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Tommy, you're not an idiot. It's just funny to think that anyone would build a convertible where you can only leave the roof open at stop lights. :)

As far as the speeds go, my understanding is that you can open or close it to the 3/4's mark up to 60 mph. But once you go beyond that (i.e. the glass window drops) then you need to be travelling under 50 mph. I should've tested that today.

Just went back to back from a Mini Invite only closed course road test to the fiat dealership. The Mini's are all so much fun to blast around a course, but the regular coopers feel like a dead date compared to the raring to go S's. But despite my apprehensions, I still loved hoping in the Fiat after all of that mayhem, and enjoyed what it could give me (even with a dreaded automatic). Still no signs of a manual 500c in these parts. It was my first drive in the 500c, as I ordered it based on the hardtop 500 and all the info I could find beforehand.

Personally, I didn't find that my rear view mirror was completely useless, especially if I had the seat raised properly. It's just mostly useless. But you can still see the tops of cars behind you, and aren't completely blind. D'oh. I just realized I never tested the rear back up sensors. I really wanted to see how they work.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
kzod,

My top will not operate at all once I hit 50mph. YMMV.

The rear sensors certainly work. I was backing into a parking space with one kid in tow... the sensors started beeping so I stopped. I was about to stop anyway as the front of the car was well behind the tip of the lines.

Much to my surprise I was about 4 feet away from the berm behind me. I thought I would be much closer when they started beeping. Can you tell I've never used back up sensors before :eek:. Huge gap.

YMMV there also.
 

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kzod,
...

Much to my surprise I was about 4 feet away from the berm behind me. I thought I would be much closer when they started beeping. Can you tell I've never used back up sensors before :eek:. Huge gap.

YMMV there also.

The distance the thing STARTS beeping is a few feet at least, it gets faster as you get closer and is pretty much a constant beep at about a foot or so.
 

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RD,

I like this thread, and I hope that you keep posting updates.

On the paint, I think that this must be a flaw that should be covered under warranty. As I mentioned in one of my other lengthly rambling posts this evening, having a problem is not the measure of the company, how they deal with the problem is. Go, show, and let's see what they say. Perhaps also mention that you will be updating the many members on this forum....
 

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so you get on the onramp, open the roof before you get to 50, drive it for a while, then as it starts to rain, drop it down to under 50, and close the roof again. Got it. Sounds like fun! :)

Did you drive the 500 and 500c back-to-back? I'm wondering if the decrease in rigidity is noticeable between the two.
 

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Didn't drive them back to back, but honestly, I didn't feel any cowl shake in there at all. That's the benefit of the side rails staying in place. It doesn't quite look or feel like a conventional convertible, but none of the negatives that you typically deal with either. Not, only does it maintain the car's integrity, but it barely affects the cars weight as well. It was my first drive in a 500c and in an auto equipped 500, but I barely felt any performance loss between the two transmissions. With the windows up and the roof down,I was still able to hold a quiet conversation in the car on the highway at 70+ mph.

Driving the car, it typically felt more like a giant sunroof. It's only when you move your head to check blind spots that you see and feel the sun everywhere around you. I can't wait to get mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
so you get on the onramp, open the roof before you get to 50, drive it for a while, then as it starts to rain, drop it down to under 50, and close the roof again. Got it. Sounds like fun! :)
That's exactly what I did driving it back... except it was not rain... it was one of my daughters saying, "I'm cold."
tommy said:
Did you drive the 500 and 500c back-to-back? I'm wondering if the decrease in rigidity is noticeable between the two.
Didn't drive them back to back, but honestly, I didn't feel any cowl shake in there at all. That's the benefit of the side rails staying in place. It doesn't quite look or feel like a conventional convertible, but none of the negatives that you typically deal with either. Not, only does it maintain the car's integrity, but it barely affects the cars weight as well. It was my first drive in a 500c and in an auto equipped 500, but I barely felt any performance loss between the two transmissions. With the windows up and the roof down,I was still able to hold a quiet conversation in the car on the highway at 70+ mph.

Driving the car, it typically felt more like a giant sunroof. It's only when you move your head to check blind spots that you see and feel the sun everywhere around you. I can't wait to get mine.
kzod did a great job of reading my mind. I agree with all of that. I'm pretty sensitive to car set up and small variations in vehicles. After driving them both, IMO, there isn't enough of a difference between the 500 and 500C for anyone shy of maybe Lewis Hamilton to really notice. Now, having said that I didn't back to back autocross the cars or drive them back to back at Road Atlanta or anything near that level of "stress". I didn't really hold back in the drives but I wasn't breaking any laws at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
RD,

I like this thread, and I hope that you keep posting updates.

