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3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
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userRuby(Exsis)
Posted: 21 March 2014 2:02 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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I am sorry to read of your problem.
Several years ago I had a syncromesh problem on a vehicle just out of warranty and only 15k on the clock.
I was faced by a huge quote from Fiat repairer.
Excellent support and advice from Nick (euroserve) and Brian Kirby, armed me to deal with Fiat who at first instance were unhelpful. Fighting my corner, eventually Fiat contributed only £100 but after the repairer had direct dialogue with Fiat they offered me a big discount. Get all this sorted before you authorise the work - stick out for a deal. You will have to go up the chain of command at Fiat and be prepared to be stonewalled.
When they did my repair they bashed and bu*****d up the ECU, and that led to some poor excuses and communication and lies and a big delay.... but all that is another story. They ended up with egg on their face,embarrassed and only charged me £540 and a free service and MOT the next year.
In the end they looked after me very well.
Best wishes for some understanding and support from Fiat anfd your repairer.
userBBB
Posted: 22 March 2014 2:30 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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not an electrician or a mechanic but regards your alternator thereis a replaceable part i think its called a voltage regulator will cost 15-20 pounds might be cheaper than a whole alternator
userjhorsf
Posted: 24 March 2014 5:40 AM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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http://www.eurocarparts.com/alternator
userarjxh56
Posted: 24 March 2014 8:43 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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Thanks all for the info so far...
Latest update is that fiat Italy have agreed to send a new gearbox ECU to try and see if that improves the situation. If it doesn't, we can send it back without paying for it.
I will let you know as soon as I know more...
userrolandrat
Posted: 25 March 2014 9:40 AM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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It will be interesting to know the outcome on this one considering Northern Commercials had hinted that the gearbox might have to be removed. At least Fiat seem to be on the right track with external components.
userDave Newell
Posted: 25 March 2014 10:07 AM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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I spoke to a guy at the weekend whose comfortmatic had failed with almost exactly the same symptoms, the commercial garage dealing with it are apparently replacing the gearbox which seemed odd to me as it will select the gears in manual mode but not auto. That in itself tells me the selector mechanism and the ECU or wiring are more likely to be the culprit(s) than the box itself.

D.
usereuroserv
Posted: 25 March 2014 11:30 AM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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arjxh56 - 2014-03-24 8:43 PM

Thanks all for the info so far...
Latest update is that fiat Italy have agreed to send a new gearbox ECU to try and see if that improves the situation. If it doesn't, we can send it back without paying for it.
I will let you know as soon as I know more...


Funny how the gearbox no longer has to come out for the control unit to be swapped!

Well done; this is a very positive move from Fiat.
usereuroserv
Posted: 25 March 2014 11:31 AM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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Dave Newell - 2014-03-25 10:07 AM

I spoke to a guy at the weekend whose comfortmatic had failed with almost exactly the same symptoms, the commercial garage dealing with it are apparently replacing the gearbox which seemed odd to me as it will select the gears in manual mode but not auto. That in itself tells me the selector mechanism and the ECU or wiring are more likely to be the culprit(s) than the box itself.

D.


I would be fascinated to hear how that one works out, Dave.
userrolandrat
Posted: 25 March 2014 2:25 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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As a matter of interest Nick, what mileages do your fleet of Comfort-matics achieve before clutch replacement has to be carried out in comparison with the manuals?

Roland.
usereuroserv
Posted: 25 March 2014 4:01 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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As already stated; the one I use has very low mileage and the others all left us with over 100,000 miles on them at about 4 years old. No clutches fitted, no gearbox faults.

I definitely subscribe to the theory that without human intervention a clutch will last longer on an automated box than a manual one.
userrolandrat
Posted: 25 March 2014 5:30 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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That says a great deal about how robust the Comfortmatic is. Thanks for that.
userDave Newell
Posted: 26 March 2014 9:09 AM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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euroserv - 2014-03-25 11:31 AM

Dave Newell - 2014-03-25 10:07 AM

I spoke to a guy at the weekend whose comfortmatic had failed with almost exactly the same symptoms, the commercial garage dealing with it are apparently replacing the gearbox which seemed odd to me as it will select the gears in manual mode but not auto. That in itself tells me the selector mechanism and the ECU or wiring are more likely to be the culprit(s) than the box itself.

