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Old 02-08-2017   #361
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Quote Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
Hello Barney2017,
Where are you in NZ?
Can you be a bit more specific about what has been done and by who? - a 'software reset' could be a glorious description for removing the battery lead and refitting it. I'd like to know if the Selespeed fluid level has been checked, if the pressure has been checked, and if an EOL calibration has been carried out. This latter step teaches the system where to find the gears (as it

I would also change the gear oil (in the gearbox part, not the actuator) as your description of problems when cold and time of the year makes me suspect that. Put in FIAT's ZC75 - full synthetic.

-Alex
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Old 02-08-2017   #362
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
Hello Barney2017,
Where are you in NZ?
Can you be a bit more specific about what has been done and by who? - a 'software reset' could be a glorious description for removing the battery lead and refitting it. I'd like to know if the Selespeed fluid level has been checked, if the pressure has been checked, and if an EOL calibration has been carried out. This latter step teaches the system where to find the gears (as it moves the gear selectors, it learns positions where it drops into gear) and if there is a problem with selecting a particular gear, that is what you need it to re-learn.

Non-original software to do this is not expensive - MultiECUScan costs about $100 - but your 'transmission specialists' are not going to have it unless they've previously worked on FIAT/Alfa Romeo's Selespeed.

I would also change the gear oil (in the gearbox part, not the actuator) as your description of problems when cold and time of the year makes me suspect that. Put in FIAT's ZC75 - full synthetic.

I don't believe that Dualogic problems are very common, considering the large number of Pandas, Puntos, and 500s fitted with this system. The system is quite simple in concept; a standard mechanical gearbox, an ordinary clutch, and then a self-contained, removable device that operates them (known as the actuator).

When you really read into the drama, most problems are caused by a fluid leak, which tends to be cured by replacing the entire actuator. In my opinion, there's no need to assume a myriad of potential faults when most 'disasters' have had a simple cause. The diagnostic process is what's important here.

-Alex
Hi Alex,

Thanks for your reply and excellent and rather wise summary.

I am in Nelson - So not many transmission shops around.

The car is currently at Auto Transmission Specialists (http://www.autotransnelson.co.nz/).

I am not 100% certain that they have checked the Selespeed fluid level. I am also not certain that they have checked the system pressure either.

I believe that an EOL calibration has been carried out as they mentioned that they completed a software reset that "teaches the system where to find the gears and re-learns" - This still didn't fix the issue.

At this stage, the transmissions shop believe that the neutral solenoid is possibly contributing to the issue. Is this possible as being the issue? I would have thought that it was a pressure issue too or at-least to some degree, as it seems to shift into neutral more so when cold?

The only other thing I thought is worth mentioning was that there was some water of sorts leaking earlier on in the year (tasted it and it seemed to be water). Long story short, I got AA to look at it, they diagnosed it as being condensation coming from the air-con (was warm at the time), was a little odd though, as it kind of correlates with the start of the Dualogic issues...


What kind of checklist should I present them in-order to best diagnose the issue?

Thanks and apologies for the delay in replying.
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Old 02-08-2017   #363
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
That's an excellent summary, Alex.

Unfortunately replacing the actuator is expensive. The part alone costs upwards of 750 from the cheapest source (though donated members of this forum can get a 10% discount). Main dealers will charge a lot (probably around 2000 all in); general independent garages probably won't have either the software or the experience to calibrate the new unit properly, so that leaves either doing it yourself (which, let's be honest, isn't an option for most folks), or finding a knowledgeable independent Fiat specialist.

Many owners will likely have experienced a great deal of frustration and spent money on not fixing the problem before they even find this thread.



It's not very common, but it's common enough (this thread is usually on the front page), and not a nice problem if you are one of the unlucky ones. On a 5yr old Panda, a main dealer repair will come close to the trade in value of the car. IMO any system this expensive to repair should be capable of lasting the design life of the vehicle, barring the occasional random failure.

In some ways, it might be better if it were more common, as then there'd be a healthy aftermarket in reconditioned actuators & pumps, together with more knowledge amongst the general garage fraternity.





The problem for most folks will be finding someone outside the franchised dealer network capable of properly diagnosing the fault. Whilst we can point folks in the right direction, we can't definitively diagnose a fault whilst sitting at a keyboard.
Hi,

The car is only 3 or so years old with very low kms, so it is surprising for it to fail so early one would think right?

Thanks for the extra insight, from a cost POV, I have mechanical breakdown insurance on the car, so the cost of repairing it shouldn't be an issue.

