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Old 17-06-2011   #1
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TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

Following up on loveshandbags observations after being loaned a 3yr old 1.4, I thought I'd start a new thread to give everyone a chance to post their thoughts on the likely long term reliability of the new TwinAir.

FIAT will no doubt have done a considerable amount of testing of the prototypes and early production engines, but nobody knows how the mass produced cars will stand up to the rigours of real-world driving. So this is an ideal opportunity to post speculative, unsubstantiated, self-opinionated scare stories & reassurances in the best FIAT forum tradition - I hope we'll have a lively discussion!
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Old 17-06-2011   #2
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

If owners treat their cars like a 'white good' (hence all the BNW ones) there will be trouble ahead.

Open the bonnet on a regular basis and the potential problems will reduce.

Cheers

D
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Old 17-06-2011   #3
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

The question to ask is have the MultiAir engines been reliable? I haven't heard any horror stories, admittedly the engines are probably too new to really see any effects of bad maintenance, but as said, modern car engines don't have the safety margin older engines had with their lower specific power outputs.
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Old 17-06-2011   #4
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

I think the engines will be fine, italian engines always have been, its the rest of the car specifically the suspension that will be its down fall if anything, with second most likely candiate being electronic gremlins
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Old 17-06-2011   #5
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

It's true - like all manufacturers there have been a few fragile ones along the way, but in general they're pretty tough and well up to the job.
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Old 17-06-2011   #6
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

Quote Originally Posted by bgunn View Post
The question to ask is have the MultiAir engines been reliable?
The multiair is only one part of the equation the "twin" part is about the new two cylinder 875cc engine so the you would need to start another thread to discuss multiair in this context.

I am declining from posting about my bad experience with my TwinAir Sport as mine was faulty from day one so perhaps not relevant to the original question posted.
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Old 17-06-2011   #7
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

Quote Originally Posted by grimwau View Post
The multiair is only one part of the equation the "twin" part is about the new two cylinder 875cc engine so the you would need to start another thread to discuss multiair in this context.
Yep. There's much more new technology here than just the multiair system.

Quote Originally Posted by grimwau View Post
I am declining from posting about my bad experience with my TwinAir Sport as mine was faulty from day one so perhaps not relevant to the original question posted.
I'd agree that the car itself was an isolated case of 'born faulty' which could happen with any car - that's just random bad luck.

What I think IS relevant, though, is whether you thought the supplying dealer had the skills & training to cope with diagnosing & fixing faults on the new engine. One concern could be "if it breaks, who is going to fix it?"
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Old 17-06-2011   #8
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
Yep. There's much more new technology here than just the multiair system.



I'd agree that the car itself was an isolated case of 'born faulty' which could happen with any car - that's just random bad luck.

What I think IS relevant, though, is whether you thought the supplying dealer had the skills & training to cope with diagnosing & fixing faults on the new engine. One concern could be "if it breaks, who is going to fix it?"
To be honest I would have to say I was not confident that this dealers service department was au fait with the TA. I realise it is a new development but that is not an excuse for what happened in my case. When I researched the engine before making the decision to buy I read that Selenia had worked in conjunction with FPT to develop an oil specifically for a low friction design and MultiAir. When I collected my car after it was "repaired" and enquired about the oil used I was told that they used the same oil in all of the cars across the three franchises they held.

After collecting it I was not happy with how it drove and when I mentioned this in a post a forum member with an in depth, Fiat technical background stated that it was essential that the correct oil was used as the multiair solenoids were operated by engine oil and to work correctly they needed the correct oil.

He also stated that in the event of an engine problem Fiat would require an oil sample for analysis before authorising any warranty claims.

So, as I warned in my original thread, any TA owners taking their cars for man oil change would be well advised to ask beforehand what oil will be used and make sure that it is the corect Selenia product (or the equivalent) used.
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Last edited by grimwau; 17-06-2011 at 10:08.
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Old 17-06-2011   #9
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
Yep. There's much more new technology here than just the multiair system.
What, a twin cylinder engine with a balance shaft? I think you'll find this is distinctly OLD tech - nothing special here. Engineers all over the world have been making engines in this configuration since the IC engine was invented.

The real 'cleverness' in the TA is the 'air' bit.

I agree that the difficulties that may lie with the TA or MA would be with dealerships and techs not understanding/underestimating the importance of certain things. But you can get this with anything 'new' - all the more reason to provide the fluids and consumables and get the dealership to provide the labour during the warranty period, and then service yourself afterwards.

As soon as my two years are up (the third year dealer bit isn't worth the paper it's written on), my car will be serviced ahead of schedule by me.
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Last edited by bgunn; 17-06-2011 at 10:11.
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Old 17-06-2011   #10
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

Quote Originally Posted by bgunn View Post
What, a twin cylinder engine with a balance shaft? I think you'll find this is distinctly OLD tech - nothing special here. Engineers all over the world have been making engines in this configuration since the IC engine was invented.

