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Discussion Starter #1
I noticed the idle to miss a beat, or have a very small arrythmia when the car was new, three years ago. Now at 30000 km and 3 years the problem is very noticeable, the idle rythm changes, missing a spark perhaps, and vibrations are very clear.

Any experience here on the possible issue? Anyone else seen this?

I have a time booked at the local service in a few weeks but I have little hopes on the Fiat services quality and capability. I complained about this when the car was new and at one year service. In both occasions it was said to be 'ok'. At that time it was hardly noticeable.

I have not yet pulled out the spark plugs & cables for inspection.
 

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Plugs and coil packs would be the first things to check.
 

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2018 124 Spider Abarth Custom
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I would also have the injectors checked to see if one or more is marginal and running lean. I also had some choppy idle until Toby raised it to 950 so I think I also may have had a crappy injector in #2.
 

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Agreed. If it was from new it’s hard to say if it would be the plugs or coils specifically.

You might try pulling codes - may not have thrown a light but might find a code relating to a specific cylinder. If you find one can try moving the coil pack to check if it jumps cylinders.

Many forum members upgrade to the Alfa Romeo 4c coil packs by Bosch. I have them - they are reliable. I’ve not had problems with the stock ones before swapping but others have.
 
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Hi, yes sounds very much like you need to plug in an OBD 11 and see what's happening, the codes will send you straight to the problem. You should be running idle at 800 RPM (once settled from cold) and fueling / air mix correct at that, so dirty / slightly blocked air filter / system, old / dodgy spark plug(s)....service due. Oil...correct and clean oil VITAL in the Spider, oil and filter change due.......service. Serviced and emissions checked, no codes showing I would be inclined to check front brake pad wear as at 30000 km they must be due changing, mask on, blow out the area and replace pads with your choice. I don't know what state of tune you have but I agree with the Performance coil pack idea anyway.......I had no problems, just removed the OEM set (1500 mls on them) and fitted a performance set anyway to assist greater spark. Sounds like a good service may just save the day as deep sinister problems seem to be extremely rare on our cars, Good Luck with it all. Cheers
ron
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have had my services done as expected so this is not due negligence. No tunes, engine is stock except for K&N washable air filter.
 

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I may have had something similar to what you have but can't say for sure without a more detailed description. Take a video of the symptoms, that would help a lot.
 

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I have had my services done as expected so this is not due negligence. No tunes, engine is stock except for K&N washable air filter.
Sorry, must have misread I thought you had a service booked shortly. Have you had an OBD on the Spider yet ? Also...Injector cleaner....I use Shell Premium fuel so no need for additive, however lots of the lads use additive / cleaner...maybe a good blast through with that......
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Maybe I was just not clear. I have done the periodic maintenances as expected, I now have an extra service booked for this issue. This has got worse since last periodic service in May this year.

More details on the issue: This appears is only in idle, not when you rew up or actually drive. There is no power loss nor vibrations while driving. On idle, the engine occasionally vibrates and and occasionally it sounds & feels like it is missing a beat, an arrythmia in the ignition. Most of the time idle is fine. Having said that, as there is no power impact but only an idle issue this could also be some idle vacuum pipe being blocked / loose or something like that, instead of direct ignition related.

Fuel additives; It is extremely rare to get bad fuel here, and we do not have fuel brands like 'Premium'. Fuel is plainly sold by it 's formula, octane and amount of ethanol mixed. I use the most common 95E10 and other alternative would be 98E5. According to Fiat both are ok for Multiair and our Spider. Here the fuel already contains come cleanup additives for injection engines and my understanding is that the sold and on market cleaning additives have more or less snake oil effect due to this (we had motoring press testing those few years back).

I do not have an OBD reader in my garage. Considering getting one.
 

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I use the most common 95E10 and other alternative would be 98E5.
Have you tried 98E5? Although 98 RON is not required, it is recommended and I think what the car does when idling is try to advance timing as much as possible then pull back when it senses the edge of knock, that's how it knows what octane fuel you added so it can adjust timing accordingly. Maybe in your case it's failing to gauge the edge of knock and instead knocking outright. I'm assuming the symptom you are seeing is a single misfire-like event, sounding like a pop, happening at seemingly random intervals, if so then that's similar to what I had before, for me it was an issue with my previous tune and I've never seen this on a stock tune but then again I'm always on 98 RON or above.
 
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Have you tried 98E5? Although 98 RON is not required, it is recommended and I think what the car does when idling is try to advance timing as much as possible then pull back when it senses the edge of knock, that's how it knows what octane fuel you added so it can adjust timing accordingly. Maybe in your case it's failing to gauge the edge of knock and instead knocking outright. I'm assuming the symptom you are seeing is a single misfire-like event, sounding like a pop, happening at seemingly random intervals, if so then that's similar to what I had before, for me it was an issue with my previous tune and I've never seen this on a stock tune but then again I'm always on 98 RON or above.
Yep...I think we are all on the same page here now.......98 is Premium grade here in UK and IS recommended as the fuel to use so I would say, don't adjust anything just yet.....fill the tank with 98 and give the Spider a decent / good run to mix and for the engine to adjust itself to the new fuel, pretty certain that your idle will reset itself to 800 rpm as the engine finds the smooth spot again. Cheers
ron
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, I never took my car to a service. I switched to 98E5 and the problem faded away. Will swap back to 95E10 to test is the problem returns. But consider this one solved unless I raise it again.
 

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I have a new car and from delivery there is a vibration at idle when aircon is on.
AC compressor puts a load on the engine, and at idle is getting least back from engine for whatever temp cooling (?) you're demanding via AC. Voltage regulators was the old name for the gizmo which minimised the effects of this. Try your heated rear window at idle and watch the revs blip a little at on and off positions! My old Spider really grumbles if I fire up the additional four Carell Spot and Fog lamps I fitted, but settles down once she knows I need the alternator to work a little more.... Bet you notice no lumpy running once up to temp and some speed and engine RPM
 

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AC compressor puts a load on the engine, and at idle is getting least back from engine for whatever temp cooling (?) you're demanding via AC. Voltage regulators was the old name for the gizmo which minimised the effects of this. Try your heated rear window at idle and watch the revs blip a little at on and off positions! My old Spider really grumbles if I fire up the additional four Carell Spot and Fog lamps I fitted, but settles down once she knows I need the alternator to work a little more.... Bet you notice no lumpy running once up to temp and some speed and engine RPM
Carello.... Spell check error!
 
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