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Old 5th May 2009, 14:10   #1
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Default Help me diagnose the problem in Palio 1.2 ELX

Guys,

I have been having this problem for long now and havent been able to resolve it. My car is a 2002 Palio 1.2 ELX which I bought used in 2005 when it had done just 21000 kms.
The problem I am facing is that at times the car runs sweetly, accelerating nicely in each gear while at times the engine just drags along as if it doesnt have enough power to haul the car. The low pick up problem is so acute that if I start climbing a flyover in say 5th gear going at 80 kph, by the time I am at the top the speed decreases to 70 kph and it doesnt matter even if I stand on the accelerator. The problem is even worse with AC running and 4 people in the car when it refuses to accelerate while going up an incline.
I can tell how my car will run just by feeling the engine through the steering wheel. If the idling is constant or lets say smooth without mometary jerks, the car runs like a dream but if the idle isnt smooth and has momentary jerks in between the low pick up problem surfaces. There are no special circumstances in which it happens, its random but I have observed that probability of it running fine increases if I am running very low on petrol.
I have had the following done on my car during the last service at Elegant Motors Patparganj, Delhi.
1) All the filters replaced.
2) HT coils checked
3) Spark plugs changed.
4) Cluch kit replaced since the service people said its weak and is the reason for low pickup.
5) Injector cleaned.
6) The throttle body cleaned + Regular service.
They didnt have a working engine analyzer so I visited new fiat workshop in gurgaon, ABS Motors yesterday.
The engine scanner didnt throw up any error codes except for the VSM Speed. The O2 sensor, HT Coils, Injectors are all working absolutely fine. The service guy even checked the fuel pump by turning the ignition on and taking the fuel in a bottle. The pump was able to throw more than 400 ml in just the time ignition was turned on concluding that even the fuel pump is fine. The mileage I am getting is 9-10 kmpl with careful driving, not exceeding 80 kmph.
I will visit ABS Motors again next week where they will check the fuel pump working again. They say that fuel pump might be getting hot and hence not working properly. To be absolutely sure that nothing is wrong with the engine I am also going to ask them to check the compression.

I am fully stumped as to what the problem is? Can you please suggest something? Sorry for the long post.

Regards
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Old 5th May 2009, 14:22   #2
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i usually drive up a slope / flyover in a lower gear - say 2nd / 3rd depending on the slope.

does the problem occur when the temperature outside is very hot?

get the brakes checked - especially the rear drums.
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Old 5th May 2009, 14:24   #3
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Could it be that the fuel pump is not able to push the fuel UP with adequate pressure.
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Old 5th May 2009, 14:31   #4
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my first question to you - have you tried alternative fuel pumps / types of fuels? And observed any difference in the magnitude of this issue?

check fuel pump sensors as well, I had faced a similar issue in my maruti zen, and it was observed during a long drive. frequent lack of power loss was observed. After reaching the destination, the next day morning the car refused to start and a local garage came home and quickly found the issue. Fuel pump was fine, but the sensors for the pump were not functioning seamlessly and when heated up problem woorsen up.

I would say you try alternative fuel / stations and check fuel pump sensors

Regards,
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Old 5th May 2009, 14:42   #5
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I have tried filling up from different pumps but the problem persists. I have got the front and rear brakes and the handbrake checked.
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Old 6th May 2009, 19:34   #6
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I had a similar issue in my esteem when it had done around 85000km and i felt it was time the engine needed an overhaul. But much to my surprise, my mechanic replaced some small rubber item on the top of the Engine bay which was choked and causing all the issues. I dont remember the exact name for it but will surely find it tommorow for you but yes, it could be the culprit if Palio has one and for esteem, it was for just 150Rs. !

Also, go to Premnath motors at Mandir Marg and they have 2 fantastic engineers by the name Devraj & Girish. They should be able to help you further !
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Old 6th May 2009, 22:14   #7
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Since you do not mention spluttering etc. and have also not mentioned that it happens every time the car heats up, it is most probably choked petrol lines or a fuel pump malfunction caused by a faulty sensor or a loose connection.
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Old 6th May 2009, 22:44   #8
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@E_T: Since you mention that there is a greater chance of a problem when fuel level is low, there *could* be a problem with vaccum relief inside the tank. You could try driving with the fuel filler cap off and see if the problem is still there.

You could also get a fuel pressure test done using the method described here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ml#post1291741 (Strange problem with Palio 1.6 stile)

Edit: please note that driving with the fuel filler cap off might be illegal due to unburnt HC emissions escaping into the atmosphere

Last edited by vipul_singh : 6th May 2009 at 22:50.
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Old 7th May 2009, 15:38   #9
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I am sure the Palio 1.2 owners will know the surge that comes from 20 to 40 kph in second gear when accelerated. In my car the engine just labours up while at times its absolutely normal.
Also, say while doing 60 kmph in 4th gear, if I suddenly bob the accelerator up and down, nothing happens as if the clutch isnt working fine which isnt true because its lack of response from the engine while at times it all normal.
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Old 20th May 2009, 14:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
I am sure the Palio 1.2 owners will know the surge that comes from 20 to 40 kph in second gear when accelerated. In my car the engine just labours up while at times its absolutely normal.
Also, say while doing 60 kmph in 4th gear, if I suddenly bob the accelerator up and down, nothing happens as if the clutch isnt working fine which isnt true because its lack of response from the engine while at times it all normal.
E_T u hit the nail. I am facing exactly the same problem with my palio 1.2 ELX, 2003 model. I drove a 2002 Palio EL some times back and was surprised with the pull it had, till that time I was in the 'sluggish' picture about Palio, which proved wrong after driving the stock 2002 palio.

