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Old 27-04-2012   #31
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

Quote Originally Posted by jameshobiecat View Post
Not the greatest article ever, the demo with strong man was particularly pathetic. As for it being dangerous, thats what the warning light is for.

I suspect the problem is no worse than with other manufacturers but fiat haven't handled it very well. I think some brands would have offered a substantial goodwill gesture.
Try doing that on the sporting model with wider alloys and wider track. It failed on my dad while he was driving it mid corner and it made him crash the car....

It's a very basic easily preventable problem and the way Fiat are handling it is pathetic! They've let the success of the 500 get to their heads.
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Old 27-04-2012   #32
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

I'd be inclined to agree with the above. Steering a car fitted with Power Steering when it fails is harder than steering one that never had it to start with.

Also, since on my Mk2 Punto when the steering used to cut out the warning light only came on once the steering had cut-out, it's just stating the obvious & is abit blo*dy pointless

I suspect the biggest problem is that Fiat (UK) are inconsistent in handling the problem. Yes other cars power steering fail, but expecting someone to pay over £600 to fix a car (as young as 4 years old in some cases) is totally unreasonable & i'm glad Watchdog have highlighted this as Fiat do need a kick up the ar*e to remind them that they're better than they were, but there's alot of work left to do.
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Old 27-04-2012   #33
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

My parents got me the Grande Punto 1.2 last year for my first car

its an '07 5 door model, not a single issue with anything. It has only done about 22,0000 miles now though, but for me its been one of the most reliable cars we've ever owned, perhaps second only to the Audi A6 estate we had in around 2002.

Wish I could say the same for our 2.0 litre petrol Peugeot 307 XSI, that was the most unreliable piece of junk in creation. I won't list the faults, but hand on heart since early 2007 when we got that car it must have had over 200 issues with it.

Touchwood my lil Punto is going strong,
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Last edited by rjnicko; 27-04-2012 at 07:14.
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Old 27-04-2012   #34
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

Someone please tell me what was wrong with a rack pinion and hydraulic assistance?
Why do we need all this electric Bul"£$t????
I bet if you removed most of the electric rubbish from modern cars they would be soo reliable
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Old 27-04-2012   #35
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

Quote Originally Posted by GrandeGuy View Post
I bet if you removed most of the electric rubbish from modern cars they would be soo reliable
Yup AND you would be able to fix so much yourself without a **** computer
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Old 27-04-2012   #36
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

So is there actually a known fix for this rather than replacing the whole part?

Babz's MK2 Punto does this but she lives with it. Just a bit annoying really. I've seen something somewhere about resoldering connections but I'm unconvinced as the problem isn't intermittent as the video suggests. It's when you put the steering under load, or atleast is for us.
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Old 27-04-2012   #37
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I appreciate how heavy it is but unless it fails whilst cornering you have a warning light that tells you there is a problem. My previous car was a Peugeot 407 which was prone to a much more dangerous powersteering fault. It had an electro-hydraulic system and a fault in the pump would cause the fluid in the header tank to foam up every now and then. The foam would be sucked into the pump resulting in a temporary loss of power assistance but only when cornering (as the pump switched off at other times). No warning light, sudden and far more likely to be dangerous than the gp problem. This too was a well known fault affecting many different models of Peugeot and Citroen and a new pump was £600 plus fitting.

My point is that whilst the punto problem shouldn't happen, fiat are no worse than other manufacturers.

Someone asked why do we have electronic pas in place of hydraulic these days. The advantages are cost, reduced co2 output (hydraulid pumps put quite a load on the engine even when traveling straight), the ability to program different 'maps' (eg city or sport mode) and simpler installation on the production line. Electro hydraulic is a compromise that gives hydraulic like feel but without the constant load on the engine, it can also be fitted to vehicles originally designed for conventional hydraulic pas. The down sides are that it is more expensive than either of the other two options and it can be unreliable.
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Last edited by jameshobiecat; 27-04-2012 at 11:52.
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Old 27-04-2012   #38
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

Quote Originally Posted by GrandeGuy View Post
Someone please tell me what was wrong with a rack pinion and hydraulic assistance?
Why do we need all this electric Bul"£$t????
uses more power so uses more fuel so means more emissions, maybe

or its cheaper to make cars with an electric motor. maybe
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Old 27-04-2012   #39
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

Quote Originally Posted by GrandeGuy View Post
Someone please tell me what was wrong with a rack pinion and hydraulic assistance?
Why do we need all this electric Bul"£$t????
I bet if you removed most of the electric rubbish from modern cars they would be soo reliable
Electric power steering is cheaper and more reliable than hydraulic power steering. It also puts a much lighter load on the engine.

