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Thread: Oil (?) Leak

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    Oil (?) Leak

    I have a leak that appears to be coming from the mating of the transmission to the engine though honestly it is not easy to identify - not even sure if it is engine or transmission oil? It shows up first in the crack between the black plate and casing, probably dribbles back (you can see the drop on pic) before dripping down on under carriage "skid" plate and onto garage floor.

    I've attached some pics and am wondering if anyone else has a similar leak? or if you can help ID oil type? The pic of the paper towel is what came out running it between the black plate and casing.

    I've only had the car for 3 months, have about 700 miles on it and have not had it back to the dealer yet (it is over 100 miles away so I want to cover several things at one time, including the 1ST oil change).

    Thanks for any advice...........and what a great car to drive!100_1074.jpg100_1074.jpg100_1077.jpg
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    Someone else reported a rear main seal leaking. Not sure if an Abarth, but still a possibility.
    Former - 1971 Fiat 850 Spider
    IT'S HERE - 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth
    Currently in Garage - 2002 E46 M3, 2000 M Roadster, 1995 E36 M3 Lightweight, 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Spec Racer Ford

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    Pinecone - I've tried finding the thread but so far no luck. I'm assuming you think it might be engine oil as opposed to transmission oil? I dread the thought of having the main seal replaced, not totally confident that the dealer has the experience / training to pull that off. But I'll have no choice as I suspect this will only get worse with time. Is that likely to be a "while you wait" repair - my guess is no. And if not, do the studios typically have "loaner" vehicles for longer repairs?

    I'll update the result but I'm still 3 months out from the expected first oil change. Thanks for your reply.

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    hmm, that almost looks like the tranny leaking. Any wetness around the axle seals where the axles go into the trans?
    Sometimes the seals can get pinched, etc during assembly.
    The oil looks VERY clean for motor oil unless it was just changed?

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    I did check around the boots (wanted to make sure the clamps were installed) and everything looked fine. This leak seemed to be coming out from between the black plate and the casing - and it was at the bottom / end of the plate and not towards the top.

    The oil has not been changed, but since I only have 700 miles on the car it is still pretty clean. I guess I am leaning towards thinking maybe transmission oil because the engine oil is so light I wonder if it could really hold together long enough to form a "drop" that stays in place? Also, I'm not noticing any changes on the dipstick level yet.

    I don't even know where the transmission fill plug is located to check that level?

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    Senior Member pastor passum's Avatar
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    About 3 weeks ago I took my Abarth in for it's first oil change. When they finished the service manager told me they found a slight oil leak on the transmission. They cleaned the area and wanted me to drive it a week or two and bring it back. They wanted to make sure it was leaking rather than just spilled fluid or whatever. Anyway, last week I took it back in and they confirmed it was leaking slightly. Not enough to drip in my garage but leaking none the less. They took pictures and sent them to Fiat. Fiat wants the transmission back! They called yesterday and said the new transmission was in. They've never replaced a transmission at my studio. She assured me they'd take their time and do it right.

    While I appreciate the fact that Fiat wants the transmission back to see why it's leaking, I just hate seeing my new car being torn into. I'll keep you guys informed. Hopefully yours will be a simple fix.

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    I can understand your feeling leery........and I really appreciate you following up to let us know the results. I have this sinking feeling that I'll be joining you, but keeping my hopes up that it will be a simple fix. However, since I'm already leaking enough to reach the garage floor I suspect otherwise.

    It is excellent that Fiat cares enough to actually replace the entire transmission, and that it only took 3 weeks for the replacement to arrive. I did go through the cleanup routine already (for the same reason). Here's wishing you a clean swap with no surprises.

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    Senior Member pastor passum's Avatar
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    Thanks, hopefully I'll hear from them by tomorrow.

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    The thread may be on the other 500 forum.

    Tranny leak does not sound good, but good that Fiat is taking is seriously.
    Former - 1971 Fiat 850 Spider
    IT'S HERE - 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth
    Currently in Garage - 2002 E46 M3, 2000 M Roadster, 1995 E36 M3 Lightweight, 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Spec Racer Ford

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    RoadRace Motorsports
    Took the car to the dealer Saturday 9/15/12. I have to admit I really like the attitude of the Service department (Service Specialist) and how concerned he seemed to be about my issues......yes, I also had the double sided tape release on the body side molding problem, as well as the paint flaking around the badge on the front bumper. The Service Specialist gave me a loaner to use so I could get back home (100+ miles). I also have intermittent leak of the rear window washer fluid but didn't even mention that as it has been over a month since that leak happened.

    Anyway, long story short I heard from the dealer today that Chrysler informed the dealer their assessment is that the leak is caused by "build Lube" used in the manufacturing process heating up and coming off. While I hope beyond my wildest dreams this is 100% accurate, I have to admit I'm a little skeptical. Has anyone ever heard of "build lube" causing a leak strong enough to puddle on a garage floor? For that matter, has anyone even heard of "Build Lube" before? The Service Specialist did inform me they've added dye to the fluids so I suspect eventually we'll get to the bottom of this, and again nothing would make me happier than for this analysis to be correct.

    As for the body side molding that was also fixed but the Dealer told me the front fascia paint issue was not fixed because they are having problems getting paid under warranty for work done on other cars. They took pics of the "bubbling" paint and I'll talk to them more about this when I pick the car up on Saturday, but there is no room for debate that this is a manufacturing defect. This car has only 800 miles on it, over 200+ just driving to / from dealer and has been in a garage since day one. I've never even driven it at night yet aka no chance this is "bug juice" crud. I expect Fiat / Chrysler better get a grip on this defect via a common policy because this looks like it is going to be very common judging by other posts.

    I'll update as soon as we confirm "build lube" as the culprit..............odd though that no one else seems to have build lube issues.

    I really really miss my Abarth though - can't imagine what would even come close to replacing it (and definitely not FRS / BRZ because I drove those first before buying the Abarth, and I wouldn't trade even for either).

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