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fiat ducato 2.3 throttle actuator condensation issue


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Hi all,

I'm in desperate need of help or advice please.

I have a 2011 ci carioca 707 motorhome (ducato 2.3)which I have had from new. About 18 months ago it broke down with power/throttle problems. It ended up being the actuator which had to be replaced. This lasted just 6 months and it happened again whilst on holiday meaning my family (including my disabled son) had a two hour taxi drive home. Just four months later it happened again, this time the RAC man found the root cause. It appears that moisture is either getting in or building up in the electrics side of the actuator. Today it has happened again! That's four times in less than 2 years. Twice this was covered under warranty but fiat refused to accept there is an ongoing issue so every six months we end up getting it fixed ourselves. £300)

What happens is you either lose all power and the vehicle stalls or your throttle sticks on full power, it is really dangerous and scary!

Fiat are being terrible and don't want to know. I don't want to drive the van anymore as it's too dangerous to drive and putting my family in danger. Surely this vehicle is not fit for purpose if such a major part fails every 6 months?

Any help with how to get fiat to see sense would be appreciated.

Also has anyone else had the same issues? Many thanks


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I sympathise with your issue it seems as though you have been very unlucky.


You are correct, the part you have had replaced should not fail this soon and any part should come with 12 months warranty if it is faulty, regardless of what is wrong.


However it sounds as though, there is another issue causing the problem. This what you need to rectify.


There are many very knowledgeable people on this forum, I am sure someone will have come across this.


So far who at Fiat have you dealt with? Have you gone directly to the manufacturer customer services. They will have a duty of care to help you considering your situation.


Even the dealer/service agent, should be looking to find the route cause of the issue. Is it possible there is a water ingress into the component rather than condensation?


How long is the vehicle stood for between use, do you have a particular problem with condensation on the engine when you leave the vehicle?


Hope this helps good luck sorting it out.


Wasn't Me

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Sorry to hear of your problems.

I have never encountered this problem and have never seen or heard of a throttle sticking open, or an actuator causing a vehicle to stall.


What part has been changed and what led the dealer to conclude that it was moisture that caused the problem? We have steam cleaned engines many times with no resulting issues from moisture because even items that can get wet will dry out as soon as the engine gets up to temperature.


I strongly suspect that the problem has been mis-diagnosed.


Let's start by making sure we know which part was changed please and we can take it from there.



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Throttle sticking open happened twice to us on our previous van powered by a Fiat 2.3 130 engine.


The first time caught me unaware as I approached a sharp bend whilst roaring up a steep hill in France on fullish throttle in 2nd gear and I was able to brake enough to slow us down and the throttle then released itself.


At that time I was unconvinced that it was a fault and more likely something I had done wrong so we continued but when it happened again I had the presence of mind to switch the engine off and back on again which cured the throttle but brought on a engine management warning light.


As we were on our way home and the van had a warranty we did not stop to resolve it but the dealer checked and cleared the EML and found no fault.


Shortly after that the EGR valve failed under warranty fortunately and I never did discover whether the two events were related and the throttle did not stick again in our ownership, but I did leave a warning note in the handbook for the next owner to see!


We have had no such issues with the Peugeot 2.2 hdi and I would imagine that the two share components?

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Thanks Rich, now I know of two vehicles with a similar problem.


Let's think this through....


The components that are involved with engine speed (with the exception of the gearbox!) are limited to;


Throttle actuator. (Pedal)

Throttle receiver. (ECU)


That is all. The two are connected by wires.


The input from the right foot of the driver is interpreted and transmitted to the ECU and decisions are made regarding available air and quality of the air, fuel pressure present and required for the increase/decrease in engine speed required and current engine speed. If the current engine speed is within limits and the right balance of air is available the fuel will be sent to the injectors and they will be operated in sync with the revolutions of the engine. As this added fuel increases the engine speed the ECU monitors all sensors for correct timing and other important parameters.


