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Jpooncanada
02-12-2014, 09:54 PM
Hi all,

I am new to this forum and am waiting for my new car which should be ready on the 23rd.

I have been following this forum since I started looking for a car and it really worries me when looking at all the threads about transmission issue and such. However, I really love the look of this car from outside to inside that I have to get it!!! I am in Canada and I guess many of you are also experiencing the crazy winter this year. I wonder if the 500L in US have engine block heater as base? I wonder if it will help with the transmission or start up issue? What do you think?

Also, when reading the user manual, it did mention a lot of possibilities that the transmission will get locked up if it is too hot or too cold. Seems like something they put in as purpose to 'protect' the transmission, yet too over-protective and causing many of the drivers grieves instead of pleasure.

Your thoughts? ;)

Tweak
02-12-2014, 10:12 PM
Hi all,

I am new to this forum and am waiting for my new car which should be ready on the 23rd.

I have been following this forum since I started looking for a car and it really worries me when looking at all the threads about transmission issue and such. However, I really love the look of this car from outside to inside that I have to get it!!! I am in Canada and I guess many of you are also experiencing the crazy winter this year. I wonder if the 500L in US have engine block heater as base? I wonder if it will help with the transmission or start up issue? What do you think?

Also, when reading the user manual, it did mention a lot of possibilities that the transmission will get locked up if it is too hot or too cold. Seems like something they put in as purpose to 'protect' the transmission, yet too over-protective and causing many of the drivers grieves instead of pleasure.

Your thoughts? ;)

Welcome to the forum.

No thoughts on the issue mentioned, sorry.

VALibertarian
02-12-2014, 11:14 PM
The engine heater does not come with the base in the US. Who knows, it very well may resolve the issues. However, note the final time I had unsafe issues with the transmission, it was an unusual 60 degrees outside.

When cold, it started hard at -2 degrees. It will also fail to start at 60 degrees.

I'm sorry I really don't have a clear answer but the 500L does not seem to have a pattern to its flaws -- the only reliable outcome is that you're going to have issues.

I hate to say it but I don't recommend that you buy this car -- wait another year until they get all of the bugs worked out then reevaluate the decision.

Jpooncanada
02-12-2014, 11:25 PM
The engine heater does not come with the base in the US. Who knows, it very well may resolve the issues. However, note the final time I had unsafe issues with the transmission, it was an unusual 60 degrees outside.

When cold, it started hard at -2 degrees. It will also fail to start at 60 degrees.

I'm sorry I really don't have a clear answer but the 500L does not seem to have a pattern to its flaws -- the only reliable outcome is that you're going to have issues.

I hate to say it but I don't recommend that you buy this car -- wait another year until they get all of the bugs worked out then reevaluate the decision.

Thank you for your input... Family is at a car fighting war and so I need a car ASAP. MINI Countryman was my previous car and I loved it, but like most said, it is sooooo expensive. Looked at the Kis Soul and it has a too special look that is not my cup of tea. Subaru xv crosstrek is another option but... Kinda boring.... Sigh. :(

aderoy
02-13-2014, 06:18 AM
I have just picked up the 500 Sport (a few hours ago -- lastnight) and it had the block heater. Would have to suggest that you call or visit the Fiat Studio near you. That will be the finally answer imho

Tweak
02-13-2014, 12:11 PM
I have just picked up the 500 Sport (a few hours ago -- lastnight) and it had the block heater. Would have to suggest that you call or visit the Fiat Studio near you. That will be the finally answer imho

Congrats on your new Sport and welcome to the

Jpooncanada
02-13-2014, 03:43 PM
I have just picked up the 500 Sport (a few hours ago -- lastnight) and it had the block heater. Would have to suggest that you call or visit the Fiat Studio near you. That will be the finally answer imho

Thank you aderoy. Congrats on your new 500 Sport! I joined another forum and people talked about the transmission issue flying around and I got lots of people expressed no issue with theirs. I guess it's a hit or miss type of thing. I hope I'll get a good one. :)

VALibertarian
02-13-2014, 04:38 PM
It may be helpful to ask your dealer about the update to the shift module. The update supposedly resolves the issue but it's not available to flash. They have to replace your shifter to update the software at this time. Before you drive it off of the lot, be sure to have the latest version -- I wish I had known this and it would have saved my wife a great deal of disappointment.

Jpooncanada
02-14-2014, 09:35 PM
It may be helpful to ask your dealer about the update to the shift module. The update supposedly resolves the issue but it's not available to flash. They have to replace your shifter to update the software at this time. Before you drive it off of the lot, be sure to have the latest version -- I wish I had known this and it would have saved my wife a great deal of disappointment.
Thanks so much for your update! Glad that you have found the solution to the issue. I will definitely check it out when picking up the car. :)

VALibertarian
02-15-2014, 10:15 AM
I can't say it's "the" solution. It's just what Fiat is selling for the moment. My wife's Fiat has now hit week three in the service department and I cannot verify it's fixed until we get it back. If we get past week four, I'm taking the lemon law and going with another car.

nickle
02-15-2014, 02:10 PM
Hi Poon,

Fiat 500L does have a block heater with the base model. I am a Canadian, you need to plug the car in especially with winters like this year! That being said you should plug ANY car in. No car likes starting up in -30 and it is hard on them if you don't plug it in or warm them up. I am new at a dealership in Manitoba, but I have not seen any transmission problems, have see very few problems starting the cars especially when plugged in. There is one I have dubbed the Black Bastard that doesn't like to start unless plugged in. There is a 2012 500 Sport that is finicky when not plugged in as well.