The real 'cleverness' in the TA is the 'air' bit.
I suppose what JR was getting at was the boosting of a NA engine. The multi-air appears to be proven seen it's in the Alfa range for some time - and I've 'heard' no issues. One of the anomolies of the blurb was that the standard 1.4 engine was 10% more efficient and there was an expection that it would have an increase in power - it seemed to have on the Euro models but not on the US models. I did read that once you turbo charge the engine the MA engine's efficiency is increased to 20% which may account for the 1.4 MA Turbo winning engine of the year ?
But I do take you point about the MA being a vital component on the overall mix.
Apologies JR for going slightly off topic.
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Old 17-06-2011   #11
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

Quote Originally Posted by grimwau View Post
To be honest I would have to say I was not confident that this dealers service department was au fait with the TA. I realise it is a new development but that is not an excuse for what happened in my case. When I researched the engine before making the decision to buy I read that Selenia had worked in conjunction with FPT to develop an oil specifically for a low friction design and MultiAir. When I collected my car after it was "repaired" and enquired about the oil used I was told that they used the same oil in all of the cars across the three franchises they held.

After collecting it I was not happy with how it drove and when I mentioned this in a post a forum member with an in depth, Fiat technical background stated that it was essential that the correct oil was used as the multiair solenoids were operated by engine oil and to work correctly they needed the correct oil.

He also stated that in the event of an engine problem Fiat would require an oil sample for analysis before authorising any warranty claims.

So, as I warned in my original thread, any TA owners taking their cars for man oil change would be well advised to ask beforehand what oil will be used and make sure that it is the corect Selenia product (or the equivalent) used.
This highlights my concerns about diluting the expertise and knowledge of the Fiat dealers taking on the Chrysler 'franchise'. I wonder are there any of the Fiat engines in the Chrysler range just as the 500 1.2 engine is in the KA or is the KA suspension in the 500
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Old 17-06-2011   #12
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

Quote Originally Posted by loveshandbags View Post
I suppose what JR was getting at was the boosting of a NA engine.
What I'm really trying to say is that this is an 'all-new' engine for FIAT - AFAIK it's been designed from a 'clean sheet of paper' & doesn't share any core components with other engines previously produced by FIAT powertrain. Whilst that doen't necessarily mean it'll suffer from teething problems or be inherently unreliable, I'd suggest there's a greater risk than with engines developed by enhancing existing platforms. It also means that the chaps who will be servicing & repairing these engines will be less familiar with them than would be otherwise be the case.
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Old 17-06-2011   #13
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

Quote Originally Posted by loveshandbags View Post
This highlights my concerns about diluting the expertise and knowledge of the Fiat dealers taking on the Chrysler 'franchise'.
I think this can be extended to include all of the multifranchise dealerships - one example being the practice of bulk buying servicing fluids on the 'one oil fits all' policy others have commented on elsewhere.
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Old 17-06-2011   #14
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
Following up on loveshandbags observations after being loaned a 3yr old 1.4, I thought I'd start a new thread to give everyone a chance to post their thoughts on the likely long term reliability of the new TwinAir.

FIAT will no doubt have done a considerable amount of testing of the prototypes and early production engines, but nobody knows how the mass produced cars will stand up to the rigours of real-world driving. So this is an ideal opportunity to post speculative, unsubstantiated, self-opinionated scare stories & reassurances in the best FIAT forum tradition - I hope we'll have a lively discussion!
My experience of Turbo engines is that the temptation to crank it up means that the re-world ownership costs if not for you - for the next guy or gal - can be where problems come up - reliability can come into question.
The expectation of the 'life' of a car to me would be about 10 years. In Japan they penalise owners of cars - is it over 4 years old ? - hence the 'big' export business to the UK / Ireland - 'jap' imports. So the shelf life expectation will be different for them.
The NA TA (one has yet to be released) will be 65bhp so boosting the engine to 85bhp seems reasonable; to 105bhp we are probably still within the rigours of reason. If you look at the A500 where most of the engines are running at 165bhp - 65% up on the NA - this engine seems by all accounts to be a hardy engine. But with the TA being 'half an engine' realistically the expectation of it lasting 10 years in 'normal' ownership / driving to me is unrealistic.
IMHO for a TA to prove reliable means that they were need to be few owners (I don't think it meets the requirements of a loan car ) the ECU should be locked and diligent servicing and intermittent 'right' oil changes would be the 'order' of the day.
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Last edited by loveshandbags; 17-06-2011 at 11:12. Reason: or gal !
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Old 17-06-2011   #15
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Re: TwinAir: Will it be reliable? (discuss)

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
What I'm really trying to say is that this is an 'all-new' engine for FIAT - AFAIK it's been designed from a 'clean sheet of paper' & doesn't share any core components with other engines previously produced by FIAT powertrain.
As stated this is a brand new engine which was designed from scratch to use multiair technology. All other MA engines are "old" designs with the MA head adapted to fit them.
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