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2018 Abarth 124 Spider, Mare Blue / Nero Abarth Leather, Brembo's, Record Monza, Automatic
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Yup. Most likely you have air in the system . . . I do believe your analysis is correct by the symptoms you describe. Unfortunately, most techs are paid on a "flat rate" (piece work) basis that allows no time for proper bleeding. In my opinion, the dealer should have a flat bed truck deliver a loaner to your home and take your Spider to the shop - on their time, at their expense. Just my opinion. Good Luck! s. PS: I had the same issue after having my water pump leak repaired under warranty by a Fiat/Alfa dealer. I handled the issue exactly as @mtnghost described. But I notice you also state you still have a coolant leak? Coolant leaking out ? Or just coolant level dropping in the jug as it fills the void as air is displaced? In any event, it shouldn't be your problem to fix - as it shouldn't have been mine to fix. I still think the dealer should drop a loaner off at your home, and pick your car up, and make sure it's fixed properly this time.
 

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Dropped it off yesterday. Picked it up today. They did get me a rental car so that’s cool. But sadly I’m not done. I appear to be still losing coolant. And now a new problem. Ever since new the turbo coolant cool down pump would him perfectly after I shut off the car. Now it’s pulsating and sounds like it’s air bound. I have no clue where this pump is to see if there is a bleeder port. I can hear it but cannot see it. I’ll obviously be taking the car back to the dealership Monday. But I’m worried about the turbo staying heated and doing damage as the pump in pretty sure is not moving fluid. Sounds like there is air in there. I’m wondering if the turbo is even full of coolant, which would do major damage if there is air inside. Or air in the chamber. I see a bleeder screw on too back end too. But I’m afraid to touch it.
New car! Less than 10,000 miles. Major repair. And it was not even done right.
Frustrating. And with work it’s impossible to even get to the dealer. “Drop it off in the morning” they say. They are 90 minutes from my house. “We will give you a ride to work.” Ummm I have to be at work at 7a. They don’t open till 8. That’s not going to work. And then how do I get home and get back to the dealership when it’s fixed? So I’ll be pushing for a rental once again.
Now I’m just worried though. How could they miss this. I heard the pump pulsating and cavitating the moment I turned the car off. I asked Ben specifically if they test drove it and then listen afterwards to make sure it was cooling down correctly. “Yup. We ran it. Checked it out. Your all set. Don’t forget to leave us a favorable review in google..”

Just upsetting. How do I know they got the rest of the engine filled. Clearly they rushed.
Same happened to me. You gotta burp it. If you have a coolant funnel kit that works best. They're like $20 at the auto store. Luckily I had bought coolant specifically for this car a while back. You'll need to add coolant if in fact burping is needed. The coolant level had gone almost to the L once I had ran the car for a while.
I too was worried about overheating the turbo with air being inside, but my mechanic said that I caught it early and once the air leaves to fill it up with coolant. Just be careful not to burn yourself. Let it cool before opening the radiator cap.
 

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Cavitation is apparently a HUGE issue if you don't get all the air out. The manual states to use a vacuum rig and I didn't do that when I rebuilt my engine. I did use positive pressure to push the coolant in but I have a feeling I didn't get it all out. Everything sounded fine, coolant level never dropped, but with my engine cold and I bucked it through the U-Turn, I am now leaning that there was cavitation and that's what popped the freeze plug.

There was someone else that had the same issue from the dealer, they didn't purge it right and he blew a plug and plenty of others that had to go back a few times to get all the air out. I talked with @BadgerBob about it when he was engine swapping and he found several vacuum rigs on Amazon, don't know why I didn't look back in April.

The rig is sorta like the brake bleeder that uses a compressor to air assist. It connects to the drain spigot and the reservoir to suck every bit of air out of the engine, creating a vacuum chamber, and then introduce coolant to be sucked in to every nook and cranny.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Automotive lighting Automotive design


Link to rig
 
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It took 4 times to fix my car. After the third try I was headed out the driveway on my way to Utah and thought, hmm, let me check the level in the reservoir one last time. Bone effing dry.

On I-70 past green river there is nothing for 100 miles. Not that I would have made it even that far.
 

