Fiat 124 Spider Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I'm a new Spider owner. Last month I bought a 2017 Abarth, black on black, with 23k miles. I've been contemplating buying an extended warranty since I only have the remaining factory warranty left. After reading a few of the threads, I'm a bit concerned this vehicle may be a money pit. I know there will be a lot of different opinions but I was wondering what people thought about the reliability of the car? Not that it matters because I really don't plan on getting rid of it anyway, but I'm kind of curious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
You're right. There will be a lot of different opinions. If you don't plan on modifying your car beyond maybe an exhaust, wheels and tires it might not be a bad idea to get the warranty. On the other hand, most of the problems with these cars rear its head early on in ownership. Your car already has 23,000 miles so maybe any issues have already been dealt with. The 2017 models are notorious for water pump failures. My car is very heavily modified and in spite of that, has been dead on reliable. The most serious issue I have faced was caused by the dealership when they flashed an emissions update and bricked the PCM. They took full responsibility and fixed the car. Other things I have faced have been check engine lights that were due to modifications that were easily fixed by me or the tuner. I have driven my car hard on a track but it is quite a pampered car and looks every bit as good as they day I brought it home. I'm amazed at how tough the car is in spite of what I've thrown at it. The only thing that gives me any worries is electrical issues but so far so good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You're right. There will be a lot of different opinions. If you don't plan on modifying your car beyond maybe an exhaust, wheels and tires it might not be a bad idea to get the warranty. On the other hand, most of the problems with these cars rear its head early on in ownership. Your car already has 23,000 miles so maybe any issues have already been dealt with. The 2017 models are notorious for water pump failures. My car is very heavily modified and in spite of that, has been dead on reliable. The most serious issue I have faced was caused by the dealership when they flashed an emissions update and bricked the PCM. They took full responsibility and fixed the car. Other things I have faced have been check engine lights that were due to modifications that were easily fixed by me or the tuner. I have driven my car hard on a track but it is quite a pampered car and looks every bit as good as they day I brought it home. I'm amazed at how tough the car is in spite of what I've thrown at it. The only thing that gives me any worries is electrical issues but so far so good.
Thanks, that's kind of what I was thinking too as far as major flaws already having surfaced. Based on the CarFax report the car was not in for any serious repairs so I guess I'll keep my fingers crossed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,180 Posts
I'm a bit concerned this vehicle may be a money pit.

Yes totally I agree with you, when it come to upgrades, but when it comes to reliability, I have had no issues for 3 summers I have driven it 18K klm my dealer has seen me just for OIL Changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
I'm a bit concerned this vehicle may be a money pit.

Yes totally I agree with you, when it come to upgrades, but when it comes to reliability, I have had no issues for 3 summers I have driven it 18K klm my dealer has seen me just for OIL Changes.
Same. Just wrapping up a 2nd driving season with ~12,000 miles on the odometer. Only oil changes for me. No problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback everyone! I wish I'd bought the car sooner. Its getting chilly here in the Washington DC area with just a few more topless days remaining. Looking forward to the spring!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,308 Posts
I have a 2017 Abarth with 12k miles and only issue is top hung down loose but I fixed it with krazy glue.

some minor electrical issues but I think they came from me adding boost gauge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
30,000 on mine, daily driver that has never missed a beat - No issues at all and no regrets buying it after 10 years in a Toyota.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Thanks for the feedback everyone! I wish I'd bought the car sooner. Its getting chilly here in the Washington DC area with just a few more topless days remaining. Looking forward to the spring!
On the bright side, the cockpit is small so it quickly warms up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
This summer I made a chart based on conversation people had on this message board.
It is just a sample,but I think ti is far from a money pit.
Big issues seem to be: Paint, water pump, top.

docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11D7uLQsfySgwDaJTurq-Il9nA7E5HIfxo5TqeJcsacM/edit#gid=0
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Here are the complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration on the 2017 Fiat 124. I grouped them and tallied them within each category. For comparison, the same year Mazda MX-5 had 6 complaints (windshield, steering loss, brakes, touch screen disable feature).

