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Discussion Starter #1
Hello from Mid-state Illinois! I’ve been reading up on this forum daily for the past month to get some ideas on mods, what I should be expecting, and let’s be honest, because I couldn’t wait to get the car. Reading about it was half as good as driving it! Well maybe 10%, but I digress.

Couple of issues I’ve noticed so far, so any help is appreciated! Car is brand new, received with 79 miles and currently has ~250 miles, manual transmission.

1) On hard acceleration, the engine seems to... stutter? It feels like the turbo isn’t holding boost correctly. I still get good acceleration, but instead of the acceleration being a nice bell curve, there are minor dips during acceleration throughout the boost range. It’s not glaringly obvious, but I notice enough that it’s slightly annoying. Doesn’t feel like misfiring, but the car sat on the lot for a while. Maybe some corrosion in the spark plugs? Maybe I just need a DV+?

2) I’m missing one trunk ‘plug’. It’s in the center depression, and looks to be one of two completely flat plugs. Can these be ordered, or can I just pick one up from a dealer?

3) There is already some chips in the paint on the front fender. I’m not driving in rocks - is this paint really so thin? Anything we can do to combat additional chips and can I fix the current ones?

4) I have the Bose speaker package, and I’m underwhelmed. It seems like the sound is thin, missing a lot of midrange, and songs are either tinny or too bassy, with no in between. Anything I can do to increase the sound quality without a complete overhaul? I’m well versed in the speaker/headphone world and I’ve made a few DIY amps and such, so I’m happy to get my hands dirty if needed.

Sorry for the wall of text, and TIA. I look forward to getting to know everyone!
 

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Welcome !

1) either boost leak or iffy diverter valve. Both fixable. Try leak test first. Lots of solutions on these forums. Couod be misfire so maybe check spark plugs.

2) try dealer first off

3) paint is garbage. Some people ppf, or like me embrace it !

4) even the Bose is average. I have bose in my cx3 and its worlds apart. However there are lots of easy upgrade routes on this forum!!
 

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Welcome to the forum,

for suggestions.

!) check everything and if you find something depending on what it is go to dealer.
2) definitely dealer
3) you have to take really good care of the paint but yeah is something tricky
4) look for upgrades or tweaks for it in the forum
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the quick responses! I'll check out for the leaky boost - I found a leak tester kit, I assume that's all I would need along with an air compressor? If I am losing boost, how do I know where I'm losing it from though? I plan on ordering the DV+ and the Forge BOA, so I may just put that on to see if it fixes anything first before I go take it in to the dealer.

I also considered a vinyl wrap to keep the paint in good condition, is that commonly done? I don't think I've seen too many wrapped 124s on here. Seems like it wouldn't be super expensive since the car is so small.

Thanks for the advice! I'll check the forum for the Bose tweaks and check in with the dealer about the trunk plug.
 

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Thank you both for the quick responses! I'll check out for the leaky boost - I found a leak tester kit, I assume that's all I would need along with an air compressor? If I am losing boost, how do I know where I'm losing it from though? I plan on ordering the DV+ and the Forge BOA, so I may just put that on to see if it fixes anything first before I go take it in to the dealer.

I also considered a vinyl wrap to keep the paint in good condition, is that commonly done? I don't think I've seen too many wrapped 124s on here. Seems like it wouldn't be super expensive since the car is so small.

Thanks for the advice! I'll check the forum for the Bose tweaks and check in with the dealer about the trunk plug.
There are some of the guys with vinyl wrap other ceramic coating or like me really carefully waxed
 

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The Bose is much better with the top up, almost as if it was optimized for it. I didn't buy the car to listen to music.
 
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Check your tire pressure! These puppies are shipped with the tires @ about 50 psi and lots of dealers do NOT adjust the pressure before delivery. It will significantly improve ride and handling.
 

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Thank you both for the quick responses! I'll check out for the leaky boost - I found a leak tester kit, I assume that's all I would need along with an air compressor? If I am losing boost, how do I know where I'm losing it from though? I plan on ordering the DV+ and the Forge BOA, so I may just put that on to see if it fixes anything first before I go take it in to the dealer.

I also considered a vinyl wrap to keep the paint in good condition, is that commonly done? I don't think I've seen too many wrapped 124s on here. Seems like it wouldn't be super expensive since the car is so small.

Thanks for the advice! I'll check the forum for the Bose tweaks and check in with the dealer about the trunk plug.
A quality wrap isn't cheap. It is much less than a paint job but a quality full body wrap can easily be 2K.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Check your tire pressure! These puppies are shipped with the tires @ about 50 psi and lots of dealers do NOT adjust the pressure before delivery. It will significantly improve ride and handling.
Great to know! It was feeling a bit squirrely in the corners, like it didn't have grip at the start of the turn but grabbed on near the end. This may be the cause!

