Fiat’s wildly popular 1.3 liter diesel engine appeared in 2003 and is still in production today. Dozens of models from Fiat, Opel, Suzuki, Lancia and Alfa Romeo have taken over this engine. Machines under the marketing designation 1.3 Multijet, 1.3 CDTI and 1.3 DDiS are all the same power unit.
It was created in collaboration between Fiat and General Motors. The diesel engine features a cast iron cylinder block, 16 valves on the cylinder head, time chain drive, Bosch Common Rail fuel system and a single BorgWarner turbocharger.
In general, this power unit works well and for a long time, but there are many conflicting opinions. Of course, it all depends on the service. Additionally, many of these diesel engines broke down due to open time chains.
1.3L Engine Problems And Reliability
Below are problems that often occur in the 1.3 Multijet, 1.3 CDTI and 1.3 DDiS engines that are applied to Fiat, Opel, Suzuki, Lancia and Alfa Romeo.
- Vibration on the Machine
- Accelerator Pedal Errors
- Turbocharger Problems
- Turbocharger Control Valve
- Heat Exchanger
- EGR Valve Failure
- VKG System Problems
- Ramp Fittings
- Regulator on the Ramp
- Injection Pump
- Valve Timing Chain
- Camshaft Problems
- Oil Pump Pressure Reducing Valve
Vibration on the Machine
The 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engine is not heavy at all, so the rubber dampers (cushions) of its mounts last at least 300,000 km. The need to replace the mounts is indicated by strong vibration when the engine stops. The rear cushion is the first to fail, but it is worth changing all three bearings of this engine immediately.
Accelerator Pedal Errors
This was not a rare and well-known problem with the 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engine not responding well to the accelerator pedal, and an error appeared indicating an incorrect signal from the accelerator position sensor.
Usually, the cause of this malfunction lies in a bad contact in the ECU connector or the fuse box under the hood. Usually, contact cleaners help. There is no need to fix or change anything.
The bulk airflow sensor on the 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engine, in case of failure, can lead to poor engine starting, a noticeable decrease in engine thrust. It is not difficult to guess that in this case, no experienced technician offers to repair the fuel system, sew the EGR and cut the particulate filter. Even with careful diagnosis and parameter examination, you may notice an inadequate flow meter reading.
The 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engine uses a BorgWarner turbocharger. If the engine power is below 90 HP, then it has a KP35 turbine with wastegate, and if the engine produces more than 90 HP, then a BV35 turbine with variable geometry. All turbines are pretty much powered – they run 300,000 km or more.
The wastegate turbine is the least hassle-free option. Nothing has turned sour in it, the problems of its management are practically excluded. This turbine controls itself. Excessive air pressure inside the compressor housing independently “presses” on the actuator membrane, forcing it to open the bypass damper. If this turbine breaks, it’s only because of a lubrication problem. Poor oil quality, high crankcase gas pressure and exhaust system back pressure are factors that reduce the life of the simple turbocharger.
BorgWarner BV35’s variable turbo geometry is more troublesome. The geometry of the blade drive in a “hot” volute is often contaminated with soot, which can interfere with the free movement of the blades. The control unit detects this problem by incorrect push pressure or by reading the geometric position sensor, which is located on the vacuum actuator. The turbine must be disassembled and cleaned to relieve spasms.
The joint actuator rod geometry can also be acidifying. Connoisseurs recommend flushing it with WD-spool or other penetrating lubricant. A separate floor requires an electro-aquum control system for a variable geometry turbocharger.
Turbocharger Control Valve
1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engines experience a decrease in power that occurs at high loads. For example, when overtaking at a certain moment, engine power immediately disappears. In general, this is not a decrease, but the inclusion of the emergency operation of the engine due to the fact that the thrust parameters do not match the required one. At the same time, the error P0243 is almost always fixed, indicating a malfunction of the turbine control system.
Apart from the turbine itself, the reason for over-blowing or under-blowing lies in the vacuum control system of the actuator.
That is, there may be a vacuum leak through the pipe from the actuator to the EVV. Naturally, the valve itself may not work properly. In addition to electrical damage or oxidation of contacts in the connectors, there may be valve blockage. it communicates with the atmosphere and is located away from the cleanest spots under the hood – usually, on the right side of the members. Some owners even move this valve higher – to a cleaner spot near the engine.
Oil filter heat exchanger gaskets for 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engines on lease for distances over 200,000 km. Due to the loss of elasticity, they allow oil to pass both outside and into the channel of the cooling system. On whatever occasions it is convenient, for example, when changing the antifreeze, the antifreeze should be replaced preventively.
The EGR valve of the 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engine is equipped with electromagnetic servo drive, has feedback, and therefore any malfunction in its operation is immediately recorded by the control unit, an error P400 appears – this indicates a lack of normal valve mobility. It usually appears when the valve is completely stuck. Removing and cleaning the valve helps clear valve congestion. It should be noted that if the fault in the valve has disappeared, but the motor pulls suspiciously slowly and with a decrease, the valve stroke is still not quite free.
In addition, a stuck EGR valve in the open position can be the reason the engine stops at some point or stops after starting.
Many owners decide to programmatically deactivate the EGR valve to eliminate faulty operation and prevent contamination of the intake manifold with soot adhering to oil vapors.
The crankcase ventilation system of the 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engine can clog or freeze in winter. Blockages occurred in the oil separator and in the pipes before and after. But most often the VKG system freezes up, this happens in severe frosts, often while driving along highways. Cool air enters the intake manifold and passes through a tube where exhaled gas is supplied to the intake. Because there is often a lot of moisture in the crankcase gas, then it freezes. A sufficiently strong plug of moisture and oil is formed.
