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500L_MTL
01-07-2019, 10:11 PM
Hello,

My wife has had her 500L Lounge since December 2014 and now has over 60,000km. The 500L and my 2013 Abarth have been great to us.

The weather in Montreal has been a mix of ice rain, some snow, deep freeze or slightly above 0 Celsius. The other day, she experienced the issue where the car would not engage reverse from park. The message on the display said to switch to neutral. I have read about this issue on this forum and other sites. I have not found the solution yet. The car ran fine yesterday but it happened again this morning when the temperature was around -10C. After turning the car off and waiting a minute or so, she would fire it up and no longer had an issue until she left work. Followed the same procedure and made it home without a problem.

Has anyone had any luck finding / fixing the problem? The car does not have any outstanding recalls and has been running reliably.

I read the thread about the possible water infiltration causing issues with the transmission control module near the fender well but not sure where to find the module. Technically, the drivetrain is still under warranty but was hoping for some insight prior to visiting the dealer.

Thanks!

MC

DeSoulo
01-09-2019, 01:51 AM
Is the battery original? I had to have mine replaced just under warranty at 47,000 miles. I've heard that the 500L is sensitive to a dying battery.

500L_MTL
01-09-2019, 10:00 AM
Is the battery original? I had to have mine replaced just under warranty at 47,000 miles. I've heard that the 500L is sensitive to a dying battery.

No. I replaced the battery last year however the car wasn't used much during the holidays. I will check the charge and maybe plug my charger in for a little while and see if that helps. The good news is the car ran fine yesterday and this morning as well. I'll be scheduling an appointment soon but since the issue is intermittent, I am sure the car will run fine at the dealer :)

MC

500L_MTL
03-01-2019, 09:43 AM
Hello,

My wife has had her 500L Lounge since December 2014 and now has over 60,000km. The 500L and my 2013 Abarth have been great to us.

The weather in Montreal has been a mix of ice rain, some snow, deep freeze or slightly above 0 Celsius. The other day, she experienced the issue where the car would not engage reverse from park. The message on the display said to switch to neutral. I have read about this issue on this forum and other sites. I have not found the solution yet. The car ran fine yesterday but it happened again this morning when the temperature was around -10C. After turning the car off and waiting a minute or so, she would fire it up and no longer had an issue until she left work. Followed the same procedure and made it home without a problem.

Has anyone had any luck finding / fixing the problem? The car does not have any outstanding recalls and has been running reliably.

I read the thread about the possible water infiltration causing issues with the transmission control module near the fender well but not sure where to find the module. Technically, the drivetrain is still under warranty but was hoping for some insight prior to visiting the dealer.

Thanks!

MC

Hello,

I thought I would give everyone an update. I finally took my wife's 500L to the Fiat studio last Thursday as the "shift into neutral" issue had happened three times during the week. I explained the issue and also noticed the shift from first to second gear was hard. The DDCT shifts are extremely smooth so the rough shift into second was obvious.

Of course, the issue never popped up during their test drive last Thursday and Friday. I brought the car home over the weekend as they wanted to run some tests on Monday (Feb 25).

No issues over the weekend except for the hard 1-2 shift.

The studio did not find any fault codes however they did check the TCM (transmission control module) for corrosion or water infiltration as they had seen this before. The connectors were clean so they tested the "pump" and K1/K2 actuators. All was fine.

They decided to flash the TCM to the latest firmware as apparently there was a newer version. They took the car for a test drive of over 150km all around Montreal (highway, traffic, slow roads) and since the new firmware, the car shifts smooth again. Of course, the shift to neutral message never popped up the entire time the car was at the dealer however the TCM flash made a noticeable difference. Unfortunately my bill does not show the version numbers or I would have posted it.

I have to say I am completely satisfied with the service from the local studio. The 500L is no longer under warranty so I was extremely nervous at how much this was going to cost. They ended up only charging me 2 hours of labour. I was very happy with the price as they clearly spent a lot of time trying to create the issue / diagnose the problem.

In the 5 years my wife has had the car, our out of pocket non-scheduled maintenance has been less than $500 Canadian for the work above and a front end link replacement. This does not include regular maintenance like wipers and we replaced the brakes and pads late last year. I guess we might be lucky as the car has been great to us.

My 2013 Abarth has also been trouble free although I have only had it for 3 years (summer driven only).

My only complaint now is this car loves to eat front and rear light bulbs hehe.