A quality wrap isn't cheap. It is much less than a paint job but a quality full body wrap can easily be 2K.
I assumed it would be about that much. But hey, better to invest now to keep the paint looking good underneath. I love the matte look, so a wrap would be a good way to protect and add that look I'm going for. Now to decide what color..
 

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If it’s a tad loose in the corners I’d bet your tires are still at “shipping pressure”, mine sure were😏
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Surprisingly they were fine when I checked them. They had only been sitting for an hour or so but read @ 32 psi, so seems like the dealer let out the air before shipping. That feeling in the corner may just be me getting used to the car 🤷‍♂️
 

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Discussion Starter #12
In other news my VeePeak came in today so I'm going to see if it's throwing any misfire codes. US stock boost pressure is somewhere in the high teens/low twentys?
 

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Hello from Mid-state Illinois! I’ve been reading up on this forum daily for the past month to get some ideas on mods, what I should be expecting, and let’s be honest, because I couldn’t wait to get the car. Reading about it was half as good as driving it! Well maybe 10%, but I digress.

Couple of issues I’ve noticed so far, so any help is appreciated! Car is brand new, received with 79 miles and currently has ~250 miles, manual transmission.

1) On hard acceleration, the engine seems to... stutter? It feels like the turbo isn’t holding boost correctly. I still get good acceleration, but instead of the acceleration being a nice bell curve, there are minor dips during acceleration throughout the boost range. It’s not glaringly obvious, but I notice enough that it’s slightly annoying. Doesn’t feel like misfiring, but the car sat on the lot for a while. Maybe some corrosion in the spark plugs? Maybe I just need a DV+?

2) I’m missing one trunk ‘plug’. It’s in the center depression, and looks to be one of two completely flat plugs. Can these be ordered, or can I just pick one up from a dealer?

3) There is already some chips in the paint on the front fender. I’m not driving in rocks - is this paint really so thin? Anything we can do to combat additional chips and can I fix the current ones?

4) I have the Bose speaker package, and I’m underwhelmed. It seems like the sound is thin, missing a lot of midrange, and songs are either tinny or too bassy, with no in between. Anything I can do to increase the sound quality without a complete overhaul? I’m well versed in the speaker/headphone world and I’ve made a few DIY amps and such, so I’m happy to get my hands dirty if needed.

Sorry for the wall of text, and TIA. I look forward to getting to know everyone!
Sounds exactly like my issues when I bout my spider new.

Turbo is whacked, you'll need aftermarket stuff.

Chips in paint are because of the thin paint/gloss. Fiat has heard this complaining plenty, but they all pretend it's something new. You'll need to get an actual fca body shop to use a gauge on it. Then FCA will say they'll reimburse you for the paint, which is under warranty. Then they won't reimburse you at all. Now it's time to lawyer up. Make sure you keep photos and records and absolute do not rely on the online fiat maintenances records or notes as FCA loves to delete these whenever the mood strikes.

As for your sound- you'll need aftermarket speakers. You'll probably want to line the top with sound proofing to help keep down the outside noise. But remember that'll void your warranty, and then they'll never pretend they're going to replace your top even though most of them seem to wiggle and creak as you drive over 50mph. Again, lawyers are your friend here.

All in all, if this is a Sunday driving car you'll be fine. But if it's your daily driver you are screwed.

And remember- FCA has a vested interest in pretending nothing is under warranty: they'll cover you for 3 days of a rental, but if it goes over that they will claim they'll reimburse you for the remainder of the rental if the repairs are something under warranty. When your only FCA dealer has a mystery repair shop in town, and holds your car for inspection for 3 weeks, loses the lug key for your wheels, and fails to find anything wrong with the transmission that then, literally falls apart when you pick it up, so you'll have to pay several hundred or thousand dollars just for the rental, and towing back to your home with your Abarth which has 10k miles on it, bit because FCA support thinks it says 100k (in 8 months)...well, you're double screwed.

Big shout out to FCA, screwing over customers left and right. Thanks
 

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Gosh, don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel😏. I think you’ll find the vast majority of owners love their Spiders. Sounds like you dealer is a putz, but that doesn’t make the car terrible or FCA “screwing their customers right and left”. I feel your pain, but come on, sound deadening in the top? It’s a freaking convertible WITH on of the quietest/best insulated tops out there. The turbo being “whacked”? Most folks here run a stock turbo with serious mods and zero issues. Brian Goodwin has had the fastest overall car at some autocrosses while running the stock turbo. Sounds to me like you and the Spider may not be a match.
 

