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    Thread: Fiat 500 plastic plugs on undercarrage and undercoating Pls help!

    1. Member giulianot's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 10:37 PM #1
      Is it normal for cars to be sold brand new without plugs on the under body and aluminum duct tape in its place instead?

      Is its common to have certain areas of the under body with undercoat missing?
      Why would a manufacturer do this ?

      vehicle in question is a 2012 fiat 500 prima













      Last edited by giulianot; 05-09-2011 at 10:44 PM.

    2. 05-09-2011 10:39 PM #2
      something definitely seems off, but i have no idea what kinda stuff is normal for the fiats.

      i guess duct tape is ok to cover the wholes, but id prefer a siliconed in plug...

      and for some of the areas, it almost looks like there used to be some component installed there that was later removed

    3. Member 71DubBugBug's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 10:51 PM #3
      is the undercoating peeling off?

    4. 05-09-2011 10:51 PM #4
      Guess you didn't have a chance to talk to the dealer yet? Did you throw it up on the 500 boards yet?

    5. Member TooFitToQuit's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 10:53 PM #5
      That looks terrible

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      05-09-2011 10:54 PM #6

    7. Member giulianot's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 10:57 PM #7
      dealer claimed it was normal, I have not posted it anywhere else yet i wanted to check here first. The roof has white over spray under the clear and the dealer said it was just dust




    8. Member chucchinchilla's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 11:02 PM #8
      Italian car made in Mexico. Presumptions confirmed.

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      05-09-2011 11:05 PM #9
      I've seen a number of cars with undercoating missing in the area surrounding the grommets, which were presumably installed after application of the undercoating to ensure a complete seal with the metal. The aluminum tape, though, I've never seen.

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      05-09-2011 11:06 PM #10
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    11. Member 8v deathsquad's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 11:09 PM #11
      This may be a stupid question, but why make holes under the car just to put plastic/rubber plugs in?
      I live on the edge... of town

    12. Banned Fritz27's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 11:09 PM #12
      Italian economy car built in Mexico.


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      05-09-2011 11:10 PM #13
      Invoice is something like $14,900 on these cars. After driving one, its a lot of car for that money. They have to cut SOME corners...

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      05-09-2011 11:11 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by 8v deathsquad View Post
      This may be a stupid question, but why make holes under the car just to put plastic plugs in?
      Usually has to do with manufacturing processes. A hole or something for the robots to grab on to, mounting points for the assembly line machines, that kind of stuff.
      soldierguy

      a smallish truck, and a motorcycle

    15. Member giulianot's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 11:13 PM #15
      some hole are for mounting the optional spare tire

    16. 05-09-2011 11:18 PM #16
      Can you find what is covered by the pre-delivery inspection? I am not sure about the 500 specifically, but it is not uncommon for other cars to have body plugs installed by the dealer as part of the PDI.

    17. Member Uber E's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 11:20 PM #17
      My buddy also has a Prima. I just saw these holes on Thursday night. The holes are for mounting a spare as previously mentioned. The Prima came without it as I am sure you're aware. For now I wpuld leave the tape and buy the spare once available. If you don't intend to do this then but a can or rubberized undercoat at a local parts store.

      Just spray everywhere you see uncovered metal.


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      05-09-2011 11:57 PM #18
      So if I am reading this correctly, You have done the following:

      Bought a first run car, built in Mexico, by Fiat, for <$15K, and are just now considering the build quality?

      The dealer is right, it probably is normal.

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      05-10-2011 12:18 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by gambit420s View Post
      So if I am reading this correctly, You have done the following:

      Bought a first run car, built in Mexico, by Fiat, for <$15K, and are just now considering the build quality?

      The dealer is right, it probably is normal.
      I see more Fiat models than most of you, as we have a third home just north of Anzio. I see them new, and I see them with a few thousand kms on them, and I see them (if they last that long) as eight-to-ten-year-old models. All I'm going to say about this is...

      Don't expect rock-solid, long-term, unquestioned reliability out of any Fiat. There's a reason they are priced as they are, and why they haven't dared show their face around here for thirty-plus years...

