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Old 23-02-2016   #1
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S/S doesn't stay off!

Hi all,

I'm really really not good with cars so this is probably something really simple, but my Fiat 500 Pop Star's S/S doesn't seem to be working properly. Even when the engine is warm, the engine will stop for only a minute or so, sometimes seconds, before it comes back on.

I'm worried that it's something to do with the battery, but I bought the car from new in August, so it's a bit concerning if it is. Especially as I've only done about 3000 miles!

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 23-02-2016   #2
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Re: S/S doesn't stay off!

Quote Originally Posted by emiriv View Post
Hi all,

I'm really really not good with cars so this is probably something really simple, but my Fiat 500 Pop Star's S/S doesn't seem to be working properly. Even when the engine is warm, the engine will stop for only a minute or so, sometimes seconds, before it comes back on.

I'm worried that it's something to do with the battery, but I bought the car from new in August, so it's a bit concerning if it is. Especially as I've only done about 3000 miles!

Any help would be appreciated!
hi, the car measures the power stored in the battery, and if it's getting low then it will re-start the engine,

any drain on electrical power while the engine is stationary will reduce the time before a restart.. what you describe is perfectly normal for a 500

air con - headlights', wipers all use electrical power
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Old 23-02-2016   #3
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Re: S/S doesn't stay off!

The symptoms described are exactly what we suffered with our old TA from day one of ownership. The car had been stood at a dealership for over a year before we bought it 'new' pre-reg. Fiat dealer claimed there was nothing wrong with the battery, but I begged to differ. The S/S system worked perfectly on our old 1.2 POP, no issues with it whatsoever, so how can two cars doing identical journeys using an identical S/S system behave so differently? Quite frankly, we got so fed up with it, we kept the S/S system switched off permanently as it was just a pain in the arris.
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Old 23-02-2016   #4
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Re: S/S doesn't stay off!

S/S can, and should, work as advertised providing the battery is in perfect condition and fully charged, and the sensors and charging system are working properly and within their tolerance limits. On my own 500, it worked perfectly for at least the first five years, so it can be done.

Any significant deviation from any of the above will cause the kind of issues being described here. Unfortunately this sort of thing, with a similar dealer attitude & lack of response, has been reported many times, sometimes on new or very nearly new cars.

IMO it is shameful that dealers routinely fail to take responsibility for ensuring the system works correctly for at least the duration of the warranty period - if that means changing out batteries because Fiat have designed a system that won't work properly if the battery is less than perfect, then that is what should be done. Expecting an owner to pay for a battery if it goes outside the required parameters for correct S/S operation during the first three years is, IMO, unacceptable unless there are clear signs of abuse.

Leaving a new car in the compound with the battery discharged, even if only for a short period, will likely ruin the battery beyond redemption (as far as the S/S system is concerned); such batteries should be replaced as a matter of routine before the car is even delivered to its first owner.

The problem is even worse for secondhand cars, which will more than likely be stored with discharged batteries before being sold. Buyers of secondhand 500's would be well advised to budget 100 for a new one, and take this into account when deciding what to pay for the car, as it may prove difficult to claim against any used car warranty for a replacement battery.

IMO just turning S/S off, whilst understandable, isn't the answer, particularly if you're the first owner. You've paid good money for it, and it should work as advertised.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 23-02-2016 at 18:03.
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Old 23-02-2016   #5
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Re: S/S doesn't stay off!

Quote Originally Posted by emiriv View Post
Hi all,

I'm really really not good with cars so this is probably something really simple, but my Fiat 500 Pop Star's S/S doesn't seem to be working properly. Even when the engine is warm, the engine will stop for only a minute or so, sometimes seconds, before it comes back on.

I'm worried that it's something to do with the battery, but I bought the car from new in August, so it's a bit concerning if it is. Especially as I've only done about 3000 miles!

Any help would be appreciated!
The symptoms you describe are exactly the same as I experienced with my new 500 18 months ago. Similar to Frupi's case, my car had been built 10 months before I bought it and evidently sat around somewhere, uncharged - and this took the edge off the battery.

I, too, was fobbed off by the dealer with various excuses implying that the behaviour was 'normal' or that it was caused by my driving only short distances and not giving the battery time to recharge. Nonsense!

On the third visit I was armed with the knowledge I'd gleaned from this site and, when they realised I had seen through the guff, they replaced the battery under warranty. The S/S began working properly immediately and has done so ever since.

Take it back and demand they replace the battery under warranty. Have a look under the rear mat and find the build date; if there's a significant gap between that and when you bought the car use that to reinforce your case. Tell them what you've learned here and if they continue to procrastinate just make a nuisance of yourself, keep taking it back.
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Last edited by Piccolo Nero e Bella; 24-02-2016 at 00:29.
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Old 07-04-2016   #6
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S/S doesn't stay off!

So I just had my battery replaced under warranty after a little over 2 years of ownership, have to say Fiat CS coughed up no problem after I emailed them outlining the issues so full marks for customer service, granted I did have a contact in there, they said they were replacing as a goodwill gesture which is fair enough. My indie fiat specialist fitted the supplied SS Mopar battery and the difference is night and day - no more 10 sec restarts in the cold and kicks in much more frequently and stays off for the full 3 mins or so, not sure what Mopar batteries are like but they are guaranteed so not really an issue, the outgoing exide was no loss as SS never really worked properly after the first winter.
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Last edited by Mercky; 07-04-2016 at 22:04.
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Old 07-04-2016   #7
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Re: S/S doesn't stay off!

I'm on my 9th 500, all of them have behaved differently with S/S. I always switch it off permenently anyway. Can't stand it.

Very tempermental.
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Old 07-04-2016   #8
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Re: S/S doesn't stay off!

Quote Originally Posted by typecastboy View Post
I'm on my 9th 500, all of them have behaved differently with S/S. I always switch it off permenently anyway. Can't stand it.

Very tempermental.

I can understand that but I quite like it from an environmental perspective, when working properly my car is not running unnecessarily for about 25 mins on my average daily commute, that can't be a bad thing!
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Old 08-04-2016   #9
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Re: S/S doesn't stay off!

Quote Originally Posted by Mercky View Post
I can understand that but I quite like it from an environmental perspective, when working properly my car is not running unnecessarily for about 25 mins on my average daily commute, that can't be a bad thing!
I suppose you're right. I find it OK if you stop and are stopped for a couple of minutes then move off again, but when you are sitting in slow moving traffic, its just a pain stopping and starting constantly.
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Old 08-04-2016   #10
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Re: S/S doesn't stay off!

Quote Originally Posted by typecastboy View Post
I suppose you're right. I find it OK if you stop and are stopped for a couple of minutes then move off again, but when you are sitting in slow moving traffic, its just a pain stopping and starting constantly.
That's true. If you're creeping along at less than 10kph (or is it mph I'm never sure) it doesn't cut in, but go slightly faster between stops and it cuts out and in constantly - that's the only time I switch S/S off.
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Old 08-04-2016   #11
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Re: S/S doesn't stay off!

We never did hear back from emiriv...
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