As you say, the problem is finding a place with the appropriate knowledge to resolve the issue(s) apparent.

If you could help advise/compile a checklist of sorts to provide to the transmission shop, it would be very much appreciated.

Any other thoughts are immensely appreciated, the more the merrier .

Thanks
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Old 02-08-2017   #364
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
Sorry to hear about your problem.

I've moved your post into this special thread we are using to discuss dualogic issues. Sadly these are all too common and this thread is often to be found on the first page of the 500 section.

At least it will give you something to read whilst you are waiting for your car to be repaired. Dismantling the actuator by folks not fully conversant with these units tends not to work. For a quick summary of what's likely to be the best way to fix it, read this.

Fingers crossed for you.
Thanks, yeah, at this stage, they seem to think it is a solenoid rather than the actuator...I am going to call tomorrow to get an update of more detail - Will keep you all posted.

In the meantime, I am going to try and compile a checklist (as per mentioned to Alex), so that I can best assist the transmission shop in finding a solution. Any further insight into what I need to ensure they check is much appreciated.

Thanks, and I genuinely appreciate it everyone.
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Old 02-08-2017   #365
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Our moderator jrkitching does speak the truth on this. The actuator should be lasting the life of the car, and if there was indeed a 'solenoid fault', that would be a 'random failure'. I haven't heard of or seen that fault with Dualogic before.

I think the transmission shop is suggesting a solenoid fault because of their experience with conventional automatics, where each ratio requires its own solenoid (electrical component to engage clutches or brake bands). Dualogic is not like that - it's simpler. Think of two solenoids; one to move the 'gear lever' across the gate, and one to move it back and forth; visualise the H-pattern it operates. There is a third solenoid responsible for disengaging and engaging the clutch.

Therefore if one particular engagement is problematic - e.g. when selecting 4th from 5th, it gives up and goes into neutral - I believe the problem is more likely mechanical, in the gearbox - such as the synchro ring for fourth gear faulty or prematurely worn.

The fact that a calibration always succeeds without difficulty proves that the solenoids are capable of moving the 'gear lever' correctly when the transmission is static (at rest). When actually driving, there are problems - and that's what suggests a mechanical fault to me, not a fault with the actuator. Again I presume the hydraulic pressure is correct and there are no fluid leaks.

The same software that performs the calibration can also read parameters from the Dualogic ECU. One parameter set is a Missed Engagement counter for each gear. It's normal to see some missed engagements of first and reverse (because these are made at rest; the system simply retries after engaging the clutch a little), but there should be no missed engagements of 4th recorded. If there are, that corroborates your fault as being with 4th gear (and likely mechanical).

If the workshop has gone to the trouble of removing the actuator (hopefully by taking the front off the car; it's the easiest way to reach the gearbox - front bumper off and front crossmember unbolted), I think it is now best for them to actually remove and disassemble the gearbox and inspect the synchro rings, compare their conditions, make sure selector forks are not loose, that kind of thing.

I realise the labour cost for this is not insignificant but you really want to be certain that the mechanical part is OK. It would be a big shame to replace the actuator and still have the fault. I know of one case where that happened. That's why I suggest checking the mechanical part of the gearbox first, before the actuator is replaced as a last resort.

-Alex
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Old 02-08-2017   #366
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
Our moderator jrkitching does speak the truth on this. The actuator should be lasting the life of the car, and if there was indeed a 'solenoid fault', that would be a 'random failure'. I haven't heard of or seen that fault with Dualogic before.

I think the transmission shop is suggesting a solenoid fault because of their experience with conventional automatics, where each ratio requires its own solenoid (electrical component to engage clutches or brake bands). Dualogic is not like that - it's simpler. Think of two solenoids; one to move the 'gear lever' across the gate, and one to move it back and forth; visualise the H-pattern it operates. There is a third solenoid responsible for disengaging and engaging the clutch.

Therefore if one particular engagement is problematic - e.g. when selecting 4th from 5th, it gives up and goes into neutral - I believe the problem is more likely mechanical, in the gearbox - such as the synchro ring for fourth gear faulty or prematurely worn.

The fact that a calibration always succeeds without difficulty proves that the solenoids are capable of moving the 'gear lever' correctly when the transmission is static (at rest). When actually driving, there are problems - and that's what suggests a mechanical fault to me, not a fault with the actuator. Again I presume the hydraulic pressure is correct and there are no fluid leaks.

