Rant: Fiat 5-day Parts Ordering Policy

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by maz, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. maz

    maz Funster

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    I am not happy for a number of reasons:

    1. Last Monday I took the van into the Fiat garage in Worcester as booked to have an oil leak from the cam cover repaired under warranty. This had been diagnosed 10 days earlier on the Friday of the previous week. However because of Fiat's policy that garages can only order parts 5 days before they're needed (otherwise the parts cannot be returned if not needed), when I went in on Monday it was to be told that one part was still outstanding and wouldn't be in until Wednesday. I was not pleased, especially as I had camped out on the garage forecourt overnight so that the engine would be cold to work on first thing in the morning. :Angry: As a few parts had been ordered I suggested they go ahead with the work anyway as maybe the missing part would not be required and then I could be out of there. Lucky I did because once bits had been dismantled it turned out that the oil leak was coming from the head gasket and not the cam cover. So it was arranged that I would return the following Monday for the gasket to be replaced, stressing that this time the required part needed to be ordered in plenty of time.

    2. Today I got a phone call from the garage service manager. It seems that the head gasket on my van could be any one of three - depending on the number of notches on it. One version was in stock so no problem, the other two weren't even available in this country. So guess what? - they wouldn't be in until Wednesday. Sense of deja vu here? :RollEyes:

    3. They will not know until they take the cylinder head off which of the three versions of gasket will actually be required. To me this seems bizarre. Could Fiat not have recorded against the chassis number which gasket they had used when building the engine? Who will give me odds on the in-stock gasket being the right one for my engine? Also I have now been told that the cylinder head will have to be sent away to be skimmed before a new gasket is put in place. This normally just takes 24 hours to turnaround so should be back on the Wednesday. Somehow I just don't feel terribly confident about given timescales anymore. :Sad: And this is in a van that's only just done 5,000 miles for f*** sake!

    4. I have already booked a night in a B&B for Monday night. Now I have had to add in one for Tuesday night as well. B&Bs around Worcester are not cheap and I have had to track down ones that will take dogs. It's quite likely that I'll also have to book one for Wednesday night. :RollEyes:

    5. I asked the service manager for a contact number for Fiat customer service - the only one he has is the International Freephone 00800 number for customer service in Italy. I can't ring 00800 numbers from a BT phone box. I'm not ringing expensive international calls from my mobile. I find a 'Chat' option on the Fiat website - the person I get to chat to suggests I phone or e-mail instead. :RollEyes: I find a 'Call Me Back Now' option on the same site - I fill in all my details and 2.5 hours later I'm still waiting for that phone call. :Angry: Only option left is to e-mail them - but I wanted to talk to an actual person! Today! I want to bend their ear and point out that their silly 5-day policy is not in the customer's interest. I want them to pay for my B&Bs. I want a year's free supply of tiramisu!
     
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  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    notches on a head gasket generally denote just one thing........how much, if ever, the head has been skimmed after gasket failure.

    Skimming ensures the cylinder head is truly flat and involves removing a miniscule amount of metal.....maybe just 5 or 10 thousandths of an inch.

    That metal is replaced in the form of a slightly thicker head gasket, usually in three stages of thickness depending how much metal was removed......3 being the thickest.
     
  3. maz

    maz Funster

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    So in theory my engine shouldn't need anything other than the thinnest gasket. Wonder if that's the one that's in stock?
     
  4. Ambilkate

    Ambilkate Funster Life Member

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    Oh Maz so sorry to hear this if you had have been closer to us you could have stayed with us.. Hope this gets sorted quicky for you
     
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  5. maz

    maz Funster

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    Thanks for that Kath. I should have stayed in Shrewsbury! :RollEyes:
     
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  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    problem is they are skimming the head so it will need an 'oversized' gasket and the thickness depends how much metal is removed.

    Maybe Fiat do something different but thats what the notches generally mean,
     
  7. Soozywoozy

    Soozywoozy Funster

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    Having issues myself, I feel your pain. Let's hope its gets sorted soon
     
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  8. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    It seems pisspotical that FIAT workshops don't keep at least 1 of each gasket in stock, replacing as used, afterall the expense can't be that much, can it?

    Cheers, Dave:thumb:

    ps, think of the GOODWILL it might encourage!!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  9. maz

    maz Funster

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    Have just indulged in a spot of googling and found the Fiat Ducato Course Online: http://library.docent.isvor.it/uplo...cia Didattica Fiat Ducato seconda fase_GB.pdf .

    From p14:

    The gasket between cylinder head and
    crankcase is composed of three layers
    of stainless steel coated
    with special heat-resistant rubber material.
    While head gaskets of three different thicknesses are
    used at the factory, replacement gaskets come in
    one standard thickness only. Factory gaskets are differentiated by notches as follows
    - 1 notch : thickness class 1
    - 2 notches: thickness class 2
    - 3 notches: thickness class 3

    So not massively useful as to explaining why there are 3 thicknesses of gasket used in the factory. But if replacement gaskets only come in one standard thickness, why is the garage trying to order in 3 different ones? :Confused:
     
  10. tofo

    tofo Funster

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    Found these for you

    Ones European ones uk with a direct no


    Fiat UK (includes Alfa Romeo UK) UK Mr Steve Zanlunghi, Managing Director
    www CS

    Fiat UK


    Mr Steve Zanlunghi Managing Director

    Email Smz2@chrysler.com
    Telephone 01753 519588
    Website http://www.fiat.co.uk
    Social Media

    Address SL1 4DX
    Company Number 00201514

    See also Customer Services

    Europe below
    FIAT Group


    Mr Sergio Marchionne CEO

    Email Sergio.Marchionne@fiatgroup.com
    Website http://www.fiat.com
    Social Media
     
  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    well.....thats the dead opposite of what i was told.

    if there is only one replacement thickness why bother with three 'build time' thicknesses.....makes no sense.
     
  12. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Mr Steve Zanlunghi Managing Director

    Email Smz2@chrysler.com

    i wonder why the email addy is @chrysler..........Fiat own chrysler, not the other way round
     
  13. maz

    maz Funster

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    Crazy, isn't it?! Presumably there's some reason behind it - but I can't think of one! :wub:
     
  14. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    They probably have varying thickness gaskets in the factory and use them according to how poorly the head and blocks are machined in order to take up the uneven gaps between the mating faces.:Doh:
     
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  15. maz

    maz Funster

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    I'm hoping that's a joke. :BigGrin:

    But it makes more sense than anything I've thought of. :RollEyes:
     
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  16. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    I‘m sure Icantremember is about right. Everything is made to certain tolerances, so if a block is machined to the lowest size, the head will need to be spaced off the appropriate amount to maintain the clearances.
     
  17. maz

    maz Funster

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    So in that case, what happens when the gasket is replaced and the only replacement gasket is one size? Are clearances increased/reduced? And what effect will that have on the engine? Anyone know?

    Over the three years that I've been motorhoming, I've already learned more about the various components than I ever imagined I would need (or want) to. But still it goes on. :RollEyes:
     
  18. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Because the parts person/storeman ( who are all bred especially from some weird race who are always limited to an EXACT I Q of 74 and are not allowed to read past the first line of anything by order of their union ) read there are three versions..

    If he had continued on he would have known there is only one.

    There should be a roll playing game invented.. Dungeons and Storemen.. The adventures and possibilities would be endless
     
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  19. cruiser

    cruiser Funster Life Member

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    :Blush:same props with their cars.6 weeks wating for a headcaskit.sold car.:Doh::Doh:
     
  20. maz

    maz Funster

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    That's really cheered me up. :Wink: I could miss the P'boro Show at this rate! :Eeek:
     
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