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Old 11-06-2009   #31
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

I dont think the issue is what has caused the failure, more the explanation from Fiat. Does anyone know the exact definition of over rev Fiat use?
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Old 11-06-2009   #32
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

Im going to speculate that its something to do with the map causing mechanical faults.
My 1.6 Stilo was massively over rated power as standard and guess what i have had problems with the gearbox.
So what is the reason for a car being 15bhp over standard rated power on the standard map, surely something has to give.
Can we get any RR figures for these cars with faults.
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Old 11-06-2009   #33
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

Why would the map cause faults to a gearbox? The ones that have gone are on standard cars bar jamies. Because the output on a rolling road is higher than what fiat claim it means nothing. Manufacturers often state lower power figures to what the car actually is.
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Old 11-06-2009   #34
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

Quote Quote:
ok, but the 8v and 16v is just the engine - not the box. If there was a recognised fault with the boxes used on the 1.2 8v's and that box is now on the 1.4 16v then it is a problem. The boxes are interchangeable, my cinquecento still has the box from the 1108 8v engine that it came with, and at 15 years old and 127k depsite the abuse it gets, still works nicely (though the synchro on 3rd is going).
Ok, as a directly affected 1.4 owner I will relate what's happened to me. Before I do I'll happily admit that half a dozen track days and 25k miles in a year with me being a total hooligan at the wheel of my 500 are massively contributing factors

A little while ago I noticed that changing into 3rd is starting to crunch. I reasonably assumed this was the synchro. I dropped the beast off at a dealer to see what they'd say.

I had a call a few days later where I discussed the issue with the technician. He confirmed that my gearbox is crunching and it is likely synchro in third. I asked (being somewhat cheeky, somewhat serious) if it was a warranty claim. My thinking was, they're likely to say no in which case, no bother I've got another gearbox that's brand new that I can swap it in while I replace the synchro on the existing box.

He said that they have so few problems with the 500 1.4 gearboxes that a Fiat inspection is done in the event of a warranty claim being made. Interestingly he said they do have issues at about 25k on the Grande Punto 6 speeders. Anyway, the first step in the evaluation is for the dealer to download some info from the on board electronics and submit it to Fiat. When they did this they found evidence that the engine had been over revved.

I mentioned to him that she's done half a dozen track days and I've bumped the limiter a few times in the process of that. This is where it got interesting to me. He said that the next step is that a Fiat inspector comes around and has a look. He said that the rev bouncing, combined with the modifications (induction kit, remap - my clarification, not his accusation) would likely swing the Fiat inspector in favour of simply refusing a claim but that they were entirely happy to proceed and try it.

He was at all times completely honest and open about the process. I won't name names but when I went to pick the beast up I had a chat with the salesman who is a very nice, very genuine guy. He said he'd asked the service guys (generically) is it possible to reset the recorded info re the over rev. They confirmed that they have no method with dealer level equipment to reset that information.

Now like I say, I have been an absolute hooligan and I have done a bunch of track days and had some fun with her. And so as a grown up who is half way looking for an excuse to stop worrying about warranty and mod the nuts off his 500, and as a man who has a new gearbox sitting on the shelf and is about to pull bits out to install a quaife diff, I'm not overly troubled by Fiat's position in this matter and I chose not to pursue it.

I emphasise again that at no time did the dealer say that they wouldn't honour the warranty. They were completely happy to pursue the matter with Fiat and the chice was entirely mine. We discussed the pro's and con's of this for a bit. The message, although not directly stated as such, was that if we were going to do that it would be sensible to take the induction kit off and blast a standard map back on. Again, I'm not pursuing it.

I know at this point some would be saying that I should pursue it and that having a few small mods should not invalidate a warranty. Especially given that 6% more torque and 9% more power shouldn't lunch a box built to reasonable tolerances. But my response to that is that Fiat are selling the 500 as a cute city car and I'm using it as a race car. I wouldn't yell at Fiat or condemn them for my car going through 3 sets of front pads in a year for the same reason.

Treated normally I'd fully expect there to be absolutely no issue at all. And treated normally and not as an occassional race car I wouldn't expect the car to be wearing a synchro in third.

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Old 11-06-2009   #35
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

Well structured post

Any chance you could ask them to clarify what an over-rev is, and how it is decieded. If it is simply a reading taken off the rev counter, then it is (imo) entirely possible for the TDC to throw up an odd reading from time to time which could compute into an 'over-rev'. Did they go into depth about what is actually wrong with the box, and how that damage is linked to an over-rev. Was it caused by that, or is it a manufacturing / design fault.
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Old 11-06-2009   #36
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

Quote Originally Posted by Hellcat View Post
Usual one is going for 5th and getting 3rd. Who can say they've NEVER done that - automatic drivers not included!
Ive done this a few times and helcat has a good point about the posibility of a bug.

If you could find out how fiat are reading the ecu or whatever they do.
Read a cars ecu yourself and find that it has no record of over reving.
Nacker something up then take it to fiat and see if they claim over reving is recorded.
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Old 11-06-2009   #37
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

My first one blew apart in side and part of the 6th gear was rattleing around side the bell housing!.

