When Fiat’s 1.4L and 2.4L engines found in Jeep Renegades and Cherokee’s are inactive for an extended period, it is common for almost all of the oil to drain out of the top-half of the engine, including the high-pressure oil pump and the hydraulic pumping elements in the Multi-Air “brick.” These elements are operated by the intake lobes on the camshaft and require a sufficient amount of oil (without air) flowing to feed the actuators that control the fully variable lift of all eight intake valves.
To re-establish consistent oil flow in the pump(s) and get the engine running again, it is necessary to prime them by turning the engine over with the starter. It’s important to pause periodically to prevent the starter motor from overheating.
Fiat provides an “Extended Park Starting” procedure in the owner’s manual, which is recommended when the vehicle has not been started or driven for at least 30 days. Here are the steps:
- Install a battery pack or jumper cables to the battery to ensure a full battery charge during the crank cycle.
- Cycle the ignition to the START mode and release it when the engine starts.
- If the engine fails to start within 10 to 15 seconds, cycle the ignition to the OFF mode, wait five seconds to allow the starter to cool, then repeat the Extended Park Starting procedure.
- If the engine fails to start after eight attempts, allow the starter to cool for at least 10 minutes, then repeat the procedure.
Following these steps will help ensure that the engine runs smoothly and efficiently after a period of extended inactivity.
1) When performing the Extended Park Starting procedure on a Multiair engine, it’s a good idea to remove the fuel pump fuse (F34) temporarily after the first pause to cool down the starter. This will prevent the cylinders from flooding, which can occur if too much fuel is injected into the engine during startup.
Once you’re ready to resume starting the engine, simply reinsert the fuse and try again. With any luck, all systems will be go and you’ll be able to get back on the road in no time.
In fact, some Jeep Techs recommend leaving the fuel pump fuse out all winter (if your in a colder climate than Australia) to prevent condensation from building up in the engine. Instead, periodically crank the engine until it sounds normal, rather than “free-spinning,” to keep oil flowing to the Multi-Air brick. This can help ensure that the engine stays lubricated and ready to go when you need it.
2) : If you’re having trouble getting oil to flow quickly upwards while the starter is turning the engine over during the Extended Park Starting procedure on a Fiat 1.4 L engine, there’s a little-known trick that can help. Simply remove the oil filler cap to relieve the vacuum and allow oil to flow more easily.
If that doesn’t do the trick, there’s an official fix from Fiat that involves having a helper push the air-relief valve “button” (figure 1below) with an awl while you press the start button. This will allow any trapped air to exit and create space for the helper to inject oil using an oil squirt can. Just be sure to keep the oil filler cap removed during this process to maintain the vacuum relief.
3) Fiat reportedly has an official solution for bleeding air out of the oil pump during the Extended Park Starting procedure. This involves using the “Possible Oil Pump Priming Point,” which is located on the bottom of the engine underneath the oil filter and next to the oil pressure sensor.