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Old 25-04-2015   #1
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First MOT woes

Hi everyone,

My 2012 1.2 8v lounge had its first MOT yesterday, I was expecting it to fly through but unfortunately that wasn't the case

The rear breaks have a large imbalance (probably when the I had new cables under warranty and the brakes haven't been adjusted properly).

Front discs are worn, although this was an advisory.

Worst of all was the O/S wishbone. The rearmost pivot bush has become displaced and is cracking as well. It now makes sense as to why I was having a weird feeling through the steering under braking.

The car has only covered 42k, which is a poor really, but not entirely unexpected for a Fiat!

My question is, are there any after market companies making wishbones for the latest panda that are better quality?

I can only see Fiat as a supplier, but at a cost of £150 for a wishbone made of cheese, I don't think so!

Regards,
Adam.
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Old 26-04-2015   #2
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Re: First MOT woes

Quote Originally Posted by AAB1992 View Post
Hi everyone,

My 2012 1.2 8v lounge had its first MOT yesterday, I was expecting it to fly through but unfortunately that wasn't the case

The rear breaks have a large imbalance (probably when the I had new cables under warranty and the brakes haven't been adjusted properly).

Front discs are worn, although this was an advisory.

Worst of all was the O/S wishbone. The rearmost pivot bush has become displaced and is cracking as well. It now makes sense as to why I was having a weird feeling through the steering under braking.

The car has only covered 42k, which is a poor really, but not entirely unexpected for a Fiat!

My question is, are there any after market companies making wishbones for the latest panda that are better quality?

I can only see Fiat as a supplier, but at a cost of £150 for a wishbone made of cheese, I don't think so!

Regards,
Adam.
I can understand why you're feeling p....d off but I don't think you can generalise about the quality of Fiat's components from an isolated problem. Given the state of Britain's roads - much better than those I come across in central Italy, by the way - it's the easiest thing in the world to damage a suspension component without necessarily realising. The brake items are either poor maintenance or wear. As MOTs begin to occur on the new-model Panda any basic quality or wear issues will become clearer.
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Old 26-04-2015   #3
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Re: First MOT woes

The life of the suspension arm bushes is more dependent on its use than its age. There are lots of threads on here about the 03-12 Panda suspension arms, but the life of these seems widely variable. My own Panda, 06 reg, is now 9 years old and nearly 50k miles, but the arm bushes are still fine. Many have had to replace theirs earlier.

It would appear that the usual aftermarket suppliers, such as EuroCarParts do not yet list these. Shop4Parts, a well-respected supplier specialising in Italian vehicles lists genuine ones at £113 each, plus delivery. These come from the OE manufacturer. If you donate to FiatForum, you can get a discount from these guys.
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Old 26-04-2015   #4
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Re: First MOT woes

just replaced my 2004 wishbones, as the rubbers had gone ( literally..)

that's where age over use comes into play, but I too would be disappointed with a failure at 3 years old,
DO give FIAT Customer services a call..,

Charlie
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Old 26-04-2015   #5
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Re: First MOT woes

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
just replaced my 2004 wishbones, as the rubbers had gone ( literally..)

that's where age over use comes into play, but I too would be disappointed with a failure at 3 years old,
DO give FIAT Customer services a call..,

Charlie
The car currently has 5 days of its 3rd year warranty left! I may well give Fiat customer services a call. In the meantime I have been carrying out some research, so far there are very few companies making them. In an ideal world I would use TRW or Lemforder, but they are not available as yet.

OCAP do make them, and I believe they supply fiat, but a friend of mine had a pair of wishbones on his fiat 500, and they were very poor.

First Line/Borg and Beck do make wishbones for the panda 2012, but I am dubious about their quality given the wishbones are on eBay for £46.

Equally, just the rear bushes are available, but again they are from the companies above. I donít think the bushes from the previous panda (2003-2012) are the same dimensions, although I could be wrong.

All this is on top of the fact the dashboard has to come out for a second time due to significant rattles which were not rectified first time round, a radio that hasn't functioned correctly since I purchased the car and numerous other faults including a clutch over 14 months
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Old 26-04-2015   #6
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Re: First MOT woes

Push hard for it to be done under warranty. Bushes should last longer than 3 years. We live down a long, unmade farm track which gets very muddy in the wet, so our cars do an average of 20 miles per week off-road. That may not sound like much, but the off-road mileage mounts up over the years. I reckon my DS3 has done around 5k of its 60k miles off-road, and it's just sailed through its 5-year MOT. In fact, the last car we had which needed bushes replacing was, you've guessed it, our old Mk 1 Panda 4x4. Since then, we've had several cars which have done over 100k miles (Audi 100, Espace, Polo, Leon, V50) with no suspension or steering joints or bushes needing replacing on any of them. If my new Cross doesn't do as well, I'll be hammering Fiat about poor quality components, and insisting that they are replaced under warranty.
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Old 26-04-2015   #7
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Re: First MOT woes

Quote Originally Posted by AAB1992 View Post
The car currently has 5 days of its 3rd year warranty left! I may well give Fiat customer services a call.
Call them. May need to visit a dealer for them to confirm. If they quibble about not serviced, argue that servicing would not have had any effect on this failure.
Quote Originally Posted by AAB1992 View Post
In the meantime I have been carrying out some research, so far there are very few companies making them.
.... TRW or Lemforder, but they are not available as yet.
.... OCAP do make them, and I believe they supply fiat, but a friend of mine had a pair of wishbones on his fiat 500, and they were very poor.
.... First Line/Borg and Beck do make wishbones for the panda 2012, but I am dubious about their quality given the wishbones are on eBay for £46.
Lemforder and Ocap make some stuff, others they swap between them selves to offer a full range. Lemforder usually quite good, Ocap variable, often good, occasionally poor.

