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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
Just had our 3rd year service, our warranty was due to end on the 22nd of August.
At the beginning of August I called our local dealer to book our lusso plus in for the service. They couldnt fit us in until the beginning of September.
As part of the 3rd year service the spark plugs are due for replacement. When the dealer replaced the plugs they advised us the rocker cover gasket had split thatresulted with oil in one of the coil packs
This can only been seen when the plugs are removed.
Fiat refused to pay for the rocker cover gasket replacement as the car was out of warranty. My dealer has agreed to split the cost between us, as they feel partly responsible as they couldn't fit us in before the warranty ran out.

Just a warning get this checked before the warranty ends
 

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Wow.... on mulitple fronts. In Canada the engine and drive train are under a five year warranty. And I think this is the first I've seen of someone having a split rocker cover gasket on their Spider.

Don't get me wrong, as I appreciate the warning. Normally (based on my understanding) a split rocker cover gasket is a sign of either a faulty gasket or one that was over tightened. But good that you caught it before it created more damage to your engine. I just put in my third set of plugs this summer, and everything was clean... thankfully. And in your case, it could have been far worse. A blown head gasket would be a boatload of money to address, and I can attest to that personally from a prior vehicle I owned.

Curious... what's the dealer going to charge for the rocker cover gasket repair?
 

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A blown head gasket would be a boatload of money to address, and I can attest to that personally from a prior vehicle I owned.
CD, never mind, I misunderstood your comment when I first read it and had a question. Figured it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow.... on mulitple fronts. In Canada the engine and drive train are under a five year warranty. And I think this is the first I've seen of someone having a split rocker cover gasket on their Spider.

Don't get me wrong, as I appreciate the warning. Normally (based on my understanding) a split rocker cover gasket is a sign of either a faulty gasket or one that was over tightened. But good that you caught it before it created more damage to your engine. I just put in my third set of plugs this summer, and everything was clean... thankfully. And in your case, it could have been far worse. A blown head gasket would be a boatload of money to address, and I can attest to that personally from a prior vehicle I owned.

Curious... what's the dealer going to charge for the rocker cover gasket repair?
£200 GBP (£100, each)
 

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Thanks for this post. I’ll look for it when I replace the plugs at 30k miles.

My dealer is fair on their charges except for the plug change. No way will I be paying them $550 to change plugs. NGK branded plugs are $60 and MOPAR plugs are $110.
 

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2018 124 Abarth
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My dealer is fair on their charges except for the plug change. No way will I be paying them $550 to change plugs. NGK branded plugs are $60 and MOPAR plugs are $110.
OMG! I pulled the plugs on my car just to see how they looked. Only time consuming thing was removing the after market strut tower bar to get at the last one. I even bought a special fixture to safely adjust the gaps down to .023 as suggested by Eurocompulsion. Spark plug gaper. Car ran better with the closer gaps. I'm a 77 YO grandmother. I'll gladly fly to your location, change and gap your plugs for $550.
 

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2017 124 Classica
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Tube seals are a very common failure on the 1.4 multair. So much so that some shops automatically quote a new valve cover gasket & tube seals with a spark plug job, without even looking to see if they're leaking. They just assume they are.
 

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2018 124 Abarth
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Tube seals are a very common failure on the 1.4 multair. So much so that some shops automatically quote a new valve cover gasket & tube seals with a spark plug job, without even looking to see if they're leaking. They just assume they are.
That's a better explanation of the $550 price quote, I don't like hearing that this is common practice at some shops. Once the service writer gets a customer OK on the work order, those seals ARE GOING to get replaced no matter what. It's a gravy job. The tech can easily beat the labor rate hours and she can justify doing it because it's "preventative maintenance". Then the customer who knows nothing about engines just thinks: "...this darn car is awfully expensive for regular maintenance, I wonder if we should keep it?"
 

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That's a better explanation of the $550 price quote, I don't like hearing that this is common practice at some shops. Once the service writer gets a customer OK on the work order, those seals ARE GOING to get replaced no matter what. It's a gravy job. The tech can easily beat the labor rate hours and she can justify doing it because it's "preventative maintenance". Then the customer who knows nothing about engines just thinks: "...this darn car is awfully expensive for regular maintenance, I wonder if we should keep it?"
This happened to a friend of mine at Christian Brothers .. took his 500X (1.4 manual) for new plugs and got a $500ish quote. They didn't even look at the tube seals, just quoted them. To be fair I checked them myself after he turned them down and he does have a minor leak on the #1 plug tubes. However it's not a guaranteed failure. I have three 1.4 turbos and none of them are leaking (yet).
 

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2020 Abarth 124 Brillante White Velleno package with Monza exhaust.
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This happened to a friend of mine at Christian Brothers .. took his 500X (1.4 manual) for new plugs and got a $500ish quote. They didn't even look at the tube seals, just quoted them. To be fair I checked them myself after he turned them down and he does have a minor leak on the #1 plug tubes. However it's not a guaranteed failure. I have three 1.4 turbos and none of them are leaking (yet).
Ok so if it had a seep, I would have replaced it on my own car. Being a technician, it’s your job to inform customers of problems with their vehicle. If they knew what to look for or how to fix it then they wouldn’t need us techs. In your example I would have recommended it as well. Also replacing these now will prevent the oil from damaging the coil boots by causing them to swell. Let me tell you it’s not a fun job trying to get a swollen boot out of a spark plug tube. It usually comes out in pieces and takes forever to get out.
 

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Ok so if it had a seep, I would have replaced it on my own car. Being a technician, it’s your job to inform customers of problems with their vehicle. If they knew what to look for or how to fix it then they wouldn’t need us techs. In your example I would have recommended it as well. Also replacing these now will prevent the oil from damaging the coil boots by causing them to swell. Let me tell you it’s not a fun job trying to get a swollen boot out of a spark plug tube. It usually comes out in pieces and takes forever to get out.
The main point is they're quoting that repair up front without even looking to see if it needs done. They did not even explain to my friend why they wanted over $600 to change the oil and plugs. He walked away angry and then called me. It was after I had him ask them for an itemized estimate that they said they were including tube seals. Which would be fine - if they'd actually inspected them and explained the issue to the customer.

The point of my story of course is that it's a very common failure on the 1.4 multiair engine. So common that shops expect to see it up front. Maybe less on the 124 since the engine runs cooler than on a 500 but definitely not unheard of.
 

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The main point is they're quoting that repair up front without even looking to see if it needs done. They did not even explain to my friend why they wanted over $600 to change the oil and plugs. He walked away angry and then called me. It was after I had him ask them for an itemized estimate that they said they were including tube seals. Which would be fine - if they'd actually inspected them and explained the issue to the customer.

The point of my story of course is that it's a very common failure on the 1.4 multiair engine. So common that shops expect to see it up front. Maybe less on the 124 since the engine runs cooler than on a 500 but definitely not unheard of.
Are the dealers charging this preventative valve cover gasket change and tube seals (is it both of these things or just interchangeable terms?) cost, the $550 while under warranty too? If I take my car in under warranty for my spark plugs and service, and just ask them to go ahead and replace these things while they are at it, I suppose they will just laugh at me and charge me $550. Or will they say it is under warranty and recommended to change it with the spark plugs before it starts to leak?

Also wondering if I just change the plugs myself so that I can gap them off lower than spec at .23, and I wind up with this seal leak later, have I voided the warranty? I guess they would not know since I am replacing with mopar plugs, unless the originals are not mopar plugs? Thanks.
 
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