The EGR system will be fully opened when more power is requested and will only partially or fully close when the power demand is reduced. If the EGR valve is closed while power is required a warning light will be lit because of excessive pressure in the system. The power will be reduced and there may be excessive smoke. The engine will default into limp mode. If the throttle control solenoid detects either too much or too little vacuum it will not be able to operate the EGR butterfly valve (know as the throttle body). The engine management light may light up and the power may be reduced. Extra smoke may be emitted. The engine may also 'hunt' at idle. If the throttle body valve is broken or stuck in either the open or closed position, there may be a lack of power and the engine management light may be lit. There may be excessive smoke. The vehicle may go into limp mode. The accelerator pedal may switch off if the problem is detected upon starting but not if it is already being driven.


All of the above systems are designed to detect faults and restrict engine revs if the issues are considered detrimental to the emissions of the engine. This is the one and only purpose of the engine management light. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that none of the components that are connected with the EGR system are capable of increasing revs. They either restrict them or report problems that will restrict them further.


The only items that can be connected with increased revs are the throttle pedal, the ECU or wiring in between them.


That is why I am curious as to what has already been done.


If i was to guess; I suspect that a wiring fault exists and the relevant wiring loom is disturbed each time a new part is fitted; simulating a successful repair. We need to identify the actual fault. It is NOT going to be 'dampness'.

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Thanks all for responses so far.

Bit more info.

The first three times this happened I had a fault appear and it did go into limp mode. The engine kangarood along and eventually limp mode took over. I them lost all throttle control (pedal did nothing). Each time the throttle body was replaced which fixed it. The throttle body (under the bonnet by the rad) is what is damp. There is a wheel inside that touches circuits which in turn activates a solenoid that moves the butterfly thingy.

Yesterday there was no error but exactly the same issues and symptoms. The RAC guy took the throttle body apart and again wet and corroded (just 3 months old!). The throttle pedal is doing nothing now and it won't start anymore.

I will attach some pics of the inside.





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Thanks for that.


A short circuit inside this unit could indeed cause the device to report that the flap was stuck in the closed position and therefore shut off the accelerator pedal. It could also confuse the ECU sufficiently to not allow starting as it has an unexpected earth. Have there been any fault codes read that would confirm this?


I am utterly confused by this though. We have fitted twenty or so of these modified bodies and have 20 more vans that have had them fitted from the factory with no issues at all. I assume you have part number 504351131 and wiring connector 504388760? I have just been looking at a new one and can't see any way that water could enter it nor can I imagine any way that your vehicle differs from ours in terms of a concentrated blast of water getting to it while driving.


At this point, and with no other comparable experiences to work with; I would suggest either cleaning the corrosion from your current item or getting another. This time though, remove the top cover and spray the inside with an electrical grease that repels moisture and then sealing the lid with a non-solidifying gasket sealer.


Make no mistake though; any item fitted during the warranty period that you did not contribute to has no further warranty after the Fiat warranty period has expired. However; any part that has been fitted and paid for since then IS covered by Fiat warranty and if the part was fitted by a Fiat dealer this cover would include the labour cost of getting it done again.


It can only be concluded that a batch of these throttle bodies is not fit for purpose as it is inadequately sealed against moisture. This is deeply worrying.


I apologise for making the statement that it would not be caused by moisture. When I am wrong; I will admit it.



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Thanks Nick.


Its really reassuring to hear that you have fitted numerous ones of these as I cant find a common issue on the net which I find strange since Im having such issues.


I think you may have a point re dodgy batch but there is one other possibility and constant here and thats the garage fitting them.

As this is the forth and will be fitted by the same dealer as the last 3 is there a possibility that they are not being fitted correctly? I personally think that this is a very likely scenario as the 4 failings will be over just under 2yr period so doubt a dodgy batch though possible?


Can these things be fitted incorrectly? I have one in front of me and now feel I could do the job myself as it is an easy part to replace physcially but should other things be replaced too? I noticed that there is moisture also in the connector block/plug/socket, can water get inside from there and should it be sealed or replaced too?


My confidence is so low now in this vehicle, I thought buying new would be a safe thing to do but Fiat just dont get that the initial 3 (one out of warranty) just isnt right never mind this fourth one.


If you were fitting one of these from new what would be the process please?


Thanks Again!


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There are obviously a number of trim items to remove from the front of the vehicle and I find it easier to loosen the radiator and lift up and forwards to get better access but apart from the four screws that secure it to the manifold, the rubber pipe to remove and re-fit plus the metal pipe (with new gasket) at the other end... that's it. One electrical plug to plug back in and you are done.


