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
    Commented 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! Commented 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? Commented May 23, 2016 at 15:39
  • It sounds to me as though you are not feathering the clutch correctly. Commented 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. Commented 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
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 15:09

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