The same software that performs the calibration can also read parameters from the Dualogic ECU. One parameter set is a Missed Engagement counter for each gear. It's normal to see some missed engagements of first and reverse (because these are made at rest; the system simply retries after engaging the clutch a little), but there should be no missed engagements of 4th recorded. If there are, that corroborates your fault as being with 4th gear (and likely mechanical).

If the workshop has gone to the trouble of removing the actuator (hopefully by taking the front off the car; it's the easiest way to reach the gearbox - front bumper off and front crossmember unbolted), I think it is now best for them to actually remove and disassemble the gearbox and inspect the synchro rings, compare their conditions, make sure selector forks are not loose, that kind of thing.

I realise the labour cost for this is not insignificant but you really want to be certain that the mechanical part is OK. It would be a big shame to replace the actuator and still have the fault. I know of one case where that happened. That's why I suggest checking the mechanical part of the gearbox first, before the actuator is replaced as a last resort.

-Alex
Hi Alex,

Thanks for responding so quick.

Sure, in the end, I just want to get the car back on the road driving as it should and safely - So ruling out things like mechanical failure makes total sense too, and it also reduces the risk of having to bring the car in again to diagnose (wasting the transmission specialist's time).

I will pass on all of the info you have mentioned to the transmission shop when I speak to them later on today and check to see what has been done, and what hasn't.

Thanks for the highly useful insight into how a Dualogic gearbox works - Seems more simple than I originally thought - Nevertheless, frustrating when things malfunction/fail.

Thanks
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Old 02-08-2017   #367
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
Therefore if one particular engagement is problematic - e.g. when selecting 4th from 5th, it gives up and goes into neutral - I believe the problem is more likely mechanical, in the gearbox - such as the synchro ring for fourth gear faulty or prematurely worn.
That's an extremely useful insight, Alex, and one I must confess I hadn't considered before. I'm sure you're right; seriously worn synchro rings would make gear selection difficult, just as they would in a manual 'box.

I'm also now thinking this works the other way round, too - if the electromechanical clutch isn't working as it should, then this will lead to excessive synchro ring wear and premature failure, exactly as it would in a manual car with a dragging clutch.

I think I've just found another reason to be wary of dualogics . Anyone owning one might do well to do a routine fault check using MES, to catch any problems early. I'd recommend such a check as an essential part of a prepurchase inspection for anyone contemplating buying a used dualogic.

I also think a conventional auto transmission specialist will likely be completely out of their depth when working on one of these systems; it could hardly be more different from their usual world of torque converters, brake bands and epicyclic gear trains.

Quote Originally Posted by Barney2017 View Post
Sure, in the end, I just want to get the car back on the road driving as it should and safely
Barney, we're all keeping our fingers crossed for you. I can only imagine how frustrated and helpless you must feel on this one. Being stranded out on the road looking at a 'gearbox says no' message isn't anyone's idea of a good day. I'm glad you have mechanical failure insurance; that's surely looking like a wise purchase now.

The more you can extract from the transmission shop about what they've found and what they've done, the more helpful it will be to further our understanding, and perhaps help other future sufferers.

Please keep in touch and update us on what's happening.
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Old 03-08-2017   #368
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
That's an extremely useful insight, Alex, and one I must confess I hadn't considered before. I'm sure you're right; seriously worn synchro rings would make gear selection difficult, just as they would in a manual 'box.

I'm also now thinking this works the other way round, too - if the electromechanical clutch isn't working as it should, then this will lead to excessive synchro ring wear and premature failure, exactly as it would in a manual car with a dragging clutch.

I think I've just found another reason to be wary of dualogics . Anyone owning one might do well to do a routine fault check using MES, to catch any problems early. I'd recommend such a check as an essential part of a prepurchase inspection for anyone contemplating buying a used dualogic.

I also think a conventional auto transmission specialist will likely be completely out of their depth when working on one of these systems; it could hardly be more different from their usual world of torque converters, brake bands and epicyclic gear trains.



Barney, we're all keeping our fingers crossed for you. I can only imagine how frustrated and helpless you must feel on this one. Being stranded out on the road looking at a 'gearbox says no' message isn't anyone's idea of a good day. I'm glad you have mechanical failure insurance; that's surely looking like a wise purchase now.

The more you can extract from the transmission shop about what they've found and what they've done, the more helpful it will be to further our understanding, and perhaps help other future sufferers.

Please keep in touch and update us on what's happening.
Hi,

Thanks for providing some again, ever useful insight and suggestions into what could be contributing to the issue. The more I can provide to the transmission shop, the better.

