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Thread: Warning Fiat roadside assistance won't jumpstart, they only tow

  1. #1
    Member Providence's Avatar
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    Warning Fiat roadside assistance won't jumpstart, they only tow

    Fiat ChryslerRoadside assistance, which is a separate service you can pay for like AAA, just told me they won't jumpstart my 2014 500L because there is a manufacturer's note in their roadside assistance system that says "these cars can't be and should not be jump started, they should be towed to the dealer." Is it just me or is this the craziest thing you've heard today. It must be some kind of money making scheme to funnel business to the dealer's because the car needs a jumpstart, the battery is less than a year old. I know the dead battery issue is a known issue to almost everyone on this forum and there are a few theories about it, from making sure the car is either driven or turned on almost every day, about disconnecting the battery if you go on vacation or have foot surgery and can't drive your car, etc, etc.

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    Moderator map's Avatar
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    As smark has posted, you can pick up a portable jump starter in the $30 to $100 range. Many models have a built-in flashlight and USB charging port. Charge the pack every 6 months (or after jumping the car) and you have some protection.
    1..jpg

    You can check with your auto insurance. My company has a rider that includes road side assistance. (Dropping the rider is only $1, IIRC.) If your battery and electrical system are in good shape, the 500 can go a couple weeks between starts. Longer than that and you might want to keep it on a trickle charger, a BatteryMinder or similar.

    As for the dealer, you might want to break out your owner's manual. For my '18 500, Fiat specifies that the car *can* be jump started. I'd also read your copy of the Fiat roadside service agreement. On their web page they don't specify jump starting cars, but do say tows to the dealer are required, if a dealer is nearby. My car came with a brochure stating what is covered... can't expect the dealer to pay for non-covered items out of their own pocket.

    Extended Park Starting (page 162 STARTING AND OPERATING)
    NOTE: Extended Park condition occurs when the vehicle has not been started or driven for at least 30 days.
    1. Install a battery charger or jumper cables to the battery to ensure a full battery charge during the crank cycle.
    2. Cycle the ignition to the START mode and release it when the engine starts.
    3. If the engine fails to start within 10 to 15 seconds, cycle the ignition to the OFF mode, wait five seconds to allow the starter to cool, then repeat the Extended Park Starting procedure.
    4. If the engine fails to start after eight attempts, allow the starter to cool for at least 10 minutes, then repeat the procedure.

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    Member islander's Avatar
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    Interestingly the original battery in my 2014 Trekking died on me this past weekend. Roadside assistance (in my driveway) from the local contractor for BCAA (BC provincial member of CAA/AAA) charged the battery enough to get me to a local garage and have a new battery installed. I looked at the owner's manual for info on battery service and found this

    JUMP-STARTING PROCEDURE

    If your vehicle has a discharged battery, it can be jump-started using a set of jumper cables and a battery in another vehicle or by using a portable battery booster pack. Jump-starting can be dangerous if done improperly so please follow the procedures in this section carefully.

    NOTE:
    When using a portable battery booster pack, follow the manufacturers operating instructions and precautions.
    This appears on p. 314 of the 5th edition of the 2014 Fiat 500L owner's manual. On pp. 315 and following are further instructions for: Preparations For Jump-Start as well as Connecting and Disconnecting the Jumper Cables. So, put simply according to Fiat's manual it's perfectly OK to jump-start the 500l, if you do it according to their instructions, which look pretty sensible to me.

  4. #4
    smark's Avatar
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    While my car was still under warranty. Fiat care hired a outside tow vendor. Here in town. They jumped started my car. The battery was too dead to start it. They then towed it to the dealership, for a free brand new battery. I now tow in, with my insurance company.


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    Senior Member aelfwyne's Avatar
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    After a blowout, a 7 hour time period to get to the nearest dealer 70 miles away in the opposite direction of my house, being left in the wrong city with no way to get home, having to raise holy hell for a loaner for the night, the dealer telling me the next morning they don't even have a tire in stock (for a standard 17" Abarth tire), I gave Fiat Roadside "assistance" the middle finger and picked up AAA Premium.

    They need to just give up the supposed 0.1 MPG gain, and put frickin spare tires in cars again.
    2015 Rosso Abarth - MAD FIAT - 5 Speed - Phase 2
    2015 Granito Lucente 500T - Proyecto Estupido (Salvage) - Auto - OFT Stage 1

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    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    If you have a good battery you should be able to go for more than a couple of weeks without starting. My car sits for at least 4 months outside during the winter and I start it maybe 2 or 3 times during that period. Never had an issue and my battery lasted 7 1/2 years. The only thing I would do starting the past couple of years is I would occasionally put the car on a charger very occasionally to make sure the battery was fully charged, but that wasn't that many times.