Complaints on the 2018 (both cars): 0
Recall on 2017-2019 Mazda: 1 (automatic transmission)
Recalls on 2017-2019 Fiat: 0


STALLING – 1 complaint

VEHICLE WILL STALL WHILE DRIVING - TYPICALLY THE VEHICLE WILL DISPLAY THE ELECTRONIC THROTTLE CONTROL (ETC) WARNING LIGHT PRIOR TO STALL. STALL WILL HAPPEN WHILE ACTIVELY DRIVING. ENGINE INDICATOR LIGHT ALSO ILLUMINATES. DEALER HAS ATTEMPTED 5 TIMES TO CORRECT. EACH TIME THE DEALER DELIVERS VEHICLE. WITHIN 24 HOURS OF DELIVERY, THE ENGINE AGAIN BEGINS TO HESITATE AND STALL, ETC AND CEL LIGHT COME ON.

TIRE PRESSURE MONITOR – 1 complaint

TPMS SOUNDS WARNING ALARM AND LIGHT WHEN DRIVING - ALTHOUGH TIRE PRESSURES ARE FINE. THIS HAS HAPPENED MANY TIMES IN THE NEARLY 2 YEARS OF OWNERSHIP AND BEEN TO THE DEALER 3 TIMES FOR ATTEMPTED REPAIRS. THE AUDIBLE ALARM IS ALSO SO LOUD IT SCARES ME WHEN IT GOES OFF - AND IS NOT ADJUSTABLE. THIS IS NOT SAFE WHEN I AM DRIVING, PARTICULARLY IN TRAFFIC. I DON'T WANT TO FEEL THAT I HAVE TO STOP ON THE ROADSIDE AND CHECK THE TIRES WHEN THE SYSTEM IS GIVING ME A FALSE POSITIVE. DEALER HAS NO ANSWERS. SAID TO JUST HIT THE RESET BUTTON. THE SYSTEM IS WORTHLESS - IT'S LIKE THE BOY THAT CRIES WOLF -- IT GOES OFF BUT YOU START TO IGNORE IT BECAUSE IT'S NEVER RIGHT. CHRYSLER/FIAT NEEDS TO REMEDY THIS.

ALARM GOES OFF – 7 complaints

THE VEHICLE'S ALARM (HORN AND FLASHERS) PERIODICALLY GOES OFF WHILE DRIVING. IT WILL SOMETIMES STOP ON ITS OWN, BUT TYPICALLY REQUIRES THAT THE CAR IS SHUT OFF TO STOP THE ALARM. THE EVENT DOES NOT HAPPEN WITH ANY CONSISTENCY AND WILL SOMETIMES HAPPEN TWO OR THREE TIMES IN A DAY, BUT SOMETIMES WILL NOT HAPPEN FOR TWO OR THREE WEEKS. IT HAS HAPPENED WHEN DRIVING ON BOTH THE FREEWAY AND CITY ROADS. WHEN TAKEN TO THE DEALERSHIP, THEY SAY THAT THE PROBLEM CANNOT BE DUPLICATED, NO CODES WERE PRESENT TO EXPLAIN THE OCCURRENCE, AND THE PROBLEM CONTINUES TO GO UNRESOLVED.

ALARM KEEPS RANDOMLY GOING OFF, DOESN'T MATTER HOW FAST YOU ARE GOING, WHAT GEAR, WHAT TYPE OF ROAD, WENT OFF 15 TIMES ONE DAY, 5 TIMES THE NEXT DAY

WHILE DRIVING BETWEEN 30 AND 70 MPH IN SECOND TO SIXTH GEAR, THE CAR'S ALARM SYSTEM RANDOMLY ACTIVATES WITHOUT APPARENT REASON. THE HORN SOUNDS AND EMERGENCY FLASHERS ILLUMINATE WITHOUT CUTTING OFF. THE ALARM IS DEACTIVATED BY STOPPING THE CAR AND SHUTTING OFF THE IGNITION. SWITCHING IT ON AGAIN RESULTS IN THE ALARM NOT ACTIVE. THE ALARM ACTIVATION OCCURS RANDOMLY AND SPORATICALY WHEN DRIVING ON HARD SURFACES INCLUDING COUNTY ROADS, CITY STREETS, AND INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS, USUALLY DRIVING STRAIGHT, DURING DRY WEATHER CONDITIONS, AT VARIOUS SPEEDS, AND IN DIFFERENT GEARS. THIS RANDOM ALARM ACTIVATION HAPPENS AT IRREGULAR INTERVALS PERHAPS A DAY OR A MONTH APART. IT STARTED BEFORE MAY 2017 AND CONTINUES JULY 2018.

