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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,
So I found what I think is a very reasonable deal on a 2017 500E in the Northeast, but I have some questions for you prior to purchase:
1) Most importantly, I went to do a test drive with my wife today, but started calling around to make sure that there is a dealer that I can take the car to, for service, and couldn't find
any in the NY, NJ, CT area. Ramsey said no, Larchmont said no. The dealer locator on the Fiat site didn't show any other within a 100 miles. Do any of you know a dealer or somebody knowledgeable, to service a car in the area?

2) When I test drove the car, yesterday, I noticed a sound (whirring) when the car was in reverse and drive. Total silence in Park and Neutral. If the car had a transmission, I would say that it was bad. Is this whirring sound "in gear" normal?

3) Other than drivetrain and battery, are the other parts for this car expensive? Have any of you noticed that they are becoming harder to get?

4) The carfax on the car shows that steering shaft/front strut bearings/strut mounts were replaced at 31K miles. This type of repair seems unusual to me for a car that has this kind of mileage. Is there anything else that I should expect to replace?

Sorry for all the questions and thank all of you for any guidance you can give me
 

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The whirring noise is the pedestrian warning speaker. It turns off at over something like 20 mph. The speed control does make a whining sound at around 40 mph.

Any of the electronics related to the charging system seem to be pretty expensive. Most of the other stuff is the same as the ICE 500 and not expensive or hard to get. Window regulator seems to be a common thing to fail.

I know earlier models had issues with the steering shaft. Little surprised a 2017 would, but not unbelievable I guess.
 

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The whirring noise is the pedestrian warning speaker. It turns off at over something like 20 mph. The speed control does make a whining sound at around 40 mph.

Any of the electronics related to the charging system seem to be pretty expensive. Most of the other stuff is the same as the ICE 500 and not expensive or hard to get. Window regulator seems to be a common thing to fail.

I know earlier models had issues with the steering shaft. Little surprised a 2017 would, but not unbelievable I guess.
Thank you for your reply. I started looking at the 500E after putting down a deposit on a Chevy Bolt at a dealership and being told that GM wouldn't release the car because of the battery fires. Totally different cars. Even though the Bolt would be more practical for us and the 500E doesn't compete on range and charging speed, because of looks, fun factor and, price, I would go with the 500.
Regarding my questions about servicing. I guess, what I'm asking is whether you're able to service your cars with your corner mechanics for the mechanical stuff?
Is not having a dealer with the specialized equipment necessary to fix the electrical components a deal breaker?
I'm thinking that not having a dealer to fix limp mode, etc., the car would be bricked. Looks, fun factor and price is irrelevant if the car has to be junked, no?
 

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If the Bolt is more practical, then you should keep looking. It's only actual Chevy dealers that currently have a sell stop on Bolts. Independent dealers and private owners are still selling them.

ga2500ev
 

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One other suggestion: expand your search for dealers beyond FIAT. You may find a certified tech in a Chrysler dealer as they need to deal with plugin hybrids.

500e EVs simply have not demonstrated any widespread failure issues in the powertrain. Virtually all reported instances of "bricking" has been either a failing 12V battery or user error (like pulling the high voltage battery disconnect). I'm sure that if you surveyed most of us here, that the consensus is that most of us have never been in a FIAT dealer. The last time I went in nearly 3 years ago was to pick up an extra key for example.

ga2500ev
 

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My two cents, being a newbie. Found my 2014 at a small used car dealership that evidently didn’t know what to do with it. Because of that, was really cheap. I’ve had it for a month. Loving it. There is an very occasional steering column clunk... I may look into it but not freaking me out. And, the rear wipers seem to like to come on when the front wipers are in delay. A bit of wind noise around the passenger door. Only came with one key which is irritating as the keys are 280$ and dealer only, although I think I found a guy in Eugene Oregon that can make me one for 120$ (But getting the car there is the other issue). Those are the issues I‘ve found in a month. Car has 46,000 on it. was a lease, then owned, from California, and I’m the 3rd owner. Also, check for rebates in your state! Oregon is sending me a check for 2500$!
 

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My two cents, being a newbie. Found my 2014 at a small used car dealership that evidently didn’t know what to do with it. Because of that, was really cheap. I’ve had it for a month. Loving it. There is an very occasional steering column clunk... I may look into it but not freaking me out. And, the rear wipers seem to like to come on when the front wipers are in delay. A bit of wind noise around the passenger door. Only came with one key which is irritating as the keys are 280$ and dealer only, although I think I found a guy in Eugene Oregon that can make me one for 120$ (But getting the car there is the other issue). Those are the issues I‘ve found in a month. Car has 46,000 on it. was a lease, then owned, from California, and I’m the 3rd owner. Also, check for rebates in your state! Oregon is sending me a check for 2500$!
That "clunk" was part of an early recall. Do a search. Sometimes spraying a bit of lithium grease into the u-joint fixes it. The u-joint is just behind the foot pedals maybe a foot above the floor.
 
