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View Full Version : Starting to regret this purchase...



Crundle15
12-21-2013, 02:26 PM
I already had the issue with my sunroof shade which was disappointing but now my trekking completely stopped on me in the middle of I-95. I was driving for about an hour when I noticed a strange burning smell. I assumed it was the exhaust from another car around me, but five minutes later I notice smoke starting to come out of my hood. I checked my temperature gauge and it was sitting comfortably in the middle. I put it in park and got out of my car to take a look and the smoke is just steadily rising. When I got back in it wouldn't accelerate and I was just stuck. I had to turn it off for a few minutes (completely blocking a lane of traffic) and then turn it back on before it would start again. I managed to get on the shoulder before it died again. I had to get a tow and I just had it towed to the dealership.

They're still taking a look but I've been told that the clutch probably started burning from being in the stop and go traffic. I wasn't entirely satisfied with my treatment at the dealership. The rep was just kind of apathetic about it as if its no big deal for a brand new car to do this. I expect a car with less than 10k miles to be able to sit in traffic for an hour without smoking and dying. Apparently my expectations are too high though. I'm just wondering if I made a mistake with this car as I've had more problems in the 4 months of ownership than I did with the 4 yrs I had my Elantra. I guess we'll see how quickly this gets resolved.

ReconTopher
12-21-2013, 04:47 PM
Hi, so for previous problems you've had the sunshade, the temp gauge not reading correctly (my Abarth does this too) and the Uconnect locking up?

I believe I asked this on a different poster's thread, but they disappeared, but I'm curious as to why you bought a 1st year car? I'm not trying to be funny or give you a hard time, I'm only wondering if you thought about first year cars and their problems, or thought maybe Fiat figured it out by now? I'm assuming your Elantra wasn't a first year car and it has been around for quite awhile. Thanks.

drphil
12-22-2013, 04:55 AM
Maybe a Lemon? I hope my car won't have the same problem..

Red Dwarf
12-22-2013, 11:39 AM
That sounds terrible! The clutch should have no issue in stop and go traffic! Unless, MAYBE the driver is not fully engaging it. But even then, I can't imagine this behavior. I'm not in a 500L but I drive my 500 Sport is a lot of stop and go traffic. I just hit 10K miles and have no issues.

I hope the dealer stands behind the warranty and fixes this!

rnddude
12-22-2013, 12:15 PM
You may want to follow this thread on the other forum about a very similar problem...

http://www.fiat500owners.com/forum/53-manufacturer-issues/30649-another-clutch-failure.html

Crundle15
12-23-2013, 12:18 AM
Hi, so for previous problems you've had the sunshade, the temp gauge not reading correctly (my Abarth does this too) and the Uconnect locking up?

I believe I asked this on a different poster's thread, but they disappeared, but I'm curious as to why you bought a 1st year car? I'm not trying to be funny or give you a hard time, I'm only wondering if you thought about first year cars and their problems, or thought maybe Fiat figured it out by now? I'm assuming your Elantra wasn't a first year car and it has been around for quite awhile. Thanks.

I never had a uconnect problem and the temp gauge isnt a big bother to me.

But as to why i bought a first year car, simply because i liked it. Fiat isnt a new company, and I trusted that the car would would be reasonably reliable. I can deal with minor issues, which ive had beyond the ones ive mentioned. I assumed I could drive in traffic for an hour without my car smoking and breaking down. That's not a minor issue.

Crundle15
12-23-2013, 12:23 AM
I've gotten my car back and basically the result is that there is no fix... yet. Apparently I'm not the first person this has happened to and Fiat is aware of it. They're working on a fix but nothing yet. So I'm just waiting. I've been told that if I find myself in stop and go traffic for a considerable amount of time, then I need to shift into neutral. Cool... O_O Not happy. I live in northern Virginia, where traffic is the expectation.

streetsurfer
12-23-2013, 06:16 AM
If you were holding the clutch in for lengthy periods, yes you should change your habits. That keeps pressure on the throw out bearing and heats it up thinning it's grease, possibly to the point of leakage and/or failure of the bearing. You don't want grease leaking onto the clutch disc or pressure plate. Shifting to neutral and releasing the clutch is proper form.

That's not to say that was the issue or that it isn't defect related. Without a concise explanation from the service dept, one can only guess.

Did the "smoke" smell like coolant steam, clutch lining, hot metal, fluids leaked onto hot metal parts, or burning rubber/plastic/paint?

dart1.4t
12-24-2013, 02:16 PM
you said you put it in "park" so is this a ddct auto stick? like in the dart? yeah i went with a stick, i mean most companies use a wet clutch for this type of trans, i didn't trust it entirely. they should replace the clutches nad diagnose the trans. it shouldn't do that. but atleast had they used wet clutches there would be constant heat dissipation to help things out. if anything it should last longer than a manual clutch but there are a few problems they have had with those on the dart, mostly with a fluid leaks from a porous casting i think. but still i don't think they have it tuned 100% for american roads.

streetsurfer
12-24-2013, 04:43 PM
I see my post does (or may) not apply then, as I wasn't aware it is a different system. Disregard.

Crundle15
12-25-2013, 07:49 AM
Sorry I should have clarified, its he automatic.

dart1.4t
12-25-2013, 10:46 PM
The thing is that its not a classic auto. Its more like a manual with a counter shaft. clutches are attached to the engine...

