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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up my 124 Spider on the 6th April, less than a month ago.
On about the 17th April, during my fourth drive of the car, and when it had done 500km, the yellow engine warning light came on.
On 21 April it went back to the dealers, they diagnosed it as a fouled oxygen sensor in the exhaust, so they re-set it and told me to drive it a bit harder. This surprised me, in that although I was being gentle with it, I was still using it up to 5 grand. I accepted them at their word.
Next time I drove it, a bit more sportily, the engine light came on again after about 30km of suburban driving.
Yesterday it went back to the dealer. They're sending the error codes to Fiat/Chrysler (Australia) for their advice. No answer, of course, and today is Friday. No car for the weekend.
So out of the first month of ownership it will have spent five days with the dealer.
This is not what I bought it for.
JFerg
 

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Name the dealer !!!! Or at least give us a clue !!

The problem i find here in Oz (and I suspect in the US) is that many dealers do not really fully understand their product. At best some of the service team may have done cursory "factory training" but that does not substitute for experience and expertise.

Strange thing is that the 1.4 MA now is a relatively mature product (Alfa Giulietta, Mito and Fiat 500X) and so you would think that there would be some experience out there

Hang in there
 

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It all depends on the experience and knowledge of the particular tech who gets the car assigned to them. Worked at dealers for over ten years in a past life....and should a car come back for the same issue, the same tech who diagnosed it in the first place gets it back...(it's HIS comeback) if that tech couldn't figure it out the first time, chances are he may not be able to second time around....

And when there is other lucrative work waiting, then the "problem child car" is referred to the main office, or a part is ordered
just to get the problem out of there, at least for now....

It is common practice among dealer techs, especially when the ordered part comes in and the car is then randomly assigned to the next available tech who is instructed to "install special order part". Wether that part fixes the issue or not is not his problem He did what he was told, and the car gets parked outside ready for the owner to discover the original problem still exists!! It's a vicious cycle, and the customer is the victim.
 

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I fully understand the frustration here. Many of the dealers do not understand these cars, and so when something simple or trivial happens, it can spiral into a bit of a mess. HOWEVER, there is some good news.

First of all, in the truest sense of the word, these cars are very reliable, cases of the cars just plain breaking down are almost unheard of, and cases of components that actually stop working are very rare. The vast majority of problems seem to be check engine lights that are caused by very minor issues. That's not to say that they are not a problem and an annoyance, but we can deal with them pretty easily here on this forum.

I would like to make a few points:

1. The knowledge base on this forum is very high. Not only because we have some sharp 124 owners, but because many came from and have experience with this engine in the 500 Abarth and Dart. We also have some people here who came from other high boost small displacement cars and brought a lot of knowledge with them.

2. You can get a phone app for your car and a bluetooth adapter for very little money. In fact, you should do that right now. I suggest Either "Torque" or "Dash Command" for your smart phone. That will enable you to read the actual code and post it here. Once you post it, members here will know if it's something you should take to the dealer, or just reset and forget. Often codes that are reset never come back and you don't need to worry about them. Some tolerances that trigger a CEL are really tight, and getting out of those limits can be caused some some weird convergence of conditions that's not likely to repeat itself. Those apps I discussed allow you to reset the CEL without going to the dealer.

3. Some dealers are really sharp on these cars, and some are not. I frequently get calls from dealer techs asking for help, so I am very aware the the variety in experience levels. I honestly thing it's best to post the problem here before going to the dealer, often we can help and save you some frustration. Even if you do end up at the dealer, you will be better off armed with knowledge about the problem and more likely to get a quick resolution.

Greg
 

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Greg any recommendation on which bluetooth adapter? I assume the eurocompulsion handheld tuner does not read codes as well?
 

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Greg any recommendation on which bluetooth adapter? I assume the eurocompulsion handheld tuner does not read codes as well?
We use the Elm 327 Bluetooth adapter. Our handheld can read and clear codes, but the process is so convoluted that it's really not worth the effort. It's better to use something specifically intended for that purpose.