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First, my used purchase checklist: Besides normal used car stuff like checking tires & every electrical item functions, etc...
  • Make sure it charges from the stock unit AND L2 ("test drive" to a local public charger if needed).
  • Get 2 keys, or enough of a discount to compensate for taking it to a dealer (must have the car there) & paying $280, because if you lose your only key it's about $1500 PLUS towing it to that dealer.
  • Check for cracks & bent pins in the orange socket inside the filler cap. I think it's also around $1500 at a dealer, but there's a DIY kit for under a couple hundred.

1)
- Enter the VIN here: www.mopar.com/en-us/my-vehicle/recalls/search.html There were a couple of software updates. I can't remember if 2017s ever needed any, but definitely check, & IF it does, dealer service is required. The updates are not ongoing, just a couple of fixes a few years ago to the original programming, so as long as they're done, you're good to go.

- Ask Valenti Alfa Romeo in Hartford CT, &/or Lester Glenn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram FIAT in Toms River NJ & if they don't do 500e anymore, ask them who does.

- As mentioned above, all the "wear items" are easily serviced anywhere. You probably won't even need brake service though, since they're only used below 7mph. My 2013 has only ever needed Tires, bulbs, cabin filter, & standard gas-car 12V starter battery (just like any car after 2-7 years).

- I wonder what this means: "having a dealer to fix limp mode ". I don't recall anyone needing that. I think all such issues have been solved by 1 or more of the following: ten 5-minute key cycles, 30-hour 12V disconnect, AlfaOBD code clearing, 30-second drive battery disconnect (underneath rear seat bottom).

2) My whirring noisemaker stopped when I unplugged it ;)

3) Even tires are cheap. Under $300 for a full set of Hankooks installed with brand new TPMS sensors. That has been by far my biggest expense so far, & they're on track to last 5 years.

4) Besides the above, the only other thing I can recall hearing about going bad is standard, cheap, easily replaceable (DIY for many) rear wheel bearings, at around 20-30k mi, from one small production run missing their seals.

From the manual, for Lance's rear wiper comment: "With the front windshield wiper active, rotate the end of the windshield wiper/washer lever upward. The rear wiper will operate in the same mode as the front windshield wipers, but at half the frequency. When the transmission is placed into REVERSE, the rear wiper will automatically operate at Low Speed and return to normal operation when the transmission is placed out of REVERSE."

Chevy Bolt is better IF it will really get significantly more use due to its range, DC charging, & 5 seats. Fiat range is over 200% of the average daily drive. It charges the same speed as a Bolt at home: 25mi/hr on 220, & 5mi/hr on 110 (40 miles during 8 hours of sleep or work). Same goes for any free public chargers. Bolt is only faster on paid DC chargers. Think about your daily/weekly/monthly use patterns, including where you're parked & if/how you can charge there. I get 100 CITY miles per charge, but considerably less at highway speeds. Depending on how cold it gets there, around freezing expect about 20% less range JUST from temporary battery inefficiency. I saw a vid of a drive at I think -15F with heat set to around 70, not on recirculate, & it went something like 50 miles.
 

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For the single-key issue there's a kind of lower-functionality workaround. You can get 1 or more cheap non-transponder copies that will turn the door lock & ignition switch, & then tape or glue your one transponder key inside the steering column cover. Then you can use the cheap key(s) to lock/unlock/drive, but the alarm will not arm, & someone could break in & hotwire it, although there'd be no way they'd know they could, so they'd probably just bring a tow-truck anyway.
 

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When I was test driving cars I found two that had clunks from the CV shafts. The way I knew was hard acceleration then no acceleration then hard acceleration gave me a clunk on second acceleration. This would be either a bad axle itself, or bolts for the axle that is loose (there was a recall for loctite on early axle bolts). If there is a clunk, then it might have had that clunk for a while, only buy if the price is good. and if you do, check the bolts, or replace the axle asap..
 

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Good info guys! Maybe I’m bumping the wiper stalk or something, but I’ll pay more attention next time when I use the wipers (a lot in rainy Oregon winter).

supposedly the guy in Eugene has a key coder that can make transponder keys (but not the flip key with the buttons) and told me he has done several. So I’ll let ya know if i ever go up there. Unfortunately it’s 90 miles so a day trip has to be really thought out with a stop in the middle for an hour charge...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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Ask Valenti Alfa Romeo in Hartford CT, &/or Lester Glenn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram FIAT in Toms River NJ & if they don't do 500e anymore, ask them who does.
I'm going to reach out to the dealers you suggested, thank you. Hartford is 110 miles from me, but maybe they, or Tom's River, knows of someone local. Thank you, also, for the other good points in your reply.

