Technical Rear suspension bushes - warranty???

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Technical Rear suspension bushes - warranty???


Inverness Sierra
Dec 4, 2005
I have a query.... there may be an answer elsewhere in the forum but with dial-up (can't get broadband :( ) searching the forums is a lengthy pain:eek:

So here goes:
In light of some 'twitchiness' in the car of late and having read other topics describing bush failure I took my Stilo to my local garage. Front checked out fine, but the rear bushes - either side of the rear beam - are fair buggered. Well, the n/s one is shot :eek: and the other not in the best of health (n)
I really would not expect to see bush failure at 24k miles on any car, but these things happen. As the car is still under warranty I rang my local dealer in Aberdeen and the car is booked in for Wednesday 1st thing to be inspected.

But my concerns are these:
1. The dealer reckons the bushes are not available seperately, a whole new beam will be required - surely that can't be right??
2. Are the bushes a warrantable item? At 24k miles with FSH and some six months of warranty left (so a 2.5 yr old car) I'd have thought so - but does anyone know different??
3. Just how much is all this going to cost?? If it is a warrantable item, will I be faced with a substantial labour bill in light of the diminshed time left on the warranty??

It's bloody odd, I expected to see wear in the front bushes not the back. I hope the Fiat lads will check over the car thoroughly, which may produce some answers, but in many years of car ownership and tinkering I've never seen rear bushes "go" so quickly - they went on my wifes Honda @ 100k miles for example.....

All views welcome here folks, especially about the Fiat warranty coverage (y)
I could be wrong but as far as i am aware there was an initial problem on earlier model stilo's rear sub frame / suspension bushes that lead to a fiat replacing / modifying . I believe that fiat recognise it a s a problem. I think it was rectified on 03 plate onwards.
Well, it's registered on an '03 - but it could easily have missed out I guess :confused: I have heard many tales from folk I know at a vauxhall dealeship of cars going some considerable time (years) before it was recognised they should have been part of a recall......:rolleyes:

I hope you're right (that Fiat acknowledge this as a known problem) but the service manager at the dealership said he'd never heard of this problem before...... :( Mind you, staff at the same dealership assured me that no Lancia was imported into the UK after 1988........ :bang:

Whatever happens, I smell a nasty bill coming my way :eek:
OK the facts.

Rear wheel alignment was a problem on earlier cars, the bushes are not available seperatly and premature failure can be due to one of two things. Physical damage to the outer buffer rings, and oil leakage from the oil filled bushes. I have only seen the first, every one was a Multiwagen and I have seen it three times. All three were repaired under warranty.
NumanR - The warranty information is welcome (y) Gives me some heart for Wednesday :(

But I still don't understand how it's possible that they could have gone on my 3 door so quickly. It's not as if I race or rally it, I do drive with a degree of rapidity (fair point) as it's quite handy at that and it's one of the reasons I plumped for the Stilo over an equivilant Alfa, Citroen or Ford ;)

In the "coming together" with a Punto just before Christmas (it would have been another Fiat, wouldn't it :rolleyes: ) it's not as if the car was 'nerfed' in any other way than just cosmetic damage.

So I remain perplexed as to why it should be that the bushes are shot :( :confused: perhaps Wednesday will show why but on the ramps at my local garage today we checked the car over very thoroughly and there's no damage anywhere underneath the car or what you might call 'historical repair evidence'. This suggests to me that the bushes have simply failed?

Jings - maybe I've got a first case scenario here on a 3 door :eek:
Ho hum - I had one of those days. Firstly there was a warranty "issue" which I will explain in another post; the information could be useful to all.

The upshot of the dealer inspection of the rear bushes on my Stilo was surprising (to me, at least). Seems they are within acceptable limits of play, with only marginally more 'give' than an '05 plate car with 8k miles on the clock (compared to my 24.5k) put on the ramp for comparison. This is good news - I think/hope/pray (delete as appropriate).

In my, and my local garages, opinion the rear bushes are worn. There is what we summarised as significant fore/back play in the n/s rear bushes, but according to those who I must recognise as the authority on this subject, the bushes are fine.

I remain a tad confused, normally and in any previous car I would replace those bushes. Maybe it's a design feature :confused:

Maybe I'm just paranoid :rolleyes:
How have you gotten on with this problem about the rear bushes? That person at Fiat, Stuart Webb is it? the one that never acknowledges any problem a person may have with the car, even when its so obvious that it looks like he might actually be blind? I have crossed swords with this dude several times. Can anyone clarify if the bushes can be changed solely, or if a whole new axle has to be bought. I find it hard to believe the whole axle would need replacing for such a little thing? How cost effective would Fiat be functioning?? Not very!! Does anyone know the info we need to know or where we can go to get the correct information and the correct line of action?
Aye, 'twas Stuart who I eventually dealt with, he was quite helpful last time. On this occasion and if I'm honest I was shaping up the 1st guy I spoke with for a quick exit of one of the showroom windows to begin with....;) he may well have been towing the company line but it was the way he did it that got my gander up :mad:
I confess, I do remain largely unconvinced that the rear bushes are 'A' OK. But sadly I have to concede that the dealers know the cars better than I, if they say there's not a problem then under warranty I see that I have to accept that. It drives OK, maybe not quite as sharp as it was, but OK.

I had a squint at the parts thingy whilst I was there so they could prove to me (not that I doubted those who had kindly posted on the subject) that the bushes do not come seperate from the rear beam - odd that.