WHILE DRIVING MY 2017 FIAT SPIDER 124 ABARTH ON REGULAR PAVED ROADS, THE ALARM ACTIVATES. JUST DRIVING NORMALLY DOWN THE ROAD. THE FIRST TIME IT HAPPENED WAS WHILE SLOWING DOWN TO MAKE A LEFT TURN. THE SECOND TIME WAS AFTER TURNING RIGHT ONTO ANOTHER ROAD AND SPEEDING UP. THE HORN STARTS BLOWING AND ALL THE LIGHTS START FLASHING. SCARES ME AND EVERYONE AROUND ME. THIS APPEARS TO BE A PROBLEM ON THE ABARTH MODEL AND HAS BEEN KNOWN TO BE A PROBLEM FOR OVER A YEAR, WITH NO FIX IN SIGHT. MINE HAS DONE THIS TWICE BUT OTHERS HAVE REPORTED IT HAPPENING MANY TIMES. FCA IS AWARE OF THE PROBLEM.

WHILE DRIVING THE VEHICLE MY ALARM GOES OFF. HORN BEEPS AND FLASHES FLASH. THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE IT STOP IS TO PULL OVER AND TURN CAR OFF. THIS HAS HAPPENED 4 TIMES. THE CAR WAS BOUGHT NEW ON DEC 4, 2017 THE 1ST TIME WAS DEC 5. AND SO ON. THE CAR IS IN THE SHOP NOW.

OUR 2017 FIAT 124 SPIDER ABARTH ALARM GOES OFF RANDOMLY SOMETIMES 4 OR 5 TIMES A DAY WHILE DRIVING. MY WIFE HAS BEEN ON THE FREEWAY AND LIGHTS FLASH AND HORN CONSTANTLY GOES OFF UNTIL SHE HAS TO PULL OFF IN TRAFFIC AND STOP THE CAR AND RESTART. PUSHING PANIC BUTTON DOES NOTHING. THIS IS AN ONGOING PROBLEM WITH MANY FIAT SPIDERS AND ALSO MIATAS THAT ARE BOTH BUILT IN THE SAME PLANT. THE DEALER SPENT DAYS BUT COULDN'T FIX AND NOW IS GOING TO ORDER NEW BCM AND FOBS BUT FROM THE FORUMS ON BOTH CARS I'M NOT HOPEFUL. THINKING WE MAY HAVE TO GO THE LEMON LAW ROUTE BUT DEALERS ARE SNEAKY WITH NOT CALL BACKS AND AVOIDING TRIPPING THE LEMON LAW REQUIREMENTS. MY WIFE IS STRESSING OUT SO BADLY WITH WORRY EVERY DAY SHE COMMUTES. THIS SHOULD BE A RECALL IN MY OPINION.

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2017 FIAT 124 SPIDER. THE CONTACT STATED THAT WHILE DRIVING AT 65 MPH, THE CAR ALARM SYSTEM RANDOMLY ACTIVATED. WHEN THE ALARM ACTIVATED, THE HORN AND THE EMERGENCY LIGHTS TURNED ON. THE CONTACT PULLED OVER TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. AFTER THE CONTACT TURNED OFF AND TURNED ON THE VEHICLE, THE ALARM SYSTEM DEACTIVATED. THE CONTACT ALSO STATED THAT AFTER DRIVING FOR 10 MINUTES THE ALARM SYSTEM ACTIVATED AGAIN. WHILE THE VEHICLE WAS DRIVEN TO THE CONTACT’S RESIDENCE THE FAILURE OCCURRED 19 TIMES AND EVERY TIME THE FAILURE OCCURRED THE CONTACT HAD TO PULL OVER TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT TAKEN TO THE DEALER. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT DIAGNOSED OR REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS CONTACTED AT 888-242-6342 AND WAS MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE. THE MANUFACTURER ASKED THE CONTACT TO TAKE THE VEHICLE TO THE DEALER. A CASE NUMBER 32632158 WAS PROVIDED. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 900.


