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Old 09-08-2016   #31
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

Quote Originally Posted by gar074 View Post
On a related subject, does anyone know the cost of extending the warranty beyond 3 years? I seem to recall you can buy an extended warranty from Fiat at the time of first registration, but some manufacturers (eg Citroen) have a scheme whereby you can extend the warranty at any time before it expires. I normally run a mile from that kind of insurance cash-cow, as it's usually much cheaper to put some money aside for repairs/replacements as and when, but a few 100 a year could turn out to be a good investment if there's a risk of a major engine failure costing 1000s.
The problem is that a DMF failure might not be covered by an extended warranty. A quick internet search reveals that many extended warranty companies consider a DMF to be a wear and tear item and thus excluded. Proving that a DMF has failed for reasons other than wear and tear could be problematic .

Any extended warranty which proves to be a good investment for the majority of folks goes against the laws of nature and will quickly be removed from the market.

About the only thing I can think of that's worse than paying 9 grand for a car and having to fork out 5k for an unexpected bill a year later is paying 9 grand for a car, paying another 500 to extend the warranty for a couple of years, and still having to fork out 5k for an unexpected bill a year later.

Time will tell if this is a one-off (perhaps caused by some sort of abuse before the current owner bought the car), or a more widespread issue. Thus far, thankfully there haven't been many reports of similar failures - though this will be of little comfort to the unfortunate OP.

Sadly manufacturers and franchised dealers have a vested interest in costly out-of-warranty repairs on relatively young cars as it keeps up the momentum of customers trading in before the warranty expires. These sort of scare stories actually help new car sales.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 09-08-2016 at 16:17.
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Old 09-08-2016   #32
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
Any extended warranty which proves to be a good investment for the majority of folks goes against the laws of nature and will quickly be removed from the market.

About the only thing I can think of that's worse than paying 9 grand for a car and having to fork out 5k for an unexpected bill a year later is paying 9 grand for a car, paying another 500 to extend the warranty for a couple of years, and still having to fork out 5k for an unexpected bill a year later.
Wise words, as always.
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Old 09-08-2016   #33
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

Quote Originally Posted by Asa James View Post
It's not the bellhousing that's damaged, if you look where the input shaft is ( middle of bellhousing) you can see the metal guide that the release bearing sits on, the end of that is worn down, and can't be bought separate, new bellhousing required. I've seen it replaced under warranty as the customer had great difficulty selecting gear, again only on a MiTo, but worth the argument.
IF you could get a replacement, is it actually bolted into the bellhousing - or riveted home..??

looks fairly standard in design.. previous 4cyl panda diagram = http://eper.fiatforum.com/eper/navi?...OD=1&DRW_NUM=2

basic architecture = 500 TA ( 5 speed box) =http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FIAT-500-TWINAIR-0-9-PETROL-MANUAL-GEARBOX-5-SPEED-2007-2015-5-/182219094764?hash=item2a6d1abaec:g:lWAAAOSwInxXNv7 J

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Old 09-08-2016   #34
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

From what I could see on the ones I've done, it's just a press interference fit, and sadly not listed in the first link
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Old 09-08-2016   #35
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

And for those less technically minded folks wondering just what the heck a DMF is and how it works, this
is a link to a rather pretty animation.
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Old 09-08-2016   #36
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
And for those less technically minded folks wondering just what the heck a DMF is and how it works, this here is a link to a rather pretty animation.
And they are generally fitted to ANYTHING that isn't a SMOOTH running engine,

so ;
Diesel,
less than 4 cylinder Petrol

the theory being it helps "dampen" vibration / harmonics.

there is talk of people fracturing crankshafts where people have fitted "solid" traditional flywheels once an original DMF has broken down.
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Old 09-08-2016   #37
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

I hadn't realised that the TA had a DMF. As DMFs are one of the reasons why I now avoid diesels like the plague (2 family members have had expensive DMF failures), I'm a bit pee'd off. And if the addition of a DMF on the TA is a relatively recent development, presumably we can't take much comfort from the fact that older TAs seem to have a decent reliability record, as they will be DMF-free. Sigh.
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Old 12-08-2016   #38
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

Have now heard from dealer who have tried to get assistance from Fiat. No joy, they won't contribute anything to the cost of repair. However, dealer now thinks that gearbox isn't damaged and would like to replace flywheel and clutch for 1500. Risk is that they are wrong and gearbox turns out to be damaged as well which will only be apparent once they have finished. Any views?
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Old 12-08-2016   #39
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

Quote Originally Posted by west71 View Post
Have now heard from dealer who have tried to get assistance from Fiat. No joy, they won't contribute anything to the cost of repair. However, dealer now thinks that gearbox isn't damaged and would like to replace flywheel and clutch for 1500. Risk is that they are wrong and gearbox turns out to be damaged as well which will only be apparent once they have finished. Any views?
Condolences; I'm sure this isn't what you want to hear, but sadly it doesn't surprise me. Fiat are not known for their generosity in supporting customers out of warranty. They might even have refused this one if the car had been under warranty, particularly in the third year.