D.


I would be fascinated to hear how that one works out, Dave.


Me too Nick, when I see him again I'll ask for a progress report.

D.
userarjxh56
Posted: 26 March 2014 2:13 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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Latest update....
New ECU in place and the van is performing as it should. Service centre now discussing with Fiat about the contribution, paperwork going in tomorrow. I should have the van back next week.
Fingers crossed it will be a good contribution as the guys spent many hours on the van before ordering the ECU to try so the labour charge could be pretty huge!

I will let you know how I get on....
userCorky 8
Posted: 26 March 2014 3:20 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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Brilliant News ,really pleased for you, and hope its not too costly, isn't it great to have such Technically informed people on this free forum like Nick(euroserve) and Dave , I think we owe them a vote of Thanks,    safe Journey,s
userrolandrat
Posted: 26 March 2014 4:31 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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arjxh56 - 2014-03-26 2:13 PM

Latest update....
New ECU in place and the van is performing as it should. Service centre now discussing with Fiat about the contribution, paperwork going in tomorrow. I should have the van back next week.
Fingers crossed it will be a good contribution as the guys spent many hours on the van before ordering the ECU to try so the labour charge could be pretty huge!

I will let you know how I get on....


That's very good news, at least the gearbox wasn't removed. An ECU can go down at any time. Why a main agent can't keep a test ECU available for situations such as you have experienced makes you wonder. I had a similar experience with a Merc artic some years ago, it had been in numerous main agents and had spent many hours off the road, every service manager thought they had the answer but drew a blank until one day I spotted a brand new unit similar to mine so I asked the service manager to let me try its ECU, he reluctantly did. I took it out of the garage and it was perfect. So after many months of dilly dallying with so called boffins the problem was solved, not by them but a Know nothing driver. Did I return to have the ECU removed? No way, I kept going, my employer was over the moon. It turned out that they were reluctant to change it because they cost £4000. Merc lost a lot of business after that because the company changed the fleet over to DAF. If I had been an owner driver I could have gone bankrupt because of the time spent off the road. Mercedes did all they could to win the business back but to this day they haven't.
usereuroserv
Posted: 27 March 2014 12:18 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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arjxh56 - 2014-03-26 2:13 PM

Latest update....
New ECU in place and the van is performing as it should. Service centre now discussing with Fiat about the contribution, paperwork going in tomorrow. I should have the van back next week.
Fingers crossed it will be a good contribution as the guys spent many hours on the van before ordering the ECU to try so the labour charge could be pretty huge!

I will let you know how I get on....


The best thing to do is let them make an offer first and get off the phone to consider it. Don't agree to anything immediately unless it is a really amazing offer. Get their email address for the specific agent that you have been speaking with.

The next course of action would be to send an email to Fiat stating that the time that had been spent trying to figure out what was wrong with the vehicle is of no concern to you. The AA technician did not know what to do; the dealers did not know what to do and both entities are allegedly (if you read you Fiat Service book) "factory trained" and have the full support of Fiat in the UK and in Italy to call upon. If the dealership team is not adequately trained to deal with the issue and have to spend many hours scratching their heads; this should not be at your expense. In addition; the part that failed did so well short of it's expected lifetime (which you could reasonably expect to be the lifetime of the vehicle) and while you are outside of the warranty period; are you to expect that most major cost items that are not subject to regular service will fail within 3 to 4 years of being made? They should consider including a warning in the sales brochure or service handbook to that effect if this is the case! If they have not; and your expectation was for 'many years of trouble free motoring' then the vehicle or it's parts were not fit for the purpose that it was intended for and described/sold as specifically suitable for.

I won't (can't) go into detail about our past experiences when invoking the above wrath I will suggest that the outcomes have been very favourable.

May the force be with you....
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 27 March 2014 11:36 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Excellent advice throughout Nick, and especially the above post. But may I add a bit?

