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View Full Version : Fiat 500L Manual Reverse Groan: Possible solution?



MyPiccolo
07-19-2015, 03:19 PM
First time posting to this site, which has been incredibly helpful to me in the past, so thank you to the forum. Have had my 500L Easy (6-speed manual, 18,000 miles) for two years and just love the car, from bumper to bumper. Had a few issues: check engine light came on twice (computer update) and the trunk latch was loose (identified thanks to this forum), all of which was taken care of easily by the dealer's service center.

The groan/grinding began during this winter, occasionally when backing up my driveway (slight incline). Mentioned it during the 15,000-mile checkup and was told it was probably the moisture from this winter's cold weather in the northeast. Late June, it was happening more often, so I called Fiat directly to see if there was a recall considering the problem was recurring on the forum. No recall.

So I brought it to the service center and they said the clutch/car was fine and they couldn't recreate the problem as it mostly happens first thing in the a.m. and not after the car has been driven. Had the technician sit in my car until he heard it. Planned to bring it in for a repair, which made me nervous because the car has been driving so beautifully and I didn't want to rock the boat. And others on the forum have had the clutch replaced, only to have the problem come back.

I searched the Internet and found something in an Abarth forum that mentioned shifting the car into 4th before shifting it into reverse and then waiting a little bit before releasing the clutch in reverse. I've done that now for a few weeks and only once did I hear the groan. I'm a car novice so I don't know if it's dumb luck or if my new reversing procedure has corrected the issue? Thought I'd throw it out to the experts and see if I'm just buying time before a repair is warranted--or a recall is issued. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Tweak
07-19-2015, 11:14 PM
Welcome to the forum.

I always hit 3rd then reverse to avoid grinding due to the syncros or lack thereof with our cars. Never noticed any groaning though.

MyPiccolo
07-19-2015, 11:33 PM
Thanks, Tweak, for the reply and for the welcome.

Yes, it is more of a grinding sound. I did look in the manual to see if it said to shift into another gear before reverse, but I didn't find anything. I never had to do that in other manual cars that I've owned or driven. Based on the forum, some people are getting the clutches replaced or other repairs due to the noise. I'm hoping this simple fix will do the trick.

FiatCares
07-20-2015, 11:11 AM
Thanks, Tweak, for the reply and for the welcome.

Yes, it is more of a grinding sound. I did look in the manual to see if it said to shift into another gear before reverse, but I didn't find anything. I never had to do that in other manual cars that I've owned or driven. Based on the forum, some people are getting the clutches replaced or other repairs due to the noise. I'm hoping this simple fix will do the trick.

Hi MyPiccolo,
Keep us posted on whether or not this addresses your grinding concern and let me know if I can be of any assistance to you!

MJAB
07-20-2015, 12:33 PM
This sentence is from Fiat 500L owners manual, italian version:
"... AVVERTENZA La retromarcia pu essere inserita solo a vettura completamente ferma. Con motore acceso, prima di innestare la retromarcia, attendere almeno 2 secondi con pedale della frizione premuto a fondo, per evitare di danneggiare gli ingranaggi e grattare. ..."
that translated is like: "WARNING - The reverse gear can be engaged only if the car is full stop. With engine running, before engaging reverse gear, wait at least 2 seconds with the clutch pedal all pressed down, to avoid damages to the gears and grinding ..."

I made a fast search in the U.S.A. manual, but didn't found aything like that.

Also different is that when You stop the car in the italian manual they say to left the car in first gear if uphill and in reverse if downhill. In the U.S. manual says to put always in reverse.
"... Se la vettura parcheggiata in salita, inserire la 1a marcia, mentre se la vettura posteggiata in discesa, inserire la retromarcia. ..."

As Tweak wrote there is no reverse synchro mechanism so it is more difficult to deal with reverse, but it prevents to make a forward to reverse while driving.

The "at least two seconds wait with lucth engaged" are required to make gearbox gears slow down.

Tweak
07-20-2015, 09:58 PM
Thanks, Tweak, for the reply and for the welcome.

Yes, it is more of a grinding sound. I did look in the manual to see if it said to shift into another gear before reverse, but I didn't find anything. I never had to do that in other manual cars that I've owned or driven. Based on the forum, some people are getting the clutches replaced or other repairs due to the noise. I'm hoping this simple fix will do the trick.

There was a tag attached to the shifter about this issue if you bought new, unless it got removed at least. If you hit 3rd (or 5th) then reverse you should not have any more issues with grinding.

MyPiccolo
07-20-2015, 11:07 PM
Thanks, Tweak. I did buy the car new and there wasn't any tag on the shifter. And, believe it or not, I read the entire manual from cover to cover (that's how much I love this car!!!) I will continue the procedure before putting it into reverse and, hopefully, I will not have any more problems. It is concerning, though, that others posting on the forum have had clutches replaced or other repairs for what seems to be this same issue. It would be a shame for them to go through all that if they were unaware of these simple steps. Thanks again for your guidance.

Tweak
07-22-2015, 10:46 AM
Thanks, Tweak. I did buy the car new and there wasn't any tag on the shifter. And, believe it or not, I read the entire manual from cover to cover (that's how much I love this car!!!) I will continue the procedure before putting it into reverse and, hopefully, I will not have any more problems. It is concerning, though, that others posting on the forum have had clutches replaced or other repairs for what seems to be this same issue. It would be a shame for them to go through all that if they were unaware of these simple steps. Thanks again for your guidance.

Hopefully you do not fall victim the a failure and it is only using this sequence that resolves things. I guess your dealer pulled the tag off the shifter during prep.