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Ok so try putting the nose end of the car up like a driveway and when the car cools down open the coolant pressure cap. Then start the car and let it run idle until it fully warms up. Keep an eye on coolant level and top up if needed. There is air in the system it seems but there is also coolant flowing so don’t worry about that. On one last thing put the hvac on full hot. No need to turn the blower on but make sure it’s all the way in the red for the temp knob. It should bubble up and release the trapped air and when it stops you should be good to go! Good luck it’s super simple you won’t hurt anything but could save you a trip to the dealer.
Thanks. Wow I’m a little embarrassed I didn’t think of this. My car repair skills must be getting rusty. Headed out right now. Great idea. Worth a try anyway.
 

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Well mtnghost. Your solution did the trick. I cannot believe I didn’t think of running the car cold with the radiator cap off till the temperature gauge started to move. Fired it up cold with cap off, heat on high. Lots and lots of air bubbles burped out. Had to add about a half quart of coolant to the pressure side of the coolant reservoir to make up for the air displaced, with proper face shield on of course. Once the blue light turned off and temp gauge started to move and I had heat, I put the cap on and took it for a short ride. Shut it down. Cool down pump now sounds normal. I think there is still some air in the system as when the cool down pump is running I can hear water moving more than in the past. Once car cools down I’ll do this procedure a couple more times. Still going to call dealer on Monday and have them check it out. Want a record that it left there with a problem and they checked it. But hopefully this incident did no damage. I think it’s probably ok as I agree with one of the other posters that while driving home there was coolant flowing. So the turbo went through only 2 cool down cycles where it may not have been getting cooled enough. And as a habit I do let engines (turbo and non turbo) idle for about a minute after I park just for things to settle down. Always found this is good practice.

Now here is my disappointment in myself. I have been driving and repairing my own cars for over 40 years. Many old junks. Finally I had the money to buy myself this new little sports car. Or more accurately a cools sorts car became available I could actually afford, lol. Definitely a late midlife crisis. The fact it needed a water pump at 8000 miles had me a little rattled and I wasn’t thinking clearly. This is the first turbo car I’ve ever owned. Some new features I’m having to learn about. But still how did I not think of “burping” it last night when I heard the pump cavitating? Running the engine through a couple cycles with cap off to get rest of air out is kind of normal on antifreeze changes. I’ve done them hundreds of times before. Certainly dealer should have done this before they sent it home. But I should have thought of it too, damn it. My god! Where is my brain? If someone could fedex my nuts back to me ASAP I’d appreciate it. I must have left them somewhere without realizing. I’m a car guy damn it! I’m actually divorced because ex told me I spent too much time in my garage and I had to choose between my garage and her. So I chose. and I made the right choice! I chose the garage! Shhhh. Please don’t tell anyone I didn’t think of this solution on my own. Lol.

mtnghost. Thanks for the advice!!! You are awesome!
 

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Cavitation is apparently a HUGE issue if you don't get all the air out. The manual states to use a vacuum rig and I didn't do that when I rebuilt my engine. I did use positive pressure to push the coolant in but I have a feeling I didn't get it all out. Everything sounded fine, coolant level never dropped, but with my engine cold and I bucked it through the U-Turn, I am now leaning that there was cavitation and that's what popped the freeze plug.

There was someone else that had the same issue from the dealer, they didn't purge it right and he blew a plug and plenty of others that had to go back a few times to get all the air out. I talked with @BadgerBob about it when he was engine swapping and he found several vacuum rigs on Amazon, don't know why I didn't look back in April.

The rig is sorta like the brake bleeder that uses a compressor to air assist. It connects to the drain spigot and the reservoir to suck every bit of air out of the engine, creating a vacuum chamber, and then introduce coolant to be sucked in to every nook and cranny.

View attachment 88489

Link to rig
It's sad that we have to go through these extremes and out of pocket expenses when it happens due to the mechanics at the dealership not finishing the job. Thanks for the advice. I took the car back 3 times and got responses ranging from "out that sound is normal" to "eventually the air will come out on its own."
 

