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Punto petrol hot starting trouble

Discussion in 'Engine Compartment' started by RaviHegde, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Punto 1.4 E+ (petrol). Completed 6 years. Has run 58,000 kms. Last service done 3 months back.

    This problem developed in last 2-3 weeks. One day I went to pick up my son from school. I had parked in hot sun after running 10 kms or so. When I picked up my son and came back to the car it did not start in one crank. In second crank it started reluctantly and started running as if it has no power to idle, but did not stall. Check engine messaged flashed once and disappeared. After that engine picked up speed and ran as if nothing went wrong ever. Next morning it started normally. 2 days afterwards I went to petrol bunk to fill petrol. As usual I switched off the engine when filling petrol. It caused trouble to start after filling petrol. From there I went to a battery shop for a checkup. Battery is 3 years old Amaron long life battery. Battery guy checked sp. gravity of the acid - normal. Voltage is 12.7 V. He asked me to crank the car few times, it started as if nothing had happened. Battery shop guy certified battery is fine. Today I went to market to buy something. I parked in hot sun. Came back after 10-15 minutes and tried to start engine. Again it took 2 cranks to start and flashed check engine message once and then ran as if everything is normal.

    Symptoms are:
    • Trouble starting the engine when it is hot or when parked under sun.
    • When hot engine starts after couple of cranks and runs as if there is no power in the engine for few seconds and then picks up and runs normally. Check engine flashes once and disappears when this happens.
    • Engine starts normally when the engine is relatively cold or not parked under sun.
    • Battery seems to be fine because the green indicator in the battery is showing green and battery shop also certified it to be fine.
    Google search indicated it may be vapor lock - petrol vapor in the system causing trouble. The question is - every year it gets hot like this in summer. Why vapor lock now which did not happen in so many years? Somehow it is little hard to believe the story.

    My real problem is this - I am 180 kms away from service station. It will be a waste of time if the problem does not reproduce itself in the service station. What do you suggest - should I believe the vapor lock story and wait for the summer to get over and the problem to resolve itself? Or is there some way to faithfully reproduce the problem when I visit the service station? Or does this problem happen when certain components age? If that is the case I can ask service station to replace those components.
  2. Sujit508

    Sujit508 Amatore

    Messages:
    233
    Bangalore , Karnataka
    Bangalore
    Retro / Classic FIAT
    The prime suspect is the battery. Did the battery guy do a Load Test on the battery ? The normal multimeter - voltage test will pass.

    Read here what happened to my car. And it was just the battery, Try to replicate the scenario by putting the battery under load(headlights+stereo+AC) . Also. if you hold of a spare battery for testing, try to see if there is a difference.
  3. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Trying to load the battery by switching on music system+AC+head lights does not seem to work because I feel car is intelligent enough to switch them off momentarily when starting the engine! Battery guy is close friend, I will ask him to test the battery using a load tester.
  4. puntophile

    puntophile Amatore

    Messages:
    91
    Indirapuram NCR
    Has the car moved while parked in gear, during the times you observed? It is not battery issue.

    You can replicate the condition as follows, irrespective of hot/cold:

    1) Switch off car
    2) Select mild slope
    3) Put in 1st or reverse
    4) Press the clutch and let the car roll a bit and again release clutch, i.e some motion in gear but car OFF.
    Basically altering the last crank/cam shaft sensor position recorded by ECU. Now start; same phenomena of missed first crank will be observed. Ask ASS to check both the crank and cam sensor mounting and connectors, clean with compressed air, and tighten/reconnect again.
    I had similar problem in my 1.2, and has been resolved this way. They will do during service camp if you coax them to. Vapor lock will throw P0443 error on scan. It was not there. Otherwise, ignore...I lived with it for 2.5 years!
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  5. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Unfortunately I could not reproduce the problem with the steps you mentioned. Also the problem is gone for last few days. May be because the temperature has dropped little bit because of some rain in last few days. Now I have to wait and watch what happens if the temperature goes up again.
  6. Sachin patel

    Sachin patel Amatore

    Messages:
    77
    Vadodara
    Vadodara
    Punto Evo 1.3
    1.battery and terminal connection check.
    2. Service starter if it is not done till date

    I hope it will solve problems
    As par my experience cold start no problem even after few days.problems after driving few kms that makes engine hot in ac or without ac.
    Load at the time of hot engine start process... Will start after few try in hot conditions but load is there on starter.
  7. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    No. 1 seems to be fine so ar. No. 2 is a very likely issue because starter has not been serviced till date. I had this kind of experience with starter in my earlier car; therefore I have all the reasons to believe starter is likely problem. However for now the problem is gone. I will have to wait and watch. Will report back if I face the problem again (hope I will not!)
  8. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    I had left the car for service at FAS - Manickbag Fiat in Hubli. Service people were able to reproduce the problem by parking the car in hot sun for some time. Service adviser also told he saw "Check Engine" error too. He did not say anything about whether they used the scanner to find the error logged. I will talk to him tomorrow and get more details about it. However, he hinted at faulty fuel pump. He says he will replace the fuel pump and verify whether that fixes the problem. He is willing to take the pump back (no cost to me) if the new fuel pump doe not fix the problem. Please suggest - does a faulty fuel pump cause this kind of problem?
  9. Ganges

    Ganges Esperto

    Messages:
    3,121
    Driver Seat _/
    :
    Grande Punto 1.3
    @RaviHegde

    Ask them to check on the scanner. How did he come to conclusion on faulty pump ?

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