My 1981 Fiat Spider is now sputtering and coughing After cleaning the engine. Help!!


Asked by Aug 04, 2015 at 02:17 AM about the 1981 Fiat 124 Spider

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

1.  I sprayed engine degreaser all over the
engine and bay, let it sit for 15min, then
sprayed it off with a lot of water. I started it
and drove it to heat everything up so the
water would evaporate. No problems.
2. I changed the transmission fluid and rear
differential fluid the next day.
Now today,  (2 days later) I drive it and it
sputters and coughs.  Starts fine, idle is a
bit rough, but when I step on the gas pedal it
coughs and sputters.  
4 days ago, everything worked perfectly.
What did I do wrong?

4 Answers


The water. It got into some electrical component witch will give you all kinds of grief. Something is wet causing shorting. Check inside the distributor cap for moister and any electrical connection on the motor for moister. Most of the time it is the distributor cap, plug wires, or coil.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Absolutely, when washing the engine, always cover the distributor. HTH. -Jim


Apparently, all is well now. No sputtering tonight. Runs more smoothly. All I did was blow air into the engine bay, remove one spark plug and turn the engine over. Replaced the plug and it's fine. Thanks for the help.


I dont know if you have electronical start system, but think you have to check the ruptor calibration. If it is not electronical as bran new the calibration is betwen 0.37-0.4mms on clean surface, I mean without rust, clean the apace first using an eraser paper (200-300), THEN CLEAN it whith a cotton or a paper. If you have electronical starter the range varies from 4.0- 4.23mms, in the first case spak plugs shoul have 0.6 mms and in the second one 0.62-0.62. ry to do it , is easy if you want to have an antique as your car, I have an argentina version named 125 from 1974, uh, but 42 yearsdont make my car differat, it is a thunder as every Fiat, enjoy your spider. I repair mine with my hands, no technician required, even to repeir complex things like motor, but I think that it is a hobby, my old Fiat takes 190 kms/h and any more

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