Second one just had some sort of internal linkage failure not quite sure as I didn't want to pay out my own pocket for diagnosis. They refused warranty under the grounds I had a GSR induction kit and painted alloys
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Old 11-06-2009   #38
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

How do you stand if you buy the car 2nd hand but still in warranty ? How can they prove it was you and not the previous owner etc who had over - reved the vehicle are there dates logged etc ?
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Old 12-06-2009   #39
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

Quote Originally Posted by arc View Post
Well structured post

Any chance you could ask them to clarify what an over-rev is, and how it is decieded. If it is simply a reading taken off the rev counter, then it is (imo) entirely possible for the TDC to throw up an odd reading from time to time which could compute into an 'over-rev'. Did they go into depth about what is actually wrong with the box, and how that damage is linked to an over-rev. Was it caused by that, or is it a manufacturing / design fault.
An over-rev, from the conversation I had, was an entry in the cars electronic log that the rev limiter had been hit. From what I understood there isn't an option for the dealer to interpret the results. They just take a download from the car and send it on. I don't think Fiat have structured it such that the dealer has the tools to do a lot more than pull the details and forward it to them. Which sort of makes sense. Stops the dealer fiddling with stuff and claiming dodgy warranty jobs.

Their best guess with the box was synchro and without pulling it to bits they can't confirm 100%. But it sort of makes sense given the comments about GP's at 25k miles. The EPR they consulted while I was there gave the same part number for the GP 6 speed and the 1.4 500 6 speed.

Semi related, I noticed that when the car was returned to me there was a Fiat branded blanking plate in the drivers door pocket, the sort of thing that covers a socket normally. I'm going to investigate what the socket looks like this weekend, pop the trim off and have a peek. Curious what the connectors are and what format the data is in.
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Old 12-06-2009   #40
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

Having hit the limiter isn't an over-rev though, not in my head anyway. The rev limiter is there to protect the engine (and box), so surely if the ECU is letting the engine rev to a point where it is damaging the gearbox then that is an ECU design issue. As I said earlier though, I can see an erronous TDC reading flagging an 'over-rev'.

I can't see how an over-rev (in their definition) can damage the synchro, again - that must be a design issue. My box (earlier but essentially the same) as i said has it's synchro failing, but that's after 15 years and 125k odd miles. Sounds like the 'issue' was always there - but recently FIAT have skimped on materials and the problem is surfacing much sooner.

The socket inside the car should be OBDII. Any car made after 2001 has to have it.
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Old 12-06-2009   #41
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

Part of the current diesel MOT is a single rev to the limiter.
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Old 12-06-2009   #42
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

An over-rev is when the rev limiter is reached. Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

I hadn't heard about this specific problem, but its a known fact that any manufacturer will try and get out of a warranty claim on any defect. So its only natural for Fiat to try and claim an over-rev caused the damage. If that is the case then their self imposed limit is in the wrong place. So should they recall all cars to lower the rev limit in the ECU? No.

And if a g/box was examined by Fiat and a design / material fault was found, they are not likely to admit any guilt to a customer. Unless there was a Watchdog type enquiry with many proven examples of Fiats work to blame. Which I personally don't think will happen. Remember the Clio bonnets popping open? Renault response? Customers aren't shutting them properly. And the Astra failing wishbones? Customers were all jacking them up in the wrong places. And the Peugeots catching fire? The customers were all leaving the starter motors engaged. Sh!t sticks, as they say.
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Old 12-06-2009   #43
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

Quote Originally Posted by ChrisUK View Post
My first one blew apart in side and part of the 6th gear was rattleing around side the bell housing!.

Second one just had some sort of internal linkage failure not quite sure as I didn't want to pay out my own pocket for diagnosis. They refused warranty under the grounds I had a GSR induction kit and painted alloys
Thats no grounds to refuse warranty, i phoned Fiat UK and asked them what the hell a GSR has to do with a Gearbox and they will honour there warranty. You just have to stick to your guns an tell them Harsh but humble and they will give in.

Edit if the power is more than it should without the necessary tweaks to the map then the limit may be reached out of sink to how it should be on the Engine Management System and possibly cause problems with the car.
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Old 13-06-2009   #44
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

Quote Originally Posted by punto_matt View Post
... not covered due to the ECU logging 251 over revs which in validates the box warrenty. Now if it was 1 or 2 times that this had been brought up then fair enough but with it happening on every box that goes it is slightly suspicious no? ...
The number was 255, and it's not that suspicious as that's the highest number a computer can store in an 8-bit counter. Once the count reaches 255 it must stop counting.
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Old 13-06-2009   #45
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Re: Fiat declining warranty claims

Quote Originally Posted by balidey View Post
An over-rev is when the rev limiter is reached. Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

I hadn't heard about this specific problem, but its a known fact that any manufacturer will try and get out of a warranty claim on any defect. So its only natural for Fiat to try and claim an over-rev caused the damage. If that is the case then their self imposed limit is in the wrong place. So should they recall all cars to lower the rev limit in the ECU? No.
A rev-limiter cannot stop over-revving due to down-shifting at too high a speed.
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