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Old 26-07-2016   #16
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

Quote Originally Posted by AndyRKett View Post
It's very much a case of he said she said. The discs were warped and that is fact, when they became warped and who/what was responsible is going to be impossible to prove.

The best you can do is complain to fiat customer services but given their track record they will not do anything about it.

You will still need to get services and potentially any warantee work done by the dealer so unless you have another dealer in the area it's best not to piss them off
I agree with you to a certain extent, but I personally wouldn't want to go near a dealership that did this to me ever again. But I know what you mean with regard to the car being in warranty

@LilK - have a look at the dealer locator on the Fiat UK website:
http://www.fiat.co.uk/find-dealer

Try searching under "Service Centre" and see if there are any other options nearby. Not a 100% guarantee by any means, but sometimes the service-only dealers can be really good and much more customer focused.

Good luck with the complaint route - as Andy says, Fiat CS are a bit of a "mixed bag" but it's definitely worth pursuing as it means you will have a case reference number and it will be officially logged. If you don't get a response then a nice little post on Fiat UK's Facebook page often gets things moving in the right direction too!
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Old 26-07-2016   #17
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

Thanks Super Uwe, I'll have a look and certainly won't be going back to them. It's not the first problem I have had. I've just always went there as it's where I bought the car (on reflection probably not the wisest idea)

When I went in to get the gear stick fixed the car came back out with the start stop not working. boot handle broken and the check engine light on haha (all fixed under warranty so no big deal).

As for the not being able to prove where and when the brakes warped, I'm fully aware that I can't prove it.

My argument is that the brakes have just been checked and were in full working order. For them to just warp out of nowhere can't be right and is quite obviously not wear and tear. I think based on that it should be covered by warranty.
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Old 27-07-2016   #18
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

If you take a car in for work and you are told something is worn and needs replacing which you are unsure about, tell them you want then to keep the old parts for your inspection

My dad always used to make subtle marks on serviceable items like oil filters, air filters etc. so he knew things had been changed after a service, you might be surprised what wasn't.
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Old 28-07-2016   #19
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

Quote Originally Posted by frupi View Post
To be fair, we don't know if it is fact at all. Have they offered LilK the discs back for independent inspection? No, and I doubt they'll even have them now, they'll have been chucked in the scrap metal bin. In effect, they could have told her any old crap they wanted and she'd just have to take their word for it.

It's not like they just claimed she needed new brakes while doing the service. They had let the car go following the service before the problem was identified by the customer, they clearly had no problem with the brakes before this. The problem was fixed by changing the discs and the problem described was one of warped brake discs, I'm not sure where/why you would be so cynical given that history as to weather or not the discs were warped? The question is more one of why they were warped.


Quote Originally Posted by LilK View Post

My argument is that the brakes have just been checked and were in full working order. For them to just warp out of nowhere can't be right and is quite obviously not wear and tear. I think based on that it should be covered by warranty.

If you bought a brand new car and took it back an hour later with warped breaks it would be very unlikely that would replace them free of charge, there is no warranty in the world that would cover consumable parts like brakes especially against warping as this requires a large amount of heat to cause it meaning some one has to have mistreated the brakes (that doesn't mean you but clearly someone did)

It would be like picking your freshly repaired car up from the body shop and taking it back later complaining of a scratch, of course they will argue that you caused the scratch and the scratch wasn't there when you took the car, it's frustrating but unless you're prepared to take the dealership to small claims and have some method of proving they caused the problem then you will never get very far just kick off at fiat customer services and make a big fuss and you might get a little something back but as mentioned, Fiat CS is terrible so I Doubt it
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Old 28-07-2016   #20
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

Quote Originally Posted by andyrkett View Post
it's not like they just claimed she needed new brakes while doing the service. They had let the car go following the service before the problem was identified by the customer, they clearly had no problem with the brakes before this. The problem was fixed by changing the discs and the problem described was one of warped brake discs, i'm not sure where/why you would be so cynical given that history as to weather or not the discs were warped? The question is more one of why they were warped.


yes, i am cynical. Lilk took her vehicle into the dealership without any issues. She stated she left the garage:

picked the car up and on the drive home (not far at all from the garage) i started to noticed a thudding noise when i was slowing down.......

they said it can be caused by excessive heat or dirt from the road, but it had been sitting in the garage for a good 3 days and i noticed the noise almost straight away when i picked the car up.

back to my cynicsm, but always, always important to make a note of the odometer at drop off. They are supposed to put the mileage reading on the job sheet anyway.

so as far as i'm concerned, unless she's absolutely ragged it down a dual carriageway and put 1/4 tonne of pressure on the brakes, i can't see how the discs are going to have been warped in such a short period of time from leaving the garage. What has or has not happened at the dealership, only they can account for and they'll give their side of the story just as lilk has. I'm not insinuating that the garage has done anything wrong, but let us not forget, some mechanics have been caught out a stinker when they haven't realised there's an onboard dash cam operating when they've been test driving some poor sods car:


I rarely take my own car to any garage these days, but i have a roadhawk hd dashcam fitted that isn't readily noticeable because it's directly behind the rear view mirror and is permanently wired in. If i discovered some idiot mechanic had been driving my car in such a way, i'd be taking appropriate action.

