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JWD
02-16-2015, 08:07 PM
So, I go out this afternoon to run some errands in my new 2014 500L, the one that I’ve had for a little over a month. It’s cold out, but doesn’t seem any colder to me than it’s been recently. Turn the key. It turns over, but doesn’t start. Turn the key again. Turns over, but doesn’t start. Once more, same result. I think, well, I didn’t drive it yesterday, maybe I’ve got one of the 500Ls I’ve been reading about that have battery issues. Try once again, just in case. Starts up this time. Life is good. See that it is 15 degrees, maybe it was just the cold.
Idle for a minute. See that the digital mileage display on the EVIC is flashing, something it’s been doing since last Thursday, when I had the radio that was having problems replaced with a new radio that has the same problems. (Plus the continuously blinking mileage display–who would even program it to be able to do such a thing?-and steering wheel controls that now don’t work. Problems for another day.)
Set off on my trip, navigate a few quick turns, come to an open stretch of road, begin to accelerate, notice that the car does not seem to be shifting into a higher gear. Look and see the car is in D2. Back off the gas, accelerate again, see and hear the RPMs increasing, hear the gears not shifting into 3rd, see the display holding steady on D2. Think to try putting the dual clutch into manual mode, which I don’t use, the display reads 2, try manually shifting to 3rd, nothing happens – stuck in 2. Put it back in automatic. Come to a stop because of traffic, display holds steady on D2. Think about turning the car off right then, but don’t want to be stopped on one of the busiest roads in the county at rush hour. Drive in D2 to the next place where I can turn into a parking lot. Come to a stop in D2. Try reverse – that works, that’ something. Pull forward into a parking space in D2 and turn off the car.
Think, let’s start the car up again and, just for grins, see if the gears work and everything is okay now. It could be like the cruse controls on my car, and sometimes not work unless you come to a stop, turn the car off, and turn it on again. (Which is not a grave problem but somewhat annoying.) Or, maybe it will display a code on start-up that I can report to whoever it is I think I’m going to contact about this new situation with the car. Turn the key. Dash lights up, dead battery sound, doesn’t turn over. Try again, doesn’t turn over. Think that maybe I tried a third time and didn’t even get lights, but not certain of that memory. Anyway, the car is not starting, that’s pretty clear. It’s beginning to dawn on me that I did not remember to bring my cell phone with me, and it is 15 degrees.
I decide to go over to the office building that the parking lot I’m in belongs to and look for someone who will lend me a phone. Get out of the car. Press lock on the key fob. Out of a combination of superstition, blind desperation, and OCD tendencies, unlock the car with the fob, get in, turn the key in the ignition. Starts right up. Reverse out of the space I’m in, put it in drive. See D1 looking back at me. Begin to accelerate. D1 changes to D2, changes to D3, changes to D4... I know, what a thing!
Figure going home first is the best plan. Go home, shut the car off, go in to retrieve my cell phone (seems like maybe not a good plan to take a trip in this car without it). Get back in the car, starts right up. Takes me to the store. I get some groceries, along with everyone else stocking up before the coming snow. Forget milk and eggs (well, not entirely--wasn’t willing to leave my place in the checkout line to go back for them). Get back home with no problems. As if nothing had ever happened.
Don’t even know where to begin.

Ciao,
John

Tweak
02-16-2015, 08:43 PM
Welcome to the forum John.

Sorry to read of your mishaps with your 500L. I know several have spoken of battery related issues and I think there is a new update that resolves that. I know the flashing odometer is commonly caused by head unit changes but I'd have thought the dealer would account for such, hopefully they can do the proper software updating and get things resolved for you properly!

DDT
02-16-2015, 10:28 PM
John,

I had an automatic DDCT Easy do the same thing to me back in November. The car wouldn't shift out of D2 no matter what I tried. Seemed to come about after the car had trouble starting. They diagnosed it as being a defective TCM Transmission Control Module. That is after a recall had been performed on the gearbox 7 months earlier.

In the end I traded it in for a manual Trekking. Couldn't be more pleased.

JWD
02-17-2015, 12:05 AM
Thanks for the response, Super M.
Head unit changes? Not sure what you’re referring to; but, off-hand, doesn’t sound to me like something you’d do while replacing a radio. What are head unit changes? Why would you want to have your odometer blink after having one?
My thought was that this blinking odometer Feature was a way for Fiat to draw my attention to how clever they were to design the odometer to display whole miles only (if there’s a way to select fractional mile display, I can’t find it), while providing me with a NAV system that instructs me to “Turn in one half mile”. I mean, if I had been the person smart enough to figure out that tenths of miles were an unnecessary relic of the automotive past, I’d want to send out a continuously blinking orange reminder of that to everyone. (Maybe that’s just me.)
But, serious question: is there a way to get a display of the software versions that are installed in the car, so these can be checked against any changes made when the car is serviced? I had a vague feeling when I got the car back from having the radio replaced a couple of days ago that the gear shift timing had changed; but that seemed like nonsense, since why would you change gear timing with radio software? I didn't have concrete evidence that anything had changed – it was just a feeling I had from being somewhat familiar with the car. And it could be nonsense to think that they changed anything. But, then, so is being stuck in second gear, and so is being stuck in second gear until you turn your car off and back on again.
So, any way to inventory the software patch level of any or all of the various modules on the car with transitory software?
Thanks again.
John

