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I keep my 500 POP in the garage, but it was plenty cold last night (down to 15 outside, slightly warmer inside). Starting this morning was a little difficult, but it started. The "check engine" light came on. I did idle for a minute to get the juices flowing just like I do when I start it the first time each day. I figured it wasn't the battery because it had its own light. The problem was, while driving, the car was not accelerating well, and the indicator telling me to "shift" was not coming on. I was able to shift okay, but the car was definitely not going fast. Naturally I HAD to be somewhere and eventually got there. After I had done my business, and the car had been parked outside in the sun, I was contemplating calling the shop to see if I could hobble over there immediately. Instead, I started her up, everything was fine. The car is running normal now, the SHIFT notification is working and the acceleration is fine. Of course the "check engine" light is still on, but with the car running fine again, I'm thinking now the only problem is the Mussolini effect (something WAS wrong, but the shop won't be able to find the trouble). I expect the "check engine" light to go off in a day or so. Can cold affect the drive train like that? Or maybe it was something I did like go in reverse while putting on the brake? Anyone else have trouble like this ?
 

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I don't think you can rule out a battery. In fact, I'd take the car to your local auto parts store and have them load test the battery, as well as pull the trouble codes. Write the codes down, along with the date, and have the codes reset. It could have been a one off but if the problem still exists they will come back. If they are stored codes, the check engine probably won't turn off by itself.

As you know, batteries have less power when they are cold. In the old days, if your battery could spin the engine, it'd fire up. Modern engines are tiny and the starters are improved. The problem is that voltage can drop low enough at start that the car's electronics won't function properly. In some cases the car sounds like it's cranking fine, but the car won't start. If it occurs again, you could try shutting the car off then restarting, once it has warmed a bit. It might have cleared the problem for your trip.

As for the shift indicators, I believe that could be normal with the engine is misfiring. (At least, they seem to delay on my '18 when it's really cold outside.)

In the meantime, it'd give you one thing to check that won't cost anything.
 

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I keep my 500 POP in the garage, but it was plenty cold last night (down to 15 outside, slightly warmer inside). Starting this morning was a little difficult, but it started. The "check engine" light came on. I did idle for a minute to get the juices flowing just like I do when I start it the first time each day. I figured it wasn't the battery because it had its own light. The problem was, while driving, the car was not accelerating well, and the indicator telling me to "shift" was not coming on. I was able to shift okay, but the car was definitely not going fast. Naturally I HAD to be somewhere and eventually got there. After I had done my business, and the car had been parked outside in the sun, I was contemplating calling the shop to see if I could hobble over there immediately. Instead, I started her up, everything was fine. The car is running normal now, the SHIFT notification is working and the acceleration is fine. Of course the "check engine" light is still on, but with the car running fine again, I'm thinking now the only problem is the Mussolini effect (something WAS wrong, but the shop won't be able to find the trouble). I expect the "check engine" light to go off in a day or so. Can cold affect the drive train like that? Or maybe it was something I did like go in reverse while putting on the brake? Anyone else have trouble like this ?
Hello Eric,
We are certainly sorry to hear about your recent CEL concern. If your concern is ongoing, please feel free to let us know via private message if you decide to address this with your dealer and we will gladly assist you during that process.
Laura
FiatCares
 

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I cant speak for your specific model and trans, but yes shifts can become delayed and seem harsher when the oil is cold. It will warm the oil quicker though by keeping it in a lower gear.
Something I do to pre warm the transmission fluid is to start the car and warm it up the normal couple few minutes before I would drive off. Then shut it down and go do something for ten or fifteen minutes. When I return, heat soak has warmed the fluid in the transmission significantly.this is better than idling it for thise extra minutes, as that will lead to fuel dilution of the engine oil.
A good synthetic trans fluid will help with smoother shifting in the winter, if it isn’t already filled with a synthetic.
 

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If you got a engine check lamp on. They don’t just go away, in a few days. Run you car by a auto supply store. They can hook it up to a code reader. Pull a code.

Ive owned my car going on 9 years now. It’s 12 degrees outside. Newer had a issue like your describing.

Good Luck.
 
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