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Dealer lifts 500 Abarth wrong, side sills now seperating - read on...
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Thread: Dealer lifts 500 Abarth wrong, side sills now seperating - read on...

  1. #1
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    Dealer lifts 500 Abarth wrong, side skirts / sills now seperating - read on...

    Took my lovely new Abarth in for CEL investigation and an oil change.

    I specifically said to the SoCal dealer service rep; "This may be a stupid question, but do your guys know how to properly lift 500's so the side sills don't peel away from the body?" "Of course they do..." was the response from the Chrysler FIAT service rep.

    Second item discussed: "when you're checking the tire pressure, PLEASE don't fill the tires the same amount - tell your guy to read the 'B' Pillar and note the different pressure written there. Thanks". Rep: "of course, they always check the pillar, because every car and tire is different"

    And so I left, knowing I had politely pointed out the items of concern, and even went to far as to write them in my own hand on the work order being filed with the car.

    Picked it up today. CEL light? "Nothing seems out of place - checked the wires - drive the car a little more"

    And then out to drive away after a quick inspection. Photos below showing the result of lifting the car improperly, and now BOTH side sills are coming away from the body.

    Manager and shop foreman (who was a nice guy) were called out. Foreman says "we need it for at least half a day for the glue to dry. We have to take them both off, reapply double sided tape, and let it dry - four hours minimum"

    "OK" I say, "just give me a loaner and call me when it's finished"

    Manager: "We don't have any loaners"

    Blood is now just below the boiling point - put I haven't popped a blood vessel yet. "Ok, when will you have one, because I can't keep driving 60 miles everytime you guys damage the car. Find me a loaner and I'll run errands in this part of the city for four hours while you fix it."

    So now I'm on hold, waiting for them to call when a loaner is available.

    Oh, and the tire pressure? All tires filled up - same pressure.

    Is this why FCA keeps getting bad reviews just about everywhere. FIAT CARES - please contact me, because I'm already tired of careless, shoddy workmanship ruining a very expensive automobile. Don't FCA dealerships have ANY RESPECT at all for their clients hard earned money?

    If anyone in SoCal wants to know who the dealer is, for your own protection, please PM me and I'll let you know. They get one chance to PROPERLY and TIMELY fix this before I go public.

    Finally - how and where do I check to see if damage has been done to the frame or other items?

    20190417_104355.jpg20190417_104342.jpg20190417_104337.jpg
    Last edited by tvmaster; 04-18-2019 at 11:08 AM.

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    So far no disasters from my Westcoast Fiat dealer (Vancouver), but you've confirmed the reasons for my plan to get an oil evacuator and a billet aluminum filter canister and start doing my own oil changes.

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    Senior Member Dillinger63's Avatar
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    Wow, you have me concerned about taking mine in for its first oil change. I may take it to a mechanic friend who is VERY particular about the work he does. He has worked on other vehicles of mine and he is crazy particular about everything he does.

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    Can you believe A DEALER could do this? I felt like an idiot asking the question, but did it purely to cover my a#$, and sure enough, it wasn’t as stupid a question as I thought. But the owner (me) is the loser. To make it worse, the 30-something manager boy says “are you sure this didn’t happen on the street somewhere?” I’m not a violent guy, but if I had a soggy salmon in my hand I would have slapped him with it. Zero respect for their clients. Zero.
    My advice to ANYONE taking their car in for service: download the excellent thread found in this site on how to LIFT a FIAT 500. Print it, have their service rep initial it, take a photo, and leave it with them. No wonder FCA is struggling....
    Last edited by tvmaster; 04-17-2019 at 11:57 PM.

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    I take pictures of the skirts before it goes in and also go over the fact that my Fiat has to be lifted differently than your average car.
    This is the one thing that I’m ——PARANOID ABOUT!!

    ScottDVC

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    But isn't that awful that we have to do such a thing at an "authorized" service center? Don't the managers of these places have any pride at all in what they do? Rhetorical questions I guess. But the BIG question: what would you do if you picked the car up and they had indeed damaged the sills? How much further abuse would you stand for - would you expect a loaner vehicle while they repair it? What about lost time, mileage, gas costs (it's over $4 a gallon here now)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger63 View Post
    Wow, you have me concerned about taking mine in for its first oil change. I may take it to a mechanic friend who is VERY particular about the work he does. He has worked on other vehicles of mine and he is crazy particular about everything he does.
    My concern is that they can actually re-tape the sills so they don't fall off. Worse, if they damage them and need to have touch-up paint / body work done. Argggg

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    When the skirt started peeling off of my wifes sport, we took it in for warranty repair. We were told they had to order a whole new skirt.
    Said that they do not just retape or glue them.

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    I would take a picture with a date stamp with what your side skirts look like before you go into a dealer and this way you have proof. I had a sit down conversation with the head Abarth engineer for the US about this and he told me these side skirts were one of the elements inherited from the European cars and were not able to be changed (they are held on identically). He would have done it differently, however, it should be noted that they don't seem to have issues in Europe and I'll leave everyone to speculate on why.

    I think people that work on sophisticated European cars are aware of the technical requirements and specifics of lifting a car and don't have issues. I grew up working on Italian cars and the first thing I was taught at the shop I worked at was how to lift the cars properly (especially important back then as many of the cars were rusty). I've had the floor on our Audi bent because of an idiot at a Mavis shop was clueless on where to place the lift pads.

    That's one of the reasons I would be hesitant to bring any European car to a chain repair shop or a place that doesn't specialize in European cars. You can't bring sophisticated cars to people that aren't experienced with them. It may initially cost more to bring a car to an experienced specialist, but likely not in the long run. It is beyond me why some of these dealers can't get a handle on this. This was one of the arguments for having stand alone Fiat dealers. Seems too many guys that work on pickups with ladder frames can't wrap their heads around lifting these cars.
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    Enthusiastically Slow Lifetime Member Ando's Avatar
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    Jeeze tvmaster, I hope you're not a gambling man because your luck is rotten! Sorry this happened, at a dealer no less! Even my local Discount Tire was able to properly lift my car after I told them to be careful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hermiabarth View Post
    So far no disasters from my Westcoast Fiat dealer (Vancouver), but you've confirmed the reasons for my plan to get an oil evacuator and a billet aluminum filter canister and start doing my own oil changes.
    Do it! Don't need the Al filter housing unless yours is already damaged or you're letting an ape torque it back down, but yes definitely get the oil vacuum. Dipstick oil services changed my life. Not having to lay on your back on a -10F concrete slab is priceless. It's also easier in the summer, just not life altering. ;]

    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger63 View Post
    Wow, you have me concerned about taking mine in for its first oil change. I may take it to a mechanic friend who is VERY particular about the work he does. He has worked on other vehicles of mine and he is crazy particular about everything he does.
    If you've got someone you trust to do it I see no reason to spend $90 at the dealer. It's certainly not difficult, worst part is draining the oil onto the chassis support beam. If you DO have to go to the studio you can call and ask how they drain the old oil, chances are they use an evacuator and the car never leaves the ground anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by RexS View Post
    When the skirt started peeling off of my wifes sport, we took it in for warranty repair. We were told they had to order a whole new skirt.
    Said that they do not just retape or glue them.
    I've been told this is because the plastic permanently deforms over time and the new shape fights the tape, so theoretically an acute failure justifies re-using the current skirts.

    Stupid question here... are you really allowed to just lift domestics by the rocker panels or what? Why the disconnect? I guess I've been in the euro scene too long.
    Last edited by Ando; 04-18-2019 at 01:19 PM.

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