but it's not very easy to do(damn near impossible)

Could a number of things...blocked fuel filter, blocked/damaged injector, HG on the way out so not getting proper compression, alternator not charging the battery properly...bad spark.
Have you tried getting a diagnostic done to check for any fault'll cost you a little but at least it may rule out some possiblities.
it is easier than you think to flood a punto mk1

but a 75 being multi point is harder I must admit single point injection floods for fun cos as soon as you open the throttle a little bit the fuel does not atomise properly

what you may have done how ether is confused the ecu this happens allot it seems every 5 minutes I am re educating someone on how to start their car

so here goes don't under any circumstances press the throttle wile starting your car this causes these ecu's to become confused

just turn it over until it does start

do this on a regular basis for the next 4 weeks or so yes this is how long it normally takes the ecu to settle back down again

if after this you still have problems then you have another fault

believe it or not a single point fiat uno ecu can be permanently damaged buy pressing the throttle when starting the idle becomes so far unlearn't that it will no longer start at all and if it cant start it cant learnt the idle again uno ecu's cannot be reset either so it becomes scrap after this happens even thou there is nothing actually electronically wrong with it

if it does not start normally after this buy the looks of it your car is having trouble when warm that would suggest a crank position sensor fault
but untill you start it on a regular basis without the throttle open then i cant say for sure as they both cause the same fault
Last edited:
Thanks littlepip.

I noticed that occasionally after it starts after this problem the car over revs quite a bit for a minute or so when my foot is nowhere near the throttle.

I've also found out that a light showing up on my dashboard is the enginge management system or similar- at the top right of the warning lights.

It comes in occasionally when the car is running fine, then goes off again after 5 minutes. When this happens the car doesnt do anything abnormal, everything feels fine.

I wonder if the light and the refusing to start business are related....
are you having any loss of coolant there's a possibility water is leaking into the bores because of a blown head gasket making it hard to start

the fact that it's running fine after started sugests the idle control valve is not at fault and there is not alot else that can cause bad starting

most likely really are

crank position sensor

spark plugs (when were they last changed)

fuel pump struggling on start-up as power drain from starter reduces it's power to pump

or as I have said confused ecu

as for the engine light there isn't allot that can turn this light on really the only thing is the lambda sensor and maybe some other engine sensors if they became disconnected

but most of the time sensors fail but don't go out of sensor range so the ecu doesn't notice

so for now I would say the engine light is nothing to do with the non starting

if you still have a problem after starting it for a wile without the throttle depressed you cold always take it to a dealer and get them to plug it in to examiner and see if there are any sensors showing incorrect readings or readings that do not vary as they should

almost all other scanner tools don't tell hardly anything about the engine wile it's running so if you fancy doing this make sure you get a dealer to look at it or your wasting your time and money

fiat examiner will also be able to tell you why the engine light was last on even thought it isn't on now
Last edited: