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Hey guys,

I've had my 124 now for more than 15 months and love it to pieces... But I must say, you really need to have the right workshop to get on with the car.

Just some tales of my Spider with experiences from two workshops...

I bought my 124 in September 2018. I was able to pick it up on the 4th of October, as the delivery company couldn't move it as quick as it could have been. Didn't matter, as I still had a turd of a Fiat 500. So, I get the car and it is really badly detailed. Basically just shoved through the car wash (plastic brush type!) and removed a few (not all) of the protection foils... The rear edge of the bonnet/hood had paint missing and I needed to do all the settings in the car myself. They luckily simply resprayed the rear edge of the bonnet. Looks perfect and still is. That was delivery and within 2 weeks of ownership.

As I replaced my diverter valve with the GfB DV+, I noticed the intake was coated with oil. This was around 7.000 km into ownership. So I contacted the workshop and arranged for an inspection appointment. So, done, went in. At the same time I noticed the soft top was rubbing on the roll bars. NOT good. But I already knew that these cars suffered from this issue. I already was able to tell the workshop guy, that he should check and it would be replaced under warranty and the roll bars would be moved forwards.

After getting back to the workshop, I was informed that:
1. oil burning is normal on cars and
2. that the soft top was rubbing because I was opening it wrongly.

So, I asked why a BRAND NEW car would be burning oil, when it wasn't burning it but pumping into the intake instead and like that polluting the entire intake system (hoses, intercooler, turbo, valves). Silence. Nothing. "It can use up to 1l of oil on 1000 km" - the standard phrase out of the service book. I told the chief mechanic, that he is talking BS and that it is a faulty PCV unit. "Never goes wrong on the Spider" - yeah, like hell. I also asked how I was supposed to open the top properly if I was doing it wrong. He did it the same way but at the same time bent the thin metal sheet under the fabric.

Frustrated I headed off. I hate not being able to get angry in front of people, but that helped me get even more angry and later vent it in the gym.

A few months later I needed my first service. The 15.000 km (1st). So I phoned the workshop and asked what it would cost. The service technician said around €250. So I was quite happy. A standard price shown and stated in forums. So I booked it and needed a rental car as a mobility grant. So 250 + 40 would have been €290 for the entire job lot. Around 3 pm the same day I get a phone call... Of course not spoken it was on my mailbox. All of a sudden it was going to cost €360 plus the rental so €400. 110 more than told. Angrily I head back to the workshop and complained. I actually was able to unearth the anger and frustration from the first experience (though that wasn't the first experience of mine at the specific workshop) with my Spider and focus it all on this person. He was also the one who told me what it would initially cost. He wouldn't even try to remember what he spoke on my voicebox. I had both recordings: initial price and new price. So I headed to my car and checked if they really did the service. I opened the hood to find loads of oil all over the small engine cover. Heck, they couldn't reset the service light! They said "we can't get it to turn off!" - well, it was in the workshop for them to figure it out - for 8 hours!

So, I complained and sent a formal complaint to the company owners. "Very sorry blah speak to blah blah here is a €50 voucher for your next service or parts".

I spoke to the mentioned person and he was helpful. I explained that I was lured into the service with a cheaper price. That the work they had done so far was shameful and that other companies with lower standards work better than they do - at a lower price. All of a sudden they were interested. The oil issue seems to have been solved with a new PCV oil filter gaze or something like that. But I was told AGAIN that I was opening the roof wrongly. Again I said that Fiat has a bulletin regarding the issue and that my car shows exactly the same signs. They denied anything.

So I contacted Fiat Germany. They asked me if I would be happy to contact a different workshop and have them check it. Yep, sure would be! So I headed to a small little official Fiat partner. No huge glass palace. No forecourt the size of a car park. I spoke to the workshop guy, he looked at my roof and said "That is exactly what issue .... looks like. That is a warranty claim!". At the same time he noticed my seats were getting worse by the day and said "Them too!".

Because he was friendly and customer orientated, I asked what the 30k km service (2nd service here) would cost. He said, if I don't want the air filter replaced and as it doesn't need the brake fluid changed about €270. I asked if that is right and he showed me the program saying how much it would cost. I asked them to do the air filter too, as I live in a dusty area. Sure, no problem. I also asked for a comparison price from my other workshop... €694!!! Not kidding. I paid in total €359 for the service WITH a new air filter... So €340 more for the SAME service. Aha!

So, my experience with my OLD workshop has been bad. My new one (a little gem) is perfect. Fiat has approved the replacement of the soft top, roll bars and the repositioning of the later. The seats will most likely be approved. As my warranty ends in October, I am getting the car checked over thoroughly. The driver's side door needs a respray, as the black beneath the clear coat has badly discolored. My interior rear view mirror is going black and my differential is whining a little bit. I am not unhappy with the car. Every car needs to have some faults, it gives it character. But I am not happy with the first workshop...

How have your experiences been so far with your dealership or servicing workshop?

Mine: dreadful until I found the perfect shop.

Regards

Damien
 

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I have had minimal service needs so far. First oil change only. Found my top touches the driver side roll bar some times but my local FIAT dealer told me they've never replaced the top in a Spider so I decided to not let them touch my car. I'm looking for a more experienced dealer but may have to go about 100 miles to the next State over from here to get one. You're correct, love the car but the key is finding a top notch repair shop.
 

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Hello "Daim"......Reading your thread, first thing I would say is, it's not just Fiat, however.....in our case here and now "It is"! so, Having had "issues" with VW before re a peddle box that bent on a low mileage Lupo and their refusal to replace it, I took my servicing under warranty to a small "Independant", taking along Quality Oil and a VW Filter, they charged me £30 for the service and stamped my book. In the UK at least, it is allowed to "go elsewhere" under warranty time as long as the garage selected " uses Manufactures Recommended Parts ".
I have always carried out my own servicing and repairs where possible but now, on my new vehicles ALWAYS take them to my small Independent garage whilst under warranty.
You original dealer took your cash but failed to give Customer Service which Fiat have confirmed, so if it's allowed there whilst still under warranty I suggest you find or continue with a Fiat Dealership that cares !
My Spider, and it is also Fantastic, is due in for its second service soon at my local independent garage, but my thoughts on this question were reinforced when I contacted my Fiat Dealership about changing a headlight bulb, asking to speak to a service technician for a minute with a question, I was told that changing a headlight bulb on the Spider was difficult so most people usually book in for the job.....I bought the bulb off ebay, got my question answered HERE !!! and saved about £60-£80 Fiat charges for a half hour (both sides) job. Cheers
ron
 

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I have had many fall-outs with major dealers here in the UK. I will never ever use a corporate Main Dealer again. They are too big too care. I use an independent Fiat franchise, family owned and run for 30+ years. They are courteous, considerate and caring. They are grateful for my custom and always approx 50% cheaper than Main Dealer.
 

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I have had minimal service needs so far. First oil change only. Found my top touches the driver side roll bar some times but my local FIAT dealer told me they've never replaced the top in a Spider so I decided to not let them touch my car. I'm looking for a more experienced dealer but may have to go about 100 miles to the next State over from here to get one. You're correct, love the car but the key is finding a top notch repair shop.
Hello AbarthEsq,
You can certainly choose to visit a different certified dealer for a second opinion. If you’re not familiar with any other dealers in your area, you can head to Find a FIAT Dealership Near You | FIAT and enter your ZIP code to find a dealer near you. Feel free to reach out to our team if you need additional assistance in the future. We are always happy to help.
Laura
FiatCares
 
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