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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday, making an enthusiastic start from a light (showing off to a friend), the throttle cut back and the engine management light started flashing. It stopped flashing a few minutes later and I thought it might have been a fluke but this morning on the way to work the light was glowing steadily and the idle felt like a bad spark plug. Took it to the dealer and after they replaced the plug further analysis determined a bad coil pack, which is now on order so I'm without my spider for the better part of a week while waiting for it. The tech implied that this isn't so rare and that sometimes when the cars are taken off the boat they are not properly charged before starting and the coils and plugs get stressed. Not sure if that excuse makes sense or not, but evidently the coil packs are something to watch for on cars with the 1.4 engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1,550
 

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I did a bit of research on this engine before deciding that the 124 would be my next car and found that coil pack failure is one of the more common issues. Check the 500 Abarth forums to verify what I'm saying. I thought this was a problem that had been remedied though. I'm disappointed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I saw a lot of that referring to the 500 and they go back a few years. I have a VW van that had a similar issue (albeit a much older vehicle). I noticed a number of articles on the 500's failures referred to the #1 coil pack and that is indeed what failed here.
 

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Usually, we have only seen coil pack issues on 500s that are demanding more response out of the ignition system (i.e. tuned or piggyback, etc). On a stock vehicle it is uncommon to see failure this quickly, so I am surprised at the diagnosis. Also, (I'll have to go out to the car and double check again), I believe the coil packs in the 124 have been updated from the previous coils that were going in the earlier model 1.4L Multiair Turbos. In fact, I think some vendors are selling them as upgrades for the earlier model years. So, definitely surprising.

A bad spark plug is more likely, but perhaps they are replacing the coil pack as standard procedure when replacing the spark plug, not entirely sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
The tech started with the spark plug and when that didn't solve the issue he decided it was the coil pack. I think from what he said the plug solved the idle but he said the coil pack showed to be breaking down under higher revs and that was what likely caused the spark plug failure, too. Coil pack on order. Wish it didn't take so long to get the part.
K
 

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The tech started with the spark plug and when that didn't solve the issue he decided it was the coil pack. I think from what he said the plug solved the idle but he said the coil pack showed to be breaking down under higher revs and that was what likely caused the spark plug failure, too. Coil pack on order. Wish it didn't take so long to get the part.
K
Interesting. Looks like they did not expect a coil to go, hopefully it was a defect with the igniter or something, and is not going to be a common thing. That must have been why the engine light was flashing (when the spark plug failed), usually that is an indication of knock/detonation event. Let's hope that sorts it out, keep us updated!
 

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I'm not expecting this coil pack failure to become a common issue. The relatively high rate of failures in the 500 Abarth is largely due to heat, and we generally don't see this problem in other cars with the same engine and larger and cooler engine compartments. Plus, Fiat switched brands for the 124, so we should be OK.

Still, I wish they would have just given us the bullet-proof coil packs from the 4C, because they fit.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm sure hoping that once the new part is in it the problem doesn't pop up again. Frustrating not to be able to drive my car for so many days. Crossing my fingers that the dealer installs the part tomorrow.
 

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I'm not expecting this coil pack failure to become a common issue. The relatively high rate of failures in the 500 Abarth is largely due to heat, and we generally don't see this problem in other cars with the same engine and larger and cooler engine compartments. Plus, Fiat switched brands for the 124, so we should be OK.

Still, I wish they would have just given us the bullet-proof coil packs from the 4C, because they fit.

Greg
Would seem a no-brainer if warranty didn't require replacing failed parts with like kind.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Finally, 5 days later, the new coil is in place. (And the spark plug to go with it.) Seems back to normal. Hopefully that will be the only glitch.
 

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Waiting a week for a coil pack is BS! This engine is widely used and it is absurd that spares are not in stock. This does not bode well.
 

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Waiting a week for a coil pack is BS! This engine is widely used and it is absurd that spares are not in stock. This does not bode well.
The good news is that upgraded coil packs are now commonplace. A year of two ago they were not. Today we have 4C coil packs, NGEN's and the very expensive Okada coil packs. The stock ones should last through the warranty period, but at least once off warranty, if they do fail you have a lot of choices.

Greg
 

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1100 miles on mine and yesterday the CEL came on steady. No other symptoms. I'll post here when I know more. I'll take it in to the dealer tomorrow.
 

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1100 miles on mine and yesterday the CEL came on steady. No other symptoms. I'll post here when I know more. I'll take it in to the dealer tomorrow.
Wondering now if I should wait on doing any under-the-bonnet mods should my CEL come on and I need to take it in. ...Have a GFB DV+ looking at me right now begging to be put in. Perhaps I should put some miles on this car first ....just over 100.:eek:
 
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