I've recently bought a 2001 Ford Fiesta Flight 1.3 Petrol, having learnt to drive in a Diesel Corsa.

I've noticed that in order not to stall, I have to give it a lot of gas. Whilst I know that petrols require more gas than diesels to get going, the amount I have to give it in order not to stall seems a bit excessive. As such, I've accidentally span the wheels on a few occasions.

As it's a more 'basic' model, I have no RPM gauge so can't accurately judge what I'm doing each time.

Is it possible that there may be something wrong, or something that needs adjusting? Someone suggested that a mixture adjustment might need to be made? Alternatively, is it more likely that I'm simply getting used to an older Petrol rather than a newish Diesel?

  • How much is too much gas? What's the average RPM when you start?
    – JoErNanO
    May 23, 2016 at 13:52
  • I'm not sure exactly on the RPM as I have no RPM gauge, but the engine seems as though it's 'screaming' rather than just revving slightly. Apologies for the lack of info, I know an RPM would be much more useful than my sound descriptions! May 23, 2016 at 13:59
  • It's a tough question to answer. Small petrol engines are certainly way more touchy than diesels. And I doubt you can adjust the mixture on a 2001 Fiesta, the ECU takes care of that, you can just make sure that the engine is in a good condition. Maybe you're just too rough with the clutch? May 23, 2016 at 15:39
  • It sounds to me as though you are not feathering the clutch correctly. May 23, 2016 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


A bit past time, but might as well add an answer:

I'd second the comments saying your clutch control probably needs work. I suggest taking the car to a flat piece of tarmac and experimenting with the clutch. You shouldn't need any throttle at all to pull away slowly and carefully on flat ground - with slow clutch release, the car should pull away at idle. If it stalls at this point, then yes, you probably do have a problem.

As you don't have a rev-counter, you'll need to learn to drive the car by ear - listen to the engine. You shouldn't need to apply much power - a light touch of the throttle should be all you need to accelerate away quickly. Perhaps around 1/4 throttle for a hill start - certainly not this much if you're on level ground. If you can, try to sit in a similar car with a rev-counter and listen to the engine note. You'll need around 1000-1250 RPM to pull away, up to around 2000 for a hill start. Try to remember the engine note at these speeds and compare to your car.

The Fiesta is a very lightweight car and shouldn't need much power to pull away, so you're right to be concerned, but make sure your clutch control is up to scratch first!

  • Thanks for the answer, after a leaky head gasket and some extensive welding required, it's now on the scrap heap. However, it was definitely a case of just getting used to the car. Mar 12, 2017 at 0:00
  • @TomConibear dang, that sounds like it was a bit of a problem car! Oh well, hopefully this will benefit someone who comes googling.
    – Gargravarr
    Mar 20, 2017 at 15:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.