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Old 18th May 2008, 12:21   #1
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Unhappy Saga Of Palio 1.6 Breakdown

The Setting:
Traffic Signal (Junction of T-Dasarahalli & Tumkur Road) in Peenya.

TIME: 3-20 PM

The Problem:

Had stopped at the signal to cross the Tumkur Road towards Peenya 1st stage. Suddenly without any warning the engine dies!!! just like that.
Middle of the busy traffic junction, we were about to get a green signal.
I try to start the engine....it cranks but doesnt come into life.

The signal turns green, lot of honking from behind. I was in the middle of the two lane road, successfully blocking the road.

Another try at starting the car....hmmmm
once more - no luck!
tried few more times without any luck. At this time my only worry was to avoid beaten up by some angry motorheads.

I had 3 friends with me. I asked them to get down, control the trickling two wheeler traffic on the left side and push the car to the left side.
poor guys, with some difficulty managed to do that. So we ended up getting the car onto the Tumkur road and parked on the side of the road. (in front of the telephone exchange).

All along I was trying to start the car, but no luck.

VITAL STATS OF THE CAR:

Odo: 7963 (Finished second service 3 weeks back)
Fuel: 1/4 level
Temp: Normal (halfway between the Midway mark & the bottom)
Battery: Working in Good condition

At the time of this incident, I had 3 passengers with AC on.
Had stopped at the signal, Gear in nuetral and Hand brakes on.

AFTERMATH:

As we were heading for a meeting, scheduled at 3-30, I asked my friends to take a rickshaw and finish the meeting, while I was to figure out the problem & join them ASAP.
  • Called my service adviser in Prerana. Guess what he was on leave!!!, so spoke to his stand-in. His initial tele-diagnosis was a air-lock in the fuel line. He asked me to wait for a few minutes & try starting. So I try after 10 mins.....no luck.
  • I call him again. Saar open the fuel lid and shake the car for a while and try again. I did just that....nothing.
TIME: 4-15 PM
  • Saar, please call the breakdown service guy on this number...., they will come and help you.
  • I call the breakdown service guy. Saar I am in Whitefield, will take atleast 2 hrs to reach there. say by 6-30pm. What? but then I was the beggar at that point, so I cannot be a chooser. I said OK by me.
Shucks, I was to be in RT Nagar by 7-pm, where I was co-hosting a cocktail & dinner event. But my fate, I was stuck in the dusty peak hour traffic of Tumkur road all alone. I dint want to spoil my friends' Saturday evening, so I packed them off.

TIME: 6-45 PM
The service guys come in a tata-estate, did all the preliminary checking.
Saar, everything seems to be OK on the outset. what ever I am equipped to do here is working fine. Will have to tow the vehicle to our workshop for a thorough check up.
I asked him what might be the issue?
Saar, it could be fuel pump, but I doubt it because its a new car (7 months old), or some sensor could've stopped working. Will know only after we check the ECU at the workshop.
So I'll get my car back tomorrow?
No saar, Sunday holiday. Only on Monday your car will be attended to.
So there goes my Mysore trip on Monday!!!

TIME: 7-30 PM
Well at that point of time, there was nothing anyone can do, so I asked him to tow the vehicle to the workshop (OMR). he took out the towing rod & attached it to the front of my car & the back of the estate. One of the service guys took the steering of my car, while I took the passenger seat.

These guys were pros in towing in that wild traffic.

I got down at the Hebbal flyover, so that I can take my(smelly-dusty)self to my own party, two hours late.

CHILLY POWDER ON THE WOUND
A few of my friends who had envied my red hot hatch all these days, had a sly smile on their faces. Their expressions said it all.....why fiat? told you so...was never a reliable car etc. But the same guys know how I feel about my car, so no one dared to say anything.

Monday afternoon I am to contact the A_S_S for the details.

Will keep you updated.
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Old 18th May 2008, 13:09   #2
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All I can say is that you are very brave and patient!
'coz I know the signal you are talking about, "Mess" would be an under
statement/estimation of that place.


