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Thread: 2014 500L DDCT Shifting issue

  1. #1
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    2014 500L DDCT Shifting issue

    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

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    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member DeSoulo's Avatar
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeSoulo View Post
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by 500L_MTL View Post
    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
    Last edited by 500L_MTL; 03-01-2019 at 09:47 AM. Reason: typos

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to 500L_MTL For This Useful Post:

    DeSoulo (03-04-2019), islander (03-01-2019)

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    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

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    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
    Last edited by 500L_MTL; Today at 07:15 PM.

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