Engine Starting Gremlin.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by vindiboy, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. vindiboy

    vindiboy Funster

    May 22, 2008
    I have had a wierd starting problem with my Fiat engine for a while.after going through the immobiliser off and ready to start sequence ,I turn the key and all ignition lights are on, further turning of key to start position,and nothing happens, all ignition lights on,This only happened in very cold conditions and I used to think it was a frozen relay or something as I could never find any faults and after a few tries I usually got started, [ I used to think that the current passing through the what I thought was a frozen relay warmed it enough to allow normal operation ] Any way I was stopped in a traffic jam on the M25 recently and stopped the engine for about half an hour and when the traffic started to move I could not restart the engine the old problem was back , but now it was a lovely hot day so my frozen theory was out of the window .I had to call the RAC out and when the patrol arrived I told him the problem and demonstrated what to do and Hey Presto the bloody thing started, RED FACE.:shout::shout:. The RAC man suggested a faulty ignition switch and said to get it checked out. I read in the M M M a little later that it could be a possible bad earth on the gear box earth strap as several people had had the same occasional fault and as I was having an MOT done a few days later I asked the MOT man to check the Earth strap for me, this he did and said he was able to get two turns on the bolt of the earth clamp ,so I hope this has solved this problem for me , a simple Bad Earth problem, we shall see.:thumb::thumb::thumb:
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    YO11 2BD
    when i worked on recovery it was a common starting fault.

    more often than not it was the strap that had rotted.....looked ok to the eye but give it a pull and away it came.

    the loose ones usually arced until they sort of self welded back to the bolt but the vibrations would break the contact eventually and back to square one.

    we often found the only 'earth' was through the manual choke (thank goodness they dont have em now) , clutch and throttle cables.

    doesnt do 'em any good.
  3. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

    Jul 29, 2007
    If the fault has gone then this tip will be of no use to you but for the benefit of others in a similar situation
    when we get an intermittent fault of this nature and sods law say it wont do it here in the garage, we have in the past wired up a temporary light inside the cab from the starter solenoid with the following instructions to the customer
    Next time you find a non crank/start situation, without letting go of the key(held in crankl position) look to see if the temporary light is on
    If it is = faulty solenoid or starer
    If its not = faulty Ign switch
    it is assumed bad earth has been checked prior to fitting temp light, sometimes its been a month or more before customer reports back what has happened, but that has lead to a correct diagnosis without the expense of replacing the wrong component
  4. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster Life Member

    Jul 11, 2009
    Easy way we used to check the earth when its in the 'non start' mode is to use a jump lead from the engine - usually a lifting eye or something equally solid and straight to the battery negative -- if is starts straight away you have the answer - still works on a sluggish starter if it works better with the jump lead on then earth is the problem or part of it.
  5. Douglas


    Aug 22, 2008
    South Wales,
    You did not say which version of fiat you have, if you have the one that has the scuttle outlet over the battery and the scuttle is half moon shaped with the large solenoid box under the middle of the scuttle its possible for water to overflow the scuttle in the middle and water to drip onto and into the solenoid bank.

    This can result in the computer solenoid to fail and give the symptoms that you describe.


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