Technical Power Steering and dashboard faults... :(

StephanieRebecca

New member
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Messages
16
Hi :)

I'm a bit of a newbie! I've only been driving my new Punto a couple of weeks. Bought it on a private sale 'sold as seen' ... possibly a mistake!

First we discovered the wiper motor had gone, then one of the tyres was a deathtrap, one of the spark plug wires was split and needed to replace that, and the oil definately hadn't been refreshed for a long time!!!

Then I hit big problems. Quite sad being within my first two weeks of driving!!!

Firstly, I was in my car ready to get out of a space. I turned my steering on full lock to the left and pressed the 'city' button. This may have been a mistake, as the steering threw itself back slightly and there I seen the dreaded light that the power steering had failed. It wasn't the first time, within a couple of days of having the car the light came on briefly but disappeared again on restart. But now the light has been showing for a week.

Secondly, whilst driving today I hit a small bump in the road and suddenly the the display on the dashboard died. The speed stuck on 30mph (whether driving, parked or the engine being completely off), on 20k+ revs, the petrol light staying on even after I just filled up and the screen which should display the clock/mileage being completely blank.
I left the car at home whilst I returned to work, and when I came back the dashboard was all in order again?!

I'd be very grateful for any ideas. Obviously being so new to this I don't have much experience and am not entirely sure what I should do about this?!

Much thanks :) Steph x

(P.s. 2001 Y Reg, 47,000 miles, 1.2 16v Sporting!!) x
 

Citizen Smith

is one with the dark side
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,291
Location
Surrey
Hi :)

I'm a bit of a newbie! I've only been driving my new Punto a couple of weeks. Bought it on a private sale 'sold as seen' ... possibly a mistake!

First we discovered the wiper motor had gone, then one of the tyres was a deathtrap, one of the spark plug wires was split and needed to replace that, and the oil definately hadn't been refreshed for a long time!!!

Then I hit big problems. Quite sad being within my first two weeks of driving!!!

Firstly, I was in my car ready to get out of a space. I turned my steering on full lock to the left and pressed the 'city' button. This may have been a mistake, as the steering threw itself back slightly and there I seen the dreaded light that the power steering had failed. It wasn't the first time, within a couple of days of having the car the light came on briefly but disappeared again on restart. But now the light has been showing for a week.

Secondly, whilst driving today I hit a small bump in the road and suddenly the the display on the dashboard died. The speed stuck on 30mph (whether driving, parked or the engine being completely off), on 20k+ revs, the petrol light staying on even after I just filled up and the screen which should display the clock/mileage being completely blank.
I left the car at home whilst I returned to work, and when I came back the dashboard was all in order again?!

I'd be very grateful for any ideas. Obviously being so new to this I don't have much experience and am not entirely sure what I should do about this?!

Much thanks :) Steph x

(P.s. 2001 Y Reg, 47,000 miles, 1.2 16v Sporting!!) x

Hi, welcome to the forum :wave:

1st thing would be to make sure the battery is fully charged, as if its been sitting around previously it might be low at times when you put demand on it ie turn the city/girly button on. Other than that it maight need a trip to a Fiat dealer to read the fault memory of the elec steering ecu.
 
OP
OP
S

StephanieRebecca

New member
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Messages
16
Gotta love the "girly button" ...!

I don't have a clue how to check whether a battery is fully charged!! I try to leave the men things to the men, but unfortunately they're not providing much help with these latest two problems seeming rather bewildered too!

I had a trip to a local Fiat Scrapyard where the woman ran a diagnostics test... it came up showing an alternator problem, a speed problem and something else I can't fully remember sorry! She said from what it was showing she thought it an ECU problem, so I was waiting for that part to come up until today when the dashboard problems came up, and I contacted her again and she suggested a loose Earth?

x
 

Citizen Smith

is one with the dark side
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,291
Location
Surrey
Gotta love the "girly button" ...!

I don't have a clue how to check whether a battery is fully charged!! I try to leave the men things to the men, but unfortunately they're not providing much help with these latest two problems seeming rather bewildered too!

