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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm going to kill a few birds with one thread here and use this as my intro thread as well as to document my experiences with the 500C that we picked up until either it dies or I get banned... I've learned several things about the car since purchasing it and will continue to update this thread as I learn more. Sorry if I repeat anyone's info that is already here.

Hi, my name is RoadDad and I'm a car addict. I have not been car sober since I was about 3 and that's been a few decades already. I have no plans on dealing with my addiction other than continuing to pour money into it with miles of smiles in return.

I come from the world of driving, modifying, rebuilding and racing sports cars and antique cars... I don't like to compare cars that are not in the same category/class/price range or don't have the same goal or purpose and will not be doing that unless specifically asked to do so, and if that happens I will always try to be as unbiased and objective as I can be. So please be patient if you ask me how the 500C compares to some car X that I own or have owned when I ask back "In what way? Ingress and egress? Handling? Hauling kids and groceries?"

We just got our 500C a bit ago. It is quite the change from what I've been driving over the past many years. It is the most practical functioning car that I own. Two seater sports cars just aren't very useful for most things other than creating a grin. The purchase was prompted by the permanent death of the engine in my "practical car" and the cost prohibitive replacement of that engine even with me doing the swap... and yeah, it died beyond a rebuild... there are now three portions of the block instead of one :(.

One thing that has remained pretty standard across almost every car purchase that I have ever made is that most sales folks really don't know their products well at all and are willing to make up answers to your questions right on the spot instead of saying "I don't know... let me find out for you." Often wrong information is given flat out to begin with, even before a question is asked. And the Fiat "Specialists" at the Fiat "Studios" are no different, no matter what they call themselves.

Now on with the show...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
EcoDrive

It functions quite nicely and has a very simple download/install process as well as a very simple interface, albeit a little cartoony... but my kids like that part of it a lot.

I have obtained a copy of several ecoDrive documents and will try to make them available here on the forum at some point as I get them organized.

You can have as many users as you have drivers in your house but if you want to keep the data specific for each driver you should have a separate USB stick for each. That works out very nicely to keep track of your own data.

Driving in such a way as to increase or maintain a "high" your ecoDrive score can really p!$$ off the drivers around you however... so far I am happy to report that my ecoDrive score has risen to 58. That's much better than it had been (single digit number :eek:) and is now 12 points higher than my wife :D although she did drop from the high 50s to her current 46 so I'm pretty sure she will surpass me once again, although I am trending up...

And I thought I was the only lead foot in the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
USB Interface

The USB interface, for the Blue & Me equipped cars, is the interface for the ecoDrive as well as the interface for an iPod.

It is either one or the other, not both at the same time. USB hubs do not work in the car. Meaning that you can not put in a USB "splitter" and have a USB drive for the ecoDrive and an iPod plugged in at the same time. Neither one of them will be recognized. I tried 4 different USB hubs and still none of them worked.

IF you want to log data for ecoDrive and have a media player at the same time, you have two options. One is to have the ecoDrive plugged into the USB port and plug a headphone plug into the aux jack just below the USB. That will allow you to listen to your mp3 player but you have to control the player itself... you lose the ability to control the player from the car controls. The second option is placing all of the MP3s onto the same USB drive as you will be using for ecoDrive logging.

I have not found any difference in the performance, ability to control or available options between a plain USB stick with MP3s on it and an iPod except for the amount of potential storage and the ability to have playlists. Blue & Me still allows you to control the player via voice and the steering wheel controls.

Also, when using the USB drive as both a media player and an ecoDrive data logger, you need to leave some free space for the data to be stored... if you run out of space on the drive, the car will store 8 hours of data in the internal memory and download it to the drive when enough space has been opened. After 8 hours the data begins to be erased - oldest data first.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Paint

The paint on this car is very thin and in spots absent all together. The thin areas appear mostly around the edges of the trunk lid, doors, etc. I'll see how the paint holds up over the long term.

I haven't had a chance to wash and wax the car yet as it has been raining for most days or I have been too busy to get to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
500C top

I was told that the top will only function in the following way:

Push the "open" button once to open the top to the 3/4 position. From there you can either 1. push the "open" button again to open the top all the way or 2. push, hold, then release the "close" button to close the top all the way to the 1/4 open position (and then push it again to close it all the way) or 3. push the "close" button briefly to partially close the top. Specifically, as an example I was told, if you want the top opened 1/2 way you would have to open the top all the way to the 3/4 position then close it back to the 1/2 way position.

Also I was told that the top will operate while traveling under 60mph.

Well, I'm here to tell you that both of those are wrong.