      I can't wait to see how Fiats are going to do here. I do believe the American public is going to love Fiat at first, and end up hating it again in two-three years... when stuff starts falling off their models, and reliability issues rear their ugly little heads...

      Fiats are the Walmart denim jeans of the world: They are affordable for only $10-$12, and look great the first time you wear them, but if/when you wash them, or wear them more than a few times... they look kind of embarrassing. Threads come off of them, the color fades, and everyone knows they came from Walmart...

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      05-10-2011 12:38 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Boogety Boogety View Post
      and why they haven't dared show their face around here for thirty-plus years...

      27 years ago is now thirty-plus years? Must be that new math.
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      05-10-2011 02:17 AM #21
      I sprung the $599 for the lifetime rust warranty so frankly I don't care.

      I'm going to rock this car til it's in its grave. Top gear recommended it, so I bought it. That and they offered me 19,500 at Fiat for my Hyundai when nowhere else would go anywhere near that price. Can't be any worse than my 2 transmission (ready for third) Genesis Coupe.
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    22. 05-10-2011 02:30 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by stacman View Post

      I'm going to rock this car til it's in its grave.
      2017 only sounds like the very distant future.
      22691
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    23. Member atomicalex's Avatar
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      05-10-2011 02:44 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by giulianot View Post
      Is it normal for cars to be sold brand new without plugs on the under body and aluminum duct tape in its place instead?

      Is its common to have certain areas of the under body with undercoat missing?
      Why would a manufacturer do this ?
      Yes, the duct tape is normal. It's used to cover holes so that coatings can be applied over them. It's not standard duct tape, but a rather heavy duty version designed for sticking to cars for a long time.

      The "missing" undercoating is typically where the carrier was in contact with the car as it was moving down the line. That area never was sprayed. This can be found on almost any car, the size of the area varies with the carrier design.

      The roof is overspray, no two ways about that one.
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    24. Member stacman's Avatar
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      05-10-2011 02:45 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Jrod511 View Post
      2017 only sounds like the very distant future.
      Yes, but my Genesis Coupe had maybe 2 more years in it. 3 tops. At least the Fiat will get motorcycle mileage in the meantime, and as a Prima Edizione may keep some resale value even when it's falling apart.

      In the off chance it lasts more than 5 years... Celebrazione!
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    25. 05-10-2011 02:46 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by giulianot View Post
      Is it normal for cars to be sold brand new without plugs on the under body and aluminum duct tape in its place instead?

      Is its common to have certain areas of the under body with undercoat missing?
      Why would a manufacturer do this ?
      It is common for under carriage areas of some cars to have no undercoating. I don't think the car in the photos some how had it "missed"; that's just how it is done. $10 worth of spray undercoating and you'd likely do better than the factory would have anyways. But it would cost them far more than $10 to undercoat the car (need a spray robot, but the stuff in bulk, longer on assembly line, more line maintenance, need to inventory and sell the crap, etc....)

      I have seen aluminized tape on cars before in various areas. I don't know what the intention here was exactly though. I have seen cars without plastic caps on holes and the holes just be bare. Besides manufacturing / locating points some of the holes are used to inject a waxy substance that acts as a rust repellent (Ever see a MkIV Jetta with brown ooze running out of the doors and staining the rocker panels? That's the rust repellent wax). Usually you see plugs in those holes as they lead to cavities that could trap water and dirt.

      Why would a manufacturer do this? Well, basically, no matter what angle you attack it from, it is essentially the way the MFG figured out to do a process in the cheapest possible manner.

      I am NOT familiar with modern Fiats and MOST CL'ers aren't either. That being said, I feel that in 6 years they will hold up as well as whatever the cheapest crap was 6 years ago from now; I guess an Aveo or a bottom of the bucket Suzuki?

      With a 5 year rust warranty, an aftermarket rust warranty is a waste of money.
      22691
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      life would be better if he had a twin turbo. Or a ****ing pirate
      ship." nm+

    26. 05-10-2011 02:50 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by stacman View Post
      Yes, but my Genesis Coupe had maybe 2 more years in it. 3 tops. At least the Fiat will get motorcycle mileage in the meantime, and as a Prima Edizione may keep some resale value even when it's falling apart.

