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Punto 1.4 petrol engine - loud hissing noise

Discussion in 'Engine Compartment' started by RaviHegde, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Yes, that is what I did. Called Fiat support and scheduled towing for Friday morning. Will cost approx. 5000 Rs. for towing :arghh: I can say my pocket has been hosed down by a hose! I hope this is one time incident and it won't recur.
    prabhjot and rishike007 like this.
  2. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    2,998
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    Is there no other parallel service. Towing it via Fiat the only option..?
  3. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    @asimpleson I explored locally available options. Unfortunately a small place like this does not offer many options.

    I checked with Maruti and Hyundai dealerships here. Either they don't have a towing vehicle or they don't offer it to others. Both told not available without explaining why. I did not want to do a crude towing (like tying a rope to a hired lead vehicle for towing) for 100 kms. Even if I did that it would have costed me 2000+ Rs. with a very unsafe ant tense 3+ hours of towing effort. Therefore called Fiat and they gave me contact number of their "towing partner". I believe the cost will be on higher side because this is from "FIAT towing partner". However, this may not be all that expensive too because a year back my friend in Bangalore towed his car 10 kms within the city center (Bangalore - Banashankari to Mysore Road) and ended up paying 1500 Rs. Compared to that I felt this is very cheap :p
    prabhjot and asimpleson like this.
  4. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    What a day ... Finally back with Punto running as sweet as it was. It was a minor problem that did not need towing. Total dent to the pocket is 5000 towing + 2000 for service. Well ... All is well that ends well. So no regrets. More details with pics tomorrow. Good night.
    mangeshtendulkar likes this.
  5. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,443
    delhi ncr
    @RaviHegde Nice to hear, and if you'll allow a joke at us Fiat-owners' universal expense: it sure is impossibly hard to have 'no regrets' when it really counts i.e., before the final outcome rather than after a happy denouement, no?!:p In general, but especially when it comes to one's vehicle, esp one's Fiat.;)
  6. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    @prabhjot It really "count"ed quite a bit. Apart from the direct cost of 7000 Rs., indirectly it also counted 16 hours of my time. Add some tense moments and high blood pressure. Also add starving for the whole day (no time for lunch break - my lunch became dinner or the other way, whatever). All of them put together counted a lot.

    Coming back to the story of towing and service now.

    I had pretty high expectations from Fiat's "towing partner" (not my word - Fiat told this). But the owner of this "Fiat towing partner" turned out to be an unprofessional buffoon. I had scheduled towing for 7:00 am. Towing vehicle did not turn up even at 7:30 am. Towing company owner Mr. Fayaz in half asleep condition told he forgot to send the driver when I called him. AVOID IF YOU CAN this guy Fayaz's Bharath Auto Works. Fiat should be ashamed to name him as their "towing partner". Finally the towing vehicle arrived exactly 4 hours later at 11:00 am. Towing harness he had is a generic one - same for all cars. I believe that is a very bad idea because there are some minor differences between the cars. Towing driver lifted the car and went under the car. Lifting the car was the first problem - generic jack he has does not fit Fiat at all, expect some under body deformations for sure. Then he asked me to move the towing truck (it is a hell of a truck :eek:) back and forth several times trying to fit the towing harness. Obviously it did not fit. Then he did a "jugaad" (see the picture). That made me highly skeptical about the outcome though. But did I have another way? Resigned to fate I decided to go ahead.

    towing.jpg

    Towing truck driver setting up for towing.

    towing-setup.jpg

    Towing setup

    In the process of lifting the car the chain of the chain lift hit the bumper here and there and caused some paint loss. There is not way that totally rough (whole day tobacco chewing and bidi smoking) driver could even understand he is causing this damage! I had to take it as "collateral damage" of towing business. If you ever have to tow your vehicle (god forbid, hope it never happens to you) you better choose a flatbed if you can. In my case that was not an option because of narrow winding roads in the town, he told a flatbed cannot even come in my roads. Also, it would have costed more than double - this towing was 25 Rs. a km, flatbed is 60 Rs. a km. If you haggle a lot he may reduce flatbed to 50-55 may be.

    It was 12:30 by the time we started moving. I was very tense obviously after the initial impression of this driver. I asked him - for how many years you had been driving and for how many years towing. He told he had been driving from 1997 and towing for last 4 years without any accident history. I had to believe his words.