Hope you get the car fixed soon and please do find out the root cause.!
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Old 18th May 2008, 13:12   #3
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Very sorry to hear about your episode, especially in a new car. Hope everything will be ok soon.
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Old 18th May 2008, 13:17   #4
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Hi pal, sorry to know about this, but breakdown can happen with ANY Car! So take heart!

Looks like some strange issue which can't be easily identified and can only be diagnosed on a ECU analyser, so you need to be patient & wait until monday morning.
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Old 18th May 2008, 13:31   #5
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Default Do not let them touch the fuel pump!!!!

Allow them to meddle with your cars fuel pump only after you have verified to your satisfaction that the spark is jumping the gaps of the plugs. Take a spare working plug with you and disconnect each of the spark plug connecting wires. Insert the plug into the plug cap and earth one end of the plug and crank the engine. Test for spark flow for each of the plug wires. If they flow well then only should you allow them to experiment with your car. After the TATA alliance I use the term experiment rather than repair since majority of the guys at TATA know sweet nothing about the FIAT 1.6 engine.
Please note; check one plug at a time and disconnect only that wire. At that time the other plug wires should be connected to their respective plugs.
My gut feeling is that the TDC sensor has got a loose connection and only after that can I forsee a problem with the fuel pump.
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Old 18th May 2008, 13:39   #6
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Sorry to hear about this. It very unfortunate that a new vehicle should break down like this! (not to mention messing up all the plans you have!)

I am sure this will end up to be some minor glitch!

Please do keep us updated.
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Old 18th May 2008, 13:40   #7
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On a Hyderabad - Bangalore run last year, my GTX died on me during a passing maneuver on the highway, some 100km from Hyderabad.

I pulled over and tried cranking it, while the crank was healthy the engine simply refused to fire. I looked under the hood for any tell-tale signs and found none. I then looked under the car and found that the main fuel line located underneath the car had detached itself from the filter and the cause of the engine quitting was simple fuel starvation. Took all of ten minutes to fix, but for the better part of 30 minutes I was totally clueless and frustrated.

While my car was 6 years old at the time, I still think its worth checking this out as well.
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Old 18th May 2008, 13:58   #8
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Default The smell should be over powering.

If it was a detached fuel line the sweet pungent odor of petrol would be the sure fire give away sign unless you have had a stuffy nose that day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by airfoil View Post
On a Hyderabad - Bangalore run last year, my GTX died on me during a passing maneuver on the highway, some 100km from Hyderabad.

I pulled over and tried cranking it, while the crank was healthy the engine simply refused to fire. I looked under the hood for any tell-tale signs and found none. I then looked under the car and found that the main fuel line located underneath the car had detached itself from the filter and the cause of the engine quitting was simple fuel starvation. Took all of ten minutes to fix, but for the better part of 30 minutes I was totally clueless and frustrated.

While my car was 6 years old at the time, I still think its worth checking this out as well.

Last edited by drpullockaran : 18th May 2008 at 14:02.
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Old 18th May 2008, 14:57   #9
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Thank you all for your support. Earlier in the morning the Service/Tow guy confirmed the arrangements for tomorrow morning.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mhafeez_13666 View Post
All I can say is that you are very brave and patient!
'coz I know the signal you are talking about, "Mess" would be an under
statement/estimation of that place.

Brave, I dont know. Patience, Yes. I was literally scared of getting beaten up , as I managed to stall for two green signals, before we moved over and let the traffic flow.

Infact I should thank all those people for their understanding and patience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drpullockaran View Post
Allow them to meddle with your cars fuel pump only after you have verified to your satisfaction that the spark is jumping the gaps of the plugs. Take a spare working plug with you and disconnect each of the spark plug connecting wires. Insert the plug into the plug cap and earth one end of the plug and crank the engine. Test for spark flow for each of the plug wires. If they flow well then only should you allow them to experiment with your car. After the TATA alliance I use the term experiment rather than repair since majority of the guys at TATA know sweet nothing about the FIAT 1.6 engine.
Please note; check one plug at a time and disconnect only that wire. At that time the other plug wires should be connected to their respective plugs.
My gut feeling is that the TDC sensor has got a loose connection and only after that can I forsee a problem with the fuel pump.
I've asked them not to do anything till I get there. I would like to get into the depth of the issue that has caused a lot of flutters in my otherwise normal life.

