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JustB
03-04-2014, 11:52 AM
So I left my 500L Lounge (purchased in Sept 2013, just over 6000 miles) in a parking deck in DC for 4 days while I went on a trip. The doors were locked, and no lights were left on. When I got back to my car, the battery was very dead. So bad that the button to open the latch in the back wouldn't fully disengage. Granted, we had some cold weather (between 14F-44F) during that time and some snow, but I've left other cars out in worse conditions for longer and not had an issue. I've also not driven my 500L for 5 days and not had a problem with it.

After getting a jump, it seems to be working fine. Still, I called up my studio and the service guy I spoke to told me that they've been having some issues with them dying due to the "weak batteries" being used. Have there been other folks who have had these kinds of problems? I really don't think that a battery which is less than a year old should be having these kinds of problems.

Doohickie
03-04-2014, 02:06 PM
It's not even 6 months old. Did the studio offer to replace it? I would ask.

JustB
03-04-2014, 10:19 PM
They said that if it had a problem after the jump start then they would replace it.

gtleo106
03-04-2014, 11:15 PM
See my post http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showthread.php?14364-500L-Dead-Battery that I just put up two days ago. I have less then 3000 miles on mine and battery has died twice. Purchased 500L at end of June right after they went on sale. I will be calling studio tomorrow in the hopes of getting a new battery.

rwsyclone
03-14-2014, 12:57 AM
We have had our 2014 500L for 3 months and use it a lot as our tow vehicle behind our motorhome. After about 3-4 days of sitting the battery kept going dead. This is obviously a problem so I thought I would go ahead and upgrade the battery to the Optima. This problem still exists but I can now park the car for 5 days and then I need to get the battery charger out. We noticed this problem prior to having the car wired and the towing brackets installed.

Naturally, the car is wired for the brake lights and running lights which plug into motorhome and this is not the issue. We also have a charging line from the motorhome so that the battery in the car is charged to keep the braking system up to full power when being towed.

From reading the threads here this seems to be a problem. I have not called the dealer but I will be doing so tomorrow as I have the charger on the car now as it was dead again.

Tweak
03-14-2014, 04:20 PM
Welcome to the forum.

Definitely has been an issue for many, hopefully something that gets resolved soon. Hope you enjoy the forum and good luck with your issue!

evbruno
03-14-2014, 04:25 PM
You can get probe to see how well the battery is charging at you local auto parts store they not very expensive. I had problem on 1999 Cougar where it was charging fine at low speeds, but at higher speeds with defroster and headlights on it stopped the charging battery (which is how my wife drive it at night coming home from work). You also use a trickle charger to top off battery and see if problem happens again, the battery may be fine but is not getting recharged by the engine/alternator depending on your driving habits.

You can decent trickle charge for between US $40-60 at any auto parts store, I bought one when I moved back to US in 1988, it's still working fine.
For US $50.00 you can get this which should answer most of your questions about the battery:

135-Amp battery load tester can be used to test 6- and 12-volt acid batteries, hardtop batteries, maintenance-free batteries, and discharged batteries. It comes with a built-in starter tester, and has the following tests: Battery voltage supply, Good or bad battery test, Charging system voltage, Test starter cranking volts.

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/SS02/44200/N0366.oap?ck=Search_battery+tester_N0366_-1_2913&keyword=battery+tester&pt=N0366&ppt=C0061

RagingBullWinkle
03-14-2014, 04:54 PM
Parked the car Nov. 15 and started it every 10 days over the winter, the last two times I had to jump it.
Now that it’s warm it will only hold a charge 2.5 days so off to the studio tomorrow. Next year the battery comes in the house. I know it was a long cold winter but come on the car is 6 months old.

rwsyclone
03-14-2014, 05:39 PM
I called one dealer and they said they had heard of the problem but it was just loose cables on a car. The other dealer here in town said it has been an ongoing problem and that the factory had sent numerous software changes and not one of them solved the problem. They did say that the factory was working on the problem and that he and the service manager was well aware of the problem. He said to not leave the car at the airport or elsewhere for more than a few days as I was well aware of and to check back in a few weeks to see if there was a fix.

I then called the factory number for Fiat, near Detroit, MI and spoke to an young lady who took all of my information and tried to call the dealer to get their input ( I have never been to the dealer as I know the problem of parasitic loads is there and that the dealer is well aware too) but the the "service adviser" was not able to take the call. She said she would gather the info from the factory Techs and dealer and get back to me. Nothing at this time.

Has anyone else gotten any further than I have?

