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Fiat Ducato oil level sensor


Philjp

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I have previously posted about my oil gauge on V line 670 2022 no working.

On the new Ducatos there is no oil dip stick it is electronically displayed.

Mine showed just 2 bars on the dashboard display.Oil was add, 2 days later a waring light and excess oil message appeared. The only way to remove excess oil was to drain engine oil at the sump.

I later booked van  into local Fiat garage, and they found oil sensor was Faulty . And it was replaced.

I have since heard of 3 others with same problem .one went in for 1st Hab and check.It appears garage topped up oil as electronic gauge showing low.Only for warning and error message to come next day.

If you have a new ducato with the electronic dash check your oil gauge if showing empty or 2 bars you need to get it checked out.

Garage that did my oil sensor said Fiat are aware there is a problem out there.

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  • Keithl changed the title to Fiat Ducato oil level sensor

Issues relating to the oil level sensor in FIATs have been around for years. We had ours replaced in warranty for out 2017 van. Dealer told us they had done many vans with the problem and on every one when they had taken out the old, faulty sensor they had found that there was a twist in the part of the unit in the sump. FIAT were claiming people weren't starting the engine properly!

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The problem with the latest Ducato motors is (as Philjp has highlighted above) that there is no dip-stick to provide a reliable second opinion as to whether the dashboard electronic gauge's oil-level 'diagnosis' is correct or not. 

Philjp's earlier forum comments can be read here

https://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/topic/61127-new-model-ducato/#comment-706909

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Hi all. I have a similar issue with my 2022 Fiat Ducato rental motorhome. The Dan thing has no dipstick!! 

Vehicle was on approx 6600 miles and showed oil level at 2 bars. Customer was renting next day so I put in about 2 pints of oil which didn’t even register on the display  so I thought well at least it has a little more in there.  

Customer drives vehicle away on the Thursday, drives a round trip of about 350 miles over 5 days (mostly in two journeys to and from destination). Returns vehicle yesterday around 8pm and says the oil light just came on and is saying oil overfill but he hasn’t put any oil in it. 
I’m not sure what to do now. I don’t want to run the vehicle in case he put some oil in and it is overfilled.  
I shall call Fiat once they open.  

Anyone else have any thoughts??  

thanks. 

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Welcome to the Out&AboutLive forums.

There is a fair amount of motorhome-forum discussion about this, including this earlier thread here.

It was claimed in this MHFun discussion

https://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/series-8-ducato-checking-oil.275663/

that some new-model Ducatos have a dipstick

Interestingly some of the Series 8 2.2 Ducato variants do have a dipstick. It's a very tight fit as it has to bend behind the front-mounted DPF and then out over the wide exhaust flange and behind the fans but it is possible. Also when this 'new' Stellantis Family B engine first appeared in 2016 in the Jeep Cherokee a dipstick was fitted. Perhaps they decided that motorhome owners would prefer not to get their hands dirty!

though that's not much comfort for owners if the vast majority of new-model Ducato engines are 'dipstick free'.

Not sure what can realistically be done if the new-model Ducato's oil-level indicating system is generally as unreliable/inaccurate as is being claimed and the system warns of overfill. With no oil-level 'check plug' in the crankcase and no dipstick 'tube' through which to suck out excess oil, draining out the excess oil will need to be via the sump's drain-plug and then how can one know how much oil to drain out to stop the warning being issued?!

Good luck with Fiat - please let this forum know what they suggest.

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The quote from MotorhomeFun is from my own fair hand, Derek, using one of the tens of 'Fun' accounts that I've created over the years to get a few free posts and avoid paying a subscription.. To back it up here are front views of the 2.2L engine with and without dipsticks.

Multijet3 front 1.JPG

Multijet3 front 2.JPG

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had an oil level sensor problem in late 2019 which was eventually sorted by Fiat Technical Turin and the Fiat workshop which had, inadvertently, caused it.  The van in question is a 2017 registered Ducato, so earlier than yours, but the fault seems similar, and in view of the references to high oil levels causing problems, its cause possibly also similar.  As you will see, our van had both dipstick and dashboard oil level indication.

Explanation follows.

1. Fault history.

The “general warning light” initially failed to extinguish on 26 December 2019 (following the first service of the vehicle, on 14 November 2019: recorded mileage 9,095).  As I normally do following vehicle service, I checked the oil level on the dipstick.  This was a little high but, with the van nose up on the drive, so not standing level, not a concern.

From my normal driving position the general warning light is obscured behind the lower segment of the steering wheel, so I did not noticed it until I had driven some way.  No other lights were illuminated, the light was not flashing, no warnings appeared on the display, and the van ran, and drove, normally, so I continued to my destination (about 9 miles).  I watched when I turned on the ignition to leave, and it extinguished with the other dashboard lights, as it should, and the engine started normally.  I therefore assumed a temporary aberration. The van then ran, and drove normally, during my return.

I consulted the manual, which lists a number of possible causes, most of which are not relevant to this vehicle.  This left diesel fuel filter sensor failure, engine oil pressure sensor failure, water in diesel fuel, or engine oil level sensor failure (the level itself I knew was good).

I then contacted the (Fiat Professional) workshop, who advised that they needed to see the vehicle with the warning light on to be able to access the fault codes, as codes related to this light are not retained in memory once the engine is stopped.  Only occasional, oil circulation, use followed during which the light came on a couple of times, but the workshop could not accommodate us.