    The problem with most batteries is they sit around under charged forever. Especially with a car that maybe sat on the dealer lot for a looong time before being bought and then sits around and isn't driven much. This kills a battery. Just because your car starts doesn't mean the battery is in good shape. Just through normal use (listening to the radio for long times, leaving lights on overnight, etc.) a battery can get discharged but still have enough power to start your car, but anything under 90% charge the battery can begin to sulfate and deteriorate. You don't realize it until one day the car doesn't start out of nowhere. I could guarantee most Fiats sat around on a dealer lot with the battery just getting weaker and weaker and started to become damaged before an owner ever took the car home. I'm not surprised some folks had batteries go out+

    I never thought a lot about it, like most folks, but now that I occasionally check the battery charge and charge it once a while, I get a lot longer life out of my batteries.
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    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Providence View Post
    Fiat ChryslerRoadside assistance, which is a separate service you can pay for like AAA, just told me they won't jumpstart my 2014 500L because there is a manufacturer's note in their roadside assistance system that says "these cars can't be and should not be jump started, they should be towed to the dealer." Is it just me or is this the craziest thing you've heard today. It must be some kind of money making scheme to funnel business to the dealer's because the car needs a jumpstart, the battery is less than a year old. I know the dead battery issue is a known issue to almost everyone on this forum and there are a few theories about it, from making sure the car is either driven or turned on almost every day, about disconnecting the battery if you go on vacation or have foot surgery and can't drive your car, etc, etc.
    Did you ever get that software update for your car we talked about in a previous thread? Could you use the battery tender that was mentioned in the last quote below to keep your battery charged up when you don't use the car? That would likely take care of your issue assuming you had your car checked out for a electrical system draw and there was nothing found. . I thought you bought your car used from a Toyota dealer, but you have FCA Roadside assistance? I would think another service like AAA would give you more options than getting locked into a Fiat dealer. Also, isn't that a Firstone battery? Sometimes a chain store will offer some kind of roadside assistance for a battery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Providence View Post
    I am not sure if it is best to post here or start a new thread but I still need battery advice.

    I have a 2014 500L Trekking 54K miles with a DDC transmission. I drive in NYC. Over the last 3 years, I have had 3 new batteries. My dealer charges $200/hr labor, so it's literally cheaper to get a battery replaced under warranty than to figure out what's draining my new battery every year. However, I would like to know and based on this thread it's one of several things. Not driving the car for an extended time, leaving the door unlocked, faulty cable? Has anyone gotten a definitive answer or is it a combination based on various factors. Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by Providence View Post
    Thanks for the thorough reply. I took the car to Firestone and yes I need a new battery. Firestone is probably more expensive than AutoZone, but I used them for my tires and I like them and I trust them. And at least they're cheaper than the dealer when it comes to labor.
    Quote Originally Posted by Providence View Post
    An update to my Battery issue in my 2014 500L Trekking with 42K and some advice needed please. Not sure if I should start a new thread.

    Dead Battery-Is It The Alternator or a module or the software update dealer performed March 31?

    After reading and getting advice from this thread I got a an Interstate battery 6 months ago with a warranty through Firestone. After sitting for 6 days the battery took a while to turnover and then died twice, but was able to take jumps and run. Then driving on the highway it went into limp mode. The tow truck operators and cops who stopped to help said it was probably the alternator. Mopar roadside towed it to the dealer I always go to. That dealer charges me $280 for the car check and tells me it's the battery and that they won't and/or can't check the alternator because "it's the battery" and I owe them $280.
    1)With all the problems these 2014 500L's have (I'm on my 3rd transmission) it makes sense that it's not the battery. Does anyone have additional experience or with this issue.
    Thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by 5port View Post
    My guess combination of various factors. Tweak gave the answer in post #10...Battery Tender.

    You drive in NYC stop and go.

    You store the vehicle for a while...so its been draining.

    When you get back after storage you drive in stop and go again.

    battery never has a chance to recover its charge.

    As long as you've had the software update at the beginning of the thread it looks like you need to put your car on a battery tender. If not all the time...at least once every two weeks to bring the battery back to 100% charge.
    /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\

    This is good advice for any car and likely your issue as long as your car passes a an electrical system draw test,
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    Tracing an intermittent battery drain is really tricky.

    On the former car, I killed the batt @ 5+ years by leaving the headlights on for 3 hours. It took a jump and full charge, showed OK on load test, but went DOA 2 weeks later. After that it went DOA in the drive 3 more times, around 3 years. It didn't matter if I stuck in the $49 Wally-world batt, or the top-line Interstate. I suspect the computer was leaving something turned on. Naturally, once the battery was swapped, the computer reset... no drain indicated.

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