Originally posted by AndyRKett
if you bought a brand new car and took it back an hour later with warped breaks it would be very unlikely that would replace them free of charge, there is no warranty in the world that would cover consumable parts like brakes especially against warping as this requires a large amount of heat to cause it meaning some one has to have mistreated the brakes (that doesn't mean you but clearly someone did)

We'll have to agree to disagree on this point. There are all sorts of things listed in car warranties that state certain things are covered or not covered. I remember during the period of ownership of our previous two 500's, folks on here claimed there were different things you couldn't claim for, especially in year 3. For me, with 4 warranty claims between the two vehicles, there weren't any issues. If i bought a car that in the first week the brake discs warped or the the pads disintegrated, i'm pretty sure i'd get them replaced under warranty, but then this scenario is such a remote possibility, it's unlikely it ever happens anyway. I bought a brand new i10 last july. In november 2015, i took the car back to my supplying dealership to have four winter tyres that i supplied, fitted by the dealership. When they changed the tyres, on collecting the car, i noticed that the lacquer on all four diamond cut alloy wheels were damaged where the bang on wheel weights had been from the factory. I complained and all four wheels were replaced without fuss. So i think sometimes it's the way you complain.
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Last edited by frupi; 28-07-2016 at 09:58.
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Old 28-07-2016   #21
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

Quote Originally Posted by LilK View Post
As for the not being able to prove where and when the brakes warped, I'm fully aware that I can't prove it.

My argument is that the brakes have just been checked and were in full working order. For them to just warp out of nowhere can't be right and is quite obviously not wear and tear. I think based on that it should be covered by warranty.
Read this thread for a detailed description of what happens and why. The problem is common to many cars of many marques when used in the UK climate. I once had a Renault 5 that was particularly prone to this.

I've lost count of the number of times I've referenced this post, which is a good indication of just how common the problem is.

Quote Originally Posted by frupi View Post
The only way you are going to warp the discs on a car like a standard 500, is knocking it around the NŁrburgring at brake neck speed and standing on the brakes in every corner, not taking a leisurely drive back home from the dealership.
That would be true if the brakes were properly lubricated and all the parts were free to move as their designer intended.

But if a pad sticks, then modest braking pressure from normal driving can easily warp a disc; applying pressure to one side of the disc only will quickly ruin it. Also, a sticking pad can quickly overheat the brakes.

Likely scenario: car is parked in a damp environment for a couple of days or, better still, driven through water or even just washed; corrosion causes one of the pads to stick in the frame, and the next time the car is driven, the disc warps.

The bad news is that if all the dealership has done is to replace the discs and pads, without properly cleaning and lubricating the reaction frames, the new set of discs and pads won't last long before the problem reappears.

If you follow the instructions in the linked post as soon as you notice any unusual vibration on braking, there's a good chance of salvaging the existing discs and pads.

This wouldn't be so much of an issue if more folks fixed their own cars; even if you need to replace both discs and pads, the whole job can be done thoroughly, with everything properly cleaned and lubricated, in a couple of hours for about the price of a tank of fuel and the result will give you problem free braking for many tens of thousands of miles. The problem is that many folks are paying £250 a pop to the dealerships to just slip in a new set of pads & discs without cleaning or lubricating anything; premature failure is then practically guaranteed.

I've lost count of the number of posts I've seen from folks who've driven like grannies and still needed new discs & pads after as little as 10k/18months. I've also seen many cars with significantly uneven pad wear - another sure sign of sticking pads.

I routinely see at least 50k out of a set of pads.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 28-07-2016 at 10:41.
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Old 28-07-2016   #22
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

I hadn't personally thought about a sticking pad, though surely if one pad was sticking, then there would be a noticeable pull to one side under braking?

As for cleaning the caliper carriers/reaction frames, yup, I've seen folks pop out pads and pull off discs and then not carry out any cleaning of the frames at all, which is just stupid. I recently changed the discs and pads on my Saab. I spent almost 1/2 hour just wire brushing and cleaning both hubs/carriers etc before reassembly. I've had no issues. It's called doing the job properly.
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Old 28-07-2016   #23
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

Quote Originally Posted by frupi View Post
I hadn't personally thought about a sticking pad, though surely if one pad was sticking, then there would be a noticeable pull to one side under braking?
You'd think so, but surprisingly, it often doesn't - modern power steering systems remove much of the feedback that you had in the old days.

