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View Full Version : 500L Clutch overheated???



super15066
06-11-2015, 01:40 AM
Im aware that this topic has been mentioned before in other posts before but each situation varied...anyways so heres the problem. Today i was driving my 500L trekking auto here in toronto (about 24C) and have owned the car for about 1 month, purchased it used with 19,700 kms on it. So there was some stopping and going backup i encountered on a slight incline of a hill and I would say within 15 minutes or so of being stuck in traffic I noticed a smell coming from the engine and some white smoke coming from the hood.

My initial thought was that the car was overheating but the temp. gauge said otherwise. It wouldnt drive eventhough the car was in D and it started flashing. Towed to the dealer and the mechanic there said that it might possibly be that the clutch overheated and that it is normal for this type of transmission and the car needs to be driven a specific way when encountering stop and go traffic. Only problem I have is that why is this occuring on a car thats not even a year old? it just raises concerns over the long term reliability of this car and this type of tranmission. Are there ways you are supposed to drive a car with DDCT trans? I was told that when encountering traffic to put the car in N when stopped and D instead of leaving it D the entire time. I have never owned a car with this type of tranny so any useful tips to hopefully prevent this from happening in the future? Any similar experiences?

Im assuming this is the reason why the 2015s have a new AISIN trans. and ditched the euro twin.... Lastly my dealer mentioned fiat possibly doing a recall to fix this issue?

Tiny Turbo
06-11-2015, 09:06 AM
Only had experience with one car that had that transmission. In traffic stop-go its probably shifting more than it has to. Is it possible to maybe hold it in gear yourself to stop it from burning the clutch up? I'm sure if I shifted my manual gearbox like the way some of these DDCT's are doing in traffic, I would surely burn my clutch up as well.

gundam2000
06-11-2015, 12:14 PM
you need to shift to neutral when stationary. every stoplight. every slow crawl through rush hour traffic.. it is not a torque convertor equipped automatic.
This is by design when stopped in D you are slipping the clutch. the car can be 1 day old and it will do this. you cannot drive it like a normal automatic. it is in fact a robotized manual.

nilfinite
06-11-2015, 12:58 PM
Maybe the software wasn't updated on yours? My 500L auto-shifts to Neutral when I'm at a light/stop sign. It'll engage the clutch when I take my foot off the brakes

islander
06-11-2015, 01:05 PM
you need to shift to neutral when stationary. every stoplight. every slow crawl through rush hour traffic.. it is not a torque convertor equipped automatic.
This is by design when stopped in D you are slipping the clutch. the car can be 1 day old and it will do this. you cannot drive it like a normal automatic. it is in fact a robotized manual.

This is absolutely correct. Just shift into N when stopped. It saves wear and tear on the clutch. This is what I learned to do years ago when driving cars with manual transmission and it pays off for these DDCT cars as well. Another tip is to use AutoShift when driving in prolonged stop-and-go traffic.

From the 500L Owner's Manual—

AutoStick® is a driver-interactive transmission feature providing manual shift control, giving you more control of the vehicle. AutoStick® allows you to maximize engine braking, eliminate undesirable upshifts and downshifts, and improve overall vehicle performance. This system can also provide you with more control during passing, city driving, cold slippery conditions, mountain driving, and many other situations.

MJAB
07-06-2015, 12:06 PM
It could be also useful to make check the brake switch positioning and if works properly wh You use it since ECU uses the brake switch signal to know that it has to disengage clutch when stopped and in D mode, otherwise it is in "active creeping" mode and so will overheat the clutch.

Maybe it could be useful to read this thread about Alfa Romeo 4C (same gearbox as Fiat 500L, also the brake switch is the same).
http://4c-forums.com/8-alfa-romeo-4c-general-discussion/9362-transmission-warning-light-2.html

In Europe there is no 500L with DCT, but is used in Alfa Romeo TCT diesel and Quadrifoglio Verde, in Alfa Romeo Mito sportier version and soon in some FWD Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade.

JWD
07-13-2015, 12:53 PM
islander -

In the pdf version of the 500L manual that I downloaded from one of the websites, in the section on Autostick, if equipped, it also says:
• The transmission will automatically downshift to first
gear when coming to a stop. After a stop, the driver
should manually upshift (+) the transmission as the
vehicle is accelerated.

I see NO mention of shifting to neutral. In general, given that this transmission issue has been so disastrous for some owners, and for the reputation of the vehicle, I do not understand why, if there is a proper procedure, Fiat would not want to get the word out on what – EXACTLY - it is. I was told by the salesperson when I bought it that it drives like any other automatic. No one at the “studio” has ever handed me a sheet of paper saying: “IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS IS HOW TO DRIVE THE DCCT”. Why not?