I am contemplating a second/third opinion, the car may well go to Clynes @ Peterhead (the next nearest Fiat dealer to me for non Aberdeenshire folk reading this) if time allows.
Rear suspension
The rear suspension on the Stilo is a classic design with (semi-independent) wheels connected by means of a torsion axle.

Hydraulic bushes have been adopted to guarantee maximum noise filtration giving improved driving comfort (reduced noise/vibrations).

The shock absorber attachment has been altered from inclined under the floor to vertical with the mounting in the wheel arch.

The upper damper attachment is fitted with bushes with reduced dynamic rigidity developed specially for this model. These absorb vertical forces by filtering out even high frequency vibrations induced by road surface roughness.

This solution features a torsion beam produced through a pressing process which ensures the ideal suspension torsional rigidity and, therefore, an excellent balance between the front and rear of the car.

A more stable drive has been achieved by attaching the beam to the body using hydraulic bushes. These have also been specially developed for this model and are able to create a toe-in effect on corners to ensure excellent driving stability even under extreme conditions.

(Because the bushes are hydraulic they tend to have more movement than standard rubber bushes. To be honest with wide tyres Stilo is a little jittery at the back but its important to make sure the tyre pressures are correct, a few pounds out and the handling is severely effected.)
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That's really interesting so I would guess the Stilo has a little more flexibility under load in the rear suspension than rigid bearing cars and allows a small amount of rear "steering" when cornering

There used to be engineering shops that would replace rear radius arm suspension bushes and sold overhauled units but they probably went out with steam:)
Interesting stuff NumanR (y) - I'll re-check my tyre pressures. It has been suggested that my choice of tyres (Vredestein Quartrac 2) may be a contributing factor to a change in feel.
Whilst I accept that's a fair point, I don't believe it's the whole answer :rolleyes:
NumanR said:
Puppy, why should I post info if you are going to question it?
Erm excuse me but I have not questioned any info you have supplied thank you very much. Sorry, but if you have a bee in your bonnet, make sure you aim remarks at whoever you have the snipe with. I am doing what everybody else does, double checking everything as you get so many folk telling you one thing, while others tell you different.
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"Can anyone clarify if the bushes can be changed solely, or if a whole new axle has to be bought. I find it hard to believe the whole axle would need replacing for such a little thing? "
"Does anyone know the info we need to know or where we can go to get the correct information and the correct line of action?"

I think I said the bushes cant be changed seperately.
Trust the experts, we are never 100% correct but we are normally, and the times we arent we are very happy to be corrected.(y)
The technical description of the rear suspension is interesting and its nice that fiat have tried to cosset my portly posterior with all these flexible oil filled bushes... but tyre wear due (outer edges of both rear tyres - looks like under inflation wear but check them once a week and set to recommended 'normal' 1.9 bar) to constantly variable track at the rear is sophistication (read cost) I could do without. I hope that polyeurethane bushes become available for stilo soon to stop this madness :cry:
NumanR said:
Trust the experts, we are never 100% correct but we are normally, and the times we arent we are very happy to be corrected.(y)

Im sorry to cause offence but you managed to get my heckles up when I don't know who you are and how you would know "The Facts" from anybody else. How do you know, do you work with fiats, are you an fiat employee? All I saw was a remark from someone I did not know and I felt that it was very condescending, therfore, I was quite annoyed, when you said what was the point of you posting info if I was going to question it. As far as I know, I don't know you from adam and you could have been someone who thinks they know everything, when they don't.
Dont u think guys that as fiat are disputing the bushes are worn it many be advisable to let the AA/RAC do an inspection and then if they are duff ide dought very much if theyde argue then [contemplate] :idea: (y)
Puppy, dont worry about causing offence. One of the benefits of not revealing my id is that I can say things that may be sensitive. One of the downfalls is that no one knows who I am, and obviously they dont know my technical background.

Regarding an inspection from AA/RAC it would be up to the customer to employ a third party if they were in dispute with the garage. It is not for the garage to prove what they say is correct, if the customer does not agree with their opinion then its down to the customer to prove that they are correct themselves.

As I say the only problem I am aware of is with some multiwagens and I havent seen any problems for wear on rear bushes on Stilo, and I have looked at a few hundred. Have you tried the tyre pressures yet?
NumanR said:
Puppy, dont worry about causing offence. ......As I say the only problem I am aware of is with some multiwagens and I havent seen any problems for wear on rear bushes on Stilo, and I have looked at a few hundred. Have you tried the tyre pressures yet?

Hiya, glad to clear that one up. Back to the car.......I check the tyre pressure almost every week and did notice a big difference when the car had been sitting for a while and the rear two had lost some pressure, but I am confident that my problem is not stemming from the tyre pressures. I maybe clung to the idea of faulty rubber bushes when someone suggested it to me and upon looking, I saw something different at the drivers side mount. I will try to explain to see if you know if I need to worry or not.... When under the car at the rear, with the axle above, looking towards the front of the car, the brackets that attach the rear axle to the chassis are infront. On the passengers side on, the outside gap between the bracket and the axle arm, has a thin half moon bit of rubber, that can be pulled out a bit, but seems to be attached inside the arm where the bolt goes through. On the drivers side bracket, on the outside gap, this bit of rubber is not there. There is a gap of about say;8 to 10mms, between the arm and the bracket. Should this have a bit in there and if so, what would it's purpose be? Could this be causing the problems I am experiencing? Any idea's as to what else I can check? I am almost at a loss, to the point where I am thinking of getting shot of the car.