TRW, Firstline and Borg & Beck buy them in from Lemforder or Ocap mostly.

Factory cost is incredibly low. Each link adds profit. Customer pays for it all. If stuff on Ebay is definitely attributable to one of the big names above should be ok, just someone willing to make less profit.
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Old 27-04-2015   #8
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Re: First MOT woes

I also live on an unpaved lane - I would say around 500 metres of it. However, driving on it at low speed is not a problem for the suspension/bushes but from my experience, I would say that travelling at higher speed (say 60mph) on very poor road surface takes the most punishment, especially with over-inflated tyres.

Regarding the bushes, it is all about the tyre pressure, if the pressure is too high then suspension will take most of the impact from the road instead of the tyres, especially the bushes.

For my Fiat Panda 1.2, it is 32 front and 29 rear but with the cold weather, say 10 C then it has to be 31 front and 28 rear. (Take away -1 C for every 10 C lower from baseline 20 C).

The ride is more stable and comfortable. When I first got it from the dealer, all the tyres were over 33 or 34 in cold condition! It has to be tyres that take most of the 'sharp' impact while the suspension deals with the rest of it and the load.
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Last edited by barnettgs; 27-04-2015 at 15:00.
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Old 27-04-2015   #9
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Re: First MOT woes

Quote Originally Posted by gar074 View Post
Push hard for it to be done under warranty. Bushes should last longer than 3 years.
Hello again, just a quick update.

I called my local Fiat dealer where the car usually goes to for warranty work, and they said they would most probably be able to change the wishbone but I would need to bring my warranty/service booklet or fill in a particular section, I canít quite remember which.

Itís going in on Wednesday as that is the very last day of the warranty period

I hope it actually gets done and they donít end up charging me for something silly. Often when I go and drop the car off, I have to sign a declaration form saying that there could be charges (e.g. for diagnostic work), but I always make it clear I will not pay a fee for something like that when its related to warranty work!

Regarding tyre pressures, mine are always as per the handbook, get checked monthly and are adjusted for the ambient conditions.

I shall keep you all posted on progress.

Regards,
Adam.
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Old 29-04-2015   #10
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Re: First MOT woes

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
Call them. May need to visit a dealer for them to confirm. If they quibble about not serviced, argue that servicing would not have had any effect on this failure.
Hello all,

The car has been in for investigation this morning. They concluded, like I had done, that both wishbones are in need of replacement. The rubbers on both have weakened and showing signs of cracking, while the right-hand side rear bush has become displaced. The car was with them for about 30 mins.

They then said they would need approval from the powers that be. 2hrs later I received a phone call saying itís all been approved, and that they can now order in some wishbones and get on with the job, what a result!

If it wasn't for the advice on here I would have probably bought some cheap wishbones and done the job myself, but persistence pays off! Should anyone find themselves in a similar situation, I hope this serves as proof not to be fobbed off with lame excuses. Get all you can during the warranty period!

Time will tell as to whether my case is an isolated incident or something others will experience as their pandaís age.

Thank you all,
Adam
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Old 29-04-2015   #11
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Re: First MOT woes

Quote Originally Posted by AAB1992 View Post
Hello all,

The car has been in for investigation this morning. They concluded, like I had done, that both wishbones are in need of replacement. The rubbers on both have weakened and showing signs of cracking, while the right-hand side rear bush has become displaced. The car was with them for about 30 mins.

They then said they would need approval from the powers that be. 2hrs later I received a phone call saying itís all been approved, and that they can now order in some wishbones and get on with the job, what a result!

If it wasn't for the advice on here I would have probably bought some cheap wishbones and done the job myself, but persistence pays off! Should anyone find themselves in a similar situation, I hope this serves as proof not to be fobbed off with lame excuses. Get all you can during the warranty period!

Time will tell as to whether my case is an isolated incident or something others will experience as their pandaís age.

Thank you all,
Adam
Good result - let's hope they're not "Friday" replacements. As you say, it will be interesting to find out how common this issue proves to be.
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Old 29-04-2015   #12
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Re: First MOT woes

Quote Originally Posted by babbo_umbro View Post
As you say, it will be interesting to find out how common this issue proves to be.
Well, if it does prove to be a common issue (and I have a sneaking suspicion that it might), the good news is that it probably won't be long before a supply of decent aftermarket parts becomes available.
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Old 29-04-2015   #13
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Re: First MOT woes

Great result, Adam - well done for pressing for the work to be done under warranty.

I wonder if the same components are fitted to the 4x4/Cross, as any off-road use is likely to test those parts to destruction even quicker.
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Old 29-04-2015   #14
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Re: First MOT woes

Quote Originally Posted by gar074 View Post
I wonder if the same components are fitted to the 4x4/Cross, as any off-road use is likely to test those parts to destruction even quicker.
That is a very interesting question, I would assume they would have the same part manufacturer and same design of arm but a different bush. One would hope that the 4x4 versions would get more robust bushes. Further investigation is needed to ascertain if its just the dampers and springs that are different on the 4x4 models or wishbones as well.

I'm glad its going to get sorted, with each extra mile I drive its feeling more woolly and loose. All these darn speed humps are killing vehicles!
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Old 01-05-2015   #15
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Re: First MOT woes

A very brief update on the availability of after-market parts. TRW, since I called their customer services, have now updated their website and wishbones are available for the new panda - JTC2295 (O/S) and JTC2296 (N/S). According their website the 4x4 models have the same part codes as I've just listed, so if they do have the same wishbones as standard models, it will be interesting to see how they stand up to off road use!
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Last edited by AAB1992; 01-05-2015 at 09:45. Reason: additional infomation
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