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Thread: 500e NOT in California/Oregon roll call

  1. #11
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    I'm picking up a used 500e (2014 7k miles) this Thursday. I'm excited and slightly terrified. I live the Hudson Valley, NY area. Danbury Fiat dealer has brought over several 500es and are selling them at fair prices with the promise that they have certified techs who can repair all issues. Now, getting it to them for repair may become an issue as they are about 65-70 miles away. They also said the Volvo dealer nearby is part of their family of dealerships and can deal with general work and will truck it to Danbury if needed. Fingers crossed!

  2. #12
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    Can you join AAA at the premium level? Here in NM you get 100 miles of towing as part of the package (I have haven't gone to that level since I don't think I can get that far from our Fiat dealer).

    http://www.aaa.com/aaa/045/pioneer/m...r/benefits.htm

    It is just a car. Lots of mechanical things are common to all cars. And do check the maintenance schedule; it'll calm your nerves -- as in, there is essentially no maintenance.

    Beyond that, my reading tends to indicate that most ills can be cured by disconnecting the 12v battery, waiting 30 seconds, and reconnecting. This forces a reboot. I've never needed to do this, but I've only had the car for 3 weeks.
    Last edited by Blue Spark; 05-16-2017 at 09:59 PM. Reason: info added

  3. #13
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    I chickened out and backed out of the deal yesterday. After reading more on the forums I decided I couldn't take the risk. At 60 miles my commute is right at the margins for a 500e when factoring in potential battery degradation and the effects of heat and AC. I loved the car and I really wish it could have worked out.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ifull View Post
    I chickened out and backed out of the deal yesterday. After reading more on the forums I decided I couldn't take the risk. At 60 miles my commute is right at the margins for a 500e when factoring in potential battery degradation and the effects of heat and AC. I loved the car and I really wish it could have worked out.
    60 miles would be a stretch in the winter, especially if your commute involves highway travel. If you can charge at work - even on a 120 volt outlet - the 500e will be fine.

    I wouldn't worry about maintenance issues. As mentioned, routine maintenance is about as minimal as it gets. If you have a breakdown, a 100 mile AAA plan will get you to the dealer that has certified 500e techs.
    2013 Fiat 500e

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ifull View Post
    I chickened out and backed out of the deal yesterday. After reading more on the forums I decided I couldn't take the risk. At 60 miles my commute is right at the margins for a 500e when factoring in potential battery degradation and the effects of heat and AC. I loved the car and I really wish it could have worked out.
    I backed out of a great deal on a used one as well. I really love the way this car drives, (far superior to an ICE manual or automatic 500) however, the more research I did on the car, the more my common sense told me not to buy one.

    #1 Fiat/Chrysler/Dodge doesn't exactly have a great reputation for reliable or quality vehicles.
    #2 Their service intervals, proves it. If Fiat had any confidence in the quality of their parts you wouldn't have to check things like brakes and suspension every other year. Or Fiat did no preliminary testing of their vehicles prior to making it available to the public, and we are all the test dummies. (check out Chevy's maintenance schedule for the Bolt) https://my.chevrolet.com/content/dam...20Schedule.pdf
    #3 When something major does go wrong, I only have 1 certified dealer locally who can fix it, and I am in CA, the land of the EV's. That puts me a huge disadvantage. I even called Pep Boys for simple brake jobs, and they said, "Uhh I'm not sure we can work on that car". Seems non Fiat mechanics don't want to even touch this car.
    #4 Just because the local dealer carries and services Fiat now, doesn't mean they will forever. There was another dealer 40 miles away who used too, but stopped 2 years ago for some reason, my guess is they were not profitable enough.
    #5 I read on another blog recently by an "insider" who worked on the BMS (battery management system) that Fiat is planning on discontinuing the 500e. Not sure I want to be stuck w a car which has limited availability of parts now, and doesn't plan on making anymore in the future.
    #6 With the Bolt currently available, and Tesla model 3 coming, Fiat's 500e range is way behind the curve for nearly the same price point.
    #7 Fiat could pull out of the US all together, then what?
    #7 CA electricity rates are on average .30 per kwt. (national average is .11) After doing the math, its no cheaper than any ICE car averaging 35 mpg.


    Love this adorable little car, would have been perfect for me, but not worth it being a future headache and potential money pit. Maybe worth it to lease and enjoy for a few years, as after tax incentives it virtually free, then give it back to dealer (as everyone knows remaining residual is three times more than what I can buy a gently used one for, (which doesn't sit well with me either)).

    I truly hope current and potential owners have a wonderful experience with these little cars, just not worth the risk for me.

    ciao
    Last edited by lilzipp; 05-17-2017 at 04:28 PM.

  6. #16
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    I've got a grey metallic 2014 that I bought with 11,600 miles on it for $10,500 in Seattle. They sell for as little as $7000 locally depending on mileage and condition. Mine was nearer the top in both and has the sunroof option, pretty popular when you don't see the sun very often like we do (or don't) around here. Truthfully, the dry cloudcovered days are perfect for sunroofs anyways.

