Our new motorhome is getting us really stressed

Jan 28, 2018
23
125
Swindon
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52,163
MH
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Since 2017
This could be the start of a very long story of our trials and tribulations with our new A class motorhome. But right now that can wait as it looks possible that we have a fairly massive problem and I'm fishing for a bit of information. It looks possible that our head gasket needs to be replaced. The van has been in the dealers today and they haven't so far got to the oil leak which is fairly significant. They're saying its higher up the engine and they're concerned it is head gasket. Our motorhome has 1500 miles on it and we've had a number of issues. This is just the latest one. We're due to go on a 3 week tour to the south of France starting on Sunday!!
How difficult is it to change a head gasket on an A Class motorhome?
Feeling really down right now
 

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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Probably difficult for them to see where the leak is due to restricted access.
As for changing the head gasket it really depends on the van, our Hymer has quite good access so would probably only add an hour or so to the job. My mates Carthago with Alde heating with the Alde heat exchanger looks like it would be an absolute nightmare.
 

funflair

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Dec 11, 2013
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Not a good start so hopefully it can only get better, I am guessing it's on a Fiat as they nearly all are, is it in the motorhome dealer or Fiat garage, I would have thought it needs to go to Fiat professional workshop. How long? if it is the head gasket:) not that long once they start.

Martin
 
Last edited:

pappajohn

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Unusual for it to be the head gasket without other related problems..... Water in oil, oil in water, Water loss, overheating, burning oil etc.
There's not enough pressure in the oil system to pop the head gasket on its own but it could be a crack in the cylinder head.
More chance its the cam cover gasket or turbo oil feed pipe leaking.
If its the back of the cover leaking it'll be very difficult to see.
 
OP
stevel2
Jan 28, 2018
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Not aa good start so hopefully it can only get better, I am guessing it's on a Fiat as they nearly all are, is it in the motorhome dealer or Fiat garage, I would have thought it needs to go to Fiat professional workshop. How long? if it is the head gasket:) not that long once they start.

Martin
Hi Martin. Not in either at the moment as our local Fiat Commercial Dealer said they didn't want to see it again after they did the throttle body recall. They say its too long and too valuable. It's 7.6mtrs.
I took it to a friends garage but had to instruct them not to remove bits in case it affected warranty. I was hoping it was going to be a simple fix but not looking that way.
 

funflair

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Hi Martin. Not in either at the moment as our local Fiat Commercial Dealer said they didn't want to see it again after they did the throttle body recall. They say its too long and too valuable. It's 7.6mtrs.
I took it to a friends garage but had to instruct them not to remove bits in case it affected warranty. I was hoping it was going to be a simple fix but not looking that way.
I think you are right to not let your mate work on it at only 1500 miles and I imagine not very old either, it's the responsibility of you dealer and or Fiat, your dealer should be able to tell you where to take it, you could contact Fiat customer assistance and I am sure that they will tell you where to take it as 7.6 metres is not that large and I don't see what value has to do with it unless the garage has no faith in it's staff.

Martin
 
OP
stevel2
Jan 28, 2018
23
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Swindon
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Unusual for it to be the head gasket without other related problems..... Water in oil, oil in water, Water loss, overheating, burning oil etc.
There's not enough pressure in the oil system to pop the head gasket on its own.
More chance its the cam cover gasket or turbo oil feed pipe leaking.
If its the back of the cover leaking it'll be very difficult to see.
Interesting reply because our first issue was a heater hose blowing off a heat exchanger inside the motorhome sending 5ltrs of glycol down the motorhome. I got it stopped very quickly and Fiat Assist sent out the RAC who got us back going again.
 
Oct 29, 2016
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Ex Tuggers, I year into Mohoing, FLT wannabies
Sorry to hear of your problems with you new MH, just to clarify for us, how old is it? are you the second owner? at only having 1500 miles on the clock.
What make and model is it, and what dealer did you buy from as there are good & bad out there.
I am not sure how long it will take to change the head gasket as it depends on how long it takes them to get to the top of the engine to access all the manifolds, it may need skimming before refitting as it may be warped now.
Have you asked them for a loan vehicle to cover your booked France Trip?, they may have something to tied you over, although I know its not the same as taking your own vehicle.
I am sure others will suggest that you reject the vehicle as not fit for purpose under the newish consumer laws, it depends on how confident you feel this vehicle will be after having the engine sorted, and all the other things you have had problems with.
Only you ca make that decision, I know which way I would be heading in taking legal advice maybe, if you have some finance arranged on the vehicle this can be helpful also as they would probably help in getting the vehicle rejected if you should choose that route of action.

So sorry for you, or anyone having these problems with a newish vehicle, thank goodness the engine ones like this are rare on here.

Good luck.
Les
 

mikebeaches

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Feel your pain and disappointment. :(

Hope you can get it sorted without too much disruption to your travel plans.
 

TheBig1

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this is where a fiat main dealer workshop comes into it's own. A quality snake camera will be used to examine the otherwise impossible to see angles of the engine

The actual job mentioned of head gasket change really does depend on the way the A class was built round it.
 

TheBig1

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Nov 27, 2011
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this is where a fiat main dealer workshop comes into it's own. A quality snake camera will be used to examine the otherwise impossible to see angles of the engine

The actual job mentioned of head gasket change really does depend on the way the A class was built round it.
 
OP
stevel2
Jan 28, 2018
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Sorry to hear of your problems with you new MH, just to clarify for us, how old is it? are you the second owner? at only having 1500 miles on the clock.
What make and model is it, and what dealer did you buy from as there are good & bad out there.
I am not sure how long it will take to change the head gasket as it depends on how long it takes them to get to the top of the engine to access all the manifolds, it may need skimming before refitting as it may be warped now.
Have you asked them for a loan vehicle to cover your booked France Trip?, they may have something to tied you over, although I know its not the same as taking your own vehicle.
I am sure others will suggest that you reject the vehicle as not fit for purpose under the newish consumer laws, it depends on how confident you feel this vehicle will be after having the engine sorted, and all the other things you have had problems with.
Only you ca make that decision, I know which way I would be heading in taking legal advice maybe, if you have some finance arranged on the vehicle this can be helpful also as they would probably help in getting the vehicle rejected if you should choose that route of action.

So sorry for you, or anyone having these problems with a newish vehicle, thank goodness the engine ones like this are rare on here.

Good luck.
Les
Thanks Les. We are feeling pretty sorry for ourselves at the moment for sure. Phone calls tomorrow and we'll see where it all goes. We don't really want to go down the road of rejection because we love the vehicle. But these problems are really getting to us. Plus we spent a fair chunk of money adding bits to it to suit our own purposes. A good nights sleep and hopefully tomorrow will be better.
 
Apr 15, 2015
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It should be a simple enough job for a competent Fiat Professional dealer (I'd recommend a commercial garage rather than one that just has car ramps and limited space) to drop the engine out through the bottom, fix the problem, and refit the engine. I had an oil leak on the oil feed to the turbo on an 'A' class Hymer (3 litre engine) and that's exactly what they did. No problems after that.

Contact Fiat Camper Assist on 00800 3428 1111. I've found them to be very helpful.
 
Oct 29, 2016
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Camberley, Surrey
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Yes mate, sleep tight,I know how gutted you feel right now, hope you get the news you deserve tomorrow.
Good Luck.
Les
 
OP
stevel2
Jan 28, 2018
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It should be a simple enough job for a competent Fiat Professional dealer (I'd recommend a commercial garage rather than one that just has car ramps and limited space) to drop the engine out through the bottom, fix the problem, and refit the engine. I had an oil leak on the oil feed to the turbo on an 'A' class Hymer (3 litre engine) and that's exactly what they did. No problems after that.

Contact Fiat Camper Assist on 00800 3428 1111. I've found them to be very helpful.
Thanks for thoughts. It was actually a Fiat Professional Dealer who said they didn't want to see it again. Was still trying to get my head round that one but was hoping I wouldn't have to deal with that until first service.
I'll be contacting Fiat Camper Assist in the morning.
Thanks again
 
Oct 20, 2015
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Thanks for thoughts. It was actually a Fiat Professional Dealer who said they didn't want to see it again. Was still trying to get my head round that one but was hoping I wouldn't have to deal with that until first service.
I'll be contacting Fiat Camper Assist in the morning.
Thanks again
Were they an authorided MH service dealer? Not all Fiat Professional dealers accept MHs as they may not have suitable facilities to deal with them. If you go to the list of dealers on the Fiat Professional website you can search for those that are authorised to repair and service MHs.
 
Jun 14, 2011
112
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Grantham
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MH
low profile
Exp
7 years
Had similar problems see thread titled Bad day yesterday
Picked up my new Kontiki 650 a month ago and was very pleased with it. Went to storage yesterday to bring it home for a wash and polish, got home a smelt 'funny very hot smell' looked under bonnet and found what I thought was coolant on top of air filter. Oh well I thought contact Fiat Assist and get it sorted. Called them and RAC man arrives and diagnoses it as a coolant leak but cant see where from goes under the engine and says 'Oh dear you have an oil leak from head gasket not to bad but definitely there also a weep from a coolant hose clip' checked oil and coolant levels both down but nothing serious.
Contact Fiat Assist and they arrange collection of Motorhome to take to Fiat Professional dealer to get it rectified, the earliest they can look at it is Monday. MH has covered a massive 870 miles!!!!!!!!!
Not a good start, I have 2 previous MH based on Fiat Ducato no problems and yes I know they are built for 'white van man use' and as such are good for very high mileage.
Has anybody else had any similar problems?