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2020 Abarth 124 Brillante White Velleno package with Monza exhaust.
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Well mtnghost. Your solution did the trick. I cannot believe I didn’t think of running the car cold with the radiator cap off till the temperature gauge started to move. Fired it up cold with cap off, heat on high. Lots and lots of air bubbles burped out. Had to add about a half quart of coolant to the pressure side of the coolant reservoir to make up for the air displaced, with proper face shield on of course. Once the blue light turned off and temp gauge started to move and I had heat, I put the cap on and took it for a short ride. Shut it down. Cool down pump now sounds normal. I think there is still some air in the system as when the cool down pump is running I can hear water moving more than in the past. Once car cools down I’ll do this procedure a couple more times. Still going to call dealer on Monday and have them check it out. Want a record that it left there with a problem and they checked it. But hopefully this incident did no damage. I think it’s probably ok as I agree with one of the other posters that while driving home there was coolant flowing. So the turbo went through only 2 cool down cycles where it may not have been getting cooled enough. And as a habit I do let engines (turbo and non turbo) idle for about a minute after I park just for things to settle down. Always found this is good practice.

Now here is my disappointment in myself. I have been driving and repairing my own cars for over 40 years. Many old junks. Finally I had the money to buy myself this new little sports car. Or more accurately a cools sorts car became available I could actually afford, lol. Definitely a late midlife crisis. The fact it needed a water pump at 8000 miles had me a little rattled and I wasn’t thinking clearly. This is the first turbo car I’ve ever owned. Some new features I’m having to learn about. But still how did I not think of “burping” it last night when I heard the pump cavitating? Running the engine through a couple cycles with cap off to get rest of air out is kind of normal on antifreeze changes. I’ve done them hundreds of times before. Certainly dealer should have done this before they sent it home. But I should have thought of it too, damn it. My god! Where is my brain? If someone could fedex my nuts back to me ASAP I’d appreciate it. I must have left them somewhere without realizing. I’m a car guy damn it! I’m actually divorced because ex told me I spent too much time in my garage and I had to choose between my garage and her. So I chose. and I made the right choice! I chose the garage! Shhhh. Please don’t tell anyone I didn’t think of this solution on my own. Lol.

mtnghost. Thanks for the advice!!! You are awesome!
Very welcome glad it worked out! I have a very similar story to yours on how I came to have one of these beauties. Always clunkers I had to fix, this was my first new car ever!
 

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We shall see. Took it out for 150 miles today. I appear to still be losing coolant. Nothing on the floor. And there is a low point hole in my belly pan. So o wonder if there is a leak someplace else. Topped it off to the sharpie mark I had made back when problem started. We shall see if it holds. They said they pressure tested it and it held. So maybe still air coming out a little bit. Idk. Disappointing. New car. I already bought old junks. Was sick of fixing Herculean problems. Figured I’ll splurge and get myself a nice little sports car to have fun with. Didn’t realize only difference between fixing a new car and fixing an old car is your hands get less dirty in all those new car parts, but just as many problems. I own a truck too. Always have owned Toyota Tacoma’s. 300,000 400,000 500,000. Never an issue other than normal wear. If they didn’t rust is still be driving my first one. Sadly fiat and molar appear they could learn a few lessons from Toyota.
 

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2020 Abarth 124 Brillante White Velleno package with Monza exhaust.
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Ok so you said you still had air in system so top it off again and see if it lowers again. I think the more you drive the more air you get out of the system. It will take a few drive cycles to clear all the air out.
 

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Second that. System could just be resolving itself and replacing air with coolant, thus less in the reservoir. If you’ve ever water cooled a computer, you’ll know it can take a LONG time to get the bubbles out…and you can turn the damn things on their side!
 

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Yup. That’s what I’m doing. And I ran it again with the cap off like I did before and topped it off.
Annoying. Dealer should have taken care of this.
moronically I just got an email from them. Guess I’m supposed to be getting some sort of survey. If I feel the need to put less than 10 on any category I’m supposed to call the service manager. Let’s see. Had to argue to get a rental. Had to wait just about a month to get it in even though parts in stock. And then picked up with problems. But of course I’ll put all 10’s. I do feel bad for them. They are down to two fiat techs. People just quitting their jobs everywhere. Must be nice to be wealthy enough to quit. So I can feel their pain. No one seems to want to work anymore.
 