Jpooncanada
02-15-2014, 04:45 PM
Hi Poon,

Fiat 500L does have a block heater with the base model. I am a Canadian, you need to plug the car in especially with winters like this year! That being said you should plug ANY car in. No car likes starting up in -30 and it is hard on them if you don't plug it in or warm them up. I am new at a dealership in Manitoba, but I have not seen any transmission problems, have see very few problems starting the cars especially when plugged in. There is one I have dubbed the Black Bastard that doesn't like to start unless plugged in. There is a 2012 500 Sport that is finicky when not plugged in as well.

Thanks, Nickle! Mine will come with block heater. My worry is that my car will be parked at work outdoor for 9 hours before heading home and I suspect any plug will a available there... I might need to buy a charger and leave in the trunk?

Stacey Willard
03-04-2014, 09:46 AM
I have a 500L and have been having terrible transmission issues, to the point that it's going on the 3rd week that the car has been in the shop waiting for a fix. I smell lemon law in just over a week. I have a engine block heater in my Trekking. It did NOT help the transmission issues. It did help the car warm up quickly but no affect on the flashing gear shifter light and engine light issues I have had.

Jpooncanada
03-05-2014, 11:12 PM
I have a 500L and have been having terrible transmission issues, to the point that it's going on the 3rd week that the car has been in the shop waiting for a fix. I smell lemon law in just over a week. I have a engine block heater in my Trekking. It did NOT help the transmission issues. It did help the car warm up quickly but no affect on the flashing gear shifter light and engine light issues I have had.

Oh no, Stacey. Sorry to hear that you are having the issue. I will make my 1 week mark on having my 500L tomorrow. I only had a similar issue once but I don't think it was as serious as what you are encountering. It was a cold day and I was trying to back out of the driveway as soon as I start up the engine. I admit that I did it a bit too quick... Almost like turned the key and tried to move from P to R in the immediate next second. Only P blinked for a few times while wasn't really able to move it to R. Wait a couple sec after the blinking stopped and then it was good to go (able to back my car out). So I understood it was my mistake. Now that I know how to be nice to it, I hope the issue will not happen again... I keep hearing that software update may fix your issue and so I hope you will get it upgraded ASAP.

Perhaps to make you feel better, i had got 3 lemon cars in 10 years of my 'leasing life' - TSX (a very embarrass situation that the alarm would not stop even when driving it and which happened every week for 2 months and finally had to get my husband to drive 50km to my work to pick me up; had complained all the way up to HQ; required a complete computer unit replacement), Q5 (unexplainable engine light going off non-stop for all 3 years of lease term; never fixed), and MINI Countryman (an automatic version would stall when trying to press on gas paddle after stopping in D; created a few dangerous situation like stopped at intersection while waiting to finish a left turn, when ready to go, the car stalled at the intersection; ended up 3 visits at the dealership with me telling them to check on firmware update which I found as solution in forum and was ignored as usual; finally got them to do it on the 4th visit; issue fixed). I think I am black listed by those dealerships already. LOL.

Stacey Willard
03-05-2014, 11:34 PM
Good luck. Tomorrow my car has been in the shop 3 straight weeks, not including the week it was in a week after I got the car. If it's still there in a week, I am writing Fiat to have them buy it back from me. I don't know if I want another one if I may face the same issues. I really wish the regular automatic was here or the Fiat 500X.

nickle
03-05-2014, 11:39 PM
I am glad that someone can see that all makes and models will have some lemons that are, statistically, bulit on a Monday or Friday! You will need to give the tranny a few moments to transfer into gear. It is not a normal N.American transmission and most people, including myself, that first drive it will take some time to get used to it. That is my experience in that last couple of months.

nickle
03-05-2014, 11:43 PM
The 500X is not far away! Do not stray far from the family because of one lemon!! It is really too bad about the issues you are having. Good luck with writing Fiat. I know Fiat Canada has been good to a few customers that have had significant issues.

Stacey Willard
03-06-2014, 10:26 AM
I am glad that someone can see that all makes and models will have some lemons that are, statistically, bulit on a Monday or Friday! You will need to give the tranny a few moments to transfer into gear. It is not a normal N.American transmission and most people, including myself, that first drive it will take some time to get used to it. That is my experience in that last couple of months.

I've had it since July so I have given it plenty of time to get used to the dual clutch, but I do not like it. The problem I have is not just when I first put it into gear, but when I was on the freeway driving it to the Fiat studio to have it checked out, the transmission error message came on the dash and said that the gear was missing or something like that.

