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Discussion Starter #1
Dateline Denver, CO

Last Friday while traveling north on I-25, center lane, 65mph, the check engine light comes on and immediately the car starts running rough ...actually the check engine light is flashing, rather then full on. Could not pull over, so kept going on, on 3 cylinders. I drove it back to my house and dropped it off at a local mechanic that I use. They called and said that they would not touch the car, but to have Fiat Roadside Service tow to the dealership. I had burnt a spark plug and they did not know what other damage might be inside.

Fiat Autonation in Northglenn took the car in, gave me a call and immediately said that because I had a GFB DV+ and a blow off adapter plate on the turbo, any warranty claim was cancelled. ...plus a tune that they may have caused leanness. The worst case would be that the cylinder head would have to be replaced at a cost of $4700, or the least worst case, a exhaust valve, for much less ....but either case, it will be a bitch getting into the tightly fitting engine. It is a burnt valve.

So, a word to the wise on adding stuff under the hood and keeping your warranty.
 

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2018 124 Spider Abarth Custom
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Sorry to hear, but I beat you to that goal. I got denied for a non-OEM spark plug when I melted a piston. Is it cylinder #2 by chance?
 

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Sorry to hear that. Could it be the result of that "disturbing noise while accelerating"? What tune are you running?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am running the Eurocompulsion tune. I know that the dealership is going to ruin the tune by re-flashing the computer, but am not sure that I am going back to the EC tune following this episode. Forgot to state in the original post, I was also using the NKG spark plugs too. Who knows if my altitude in Colorado caused this. The other noise will be also exploded ....now to me that sounds more like a momentary bearing grind.
 

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That truly sucks. All that construction along I-25 makes it tough to pull over but that's exactly what you have to do with a flashing check engine light. It means imminent damage will occur if you don't stop immediately. You can keep driving on a solid check engine light. You could challenge them on the blow off valve but hard to make a challenge with an aftermarket tune. I'm really sorry this happened to you.
 

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2018 124 Spider Abarth Custom
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If it's just a bad valve, I doubt it's tune related. Mine wasn't tune related, but it wasn't helping the human error for sure. The flow paths inside everything is horrible and way too much heat generated and not mitigated. #2 cylinder has a history melting down with ring land failure tuned or not and I can see why after tearing into everything. The #2 exhaust valves on my head are covered in carbon buildup on the stems, the rest look great. The used head I bought to have reworked in place of mine needed 4 new exhaust valves and it came off a 10K untuned car. I'm repairing a huge void in the plastic intake now, exposed from trying to polish out the flashing and misaligned bonded parts. I got all the spare parts at the end of the line apparently.
 

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So, a word to the wise on adding stuff under the hood and keeping your warranty.
this is why i've decided to not touch the engine at all. i find the stock setup to be peppy enough for such a small car and i was happy with it when i test drove it and then only became interested in piggyback units as well as tunes here and then thought the better of it because i don't want a denied warranty. i'll leave everything under the hood alone and modify the exterior of the car to my taste which really doesn't encompass much. i've already lowered it on eibach springs and think it looks great.
 

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this is why i've decided to not touch the engine at all. i find the stock setup to be peppy enough for such a small car and i was happy with it when i test drove it and then only became interested in piggyback units as well as tunes here and then thought the better of it because i don't want a denied warranty. i'll leave everything under the hood alone and modify the exterior of the car to my taste which really doesn't encompass much. i've already lowered it on eibach springs and think it looks great.
I feel the same way...at least while the 124 has a warrantee. Dealers always try to find a reason to deny warrantee repairs especially if you don't get routine service at their dealership.
 

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I feel the same way...at least while the 124 has a warrantee. Dealers always try to find a reason to deny warrantee repairs especially if you don't get routine service at their dealership.
yeah, and this car has a loan attached for four years, so i purchased an extended warranty because i don't want anything god forbid happening to the car while i'm making payments on it after the factory warranty had expired and then have to pay out of pocket for some enormous repair.

i have a mortgage, another car payment on a much more expensive car (2018 Lexus IS 300 F Sport), retirement savings, utilities, general expenses that come with being an adult, etc. I don't want to have to pay for some catastrophic failure bc of either a warranty denial or an expired warranty.
 

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I'm not clear on this. Was the GFB DV+ used to deny the warranty, or was it the EC tune? Because I'm under the impression that Fiat has stated that the items like the GFB will not be used to deny warranty claims, but tunes will. My own dealer certainly thinks so.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm not clear on this. Was the GFB DV+ used to deny the warranty, or was it the EC tune? Because I'm under the impression that Fiat has stated that the items like the GFB will not be used to deny warranty claims, but tunes will. My own dealer certainly thinks so.
The first thing that the service manager saw were the attachments to the turbo, and that was it for me. He said Fiat does not care about different air intake tubes or catch cans, or the like ...it is mechanical non-Fiat parts that will most likely nail you. ...I cannot even imagine what a new, larger turbo would do. ...well, I can imagine.
 

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Hmm... When I bought my used Lusso it already had the GFB DV+ and Eurocompulsion Air Intake V1 upgrades which I didn't think would be a big deal. Does anyone know if there is a way to tell if the previous owner installed a tune? Kinda concerned now...
 

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The warranty may have been denied due to the DV+, but I assume that the failure was due to the tune. After all of the nice things that were said here about P1 tunes, I assumed that it was a mature mod. Well, P1 does not work well on mine and I am waiting for the 6th revision. Ignorance is bliss, and I made the mistake of logging data before and after. I see strange things that seem to indicate an engine fighting with itself over timing advance that goes negative, throttle not staying steady open, boost has waves, and the car is barely faster than stock. One of the P1 revisions even disabled the throttle. No names here, please, because my relationship with the tuner is hanging from a thread, but after 2 moinths of this, I bet that he is as frustrated as I am.
 