This was the result:
Heard back from garage yesterday they believe it is the sump gasket and not the head gasket that is leaking they have ordered the part and hope to get it fixed today. The coolant leak they cant find but have suggested that it might relate to when Swift were doing the conversion they tap into coolant system as they use it to heat the van whilst travelling via Alde system they think some was spilt onto air filter housing and this was reactivated by water coming off he bonnet when I opened it. I will keep my eyes and 'nose' open and check the levels:)(y)


MH is now working fine . It took thn 4 attempts to wash oil off engine to establish where it was coming from.
I hope your problem is a similar easy fix
 
Oct 16, 2014
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Awful, really feel for you.
However, at 2 months old Fiat will deal with it. They have to. I had recent dealings with them in Italy (by phone) and they were great, they liaised with one of their Professional garages near me, and my van was out of warranty. A proper Fiat Professional garage will sort it.
Your French trip is probably knackered, sorry, but more important to get the engine fixed.
 

Jaws

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Hmmmmmm.. Sorry to hear of your woes...

I dunno if I suffering deja view but I think this the second nearly new Fiat lump with the same problem recently
 

funflair

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Hmmmmmm.. Sorry to hear of your woes...

I dunno if I suffering deja view but I think this the second nearly new Fiat lump with the same problem recently
I think you are right but couldn't think who it was, think the early diagnosis was head gasket but then turned out to be something else.

Martin
 
Feb 26, 2019
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N00B !
First protect your rights and long term interests. Make sure you record, in writing, to your dealer, with whom your contract to purchase and therefore your rights lie, that there is a potentially serious issue. You reserve your rights to reject the vehicle (however inconvenient that might be to you). If the dealer is reputable they will want to help you.

If the initial leak was because of MH kit then it becomes the dealer who needs to help on behalf of the MH manufacturer. Make sure the MH manufacturer is also aware.

As others have said it seems Fiat Camper Assist is the big port of call. They should direct you to the Service Centre that can help,. It's a warranty issue on the engine, so Fiat should be involved unless they say the MH kit is the problem then back to the dealer.

Oh and unless someone competent says it is OK, don't drive / run the engine for any length of time until fixed. Who knows what is going on inside. That could create problems getting it to dealer / workshop

Short term, your not going on holiday :( No way this will be fixed in a day in a workshop even if there is capacity. How upsetting. I'd be gutted.
 
Jan 14, 2014
131
112
Swindon
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29,698
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A class
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Were they an authorided MH service dealer? Not all Fiat Professional dealers accept MHs as they may not have suitable facilities to deal with them. If you go to the list of dealers on the Fiat Professional website you can search for those that are authorised to repair and service MHs.
I suspect as the OP is from Swindon hes talking about Johnsons who now have the Fiat dealership here.
I had a similar problem with them when i took my 8.35 mt motorhome to them for an oil and filter change after its first 12 mths. Told them the size and weight ( 8.35 mts and 5 tonne) they said no problem. Turned up and after sitting in the reception for 45 mins when they came out and said they couldnt deal with the size!
The OPs mh is 7.6 mts and they are now saying they cant deal with it and its too valuable!!!! Aren't all mhs valuable. Idiots.
 
OP
stevel2
Jan 28, 2018
23
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I suspect as the OP is from Swindon hes talking about Johnsons who now have the Fiat dealership here.
I had a similar problem with them when i took my 8.35 mt motorhome to them for an oil and filter change after its first 12 mths. Told them the size and weight ( 8.35 mts and 5 tonne) they said no problem. Turned up and after sitting in the reception for 45 mins when they came out and said they couldnt deal with the size!
The OPs mh is 7.6 mts and they are now saying they cant deal with it and its too valuable!!!! Aren't all mhs valuable. Idiots.
You are right. It is Johnsons. My experience was almost identical. I had already been in to them and told them what MH I had to check if they could support it. Was told initially no problem. When I took the MH there for the recall I too sat in reception and was then told they couldn't handle it. Either they are a commercial dealer of they're not? They've asked me to take it to Gloucester but there's no way I'm driving it that far without a Fiat diagnosis.
 
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