On the paint, I think that this must be a flaw that should be covered under warranty. As I mentioned in one of my other lengthly rambling posts this evening, having a problem is not the measure of the company, how they deal with the problem is. Go, show, and let's see what they say. Perhaps also mention that you will be updating the many members on this forum....
I'll keep updating until I die or get banned. Whichever comes first. :D
 

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I didn't back to back autocross the cars or drive them back to back at Road Atlanta or anything near that level of "stress". I didn't really hold back in the drives but I wasn't breaking any laws at the time.
Could you do that, and get back to us? :p
I doubt that would really be the stock 500 or 500c's best environment, though a stock Abarth or 500/500c with coilovers and proper rims/tires would probably do pretty decently.

Thanks to both of you for your opinions on the rigidity of the c.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Tommy, if you can get me a 500 to drive I'll take my 500C and back to back both for you. You are correct that the 500 and 500C would be a little "out of place" on a road course or maybe even an autocross (although I've seen some "interesting" vehicles at local autocrosses before) but there isn't really any better place to test the limits of the car, including the rigidity. :D
 

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Let's wait 18 months, and we can test against my Abarth instead. :D

Assuming there will be a true manual transmission available, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
EcoDrive Update

Well, my score has risen to a whopping 63. That is pretty darn good for me although I am really upsetting most of the drivers around me. It is higher than the ecodrive community average :D.

I'm having serious trouble getting above a 3 star rating on gear shifting as a fair amount of my driving is in mountainous areas and shifting where the ecodrive wants me to shift is just impossible.

It has suggested that I shift as follows:
1-2 at 2200 rpm
2-3 at 2000 rpm
3-4 at 1800 rpm
4-5 at 1500 rpm

Those rpm correlate reasonably well with the speeds suggested for gear changes in the owner's manual "for best fuel economy". With the rpm drop with each gear change I'm getting about 200-300 useful rpm before "having" to upshift. Unless the car is on absolutely flat ground it lugs in 4th and especially in 5th.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Alien communication using the 500 dash display...

So, I just went outside to the car in order to check the headlight function for another thread when I noticed a message on the dash display. I have never seen anything like it before in the 500 and had no idea what it was. The car was giving me a message communicated either from Fiat Customer Service or Aliens... the latter of which seems more likely at this point.

After flipping the headlight switch and messing with the stalk, the display said, "Follow me 210s". The car was off, but the key was in the ignition. The only 210 I could think of was Indian Head Highway in Maryland but that is pretty darn far from me right now and I couldn't figure out why the Aliens would want me to follow them to the D.C. suburbs anyway... So I started thinking.

Any clues?

Well, I figured it out... and felt like a dummy. After thinking WTH(eck) is this, it dawned on me... it is the "follow me" feature that keeps the headlights on for a time determined in seconds after the car is shut off... fancy. Mine is now set, from previously being off, to 210 seconds. How I turned it on while messing with the stalk I don't know...

Just have to figure out how to turn it off now :D...

And here I thought I was finally going to have a probing story of my own to tell the grandkids one day.
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Headlights and oncoming passing motorists

Since getting the 500 I have had about 15% of nighttime oncoming traffic flash their brights at me when I only have my low beams on. I dutifully and very briefly flash my brights back to show them that I am not just an @[email protected] out to blind people driving around with my high beams on all the time. The response back has been mixed... Some drivers then turn their brights on full blast until I pass by, some flash their brights again and some realize that I don't have my brights on and just drive on past.

Thoughts were perhaps the DRLs at under the headlamps were confusing people into thinking 4 lights shining at me must mean that stupid 500 has its brights on. Disabled the DRLs completely and no change in the amount of annoyed oncoming motorists.

Then I thought the lights were just super bright, although they don't really seem to light up the road any better than any of the other headlights I've used (in modern cars that is... let's not talk about the little gas lamps on a Model T). Had my bride check last night as I drove past her minivan and nope... not super bright and she didn't think they seemed like high beams.

Next thought was the headlights were misaligned from the factory and were shining straight into oncoming eyes. No such luck. I just checked them and they are spot on.

So I was left with positioning of the headlights relative to driver height in oncoming cars... I thought the shorter the oncoming vehicle, the more likely it is for my lights to shine straight in the driver's eyes making them think I have on my brights. But the 500's lights are indeed higher than the sedans parked near it at work but certainly still much lower than the SUVs parked all over the place.

So, back to square one...
 

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Next thought was the headlights were misaligned from the factory and were shining straight into oncoming eyes. No such luck. I just checked them and they are spot on.

Adjust them down anyways. I had this issue on an 09 Smart before. 2 minutes with an allen key and no more people flashing their high beams.
 

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It's the first time I've seen "alien" and "probe" together without the word "anal" incorporated. :p

That's a very weird way of letting you know that the "follow me" is active. Wouldn't it be self-evident by the lights being on when you leave the car, and then later shutting off?
 
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