It's still a rack+pinion steering rack, you don't lose all steering if the electrics go, you just lose the assistance. You can drive the car perfectly well without the power steering, just don't try any parallel parking.

A hydraulic system has a lot more moving parts (and more electronics these days!) and a much larger possibility for failures. In comparison, an electric power steering system has a couple of sensors and an electric motor centered around the steering column. As far as I know, the fault happens in the sensors. A modern hydraulic power steering system would have failed in the exact same way if the sensors failed.
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Old 27-04-2012   #40
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

Quote Originally Posted by rjnicko View Post
My parents got me the Grande Punto 1.2 last year for my first car

its an '07 5 door model, not a single issue with anything. It has only done about 22,0000 miles now though, but for me its been one of the most reliable cars we've ever owned, perhaps second only to the Audi A6 estate we had in around 2002.

Wish I could say the same for our 2.0 litre petrol Peugeot 307 XSI, that was the most unreliable piece of junk in creation. I won't list the faults, but hand on heart since early 2007 when we got that car it must have had over 200 issues with it.

Touchwood my lil Punto is going strong,
Same, but got 40k on the clock on mine. I do motorway miles though, but shortly it'll only be used for really short journeys and I f*cking KNOW it will start to go wrong.

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Old 27-04-2012   #41
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

Quote Originally Posted by KozmoNaut View Post
Electric power steering is cheaper and more reliable than hydraulic power steering. It also puts a much lighter load on the engine.

It's still a rack+pinion steering rack, you don't lose all steering if the electrics go, you just lose the assistance. You can drive the car perfectly well without the power steering, just don't try any parallel parking.

A hydraulic system has a lot more moving parts (and more electronics these days!) and a much larger possibility for failures. In comparison, an electric power steering system has a couple of sensors and an electric motor centered around the steering column. As far as I know, the fault happens in the sensors. A modern hydraulic power steering system would have failed in the exact same way if the sensors failed.
And is more environment friendly, imagine hundreds of gallons daily poured down the drains etc
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Old 27-04-2012   #42
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

Quote Originally Posted by Bushboy View Post
So is there actually a known fix for this rather than replacing the whole part?

Babz's MK2 Punto does this but she lives with it. Just a bit annoying really. I've seen something somewhere about resoldering connections but I'm unconvinced as the problem isn't intermittent as the video suggests. It's when you put the steering under load, or atleast is for us.
I hope the Following information will help anyone with the dreaded power steering problem
My Daughters fiat panda 1.2 had this problem with the power steering failing,
We had it repaired by a small company called Western Power steering, based in Bristol
Total cost was around £299 and that’s including fitting.
Got the car to them at 9.30 in the morning,
They phoned us to say car was ready to pick up at 12.45
Gave a lifetime warranty (for as long as we own the car).
No problem with the steering since.
Excellent service
If you’re having problems with your steering I would highly recommend this company.
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Old 27-04-2012   #43
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

For the benefit of everyone, there is not ONE reason why the EPS can fail there are MANY. What might work for one person does not always work for another, there are loads of EPS related error codes and sometimes none at all.

I wonder how many units have been condemned because of a faulty or poorly charged battery or a missing speed signal...more than a few!
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Old 27-04-2012   #44
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

I'm sorry. If any units have been condemned because of a missing speed signal, or, more improbably, a poorly charged battery, this is a reflection on the integrity of the garage or dealer. The fact is that this is a long standing and well known issue which Fiat has avoided addressing for many years.I have seen references to this happening to Pandas from 02 onwards, never mind the other models in the range.

Some have posted on here that this fault is not a killer and doesn't make the car a death trap. Well perhaps, perhaps not. When the steering went on my wife's Panda on the school run, she certainly didn't feel it was just 'one of those things'. It was scary and unexpected.

It's no good being defensive over Fiats reputation on this issue. They are in the wrong. They have known about this issue for years. If it crops up under warranty, they deal with it. Outside warranty, they duck and weave. My wife's car had the steering sensor unit refurbished by BBA Reman, at a considerably cheaper price than that quoted by the local Fiat dealer. More intriguingly, BBA claim not simply to refurb. the unit but to also correct a known technical issue. They guarantee their unit for two years as opposed to the 12 months for the official Fiat replacement.

Fiat deserve all the criticism they are getting over this.
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Old 27-04-2012   #45
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Re: The BBC WATCHDOG THREAD

If the woman in the programme learnt how to hold a steering wheel while cornering, she might have found it easier to maintain control.

We've got a Saxo trackcar and binned the electric pump from the electro-hydraulic PAS when it failed, leaving the (shorter ratio) rack in place. Sure it's heavier, but once you're moving you wouldn't know the difference (as steering assistance is virtually non-existant while above 30mph anyway).
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