I posted the following on this subject recently in another thread - it was your case I had in mind at the time:

However, the criteria Fiat have given you for a goodwill contribution are much more worrying - if I've read what you've posted correctly, they're saying that they will only even consider this if:

1. the car is less than four years old and
2. you are the original owner from new (note this would seem to disqualify all prereg vehicles) and
3. the car has a full service history with all servicing being done by the franchised dealer network.

If Fiat really are taking this stance in all cases, it's going to leave quite a few folks who are currently negotiating goodwill contributions in respect of much newer cars well and truly up the proverbial without a wotsit. IMO this would be an extremely harsh policy.


A DMF is a wear and tear item and its failure at some time during the life of the car is by no means unlikely; certainly it should be inspected carefully every time the clutch is changed and an informed decision taken as to whether it should be replaced at the same time. This early in a car's life, I'd say it's premature, but then again you have no way of knowing how the car was used (or abused) by its previous owner. Yours is the only one I've heard of, but the Euro6 TA hasn't been around that long & yours must be one of the first.

My biggest problem with this would be the price; 1500 for a DMF & clutch is outrageous, but that is a reflection on the cost of main dealer servicing with OEM parts, and perhaps no more outrageous than the folks who have been charged north of 300 for a set of front discs & pads. However, they have your car in pieces now and I can't see any reasonable alternative to paying this if you want the car back. This is one of the insidious things about finding a fault on a just-out-of-warranty car; your only hope of getting a contribution from Fiat is to take it to a franchised dealer, and if they refuse, by then the car is in bits & you can't easily go elsewhere.

Personally I'd take a risk with the gearbox. Check carefully for oil leaks until you're sure all is well. If the worst happens and it does need to be replaced, at least you can source a secondhand gearbox from a breakers once you've got the car back.

In time, no doubt aftermarket DMF's will be available, and having the same work done by an indie using aftermarket parts should be much cheaper, but sadly this won't be any help to the OP. It may also be that an aftermarket SMF becomes available as a replacement (remember the Euro5 85TA manages well enough with a SMF) and that will be much cheaper.

I've done a quick internet search and can't find any other source for the part, though there are folks selling new OEM DMF's for the 500L for under 300.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 12-08-2016 at 08:07.
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Old 12-08-2016   #40
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

Many thanks for your comments. I have raised a case myself with fiat but don't expect to get a different response. If I don't I will go ahead with the the clutch and flywheel replacement. Interestingly the previous and only other owner was fiat fleet services so they are in a better position than most to see how it was previously driven.

I have now had seven cars in my driving life and only one, a 1989 Corolla had a clutch replacement and that was at well over 100k miles. Maybe 4x4s aren't for me.
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Old 12-08-2016   #41
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

Very sad that your car has run in to these kind of problems so early .
Although the new quote for 1500 is a lot less depressing the uncertainty around the state of gearbox still is very annoying.
I do wonder if you bought the car from the dealer where it's currently at.
If so I feel that they should also make an effort to come your way and not only hide behind the Fiat importer.
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Old 12-08-2016   #42
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

To be fair, clutches and pressure plates are easily the biggest wear items on all AWD vehicles as they endure much greater loads than those of 2wd vehicles. That being said, unless someone was doing clutch-drop launches in first once a week there's no reason it should fail so early in the life of the vehicle. My condolences too, and I hope you don't give up on the 4x4 without at least experiencing some of the joy it can offer.
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Old 12-08-2016   #43
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

I bought the car from a different fiat dealer to the one it is now at. I had difficulty finding a second hand fiat 4x4 around here, so I went a bit further afield. Had I known the problems I would have waited until I could find one closer to home. I think the dealer where the car now is are doing their best.
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Old 12-08-2016   #44
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

my condolences, that's still a hefty bill for a relatively simple fix,

at least you'll have the opportunity to now see the car without fault, and see if it really suits you.,

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Old 12-08-2016   #45
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Re: flywheel broken on 3 year old 4x4

Tough luck, all a bit of a bummer. I'd have thought any damage to the gearbox would be indicated by play in the bearing on the gearbox input shaft, as that would be subject to the greatest risk of damage caused by the failing flywheel. If that bearing seems OK I imagine you'd be pretty safe.
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