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So I'm getting that diesel sound on startup, other than that the car runs fine.

I only had the car serviced in November, so I'm not to keen to blow another load of cash on it until later in the year for it's yearly service.

So if I leave my car sounding like a tractor... will it cause any engine damage? From what i've read, it shouldn't be an issue.


Other reason for not wanting to get the variator changed just yet, is they need to take the belts off... I don't want to have to pay for them to be replaced again :cry:
 
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The short answer....no :D

I ran my old twinny another 20k until the belts were due....in the days when I knew no better :lol:

wrinx
 

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Does the engine revert to basic valve timing/overlap if this variator is disconnected, with less poke in performance? Suppose it must do thinking about it.
 
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I've heard that it can affect top end performance if it gets bad, but I've always had mine done pretty well when it starts, so I couldn't personally judge. It makes sense that it might I guess.
 

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Don't drive much at all to be honest, still love the machines, but the driving bit switches me off now. Best 'sort' of driving I did recently was on a Challenger2 simulator,for old times sake. Take the wheels off, get the tracks on, drive anywhere, not allowed though, stuff it!
 

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So I'm getting that diesel sound on startup, other than that the car runs fine.

I only had the car serviced in November, so I'm not to keen to blow another load of cash on it until later in the year for it's yearly service.

So if I leave my car sounding like a tractor... will it cause any engine damage? From what i've read, it shouldn't be an issue.


Other reason for not wanting to get the variator changed just yet, is they need to take the belts off... I don't want to have to pay for them to be replaced again :cry:
imo you'll lose top-end power.
 

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Its makes no odds, the final result is bad idling and lack of low end torque as it reverts to the advanced timing state at failure.
 

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I really did notice a performance difference after having the variator done. Now have much better acceleration especially in 2nd and 3rd gears. However i dont believe it causes problems to leave it, and like you say they'd have to take the belts off.....
 

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This text is plagerised from the Fiat Barchetta website:

How to detect a failing Variator?

First of all, let experienced barchetta owners listen to your car, if they run away screaming you are sure to have a faulty Variator. If not, but they think the sound is suspicious, then the Variator probably has began the end of its lifetime. The malfunction starts with the cold engine sounding a bit rough at start up, the time needed for it to stop making that sound increasing day by day. After a certain period of time, mostly weeks, you'll notice strange sounds when decreasing speed. You'll hear the engine clatter but when the revs drop below 2500 rpm, the sound abruptly disappears like someone just switched off the noise. However it will come back when running idle. When your Variator has come to this point, you'll hear the diesel sound all the time when the revs are below about 2000 rpm. The sound level will increase until you find yourself having developed a driving style to avoid the diesel sound as much as possible.



Will it hurt my engine/have a bad influence on performance?

Fiat claims it will not hurt your engine. But hey, do you trust Fiat in this? Bad timing of the valves most probably causes the sound. The Variator is designed to give some overlap in the valve timing between the intake and outtake valves at higher revs. Since the performance of the car isn't influenced at all at high revs it's most likely the Variator is stuck in the 'fast mode'. So you get full power when needed and bad sound when idle. There's a little trick in the motor management system. Run the engine at idle. Very slowly rev up. At some point you will find the engine revving up itself until max rpm. It is said that with a healthy Variator the motor management does this around 2000-2500, and with a failing Variator at much higher revs
 

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Keep the oil up there and flowing then I reckon, until it starts to rattle I suppose. Mind you, with all the clearances in all the bits and pieces until warmed and expanded, bound to be a bit of 'chatter' going on I suspect. So long as it doesn't leave me stranded. Never had that so far, in any of the Fiats, Lancias, or the Alfa, always managed to get me home.
 

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The performance of our 1.6 improved markedly with new variator. Ran it for ages clattering on start-up. I don't think it does direct harm, just wish I'd done it sooner for some peace and quiet. I wouldn't worry about the cost of a belt, I don't think there's any need to change tensioners again (especailly if they're non-Alfa - and not plastic(!).
 
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