Warning if you break down abroad

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by enjohn, May 6, 2010.

  1. enjohn

    enjohn Read Only Funster

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    A warning to everyone with a Fiat based Motorhome when travelling abroad.

    Whilst journeying down to Spain in January this year, the turbo charger on my 2007 Fiat 2.8 Ducato expired on an Autoroute not far from Narbonne. We were recovered to a Fiat Dealership garage in Narbonne where the diagnosis was made. Seven days later we were on our way once more, with a brand new turbo and €1215.00 less in our bank account! I accept that fact that the vehicle is out of warranty, but taking into account the fact that this vehicle had done less than 7000 miles at the time of the breakdown, is regularly serviced and, like most motorhomes rarely driven above 60/65 miles per hour I believed there may be a quality issue to put to Fiat.

    How wrong can one be!

    I received a phone call from a Fiat UK ‘Customer Service’ person who told me, “..unfortunately because you broke down outside the UK there is nothing we can do”. Further discussions were to prove fruitless, but he stated on more than one occasion that if it had happened in the UK they would have done all they could to assist me with the cost of the repair; he also told me that had I been recovered to the UK for the repair to be carried out they would also have tried to assist me. However you have to contact Fiat UK first to give them the opportunity to investigate the fault and negotiate prices with the dealer carrying out the repair.

    I was further informed that if I had contacted Fiat in France before I had the repair completed they may have been able to assist me as well! When I explained to him that I was not aware of this and that probably not many other Motorhome owners new this either, he explained this was not the case as he “..talks to about 50 customers a day about this..”. I wonder how many of my fellow motorhomers are in fact aware of this?

    So remember, if you break down in your Fiat outside of the UK and your vehicle is outside of warranty but you feel that the part that has failed shouldn’t have done, then you must either in your fluent French, Spanish, Italian etc. contact the Fiat Customer Service for that country, BEFORE the repair is carried out; or have it recovered to the UK to a Fiat dealer and then contact Fiat UK BEFORE the repair is carried out, you may not be let down as I have been. But silly me, I don’t need to tell anyone this, as according to Fiat you know this already!

    However this still leaves a big question mark hanging over the quality of a turbo with so few miles on the clock actually failing?


    enjohn
     
  2. G4GMO

    G4GMO Read Only Funster

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    You could consider the possibility of claiming through the courts. 7000 miles is hardly run in.
     
  3. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Moral here is, always have repatriation cover and insist on it! It may mean a dull and long journey home, but at least you will be on home ground.

    If you contact a warranty company, they will gladly take on a vehicle of that age - cost will be something like £200 a year for private cover. With the reliability issues that age of motorhome has, it may be worth checking out.

    Thanks for letting other motorhomers aware!:thumb:
     
  4. Phil

    Phil Read Only Funster

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    If the turbo stops working does it stop you driving the vehicle? I thought that it would just give you less power so you might have to change down a bit more often or drive slower.

    I have a turbo but really have no idea if it is working or not.

    Phil.
     
  5. Ruddy

    Ruddy Read Only Funster

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    You'll soon know when it's not working.....Usually you only have to look in the mirrors :Eek!:
     
  6. Ant&Debs

    Ant&Debs Read Only Funster

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    Did the cost also include cost of recovery? French have a system that on a breakdown on an autoroute if you cant be fixed and got going after 30 mins then you must be tow off the motorway. Not sure cost for motorhome but a 12 meter coach costs around £1000.00 to tow off autoroute:cry:
     
  7. chas

    chas Read Only Funster

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    I wonder if this also applies to the Peugeot mark ? Also I dont like the sound of (try to assist you ) its a hell of a way to come back to blighty to only be in by a few hundred quid if that. Then there is the hugh disapointment of aborting the holiday when nearly there + ferry fares / fuel/ toll fees ect.
    I think its just a question of biting the bullet :shout: and try to get on and enjoy the holiday.
    Its not right that the part should fail, and if Fiat wriggle out of thier morale responsabilty and wont contribute towards the cost, then perhaps considering your next purchase with a differant base manufacturer would certainly be understandable. Wish you luck.
     
  8. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    the manufactured part with a zero failure rate does not exist , and fiat do not make the part themselves to be fair ; saying they would consider helping you on an out of guarantee vehicle is positive in my opinion ; I am surprised that they didn't say that turbochargers tend to fail if left to stand around doing nothing

    if you have no command of the languages where you travel to , why not phone fiat uk and solicit their assistance ? they could probably have arranged to get the work done at the fiat parts/labour charge rate , much lower than retail , the fiat agent in france would have confirmed the mileage
     
  9. Braunston

    Braunston Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    Thanks for letting us know what they said.

    I would be very interested to know or hear from anyone who has had assistance from Fiat or any other manufacturer outside of their warranty period when things like this have happened and what did they think about it, was it worth making contact.

    As it sounds like a really great offer.


     
  10. Wintonian

    Wintonian Read Only Funster

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    A very interesting thread.

    A quick search on Google turned up these two American articles: http://www.custom-car.us/turbo/lubrication.aspx and http://www.custom-car.us/turbo/lubrication.aspx

    There is some very interesting information in both of these and advice that should clearly be followed - particularly with regard to lubricating oil.

    In my 1992 Hymer, fitted with the 1.9 intercooled turbo diesel engine, the dash array includes a warning light (top right corner) that has an icon in the shape of a turbo-charger. The icon is illuminated by a red light when the engine revs are high and the engine is under high load (hill climbing for example). Can someone tell me exactly what this indicates?
     
  11. hallii

    hallii Read Only Funster

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    As has already been mentioned, turbos do not like sitting immobile for long periods, things corrode and seals get damaged when it starts spinning, (and boy, does it spin, up to 150, 000 rpm).

    This is why the correct grade of oil is so important.

    After a motorway or high speed run the turbo should be allowed to "run down" and cool before switching the engine off, maybe 2 or 3 minutes on tickover would do it.

    I reckon any manufacturer would want evidence of correct servicing and then to examine the parts before any agreement on costs is made.

    So, take your pride and joy for a run every two weeks, give it some wellie, get that turbo spinning, hammer the brakes a couple of times, get it fully warmed up first of course.

    That is what they are meant to be treated like, that is how white van man drives them and the manufacturers design them to suit.

    Hallii
     
  12. Wintonian

    Wintonian Read Only Funster

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    This could also be a good, economic reason why so many delivery drivers do not switch off their engines when stopping to make deliveries - if they did, they could be damaging the turbos which would cost a lot more than the fuel being used at tick-over.
     
  13. aba

    aba

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    my old lancia delta had a light similar to this and basically it indicated that the overboost allowance is engaged on the system.
    basic normal boost pressure for a turbo is around 12psi with the overboost it can be double.
    not harmful but telling you that you have reached maximum output which is helpful when hill climbing.
     
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