Curious Kangaroo Fiat Ducato (1 Viewer)

DBK

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I've done 57K miles since new in our 3 litre PVC with Comfortmatic transmission. So far we've had no problems but on this trip something hasn't been right.

I noticed first that immediately after starting, the engine was running a bit hesitant. Hard to describe but it was if it was telling me to put my foot down so it could clear its throat. This was something new which I haven't experienced before.

Then things changed and on a few occasions recently after starting the engine and attempting to drive off it lurches forward and stalls the engine. It's like a classic learner driver kangaroo start. This has happened both when starting from cold and when hot. For example, after a long drive we stopped, I switched off the engine then spotted a better place to park. On restarting the engine it did the kangaroo hop and stalled.

Once we are going drive take up is perfect. If we stop at a junction it pulls away perfectly. Gear changes when moving are fine. There are no rattles.

I won't list my thoughts as I don't want to influence opinions other than to say my first thoughts were a failing dual mass flywheel but the symptoms don't show when pulling away at junctions, only after starting the engine. This morning I ran the engine on fast idle for a short period after starting and it didn't do the kangaroo impression but it was still hesitant as we moved over to the service point on the aire.

Thoughts and suggestions most welcome.
 

Badknee

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I read somewhere it’s a good idea to leave it in gear as you switch it off. When starting turn on ignition, put your seatbelt on while all the lights on the dash clear, foot on brake, put into neutral then start.
It’s the way I do it but not sure it will help you?
Good luck 👍
 
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DBK

DBK

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I read somewhere it’s a good idea to leave it in gear as you switch it off. When starting turn on ignition, put your seatbelt on while all the lights on the dash clear, foot on brake, put into neutral then start.
It’s the way I do it but not sure it will help you?
Good luck 👍
The Comfortmatic beebs at you if you turn off and it isn't in gear. But I'm doing everything else as I've always done. This behaviour is new.
 
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DBK

DBK

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Sensor maybe? Have you got an OBD reader?
It just might be. We return to the UK tomorrow and I'll book it in with my usual garage and let them run some diagnostics. As long as it isn't something like the DMF I may be able to avoid selling another kidney. :)

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Sep 17, 2017
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If it's feeling like it's choking, is it engine related rather than clutch/flywheel/gearbox?

I had a similar issue with a much older (2007) Ducato that was due to water getting into the actuator on the throttle body. The butterfly valve would stick closed, so the engine would start, but had no power. Sometimes it'd smoke from not enough air getting in. Once you'd floored it, it'd cough and then be OK and the butterfly properly opened (I think diesels run with the throttle open most of the time as they control power based on fuel injected rather than choking air???). And it'd be OK once it had warmed up as the water was driven off. But it'd often be bad again in the morning.

Diagnosis was, when you turned the engine off, count to 5 and you should hear a sharp click from the engine bay as the throttle snaps closed. Mine just made a quiet buzz from the dying servo.
 
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DBK

DBK

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If it's feeling like it's choking, is it engine related rather than clutch/flywheel/gearbox?

I had a similar issue with a much older (2007) Ducato that was due to water getting into the actuator on the throttle body. The butterfly valve would stick closed, so the engine would start, but had no power. Sometimes it'd smoke from not enough air getting in. Once you'd floored it, it'd cough and then be OK and the butterfly properly opened (I think diesels run with the throttle open most of the time as they control power based on fuel injected rather than choking air???). And it'd be OK once it had warmed up as the water was driven off. But it'd often be bad again in the morning.

Diagnosis was, when you turned the engine off, count to 5 and you should hear a sharp click from the engine bay as the throttle snaps closed. Mine just made a quiet buzz from the dying servo.
I'm hoping it is engine related as it only happens after starting. Once running the gearbox performs faultlessly. It's just the first clutch engagement which seems to be the issue.
 
Jan 24, 2010
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If it's feeling like it's choking, is it engine related rather than clutch/flywheel/gearbox?

I had a similar issue with a much older (2007) Ducato that was due to water getting into the actuator on the throttle body. The butterfly valve would stick closed, so the engine would start, but had no power. Sometimes it'd smoke from not enough air getting in. Once you'd floored it, it'd cough and then be OK and the butterfly properly opened (I think diesels run with the throttle open most of the time as they control power based on fuel injected rather than choking air???). And it'd be OK once it had warmed up as the water was driven off. But it'd often be bad again in the morning.

Diagnosis was, when you turned the engine off, count to 5 and you should hear a sharp click from the engine bay as the throttle snaps closed. Mine just made a quiet buzz from the dying servo.
Had exactly the same on our old 2008 3.0 as well, changed the throttle body and also did some work on the scuttle drainage as noticed it was dripping from where the join in the middle is and it was getting down to the throttle body - not sure if that was the root cause but didnt hurt to do it!!
 
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DBK

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A short update now we are back home. Earlier this week I disconnected the vehicle battery and the BatteryMaster and left it for a few hours. The reason for disconnecting the BatteryMaster was I assumed it would still try and feed 12 volts to the vehicle system which would prevent the ECU resetting. Checking the voltage at the cables after disconnecting the negative cable it read around 0.5 volts but after an hour this dropped to 0.2 volts and remained at that, not dropping any further. I'm not sure where this voltage came from, possibly residual charge in a capacitor or some sort of leak back through the B2B which remained connected. I guess I could have shorted the cables together which would have discharged any capacitor but I didn't think of this at the time and I'm not sure it would be wise anyway!

Reconnecting the cables the ECU had clearly been reset as it had forgotten the time and date. It also refused to engage a gear, just saying "Gear unavailable". I programmed the time etc and by then it would engage a gear but something wasn't right and it seemed to be wanting to move off on its own without me touching the throttle. All settled down after a few minutes.

What I think happened was not only the ECU reset but also the gearbox CU and this or both units took time to re-boot. If I ever do this again I would turn the ignition on and leave it for a few minutes before starting the engine and once, started leave it idling in neutral for a few more minutes.

Once I could drive it I took it for a trip through Plymouth with lots of stops and starts at junctions and then a blast down the A38. Everything seemed to be working well. Yesterday I took it on a short shopping trip and it drove to the shop perfectly but when I came out it did the kangaroo hop again and stalled the engine.

This morning I took it to my local garage and it drove perfectly there but started hopping when I tried reversing it into a parking space, stalling a couple of times.

The garage plugged in their diagnostic machine and it identified a brake/throttle "coherence" issue. They are busy and can't look at it until 2 November but this was promising.

I have read on here issues with the 'box not selecting a gear because it thought the gear pedal wasn't being depressed. This is different of course but it sounds like an issue either with the brake switch or the throttle sensor.

Further updates, hopefully, after 2 November. :)
 
Feb 5, 2020
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Was a Newbie but getting the hang of it now.
Interested to find out how you get on.

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bobandjanie

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When we replaced our current motorhome, Janie was keen on having Comfortmatic transmission she loved our Eura Mobil / Mercedes sprint shift gearbox and never had any problems in the time we had it, 😜 but I'm so glad it was one of the decisions I won having manual on this one, there seems to be far too many problems cropping up, it wouldn't be so bad if fiat recognised they have a problem. 🤔
Hope you and everyone else gets sorted and doesn't cost a fortune. 🙂 Bob
 

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