Greg
 

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We use the Elm 327 Bluetooth adapter. Our handheld can read and clear codes, but the process is so convoluted that it's really not worth the effort. It's better to use something specifically intended for that purpose.

Greg
I hear ya, had an SCT tuner in the past that read codes but it was a bit on the complex side. As an aside are you guys able to tweak the map for high altitude? 6200+
 

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I fully understand the frustration here. Many of the dealers do not understand these cars, and so when something simple or trivial happens, it can spiral into a bit of a mess. HOWEVER, there is some good news.

First of all, in the truest sense of the word, these cars are very reliable, cases of the cars just plain breaking down are almost unheard of, and cases of components that actually stop working are very rare. The vast majority of problems seem to be check engine lights that are caused by very minor issues. That's not to say that they are not a problem and an annoyance, but we can deal with them pretty easily here on this forum.

I would like to make a few points:

1. The knowledge base on this forum is very high. Not only because we have some sharp 124 owners, but because many came from and have experience with this engine in the 500 Abarth and Dart. We also have some people here who came from other high boost small displacement cars and brought a lot of knowledge with them.

2. You can get a phone app for your car and a bluetooth adapter for very little money. In fact, you should do that right now. I suggest Either "Torque" or "Dash Command" for your smart phone. That will enable you to read the actual code and post it here. Once you post it, members here will know if it's something you should take to the dealer, or just reset and forget. Often codes that are reset never come back and you don't need to worry about them. Some tolerances that trigger a CEL are really tight, and getting out of those limits can be caused some some weird convergence of conditions that's not likely to repeat itself. Those apps I discussed allow you to reset the CEL without going to the dealer.

3. Some dealers are really sharp on these cars, and some are not. I frequently get calls from dealer techs asking for help, so I am very aware the the variety in experience levels. I honestly thing it's best to post the problem here before going to the dealer, often we can help and save you some frustration. Even if you do end up at the dealer, you will be better off armed with knowledge about the problem and more likely to get a quick resolution.

Greg
Thnaks Greg. OK let's test it out. I bought an OBDII w/ bluetooth a few years ago. Comes in very handy when it is time to pass the E-Check tests. At any rate, my first long ramble with the 124 was great, but I did get a check engine light on the way home. Here are the codes -
P1066
P1068
P106A
P106C
Other symptoms.
Hard starting when the car is hot and a restart is attempted while heat soaked.
Stumbles under hard acceleration (heavy loading) most noticeable in third gear.

I am scheduling a dealer visit, but I have always found it better to have some idea of where the problems are before your get to the dealer.
Any help from anyone would be appreciated.
 

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I hear ya, had an SCT tuner in the past that read codes but it was a bit on the complex side. As an aside are you guys able to tweak the map for high altitude? 6200+
The ECU has a lot of capability to compensate for altitude, and our tune already does that within certain limitations.

Greg
 

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Stelvio,

What sort of resolution did you get? What were the problems behind these codes, and behind your symptoms? Thanks.

Steve.


Thnaks Greg. OK let's test it out. I bought an OBDII w/ bluetooth a few years ago. Comes in very handy when it is time to pass the E-Check tests. At any rate, my first long ramble with the 124 was great, but I did get a check engine light on the way home. Here are the codes -
P1066
P1068
P106A
P106C
Other symptoms.
Hard starting when the car is hot and a restart is attempted while heat soaked.
Stumbles under hard acceleration (heavy loading) most noticeable in third gear.

I am scheduling a dealer visit, but I have always found it better to have some idea of where the problems are before your get to the dealer.
Any help from anyone would be appreciated.
 

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Thnaks Greg. OK let's test it out. I bought an OBDII w/ bluetooth a few years ago. Comes in very handy when it is time to pass the E-Check tests. At any rate, my first long ramble with the 124 was great, but I did get a check engine light on the way home. Here are the codes -
P1066
P1068
P106A
P106C
Other symptoms.
Hard starting when the car is hot and a restart is attempted while heat soaked.
Stumbles under hard acceleration (heavy loading) most noticeable in third gear.