Hope this helps anyone who may have experienced this same issue.

MC

500L_MTL
03-16-2019, 02:40 PM
Hello,

I may have posted too soon. The issue happened three times throughout the day and once at an intersection a few minutes ago. I had put the shifter in Neutral at the light then when the light turned green, I shifted to D and on the display it showed D but D1 never appeared. The “shift into neutral” message popped up again and after shifting back to neutral and D three times, it finally shifted into gear.

My wife will take it to the dealer again next week but in the mean time, I will start looking for a new car to replace the 500L. We love this car but this is getting dangerous (and frustrating).

If anyone has had this issue fixed, please reach out. I don’t want to write a blank cheque so the studio learns how to fix 500Ls on my dime.

MC

500L_MTL
03-21-2019, 06:36 PM
Hello again,

Even though I feel like I am writing to myself, I thought I'd post the results of the latest verification from the dealer hoping others with this issue can benefit from this. They said one of the clutches is worn out and needs to be replaced. The dealer wants $3200 Canadian to repair the issue. Needless to say I was not happy. I plan on calling Fiat Canada and see what can be done. I don't think a car with just under 68000 km (not miles) should require a $3200 repair on a part that has prematurely wore out due to their software/control logic.

I'll take full responsibility for wearing out the clutch on my 2013 manual Abarth (haven't worn it out yet) but will not take any responsibility on the DDCT 500L. We shift into neutral at stop lights and in traffic as per the manual.

The ball will be in Fiat Canada's court whether I remain an FCA customer or not.

*** Update: Fiat Canada Customer Care said "Your car is not under warranty so we cannot assist". Lesson learned I guess....I'll never buy an FCA vehicle ever again.

MC

DeSoulo
03-21-2019, 09:18 PM
I've been listening and reading along. That situation really sucks on a vehicle with such low miles. There is not supposed to be any maintenance on that transmission for 150K here in the U.S. per the manual. I purchased the Mopar Maxcare warranty just before my factory warranty was to expire because I was not confident in the transmission.

I wonder how the dealer determined the clutch was wearing out prematurely? Sounds to me like they are just taking the easy way out since I think all they are going to do is replace the transmission.

500L_MTL
03-22-2019, 10:34 AM
I've been listening and reading along. That situation really sucks on a vehicle with such low miles. There is not supposed to be any maintenance on that transmission for 150K here in the U.S. per the manual. I purchased the Mopar Maxcare warranty just before my factory warranty was to expire because I was not confident in the transmission.

I wonder how the dealer determined the clutch was wearing out prematurely? Sounds to me like they are just taking the easy way out since I think all they are going to do is replace the transmission.


Thank for the response.

I should have included more information in my previous post.

The service manager provided the following info:

Clutch K1: is the clutch for reverse and gear 1/3/5
Clutch K2: Gear 2/4/6

The clearance for each clutch at idle is supposed to be between 40mm-50mm. K1 is showing 60mm-70mm which apparently is why the gear doesn't always engage.
The price above includes replacing both clutches since the dealer's logic is "once the transmission is open, might as well replace both".

I brought the car home after paying another hour of labour (although the service tech showed they spent 3 hours on the car). The service manager is out sick however the tech told me to call Fiat Canada back and confirm / create a case number then to speak with the dealer Service Manager on Monday. The Service Manager can then assist with trying to get Fiat Canada to cover the cost. Essentially, if the Service Manager wants to really help, they need to explain to Fiat Canada that the issue is not due to driver error but a manufacturer's defect.

As mentioned in my previous post, the dealer's service (Pie-IX Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/Fiat/Ram in Montreal) has been absolutely fantastic with great communication....hopefully Fiat Canada can offer the same great customer care.

We will park the car for now. I guess the only positive I had no choice but to take my Abarth out this week (about a month earlier than usual as I typically wait for the pebbles and winter crap to wash away).

I'll post next week if things progress.

MC

500L_MTL
04-09-2019, 09:37 PM
Thank for the response.

I should have included more information in my previous post.

The service manager provided the following info:

Clutch K1: is the clutch for reverse and gear 1/3/5
Clutch K2: Gear 2/4/6

The clearance for each clutch at idle is supposed to be between 40mm-50mm. K1 is showing 60mm-70mm which apparently is why the gear doesn't always engage.
The price above includes replacing both clutches since the dealer's logic is "once the transmission is open, might as well replace both".

