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Hi, I purchased my Abarth 124 Spider in April 2018 and have only done approx 3000 miles to-date.
I took it for a long run, about 500 miles, early this year and encountered a battery icon on the screen. The manual said to not continue the journey but to get it to the nearest garage.
I phoned for assistance and was told to start it up again and see if the icon was still there, which it wasn’t, and told it would be ok to continue my journey. I was actually on my way home and got home with no further issues.
I phoned my dealership and booked it in to get it checked. They found that the battery connections were loose, tightened them up, and fully charged the battery for me.
It was then on a trickle charge as I don’t use it often.
It sat for a month with no trickle charge and on going to use it, it would not start. Recovery came out and told me that the battery was fine but the car was not recognising the key and vice versa and would need to be reprogrammed.
It was taken by a recovery company to the dealership to be sorted.
I have since received a telephone call with an update stating that they got it started with ‘magic fuel’ and that the battery is not holding it’s charge but sitting at about 50%.
I was told that it would require a new battery, which is not covered under the warranty, at a cost of £180. I was also told on the phone that because it is not used much, oil drains out, causing starting problems and that it would need more use.
I was not told this when I purchased the car, or even after the last issue with the battery.
I am not happy that I will need to cover the cost of a new battery and don’t feel that it right.
What are your views on this, and are there others out there who have had the same problem?
Cheers
Kaz
 

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I just got a new battery and it wasn't £180.

EL600 4 Year Warranty Exide Stop Start Micro-Hybrid Battery 60AH 640CCA listed for the 124 Spider
£85 from this seller on eBay buyanycarpart
 

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As with most dealers, they quote astronomical prices for such items. BMW motorcycle dealer quotes me 19.00+ USD per quart of BMW branded engine oil. I can buy the same oil Shell branded for 8.00 USD per quart. As far as the oil draining and hard starting, have learned from this site that this is "normal" and the car should not be allowed to sit without running for 30 days. When I store mine for the upcoming winter months (5 of them) I will start the car every 2 - 3 weeks to avoid the potential issue. Seems to me the installation of some type of check valve/system could avoid the problem. Als would have been nice had FIAT and the dealer informed me of this "glitch" prior to purchasing. I might have purchased anyway because the car is such fun, but knowledge would have been nice.
 

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"Magic juice" for flooded cell batteries is just fresh electrolyte, or maybe even just distilled water. It's one of the oldest car scams in existence and right up there with nitrogen in tires for street driven cars.
Best regards
Pete
 
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