I think arjxh56 should also speak to the senior management of Northern Commercials about the level of charge they intend to impose. I understand from his posts that he drove the van there in "limp home" mode, and that the gearbox was therefore partially operative at that time. My understanding of the Comfortmatic, from the handbook for mine, that there is a separate controller for the gearbox, they refer to as a gearbox controller. So, I shall refer to this as the GCU.

Northern Commercials seem to have spent a lot of time pursuing red herrings that they should have known better than to pursue. I would suggest they should have approached Fiat technical themselves when confronted with a problem they could niot understand, rather than spending hours on pointless swapping of components and finally wanting to remove the complete box (another action that, on the face of it would have been a complete waste of time - and arjxh56's money) to establish only that the box was fine and the solution was a new GCU.

Whether this was a case of man vs machine at someone else's expense, incompetence, or just seeing a motorhome and assuming the owner was a cow ripe to be milked I wouldn't wish to speculate, but continuing down a series of blind alleys when they had expert assistance available at the end of a 'phone seems a long way short of reasonable conduct to me, leave alone professional.

I accept that diagnosis would probably not have been instant, and so some investigatory labour would have been inevitable, but I understand the swap of control units is a fairtly quick and simple task. Fiat may be able to advise how many man-hours would have been reasonable to identify the GCU as faulty: if they can't, what about one hour for starters? Beyond that, another hour to swap units? Whether or not the suggested times are realistic is not the point, which is that that the total bill, against which Fiats contribution is to be offset, should be the reasonable minimum necessary labour, plus just the cost of the new GCU.

Unless Northern Commercials immediately put their hands up, apologise for their performance,and waive their exhorbitant billl, I think it should be put to their management that they were, through dishonesty or incompetence, about to land arjxh56 with a bill for thousands of £s - most of which would have been entirely due to their own failings. If they were to seek to pursue charges for their grossly excessive labour (given the circumstances as described), they would IMO fall into the same category of rogues as those "builders" who tell anxious little old ladies that there are serious problems with their roof in need of urgent attention, do no work at all, and then extort most of their victim's life's savings through bogus charges. So, my view is that some very straight talking indeed with those responsible is required. Whether this falls truly into the legal category of attempted fraud I can't say, but morally it looks extremely close to me.
userJudgeMental
Posted: 28 March 2014 8:17 AM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


Copy Nicks advice above, add to it regards vehicle failure under the terms of sales of goods act, not fit for purpose, of merchantable quality, or as described. Van fails on all 3, and why you should be expected to pay for general incompetence and lack of training a nonsense....

please note, the act stipulates 6 years, the fiat warranty length irrelevant

A downloadable letter that you can add your details to in this link. Use it and send paper copy as well as email

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theoneshow/consumer/2009/07/03/sale_of_goods_act_letter_downl.html

Do this and they will know you know your rights.....

Edited by JudgeMental 2014-03-28 8:31 AM
usereuroserv
Posted: 28 March 2014 11:54 AM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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Although Brian is completely right in suggesting that you go for the jugular with Northern Commercial's management; I know how things work with Fiat's customer service department.....

They will consult with the dealer and will make observations or even criticisms of their efforts and procedures. If Fiat feel that they have been piddling about and should have known better or sought assistance sooner; they will tell them. They (Fiat) will determine the level of support that they deem appropriate to the dealer and to the customer and will communicate this soon.

Hold fire on any other action until you have this conversation. You may be pleasantly surprised.

If not; then the next port of call will be Fiat by email and then a letter to the dealer.

Before you pay anything to anyone, you must insist on an extended (25 miles) drive in the vehicle to ensure that it is indeed fixed. The dealer may want to accompany you for this.

Don't be surprised if Fiat ask you to pay a certain amount to the dealer and say they will send you a cheque as a 'one off discretionary payment' to you; this is also normal and can be trusted.

Nick
userarjxh56
Posted: 28 March 2014 1:02 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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Latest update....