      In the off chance it lasts more than 5 years... Celebrazione!
      I like you, we'll celebrate together; but here is a free life lesson for ya - "First Edition" cars, I don't care what car, usually are a shiny badge or a signature color. A year or so later you end up getting all of the "First Edition" car content, + more content for the same or less money. I would venture to say that 199/200 special run first edition cars are worthless. Not picking on you, just laying it out.


      How about some long format reviews of the Fiat, or the Fiat as compared to your GC, or your classic cruiser even? And if you do that can we get a lot of interior pics; I do like the design of the interior and am sure, that like a Mini, you miss a lot of stuff with just one wide photo.
      22691
      "I'm trying to live vicariously through jrod here and my vicarious
      life would be better if he had a twin turbo. Or a ****ing pirate
      ship." nm+

    27. Member stacman's Avatar
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      05-10-2011 02:57 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by Jrod511 View Post
      I like you, we'll celebrate together; but here is a free life lesson for ya - "First Edition" cars, I don't care what car, usually are a shiny badge or a signature color. A year or so later you end up getting all of the "First Edition" car content, + more content for the same or less money. I would venture to say that 199/200 special run first edition cars are worthless. Not picking on you, just laying it out.


      How about some long format reviews of the Fiat, or the Fiat as compared to your GC, or your classic cruiser even? And if you do that can we get a lot of interior pics; I do like the design of the interior and am sure, that like a Mini, you miss a lot of stuff with just one wide photo.
      Fiat still has 400kms on it since the Scamp is out!

      Scamp on the other hand, needs a long long list of things that may cause me to just park it again until I get the body done, then I can worry about the mechanical stuff later.

      When I bring it out again, any requests for pictures, specific items to review?
      1972 Scamp
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    28. 05-10-2011 03:03 AM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by stacman View Post

      When I bring it out again, any requests for pictures, specific items to review?
      I like seeing all the cool little details; ie: what makes the interior not just "steering wheel here, a/c here, radio here' but rather the clever stuff.

      Same for the Scamp
      22691
      "I'm trying to live vicariously through jrod here and my vicarious
      life would be better if he had a twin turbo. Or a ****ing pirate
      ship." nm+

    29. Member stacman's Avatar
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      05-10-2011 03:28 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by Jrod511 View Post
      I like seeing all the cool little details; ie: what makes the interior not just "steering wheel here, a/c here, radio here' but rather the clever stuff.

      Same for the Scamp
      Scamp currently has a glove tucked into the metal that the arm rest used to be attached to, acting as a barrier between my elbow and the metal. Other than that the interior looks like the day it rolled out of Windsor Ontario.

      By all means though, while it's out, what would you like pictures of? AM radio with the single mono speaker in the dash is... interesting. They killed the oldies station this winter, leaving me with only one station that plays music (Country music, but only when it isn't god talk). Panel gap is atrocious, but the rear window, the way it curves in rather than out (or being flat) is absolutely beautiful, if you overlook that the trim doesn't fit properly.

      The interior is cool, black vinyl with checkered cloth inserts, bench seat means me and the ladies don't have to go in the back (albeit tiny) seat. Column shifter is inaccurate, and can move almost an inch without shifting anything, but it still looks like the day it was made. About 50% of the time it doesn't start in park but it will start in neutral. The gauge cluster is lackluster, but it has a proper temperature gauge, alternator gauge, and they're all accurate (if you don't count the fact that speedometer is 15% fast). Gauges most of my new cars don't even have.

      The turn signals mounted on the tops of the front fenders are super cool. One of my favourite features on the car. They blink too fast and the left one works intermittently, and the side markers don't shine at all anymore. The right turn signal also doesn't auto cancel. I personally think the fender mounted turn signals is a styling cue that is absolutely fantastic.