    After that it went without any incident. He drove 100 kms without any damage anywhere to the vehicle. His way of unloading the vehicle was also funny. He jacked up the car and placed some concrete blocks as steps and literally drove down the steps! It may sound crude, but it was not damaging in any way. Also, while unloading he ensured the chain did not hit the vehicle. May be because of some "chaay" and "bidi" I bought him on the way. Do you recommend me to report this in "I paid a bribe" site? ;)

    Experience was really good after reaching Manickbag auto. SA Mr. Vikrant attended to the problem promptly. They checked oil and coolant level and decided they can try starting the engine. It started in couple of attempts and started hissing faithfully! One young boy (most of their mechanics look like very young boys by the way - only few in Fiat uniform, some in Tata uniform too) kind of mechanic decided it is this hose problem and opened the air filter box. There was the hissing tube (marked in red in the picture). It had a breakage causing the hiss. Engine was pulling outside air through the cut and the tube had collapsed because of the engine pull. SA told good that I towed the car because engine could have sucked in dust if I had driven in dusty roads causing some engine damage which may not have been visible immediately, but nevertheless engine damage could have happened. I don't know whether he told that just to make me feel better for having spent for towing. Looking at the dusty roads of Hubli and surrounding area I felt may be he was right.

    Asked the mechanic about what is the circular plastic part to which this tube is attached. He told "woh air keenchke le ta so". I understood no point in talking to this guy and became silent. Thought of asking the SA but forgot. I believe it is EGR? Please comment if you know what it is.

    leaky-hose.jpg

    Unfortunately only this tube separately was not available. They had to use a kit of tubes and clips (Air Duct System Kit| Part No. 77364946 | Cost Rs. 1204). They used only this tube and returned the rest to me to use when any other hose available in the kit fails. Because of that it costed more than what should have been really the cost of the failed tube. It would have probably costed only Rs. 200 had that tube been available separately.

    I also showed them coolant leakage. They opened the leaking joint after draining the coolant into a dirty bucket :eek:. Pipe attached to the engine had a rough surface which looked like rust. They cleaned it using a sand paper. Then they applied some sealant ("slag" in their terminology - I believe it is some kind of sealant) and secured the pipe using a new hose ring clamp. Only slight problem the guy created is - he filled a tad bit less coolant. It was looking slightly above max level mark when he filled it. After running the engine for some time it settled down to slightly above min level marking. I should have checked that again after test drive. That is the mistake I did. I will have to order 1 ltr Paraflu now from 99.rpm to fill it to max level if and when needed.

    Paid Rs. 1900.00 for all the jobs. I was zipping on the highway barely 3 hours after towing the vehicle to service station. That is the happy ending.

    Lessons from the incident:
    • Don't have high expectation from towing guys. They will contribute some damage. If you tow it will happen and be ready to count that also as "towing expense".
    • All people driving Fiat (for that matter any car) should learn some amount of maintenance skills. Had I opened the air filter box I would not have to tow the vehicle to service station. I would have sealed the leakage using duct tape and then driven to service station. I could have probably even used high pressure sprayer tube as a "jugaad" replacement. Believe me, if done properly jugaad turns out to be as good as or even better than genuine parts. That would have been a nett 7000 Rs. + lot lower blood pressure for 12 hours and saving of 16 hours of my life!
    • Being in the service area when your car is being serviced is one good way of learning lot about the car. Some service stations don't allow you to stay in service bay. But in Hubli that seems to be a normal thing. They don't object at all if you choose to stay in the service area. You can learn lot about all the messy things mechanics do if you are in service area - that is one more benefit of being in service bay during service.
    • Always take a test drive. Check everything like oil level, coolant level etc. after a test drive. Do a test drive until the engine temperature indicator moves to its normal level (middle of the temperature gauge range is the normal level). Ensure radiator fan kicks in and everything is working normally.
  7. sreedhara_bj

    sreedhara_bj Amatore

    Messages:
    144
    Bangalore
    @Ravi.. thank god it turned out to be minor issue and everything back to normal . I'm from Sagar (in-laws place Sirsi) so I can imagine your situation/anxiety being far from service station and towing. :) Hats-off to you.
  8. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    @sreedhara_bj Nice to hear that. Actually very soon I will relocate to Sagara (planned for Mar/Apr-2015). One more thing .. my in-laws are planning to relocate to Sirsi. What a coincidence :)
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 17, 2015, Original Post Date: Jan 17, 2015 ---
    First day update: Coolant situation does not look good. It has gone down a bit below min mark. I am not sure whether it takes some time for the coolant level to settle down after refilling it or it is really leaking from somewhere. I have ordered 1 ltr Paraflu can from 99.rpm to fill and keep an eye on the coolant level. If it is really leaking, I cannot imagine one more trip to Hubli :mad:
  9. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Coolant from 99.rpm arrived today. Car took almost half liter to reach Max mark on the coolant reservoir. Either half liter of air was trapped in the coolant circuit which went out after the drive of 100 kms from service station or there is still some coolant loss in the circuit. Have to watch it for next few days. If the level continues to drop it indicates coolant loss somewhere in the circuit. Hoping for the best, kept the paraflu can with remaining coolant in the boot of the car to be prepared for the worst!
    prabhjot likes this.
  10. fiatlover

    fiatlover Esperto

    Messages:
    1,599
    Bangalore/Kasargod
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.4
    For coolant issue, top it up couple of times and observe regularly. If the loss is minimal, then one of the clamps needs tightening. Check each clamp screw with a decently long screw driver.
    prabhjot likes this.

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