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Old 07-03-2010   #1
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Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

Arrived at this conclusion today...what do you think?

I normally have my front tyres at 31/32 psi lately and adjust regularly /allow for changes in weather /temp etc ...

So I got my 100hp back from Fiat dealer and it felt fine most of the way home in a straight line and on fast sweeping bends BUT as I said in another thread when I hit the first sharp roundabout on the way home the car just wanted to plough on and basically I felt they had ruined the handling of the car completely.I assumed this was as a result of the 'tracking ' they had done ...The drive to work the day after confirmed my worst fears ...almost lost control completely on one bend...awful !But yet no hint of a pull to the side etc ...
Showed the car to a basic alignment place and they said it seemed straight enough but maybe castor was out .So I urgently sought out a reputable 'all the bells and whistles ' alignment place on Saturday morning .They did their stuff but said it wasnt off that much anyway to begin with .
I went to a nearby station to check air pressures and they seemed a couple of PSI high on the fairly tatty looking pump /gauge there but I lowered it accordingly .As I said elsewhere it seemed a lot better .
Fast forward to today and I took the car for a wash in another station and checked the tyre pressures again (free here in Ireland -cant believe you UK guys have to pay!)This pump/gauge was in pristine condition and suggested the pressures were STILL 3-4 psi too high so I dropped them down again.
NOW the car's handling feels better than ever and Im starting to get fond of it again .
BUT WOULD A FIAT MAIN DEALER REALLY PUMP A 100HP'S TYRES UP TO ABOUT 38 PSI BEFORE SENDING IT ON ITS NOT SO MERRY (DANGEROUS!) WAY ?I definitely hadnt got them anywhere near that high before hand .To help you decide they replaced the sump and changed the oil obviously .The underside of the car was dripping oil ...like they couldnt be bothered giving it a rub with a rag ....Up to now the Toyota main dealer that adjusted the clutch pedal of my Aygo in the wrong direction when I asked for it to be moved nearer the floor was the worst but I think we could have a new winner...Oh and how can it be that tyre 'specialists' can NEVER actually pump your tyres up to anything like the correct values?Grrr...
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Old 07-03-2010   #2
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

2 points here:
1) you cannot really test your tyre pressures after driving somewhere... need to be cold and undriven. If you've driven a couple of miles, the measured pressure will be higher than in a cold tyre as the pressure rises with the tyre temperature (the action of driving makes the tyres warm, irrespective of how warm or cold the weather is)
2) Garage gauges tend to be inaccurate as they get used and abused by all and sundry. Buy a pressure gauge (the old fashioned pop-out sort or a mechanical dial are both more accurate than many of the low-cost digital ones) and use that to check the tyres on your driveway after the car has sat for a couple or hours.

OK, the garage may have over-inflated them, but you cannot be sure if you are relying on forecourt gauges to tell.

By the way, both my local garages have free air (one from a splendidly old looking dial on a pole that goes 'ding ding' as the tyre fills... suspect it dates from the '50s. But it does agree with my pressure gauge!)
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Old 07-03-2010   #3
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

Ive gotten a couple of those 'proper' gauges including 'pop up' ones and found them terribly inaccurate and imprecise.Some even only calibrated in 2psi jumps...Anybody recommend a good one available from Halfords or online?
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Old 07-03-2010   #4
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

our 1.2 came back from the service with the tyres pumped up way beyond what they should have been, as that was how it was supplied new maybe they don't know the correct tyre pressures or perhaps their gauges are as knackered as the ones in petrol stations.
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Old 08-03-2010   #5
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

Quote Originally Posted by ytareh View Post
(free here in Ireland -cant believe you UK guys have to pay!)
We don't at all places
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Old 08-03-2010   #6
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the dealer you used are INCOMPETENT. If the Dublin dealer attrition rate continues I'll just bring the car to the North to get serviced at this rate rather than use that lot.
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Old 08-03-2010   #7
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

cars come off transporter with tyres pumped to 50psi and are often driven (trade plates) to other garages often 60-80 miles away to be sold/PDI'd...never a problem with handling as you mention.
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Old 08-03-2010   #8
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

It all depends how good the pressure gauge is at the garage.

I work for a bus company as a mechanic & our tyre inflator is 5psi different to our other depots, when I do thier buses monthly checks I let all thier tyres down 5psi! On 100+psi tyres its OK but on cars its worrying!

I've never heard of a calibration service for them like we have for our torque wrenches.
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Old 08-03-2010   #9
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

Our torque wrenches, multimeters and tyre pressure guages are checked every six months for correct calibration. Most larger garages have calibration done regularly.
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Old 08-03-2010   #10
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

Quote Originally Posted by T14086 View Post
cars come off transporter with tyres pumped to 50psi and are often driven (trade plates) to other garages often 60-80 miles away to be sold/PDI'd...never a problem with handling as you mention.
That's a bit worrying. Isn't the maximum pressure for a tyre usually less than 50psi? It must be almost like driving on ice.
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Old 08-03-2010   #11
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

Quote Originally Posted by Advanced Driver View Post
That's a bit worrying. Isn't the maximum pressure for a tyre usually less than 50psi? It must be almost like driving on ice.
cant remember the reasoning for the over inflation, something to do with transportation? cant remember...
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Old 08-03-2010   #12
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Talking Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

could they be put up that high to prevent flat spots on the tyres ?
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Old 09-03-2010   #13
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

Quote Originally Posted by T14086 View Post
cant remember the reasoning for the over inflation, something to do with transportation? cant remember...
its for transportation apparently, mine were blown up too much when I test drove the car (wasn't a demonstrater, was "stock" they put right after I bought it) on the test drive I noticed the handling was pretty poor, poor steering, wasn't happy going in a straight line, salesman said it was because of the pressures, sure enough, when the PDI was done, all was well and it handled fine....
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Old 09-03-2010   #14
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

The main reason for over inflation is fuel economy.
The rolling friction goes down a great deal.
Lots of people including me do not test the road grip to the maximum and are fine with higher pressures.
So the sloppy garages prefer to err on the high pressure side....

But I will take a closer look in the future.
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Old 09-03-2010   #15
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Re: Could a Fiat Main Dealer be THIS Stupid?!"Ruined Handling" Mystery Solved?!

faster tyre wear will cancel out any fuel savings.
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