I will most certainly keep you all posted. In the end, if I can help prevent this highly frustrating situation for someone else too, then that would be good.

I agree with you with regards to getting a pre purchase inspection done - I did have one completed when I purchased it, and I had the car and its software checked with the dealership it was originally purchased from - It was all mechanically sound and perfect, no errors. So, I guess, even a mechanical inspection and software check can't always prevent such a failure?
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Old 03-08-2017   #369
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by Barney2017 View Post
I agree with you with regards to getting a pre purchase inspection done - I did have one completed when I purchased it, and I had the car and its software checked with the dealership it was originally purchased from - It was all mechanically sound and perfect, no errors. So, I guess, even a mechanical inspection and software check can't always prevent such a failure?
Even when you do all the right things, there's no guarantee you'll always get the right result. All you can do is to load the dice in your favour, and that's what you've done, by getting a prepurchase inspection and buying an aftermarket warranty.

Sadly you've just been unlucky.
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Old 04-08-2017   #370
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by Barney2017 View Post
had the car and its software checked with the dealership it was originally purchased from - It was all mechanically sound and perfect, no errors. So, I guess, even a mechanical inspection and software check can't always prevent such a failure?
Unfortunately it's possible to reset the error codes/warnings, as you found when the transmission "specialists" did the same to your car once it started having problems. That stops the errors appearing but it doesn't actually solve the problems, and anytime from days to weeks down the track the problem will appear again.

We probably will never know whether this is what was done in your instance, but sadly it's very common for folks to clear error codes and then quickly flog it off to the next unsuspecting buyer. This is why I would never buy a second hand Dualogic car

Good luck, I hope you can get the problem fixed permanently eventually!
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Old 04-08-2017   #371
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by 44sunsets View Post
Unfortunately it's possible to reset the error codes/warnings, as you found when the transmission "specialists" did the same to your car once it started having problems. That stops the errors appearing but it doesn't actually solve the problems, and anytime from days to weeks down the track the problem will appear again.

We probably will never know whether this is what was done in your instance, but sadly it's very common for folks to clear error codes and then quickly flog it off to the next unsuspecting buyer. This is why I would never buy a second hand Dualogic car

Good luck, I hope you can get the problem fixed permanently eventually!
Update time:

Hi all,

I have the car back (after 2+ months)...For now (while I monitor and test it).

The transmission shop in Nelson got in-touch with a Euro specialist in Auckland and have been getting them to run tests and diagnostics etc (as they are familiar with Fiats and had far more superior knowledge with Euros than the Nelson workshop).

Anyway, thanks to technology, the specialist in Auckland was able to monitor the car wirelessly while the transmission workshop employees (in Nelson) drove it and tested it (basically involves putting yah foot down to get it to downshift between the gears to try and initiate it shifting into neutral).

The Nelson transmission shop and the Auckland specialist ended up testing it for about a week or so, every morning (as the issue was the most prominent when it was cold). Essentially every morning, they were able to simulate it shifting into neutral going from 5th to 4th.

Through Dualogic calibrations in-between testing (I believe according to Alex, called EOL calibration? Possibly other tweaks involved too) they managed to stop the issue from 5th to 4th, only for it to move to 4th to 3rd! Testing and calibration continued, where it now consistently shifted into neutral from 4th to 3rd!

The specialist in Auckland then made some adjustments and "fixes" to the neutral solenoid. As a result, the shifting into neutral issue went away altogether (again, they tested it every morning and it stopped shifting into neutral...Consistent testing).

The result? Well, I now have the car back, and they have instructed me to continue monitoring it, attempting to simulate the issue etc, and report back if it shifts into neutral again...Then it would go back to the tranmission shop for a "robotics" or "robot" replacement?

I was a little hesitant (and still am) that the issue could be resolved by a software tweak/calibration. However at the same time, when it was going into neutral, every gear shift prior or after it going into neutral was normal and as it should be (so that would possibly mean the issue was more likely non-mechanical i.e. software related?).

Confirmation of the following for those that are interested:

- Fluid level is fine (confirmed)
- Pressure is fine and consistent (confirmed, they have been monitoring it)
- Clutch doesn't seem to be dragging and works as it should so far
- Seems to be changing gears and driving smoothly (for a Dualogic...lol)
- It generally only shifted into neutral in auto-mode (can't remember if I had already mentioned it - Manual mode is generally driver down-shifted I guess, so no issues there)

Let me know what you think Dualogic gurus?

Will keep you all posted.

