Technical help punto not staring, turns over, not firing

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Technical help punto not staring, turns over, not firing


New member
Sep 30, 2007
Hi, I am new here, due to the punto being my sons car.

It is a 1.2 , year 2000, 8v

I have just towed the car back after he broke down last night. When I got to car I turned the key and engine made a whistling noise as if cam belt had snapped.

I had I look at engine and the top cam cover was wedged against cam pully. Belt is still in tact but very marked where it was wedged against cover. I removed top cover and tried key again, this time sounded better (not quite normal, but not whistling), but still not starting. All pullys are moving when engine turning. I then removed cam cover to make sure everything moving under there, all moving fine when key turned.

Have checked for spark, seems ok. Check fuel is getting into chamber, that again seems fine.

As I said I still dont think the noise when engine turning over is quite right so do you think the cam belt has slipped putting timing out??

Do you think piston/valve damage could be problem??

I am going to strip cam cover totally off tuesday to see if tdc markings are correct, but was hoping you guys could help with any surgestions as what else the problem might be.

Thanks for any help given

do you have a stephescope (try pinpointing if so)
you seem to know a bit
i on the other hand know nothing about cars so
It won't be valve damage as its a safe engine. Is the wire to the crank sensor intact?
I have check the crank sensor wire, and it appears in tact, it has a black protective shield arround it that stoped it being chewed up in cam shaft cog.

cheers dangil

Phil :bang:
I have now stripped both timing belt covers off to check tdc marks.

They both are in correct place. Surely it would still fire if only 1 or 2 teeth away but would run like a bag of nails!!

I am now out of ideas :bang:

I dont really want to start replacing things without knowing that could be the fault. When I do turn the engine over I am getting a powerful smell of petrol, I put this down to having air filter housing off, but not sure if that helps point me in the right direction.

So to my check list :- Turns over
Not Firing or even atempting to

TDC correct
Belts not snapped
Spark from leads (plug end)
Fuel OK
Camshaft moving ok

Any help really grateful

also, am I correct in thinking that the crankshaft sensor must be working ok because I am getting a spark?
Yep, your right. if its timed properly, getting fuel and sparking, plus no immob issue it should start? tryed bumping it?
cheers for your ideas.

Havent tried bumping it, cause it was turning over I didnt think it would make any difference. and due to having it jacked up with wheel off so I could get to lower timing belt cover.

I am running out of things to try, I have a mechanic friend popping round in a bit, hopefully he might have an idea, always easier with it in front of you.

Will let you all know if I have any joy, or whether I grab the match and petrol!!
Intriging, why was cam cover against cam pulley? something moved, has keyway sheared on pulley then jammed again, although marks line up has cam turned? in pulley thowing valve timing out ? when on tdc valves on 1 or 4 should be rocking valves open. Be nice to know outcome
well you have spark and fuel so there's no electrical or immobiliser faults

the only thing left now providing the cam belt is correct timing is the pin locating the camshaft sprocket to the cam shaft I have heard of these braking before now but very uncommon

as for the crank pulley there's no way this could move it's got 3 dirty great bolts threw it

still can't understand your cam belt cover problem how exactly was it rubbing

do you mean the cam belt rubbing against the inside of it

if it was it suggests a failing cam belt tensioner causing cam belt to run of line
more news, not too good I fear..........mechanic friend just left and he thinks head gasket has gone.

I am going to do compression test tommorrow to confirm...I`m hoping I can get away with just a gasket if that is the case.

He thinks the reason the cover was rubbing on the pully was because the engine had got very hot (with no temp gauge in car he was not aware) it had melted the two retaining holes at top of cover causing it to move and rub.

Will let you all know tommorrow what comp test comes up with.
well if the cover has melted it's extremely likely the plastic inlet manifold has melted in a similar way meaning the car will not start due to a massive air leak around this area

your friend is probably right about the head gasket too not too many other things that could cause so much heat

the engine itself should be fine I have seen these little baby's seize from heat and still run fine when they cool down again

but if I'm right your looking at head gasket and a skim pluss a new inlet manifold
best bet is second hand as they are only available new with the t/b also meaning there about £165

the head gasket kit will come with all the necessary seals you will need to change just the manifold also
well, have stripped down engine today, rapped a few nuckles and turned the air blue, but finally got there!!!

the heat has only damaged the plastic around two of the screw holes that hold the inlet manifold and hasnt damaged the inlet holes at all. There is only slight markings on cyl 2 and the rest look fine.

I am hoping to get away with cleaning up and replacing gasket, what do you think my chances are???

If I had to go to expense of skimming etc I might as well buy a 2nd hand engine and replace the whole thing, Have had quotes for about 250 for 2nd hand unit.

What do you guys think.

Cheers again
replacing head gasket with out a head skim is like a broken pencil


but as said before will only cost 20 to 30

before taking it for a skim make sure it's relatively clean remove all spark plugs and tensioner if you havn't already

the machinist like this kind of thing it make there job easier and keeps there equipment clean

removing plugs allows cutting oil to drain away wile they are skimming it meaning they can see what there doing
I have got the head skimmed......I had left the cam in the head so it did cost a little more for them to strip that out and refit, but it is all done now.

Will pick up in the morning and start re-assembling tomorrow.

Will let you all know if I have success.... any more tips tonight before I start would be grateful....but if not wish me luck.

Cheers Phil
make sure the word alto on the head gasket is fasing up


if you get it upside down it will block all oil feed to the head

you should replace belt and tensioner wile your there not sure if you thought of that yet

put silicone glue under the corners of the rocker cover gasket were it turns at either end to go over the cam caps or it will leak

if the people that skimmed the head did take out the cam shaft they will have caused you 2 oil leaks as it's unlikely they will know how to seal them properly

also make sure you get the pin lined up on the bottom pulley or it wont start
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