    For those considering an EV, I've put up to 200 miles on it in a single day with some well planned charging and have not had any problems whatsoever. I typically drive around 50-80 miles per day and don't really have any time where I'm concerned about range. Having some favorite charging spots around town can really play a big role in how much range you have and I've got some well placed favorites for my needs, while the vast majority of charging is done on my 40amp Juicebox level 2 charger at home. Many times, 15-30 minutes on a public level 2 charger while you grab a coffee is all that you need to do that trip that is right at the limits of the car's range. I can understand a bit about reservations regarding range that some have before purchase, but I can say that in my opinion (owning 2 different EVs of similar range), having more than the 80-100 miles per charge these have would not necessarily be any more realistic anyways. Keep in mind that most Level 2 chargers are limited to a specific amount per hour, regardless of battery size, so a larger batter simply takes longer to charge. I find that I just charge based on need and it works out that you can go pretty much anywhere you need to and I drive more than most of my friends with gas powered cars. My wife's BMW i3 has the range extender (gas powered generator that give you an extra 60-80 miles of range at 40mpg) and it has never come on because it never runs out of juice enough to be a problem. It is supposed to come on any time now just to do a maintenance cycle to keep the gas fresh, etc. We are pretty active parents of teenagers who play hockey and have to run them to practice and games that are right at the limits of range all the time, but it just hasn't been an issue (you should see my Fiat full of goalie equipment!). I expect to be putting 15,000-20,000 miles per year on the Fiat and have not found it cramps my style at all.

    There is a Fiat dealer in Renton, south of Seattle, that will perform any needed repairs. I've also checked into an extended warranty. The Fiat/Chrysler extended warranty stated in fine print that it only covers vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel engines. After asking they did say that I was correct in assuming this excludes electrics, but that they would update the language to include the Fiat 500e by the middle of this month. I just sent a request for an update and will know soon if that got done. If so, the car can be covered until 2022 up to 125,000 miles with a $200 deductible for around $2000, bumper to bumper. I'll probably do that, but expect that it will probably outlast the warranty based on how well it operates so far. As much as it costs to replace the motor assembly, or other EV specific things, I think it's a better gamble to have the warranty than not. Either way, I'll save more than the cost of the car in not paying for gas; hard to complain about that.

    I get around 5mi/kwh in careful in town round trips, 4.4mi/kwh in more average in town round trips and as little as 3.5mi/kwh on 60mph highway round trips with the heat, headlights, foglights and windshield wipers going. I'm not sure what others have found, but it seems to me there are around 20 usable kwh in the battery system. I think a realistic worse cases scenario at 60mph for a round trip is somewhere right at 65 miles, but if you know where a good charging station is along the way, you can get to a safe 70 highway worst case miles with the car on a public level 2 charger for the time it takes to get a cup of coffee. I only have one commute like that and found a good 30amp level 2 charger that provides free charging on my way home and usually make my 60 mile round trip with around 15 miles remaining, making it more like 75 miles with a charge in worst case driving. If you are new to these cars, I pay more attention to the battery percent charge than the mileage guestimate.

    My wife drives our BMW i3 and I'd have to say I enjoy driving the Fiat more, so it's a mutually beneficial arrangement. The Fiat also goes about 10% farther on a charge than the BMW and takes approximately the same amount of time to recharge. The Fiat seems to be a much sportier handling car around corners, etc. and feels faster even though the numbers say the BMW is quicker. The Fiat is a great deal louder inside as far as motor noise goes, but both are very quite compared to a gas car.

    The only complaints I have about the Fiat are the blind spot over the driver's side shoulder (though you get used to seeing around it) and the amount the sunroof intrudes on the ceiling height. I'm 6'0", 185 lbs with an average torso for my height. My head touches the very back of the sunroof unless I lean back a little more than I'd like. In that position, the steering wheel gets a little too far away for my taste. Not so far that I'd say it's not workable, but it is right at the maximum extent that I'd say I can reach with any amount of comfort. They really needed to make the steering column telescope out for taller people. When I drive the non-sunroof version, I can make the seat higher to accommodate my legs better, while keeping my arms at a more comfortable position relative to the steering wheel. The additional ceiling height when the sunroof is gone makes this possible. If you are taller, I recommend considering skipping the sunroof for more ceiling height; that's what I'd do if I had it to do again.

    I see a lot of Fiats here in Seattle. The dealer I got mine from sold three the same day (I was first and got pick of the litter). If I go to a charging location, chances are I'll see another Fiat half the time, but mostly you see Leafs. Here's a photo of mine next to an orange Fiat at the Shoreline City Hall (free charging - no card needed for regular Level 2 chargers on solar array!):

    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Robert Nixon (05-21-2017)

  8. #17
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    No car is perfect for everyone for every use.

    (I was drag racing a Corvette today in mine . . .)