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Gosh, don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel😏. I think you’ll find the vast majority of owners love their Spiders. Sounds like you dealer is a putz, but that doesn’t make the car terrible or FCA “screwing their customers right and left”. I feel your pain, but come on, sound deadening in the top? It’s a freaking convertible WITH on of the quietest/best insulated tops out there. The turbo being “whacked”? Most folks here run a stock turbo with serious mods and zero issues. Brian Goodwin has had the fastest overall car at some autocrosses while running the stock turbo. Sounds to me like you and the Spider may not be a match.
Hey, that's my experience, and to deny my experience isnt very nice.

Granted, I am beyond frustrated, but I'm at the point that I'll need legal help to get anything defective on my car fixed. So telling me that I'm not right for my car is way off.

I love the car. I shouldn't be expected to lie to be dishonest with myself or to others explaining the very real interactions and troubles getting it repaired. When your car that's a year and a half old isn't working, and fiat is telling you that your transmission has to be repaired out of pocket, thus suggesting that it was designed to fail. Man, the car, my car that I love, is a lemon.

Hey, Charley Brown, sounds like that lump of coal you got isn't for you. You're just not hip with the lump of coal lifestyle.

I am sorry to ruin your perception of our beloved car, but it's the truth, new buyers should be aware. And really, the problem is the dealerships, less the car.
 

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You're OK telling us about your issues with your car and your dealer, but you are using a mighty broad brush here.
Your dealership, and your car, doesn't not represent the majority.
 

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You're OK telling us about your issues with your car and your dealer, but you are using a mighty broad brush here.
Your dealership, and your car, doesn't not represent the majority.
Maybe. There's a lot of common issues with the cars themselves. A lot.

And it would be extremely dishonest to say most of the 12,000 spiders sold in the US didn't have any of these common issues. Or worse when they do, problems with dealerships that require legal aid.

This forum itself has some 5.7k posts. There are years old posts on this and other forums, epic tales of paint problems, transmission issues, and convertible top replacement stories. So, while the brush I'm painting might be broad, it's still very relevant, and I'm honestly given hope for my own spider when I hear more positive tales, or that there's a daily driver with zero problems.
 

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Maybe. There's a lot of common issues with the cars themselves. A lot.

And it would be extremely dishonest to say most of the 12,000 spiders sold in the US didn't have any of these common issues. Or worse when they do, problems with dealerships that require legal aid.

This forum itself has some 5.7k posts. There are years old posts on this and other forums, epic tales of paint problems, transmission issues, and convertible top replacement stories. So, while the brush I'm painting might be broad, it's still very relevant, and I'm honestly given hope for my own spider when I hear more positive tales, or that there's a daily driver with zero problems.
Ah nope....Not dishonest all...Just the facts.
Perhaps a detail list of these "common issues?"

I am very interested in the transmission issues...
 

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Man, I am truly sorry about your experience, and I understand your frustration. My only points were that I do Not see the items you spoke of as “common problems” and (2) life is way to short and precious to waste dealing with a machine that stresses you out. I had a new car (brand X) a few years ago that was a lemon. (Leaks around the windshield, engine pulleysout of alignment, causing belts to break, causing a loss of power steering with no advance notice, would not start when temps dropped below 20f, rattles, etc). it was a real pos. After 6 months I said the heck with it and dumped it. The car, had it worked, was “exactly what I wanted”, mine was a lemon. Don’t let your yourself be Frustrated and upsetover ANY machine. The car doesn’t car and the only one you’re hurting is yourself. In your situation, I’d dump it. Good luck whatever you decide.
 

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If I bought an F150 quad cab and expected it to perform like a Lambo, I'd be upset too. But, when I purchased my Spider, I understood the type of car I was buying into, and I temper my evaluation of it based on that. Paint thin? Maybe. But unless it's coated with a 1/4" of rock chip paint guard, any car will incur chip damage. As such, I have every vehicle I own protected with PPF for that very reason, and to provide additional protection and make washing easier, I also had this one ceramic coated. The audio system is adequate for what I need it to do, but in a convertible, there's only so much you can expect for sound deadening qualities from a soft top. All cars have "issues", and surprisingly enough, people tend to make the most noise when they have problems.... and that tends to make up a good portion of any vehicle owner forum's content.

I could be wrong, but I don't think anyone here, inlcuding myself, is discounting the OP's feelings about their vehicle. He owns them. But I do believe there's a bit of caveat emptor in play here, in that they may not have fully appreciated or understood the general characteristics of the vehicle class they bought into. A case of maybe they thought they really wanted a little convertible, but didn't know what that experience would be like once desire became physical reality. Or maybe they did...

Regardless, I hope the OP manage to get things resolved to their level of acceptance, or choose to sell the vehicle and move on to something more in line with what they need to be satisfied. As Oldbear stated (and I agree), life's too short to muck around with something that drives you nuts.
 
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