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This is why you want to use a piggyback ECU--especially under warranty. Just remove it and everything is stock again. And I don't understand why everyone is changing all these other parts? My 500 Abarth is almost stock, except for the piggyback, and I added 40 hp and 75 ft lbs of torque, at the crank. I have an Ultra Gauge where I can monitor mixture. Under boost, it beings to go rich and gets richer and richer until 5000 RPM, where they go full rich. See the dyno chart attached. I've never heard of anyone having engine trouble with this tune. Check out 500 Madness for this. I'm going to leave my Urbana stock until the 4 year warranty is up. I have my 500 Abarth to play around with Porsche Boxsters.......
 

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This is why you want to use a piggyback ECU--especially under warranty. Just remove it and everything is stock again. And I don't understand why everyone is changing all these other parts? My 500 Abarth is 100% stock, except for the piggyback, and I added 40 hp and 75 ft lbs of torque. I have an Ultra Gauge where I can monitor mixture. Under boost, it beings to go rich and gets richer and richer until 5000 RPM, where they go full rich. See the dyno chart attached. I've never heard of anyone having engine trouble with this tune. Check out 500 Madness for this.
how long has the unit been on your car, or rather how many miles have you put on the car with the unit installed?
 

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I bought my 500 Abarth in January of 2013. Warranty ran out in January of 2017 and I installed the 500 Madness piggyback soon after. It was a number of months later that I had it dyno'd to see what was going on. I don't drive the car alot. It probably has 3000 miles since the tune. I'm absolutely thrilled with it. It runs exactly as before, but with 50% more torque. It's just an animal. It's only making 200 hp, at the crank, because--for safety--they go full rich at 5000 rpm. If they kept the mixture near ideal until 6500 rpm, it would probably be making closer to 300 hp. So, at 3000 rpm, where you have just about maximum torque, it pulls like a 300 hp car. Because it goes rich at 5000, I've dropped my shift point to 5500 rpm. It will be faster shifting there than at 6000 or 6500. Look at the torque curve and you can see where it will drop back to, after each shift.

One thing about this tune that guys with automatics need to consider. If you leave the auto in auto, it will still try to shift at 6500 or so, and this will hurt performance. YOU SHOULD ONLY USE MANUAL MODE TO SHIFT AT 5500 IF YOU GET THIS TUNE.

By the way, maximum boost is time limited because the cooling system wouldn't be able to handle it. I forget if it's 10 or 20 seconds and then it goes back to stock tune.

I just glanced at their site and I think this is the comparable module to what I have on my 500: FIAT 124 Spider Engine Control Module - MAXPower PRO by MADNESS - 500 MADNESS - Auto Parts and Accessories

I did put a Magnaflow exhaust on my 500--mostly for better sound--but it is a bit larger diameter pipe. And I have a K and N air filter setup because the engine is pulling a lot more air than stock.
 

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The first thing that the service manager saw were the attachments to the turbo, and that was it for me. He said Fiat does not care about different air intake tubes or catch cans, or the like ...it is mechanical non-Fiat parts that will most likely nail you. ...I cannot even imagine what a new, larger turbo would do. ...well, I can imagine.
Hi Steve,

Sorry to hear of your problems. You could probably argue on the GFB on the basis you can, technically, replace parts with non-oem parts of equivalent performance. The problem would be trying to figure out where the onus of proof would lie in showing the GFB is, or is not, 'of equivalent performance'. Of course, the tune is still an issue.

Out of interest, were you running the P1 or P2 tune and how many miles did you have on the plugs?
 

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I bought my 500 Abarth in January of 2013. Warranty ran out in January of 2017 and I installed the 500 Madness piggyback soon after. It was a number of months later that I had it dyno'd to see what was going on. I don't drive the car alot. It probably has 3000 miles since the tune. I'm absolutely thrilled with it. It runs exactly as before, but with 50% more torque. It's just an animal. It's only making 200 hp, at the crank, because--for safety--they go full rich at 5000 rpm. If they kept the mixture near ideal until 6500 rpm, it would probably be making closer to 300 hp. So, at 3000 rpm, where you have just about maximum torque, it pulls like a 300 hp car. Because it goes rich at 5000, I've dropped my shift point to 5500 rpm. It will be faster shifting there than at 6000 or 6500. Look at the torque curve and you can see where it will drop back to, after each shift.

One thing about this tune that guys with automatics need to consider. If you leave the auto in auto, it will still try to shift at 6500 or so, and this will hurt performance. YOU SHOULD ONLY USE MANUAL MODE TO SHIFT AT 5500 IF YOU GET THIS TUNE.

By the way, maximum boost is time limited because the cooling system wouldn't be able to handle it. I forget if it's 10 or 20 seconds and then it goes back to stock tune.

I just glanced at their site and I think this is the comparable module to what I have on my 500: FIAT 124 Spider Engine Control Module - MAXPower PRO by MADNESS - 500 MADNESS - Auto Parts and Accessories

I did put a Magnaflow exhaust on my 500--mostly for better sound--but it is a bit larger diameter pipe. And I have a K and N air filter setup because the engine is pulling a lot more air than stock.
yes, that same control module is the one i'm on the fence on buying because there are stories like these where engines blowup and then there are others where the tune (a piggyback tune in your case) is seemingly harmless. it's good to know that it's been good to you.
 
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