Paperwork now submitted to Fiat along with the requested proof of service history, V5, Log book stamps, service invoices, etc...
Northern Commercials have said they will let me know as soon as they hear back but they have assured me i wont have to pay for anything more than is deemed acceptable for the particular fault and repair.

I will see what Fiat say before making my next move as they may well respond in my favour? ..Or at least i hope they will

Good advice to take the vehicle on an extended run, i wouldn't have thought to do that. I also assume that the work/repair will come with some kind of warranty but i have yet to discuss this point.

Fingers crossed i may well hear something today, but worst case i suppose it will be Monday.

Thanks all for the help .. I will keep you updated as usual.

userBrian Kirby
Posted: 28 March 2014 6:26 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Good. That, in conjunction with Nick's further input above, is reassuring. I hope it all works out to your reasonable satisfaction, and that you can now bin the Prozac!
userarjxh56
Posted: 31 March 2014 9:16 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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Latest update......
I am really cross with Northern Commercials.

They asked me to bring my documents in last Wednesday as they needed to submit the forms for the Fiat contribution. The guys said they finished at 6 so I dropped everything, travelled a very long way to go home and collect my docs, I also had to get the kids out of school as I wouldn't have got back in time and the wife was away... I then drove over to Brighouse in a rush to get the forms in... I eventually got the kids home way after their bedtime, but at least I got it all done in time I thought!

I rang Fiat a couple of days later and they told me they hadn't heard from the contribution dept' yet but it usually only takes a couple of days. I left it a few more days and then called Northern Commercials to see if they had heard anything. I was then told that they hadn't sent the contribution forms in as they had been too busy... that's 5 days they had to send them in and I rushed like a mad man!.. Surely they weren't too busy for 5days??

I called Fiat customer service this afternoon to double check I was being told the correct info, funnily enough Fiat were also told by NC that the forms went in last week! Fiat then made a call to NC and they have now apparently sent the forms....

Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 31 March 2014 11:17 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Hmmmm! Not exactly covering themselves in glory on this one, are they? Know of a better dealership within reach? Time to look, maybe?
usersilverback
Posted: 1 April 2014 8:21 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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fiat clemo at cleckheaton, had good service so far..touch wood
hope he gets sorted
jon
userarjxh56
Posted: 2 April 2014 12:47 AM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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Thanks.. I am going to call Fiat tomorrow and see if they have made a decision. I just hope they cover the repair as good will
I did have the choice of Clemo in Cleckheaton but I was advised by my Motorhome service centre that I should use Northern Commercials. Apparently they use them when required and I was told they could be trusted to do a good job.

Let's see what the outcome is... Maybe everything will turn out ok in the end?
userarjxh56
Posted: 2 April 2014 7:53 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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Latest update....
I have yet to get confirmation from Northern commercials but fiat customer services have apparently now confirmed and sent approval to NC to cover the entire costs of the repair. This could be a fantastic result.
I will call in the morning and hopefully arrange to collect the van without having to pay a penny towards its repair.

Fingers and toes are doubly crossed....

userarjxh56
Posted: 3 April 2014 10:39 AM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


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Latest update...
Fiat have very kindly covered the cost of the ECU and it's associated labour (3hrs) .. Excellent service from them.
Northern commercials are now requesting I pay an additional 10 hrs labour for their diagnosis checks.
usermike 202
Posted: 3 April 2014 10:56 AM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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Hi, you did the work by contacting Fiat, they supplied the part and labour end of.

The garage just did not know what they were doing so why pay for their lack of skill.

Mike
usereuroserv
Posted: 3 April 2014 12:04 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 
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I would suggest that after 10 hours; all they were ready to do was remove the gearbox, and that was clearly not the answer. I think that 4 or 5 hours would be reasonable to look into and assess the fault IF they had got the answer by that point. I really do not see why you should foot the bill for their lack of expertise. You could have gotten just as far as they did by paying a Painter and Decorator to investigate it!
No disrespect to Decorators, of course.
userJudgeMental
Posted: 3 April 2014 1:00 PM
Subject: RE: 3.0 comfort-matic gearbox failure
 


tell them to get stuffed and you will see them in court...bunch of comedians.
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