I am scheduling a dealer visit, but I have always found it better to have some idea of where the problems are before your get to the dealer.
Any help from anyone would be appreciated.
Does your car have any mods? When did you last check the oil? Some of those codes can be caused by low or contaminated oil. It's possible an oil change will take care of them.

Greg
 

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I hear ya, had an SCT tuner in the past that read codes but it was a bit on the complex side. As an aside are you guys able to tweak the map for high altitude? 6200+
I've had my car since August and have the EC EDL. I live at 5500 feet and regularly drive to 10,000 feet for hiking and camping. I have never experienced any issues that were altitude related. I have over 12,000 miles on the car at this point. The car adjusts nicely at high altitude and has run a sub 6 second 0-60 at 5200 feet.
 
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Stelvio,

What sort of resolution did you get? What were the problems behind these codes, and behind your symptoms? Thanks.

Steve.
Low oil like everyone said. I added a quart, cleared the codes and all is well. Just didn't expect my brand new, advance design, and built with the latest and greatest tools modern car to use more oil than my nearly 50 year old, rebuilt motorcycle.
 

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Low oil like everyone said. I added a quart, cleared the codes and all is well. Just didn't expect my brand new, advance design, and built with the latest and greatest tools modern car to use more oil than my nearly 50 year old, rebuilt motorcycle.
That is a bit odd... I checked mine at 1k and 1.5k miles and so far haven't used a drop... Dipstick is right at the full line both times. But every engine is different and yours may be taking a little longer to break in..
 

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If you check the fiat 500 boards you will see that many Abarth owners (same engine) have reported lots of oil usage. Quite a few in the 1 to 1.5 qt/2.5k miles. Certainly enough so you wouldn't want to go to 10K miles without checking the oil level. In fact some have even gotten FCA to replace the engines within the warranty period. However, most have just been told the usage is just normal and within FCA specs. Luckily my 15 hasn't run into that...... yet.
 

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I drove my Dart hard. 25k miles and its 1.4L MultiAir didn't use a drop.
 

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Mine didn't budge up into the 2000's and then at 3300ish down half way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks, Greg, that's excellent advice.

The car is still with the dealer. I hope I might get it back tomorrow afternoon, in which case it will have spent two full weeks out of my five week ownership with the dealer.

Initial diagnosis was, as mentioned, the oxygen sensors. Second diagnosis was a suspect catalytic converter, which is at least consistent with it being an exhaust issue. FCA (Fiat-Chrysler Australia) diagnosed spark plugs (!!!??), which to my great surprise did not fix it, and the last theory I heard of was something awry with the turbo boost. Although not a trained tech, I am not a bad hack with engines. Made my own carburettor needles etc for the twin SU's of my last Triumph, for example. This hit and miss diagnosis of the fault with my Abarth suggests to me that no-one has a clue and that they are stabbing in the dark.

At present I will either get the car back on Tuesday or not. If it does come back, we'll see how it goes, and I'll take it to another dealer when it fails next time. If it does not come back, then I follow up on the process, already begun, to have the entire car replaced.

Either way, I'll get a blue tooth adapter.

Cheers, and thanks for the excellent help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Can't see my previous reply, posted a few hours ago.

Since then I have had a call from the dealer; they've decided that the catalytic converter has died, so it needs a new one. Easy. Except there are none in Oz, and it will be a month (at least) before they get one. So at least I have my car back. I still have the yellow dash light on, and my OBDII reader is in the post.

Thanks again for the expertise.
 

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I am not clear why did you have to leave the car there at the dealer for so long.

IF a NEW car is having issues, either they fix it on the spot, or they give you a loaner, while they figure things out. If the car has major issues, they swap the loaner for your car or give you a working car.

I really don't get why someone should be without a car that he/she paid with hard earned cash; it is not your fault if the car goes bonk
 
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