  9. #18
    Junior Member Jeff Fiat500e's Avatar
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    The Fiat 500e electric components are primarily from Bosch electronics who does have a very good reputation. Combine this with the bumper to bumper 50,000 mile four year warranty and eight year battery warranty, a two or three year old used Fiat priced under $10,000 becomes a compelling value. However, your use and location are very important. In South Florida, where it is warm and flat, I generally get over 100 miles of range on my 2015 since I purchased it last December. Two days a week I drive it 70 miles with mixed highway and city driving, ac set at 78, and usually have 30+ miles remaining.

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    Robert Nixon (05-21-2017)

  11. #19
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    My experience with the 500e has been excellent. The main thing is that you need to evaluate whether or not it fits your needs as others have said. I don't really see a problem with the range being "behind the curve" as suggested earlier. I look at it with the perspective that it doesn't necessarily make any more sense to have too much excess range than it does to have too little range. You want a car with the range that best suits your driving habits and needs, not really more and not really less. Yes, a Tesla model 3 will provide greater range as will the Bolt and even the newest BMW i3 (next round is supposed to also be 200 miles in range. However, if you never drive more than 30 miles a day, what possible benefit does this bring? The 500e is right at the range that I feel comfortable will cover the vast majority of driving I'll do. For the few times I exceed it's limits, I just plan ahead and get the car on a charger sometime during the trip. Worst case scenario is that you sit in the car and read a book for an hour while gaining that 20 miles you need to extend the range for that 1% trip you're on. If the need is a long trip, it just makes more sense to rent or borrow a gas powered car for that use.

    I replied earlier, but it seems to have disappeared into the internet ether. Just to report on our local conditions, I live in Seattle and we pay around $0.13 per kwh (assuming you exceed the first 10kwh per day at the lower $0.11 rate). Since we have 2 electric cars and I drive close to the longer end of the car's range, most of our charging is on the higher rate. In Seattle, the power comes from hydro, so relatively low impact. There is a Fiat dealer in Renton, 10 miles south of Seattle, which has a tech for the electrics. Haven't needed that yet. I see quite a few of the 500e's at public charging stations and they seem to sell about as fast as they come in at dealers with more limited stock. Seems like the more serious dealers are selling 6-10 of them per month used and often before they have even arrived. There is quite a market for them here and they do make fantastic city electrics!

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    Robert Nixon (05-21-2017)

  13. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by lilzipp View Post
    #2 Their service intervals, proves it. If Fiat had any confidence in the quality of their parts you wouldn't have to check things like brakes and suspension every other year. Or Fiat did no preliminary testing of their vehicles prior to making it available to the public, and we are all the test dummies. (check out Chevy's maintenance schedule for the Bolt)
    This is not an accurate statement. An addition to the 2,350,000 km (1,460,200 miles) testing the European Fiat 500 underwent, the North American car did another 4 million miles of real world testing.

    http://www.fiat500usa.com/2010/12/fi...re-than-4.html

    http://www.fiat500usa.com/2010/08/fi...on-begins.html

    Additionally, all the manufacturers I know of have inspection intervals. It is foolish not to have brakes and suspension checked periodically.

    The Bolt needs the same (maybe even more if we go by your every other year comment!) maintenance as the 500. The info you posted was just part of the maintenance schedule:

    Maintenance Schedule
    Owner Checks and Services

    Once a Month

    . Check the tire inflation
    pressures.
    . Inspect the tires for wear.
    . Check the windshield washer
    fluid level.

    Service and Maintenance Tire Rotation and Required Services

    Every 12 000 km/7,500 mi

    Rotate the tires.
    . Check vehicle coolant level.
    . Check windshield washer fluid
    level.
    . Visually inspect windshield wiper
    blades for wear, cracking,
    or contamination.
    Replace worn or
    damaged wiper blades.
    . Check tire inflation pressures.
    See Tire Pressure.
    . Inspect tire wear.
    . Visually check for fluid leaks.
    . Inspect brake system.
    . Visually inspect steering,
    suspension, and chassis
    components for damaged, loose,
    or missing parts or signs of
    wear.
    . Check restraint system
    components.
    . Lubricate body components.
    . Check accelerator pedal for
    damage, high effort, or binding.
    Replace if needed.
    . Visually inspect gas strut for
    signs of wear, cracks, or other
    damage. Check the hold open
    ability of the strut. See your
    dealer if service is required.
    . Check tire sealant expiration
    date, if equipped.


    From Chevrolet Bolt EV Owner Manual (GMNA-Localizing-U.S./Canada/Mexico-10122739) - 2017 - CRC - 10/3/16


    #3 ...I even called Pep Boys for simple brake jobs, and they said, "Uhh I'm not sure we can work on that car". Seems non Fiat mechanics don't want to even touch this car.
    I would suggest going to higher quality repair center. Fiat brakes are a common design and that just shows their lack of knowledge/competance. It's the first signal to go to a better shop.

    abarth500forum.com fiat124spiderforum.com fiat500lusaforum.com fiat500xforum.com

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