Fiat500USA
03-14-2014, 06:37 PM
http://www.optimabatteries.com/en-us/experience/power-source/battery-voltage-101/

If a battery needs to constantly be jumped it needs to be charged up on a proper battery charger. Your car isn't made to charge up a dead battery. The longer the battery stays under a full charge the greater the chance it will be damaged and start to sulfate. You may just have enough power to start the car and not even notice the battery is discharged, and it is not good for a battery to remain like that. One day you'll go out to the car and it won't start and the battery will not even be that old.

This is a common situation. For example, a fully charged battery is 12.4 volts. If your battery is 12.1 it still may start your car and you may not ever realize it is a problem but there is. At 12.1 volts a battery can be considered 50% discharged and that battery is not going to last as long as it should. Remember, anything less than 12.4 and the battery can start to sulfate. A lot of cars are driving around like this.

I would recommend anyone who is having a battery issue to get their battery fully charged and tested. Places like Autozone do it for free. This way you can start off knowing your battery is fully charged and you'll get the best life out of what you have. You will also be better able to track if you are having an issue with your car or if it a simple run down battery that has sulfated from being undercharged.

evbruno
03-15-2014, 04:04 AM
http://www.optimabatteries.com/en-us/experience/power-source/battery-voltage-101/ If a battery needs to constantly be jumped it needs to be charged up on a proper battery charger. Your car isn't made to charge up a dead battery. The longer the battery stays under a full charge the greater the chance it will be damaged and start to sulfate. You may just have enough power to start the car and not even notice the battery is discharged, and it is not good for a battery to remain like that. One day you'll go out to the car and it won't start and the battery will not even be that old. This is a common situation. For example, a fully charged battery is 12.4 volts. If your battery is 12.1 it still may start your car and you may not ever realize it is a problem but there is. At 12.1 volts a battery can be considered 50% discharged and that battery is not going to last as long as it should. Remember anything less than 12.4 and the battery can start to sulfate. A lot of cars are driving around like this.I would recommend anyone who is having a battery issue to get their battery fully charged and tested. Places like Autozone do it for free. This way you can start off knowing your battery is fully charged and you'll get the best life out of what you have.

Left the head lights on my 1998 Mystique and drained the battery about two weeks ago, I jumped it then pulled the car into garage plugged the trickle charger, let it charge the battery over night, good as new. But it took 7 or 8 hours to fully charge.

rwsyclone
03-15-2014, 02:58 PM
Administrator, I did just that shortly after we purchased the 500L and I charged the battery via a high line charger. I also had the stock battery tested and it was actually good, so obviously there is a load somewhere in these cars despite being "off." Despite the stock battery testing "good" I went ahead and bought the Optima battery which was nearly twice the amperage rating of the stock battery. Same issue with battery drain but as stated in previous post the 500L can be parked for about a day longer. We have a 2013 Mercedes and a 2013 Silverado and have left them for over a month at the dock and airport for over two months and have never had an issue starting. At least Fiat states they are working on the problem and hope they resolve the problem soon. For those who need to take a flight I would recommend they take a taxi to the airport just as Fiat recommended.

John Montgomery
03-16-2014, 12:39 PM
We have seen some and heard a few reports of battery problems on 500L, especially after being parked for several days. A couple of observations may be helpful.
First, the 500L "Mopar" battery is a 500 CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) made overseas. The 2 door Fiat also uses a Mopar 500 CCA battery, but it is made in Mexico.
So they are the same battery made in two different locations. (The SAE J537 CCA test mandates to cool a fully charged battery to -18C (0F) for 24 hours, and while at subfreezing temperature apply a high-current discharge that simulates the cranking of an engine. A 500 CCA battery would need to supply 500A for 30 seconds and stay above 7.2V (1.2V/cell) to pass. If it fails the test, the battery has a CCA rating of less than 500A.)
The big difference occurs when you turn the key of a 500L. There is a lot of systems that have to come up on a 500L that don't even exist on a Fiat 500. Check out the fuse listing in the owners manual, there is a ton of electrical systems that pull up at startup. For a list see your owners guide: http://www.fiatusa.com/en/owners/manuals/index.html
Body Controllers 2 x 60 AMP
Antilock Brake Pump 40 AMPS
Antilock Brake Valves 20 AMPS
Electric Power Steering 70 AMPS
PTC Primary 40 AMP
PTC Secondary 70 AMPS
Transmission 40 AMPS
Radio, Climate control, TPMS pressure sensor reader
2x Interior lights than 500 2 door
Daytime running lights