Rally500
07-25-2015, 09:49 AM
Hi guys as mentioned numerous times the GROANNNN...THer s been a numerous times of treads on that ,my car does it since day one now at 42 000 kms still doing it and getting worse.I tried the technique and the groan still present
I m still waiting for that miracle after 2 years I m gonna mentioned Fiat Care if possible to get back,never did to see with FCA IF UPDATED CLUTCH PRESSURE PLATES
Thanks

Rally500
08-05-2015, 10:28 AM
Hello
Got some news!!! My car is at the studio and being serviced,the technician saw there s an update part number for the clutch kit,so they gonna replace it and hopefully I ll be fixed.i l update the post
Thanks

Rally500
08-18-2015, 01:13 AM
Th
Hello
Got some news!!! My car is at the studio and being serviced,the technician saw there s an update part number for the clutch kit,so they gonna replace it and hopefully I ll be fixed.i l update the post
Thanks
The clutch been replaced with new part number and so far noise is GONE...

MyPiccolo
12-23-2015, 09:01 AM
Happy holidays to the Fiat faithful! Just wanted to update everyone. The dreaded groan/grinding noise came back and after a few trips to the dealership, it was determined that my flywheel needed to be replaced. It was and so far, so good--no problems while reversing. Will keep you posted if there are any other issues!

Just wanted to thank everyone who posts to the forum for offering such great tips and advice. And also to thank Fiat for resolving my problem. Happy New Year!

Macphisto
02-10-2016, 02:34 PM
Went to my dealer in Laval for this issue a couple of months back, they finally came back to me today telling me this issue is normal for this car. If i need more detail to call fiat care number. I really think this is BS and not happy with the answer they gave me. If anybody have the part number they used on their car to fix it if you can send it to me i would appreciate. Grinding noise when going reverse is not normal... they really want to loose customers treating them like that.

Thank you .

FiatCACares
02-10-2016, 05:47 PM
Went to my dealer in Laval for this issue a couple of months back, they finally came back to me today telling me this issue is normal for this car. If i need more detail to call fiat care number. I really think this is BS and not happy with the answer they gave me. If anybody have the part number they used on their car to fix it if you can send it to me i would appreciate. Grinding noise when going reverse is not normal... they really want to loose customers treating them like that.

Thank you .

Macphisto,

I'm sorry to hear about your grind noise concern. How often is the noise heard? Did your dealership experience the noise when you brought it to them?

Macphisto
02-15-2016, 04:56 PM
Macphisto,

I'm sorry to hear about your grind noise concern. How often is the noise heard? Did your dealership experience the noise when you brought it to them?

The issue happen every time i reverse in an incline, the dealership experienced the issue, told me they would see whit Fiat, called me several months later to tell me the issue is known but classified as normal for this car. This is not my first manual car and this noise is not normal.

FiatCACares
02-18-2016, 11:29 AM
The issue happen every time i reverse in an incline, the dealership experienced the issue, told me they would see whit Fiat, called me several months later to tell me the issue is known but classified as normal for this car. This is not my first manual car and this noise is not normal.

Macphisto,

Keep an eye on your PM inbox.

Since1958
05-29-2016, 02:13 PM
The advice given in the manual is contrary to all I know about belt-driven OHC engines because if the car rolls or is nudged downhill, then the engine will turn the wrong way and that can cause the timing belt to jump time. Not good!

Long story short, ALWAYS put the car in 1st for downhill parking, R for uphill. Makes sense to me and I always say "Better safe than sorry!"

h88ch
11-15-2016, 07:40 PM
Same issue here - I'm getting the groaning noise when reversing (and have been for a couple of years).
Mentioned it to my dealer in Richmond BC and multiple times they said it was nothing abnormal.

Are people getting this fixed under warranty?

NGEN
11-15-2016, 08:29 PM
We replaced our clutch and throwout bearing to fix the problem. We had an early 2014 model.

eurodave164
02-06-2017, 12:40 PM
Macphisto,

Keep an eye on your PM inbox.

Hello Fiatcares

Our 2014 500L with manual transmission is also experiencing the groan in reverse. Can you please assist with some insight as to the possible problem and fix.

The car is still under warranty and is a 2014.

Regards,

FiatCACares
02-13-2017, 12:38 PM
Hello Fiatcares

Our 2014 500L with manual transmission is also experiencing the groan in reverse. Can you please assist with some insight as to the possible problem and fix.

The car is still under warranty and is a 2014.

Regards,

Hello eurodave164,

Sorry to hear you hare having concerns with your vehicle. We cannot diagnoses your vehicle or give you insight as to what the concern could be or what the fix is. Recommendation at this time would be to book an appointment at your local FIAT Dealership to have your concern addressed.

If you require our help you are welcomed to contact us here on the Forum or call our Customer Care line at 1-800-465-2001.

Lyne

eurodave164
05-11-2017, 11:05 PM
We brought in our 500L for the recall and A.C. problem and they finally heard the noise which I recorded on video as a back up.

Service advisor said most likely flywheel and they will open up transmission once the part arrives next week. As usual, they state the clutch if consumed beyond normal, is not covered.

eurodave164
06-20-2017, 06:49 PM
I brought in our 14' 500L two weeks ago for the groan issue. It needed a full flywheel and pressure plate replacement under warranty. While the car was there, the re-flash for the recent recall was also done.

It's been a drastic improvement over the old assembly, clutch feel, gear linkage and overall driving feel. The 1-2 shift is notable smoother and easier to modulate. This is how the car should of left from the factory. I'm just happy to have had this done under warranty.