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2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica, Grigio Moda
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I too was thinking possibly an intake leak until it was revealed that the spark plug is fouled each time. A leaking intake (either caused by a crack, poor gasket sealing, or whatever) would result in a lean condition that would cause excessive plug wear, but not fouling. Worn, broken, sticking piston rings might be at play here, so compression / leak down tests may reveal this issue if cyl. #3 results are compared to the other good cylinders, as would a sticking valve - though that may take many / multiple tests to figure out. The tech may have to employ a bore scope to look for cylinder wall scoring or other damage, the tops of valves may need inspecting for carbon buildup, maybe a valve guide issue, is there excessive oil consumption ? This stuff isn't easy, techs and customers often become quite frustrated. It takes patience, and in the case of the tech some smarts and savvy to figure this stuff out. s
The oil consumption doesn’t appear to be any higher than I would expect it to be. And yes it is very frustrating for all of us!
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I’ve had a look at Multiair failures on the internet. What I can’t get my head around is if something has come loose inside the Multiair unit, why when we clean the spark plug does it run fine for about 10 days before misfiring again? Surely if the Multiair unit had a problem it would be a hard fail?
 

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2018 Abarth 124 Spider, Mare Blue / Nero Abarth Leather, Brembo's, Record Monza, Automatic
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@AT19 , you haven't said, but did you buy this car used? How many miles on it? And do you know what kind of engine oil (brand, does it meet MS-12991?, other standards?), How often has the oil been changed? The reason I ask is that by your description of the drive cycle, and the time (although you haven't stated distance) between occurances, it sounds to me that oil fouling on the plug becomes more likely. There have been reports on this forum that cyl's 2 & 3 are susceptible to ring issues due to higher temps in 2 & 3 as opposed to 1 & 4. The higher temps lead to burning ( or oxidation ) of the oil, which causes the rings to stick. This problem would be more common or higher mileage cars, or cars that used poor quality oil or did not have the oil changed frequently enough. @Calehedron might be able to shed some more light on this particular issue. Just something to keep in mind as you deal with your tech. And you are correct, a burnt valve would most likely show up on a compression / leak down test. If your ignition circuit tests and checks look good ( and I am looking for something that would cause a weak spark, leading to incomplete combustion), and you have higher mileage and/or doubts about oil and oil changes, then it's a very simple task to repeat compression / leak down tests - during the leak down test, pull the dipstick and hold a light and thin strip of toilet paper or Kleenex tissue over the dipstick tube and see if it waves around. If it waves around more on 3 than the other cylinders, you have found your problem. Drop a bore scope down into the cylinder - use one that can look all around, not just straight down. Look for cylinder wall issues. I would not outright dismiss a MultiAir issue, but think it is more unlikely. Maybe Ken, or @mtnghost , or @hefbadr ( if either are still around here) can weigh in soon also. Good Luck , and keep us posted! Best, s
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
@AT19 , you haven't said, but did you buy this car used? How many miles on it? And do you know what kind of engine oil (brand, does it meet MS-12991?, other standards?), How often has the oil been changed? The reason I ask is that by your description of the drive cycle, and the time (although you haven't stated distance) between occurances, it sounds to me that oil fouling on the plug becomes more likely. There have been reports on this forum that cyl's 2 & 3 are susceptible to ring issues due to higher temps in 2 & 3 as opposed to 1 & 4. The higher temps lead to burning ( or oxidation ) of the oil, which causes the rings to stick. This problem would be more common or higher mileage cars, or cars that used poor quality oil or did not have the oil changed frequently enough. @Calehedron might be able to shed some more light on this particular issue. Just something to keep in mind as you deal with your tech. And you are correct, a burnt valve would most likely show up on a compression / leak down test. If your ignition circuit tests and checks look good ( and I am looking for something that would cause a weak spark, leading to incomplete combustion), and you have higher mileage and/or doubts about oil and oil changes, then it's a very simple task to repeat compression / leak down tests - during the leak down test, pull the dipstick and hold a light and thin strip of toilet paper or Kleenex tissue over the dipstick tube and see if it waves around. If it waves around more on 3 than the other cylinders, you have found your problem. Drop a bore scope down into the cylinder - use one that can look all around, not just straight down. Look for cylinder wall issues. I would not outright dismiss a MultiAir issue, but think it is more unlikely. Maybe Ken, or @mtnghost , or @hefbadr ( if either are still around here) can weigh in soon also. Good Luck , and keep us posted! Best, s
I did buy it used. When I got it there was 35,000 miles on the clock and a full dealer history. The oil used in the car is has been changed since the start of the misfiring. Oil used is the one that is recommended by main dealers to be used (5W-40 Selenia). It’s always a time scale of 10 days rather than distance related, I use the car to go to and from work every day and some weeks it goes further than normal (if I’m going somewhere for a meal or something).
Wouldn’t gummed rings also show as low compression in a compression test or leak test?
All of this has definitely put me in a better position when talking to my tech tomorrow morning!
 