      The gas pedal is awful. Stutters and coughs, always stumbles. Has enough torque to move itself, but acceleration is pretty much the same at 1/4 throttle as full throttle. Sucks back gas at a rate of 16.5L/100km mixed city/hwy. Has a sticky caliper that has been ruining brakes at an astonishing rate until I figured out that was the issue. When they do work though, the four piston caliper front brakes have immense stopping power.

      I had it out at a race track last year. The suspension is awful, but probably because the right rear spring needs to be re-arched, and they're both original. The shocks are shot, the body roll is insane, it might as well be riding on marshmallows, but, when I first bought it I reduced the caster so it doesn't have quite the crazy body roll it used to (it's still awful though).

      The rad cools up to 110km/h and then you can literally watch the temperature gauge go up.

      I have the parts to replace almost all the issues I complain of, but I'm saving them for when I get the body redone so I will basically have a brand new car.

      Let me know what you want pictures of. I was talking today (jokingly) about putting a blower on the slant six, and if it'd come out of the hood sideways. If it did, that'd look so fricken awesome.

      Thread has been officially derailed. Sorry.
      Last edited by stacman; 05-10-2011 at 03:47 AM.
      1972 Scamp
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      05-10-2011 03:33 AM #30
      that looks like a 15 year old beater...

    31. 05-10-2011 03:42 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by giulianot View Post
      The roof has white over spray under the clear and the dealer said it was just dust
      did you the dealer to clean it off? it would be amusing to see them try.

    32. 05-10-2011 06:02 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by Jrod511 View Post
      With a 5 year rust warranty, an aftermarket rust warranty is a waste of money.
      This. If it rusts, take it back. Of course, although this is a first run car in Mexico, 80% of it has been in production In Poland for four years now. The overspray looks like a poor repair post manufacture and should be rectified by the dealer.

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      05-10-2011 06:13 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      Yes, the duct tape is normal. It's used to cover holes so that coatings can be applied over them. It's not standard duct tape, but a rather heavy duty version designed for sticking to cars for a long time.

      The "missing" undercoating is typically where the carrier was in contact with the car as it was moving down the line. That area never was sprayed. This can be found on almost any car, the size of the area varies with the carrier design.

      The roof is overspray, no two ways about that one.
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      05-10-2011 07:50 AM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      Yes, the duct tape is normal. It's used to cover holes so that coatings can be applied over them. It's not standard duct tape, but a rather heavy duty version designed for sticking to cars for a long time.

      The "missing" undercoating is typically where the carrier was in contact with the car as it was moving down the line. That area never was sprayed. This can be found on almost any car, the size of the area varies with the carrier design.

      The roof is overspray, no two ways about that one.
      Listen to this person. The Force is strong with her.

      And... for those making fun of Mexicans... I don't think I've ever met a slacker Mexican working in an auto factory down there. They kick ass and they do what they are told. THat is the key - "Do what they are told." If there are issues with assembly process... then take it up with the Manufacturing Engineers in Italy who designed the process.

    35. Member giulianot's Avatar
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      05-10-2011 08:11 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      Yes, the duct tape is normal. It's used to cover holes so that coatings can be applied over them. It's not standard duct tape, but a rather heavy duty version designed for sticking to cars for a long time.

      The "missing" undercoating is typically where the carrier was in contact with the car as it was moving down the line. That area never was sprayed. This can be found on almost any car, the size of the area varies with the carrier design.

      The roof is overspray, no two ways about that one.
      Listen to this person. The Force is strong with her.

      And... for those making fun of Mexicans... I don't think I've ever met a slacker Mexican working in an auto factory down there. They kick ass and they do what they are told. THat is the key - "Do what they are told." If there are issues with assembly process... then take it up with the Manufacturing Engineers in Italy who designed the process.
      It seems to me like they just did not have the rubber plugs in stock for all holes , so they used tape instead kinda shooty in my opinion. the missing undercoat could have been easliy rectified is they put 1 person down the assembly line with a bucket of undercoat and a paint brush.

      how would you approach the dealer (Maranello Fiat/ Ferrari / Maserati) In a way that would get all my problems rectified? They have really brushed us off so far

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