You equate the words “city driving” with “prolonged stop-and-go driving”, To me, city driving gives you have an opportunity to benefit from shifting gears. Why would you shift gears while cruising at highway speed, especially when Autostick is not compatible with speed control?

But, yes, I now put the car in neutral at stoplights, having read to do so here. And keep my fingers crossed. :-)

Cheers.

gundam2000
07-13-2015, 12:55 PM
good luck JWD.

islander
07-14-2015, 02:14 PM
islander -

In the pdf version of the 500L manual that I downloaded from one of the websites, in the section on Autostick, if equipped, it also says:
• The transmission will automatically downshift to first
gear when coming to a stop. After a stop, the driver
should manually upshift (+) the transmission as the
vehicle is accelerated.

I see NO mention of shifting to neutral. In general, given that this transmission issue has been so disastrous for some owners, and for the reputation of the vehicle, I do not understand why, if there is a proper procedure, Fiat would not want to get the word out on what – EXACTLY - it is. I was told by the salesperson when I bought it that it drives like any other automatic. No one at the “studio” has ever handed me a sheet of paper saying: “IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS IS HOW TO DRIVE THE DCCT”. Why not?

You equate the words “city driving” with “prolonged stop-and-go driving”, To me, city driving gives you have an opportunity to benefit from shifting gears. Why would you shift gears while cruising at highway speed, especially when Autostick is not compatible with speed control?

But, yes, I now put the car in neutral at stoplights, having read to do so here. And keep my fingers crossed. :-)

Cheers.

Well, I don't equate 'city driving' with 'prolonged stop-and-go driving' but there is a lot of overlap between the two—at least in my experience. There are plenty of 'stop-and-go driving' situations to be had way out of the city, of course.

My reference to 'neutral' comes from my own experience driving manual transmission cars in the past and that practice translates very nicely to the DDCT in my Trekking. It isn't an idea that originates with this car. I learned to do this in some situations a long time ago driving manual transmission VWs and it's a widely known practice which supposedly saves wear and tear on the transmission. My main day-to-day use of neutral these days is in some long and very slow moving ferry line-ups, about the only slow-moving traffic I encounter. The point is not to have the transmission in gear when the engine is running and the car is stopped for prolonged periods of time. There are lots of mentions of this in various Fiat forums as well as elsewhere.

JWD
07-15-2015, 10:06 AM
>>There are lots of mentions of this in various Fiat forums as well as elsewhere.

islander - I wasn't taking issue with you personally, or with you about how a manual transmission works. My points would be: (1) if the transmission should be in neutral when stopped, why wouldn't the "automatic", computer controlled transmission be put in neutral by the computer (did none of the designers know how a manual transmission works?), and (2) if the information you've seen mentioned in these various Fiat forums is correct, and it sounds reasonable to me, then WHY ON EARTH would Fiat not be providing this information directly to Fiat owners!? You brought up the 500L Owners Manual, I don't see where it provides this information.

islander
07-15-2015, 11:19 AM
>>There are lots of mentions of this in various Fiat forums as well as elsewhere.

islander - I wasn't taking issue with you personally, or with you about how a manual transmission works. My points would be: (1) if the transmission should be in neutral when stopped, why wouldn't the "automatic", computer controlled transmission be put in neutral by the computer (did none of the designers know how a manual transmission works?), and (2) if the information you've seen mentioned in these various Fiat forums is correct, and it sounds reasonable to me, then WHY ON EARTH would Fiat not be providing this information directly to Fiat owners!? You brought up the 500L Owners Manual, I don't see where it provides this information.

One last bit from me on this.

My response above (#9) addressed two separate issues (1) shifting into N and (2) use of AutoShift. As I noted/quoted, the second of these is addressed in the Owner's Manual. I haven't seen any similar discussion of 'shifting into N' in the manual.

Shifting into N is something I know about from having driven manual transmission cars over a number of years, especially in a city where there were lots of traffic lights with long, slow waits. Sitting in traffic in gear with the clutch depressed ('riding the clutch' as they call it) was not encouraged. It has been suggested (in these forums and elsewhere) that some specific problems experienced with the DDCT in these and similar driving situations might be improved by shifting into N on occasion, given the similarities between the DDCT and a manual transmission.

I have no clue what Fiat's take on this may be.

Trunkout
07-15-2015, 11:38 AM
simply said.... to be "in gear" and not moving.... isn't good for ANY car.