I had a trip to a local Fiat Scrapyard where the woman ran a diagnostics test... it came up showing an alternator problem, a speed problem and something else I can't fully remember sorry! She said from what it was showing she thought it an ECU problem, so I was waiting for that part to come up until today when the dashboard problems came up, and I contacted her again and she suggested a loose Earth?

x

IIRC there was an issue with the ABS equipt'd puntos where the speedo reading came from the ABS and an additional wiring loom had to be fitted by the dealer to fix this bug, the alternator fault could be low voltage due to battery as said previous, need a battery charger to top up battery, but failing that a new one can be bought instead if funds permit. A trip to a dealer may be your best bet to diagnose the fault properly as it is your steering at the end of the day.
 
OP
OP
S

StephanieRebecca

New member
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Messages
16
Thanks for that. I was just a bit reluctant to take it to my local Fiat dealer as I have been told they are likely to just say 'new steering column' and cost me a fortune. Is it possible then, if the diagnostics read 'speed and alternator' faults, that maybe that could be the reason that the steering light is on?

Sorry if I am repeating previous posts, I'm just incredibly confused!!

Any advice on the dashboard problem?? x
 

Citizen Smith

is one with the dark side
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,291
Location
Surrey
Thanks for that. I was just a bit reluctant to take it to my local Fiat dealer as I have been told they are likely to just say 'new steering column' and cost me a fortune. Is it possible then, if the diagnostics read 'speed and alternator' faults, that maybe that could be the reason that the steering light is on?

Sorry if I am repeating previous posts, I'm just incredibly confused!!

Any advice on the dashboard problem?? x

Could be battery / voltage related as most systems are very voltage specific.
 
OP
OP
S

StephanieRebecca

New member
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Messages
16
I just can't believe I've hit all these problems already!! Looks like waiting until I have the funds for a trip to Fiat then... I pretty much put most of my money into buying the car in the first place, wasn't anticipating this!!

Thanks for your advice!! x
 
OP
OP
S

StephanieRebecca

New member
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Messages
16
I've also read something about a bad earth to the battery being a problem for a steering failure...

When checking for loose earths, are there any particular places to look or do they just all need to be checked? As I said earlier I was warned about a bad earth in relation to my dashboard problems also...

x
 

T14086

Forum Moderator
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Messages
29,985
Location
Preston
IIRC there was an issue with the ABS equipt'd puntos where the speedo reading came from the ABS and an additional wiring loom had to be fitted by the dealer to fix this bug,

other way around mate, non-ABS versions had wiring mod available.

I'd go with fiattech & check battery first, i'd even disconnect it & charge overnight.
 
OP
OP
S

StephanieRebecca

New member
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Messages
16
Fiattech??? You mean taking it to Fiat for the diagnostics thing??

This is all a bit much for a newbie female!!!

How does the battery cause so much interference with everything? I always thought a battery was as simple as it ran the car or it didn't - not that it could be a cause for all these problems!! x
 

T14086

Forum Moderator
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Messages
29,985
Location
Preston
the EPS only works with the alternator charging (engine running) & must be over a pre-determined voltage so could be a battery/charging/wiring fault.
 
OP
OP
S

StephanieRebecca

New member
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Messages
16
Cool I'll have a go at that one then... I'll try charging the battery and if there's no success I'll get it tested and see what problems Fiat can diagnose.

These forums are very helpful :) Thanks!!! x
 

T14086

Forum Moderator
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Messages
29,985
Location
Preston
Cool I'll have a go at that one then... I'll try charging the battery and if there's no success I'll get it tested and see what problems Fiat can diagnose.

These forums are very helpful :) Thanks!!! x

Hours diagnostic should suffice (£40-50) if battery dont work, let us know what happens(y)
 
OP
OP
S

StephanieRebecca

New member
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Messages
16
Suppose £50-60 isn't too bad if it answers some questions! But will definately have a go at the battery first see if that gives any improvement!

Will hopefully have an update soon :) x
 

Citizen Smith

is one with the dark side
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,291
Location
Surrey
Suppose £50-60 isn't too bad if it answers some questions! But will definately have a go at the battery first see if that gives any improvement!

Will hopefully have an update soon :) x

Any diagnosis will start with checking battery voltage 1st anyway, and it will give a correct 1st time assessment of the problem, and less cost to yourself in the long term.
 
Top