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Old 14-03-2009   #1
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500 Abarth, normal or not?

Just a few quick questions regarding my new 500 Abarth which i've owned since Monday, only 500 miles so far. Enjoying it like mad, but have a few questions, i know how rare these cars are but I'm hoping the few owners on here can compare their cars with mine and help me please?

Clutch: Makes a creaking/knocking noise when bringing it back up, just after changing gear, can hear it better at low speed. Also, there's a fair bit of vibration on the pedal itself (when gently resting foot on there) in any gear at any speed under gentle (or harsh) acceleration. Normal or not?

Exhaust backfire: Does it a lot, almost every gear change if you get the timing right. Sounds great round town echoing off the walls, but is it a bad sign and will it gradually wear in and disappear? I quite like it but if it's a sign that there's something wrong, i'd rather know!

Steering: Can go a little light and wobbly under harsh straight braking, feels as if it's slightly pulling to the side? Could just be me.

I'm sure all the issues above are just casual running in experiences, but i really just wanted to know if the other owners had experienced anything similar. Thanks in advance
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Old 14-03-2009   #2
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

had mine nearly a fortnight now:

clutch: no knocking noise. little bit of vibration if resting on pedal, but nothing that seems excessive.

exhaust: yep mine too! thats all part of the experience, its deliberate by the engineers to build that in. sounds great imo dont worry about it.

steering: no pulling to one side. very slight dead zone at the middle, this is widely acknowleged. i agree with reviews - the steering is one of the few negatives about the a500 - it can feel a little remote, certainly compared to say a mini. the grip is there, you just have to trust the car and turn in, cos the wheel wont always feed everything back to you as well as perhaps it could (whether in sport or not)

but hey, its still fantastic - would i swap it for any other hot hatch? - Not a chance!
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Last edited by gib1970; 14-03-2009 at 16:22.
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Old 14-03-2009   #3
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

Thanks! now i know. Went on a long run today (140 miles approx) in the Abarth, so comfy considering it's firm ride, it just remains so flat round the bends that even at low speed you can still make good time because there's no slowing down required or bracing your back for the body roll, as there isn't any! 38.9 MPG on the way there and 35.6 MPG on the way back, i was pleased to say the least!

I've never known such a small car to turn so many heads either, just mad!
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Old 15-03-2009   #4
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

I've had my four weeks and the steering feels much like yours. A bit numb and occassionally feels as if it pulls to one side but I think this the tyres tramlining a bit. No exhaust backfires, no creaks from the clutch pedal (that is normally a dry spring and a bit of grease normally sorts it) but just a little vibration through the pedal.
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Old 15-03-2009   #5
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

I get the clutch noise sometimes - only happens when making rapid changes. The gearchange itself doesn't seem to like being rushed.
Not sure the backfire noise is actually a backfire - I think its the turbo dump valve. Mine pulls to the right under hard braking and I don't think its just tramlining - will need to check the tyre pressures and test a bit more.
TTC - I have to say this doesn't seem to do anything, I haven't noticed any tigtening of the cornering line with it on - the car just seems to lean a lot and understeer too much all the time. 950 miles in 2 weeks - 37.5mpg average.
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Old 15-03-2009   #6
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

Mines not an Abarth but...........

My first 500 had 15" wheels and was steady under breaking.

My new 500 has 16" wheels and does wander a little under braking.

So I'd guess it's pretty uiversal, so don't go thinking you Abarth owners are special.
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Old 15-03-2009   #7
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

Its not a dump valve they have a recirc as standard so you cant hear it. Dump valves dont pop either they go tssshhhhhhhhhhh
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Old 16-03-2009   #8
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

It's inburnt fuel entering the exhaust manifold making the "pop".

MAny "sports" car do it.
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Old 16-03-2009   #9
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

My exhaust pops if you change gear at certain revs. Sounds awesome!!!

No clutch noise.

TTC makes the front end dig in and you can feel it doing the work, I'm quite impressed with how it works.

My car seems fine under heavy braking, no issues yet.
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Old 16-03-2009   #10
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

Had mine 2 weeks and 1000 miles already. No clutch problem, no back fire but I don't change down on high revs due to new engine. Tramlining, yes especially on uneven roads.

Main problems if you can call it problem is:
- stupid hazard lights go on when driven properly
- back is very lively in corners and braking, I actually like it but has scared me a few times.
- stupid range metre is useless as it goes from 30 miles left to "----" in 15 miles, got stuck 100 yard from petrol station on the M1 at 1am.

If the clutch and backfire doesn't stop have it checked out at the same time you have the paint checked out. It is all free under warranty. there might be a small air leak in the exhaust system helping the backfire. Clutch is an immediate dealer look at.
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Old 16-03-2009   #11
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

The exhaust is designed to backfire, I spoke to my dealer about it when I test drove their car and he said all the abarths do it. It's when changing up gears, not changing down. Try giving it some in 3rd and chage gear at 3500 revs. It's the way the exhaust has been designed.
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Old 16-03-2009   #12
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

ok will give it a go
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Old 16-03-2009   #13
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

Quote Originally Posted by alainmengoli View Post
stupid range metre is useless as it goes from 30 miles left to "----"
I thought this when it first happened on my 500, but when you think about it, it makes sense. At least now when it comes to 30 miles left and the *beep* you'll know it's time to fill her up
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Old 16-03-2009   #14
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

True but when it happens just after you passed the petrol station and the next one is more than 15 miles ways what do you do!! I suppose drive very slowly in eco mode.
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Old 16-03-2009   #15
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Re: 500 Abarth, normal or not?

Quote Originally Posted by alainmengoli View Post
True but when it happens just after you passed the petrol station and the next one is more than 15 miles ways what do you do!! I suppose drive very slowly in eco mode.

If the cars nearly empty & you drive past a garage & run out you have learnt not to do it next time
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