MANUAL TRANSMISSION PROBLEM – 1 complaint

THE MANUAL TRANSMISSION SHIFTS OUT OF 4TH GEAR BY ITSELF. THIS HAS OCCURRED ON A HIGHWAY AS WELL AS IN STREET TRAFFIC


MISC – 2 complaints

THIS CAR HAS BEEN TOWED IN 3 TIMES WITH STATING PROBLEMS, ENGINE LEAKING OIL AND ALL LIGHTS COMING ON DASH. IT HAS BEEN BACK TO DEALER 7 TIMES AND I ONLY HAVE 4700 MILES ON A 1 YEAR OLD CAR. EACH TIME THE CAR WAS PARKED IN MY DRIVEWAY

THERMOSTAT, EXCELERATOR PEDAL, REPLACED AND WINDOW WASHER TUBE REINSTALLED AT 2,477 MILES. AT 3,014 MILS CAR WAS TOWED 2 TIMES IN A WEEK FOR CAR NOT STARTING. THE SPARK PLUGS WERE OIL SOAKED AND FOULED OUT. THE MOST RECENT WAS NOW AT 4,681 MILES THE OIL LIGHT CAME ON , CHECK ENGINE LIGHT AND VACUUM PUMP GASKET WENT AND WAS LOW IN COOLANT. EACH TIME THE CAR WAS IN FOR 4 DAYS AT A TIME. FCA PAID FOR 3 TOWS. I NOW HAVE A YEAR OLD CAR WITH UNDER 5,000 MILES ON IT. EACH TIME IT WAS TOWED FROM IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE.

WINDSHIELD – 1 complaint

MY WINDSHIELD FRACTURED AND CRACKED WHILE I WAS DRIVING ON NC 101 IN CARTERET COUNTY. I NEITHER HEARD OR SAW ANYTHING HIT THE CAR. I PUT IN A CLAIM TO NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COMPANY AND WAS GIVEN AN APPOINTMENT FOR REPLACEMENT WITH SAFE LIGHT AUTO GLASS. THIS WAS MAY 15, 2017. ON THE DAY OF MY APPOINTMENT I WAS TOLD THE WIND SHIELD WAS NOT AVAILABLE. IT WOULD BE 2-3 WEEKS. I CALLED IN JUNE AROUND THE 15TH AND WAS TOLD THE WINDSHIELD WAS NOT BEING RELEASED BY THE MANUFACTURER. I THEN CONTACTED TOLER JEEP, WHERE I BOUGHT THE CAR. THEY ALSO SAID THEY COULD NOT GET THE WINDSHIELD FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS IT WAS NOT BEING RELEASED. I CONTACTED THE MANUFACTURER AND WAS TOLD THEY DID NOT HAVE THE WINDSHIELD BUT EXPECTED IT TO BE RELEASED IN 1-2 WEEKS. AROUND JULY 15 I CALLED THE REPAIR COMPANY, I WENT TO THE DEALERSHIP, AND I AGAIN CALLED FIAT. I WAS PUT OFF AGAIN AND TOLD THE WINDSHIELD WOULD BE RELEASED ON AUGUST 3. WHEN I CALLED THE FIAT COMPANY LAST WEEK, I WAS AGAIN TOLD THE WINDSHIELD WAS NOT READY FOR RELEASE AGAIN. THIS IS A BRAND NEW CAR. I AM SURE THE COMPANY IS STILL MAKING THE CAR AND HAS WINDSHIELDS TO SEND OUT FOR REPAIR. IF THEY CAN NOT REPLACE THE WINDSHIELD, THEY SHOULD REPLACE THE CAR OR AT THE VERY LEAST PAY MY DEDUCTIBLE FOR MY TROUBLE. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO LOOK THROUGH A DEFECT IN THE WINDSHIELD FOR 3 MONTHS NOW. IN A BRAND NEW SPORTS CAR!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
581 Posts
I own or have owned 3 Fiats with the 1.4L Multiair engine. (a 2012 500, a 2014 500L, and the 2017 124 Spider Abarth) I have never had a problem with any of these cars, that's why I keep buying Fiats. I have had better luck with the Fiats than I did with my previous cars, Kia, Nissan, Subaru, and Jeep.

The only negative things I can say is that the 500 and 500l go through rear brakes pretty quickly, and the rear wheel bearings failed in the 500 at around 50,000 miles.

I have driven the Spider for 3 seasons now without any issues at all. It has 25,000 miles on it and everything works as well as it did when new. It has been on several long road trips. I store it in the winter, and mine starts up immediately in the spring without any problems. (Both my 500 and 500L started hard after being parked for a long period, but they both started)

I no longer own the 500, I gave it to my sons girlfriend when we bought an Alfa Stelvio. The car is still going strong even though my sons girlfriend is hard on cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I own or have owned 3 Fiats with the 1.4L Multiair engine. (a 2012 500, a 2014 500L, and the 2017 124 Spider Abarth) I have never had a problem with any of these cars, that's why I keep buying Fiats. I have had better luck with the Fiats than I did with my previous cars, Kia, Nissan, Subaru, and Jeep.

