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Probably just easier to shut down Fiat NA than to get that dealership's service department improved.
 

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Discussion Starter #183 (Edited)
"We cannot go off of a diagnosis from an independent mechanic"

@FiatCares please change your username. This is absolutely absurd. "Cares" makes no sense. I just sent your team a picture of a bent suspension link - I diagnosed it because you took my money and didn't bother looking into the problem. TWICE. At what part does anyone at this company do their job?
 

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Jesus.....Just caught up with your thread after the garage changes, tyre rotation and changes, the occuring prblem coming and going....I was convinced it had to be balancing incorrect as alignment and tyres where proven true, but this...a bent Control Arm, I mean How? When? and on a new vehicle 2017-19 only really. Fiatcares...well if it does...then "Show US" ! Cheers
ron
 

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Discussion Starter #185
Jesus.....Just caught up with your thread after the garage changes, tyre rotation and changes, the occuring prblem coming and going....I was convinced it had to be balancing incorrect as alignment and tyres where proven true, but this...a bent Control Arm, I mean How? When? and on a new vehicle 2017-19 only really. Fiatcares...well if it does...then "Show US" ! Cheers
ron
Yup. Fiat owes me my money back for the misdiagnosis and performing an alignment on the obviously bent control arm while telling me "the car is 100% mechanically perfect" and that I should "trade it in for a different car if [ I ] can't handle how this one drives."

I'm waiting for the contact info of the person above my Fiat "Cares" rep now because she and the dealership obviously don't. But that's fine - we'll just keep climbing the ladder until somebody does.
 

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Yup. Fiat owes me my money back for the misdiagnosis and performing an alignment on the obviously bent control arm while telling me "the car is 100% mechanically perfect" and that I should "trade it in for a different car if [ I ] can't handle how this one drives."

I'm waiting for the contact info of the person above my Fiat "Cares" rep now because she and the dealership obviously don't. But that's fine - we'll just keep climbing the ladder until somebody does.
If you want to get corporate attention, some noise on a comparably little-read forum like this does not do all that much. Casting a wider net on social media, such as facebook (write up your experience, tag fiat facebook groups, etc), twitter (with the correct hashtags), etc, will be much more productive. Squeaky wheel gets the grease. In the grand scheme of things (corporate view) this forum is too small to make enough noise to be heard up the ladder. Turn up the volume (via social media) and you will more likely be heard. Just my personal opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #187 (Edited)
If you want to get corporate attention, some noise on a comparably little-read forum like this does not do all that much. Casting a wider net on social media, such as facebook (write up your experience, tag fiat facebook groups, etc), twitter (with the correct hashtags), etc, will be much more productive. Squeaky wheel gets the grease. In the grand scheme of things (corporate view) this forum is too small to make enough noise to be heard up the ladder. Turn up the volume (via social media) and you will more likely be heard. Just my personal opinion.
I agree. We are rapidly approaching that mark. Though I think the same people helping me are the ones that respond to negative Facebook posts.

We'll have a nice pretty write-up on my website when this is completely finished though, regardless of outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #188 (Edited)
Part is in. We still have to do a proper alignment but impression so far is no change. I would expect something if that part was at fault. Car still wants to pull one way under power and the other when letting off. Any power on in turns feels like the rear of the car wants to push straight ahead instead of push and follow the front, and letting off of the throttle mid-turn still makes it pull into the turn a considerable amount more. It's still not how it drove prior to October.

I'm wondering if that impact damaged the sway bar or tie rods, too? How do you check for that? Or is it even worth it at this point? Time to cut the massive loss and move on?

FCA wants me to take more time off work to take it back to the world's most incompetent dealer for them to diagnose that bent as hell arm as bent because a picture isn't good enough. I told them absolutely not; you have the pictures and I don't want those morons anywhere near my car.

Yeah, I can see why FCA has the reputation they do. I will never, ever own another FCA product in my life. This is pathetic.
 

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FCA is amazing experience))) Wife's Jeep was regularly leaking oil for half of the year. Endless repairs, mostly it was free since car was less than 3 years old... End up changing gearbox.. And it didn't fix the issue.. Next they replaced engine block and finally found cracked cylinder and rust inside the engine.. I sold it to car max pretty much same day they return it to me)))
 

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The above 2 posts, for you guys ultimately (and with no surprise at all) solving your problems by releasing your ownership, these are the biggest reasons why I will never, ever, EVER buy a used vehicle.

Clutch, I feel for you. If my lil' dream car had this happening, it would break my heart to do so, but I'd be ending my relationship with it. Well, if the alignment solves the issue, wonderful, keep driving it, but...

Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter #191 (Edited)
The above 2 posts, for you guys ultimately (and with no surprise at all) solving your problems by releasing your ownership, these are the biggest reasons why I will never, ever, EVER buy a used vehicle.

Clutch, I feel for you. If my lil' dream car had this happening, it would break my heart to do so, but I'd be ending my relationship with it. Well, if the alignment solves the issue, wonderful, keep driving it, but...

Steve.
Giving up and getting rid of it doesn't make me happy for that reason, either, but I'm bleeding cash I don't have for a car I didn't break and don't even like anymore. The dealer and FCA want to accept exactly 0% responsibility for misdiagnosing the vehicle and charging me $140 to align a bent control arm, won't put in writing that the problem 4 people have witnessed and verbally commented is a problem is actually a problem, and instead tells me to "get a car I can handle." And I'm still left with no path towards resolution.

$2,500 since a standard maintenance of getting new tires to replace bald OEM tires, for anyone interested in the updated count.

Am I just supposed to drown in guesswork repairs to this vehicle? After all, Fiat says it's normal for the car to pull one direction under power and another when letting off and shred tires, so per their advice I'd just be trading a vehicle that I can't handle.
 

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don't even like anymore.
I get it completely. The feelings only get worse when you get to where you are now. That statement reminded me of an absolutely gorgeous black Triumph TT600 motorcycle I got brand new for a killer price. The motorcycle was down on power and technology compared to the other crotch rockets at the time but it was stunning to behold in person and always drew a crowd. It sounded different than every other bike and was so easy to ride fast. And it was completely bullet proof. I loved it and took very good care of it.

74989


Then one day I made a huge mistake and dropped it in my garage when I thought the kickstand was down and it wasn't. The top of the tank hit my bike trailer and left a huge gash in the tank. Every time I rode it I was able to clearly see what an idiot I had been and fell out of love with the bike and sold it within a few months. Man, I still miss that bike but I just couldn't bear looking at what I had done.

74990
 

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I was hoping to return to your thread today to see, "Sorted" ! written....but no, just more misery and "Chainringtattoo" is spot on with that story....same story for me but I left my side stand down when I thought I had flicked it up....I had to go down a large step to get my Bike out (VFR 800 in Red) and I had made a ramp but the stand caught the lip of step ledge and off went me and the bike scraping along one side lower fairing !! I prepared and painted both lower fairings in white but, " I knew I had ruined my perfect, every day whatever the weather Ride " so sold it!
My final contribution is this.......Minor accident damage, pothole,curbing, would expect vibrations at speed. Control arm bushings worn...."Never normally at this age"
Whilst doing my "Brexit Mods" I referred to Brian Goodwin's Gospel for ideal alignment for our Spider which was....
Front Camber 1-2 Rear Camber 1-2
Toe In 1/32 nd each Toe in 1/3 nd each
Caster 6
I don't know how or if any of above helps and sorry that I could not provide any magic answer also, maybe still "somebody" may. Stay POSITIVE and Best Wishes, Cheers
ron
 

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I was hoping to return to your thread today to see, "Sorted" ! written....but no, just more misery and "Chainringtattoo" is spot on with that story....same story for me but I left my side stand down when I thought I had flicked it up....I had to go down a large step to get my Bike out (VFR 800 in Red) and I had made a ramp but the stand caught the lip of step ledge and off went me and the bike scraping along one side lower fairing !! I prepared and painted both lower fairings in white but, " I knew I had ruined my perfect, every day whatever the weather Ride " so sold it!
My final contribution is this.......Minor accident damage, pothole,curbing, would expect vibrations at speed. Control arm bushings worn...."Never normally at this age"
Whilst doing my "Brexit Mods" I referred to Brian Goodwin's Gospel for ideal alignment for our Spider which was....
Front Camber 1-2 Rear Camber 1-2
Toe In 1/32 nd each Toe in 1/3 nd each
Caster 6
I don't know how or if any of above helps and sorry that I could not provide any magic answer also, maybe still "somebody" may. Stay POSITIVE and Best Wishes, Cheers
ron
Looked fine whilst listing it ? Front Camber 1-2, Toe in 1/32 nd, Caster 6. Rear C 1-2, T 1/32 nd.
 

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i'm speechless... other than "sorry man" @Clutch_22

aloha mike
 

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Discussion Starter #196 (Edited)
FCA rep is straight ignoring requests for contact information of someone above them/their supervisor. I've now asked on three separate occasions.