JWD
02-17-2015, 12:11 AM
Thanks for the response, DDT. Did you have this problem off and on, or did it lock on to 2nd and hang there until you traded it away? Was there an actual diagnostic procedure that identified the problem as the TCM? Did they suggest replacing the TCM?
Sorry for all the questions. Thanks for the info. Ciao,
John

Tweak
02-17-2015, 11:55 AM
Thanks for the response, Super M.
Head unit changes? Not sure what you’re referring to; but, off-hand, doesn’t sound to me like something you’d do while replacing a radio. What are head unit changes? Why would you want to have your odometer blink after having one?
My thought was that this blinking odometer Feature was a way for Fiat to draw my attention to how clever they were to design the odometer to display whole miles only (if there’s a way to select fractional mile display, I can’t find it), while providing me with a NAV system that instructs me to “Turn in one half mile”. I mean, if I had been the person smart enough to figure out that tenths of miles were an unnecessary relic of the automotive past, I’d want to send out a continuously blinking orange reminder of that to everyone. (Maybe that’s just me.)
But, serious question: is there a way to get a display of the software versions that are installed in the car, so these can be checked against any changes made when the car is serviced? I had a vague feeling when I got the car back from having the radio replaced a couple of days ago that the gear shift timing had changed; but that seemed like nonsense, since why would you change gear timing with radio software? I didn't have concrete evidence that anything had changed – it was just a feeling I had from being somewhat familiar with the car. And it could be nonsense to think that they changed anything. But, then, so is being stuck in second gear, and so is being stuck in second gear until you turn your car off and back on again.
So, any way to inventory the software patch level of any or all of the various modules on the car with transitory software?
Thanks again.
John

A head unit is the stereo, sorry for the confusion.

JWD
02-17-2015, 03:27 PM
Buyers_Remorse,

"Its been at the shop since and no word other than they cant find any issues with the trans.. "

Uhmm, I hope you mean they can't find any issues with it aside from it not shifting out of 2nd gear. <g/ng>

Thanks for your response. Sorry to hear about your troubles. When did the trouble with the transmission begin? (I'll look around and see if you've posted about this elsewhere).

I'll share with you my amusement today: I went out this morning to discover that my car still knows how to start, and how to shift gears (all good), but the Serius Xm radio no longer produces sound, something it knew how to do yesterday (hard to see this being good). It appears to still know how to change the channels, since the display changes - but no sound. AM/FM radio still produce sound, so that's something. And, yes, I tried turning both the radio and the car off and then back on again.

Anyway, good luck with your 500L troubles - let us know how it works out.

DDT
02-17-2015, 06:47 PM
Thanks for the response, DDT. Did you have this problem off and on, or did it lock on to 2nd and hang there until you traded it away? Was there an actual diagnostic procedure that identified the problem as the TCM? Did they suggest replacing the TCM?
Sorry for all the questions. Thanks for the info. Ciao,
John

John,

No problem with the questions. That's what these forums are for, I believe.

It happened on a rather warm day in November , the temp was 12*C (54*F) and the weather was dry. Nothing that would be considered extreme by any stretch of the imagination.

When I went to start the car, it sort of stumbled as it couldn't really turn over. Something to do with the weakened battery due to the drain issue that they've recently resolved. As we left the house, I noticed that the car was revving higher than normal and there was a whining sound from the front. The RPMs never went above 5K, but it wouldn't shift out of D2.

I tried to use the AutoStick, as you did, but nothing would change. D2 was all it would do. When I pulled over I tried to put the gear in Park and then into D, still got D2. Though I did notice that the display on the EVIC lagged the actual gear lever position by a couple of seconds. Not as responsive as normal. Since I was close to home I just drove it back and called FIAT Customer Service. When I tried to restart, it wouldn't turn over.

Two days later, since this happened on a Saturday, I ended up jump starting the car and drove it to the studio. They found error codes and diagnosed the problem as the TCM. The car was there for one month as they tried to locate the part. Note that the recall service for the GSM was performed 7 months prior.

The TCM replacement didn't seem to solve the problem with erratic shift points. I didn't keep it long after that as I had already decided that I wanted nothing to do with the DDCT gearbox. I was fortunate to find a dealer, Hendrick Alfa Romeo FIAT of Cary, that would work with me to trade in for a manual Trekking.

Good luck to you. Have you considered a manual?

Adriana De Luca-Iannazzo
03-19-2015, 01:21 PM
Hey John, I had 4 transmissions replaced. The last one something about the brains needing to be reset. Read my post... :(