Garages doing a combined MOT & service will often do the MOT first as this flags any additional work which may be required and the customer can be contacted early for authorisation. Often the brakes will pass the differential braking test, yet be found in an appaling state once the wheel is removed later to inspect the pads properly. I remember in particular a car which passed a rolling road brake test with one of the pads making metal.
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Old 28-07-2016   #24
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

Is it me or do all pads have over sized backing plate ends, such that they are a tight fit in the caliper bracket, so after a short time they are virtually jammed in?(to the point you have to hammer it out) Having had this several times in spite of the stainless shims, I now file the ends, so that the pad simply "places in", the anti rattle springs stop any rattles and I've never had any issues over many years using this practice.
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Old 28-07-2016   #25
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

Quote Originally Posted by John202020 View Post
Is it me or do all pads have over sized backing plate ends, such that they are a tight fit in the caliper bracket, so after a short time they are virtually jammed in?(to the point you have to hammer it out) Having had this several times in spite of the stainless shims, I now file the ends, so that the pad simply "places in", the anti rattle springs stop any rattles and I've never had any issues over many years using this practice.
Normally it's corrosion on the sliding surface of the caliper bracket which tightens the fit (corrosion makes the metal expand) - if you remove the brackets and take off the corrosion, then generally the pads slide freely. You can't clean the brackets properly without removing them from the car.

Some aftermarket pads may indeed be manufactured to incorrect tolerances, in which case a quick touch of the file may be needed to enable the proper clearance, but get the brackets clean first, or you may find they're too loose a fit.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 28-07-2016 at 19:28.
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Old 28-07-2016   #26
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
.......Some aftermarket pads may indeed be manufactured to incorrect tolerances, in which case a quick touch of the file may be needed to enable the proper clearance, but get the brackets clean first, or you may find they're too loose a fit.
Which is precisely the reason why I never use cheap replacement aftermarket pads. On the one occasion I changed the pads on our old POP, I used genuine Fiat pads, cost £25 from a Fiat dealer selling on ebay. On my Saab, I only every use genuine GM replacements. I've never had any issues with squealing, or sticking.

Folk often complain about the cost of replacement pads, hence why they'll often if they are doing the job themselves, find the cheapest stoppers they can lay their hands on just to save a few quid. When you consider, as you've already stated, you can get at least 50,000 miles out of a set of pads, (and I've only just recently changed out the front pads and discs on my Saab at 48,000 miles), skimping on a job that only needs doing for many, only once every 5 years or so, then it doesn't make sense putting crap parts on.
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Old 28-07-2016   #27
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

Quote Originally Posted by frupi View Post
When you consider, as you've already stated, you can get at least 50,000 miles out of a set of pads, (and I've only just recently changed out the front pads and discs on my Saab at 48,000 miles), skimping on a job that only needs doing for many, only once every 5 years or so, then it doesn't make sense putting crap parts on.
Couldn't agree more, but that doesn't necessarily mean sticking with OEM parts (IMO many Fiat OEM parts aren't that great anyway).

Folks generally speak well of Brembo parts, and from personal experience, Pagid brake parts are a cost-effective good quality alternative and an improvement on the OEM ones.

Buying the cheapest stuff you can get from the factors is usually false economy. If you buy a set of mickey mouse pads for £4 a set, don't expect them to either fit well or work well.

This forum is a great place to share experiences of what works, and what doesn't.
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Old 28-07-2016   #28
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

I've just got an e-mail from the service manager who says that he believes it was caused by faulty brake discs.

He says that this won't be covered under the warranty.

I think that's ridiculous! If the discs are faulty then surely Fiat should replace them FOC?

He has offered me a free service next year, but I want a damn refund haha!
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Old 28-07-2016   #29
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Re: Advice on Warped Brake Discs

As I said in my first post on this subject, this whole thing stinks.

I too would be banging on the desk for a refund. I'd also be contacting Fiat CS on FB and politely, but firmly making a complaint.

Don't worry about upsetting the dealership. Sort the situation out and find another dealership if there's one within reasonable travelling distance. I was lucky when we had both of our 500's, six dealerships within a 30 mile radius. I used three of them over the course of ownership. I didn't even buy either car from any of them, indeed one of the cars I bought from a Fiat dealer 150 miles from where we live.
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Old 28-07-2016   #30
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Advice on Warped Brake Discs

Quote Originally Posted by frupi View Post
We'll have to agree to disagree on this point. There are all sorts of things listed in car warranties that state certain things are covered or not covered.

~ If i bought a car that in the first week the brake discs warped or the the pads disintegrated, i'm pretty sure i'd get them replaced under warranty,

~ I bought a brand new i10 last july. In november 2015, i took the car back to my supplying dealership to have four winter tyres that i supplied, fitted by the dealership. When they changed the tyres, on collecting the car, i noticed that the lacquer on all four diamond cut alloy wheels were damaged where the bang on wheel weights had been from the factory. I complained and all four wheels were replaced without fuss. So i think sometimes it's the way you complain.

Warranties do indeed say all sorts of things but one thing they all have in common is than non cover brakes, non cover clutches.

A dealer my at their discretion agree to replace something FOC if there is a good reason like a brake pad failing on a new car, but that's not what we are talking about.

We are talking about warped discs, which were not new and freshly fitted, they had a good few miles on them.

Lacquer problems on cut faced alloy wheels is not an uncommon problem at all and many manufactures end up replacing these wheels under warranty because of defects and damage, but that's not a consumable part that wears out, wheels should last the life of the car, breaks are never expected to last the life of a car. They are by design a sacrificial part
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