Cheers,

Barney

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Old 04-08-2017   #372
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by Barney2017 View Post
I was a little hesitant (and still am) that the issue could be resolved by a software tweak/calibration.
That's because it can't.

What they've done is to fiddle around with the software settings until the symptoms have disappeared; whatever the fault was that's the root cause of the problem is still there. The experience of others here would suggest this isn't over; it'll start misbehaving again, but whether that's days, weeks, months or even years away, noone can really say.

This is typical of fixes under warranty; spend as little as possible, kick the can down the road, and hope it holds together until the warranty expires.

Sorry not to be more optimistic, but the collective experience of the forum suggests this sort of issue can't be properly resolved in this way.

Personally I'd sell the car now; that way you'll have certainty and be freed from worrying about the potential for future trouble.

Quote Originally Posted by Barney2017 View Post
...they have instructed me to continue monitoring it, attempting to simulate the issue etc, and report back if it shifts into neutral again...Then it would go back to the tranmission shop for a "robotics" or "robot" replacement?
Yep, the permanent fix for this sort of problem is usually to replace the actuator complete. I just hope for you that, if this does happen, it happens in plenty of time for you to get the cost covered by your mechanical failure insurance. My guess is that the insurers won't want to renew cover once it expires.

IIRC @ahmett spent quite a bit of money attempting repairs in a similar situation, none of which lasted more than a few weeks, and then spent a lot more money replacing the actuator, which finally fixed the problems.
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Old 06-08-2017   #373
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
That's because it can't.

What they've done is to fiddle around with the software settings until the symptoms have disappeared; whatever the fault was that's the root cause of the problem is still there. The experience of others here would suggest this isn't over; it'll start misbehaving again, but whether that's days, weeks, months or even years away, noone can really say.

This is typical of fixes under warranty; spend as little as possible, kick the can down the road, and hope it holds together until the warranty expires.

Sorry not to be more optimistic, but the collective experience of the forum suggests this sort of issue can't be properly resolved in this way.

Personally I'd sell the car now; that way you'll have certainty and be freed from worrying about the potential for future trouble.



Yep, the permanent fix for this sort of problem is usually to replace the actuator complete. I just hope for you that, if this does happen, it happens in plenty of time for you to get the cost covered by your mechanical failure insurance. My guess is that the insurers won't want to renew cover once it expires.

IIRC @ahmett spent quite a bit of money attempting repairs in a similar situation, none of which lasted more than a few weeks, and then spent a lot more money replacing the actuator, which finally fixed the problems.
Yeah, I understand what you are saying. Anyway, I will keep you all posted, so far so good which is good I guess haha.

Selling it is an option, however, I want to make sure it is driving and running as it should first - By testing it for a good few more days, totaling it to approx two weeks testing.

Thanks everyone for all of your helpful comments and suggestions, all much appreciated.

Anyone think an Alfa Giulietta is a better car? Are they more reliable and simple @alexGS? Anything in-particular to look out for if buying second hand?

Thanks
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Old 08-08-2017   #374
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
That's because it can't.

What they've done is to fiddle around with the software settings until the symptoms have disappeared; whatever the fault was that's the root cause of the problem is still there. The experience of others here would suggest this isn't over; it'll start misbehaving again, but whether that's days, weeks, months or even years away, noone can really say.

This is typical of fixes under warranty; spend as little as possible, kick the can down the road, and hope it holds together until the warranty expires.

Sorry not to be more optimistic, but the collective experience of the forum suggests this sort of issue can't be properly resolved in this way.

Personally I'd sell the car now; that way you'll have certainty and be freed from worrying about the potential for future trouble.



Yep, the permanent fix for this sort of problem is usually to replace the actuator complete. I just hope for you that, if this does happen, it happens in plenty of time for you to get the cost covered by your mechanical failure insurance. My guess is that the insurers won't want to renew cover once it expires.

IIRC @ahmett spent quite a bit of money attempting repairs in a similar situation, none of which lasted more than a few weeks, and then spent a lot more money replacing the actuator, which finally fixed the problems.
jrkitching fully agree with you on this, i only solved my problems by replacing the whole unit!
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Old 08-08-2017   #375
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Re: The one and only Dualogic failure thread

Hi all.Having followed this latest thread for a while, and read many other threads on this issue, I would certainly be of the opinion to now move on to another vehicle. I can understand that you do not want to sell a car with a known issue (many do though)
I notice that you have an after market insurance. However, some come with a low limit on repairs,will your insurance cover a "large" bill if it came to that?
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