A traditional automatic uses planetary gears and drums that are held with bands that act as clutches (as well as multi disk wet clutches in the trans) and there is a fluid coupling called a stall converter or torque converter that for complicated reasons increases torque as it slips to make it easy to move the car then goes into a low slip mode as the car starts rolling then in higher gears goes into a locked mode via a clutch.

Without the fancy fluid coupling and shifting via hydraulic actuation of bands and clutches these new dual clutch units have some quirks as a clutch can only limit torque and slippage is needed on startup which inherently wears the clutches. While a fluid coupling has near infinite life and shifting performance is controlled with fluid pressure and valves and restrictions it's controlled with electronic actuators and a computer by way of 2 clutches, one for 1st, 3rd,and 5th and another for 2nd, 4th and 6th. software is in control instead of clever valving and fluid dynamics.

It may look like an auto but driving needs to be adjusted in traffic. resist temptation to inch up. also try to match the engine speed to the car speed as it starts to roll for longer life. and no matter what "fix" they may come up with in software, using neutral when you anticipate sitting, like at a drive through, or in stop and go traffic will never be a bad idea.

Frustrating, yes.. The salesman should explain this. But unfortunately this is common for European cars due to lower parasitic loss and better economy. If you want a real auto with no real maintenance and tolerant to normal driving you may not want a fiat.... The dodges are nice though and without a 1.4 turbo you do get a true auto. Other nice options for the money are the Korean cars, Hyundai (they always had good engines and learned to make a trans), kia (really uses gm stuff) but if you need something other than a sedan the jeep Cherokee sport has a 9speed auto rather than a dct.

Japanese cars are always good but probably less value than the other options.

markinmad
12-26-2013, 04:58 PM
It may look like an auto but driving needs to be adjusted in traffic. resist temptation to inch up. also try to match the engine speed to the car speed as it starts to roll for longer life

I drove a rental DDCT 500L in stop and go, rush hour traffic and this is exactly what I did. Drive like you have a manual trans and let the car putter along without touching the gas or brake as much as you can. I like to call it zen and the art of driving in heavy traffic. It comes from many many many years driving through Chicago in stick shift vehicles.

dart1.4t
12-26-2013, 08:59 PM
i just had a conversation with Chris today and he said they do plan to introduce a normal auto eventually. maybe enough complaints and they'll give a good deal on a trade in towards one with real auto.

Curious
12-27-2013, 08:30 PM
The thing is that its not a classic auto. Its more like a manual with a counter shaft. clutches are attached to the engine...

A traditional automatic uses planetary gears and drums that are held with bands that act as clutches (as well as multi disk wet clutches in the trans) and there is a fluid coupling called a stall converter or torque converter that for complicated reasons increases torque as it slips to make it easy to move the car then goes into a low slip mode as the car starts rolling then in higher gears goes into a locked mode via a clutch.

Without the fancy fluid coupling and shifting via hydraulic actuation of bands and clutches these new dual clutch units have some quirks as a clutch can only limit torque and slippage is needed on startup which inherently wears the clutches. While a fluid coupling has near infinite life and shifting performance is controlled with fluid pressure and valves and restrictions it's controlled with electronic actuators and a computer by way of 2 clutches, one for 1st, 3rd,and 5th and another for 2nd, 4th and 6th. software is in control instead of clever valving and fluid dynamics.

It may look like an auto but driving needs to be adjusted in traffic. resist temptation to inch up. also try to match the engine speed to the car speed as it starts to roll for longer life. and no matter what "fix" they may come up with in software, using neutral when you anticipate sitting, like at a drive through, or in stop and go traffic will never be a bad idea.

Frustrating, yes.. The salesman should explain this. But unfortunately this is common for European cars due to lower parasitic loss and better economy. If you want a real auto with no real maintenance and tolerant to normal driving you may not want a fiat.... The dodges are nice though and without a 1.4 turbo you do get a true auto. Other nice options for the money are the Korean cars, Hyundai (they always had good engines and learned to make a trans), kia (really uses gm stuff) but if you need something other than a sedan the jeep Cherokee sport has a 9speed auto rather than a dct.

Japanese cars are always good but probably less value than the other options.

All of the above is all well and good to know. But to me the bottom line is simple: you pay over $25,000.00 for a car; it should work, with any transmission.

dart1.4t
12-28-2013, 02:51 AM
All of the above is all well and good to know. But to me the bottom line is simple: you pay over $25,000.00 for a car; it should work, with any transmission.

i agree. 10,000 miles isn't really excusable for a failure... if it was 50-100,000 with a worn clutch it could be debated since it is a wearable part... but since the parts are worn without manual control over the clutch it's on the warranty people, not you. just trying to help you out on the next decision. say if you like that car, maybe you might want to work out a lemmon law deal then get it replaced with one with a normal auto when they become available.

Crundle15
12-31-2013, 12:24 PM
All of the above is all well and good to know. But to me the bottom line is simple: you pay over $25,000.00 for a car; it should work, with any transmission.

My exact feeling. But everyone keeps treating me like its my fault (not driving properly, shouldn't have bought a first year car, etc.). At this point I just give up. I'm gonna try bear it out for another year or so but I foresee having to take the loss and trading it in.