Our next visit to the workshop was for the van’s first MoT test, booked for 25 November.  I made a preparatory check that the vehicle lights were all working a couple of days before the test, for which I had to turn on the ignition and, when I went to turn off the ignition, noticed that the general failure light had again come on.  I contacted the workshop to ask if, should the light stay illuminated when I set off on 25/11, they could plug in their code reader to see if that revealed the cause.  They confirmed they could, and on starting the van on 25/11 the light did not extinguish and remained illuminated until I was able to deliver it to them, with the engine running and the light still on.

The result of the investigation is recorded as “Reported dash warning light on = checked and found fault P250 A/3 = oil level sensor calibration = download latest software and installed as required”.  Time booked 45 minutes.  As the van was still under warranty, I was somewhat miffed to be charged for the work, but was advised that software updates are not warranty issues.  Hey, ho!  😞  Whatever, the fault never reoccurred.

2. Underlying cause

Only then did the relevance of the difference in inclination of the van, between being nose up on the drive and nose down on the drive, and the fact that the light did not illuminate when the van was nose down, or level, appear to make sense.

A slightly over filled sump plus upward inclination of the vehicle, leads to the engine oil level, as “seen” by the sensor (which positioned by the rear, downhill, side of the sump), being sufficiently exaggerated to send an “over full” message to the ECU - so triggering the non-specific general failure warning.  However, this never happened when the van was parked on significant inclines (up or down), suggesting that there is an inclination sensor (possibly also used for the “Hill Holder” function?), which cancels the oil level sensor signal where the gradient exceeds 5%.

But Hill Holder was not triggered by the gradient on our drive so, with an over-filled sump and a gradient slightly below 5% (so insufficient to cancel the sensor signal), the sensor “sees” an over filled sump, and passes this to the ECU to trigger the general failure light when nose-up, but “sees” an acceptable level when the van is parked nose down.

The problem being that the sensor is not central in the sump, but close to its rear side, and so "sees" an exaggerated oil level if the vehicle is nose up, but not sufficiently so as to trigger the Hill Holder and trigger the "ignore oil level signal" to the ECU.  OTOH, if the vehicle is instead nose down to the same extent, the sensor "sees" an understated oil level and is happy.

My understanding is that the actual sensor is no more than a loop of high resistance wire that is immersed in the sump oil.  As the oil is itself conductive, the voltage flowing to the ECU varies as the oil level rises and falls to envelop more, or less, of the wire loop, and the ECU interprets these voltages to estimate the actual oil level, triggering various dashboard warnings as the level approaches the extremes.

So, reading your description of the consequences of an over-filled sump for the latest Ducato versions, I just wonder if the attitude of the van (i.e. level, nose up, nose down, might be having a similar impact on the dashboard indications.  Hoping this may help, and not confuse!  🙂  I should add that (apart from charging to rectify a logic fault in their own software) Fiat Technical were excellent in taking over the remedial process and instructing the workshop on the required actions.  Better if they hadn't needed to do so, of course, but at least they went the extra few hundred yards to resolve it!

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  • 4 months later...

Hi,  I am away in my 2018 Ducato whilst travelling here I had a Check Engine warning and an Amber engine caption.  I have called out the breakdown service who confirmed the Oil Level Sensor was throwing up the warning on his OBD reader.  He checked the oil physically and confirmed all was good with levels and I would need a new Oil Level Sensor.  
i have not been under the van to locate the sensor but I am assuming to replace it the oil will need draining and refilling, is the replacement easy enough and does anyone know a rough cost of a new sensor?

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This Fiat Forum discussion related to the oil-level sensor of a 2018 Ducato with 2.3 litre 130 motor.

https://www.fiatforum.com/threads/oil-level-sensor.497169/

(I believe that, by 2018, all Ducato diesel motors would have been variants of the same 2.3 litre power plant - so, whatever the output of the engine in your motor home, the sensor should be in the same hard-to-get-at place.)

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Hi Robster

What code did it show for the Oil Level Sensor?   ( P250A, P250B,P250C, P250E, P250F) ?

6 hours ago, Robster said:

Hi,  I am away in my 2018 Ducato whilst travelling here I had a Check Engine warning and an Amber engine caption.  I have called out the breakdown service who confirmed the Oil Level Sensor was throwing up the warning on his OBD reader.  He checked the oil physically and confirmed all was good with levels and I would need a new Oil Level Sensor.  
i have not been under the van to locate the sensor but I am assuming to replace it the oil will need draining and refilling, is the replacement easy enough and does anyone know a rough cost of a new sensor?

 

Edited by onecal
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Hi, sorry for the delay I have been waiting for the report, the report reads 

Patrol found the following fault code/s:System : Engine control 1 - ATY / Marelli 9DF UDS V2U0426 - Immobilizer Signal. Error Message : Not all events stored.P1581 - Heated crankcase breather relay 1. Error Message : Open circuit/B+ short.P250A - Engine oil level sensor. Error Message : Frequency error.Found fault relating to oil level sensor - cleared and tested all ok. Advised member suspect intermittent sensor fault - ok to drive to garage for investigation. Engine Oil Level Ok. Coolant Level Ok.”

I have a Ghost immobiliser installed

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