After 5+ inquiries to dealer + FCA rep since the first week of February, the rep confirmed this afternoon that the dealer has the rear view mirror in stock. Except the rep seemed to ignore that I want this dealer nowhere near my car and that I am owed my $140 back. They are adamant that the dealer who managed to miss a mangled control arm but still perform an alignment on the part has to be the one to say that arm was bent.

3,285.4 miles driven with the car in this configuration now. Not including the 4,000 driven between October and December where it seemed like the problem was gone.

It's like this is a joke to them. "How long can we ignore the customer until they give up and we keep their money? Maybe they'll wreck it instead when the vehicle's handling changes mid-turn!" As long as I have to live with this car, and FCA is going to steal my $140, they're going to have to live with me, too. And it seems they're hell-bent on burning the $140 in employee labor time instead.

Hands down this has been the worst vehicle I've ever owned.
 

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FCA rep is straight ignoring requests for contact information of someone above them/their supervisor. I've now asked on three separate occasions.

After 5+ inquiries to dealer + FCA rep since the first week of February, the rep confirmed this afternoon that the dealer has the rear view mirror in stock. Except the rep seemed to ignore that I want this dealer nowhere near my car and that I am owed my $140 back. They are adamant that the dealer who managed to miss a mangled control arm but still perform an alignment on the part has to be the one to say that arm was bent.

3,285.4 miles driven with the car in this configuration now. Not including the 4,000 driven between October and December where it seemed like the problem was gone.

It's like this is a joke to them. "How long can we ignore the customer until they give up and we keep their money? Maybe they'll wreck it instead when the vehicle's handling changes mid-turn!" As long as I have to live with this car, and FCA is going to steal my $140, they're going to have to live with me, too. And it seems they're hell-bent on burning the $140 in employee labor time instead.

Hands down this has been the worst vehicle I've ever owned.
Is there a "lemon law" in your state? This is an absolute travesty.
I'm so sorry this has happened to you.
best regards
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #198 (Edited)
Is there a "lemon law" in your state? This is an absolute travesty.
I'm so sorry this has happened to you.
best regards
Pete
I investigated that and unfortunately, even tracing this issue back to when it began, I was outside of the time and mileage limitation.

Also, I was a little tough on corporate yesterday. They did respond to my third request for the contact info of a supervisor, it just went to spam. I was informed there is nobody above them. Yeah, that ain't gonna fly. So now we're at the fourth request - you aren't Michael Manley.
 

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I've followed your thread throughout. I highly recommend reading the linked article at the bottom.

I know you perceive that you've had bad service from Fiat, but you also said you had bad service from the various tire stores. Why? Because the problem was likely caused by the shop that did your oil change and nobody has been able to diagnose the problem and fix it including Fiat. That's the real issue. You didn't have the problem with the pulling on factory tires, you had the problem with replacement tires that was corrected, but now you have had multiple issues since the one shop did your oil change.

I don't intend to bash, demean or blame you in any way. I recognize that it is tough when faced with an ongoing problem that can't seem to be corrected. You must, however, retain focus on how this occurred and direct your energies and blame accordingly.

Going back to your original posts, it was when you had your tires changed that you experienced tire pull. You stated that it went away after multiple returns to the tire stores and great expense on different tires.

Later you had your oil changed at a non-Fiat dealership that appears to have caused the greater issue. All of the nightmares and expenses you had with prior to the oil change has nothing to do with the car itself or Fiat. I had a similar issue with the tires on my other car. It wasn't a flaw in the car, but with the tire design. I was told all the same things that you were. I replaced the tires and the problem was solved.

When you really started experiencing a problem that couldn't be resolved was AFTER the oil change. Fiat wasn't even in the picture a that point. So the real issue is in reference to who bent your rear suspension components and what specifically is causing your pulling.

The Fiat dealership totally sucked when failing to notice the bent suspension components, but they didn't cause the problem. They just failed to diagnose and fix it. Even if they had replaced the bent arm and it still pulled you would be no less angry at them.

That brings one back to the shop that did your oil change. What exactly did they damage and why can't it be corrected. After replacing the arm that they (not Fiat) bent, it is still pulling. That is the real issue.

Most dealership service departments are staffed with what my brother (who works for a major dealership) calls pull and replace mechanics. There might be one master mechanic who knows how to diagnose issues. Even then, it is usually not specifically related to damage caused by other shops. Why couldn't Fiat find the issue? That's a big question for sure. I would have expected them to see that bent arm. However, replacing it wouldn't have fixed it and you'd still be pissed at them.