Once you push the "open" button and the top is moving backwards, you can stop it at any point by briefly pressing the close button. It will stop at 1" open or 1" before 3/4 and anywhere in between. It does not have to open all the way to 3/4 in order to be "adjusted" to less open than that. So if you want it open 1/2 way... push the "open" button and when the top gets to the 1/2 way point, stab the close button. Done.

Also the top does not operate above 50mph. At that point, the buttons no longer work at all, at least in our car.

There is a wind deflector at the front of the top opening that is manually released or locked closed when the top is open and designed to decrease the wind buffetting and wind hitting the rear passengers. When opened it creates a lot of wind noise... a lot... but it certainly decreases the amount of wind striking the faces of my kids in the back seats. I have not noticed any difference in buffetting sounds (like a helicopter rotor turning) with it either up or down. When it is closed the kids get pummeled by the wind but there is very minimal noise other than their laughing. They prefer it closed with the wind in their hair.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have light spots in the color coat:mad: Clear coat seems pretty even.
What I have is visible metal through finely splattered thin paint... it looks like overspray in places where the car should be fully painted. I wish it was just the clear coat being thin... I'd just shoot a new coat of clear over the offending pieces and be done with it but I have a true lack of paint and subsequent rust waiting to happen...
 

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I told them about it and they wanted pictures... no word back yet.
Pictures...really. I can understand the knee jerk reaction to ask for pictures, but there almost no point to it. Not only is a problem like that hard to quantify in a photograph, but the next thing you will hear is "Bring it in so we can have a look"

I'd be at the dealership in a heartbeat.
 

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The top does not operate above 50mph. At that point, the buttons no longer work at all, at least in our car.
So what's the point of the roof, then? Are you not supposed to drive with the roof open above 50 mph? I remember the "California Roof" in the BMW 318ti having a similar qualifier. Which to me means that the standard sunroof would be much more practical. Your thoughts?

Oh, and it does mention the 50mph limit when you pull up the 500c on fiatusa. Too bad your sales rep hasn't been to their own site. :)
 

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So what's the point of the roof, then? Are you not supposed to drive with the roof open above 50 mph? I remember the "California Roof" in the BMW 318ti having a similar qualifier. Which to me means that the standard sunroof would be much more practical. Your thoughts?

Oh, and it does mention the 50mph limit when you pull up the 500c on fiatusa. Too bad your sales rep hasn't been to their own site. :)
You really don't get it do you? You can drive with the roof open or closed at all speeds. What he's saying is that you can't open or close it while driving above 50mph.
 

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Apparently, it depends. I test drove one where I could freely open and close @ 60mph. I know, we tested it specifically because the sales person said it was a factory freak.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So what's the point of the roof, then? Are you not supposed to drive with the roof open above 50 mph? I remember the "California Roof" in the BMW 318ti having a similar qualifier. Which to me means that the standard sunroof would be much more practical. Your thoughts?

Oh, and it does mention the 50mph limit when you pull up the 500c on fiatusa. Too bad your sales rep hasn't been to their own site. :)
As stated by kzod, perhaps a little too harshly(?), you can drive with the car at any speed top open or closed... it is just the opening/closing process that gets limited... although the ecoDrive documentation states "it" prefers the top closed and windows closed at any speed above 35mph because it creates drag. ecoDrive also suggests that the AC not be used... instead, with the windows up and top up in the 90 degree summer heat, one should use the Fiat Flow Through Ventilation. Yeah, right.

FWIW, when I explained the roof operation to my daughters one of them asked the exact thing you did. I'm guessing I didn't 'splain so well initially.

Apparently, it depends. I test drove one where I could freely open and close @ 60mph. I know, we tested it specifically because the sales person said it was a factory freak.
Somehow, the longer I own this car the less surprised I am by this...
 

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No, as kzod clearly explained, I am an idiot. :p

Your wording was just the same as Fiat USA's, so no harm, no foul. To me, the explanation as stated could lead one to either interpretation. Which is why I said something. Thanks for the clarification. Tell your daughter she obviously has a good mind for seeing outside the box. :)
 

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Where are your paint thin spots? Where is it that you don't have paint? My car is blue, and I haven't seen any thin / non painted spots... but I'd like to look for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The areas of thin paint are mostly on the rear of the car around the trunk. The 500C has a proper trunk instead of a hatch back. The edges of the trunk lid itself are unpainted as well the body of the car underneath the trunk lid.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I thought I'd throw this out there as well... about 3am two nights ago, in a drizzling rain, I passed by the car sitting in the driveway and noticed an aftermarket attachment on the wheel.

I wish I could have cleaned up the wheel wells, rotors, etc. before taking the picture but unfortunately I had to deal with it as is in order to not knock off the wheel modification.


View attachment 138

EDIT: I guess you have to click on the picture in order to see it...
 
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