View Full Version : cold starting

12-19-2013, 08:41 AM
winter has barely come, and im already having issues starting the car. is there anything I can do that will prevent the car from needing to be jumped? It was below freezing last night maybe 15', but I didnt drive the car at all yesterday. It has to be parked outside I do not have a garage.

12-19-2013, 09:18 AM
Do you not have a block heater? They are installed in all fiats sold in Canada.

12-19-2013, 09:22 AM
Sorry to hear you're having trouble. I would get your battery tested. It may just be run down and need to be charged. This needs to be done by a battery charger and not by driving around. Bring your car to a decent autozone or advance and they'll test it and charge it for free. If the car doesn't get used much, the battery can get discharged and once in this state driving it around for a little won't take bring the charge back to where it needs to be. The longer it remains discharged the greater chance the battery will sulfate and the the life of the battery will drastically be diminished. This is common in cars that sit or have sat idle before you bought them or maybe needed to be jumped at some time because of lights on, etc. In these cases, the battery will be under voltage but will have enough power to start your car normally, but is sulfating and you don't realize it. Then when the weather turns cold or you listen to the radio for 20 minutes, the car won't start. The battery may still be good but needs to be charged or it may be too far gone and you'll need another one. Have it checked out and the charging system while you are at it. Good luck.

12-19-2013, 09:26 AM
How do I get a block heater? AAA is here and first thing he said was hes never worked on one. I do drive the car everyday just not yesterday due to snow storm

12-19-2013, 09:41 AM
is there a warrenty on the batterys that are factory installed

12-19-2013, 12:17 PM
Don't know about the warranty on the batteries but are you in Canada? If I recall the block heater was a pretty cheap option for US cars.

12-19-2013, 12:20 PM
Fiat's warranty, as per their website when I bought it was 4yr/50k mile. Most things like batteries-lights-etc are 12mo/12k mile from most Mfg's.

12-19-2013, 06:37 PM
Yeah, it shouldn't die with a day of sitting. My 500T sat for the better part of a week here in Madison where it's been between 25F and 0F and I started it no problem this morning.

12-19-2013, 07:26 PM
I brought it to autozone and they tested the battery and said it was 100%. aaa tested the starter and something eles and said they where 100%. A few times I left my headlights on could that do it? the lights dont actually stay on just the switch on the inside.

Is this what everyone is talking about the engine heater http://www.amazon.com/Kats-22200-Watt-Battery-Thermal/dp/B000I8XD9E/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1387495288&sr=8-15&keywords=engine+block+heater im not really understanding how this would work. I want to bring it into the dealer but they charge so much if they find nothing wrong. I did get a oil change today as I am a few weeks over due (not in milage but in time)

12-19-2013, 07:58 PM
If you're having an issue there shouldn't be any discussion on the Studio's part about plugging in their electronic diagnostic equipment especially since the car is still under warranty. Sounds like a pretty unsympathetic dealership that would try to charge you if they didn't find anything amiss after you made a valid complaint. Since you don't say where you're located I have no idea how many Studios you have to pick from, but it sounds like perhaps you should consider a different one if that's viable.

12-19-2013, 08:22 PM
$115 for them to look at it if it is nothing. it could just be because it was cold right? I feel so stupid, I know nothing about cars but a car that is only 1.5 yrs old should start right? then again ive never owned such a small car before, so this could be normal for all I know. Im in Mass, the only Fiat studio that I know of is the one I go to. They where nice when I had my rear main seal fixed 2 months after I bought my car in May.

12-19-2013, 08:48 PM
My car is normally garaged here in FL, but I was staying at a motel up in Savannah last night and the temperature was 35 degrees when I went out this morning. The tail lights were hard frosted over as was the roof. It started right up. This is a car that is a little over 2 1/2 years old with the original battery.

The block heater is a device which plugs into house current and keeps the coolant and thus the engine block warm when it is really cold outside. This makes for easier starting and very quick warmups. From the factory it is only $50, or at least it used to be. I don't have any idea how much a studio would want to install one after purchase.

I hope this doesn't happen to you again. Don't you also have FIAT roadside assistance included as part of your warranty coverage? If so you might want to call them for the next jump so you don't reach your Max 4 from AAA.

12-19-2013, 09:32 PM
according to the studio I dont have roadside assistance through Fiat. I like the idea of the engine block heater I just dont know where I would plug it in? I do not have a garage , would it be safe to keep it plugged in outside?

12-19-2013, 10:00 PM
It should start. Ours has started no problem in lower temps. Where in ma are you? I'm outside of Portland me, quirk fiat is in Portland, may be worth the drive? Give them a call and see what they say.

The battery may test 'fine', however, depending on the test equipment, it may not give the cca, cold cranking amps.

If you can safely run an extension cord, you should be fine.

12-20-2013, 07:54 AM
Does gas level affect starting? Just wondering if this could have been caused by a low gas level

12-20-2013, 11:27 AM
In Canada/ Alaska/ North Dakota etc - most cars have block heaters. They're designed to be used in all weather. You just run an extension cord from your house's exterior wall outlet to your car. If you are having trouble with your car and it bothers you then take it in for the peace of mind. I agree with SeaDawg that it seems rather untoward for a dealer to charge you for a valid complaint and diagnostic when your car is still under warranty and so new. Even if they do charge you is that worth $115 or can you live with fretting over having your car start in the morning? The studio will should be able to diagnose your problem if your car fails to start.

When it has failed to start what were the symptoms? Did it just crank and crank and never start? Did it fail to crank? It's been noted here on this forum and the other one that occasionally, our cars will have some issues cranking. You may want to turn the key to "on" and let the fuel pump prime and ignition system energize for a few seconds before cranking the engine. Additionally, how many miles do you have on your car? FIAT recommends the spark plugs to be changed at 30K according to the owners manual.

It's gotten quite cold a few times during my ownership of my FIAT, a few mornings in the low teens. Car has always started - maybe a little slower to turn over but that would be any car in those temps. Fuel level should have nothing to do with ease of starting unless of course, you're running on fumes and your tank is empty. What octane fuel are you running? Bear in mind that our cars were designed to be run on 91 octane but will tolerate 87 but no lower.

12-30-2013, 03:11 PM
I have finally had a chance to drop my car off today. I looked under the hood and the coolant was pretty much none existant. I could see a smidge of orange. I made them aware of the other issues I had and the car needing to be jumped and now the lack of antifreeze. hopefully that is why the car did not start. and its a easy fix like a hose or something. another question is why when I had my oil changed last week that it was not noticed.

12-31-2013, 11:11 AM
that's a really odd set of conditions you found under the hood. you bought this car new?

01-01-2014, 08:16 AM
getting my car back today, all issues stem from when they fixed my rearmain seal in August .they said it caused a bubble :/. glad I checked under the hood and noticed no coolant.

01-01-2014, 10:59 PM
glad to hear it!