I'd definitely give Fiat another try, but not this transmission since it seems to have many issues for many people.

Jpooncanada
03-06-2014, 10:56 PM
I've had it since July so I have given it plenty of time to get used to the dual clutch, but I do not like it. The problem I have is not just when I first put it into gear, but when I was on the freeway driving it to the Fiat studio to have it checked out, the transmission error message came on the dash and said that the gear was missing or something like that.

I'd definitely give Fiat another try, but not this transmission since it seems to have many issues for many people.

I will say Fiat is not a bad car at all if there is no issue. It seems to be a hit and miss. I am lucky enough to miss it this time (so now I am at my 33% lemon free record now, haha). I do understand your frustration but see if you can give it a 2nd chance. Even see if they can replace your car with one that has a more recent manufacturing date? That should give it a newer firmware. If I remember correctly, seems to be those with the transmission issues were from the earliest batch like Jun/Jul 2013? Same as all the nice lemons I had - always the 1st batch out. Feels like if one wants the newest technology, it comes with the risk of being the guinea pig or the outsource QC for any brand. This type of problems are probably not as common with old cars because you can see all problem by looking at wires and cables. Every problems are 'tangible'. But now that all cars are controlled by computers, it makes problems harder to troubleshoot and not to mention to resolve it.

So still no news about firmware update?

Jpooncanada
03-06-2014, 11:03 PM
Hi Poon,

Fiat 500L does have a block heater with the base model. I am a Canadian, you need to plug the car in especially with winters like this year! That being said you should plug ANY car in. No car likes starting up in -30 and it is hard on them if you don't plug it in or warm them up. I am new at a dealership in Manitoba, but I have not seen any transmission problems, have see very few problems starting the cars especially when plugged in. There is one I have dubbed the Black Bastard that doesn't like to start unless plugged in. There is a 2012 500 Sport that is finicky when not plugged in as well.

I keep forgetting to search for it. I read in other threads with pictures showing its location but not yet go look into it. Also, I will need to find a lunch time at work to find the plugs at the parking lot. I really doubt I will find one as it is an old building and not that big....:(

Stacey Willard
03-06-2014, 11:07 PM
I will say Fiat is not a bad car at all if there is no issue. It seems to be a hit and miss. I am lucky enough to miss it this time (so now I am at my 33% lemon free record now, haha). I do understand your frustration but see if you can give it a 2nd chance. Even see if they can replace your car with one that has a more recent manufacturing date? That should give it a newer firmware. If I remember correctly, seems to be those with the transmission issues were from the earliest batch like Jun/Jul 2013? Same as all the nice lemons I had - always the 1st batch out. Feels like if one wants the newest technology, it comes with the risk of being the guinea pig or the outsource QC for any brand. This type of problems are probably not as common with old cars because you can see all problem by looking at wires and cables. Every problems are 'tangible'. But now that all cars are controlled by computers, it makes problems harder to troubleshoot and not to mention to resolve it.

So still no news about firmware update?

Nope, no news. Today marked the 3 straight weeks it's been at the dealership. If they confirmed that the problem is with a certain batch of Fiat 500L, then I would probably ask them to replace my car with a newer manufacture date. My only concern is that the trekking packages listed on the fiatusa page don't vibe with how my car is loaded. According to the website, you can't get heated seats (package 6) and the sunroof (package 5), but mine has both.

Jpooncanada
03-08-2014, 12:01 AM
Nope, no news. Today marked the 3 straight weeks it's been at the dealership. If they confirmed that the problem is with a certain batch of Fiat 500L, then I would probably ask them to replace my car with a newer manufacture date. My only concern is that the trekking packages listed on the fiatusa page don't vibe with how my car is loaded. According to the website, you can't get heated seats (package 6) and the sunroof (package 5), but mine has both.

Icic. I am not sure about how it is different than Canada. Mine is trekking with both. I think if they agree to replace it, at least they will replace it with one that have things you want or even with extra stuff without cost... They just need to find something close enough. Do check with them about a replacement with more recent date. If they are ok to give you one, no harm in trying. If the new one is good, it will be a less complicated solution. Going through the lemon law might give you another set of headache.... Who am I to say without such experience... Keeping my finger crossed for you. Hope you stay with the Fiat family.

Stacey Willard
03-08-2014, 12:15 AM
I can't say it's "the" solution. It's just what Fiat is selling for the moment. My wife's Fiat has now hit week three in the service department and I cannot verify it's fixed until we get it back. If we get past week four, I'm taking the lemon law and going with another car.

You are probably right that it would be the easier solution to try for. My first two cars were Fiats when I was a teenager. 1978 Fiat 128 and 1980 Fiat Strada.

Jpooncanada
03-08-2014, 02:08 PM
You are probably right that it would be the easier solution to try for. My first two cars were Fiats when I was a teenager. 1978 Fiat 128 and 1980 Fiat Strada.

Check the other thread about reliability. It looks like a recall is happening that will help with the issue!!! :)