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Yup. That’s what I’m doing. And I ran it again with the cap off like I did before and topped it off.
Annoying. Dealer should have taken care of this.
moronically I just got an email from them. Guess I’m supposed to be getting some sort of survey. If I feel the need to put less than 10 on any category I’m supposed to call the service manager. Let’s see. Had to argue to get a rental. Had to wait just about a month to get it in even though parts in stock. And then picked up with problems. But of course I’ll put all 10’s. I do feel bad for them. They are down to two fiat techs. People just quitting their jobs everywhere. Must be nice to be wealthy enough to quit. So I can feel their pain. No one seems to want to work anymore.
Stay positive. I know it can be frustrating, but it's still under warranty so be thankful it didn't happen after the warranty expired and that your water pump has already been replaced.
 

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Yup. That’s what I’m doing. And I ran it again with the cap off like I did before and topped it off.
Annoying. Dealer should have taken care of this.
moronically I just got an email from them. Guess I’m supposed to be getting some sort of survey. If I feel the need to put less than 10 on any category I’m supposed to call the service manager. Let’s see. Had to argue to get a rental. Had to wait just about a month to get it in even though parts in stock. And then picked up with problems. But of course I’ll put all 10’s. I do feel bad for them. They are down to two fiat techs. People just quitting their jobs everywhere. Must be nice to be wealthy enough to quit. So I can feel their pain. No one seems to want to work anymore.
Why work when uncle Biden will pay you as long as you are vaccinated. If your not to hell with you and he will make sure you will never work again wether you want to or not!
 

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Got home tonight. Could smell antifreeze. Opened hood. Belly pan loaded. Even under hood wet. Before they fixed I was losing a tiny amount. Now after they fixed it it’s leaking really bad! We always talk about new normal now. Is this what the word “improvement” means now? Leaking more?
Be calling tomorrow. Lemon laws in mass state 3 attempts to repair same problem without resolution. Could be interesting. This is round 2.
 

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Got home tonight. Could smell antifreeze. Opened hood. Belly pan loaded. Even under hood wet. Before they fixed I was losing a tiny amount. Now after they fixed it it’s leaking really bad! We always talk about new normal now. Is this what the word “improvement” means now? Leaking more?
Be calling tomorrow. Lemon laws in mass state 3 attempts to repair same problem without resolution. Could be interesting. This is round 2.
Why can’t people just have pride in their work anymore? It’s frustrating and also why I am choosing to repair my fiat, warrantee be damned! Sorry to read this, hopefully they fix it properly so you can enjoy this wonderful car.
 

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Got home tonight. Could smell antifreeze. Opened hood. Belly pan loaded. Even under hood wet. Before they fixed I was losing a tiny amount. Now after they fixed it it’s leaking really bad! We always talk about new normal now. Is this what the word “improvement” means now? Leaking more?
Be calling tomorrow. Lemon laws in mass state 3 attempts to repair same problem without resolution. Could be interesting. This is round 2.
So damn frustrating, sorry man. Really wish every tech would take their work seriously.
 
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Most "techs" are paid on a "Flat Rate" basis, in other words it is piece work. The quicker you get the work done, the more you make. Pride be damned. Flat Rate needs to go away. Ask the service manager if the shop is a "Flat Rate" shop. If so, then ask if they have one guy (usually a "foreman") that can do the job over. If not, go somewhere else. Good Luck, s. PS: Many years ago, some guy - maybe it was Confucius, said something profound: "Haste makes waste". That is as true today as it was a million years ago.
 

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Yeah I chose not to address the politics comment. I love a good political debate. I always represent the moderate conservative side well. But this isn’t the place. So yes no politics. Let’s talk cars.

I just looked at again. It’s really leaking now. It was so slow before it would dry on before it would drip. Now coolant on the sides of engine well and belly pan and under the hood. So it’s weeping out and being thrown off the crankshaft. How could they make it worse with installing a new pump? Wow this is a nightmare. And naturally I drive a lot for work and this is my busiest week of the month. I just emailed this person and let them know I’d be swinging by before close tomorrow to drop off the car and pick up a rental. Hopefully he will write back in the morning and confirm. Can’t drive it like this and now it’s in them because they appear to have broken it worse in their repair. I explained the problem and attached Picts. I’m assuming they are going to be pulling it all apart again and replacing more stuff. But I’m really worried. I love this little car. First new car I’ve owned in all my 53 years. But is this problem going to keep coming back forever? I just don’t have time for this. Bought a new car because work is so busy now I just needed better reliability. Yeah this is worse than any of my old vehicles.
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