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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Background: took delivery of a new 2020 Lusso on 9/11/2019. Babied her (Sophia) with her own house (garage) and easy driving thru the break-in miles. Immediately found and joined this forum. As an old retired USAF pilot and aero engineer, I'm convinced that proper lubrication is vital. At 2,000 miles and one year of service I changed the big 3 fluids (engine, MT, and diff) with recommended AMSOIL product from a forum member and distributor. Here it is 21 months after purchase with 2,600 miles on the clock and it's never been to a dealer. I'm getting emails from MOPAR about an extended warranty and I don't know if I've already voided my warranty thru lack of dealer service.

My issues: Considering the dearth of Fiat dealers and the horror stories about inexperienced techs doing more harm than good I've been reluctant to turn the keys over to someone else. There's the issue of them draining out my AMSOIL with 500 miles on it and replacing it with something inferior. I've always believed that if it ain't broke don't mess with it and every time I drive her it's as if I'm on a test drive in a new car. It's absolutely perfect in every way without any complaint.

Possible courses of action: 1. take her to a dealer and get the service(s) taken care of and inquire on an extended warranty or 2. trust my baby to take care of me as long as I take care of her? BTW, I do keep a log book with milage/date and action taken with receipts but doubt they'll convince the dealer that I fulfilled my service commitments.

What say you?
 

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2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
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Unless you have an overriding reason to go into the dealership, like a warranty issue, I’d refrain from taking her there.

My 2018 Abarth with 14,000 miles has had three oil changes so far; all at the dealer.

As I explained on another thread, last week I got a pair of ramps; first time I ever look underneath. I found the shield at the bottom of the engine compartment loose and missing two bolts. The remaining bolts were loose as well.

After taking the car to the dealer for an oil change months ago, it had to go right back due to a loud rattle coming from underneath the car. They tell the technician to accompany me in the car so that he can hear the racket. We haven’t even left the the parking lot and the imbecile is already telling me that whatever is wrong with the car it has nothing to do with them. I tell him to shut up and listen. Sure enough, we drive around the block, he hears the racket and the car goes back in. They put the car on the lift and find out that they forgot to secure the shield. In so many words, the shield I found loose months later was AFTER those idiots had two chances to do it right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unless you have an overriding reason to go into the dealership, like a warranty issue, I’d refrain from taking her there.

My 2018 Abarth with 14,000 miles has had three oil changes so far; all at the dealer.

As I explained on another thread, last week I got a pair of ramps; first time I ever look underneath. I found the shield at the bottom of the engine compartment loose and missing two bolts. The remaining bolts were loose as well.

After taking the car to the dealer for an oil change months ago, it had to go right back due to a loud rattle coming from underneath the car. They tell the technician to accompany me in the car so that he can hear the racket. We haven’t even left the the parking lot and the imbecile is already telling me that whatever is wrong with the car it has nothing to do with anything they did. I tell him to shut up and listen. Sure enough, we drive around the block, he hears the racket and the car goes back in. The put the car on the lift and find out that they forgot to secure the shield. In so many words, the shield I found loose months later was AFTER those idiots had two chances to do it right.
Thanx for the reply. So you change oil on mileage or time. My other 2 vehicles I change on mileage because I drive them more. But the Fiat won't see 3k miles by 2 years.
 

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Thanx for the reply. So you change oil on mileage or time. My other 2 vehicles I change on mileage because I drive them more. But the Fiat won't see 3k miles by 2 years.
On mileage. So far so good.

The yellow wrench light comes on based on the mileage.
 

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PS - 3,000 miles in 2 years...yeah, that’s very low...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
PS - 3,000 miles in 2 years...yeah, that’s very low...
Yea, I've never loved a car so much or driven it so little. My quandary comes down to how to balance the need for service on mileage against the warranty requirements for service on time? I could own it 6 or 7 years before I hit 10k miles. If a warranty item hits while under time limits, will the dealer bounce the coverage because it's never been serviced?
 

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Your warranty is A-OK. You do not need to have a dealer service your vehicle in order to keep your warranty in effect! Make certain you keep good records. If you, as you said, changed your own fluids then document the service performed, when the service was done, that you did this service and the products used in performing this service. You also want to list all additional items on this service record that you attended to during this service. Did you check the accessory belt, the coolant level, air the tires, the washer fluid, the battery? List everything you checked, attended to and dealt with during this service. Do that and as long as you perform the the recommended and/or required services at the recommended and/or required service intervals using products equal to or better than the OE specified maintenance products you're golden.
Also be aware that any time you might happen to take you Spider to a dealer for service for whatever reason you can specifically tell them to keep their grubby paws off any specific part or system that you do not want them messing with and have those instruction specifically noted on the service order before you sign it.
I would trust your baby to take care of you as long as you are taking care of her. That is the agreement I have with Moonracer. I'll give him a nice home, keep him well feed with only top tier top quality fuel, tend to his every maintenance need/requirement/desire and pamper his every wish for any special do-dads he may have a desire for all while operating in a sane manner. And in return I expect and hope for dependable consistent performance with constant ever enjoyable driving experiences. So far so good.
 

