Sorry for the naive question. Last year I bought a 2014 Fiat 500L second-handed, petrol. I noticed that the motor sounded a bit strange or "weak" (my friend says it sounds like a moped). I asked my garagist and he said "yeah it's normal, it's just that it runs on three legs." - "Eh?" - "Yeah, it's a three-time engine".

This was not in English so I'm not certain of the accurate translation. But it literally translated to "three time engine". I looked up "three stroke engne" but apparently it's a very specific kind of rotary engine that only exists on some Mazda cars. My garagist was in a hurry so I wasn't able to ask more specifics.

Looking at Wikipedia, I see that Fiat 500L has TwinAir Turbo, FIRE or Turbojet engne.

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    I'd suggest the mechanic meant it was a three cylinder engine as they can sound a bit off but as per your wiki link they didn't make an L3 engine. The twin air (2 cylinder 4-stroke) engines never sounded too sad to me?
    – user5079
    Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 16:11
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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Nope, this is not a naive question. Sounds like the mechanic was throwing a little bit of local color into their vernacular and hitting you with it. Bottom line is, if you don't know, you don't know ... and that's why you ask questions. Glad you're hear to ask them! Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Upon further inspection and towards what @tobyd stated, Fiat didn't put a 3-cylinder into the 500L. If that is what the mechanic was thinking, I'd suggest you find a different mechanic. Obviously he's mistaken in some way or another. I believe that is what they were shooting at, though, it being a 3-cyl engine. I've never heard of a 3-stroke engine ... never even heard of the Wankel (rotary) engine being referred to as such, because technically it is still considered a four stroke engine because it still performs all four stroke functions (ie: intake; compression; power; exhaust).


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