You may need a suspension specialist to examine the car. Not some tire store or chain repair shop, but an honest to goodness suspension specialist. It takes someone who understands the geometry of the suspension. It may require a four wheel alignment in that diagnosis to make certain that there is no other damage that you can't see. It may require swapping tires around yet again.

Your issue seriously appears to be the fault of the shop that did your oil change. That's where the lion's share of the blame belongs. Again, I don't absolve Fiat for not seeing the bent arm. There's no excuse for that other than employing inexperienced mechanics which would also be their fault. Still, the blame belongs squarely on the shop that did the oil change.

Check this article out. It may help you understand what is going on with your Spider. Best of luck.

 

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Discussion Starter #200 (Edited)
I know you perceive that you've had bad service from Fiat, but you also said you had bad service from the various tire stores. Why? Because the problem was likely caused by the shop that did your oil change and nobody has been able to diagnose the problem and fix it including Fiat.
I perceive bad service from Fiat because I received bad service from Fiat. The other shops are also at fault but Fiat is most responsible as they touched it last and I found the part 36 hours after they swore the car was perfect. Fiat are not responsible for damaging that arm; it has clearly been bent for a long time. I am not asking them to fix that arm under warranty. I received a misdiagnosis the first time for which I paid $140 for an alignment on the bent arm. No excuse. The service writer told me to trade it for a different car and the service manager told me to get a car I can handle because "everything it is doing is normal and the car is mechanically perfect." 36 hours later is when I found the bent arm with rust on the impact spot.

Again - I do not think Fiat broke it and I am not asking them to fix it. And I am not accusing them of breaking it. It's actually the opposite; I want them nowhere near the car, even for a convertible top or rear view mirror. I want my money back because they charged me $140 to align the rear with bent suspension components. I didn't go to Fiat and tell them to do an alignment, I went to Fiat and told them the car pulls in two different directions depending on throttle position. They misdiagnosed it and then serviced bent parts without notifying me and insisted the car was perfect.

$140 refunded + ship the replacement top and mirror to another dealer who won't miss blatantly broken suspension parts when asked to diagnose the suspension + tell me to buy a different car that I can handle. That's all the resolution I'm after.

When you really started experiencing a problem that couldn't be resolved was AFTER the oil change.
Not necessarily true; it all started with the tires. After a replacement tire the car seemed to drive OK (i.e. not pull) but I never thought the steering felt quite right. The car was aligned - no change. Everything really started happening when the second shop did an oil change and rotated the tires front <-> rear. They rotated the tires back and it stopped. I drove it that way, identical to the handling prior to the oil change that morning, for two weeks while they ordered a second tire.

That tells me the shop that did the oil change did not break it. They inherited the problem.

Even if they had replaced the bent arm and it still pulled you would be no less angry at them.
Not true - presumably they would've set the expectation that they found bent suspension components and replacing this one might just be the tip of the ice burg.

I'm angry because they misdiagnosed and serviced broken parts and refuse to accept responsibility for that or make it right by refunding me that money. They had the car in the air twice, once for a service on the broken arm. No excuse - for them or any of the other shops.

That brings one back to the shop that did your oil change.
Touched on above, but I fully believe shop # 2 did not cause this - shop # 1 did in October when they put the first set on.

After replacing the arm that they (not Fiat) bent, it is still pulling. That is the real issue.
Absolutely 100% correct.

However, replacing it wouldn't have fixed it and you'd still be pissed at them.
Already touched on this but again, no, I'd be disappointed but not pissed.


Your issue seriously appears to be the fault of the shop that did your oil change.
Disagree again - shop # 1 as the symptoms began with them. It's my belief that they backed the vehicle into something.

The exact symptoms were already present by the time shop # 2 had the car, they just rotated front <-> rear which brought it back out.

You may need a suspension specialist to examine the car. Not some tire store or chain repair shop, but an honest to goodness suspension specialist. It takes someone who understands the geometry of the suspension. It may require a four wheel alignment in that diagnosis to make certain that there is no other damage that you can't see. It may require swapping tires around yet again.
I agree and found and contacted a local suspension specialist with experience in Miata's. Waiting to hear back from them still.

I would vastly prefer to dump the car (I've already shopped the potential replacements) at this point as it's turning into a massive, massive money pit for an issue I didn't cause, but I can't in good conscience do that.

Check this article out. It may help you understand what is going on with your Spider. Best of luck.
That article is a good read and validates a lot of what is happening here. Thanks. First one I've seen that specifically addresses torque steer in a RWD vehicle.
 
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