The breakdown service guy checked the spark plugs in my car and also with the ones he bought for the purpose. He said they were OK.

That fellow did mention something about the TDC sensor not working. But then these things are Greek and Latin to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by airfoil View Post
On a Hyderabad - Bangalore run last year, my GTX died on me during a passing maneuver on the highway, some 100km from Hyderabad.

I pulled over and tried cranking it, while the crank was healthy the engine simply refused to fire. I looked under the hood for any tell-tale signs and found none. I then looked under the car and found that the main fuel line located underneath the car had detached itself from the filter and the cause of the engine quitting was simple fuel starvation. Took all of ten minutes to fix, but for the better part of 30 minutes I was totally clueless and frustrated.

While my car was 6 years old at the time, I still think its worth checking this out as well.
That was one of the first things the the service adviser asked me to check. But everything was normal.
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Old 18th May 2008, 15:10   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drpullockaran View Post
If it was a detached fuel line the sweet pungent odor of petrol would be the sure fire give away sign unless you have had a stuffy nose that day.
My nose was normal during the issue. But after all that exposure to the dust and pollution I can still feel it in my nose & throat.
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Old 18th May 2008, 15:58   #11
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Unfortunate but automobiles can break down, period! Wait for the diagnosis to complete and then update.

One of my colleague had a conked battery and car died at office Palio 1.2 L, battery wallah came with spare battery and started cranking. Went on for 10 mts with battery wallah and my colleague taking turns. The spare battery was fading when i offered to help (just for the heck of it).

Switched ON, waited for tell tale lights to switch off/fuel pump whrr to stop and on single crank engine fired up, lol. They took out the jumper cable and my collegaue drove to the battery shop without any hitch.

So sometimes the most obvious is not looked at, i think it was a matter of time given for the fuel system to build the required pressure and then the engine fired up.
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Old 18th May 2008, 19:59   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Unfortunate but automobiles can break down, period! Wait for the diagnosis to complete and then update.

One of my colleague had a conked battery and car died at office Palio 1.2 L, battery wallah came with spare battery and started cranking. Went on for 10 mts with battery wallah and my colleague taking turns. The spare battery was fading when i offered to help (just for the heck of it).

Switched ON, waited for tell tale lights to switch off/fuel pump whrr to stop and on single crank engine fired up, lol. They took out the jumper cable and my collegaue drove to the battery shop without any hitch.

So sometimes the most obvious is not looked at, i think it was a matter of time given for the fuel system to build the required pressure and then the engine fired up.
Thanks. Even the service adviser on the phone kept saying that.
He asked me to keep trying every 15 mins. In fact I tried the 15 min therapy till the break down service fellow came by.

Just hope that its dome freaky thing.
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Old 18th May 2008, 20:20   #13
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I would suggest you first check fuelling.
i.e., whether there is fuel pressure from the pump to your injectors.
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Old 19th May 2008, 08:30   #14
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eclectix

this is a sad thing to have happened. unbelieveable. i can only wait for more reports to understand for myself what this issue can be. i had one such issue with my maruti 800 (stopped bang in a busy intersection) but found that the electrical wiring failure prevented it to start off. had to be towed and repaired.

Srik
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Old 19th May 2008, 11:05   #15
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eclectix,

Sorry to hear that it was a bad experience in the end. as nitrous and Jaggu suggested you should check the fuel level in the tank. I really doubt Yellow indicator was on when you switched off the car.

I did experience this once in my GTX as the car started properly when it was on a flat surface, then I took the car to my friends house where the car had to parked at a slope. then car refused to start inspite of all the attempts we made. finally we had to toe the car to my house with some help and after all that pain car started at the very first attempt in the evening. Note that I did not do anything except toeing the car all the way at my hometown. This place is 20 kms from chickmagalure and even if I wish, could not have got any specialist mechanic in the city also.

After this took place, I make a point that the Yellow indicator in fuel meter never switches on as there needs to be sufficient amount(level I would say) of petrol in the tank for the fuel pump to supply the petrol to Engine and ECM would then only allow the engine to be started.

I am following the above method and till now I have not faced any such problems.
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