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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2012 Fiat 500 POP and have been experiencing a couple issues lately. My power steering has gone out a few times (I've been able to correct this immediately by turning the car off and then turning it back on at a stoplight but I'm guessing that won't work forever). I've also noticed that most times lately when I put the car in park and turn it off I get the beeping and "P" error as if the car thinks I didn't put in park (this then stops pretty quickly as the car registers that it is indeed in park). I have no idea if these two issues are related. Then, yesterday I had a dead battery for no apparent reason (not sure if I left a door ajar or something). After getting a jump from a co-worker I went immediately to an auto parts store for a battery check but they said the battery is fine. Again, not sure if this is related to the other issues (and I admittedly know very little about cars). Any idea what could be going on here? The closest dealership is over an hour away and I know I need to get there but I'm hoping to put it off for a couple weeks when I have some time off from work.
 

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The good news is you can start diagnosing it w/o a dealer. Has the check engine light come on? Some parts stores can scan your car for trouble codes and it is usually free. With the "P error", I assume there weren't any numbers behind the P. (P#### is a display of a trouble code.) Toggling the key will reset the system momentarily.

The battery could be harder to locate, unless it reoccurs. I've seen a couple videos on mystery dead batteries, on new Fiats. No cause was found and it didn't repeat. One owner's solution was to buy a jump pack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info! No, no check engine light. The only light I've gotten is for the power steering and that only comes on when the issue is happening and then goes away. The "P" isn't really a real error, it's more of an indicator with a warning beep (it normally happens if you try to turn your car off before putting it in park).
 

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UPDATE: Car worked fine most of the day (went to work, ran an errand during work, drove home) but on my way home I stopped to get some groceries and the car (battery) was totally dead when I came out. Sigh. Dealership can't get me in until Tuesday. My battery is only 3 months old, so who knows?
 

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I'm sorry to hear of the problems, AmyK. I look forward to hearing what the dealership says.

If you are worried after the repair, you could pick up a portable jump starter for about $30. They are a good part of an emergency kit. They aren't powerful, but will kick a Fiat over (when charged).

About the size of a cell phone, you can tuck it under the seat; many have a flashlight, strobe and phone charge port. That, a solar blanket, and a tin with some power bars, and a person is set if stranded.
 

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The power steering is electric in our cars so a parasitic drain and an intermittent failure of the power steering would seem to be connected. Since it's unlikely you are stull under warranty, are there any good independent shops in your area?

Find an Italian car specialist or call around to independent shops to see who will work on your car.
 

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Amy, I bet you electric power steering rack is starting to fail. As far as your dead battery. Run your car, by any auto supply store. They can run a load test on your alternator, see if it’s charging your battery. It should at least putting out 14.6 volts. It’s a free test. My original 2012 battery failed. Left me stranded. It was only 2 years old. My dashboard light lite up, like flashing Christmas lights. Bad battery cells. We had another new car, the battery failed too.

I decided to by one of these jump start, battery units. Charge it up using USB. It can charge a dead phone too. I bought it last November, it sits in the glove box. A must for emergency.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all these great responses! I did buy a nice jump starter which gives me a lot of peace of mind (it has an air compressor too, so double win). I have not had to jump the car again and I haven't had power steering issues for about a week. I ended up cancelling my appointment at the dealership because I am going out of town later this week (not driving) and I'll have more time to deal with it when I get back. I do plan to go to Autozone and have the alternator checked, but I haven't gotten there yet.

I did notice that my coolant was ridiculously low (you could barely see it in the overflow tank) so I topped that off with the proper OAT stuff and am now monitoring that for a leak (if there is one, it's ridiculously slow). I am frustrated that all of sudden I'm having all of these issues, but I am grateful that my car is at least still drive-able.

Thanks again for all the help and I'll keep you posted!
 

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Thanks for all these great responses! I did buy a nice jump starter which gives me a lot of peace of mind (it has an air compressor too, so double win). I have not had to jump the car again and I haven't had power steering issues for about a week. I ended up cancelling my appointment at the dealership because I am going out of town later this week (not driving) and I'll have more time to deal with it when I get back. I do plan to go to Autozone and have the alternator checked, but I haven't gotten there yet.

I did notice that my coolant was ridiculously low (you could barely see it in the overflow tank) so I topped that off with the proper OAT stuff and am now monitoring that for a leak (if there is one, it's ridiculously slow). I am frustrated that all of sudden I'm having all of these issues, but I am grateful that my car is at least still drive-able.

Thanks again for all the help and I'll keep you posted!
Hey AmyK,


Sorry to hear of the trouble you are experiencing with your 500. Please let us know via private message if you decide to have your dealer look into this, as we would like to have this documented and have a case escalated in your behalf so a Case Specialist can work with your dealer to help find a potential solution.


Mark
Fiat Social Care Specialist
 

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I have a 2012 Fiat 500 POP and have been experiencing a couple issues lately. My power steering has gone out a few times (I've been able to correct this immediately by turning the car off and then turning it back on at a stoplight but I'm guessing that won't work forever). I've also noticed that most times lately when I put the car in park and turn it off I get the beeping and "P" error as if the car thinks I didn't put in park (this then stops pretty quickly as the car registers that it is indeed in park). I have no idea if these two issues are related. Then, yesterday I had a dead battery for no apparent reason (not sure if I left a door ajar or something). After getting a jump from a co-worker I went immediately to an auto parts store for a battery check but they said the battery is fine. Again, not sure if this is related to the other issues (and I admittedly know very little about cars). Any idea what could be going on here? The closest dealership is over an hour away and I know I need to get there but I'm hoping to put it off for a couple weeks when I have some time off from work.
Did you report this to NTSB? or to the manufacture? This is a safety issue.
 

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Thanks for all these great responses! I did buy a nice jump starter which gives me a lot of peace of mind (it has an air compressor too, so double win). I have not had to jump the car again and I haven't had power steering issues for about a week. I ended up cancelling my appointment at the dealership because I am going out of town later this week (not driving) and I'll have more time to deal with it when I get back. I do plan to go to Autozone and have the alternator checked, but I haven't gotten there yet.

I did notice that my coolant was ridiculously low (you could barely see it in the overflow tank) so I topped that off with the proper OAT stuff and am now monitoring that for a leak (if there is one, it's ridiculously slow). I am frustrated that all of sudden I'm having all of these issues, but I am grateful that my car is at least still drive-able.

Thanks again for all the help and I'll keep you posted!
FIAT = Fix it Again Tomorrow.... I'm here as my daughter's car is playing up ....AGAIN!....similar issues.
 
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