One other suggestion: expand your search for dealers beyond FIAT. You may find a certified tech in a Chrysler dealer as they need to deal with plugin hybrids.
That's another good suggestion, thank you.
What I meant by limp home mode is where electric cars (mentioned in the Bolt forum and the BMW forum) have hysterics and they go into low power mode, or something, and you need a dealer to analyze the electricals and the battery. Not that their analysis will actually lead to the problem, but rather, will lead them to say you need the entire drive train or battery or both, replaced. Nothing that $18000.- can't fix.
From your comments above, if it starts acting up, all you have to do to reboot is use the various methods mentioned, and I should be good to go (famous last words), I hope.
Anyway, the thing is, the Bolt is twice the price and not really twice the fun (from what I've read).
 

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What I meant by limp home mode is where electric cars (mentioned in the Bolt forum and the BMW forum) have hysterics...
Thanks for clarifying that you didn't mean 500e. Several Fiats have also reported "hysterics", but nearly always just 12V starter battery issues, or needing a cold, hard reboot or code clearing with AlfaOBD (do NOT plug in an OBD that has its own screen).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
- Ask Valenti Alfa Romeo in Hartford CT, &/or Lester Glenn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram FIAT in Toms River NJ & if they don't do 500e anymore, ask them who does.
So I've been casting a wider and wider circle, and it seems that Roberts Fiat in Meriden, CT does service the cars. They're also buying 500e's in CA and reselling them at their dealership. Just thought I'd throw that out there in case there's somebody up that way looking for service, I can save them the trouble of calling around. Don't really think that will work for me, though, it's 100 miles away.
What I am surprised by, though, is that it's already been a good number of years and there's no cottage industry of independent repair shops that you can take your car to. Guess it's because most of the BEV's are Tesla's and nobody is going to take their Tesla to a neighborhood repair shop.
There used to be a site that showed you where the independent mechanics were, but last time I checked, there was EVWest, somebody up in Montreal and somebody, if memory serves, in VA or NC. That was it. I couldn't easily find that site, just now, so I guess there's not really anybody else.
I wonder if Rich Benoit would know of somebody else.
Saw a youtube piece, the other day, about a guy that takes his Leaf to a shop in England to get a bad cell replaced. He says it was a 2 hour job, no big deal and the car is back to normal. didn't sound like it was that expensive
How come there's no place to have that done stateside, that I know of?
That would make owning a 500e so much easier.
 

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...no cottage industry of independent repair shops that you can take your car to. Guess it's because most of the BEV's are Tesla's...
I'd guess it's because most of the BEV's have nearly no need for specialized service of their ridiculously-reliable drivetrains, compared to fossil cars. ONE moving part in the motor.

Bosch Auto Service has been suggested as a possible service source, since they had a big part in our cars design &/or manufacture.

Then 100-miles to a dealer isn't ALL that bad, in the rare event you need a transponder key or software update that Bosch might not do.
 

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I'd guess it's because most of the BEV's have nearly no need for specialized service of their ridiculously-reliable drivetrains, compared to fossil cars. ONE moving part in the motor.

Bosch Auto Service has been suggested as a possible service source, since they had a big part in our cars design &/or manufacture.

Then 100-miles to a dealer isn't ALL that bad, in the rare event you need a transponder key or software update that Bosch might not do.
That was a GREAT suggestion. I called somebody in Scarsdale NY who is in the Bosch network and they said, "No problem." I may drive out there tomorrow to see the place just to make sure. Don't really want to buy something that I may be forced to use as an anchor for my boat. I really am happy to hear that there are independents in the business. I guess I had the wrong idea, thanks for that.
 

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Hello All,
So I found what I think is a very reasonable deal on a 2017 500E in the Northeast, but I have some questions for you prior to purchase:
1) Most importantly, I went to do a test drive with my wife today, but started calling around to make sure that there is a dealer that I can take the car to, for service, and couldn't find
any in the NY, NJ, CT area. Ramsey said no, Larchmont said no. The dealer locator on the Fiat site didn't show any other within a 100 miles. Do any of you know a dealer or somebody knowledgeable, to service a car in the area?

2) When I test drove the car, yesterday, I noticed a sound (whirring) when the car was in reverse and drive. Total silence in Park and Neutral. If the car had a transmission, I would say that it was bad. Is this whirring sound "in gear" normal?

3) Other than drivetrain and battery, are the other parts for this car expensive? Have any of you noticed that they are becoming harder to get?

4) The carfax on the car shows that steering shaft/front strut bearings/strut mounts were replaced at 31K miles. This type of repair seems unusual to me for a car that has this kind of mileage. Is there anything else that I should expect to replace?

Sorry for all the questions and thank all of you for any guidance you can give me
Well, I purchased a 2017 500e from california and I live in missouri. I take my car to the dealership in Arkansas and they are just a Jeep/ram/fiat/chrysler dealer. Only had an issue with the driver side heated seat going out. Love the little car and this has increased my push to go all electric. I wish fiat would offer more electric cars or maybe just give the usa the new 500 from europe.
 
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