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Hi @AT19 , You may not see something alarming with a compression test, even comparing to other cylinders. There may be some normal variation between the cylinders that wouldn't necessarily give your tech that "Ah-Ha" moment. This is why I suggested a leak down test, using a thin strip of TP over the dipstick tube, and comparing the air flow to other cylinders. It's a trick I've used successfully in the past. And a "surround-view" bore scope can tell you things a compression test won't, too. Happy you are using the Selena 5w-40, but what about the historical oil changes ( oil & frequency )? I know it is probably impossible for you to do, as I'm thinking Jersey doesn't have a long stretch of super highway, but wondering what would happen if you put in a fresh set of properly gapped plugs (.023 - .024"), and then took the car out for a 20 mi. (30 km) run at highway speeds? As we have communicated about your problem, more and more info has been revealed. Please tell your shop/tech all information related to the issue, as the more info he has, the better chance he has to fix the car. Hope this gives you some ideas that help resolve the issue. Please let us know how things go tomorrow! Best, s
 

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Lots of good recommendations above and I would add changing the MA Brick filter with spec oil.
 
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I thought a burnt valve would show a low compression reading on a compression test?
A leak down test might be a better check. They should also be able to check the valves with a scope.
 

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The more I read this thread the more I'm inclined to believe the root issue could be oil intrusion in C3 fouling the plug. It was not mentioned if it was oil fouled or fuel fouled, but I'm guessing oil. Sticky rings, leaky valve guide seals? Any signs of exhaust smoke on start up, acceleration or deceleration? Oil consumption was stated as not unusual, but no specifics...

I would try a high quality fuel system cleaner such as Techron or BG44K to clean the fuel system, and maybe free up sticky rings or clean up excessive carbon. I'm also guessing the usual tests in swapping coils and plugs from cylinder to cylinder to see if the misfire travels have been performed.

Just some random thoughts.
 

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I'll throw in my .02 can which is worth more then 2 cents US LOL
check your fuel, you must had some bad batch. Burn it out and fill tank with fresh fuel and see.
Cause everything looks OK,
 

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@AT19 , you haven't said, but did you buy this car used? How many miles on it? And do you know what kind of engine oil (brand, does it meet MS-12991?, other standards?), How often has the oil been changed? The reason I ask is that by your description of the drive cycle, and the time (although you haven't stated distance) between occurances, it sounds to me that oil fouling on the plug becomes more likely. There have been reports on this forum that cyl's 2 & 3 are susceptible to ring issues due to higher temps in 2 & 3 as opposed to 1 & 4. The higher temps lead to burning ( or oxidation ) of the oil, which causes the rings to stick. This problem would be more common or higher mileage cars, or cars that used poor quality oil or did not have the oil changed frequently enough. @Calehedron might be able to shed some more light on this particular issue. Just something to keep in mind as you deal with your tech. And you are correct, a burnt valve would most likely show up on a compression / leak down test. If your ignition circuit tests and checks look good ( and I am looking for something that would cause a weak spark, leading to incomplete combustion), and you have higher mileage and/or doubts about oil and oil changes, then it's a very simple task to repeat compression / leak down tests - during the leak down test, pull the dipstick and hold a light and thin strip of toilet paper or Kleenex tissue over the dipstick tube and see if it waves around. If it waves around more on 3 than the other cylinders, you have found your problem. Drop a bore scope down into the cylinder - use one that can look all around, not just straight down. Look for cylinder wall issues. I would not outright dismiss a MultiAir issue, but think it is more unlikely. Maybe Ken, or @mtnghost , or @hefbadr ( if either are still around here) can weigh in soon also. Good Luck , and keep us posted! Best, s
Oil intrusion (stop). No 3 cyl only (stop). Loss of oil sealing for #3 (stop). Valves guides or rings at fault (go).
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
Hi guys.

I’ve been told the following from the garage this evening. Not understanding how they’re getting to here as it’s quite the contradiction but I thought I would let you all know.

T A Case asked us to do the following tests which have been fed back to them.
Compression test - OK
Cylinder leak test results 15% on all cylinders
Now concerned of Bore wear which could be causing oil to pass by oil control ring on piston in cylinder no. 3
If misfire is detected, the ECU cuts out the fuel supply to that cylinder by disabling the injector.
Now waiting to hear back from Fiat Technical, hopefully Monday.
 

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Thanks for the update, @AT19 , I like seeing leak down rates of under 10%, with approx. 5% being more ideal - though some may argue with me. ( Some people say as much as 20% is acceptable, but I don't buy that in a modern engine). Please continue to keep us posted. Best, s
 

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Thanks for the update, @AT19 , I like seeing leak down rates of under 10%, with approx. 5% being more ideal - though some may argue with me. ( Some people say as much as 20% is acceptable, but I don't buy that in a modern engine). Please continue to keep us posted. Best, s
But at least they were consistent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Hi again,

I know it’s been a little while but we’ve been working through it.

The latest update is a boreoscope was performed on Thursday afternoon. The images sent to Fiat apparently showed 2 large scores within the bore of C3 that were leaking oil into the bottom of the cylinder (hence the misfire). These scores have been deemed irreparable by Fiat and therefore I need a new engine, at 36,600 miles.

I’m waiting for a call from the Case Manager in Italy either Monday or Tuesday with a suggestion as to how to move forward with Fiat. I’ll keep you guys posted on that one!

I’ve found a reconditioned Abarth engine online and I am curious as to if it would swap directly into my current 124 with no issues or do I need to replace like for like?
 

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I forget, were you tuned?
 
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