Due to this plug, the pressure in the crankcase increases, first pressing the oil dipping rod, then pressing the oil through the oil seal. In addition, the motor can die while moving.
Some versions of the 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS “cold country” engine are equipped with breath heaters. If there is no ordinary heater, then it must be installed. Installing an oil separator that is larger and more efficient than the standard oil separator can also help, which will also prevent strong oil vapors from entering the intake.
The 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engine fuel rail is known for its fragile fittings, which often break when loosening the retaining nut. Therefore, it is better not to open the nuts again. The injector can be removed completely after removing the nut on the fuel line on the injector itself.
If you are faced with the breaking off of the fitting, then it is better to immediately buy a ramp from the auto disassembly.
Regulator on the Ramp
The fuel system of the 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engine has one regulator (metering unit) mounted on the rail. This regulator ensures that there is the required fuel pressure in the rail, which corresponds to the load on the engine. This regulator from the “original manufacturer” costs less than $ 100, which is good news.
A faulty governor will cause the engine to run unstable. Also, the regulator can become a victim of a poor-quality fuel filter, which “discards” the fluff clogging the filter mesh on the regulator itself. In this case, the regulator cannot maintain the correct pressure in the rail, which is why the engine goes into emergency mode, runs unstably and stalls. Contamination of the regulator can be easily removed: it must be removed from the ramp and the net must be cleaned with a non-contact agent.
Also, sometimes there is a leak of fuel on the gasket between the regulator and the rail. The gasket and two o-rings per regulator are available for purchase as separate parts.
Common Rail injectors from Bosch have good reliability and service life. They are also fully repairable. The problems that happen to them are standard. This is a loss of leakage, due to which the injectors drain fuel into the return line. Because of this, the engine does not start well, it may be unstable to keep idling, and at maximum load, an error may appear due to insufficient fuel pressure in the rail. After that, the engine goes into emergency mode.
The nozzles can also wear out and can be changed separately.
Every 80,000 km, the copper refractory washers under the nozzles should be replaced preventively in order to prevent the washers from burning out and coking of the nozzle sockets. It is very important to buy original washers of the correct height, because If the height of the washers is not suitable, then when spraying, the fuel will not correctly enter the combustion chambers – the recesses in the pistons. Because of this, the engine will emit black smoke without any error or other symptoms.
The Bosch CP1H3 injection pump serves very well and pleases with a resource for a long time. Most often, it requires attention to itself due to the flow of fuel along the seal between it and the cylinder head. And with very high mileage, the injection pump can leak through the seals of its body. To eliminate the leak, you need to change the original seal repair kit, which costs about $ 12. True, the injection pump needs to be completely disassembled.
Valve Train Chain
The timing chain on the 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engine is controversial. Is it stretching or not? When to change it? There are even rumors that the plant is planning to replace it every 120,000 km. It is also rumored that on some 1.3 Multijet / CDTI engines the chain traveled 500,000 km without replacement.
In practice, in most cases, the chain resource ends by 200,000 km, and it is better to replace it preventively. Because at critical wear, it simply breaks. And there are a lot of cases of engine damage due to an open circuit.
The stretched timing chain of this motor does not rattle too noisy, so not all owners notice its extraneous noise in time. The chain resource is greatly reduced if the driver leaves the car in gear on a slope, drives in tight gear in higher gears.
The chain tensioner overhang on the 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engine can be seen through the inspection window in the timing cover, but on the machine, the upper engine mount must be removed to access it. The maximum overhang of the tensioner is 20 mm, overhang with a new chain is about 3 mm.
The chain must be changed together with its guides and hydraulic tensioner, because it often wears out and loosens. It is also worth assessing the wear on both timing gears and changing them if necessary.
A very rare problem with a 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS engine is camshaft runout. Typically, the camshafts are bent literally a few hundredths at their rear. What happens next? The engine will normally start on a cold one, and after half a minute it will stall, because in the 3rd and 4th cylinders, compression will disappear. After that, the engine will not start due to lack of compression.
But after a day of inactivity, the motor will be able to start again for a short time. Why will the launch succeed? Because oil will leave the hydraulic lifters and they will not rest against the valves properly. This means that for a short time hydraulic lifters will be able to compensate for the camshaft runout.
This is a rare malfunction that is very difficult to detect. Few people come to check the camshafts.
Oil pump pressure reducing valve
The oil pump of the 1.3 Multijet, CDTI or DDiS diesel engine is located in the alloy timing case cover. There is also a pressure reducing valve. There are not so rare cases of wedging of the plunger of this pressure reducing valve. It can jam both in the position of maximum pressure relief, and at the very beginning of its turn. Accordingly, the symptoms will be different.
This is, accordingly, almost complete absence of pressure in the lubrication channels. This is indicated by the low oil pressure indicator (red oiler). Moreover, if the oiler only burns for a few seconds after starting the engine, you need to check the actual pressure in the lubrication system as soon as possible. If the oiler is on continuously, the engine must not be operated.
In the second case, if the pressure reducing valve does not relieve oil pressure at all, then this oil pushes the seals. First of all, oil filter seals fail. During operation with a stuck valve, the oil pump can squeeze all the oil out of the crankcase for just a few minutes.
In both situations, inspection of the pressure relief valve shows that it is dirty or scratched, causing wedging. Cleaning the valve can help, but in the most advanced cases, you have to change the entire front cover assembly, because it is one piece together with the oil pump and pressure reducing valve.
3 thoughts on “1.3 Multijet, CDTI & DDiS Engine Problems And Reliability”
Thanks for tips about 1.3 Multijet
I liked the above article very mutch.
Thank you all.
Hi Rohit, thanks for sharing, hope it can help others.