Perhaps it is safe to say that US versions of the 500 L is the most heavily laden with electronics. We certainly have the most government mandates that require safety systems in place and operating at startup. It is easy to see there is a lot of draw on a 500L. The new PCM reflash service bulletin issued on 3/12/14 does address engine crank times. This should help since while the engine starter motor is cranking, all these massive power draws are coming up too.
There is a larger CCA battery available on the market that would fit, that may solve a lot of these issues. Meanwhile, it may be a good idea to shutdown as many systems as possible before you park the car. Shutting off the AC system, the radio, headlight switch off, daytime running lights off, etc... at shutdown is a good idea in any car especially in cold weather overnight conditions.

gtleo106
04-13-2014, 10:49 AM
UPDATE: Fiat had my car for 25 DAYS! and could not find the problem. They acknowledged that there were 100 milliamp(?) spikes when they put a meter on the battery to measure activity when the car was not running. They took apart the dash, checked fuses, connections, wiring, etc. They called Chrsler's "STAR" service that tracks issues and fixes and could not find a fix. Their solution, call again if the battery dies and bring it in. Say what?!? Service rep had copious notes on all the investigative diagnostics they had performed. When I asked for copies of the notes, he said he needed the service manager's approval, and he wasn't in at the time. Asked rep to email them to me. Haven't seen them yet.

Kau500
04-29-2014, 04:24 PM
I realize this thread has been quiet for a while, but is anybody else out there still experiencing problems? I bought my wife a 500L treking just over a month ago, and it's been back to the dealer twice with a dead battery. We've definitely not left lights on, and tried leaving doors unlocked and locked as some people have suggested, but it's made no difference.

I can't say I've been impressed by the dealer service either; they've said the problem is caused by the car not being driven enough. If the car was left for weeks at a time I would maybe be more sympathetic, but it's used every 3-4 days. We live in California, so no cold weather excuses either.

They've said the battery is holding a charge and the alternator is ok, which obviously points at a parasitic drain when the car is parked. They then stated that the alarm system was draining power, and offered to disconnect it, which I called BS on: when I pressed them I got no confidence they'd actually put an ammeter in series and checked to see what was causing a drain. I also have a issue buying a new car, paying for an alarm system and then being told I can't use the alarm because it drains the battery.

Overall we like the car, but these types of issues are exactly the reason why people buy small Japanese cars. It's currently in the dealer for 2-3 days for them to check it out further, so I'll guess we'll see what happens. If anyone else has had any success solving this battery drain issue please let me know.

Thanks

streetsurfer
04-29-2014, 05:01 PM
An alternator can be good and put out properly, and a battery can have all good cells, yet still remain undercharged due to dirty battery, ground, or other charging system harness connections. Impedance there can result in an undercharged state. I think the first thing to always do is to remove and clean the battery connections with a dedicated post and cable cleaning tool or more carefully with a wire brush, replace, and make sure they are tight. Go from there, then. Long periods of non-use have often tended to foul connections in the vehicles I've owned. I am surprised that in these discussions, it is not mentioned that the service departments first checked, cleaned, and tightened connections at the battery. As well, if there is any difference between the make up of the metals used in a battery post vs a clamp, you have the opportunity for galvanic corrosion to set in, which will cause a voltage drop. The same applies at all body, chassis, and engine grounds.

Tweak
04-30-2014, 12:19 AM
I realize this thread has been quiet for a while, but is anybody else out there still experiencing problems? I bought my wife a 500L treking just over a month ago, and it's been back to the dealer twice with a dead battery. We've definitely not left lights on, and tried leaving doors unlocked and locked as some people have suggested, but it's made no difference.

I can't say I've been impressed by the dealer service either; they've said the problem is caused by the car not being driven enough. If the car was left for weeks at a time I would maybe be more sympathetic, but it's used every 3-4 days. We live in California, so no cold weather excuses either.

They've said the battery is holding a charge and the alternator is ok, which obviously points at a parasitic drain when the car is parked. They then stated that the alarm system was draining power, and offered to disconnect it, which I called BS on: when I pressed them I got no confidence they'd actually put an ammeter in series and checked to see what was causing a drain. I also have a issue buying a new car, paying for an alarm system and then being told I can't use the alarm because it drains the battery.

Overall we like the car, but these types of issues are exactly the reason why people buy small Japanese cars. It's currently in the dealer for 2-3 days for them to check it out further, so I'll guess we'll see what happens. If anyone else has had any success solving this battery drain issue please let me know.

Thanks

Welcome to the forum. Good luck with resolving your issue.

Kau500
04-30-2014, 12:35 AM
Street surfer, thanks for your reply. I'll check battery connections, galvanic corrosion is not a issue with the car only being a few months old. I have had a issue with a poor terminal ground before so I know the symptoms: in that case it was pretty obvious, as you could see the galvanic corrosion on the terminal and feel that the ground wire was warm due to the increased resistance.