I have spoken to our local Fiat Commercial Dealer this afternoon and was amazed to hear that this problem has been seen a few times before. In fact; it now seems that we have been lucky NOT to have experienced it. They are not aware of any high revving situations but certainly throttle response issues and reluctance to start.

Their feeling (although it is impossible to prove) is that the occurrence is connected to the continuing issues to do with water ingress to the engine bay because of the poor seal at the windscreen scuttle. This may explain why we do not see the problem and camper van owners do because our vehicles are not left for prolonged periods parked at disadvantageous angles. The throttle body would not seem to be in the line of fire from water leaks but there really is no other explanation available.


I think that in the absence of any further warranty I would either take the vehicle to a Fiat dealer for them to carry out the job, thus giving you continuing warranty support while also asking them what fixes and updates are available to help keep water out of the engine bay OR carry out water proofing to the device before fitting it again.

In the case of the latter, I would remove the cover clips and spray inside with an electrical water repellant or insulating spray. 3M do a product based on 'Alkyds' which would seem suitable but many of the other silicone based sprays that I found on a quick search on Google would help. Then I would use an additional layer of sealant before putting the lid back in place followed by a good dowsing of the whole device once fitted in place. A liberal spraying inside and outside the electrical connections would be a good idea too. ****Check the product directions before use to make sure that there are no warnings about using it on items that will become hot during operation!****

That is what I would do. This is a matter of prevention rather than cure that does not seem terribly satisfying because the cause has not completely been established but what we can see is water inside, corrosion and a vehicle that does not work. Keep the water out of this device and keep looking for ways of keeping more of it out of the engine compartment. Ideally make sure that the vehicle is parked on level ground if it is to be left for a while and make sure that the scuttle and drainage pipe (offside) are clear of anything that would prevent water from draining as it is intended to.


I am sorry, but that is about all I have got on this one but I am sure that if you try the above; you should be able to use the vehicle with more confidence.

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Im in shock!!!


I thought that since this is the fourth time in less than two years that my throttle has gone that Fiat would do something. They have washed their hands!

The garage has stated that it is water ingress and feel its water coming into the engine bay. They have offered to completely seal the throtte and then bespokely build a cover to ensure water is deflected away. Fiat have stated that there is nothing wrong with this part and that it must be an "outside influence" i.e. me pressure washing my van which I never do!


When it breaks down at best it stalls removing powered steering and hydraulic brakes. Fiat dont seem to think this is their issue. It has failed twice in warranty an now twice out of warranty with the last one just lasting 3 months. They are not listening to their dealer (who they stated that they are just a franchise so dont know everything hence not taking their advice).


I asked them two questions:

1 - Is it acceptible that a throttle valve has failed 4 times in less than two years, "we cant comment" was their reply!

2 - Are you willing to investigate the root cause and implement any suggested fixes, "no, our technical department believe there is nothing wrong with this part"


I then asked to speak to a manager and was told no. After insisting she said one may call me next week but will just tell me the same thing.


I only have the legal route left it seems. I will never buy anything Fiat again!


Thanks all for your help and therapy in sharing this. Also please be careful and aware of the fault as its not a nice one and it has happened on a new van.



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dawki - 2014-09-05 8:44 PM


I just find this just another incredible story, a accelerator is capable of jaming fully open and fiat don't want to know

Surely this a safety issue and a recall is what they should be doing not ignoring people

Unless its reported to VOSA they will do fa about it just keep collecting the money on repairs.

As Nick posted earlier, shouldn't the replaced parts have at least a 12 month warentee?

Maybe it's time to take the garage to small claims.

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The garage are happy to replace parts under warranty and to be fair have been good. They are scratching their heads and offering solutions to fiat but fiat won't listen. I'm going to have to take fiat to court it seems. They won't even honour 12 months on the new part so they will replace this one under warranty but then carry that warranty on to the next part so it's always deminishing and in less than a year I will pay another £300.

The bit that amazed me is their lack of will to help at all. It's obvious this issue has been there since new but they aren't listening.

I'm a this service director for a big company and I would never dream of responding like they have.


Could I alert Vosa or another body to my issues?

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