The only negative things I can say is that the 500 and 500l go through rear brakes pretty quickly, and the rear wheel bearings failed in the 500 at around 50,000 miles.

I have driven the Spider for 3 seasons now without any issues at all. It has 25,000 miles on it and everything works as well as it did when new. It has been on several long road trips. I store it in the winter, and mine starts up immediately in the spring without any problems. (Both my 500 and 500L started hard after being parked for a long period, but they both started)

I no longer own the 500, I gave it to my sons girlfriend when we bought an Alfa Stelvio. The car is still going strong even though my sons girlfriend is hard on cars.
Steve - I am going to store mine for the first time this winter for close to 6 months. Will do battery tender, fuel full and stabilized etc. Did you have yours started at all when stored. I may have a friend start mine every 2 weeks or so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
look every single car made has many issues if you google it..even scotty kilmers favourite car the toyota celica has issues if you check it.
i have driven over 2.5 million miles in my life. had probably 30 new cars and vans. not one has ever gone wrong before 200k miles..some even gone for 500k miles issue free.
as long as you keep the fluids checked dont hammer the motor from cold then you will get no problems on any car..
my company van is 3 years old and already at 100k miles and it's a pos ford transit. still runs as good as the day i collected it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
On a road trip up to Wisconsin for a week this past fall I forgot to mention that I to had the TPMS warning alarm and light come on while spiritedly driving down a not so smooth county road. This issue is mentioned in the owners manual.

The tire pressures were fine and I reset the system. But when It goes off the first time it will scare the s**t out of you. 75 with the top down and it was still super loud.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,752 Posts
Off the top of my head, the most common issues have been the following:

1. Some (mostly 2017) cars needed thermostats replaced. These really didn't affect the drivability of the car, but did cause the CEL to illuminate.

2. Some cars have had to have water pumps replaced.

3. The Abarths (again, mainly 2017s) could have the TPMS transmitters in the wheels trigger the alarm while driving. It took forever for this one to get figured out and some cars were lemoned becuase of it. Easy fix (replace the TPMS transmitters) now the cause is known.

4. Initially at least, availability of replacement windscreens was an issue. Not sure how it is now.

5. A few cars have had leaky AC systems.

6. A few cars have had the Blind Spot Monitoring start reporting false positives.

7. Cars stored for an extended period have been difficult to start due to oil draining out the multiair unit.

Beyond that, there's the occasional 'Friday afternoon' car pop up, but I don't think its any worse in that regard than any other manufacture or model. On the while, it seems pretty solid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
I started a thread the other day about "gremlins" that affect our car but in typical fashion it was too long so I didn't post it. I'll try to summarize.

Recently I had random issues affecting my car where the oil light, battery light and sometimes the gas cap light would quickly flash on and then go off. I also lost all boost pressure once on the interstate and the car died. And I've lost cruise control briefly. I never had any permenent CELs.

After reading the thread about battery water level I checked mine and it was extremely low. I ended up adding a cup of distilled water to each cell. I added a half gallon of distilled water in total to the battery. Since then, I've had no more issues and the car is running as good as it ever has.

I'm only theorizing but if you ever experience random issues, especially electrical in nature, check the fluid level in your battery. When it's as low as mine was, the alternator has to work harder to charge the battery. In theory, this could cause electrical anomalies that mess with the PCM and related sensors. Many of the sensors in the car operate by detecting slight differences in voltage that indicate a set condition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
581 Posts
Steve - I am going to store mine for the first time this winter for close to 6 months. Will do battery tender, fuel full and stabilized etc. Did you have yours started at all when stored. I may have a friend start mine every 2 weeks or so.
No, I don't start mine at all. The car is pretty inaccessible. I put it in a bag with desiccant canisters in the interior, the trunk, and in the bag itself.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
877 Posts
I think it's worth mentioning that our cars are mostly Japanese, and the car was built over there too. The engine is about the only Fiat part in the car. The MX5 ND has had pretty constant MT6 issues, but we've got the NC transmission which is known as a good one. The issues identified in the previous posts sum it all up. In all, I think we have a pretty good car.
I've had EVAP CEL issues, but that's about it. Initially there was the thermostat CEL, but for me it was bogus. There was an ECU flash that fixed it.
best regards
Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,308 Posts
Just had tpms alert for the first time too. Quite loud but i was going slow.

i think the tire pressure was low 20s
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top