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I purchased Moonracer, 2020 Abarth, in late August of 2020. There are now 3,685 miles on the clock. Moonracer is not my only nor my main means of transportation. He is a joy to own! He is a joy to fuss over! He is a joy to drive! I smile just looking at that car!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your warranty is A-OK. You do not need to have a dealer service your vehicle in order to keep your warranty in effect! Make certain you keep good records. If you, as you said, changed your own fluids then document the service performed, when the service was done, that you did this service and the products used in performing this service. You also want to list all additional items on this service record that you attended to during this service. Did you check the accessory belt, the coolant level, air the tires, the washer fluid, the battery? List everything you checked, attended to and dealt with during this service. Do that and as long as you perform the the recommended and/or required services at the recommended and/or required service intervals using products equal to or better than the OE specified maintenance products you're golden.
Also be aware that any time you might happen to take you Spider to a dealer for service for whatever reason you can specifically tell them to keep their grubby paws off any specific part or system that you do not want them messing with and have those instruction specifically noted on the service order before you sign it.
I would trust your baby to take care of you as long as you are taking care of her. That is the agreement I have with Moonracer. I'll give him a nice home, keep him well feed with only top tier top quality fuel, tend to his every maintenance need/requirement/desire and pamper his every wish for any special do-dads he may have a desire for all while operating in a sane manner. And in return I expect and hope for dependable consistent performance with constant ever enjoyable driving experiences. So far so good.
Just what I was looking for. The elephant in the room concerning our service needs and dealers is the lack of any, not just good, dealers going forward. Like the number of spiders that are growing fewer by the day, it seems that holds for dealerships also. Thanx for weighing in.
 

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Just what I was looking for. The elephant in the room concerning our service needs and dealers is the lack of any, not just good, dealers going forward. Like the number of spiders that are growing fewer by the day, it seems that holds for dealerships also. Thanx for weighing in.
Like you, I changed out not only engine oil and filter but also the manual trans oil and the rear diff fluid during the 1st year service. This year I'll change the engine oil/filter and the way things are currently going I'll basically be swapping out new oil and filter for new oil and new filter, such is life. It will be time for the 2nd year service and it shall be done and duly documented.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Like you, I changed out not only engine oil and filter but also the manual trans oil and the rear diff fluid during the 1st year service. This year I'll change the engine oil/filter and the way things are currently going I'll basically be swapping out new oil and filter for new oil and new filter, such is life. It will be time for the 2nd year service and it shall be done and duly documented.
Do all my fluid changes too. Bought a low profile racing jack and give her an uplifting experience onto jack stands. Works the charm.
 

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The dealership experience depends a lot on the dealership , there are plenty of good , and bad dealership experience stories. Genesis in Macomb Co Michigan has repeatedly gave me the best service I've ever received at any dealership , but they are primarily an Alfa dealer , and treat every customer life they're driving a Quadrifoglio . Towards the end of both of our Fiats factory warranty , I went back and added another 4years/ 48000 mile Mopar bumper to bumper Warranty for about $1700 w/ $100 Deduct. These cars have an enormous amount of Mazda reliability built in and seldom return to the dealership. But if you have the fancy Headlamps , need a turbo , radio, touchscreen , PCM ect...,one repair could easily be thousands of dollars . You just have to check the numbers and weigh your odds , and NO ONE knows your FIAT better .
 

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The first Spider I test drove was a used 2017 Abarth sitting at an Alfa Romeo-Maserati dealership in a posh Seattle neighborhood. The experience was shit, though: the front of the car had a small accident, the price was way too high, and the salesperson was both arrogant and pushy.

I ended buying my Spider, new, from a Fiat-Alfa Romeo dealer in dowdy Tacoma. The experience was good: my salesman was excellent, the paperwork was handled by the business office inside a large CDJR dealership across the street, which means it wasn’t posh but was relatively efficient.

I live 125 miles north of my selling dealer, so going there for service is not really an option. My servicing dealer is located 25 miles south of me; they are okay. It is a large CDJR dealer that sees a lot of Ram truck and Jeep traffic. They added a Fiat franchise relatively late in the game. They never sold any Spiders themselves, but see two come in for regular service. Last time I was there, they had only one Fiat-trained tech in staff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The first Spider I test drove was a used 2017 Abarth sitting at an Alfa Romeo-Maserati dealership in a posh Seattle neighborhood. The experience was shit, though: the front of the car had a small accident, the price was way too high, and the salesperson was both arrogant and pushy.

I ended buying my Spider, new, from a Fiat-Alfa Romeo dealer in dowdy Tacoma. The experience was good: my salesman was excellent, the paperwork was handled by the business office inside a large CDJR dealership across the street, which means it wasn’t posh but was relatively efficient.

I live 125 miles north of my selling dealer, so going there for service is not really an option. My servicing dealer is located 25 miles south of me; they are okay. It is a large CDJR dealer that sees a lot of Ram truck and Jeep traffic. They added a Fiat franchise relatively late in the game. They never sold any Spiders themselves, but see two come in for regular service. Last time I was there, they had only one Fiat-trained tech in staff.
All great comments from everyone. Such a valuable forum for sharing thoughts and experiences. I'm of the mind that as Fiat dealers become more vaporus I'll end up visiting various Chrysler dealerships here in Indy and interviewing the service manager as to his tech's training, experience, etc.
 

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2020 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth 6MT, EC V2 intake, GFB DV+, Record Monza exhaust, and of course a stubby
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I am fortunate to have two CDJR dealerships around that also include Fiat. The one I bought my spider from is about 70 miles away, but the other is only 10 miles. I have tried both one time for service, and was much happier with the one closer to me. That’s a pretty lucky result for me.

Both sold spiders, where I bought was based on available inventory - manual transmission was a requirement for me!

Likely to switch over to doing all work myself pretty soon. Dealers are fine, but I will certainly pay more attention to detail on my car than the mechanic working on his eighth car of the day is going to.

Have almost 12,000 miles on my toy car in about 16 months, grinning ear to ear for every single mile!
 
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