Now m sure its a problem somewhere which the prerarna motors mechs did not identify. I got my vehicle serviced last month where I too got the spark plugs, timing belt etc replaced with basic servicing.

Plus the exhaust is also getting noisier. I dont which place should be the best for palio as I cant trust these Tata fellas.
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Old 20th May 2009, 17:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
The low pick up problem is so acute that if I start climbing a flyover in say 5th gear going at 80 kph, by the time I am at the top the speed decreases to 70 kph and it doesnt matter even if I stand on the accelerator. The problem is even worse with AC running and 4 people in the car when it refuses to accelerate while going up an incline.
Well, I face similar problem too. Mine is 1.2NV 2005 model with 16000 kms on the odo. I also have this sluggish response with 4 on board and AC on; very occassionally the engine jerks - and you can really feel that the car isn't going to run smoothly that day. I have noticed that this problem start only after a long gap in service (more than six months) - usually disappears after the airfilter is removed and cleaned; however, I have made it a point to switch off the AC when climbing slopes on the 3rd gear - car climbs smoothly.

1. The AC on Palio is of higher cubic capacity and saps power - so how does the car behave with AC off?

2. A couple of times with low fuel in tank the response was poor (on both occassions I had back pressure when I opened the tank lid) - the moment I filled in more than half the tank, the problem disappeared.

3. When I want to carry full load, I usually fill the tyres with 2 psi more than recommended pressure - it helps (at least for me)! Have you checked tyre pressure properly? Under inflated tyres can also cause this problem.
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Old 20th May 2009, 20:32   #12
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@vprabhu... Its offcourse a little better without the A/C on but then thats expected. It still doesnt runs effortlessly though.

2) In my case its different, I feel that when I am low on fuel the car runs better.

3) Can you please elaborate on the back pressure in the petrol tank? Shall I try and drive with the tank lid open?
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Old 21st May 2009, 11:08   #13
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Usually when I switch off the AC (blower keeps running) the car pulls better - and as you had mentioned earlier, on some days the engine (sound) feels different and car doesn't run as smoothly as it does.

Normally I drive with half the tank (atleast 15+ litres) filled and when it is running low (needle is nearing "E"), I feel that the running isn't smooth - may be it is my imagination! However, I am afraid of the sludge in the tank and don't want to risk the running on low fuel and allowing the sediments in the tank to be sucked up by the fuel pump!

( - I read some where that after using normal fuel, if we fill in petrol with additives, initially the performance will be bad - the reason being the additives in the petrol will start attacking the tank as well as the engine and loosen all the sediments - and till such time these are cleared out of the remaining fuel, the performance will be poor. I am more content in adding the additives myself - Iftek - when I fill fuel)

Regarding back pressure - some one had mentioned vaccum in the tank - when ever there is some gap in filling the tank (say, you filled the tank almost full, and thereafter didn't open the lid for two weeks or so), at the next filling when you open the tank lid there will be a (popping) sound. Fuel tanks are designed to prevent fuel / vapour leakage, and nozzles of the fuel pumps are designed to suck back whatever return fuel which comes out when filling fuel. So I simply drive in to the pump, open the lid, ask the attendant to thrust the nozzle in the tank and wait for a short while before filling the fuel. On the two occassions I mentioned, when the attendant didn't do this, the fuel he was filling actually squirted back on both of us. So, I felt that this pressure in the tank was preventing the normal flow of petrol (thinking that this pressure will cause uneven flow of petrol in the fuel lines). Can't say if driving with the lid open will help - because the fuel filler line has the preventive mechanism for preventing the fuel and vapours from flowing back.
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Old 21st May 2009, 13:13   #14
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This issue has been eating my head. I have noticed that the rev isnt constant even at constant throttle input. Another things that I have noticed is momentary jerks as if the engine has missed a beat or was starved of fuel while cruising.

ABS motors doesnt have a fuel pump in stock and since it is not a fast moving item they dont usually keep it. Now they are telling me that if they suspect its the fuel pump then they will order one for me but I will have to pay for it :(

The fuel pump alone is 11k's. Can I source the fuel pump from any outside spares shop in Delhi?
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Old 21st May 2009, 13:38   #15
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Hey dude, don't worry, I have the same issue in my car, just run in the right gears. Honestly, is climbing in the 5th gear the wisest idea? Try 4th or better yet 3rd and the engine will just run beautifully. About the jerk, I had that issue in my car, the fuel pump needed to be replaced but more often than not its just dirt in the fuel.
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