Technical Speedometer irratic and engine temperature

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Technical Speedometer irratic and engine temperature

Anna22

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Jan 4, 2022
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3
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Essex
Yesterday a very odd thing happened with my Fiat Punto 1.2 (2001)... really hoping for some advice and thoughts as unsure if anything I did may have contributed :-/

So, she's called 'Constance'...mainly because she's either constantly running around only at 50kmh or on local ish journeys...mostly 40 kilometers or far less as her main use is to go to the shops here in rural Portugal in the next village. For this reason the last two weeks I've had the 'city' mode on. No real issues only air filter changed recently and fuel pump. Roll it forward. Yesterday decided to take her on a good run...a couple of days break about a 2 hour run away...prior to leaving I had cleaned the car inside...found a loose fuse in glovebox compartment...(didn't seem to be fitted to anything/doing anything?)....topped up the oil and radiator fluid ...premixed just add it... and checked tyre pressure. Thought to mention all of this just in case!

Was approx 80k into the journey...all well but car seemed a bit sluggish going up hills as though it was losing some power. Pulled over in services. Had coffee. Started again...less than 5km later the car speedometer started to fail...went to zero didn't register...pulled over...switched off engine....started it again...speedometer worked. Continued but 1km later same again. Called breakdown...who checked oil/water etc all fine..advised to continue and see what happens. (it's Portugal lol).
2km later.....speedometer stopped altogether...warning light came on (engine warning light) and temperature guage started to rise.....had previously noticed it was barely off the minimum on guage and was a hot day??.......
My only thought was about 20km into journey on the motorway I ran over a smallish rock in the road....heard a hell of a clunk...but everything seemed well.....wondering if this may have damaged a sensor, or if the fuse I found in glovebox may have been something needed ;-/...or having taken it off 'city' mode may have impacted....

The car is in the garage now....but I'm wondering if any of the above 'happenings' may be relevant to her issues.....quite fond of the old girl...despite her being a 'constant' pain lol! Any help or suggestions greatly appreciated.....apart from the taxi driver taking me home comments of 'buy a Mercedes'....lol!

Just to add....I'm not a speed freak, drive her with care and consideration given her geriatric status (and mine).....and the fastest she's gone in recent years was on the back of the breakdown truck home...that guy pulled 120 km per hr plus... :)

Thanks All :)
 

lowaaa

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
96
Was it only the speedometer which stopped, or did everything shut down? I had a ford previously and driving on the motorway, the dash completely shut off but my speed was still going, I just had to turn the key off and then back on and it was all good. The problem was the alternator. It needed a new one.

Same situation of when I was driving a van, alternator flew off and half way on the way back, the dashboard just went blank.


You should check the alternator, that may be your culprit. I took mine off and gave it a deep clean as many suggested on YouTube, never had a problem with it since then. The amount of gunk it stores is expected after 18 years (at least on mine)

Especially if you feel like you hit something and heard a loud noise, might have damaged it.

Regarding engine temperature, whens the last time you got the thermometer changed? If the increase isn't that huge, as like you said it was a hot day, you're probably fine.

One other thing you could check is the ignition cables, our ignition cables had a slit in the rubber, so the sparks were constantly touching the metal around it, making the car feel sluggish. After changing the cables the car ran beautifully. Also check the spark plugs if the car feels sluggish :)

I assume the alternator might be the cause though, not sure, seems there might not be enough power in your car. If you can, buy a cheap OBD II scanner from ebay/amazon and check what error codes you get, as it could really be anything... maybe even the cars computer 🤷‍♂️
 
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Anna22

New member
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Essex
Was it only the speedometer which stopped, or did everything shut down? I had a ford previously and driving on the motorway, the dash completely shut off but my speed was still going, I just had to turn the key off and then back on and it was all good. The problem was the alternator. It needed a new one.

Same situation of when I was driving a van, alternator flew off and half way on the way back, the dashboard just went blank.


You should check the alternator, that may be your culprit. I took mine off and gave it a deep clean as many suggested on YouTube, never had a problem with it since then. The amount of gunk it stores is expected after 18 years (at least on mine)

Especially if you feel like you hit something and heard a loud noise, might have damaged it.

Regarding engine temperature, whens the last time you got the thermometer changed? If the increase isn't that huge, as like you said it was a hot day, you're probably fine.

One other thing you could check is the ignition cables, our ignition cables had a slit in the rubber, so the sparks were constantly touching the metal around it, making the car feel sluggish. After changing the cables the car ran beautifully. Also check the spark plugs if the car feels sluggish :)

I assume the alternator might be the cause though, not sure, seems there might not be enough power in your car. If you can, buy a cheap OBD II scanner from ebay/amazon and check what error codes you get, as it could really be anything... maybe even the cars computer 🤷‍♂️
It was just the speedometer which stopped completely, the rest of the instruments were working. Speedometer started up again and worked but only for a short distance after switching engine off and recommencing journey. The temperature gauge then went up...whereas previously it was practically zero. I haven't had the thermometer changed only the fuel pump 4 months ago. Have owned the car for two years and after fuel pump change it was less sluggish and much better but after taking off the city mode this issue has happened.
 

lowaaa

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
96
From what I know, the city mode is an issue itself, where sometimes your steering comes stiff and a steering light symbol comes on. Especially when turning it off... Since it's 21 year old car, give cleaning the fuses a go. If that doesn't work then maybe a connection is struggling somewhere.
 
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Anna22

New member
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Essex
From what I know, the city mode is an issue itself, where sometimes your steering comes stiff and a steering light symbol comes on. Especially when turning it off... Since it's 21 year old car, give cleaning the fuses a go. If that doesn't work then maybe a connection is struggling somewhere.
Thanks for that info, tbh I didn't know the city mode had those issues but had noticed since using it the problem had happened. I think in future that button will remain without use in future as makes little impact on fuel consumption with age of car. The issue happened after the jolt so yes, it seems likely a connection or sensor somewhere is at fault. Garage looking at it today so fingers crossed. Thanks for your input, very much appreciated.
 
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