Question about 2006 Fiat Strada

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Fiat Seicento Sporting - starting problem

My car is a Fiat Seicento Sporting about eight years old, and has recently been serviced. A few days ago I went on a 15 mile journey and parked for a few minutes, and when I came back to my car it didn't start. There was a croaking noise as if the battery might be flat. I called a car rescue service and they tested the battery and it was fine. Then the car miraculously started again even though he hadn't done anything.

It started OK a few times after that, although occasionally it croaked first, then started. I should have had my dealer check it over, but sometimes there's no time... One morning I was going to drive to work and it didn't start at all - again croaking each time, and no start. It hasn't each time I've tried since.

What could the problem be?

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  • ScoobySue Jan 11, 2009

    Thank you so much - I will ask my dealer to check the wiring first, and if that doesn't uncover anything, the starter. Your descriptive sounds were great!



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I'd like to ask first, what service did you have done?

My best suggestion to you would be to have a automotive place check your starter, it sounds like you are having a problem with the starter itself, not the battery, not the alternator. I recently had a similar issue a few years ago on a 1994 chevy cavalier. Starts just fine, but once in a while I'd turn the key, "click" and the engine would not even turn over, trying it a second time got it started. Eventually, it got so bad, it never started again. I took it to a auto parts store that offered a free electrical system diagnostic service. They told me that I had a "dead spot" in the starter that if the starter stopped spinning in just that spot, it would not work when I tried to start the car.

If you are not hearing a "click" but you are hearing the starter "whirrr" then it's a problem with the starter solenoid. This part pushes a gear into the flywheel of the engine to start turning the engine over. So (because it's hard to type sounds) the correct sounds you should hear when you turn the key are..."click"(followed immediatly by) "rrrr...rrrr...rrr...rrr" and of course "vrooooommm". If you hear...(no click), "whirrrrrrr"(sounds like an electrical motor spinning) then nothing else. That is a problem with the starter. If you hear, "click" then nothing else, it is a problem with the starter it self or the wiring to the starter.

Please, excuse the very descriptive "sounds" as it is the best way to describe what you SHOULD be hearing every time you start the car.

Some less common problems include the voltage regulator, starter relay, and corroded or loose wiring to and from the battery and/or the starter. Checking wires and any electrical repairs can be dangerous if you do not know what you are doing and I have to ask you to talk to your local shop if you have any questions about fixing the problem. If you want to do the work yourself, I'd recommend buying (autoparts store) or borrowing (some libraries) a Chilton or Haynes Manual for your specific make, model, and year car. They've saved me thousands in repairs so far b/c I like woking on my own vehicles.

I hope that I could help you narrow down your problem so you can look up the repair and parts online. Or if you do take your car to the shop, let them check these parts first for the most likely source of the problem. Good luck, and if you still have questions, please write a comment and I will try to respond with a more specific suggestion. Don't forget to rate my solution! Thank you.

Posted on Jan 11, 2009

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