I brought the car home after paying another hour of labour (although the service tech showed they spent 3 hours on the car). The service manager is out sick however the tech told me to call Fiat Canada back and confirm / create a case number then to speak with the dealer Service Manager on Monday. The Service Manager can then assist with trying to get Fiat Canada to cover the cost. Essentially, if the Service Manager wants to really help, they need to explain to Fiat Canada that the issue is not due to driver error but a manufacturer's defect.

As mentioned in my previous post, the dealer's service (Pie-IX Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/Fiat/Ram in Montreal) has been absolutely fantastic with great communication....hopefully Fiat Canada can offer the same great customer care.

We will park the car for now. I guess the only positive I had no choice but to take my Abarth out this week (about a month earlier than usual as I typically wait for the pebbles and winter crap to wash away).

I'll post next week if things progress.

MC


Hello,

I have had a few discussions with the service manager and he finally called back earlier today saying Fiat Chrysler Canada said it is up to the dealer to decide if they want to help. I am the "dealer's customer"...basically Fiat Chrysler Canada politely gave the dealer and myself the middle finger.

I made a mistake in my previous post...the dealer's price was $3800 + tax (not $3200+tax) but they are willing to give the parts at no cost thus the bill is just under $2300 Canadian plus tax. My dad's 1971 Corvette still has the original transmission 3-speed yet I have to spend $2300+ to repair a 5 year old 68kkm transmission.

The service guy told me to fix it and sell it. The Pacifica was going to be on our list as the next purchase (in a few years) but FCA is no longer going to get any more business from me after this. I have already mentioned FCA's non-existent customer service as well as ridiculous cost to repair a manufacturer's problem/defect to a few of my coworkers and friends. My parents also have a 2014 500L Lounge...I will try to convince them to sell ASAP since it's still running fine.

As much as I love my Abarth, I will probably put it up for sale later this summer as I just don't want to give FCA any more money once the Abarth requires repairs.

FiatCares did not chime in which is very disappointing. If by chance FiatCares is reading this thread, use this case as a way to NOT treat a customer because the $2300 I am losing will probably cost Fiat Chrysler Canada more in the long run as I will make sure to tell as many people in my circle as possible to avoid Fiat / Chrysler due to poor reliability and their "we don't care" attitude towards their customers. If I had more time, I would have contacted our local news station for assistance on finding out how many other owners had issues with the DDCT and try to get Fiat Canada to finally help.

I need the car so I finally dropped off the 500L this afternoon and will post back once the work is done. If all goes well, the car "could" be ready Friday or Monday.

As much as I am trying to stay calm during this whole ordeal, the feeling of helplessness and essentially being screwed by Fiat Canada really sucks because the 500L does what it does very well and meets our needs...it's just not safe once the tranny starts to have problems.

MC

500L_MTL
04-16-2019, 02:12 PM
Hello,

So the dealer did the work (roughly 1.5 days) as they had all the parts in stock. Basically, the dealer provided the clutches for free but charged for new actuators, fluids and misc parts. The bill was roughly $1000 CDN for labour and $1300 for parts (plus taxes). Again, great communication from the dealer, they showed the clutches and you can definitely see K1 was used. K2 still looked fine but the dealer replaced both since the transmission was already down.

When I took the car home, I definitely felt hard shifts but once we drove the car over the weekend, it feels much better. Essentially, the transmission is new. The shifts are barely noticeable now.

Although the cost was crazy and FCA offered zero support, I am happy this saga is over. Once I have a chance, I will scan the work order (it is in french though) so everyone can have a reference.

Pie-IX Chrysler in Montreal was great to deal with and hopefully I receive a survey to fill out so I can give kudos to the dealer and provide negative feedback about FCA.

MC

DeSoulo
04-17-2019, 12:04 AM
Great to hear you have a Dealer that was great to work with. Looking forward to seeing the work order. Did you snap any photos of the discs and would you post those as well? Thanks!

500L_MTL
05-02-2019, 08:15 AM
Great to hear you have a Dealer that was great to work with. Looking forward to seeing the work order. Did you snap any photos of the discs and would you post those as well? Thanks!

Hello,

Sorry for the delay. Attached is a snippet of the work done on the car. It is partially in French but the part #'s are there. I covered the individual part pricing as I'm not sure we are allowed to show it or not. PM me for more information.

Car runs great except for whatever reason, the rear window wiper started to get stuck in mid-wipe then continues a few minutes later. I'll check the linkage over the weekend.

MC