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Fiat Cab Heaters


Drollie

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I have just collected a Suntor 530lp 54 reg. and the cab heater is really inefficient, seem to get plenty of heat coming out of side and front vents but nothing at floor level at all, even when all the other vents are closed and the fan pushed up to max. I wonder if anyone has any experience of this problem and possible ways to rectify it. I have tried searching through the forums but without success so if anyone has a link should this question have arisen before I would be extremely grateful if they could point me in the right direction. Many thanks. :-(
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The problem Drollie is that your heater is manufactured to heat the partitioned off Fiat cab only. When converted to a motorhome the partition is removed and your heater is now trying to heat the whole motorhome, with predictable results.

 

We have had good results by simply drapping a couple of car rugs down from the overhead luton/cupboard/whatever, down behind the driving seats to seal of the caravan area (therefore basically replacing the partition) when driving. There is no need to be too careful as to gaps, etc, and the vertical central join between the two rugs gives you near normal access to the rear. The only downside is that the cravan area will be that much colder when you stop.

 

Give it a try.

 

Ron

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Many thanks to you all for the replies particularly the link to former thread. I have today taken the vehicle to my local garage and they removed the dash and found that the quadrant flap was seized up. I have not really had much of chance to test it as I only have quite a short distance to drive home but at least there was heat of sorts coming down to my feet whereas yesterday there was none. I am now in the process of contacting the dealer to see why this wasn't checked out when the vehicle was PDI'd and fully serviced (lol) (lol) (lol) (lol) and attaching a copy of the invoice - wish me luck.

 

I guess I was naive to expect that I could have a heater in a much newer vehicle to be as good as the one in my old Peugeot 1.9td. hey ho that's progress.

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Drollie,

 

I'm going to suggest that you shouldn't be too hard on your dealer. During your Suntor's PDI and service, as long as the heater fan came on when its switch was turned and made the right noises, and air was being blown from the side and front vents, it wouldn't have been illogical to assume that your motorhome's heating-system was functioning as Fiat intended. Nevertheless, that's no reason not to seek to recover from your dealer the cost of fixing the fault. (Presumably the vehicle has a warranty.)

 

It's often necessary for a vehicle to be driven for an extended period for a fault to show its presence and, even then, it might not always be recognised. Having bought my previous motorhome (an 18 months old, 1 owner, Transit-based Herald) I soon found that its right-hand dashboard air-vent was not working properly. Removing the vent revealed a peculiarity in its operating mechanism and, to get the thing to work as it should, I eventually resorted to hacksawing a piece off it. Plainly the fault had been present from brand new but, when I spoke to the previous owner, he said he had never noticed it. The vent's malfunctioning had not been picked up during the PDI prior to me buying the Herald, but, being realistic, I wouldn't have expected it to have been.

 

Far more serious was the 'factory fitted' fault on my present Germany-bought Hobby that resulted in the vast majority of the Truma heater's 6kW of hot air being directed to the vehicle's bedroom and bathroom. The heater worked fine, just virtually no air was emerging from the outlets in the motorhome's front part. This was due to the air-duct running through the floor to the front outlets having been squashed flat during the build process.

 

This defect had (apparently!) gone unnoticed when the vehicle was built and when the German dealer had examined it prior to selling it to me. The fault became evident as soon as I checked how well the heater was distributing air around the vehicle's interior, but I can understand it could have been overlooked if one were just confirming that the heater was working OK and assuming that all the air-ducts had been installed correctly. As it was impossible to gain access to the air-duct where the obstruction had been caused, overcoming the problem was decidedly challenging.

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A Fiat option is a second factory-fitted heater which sits under the driver's seat and blows air to the rear. We had this fitted to a large Mobilvetta A-class and it worked well. Unfortunately most UK manufacturers do not appear to offer this option - although you might think it is needed more here than in Italy.

 

Our current van has diesel space heating which can be used on the move as well as on site - an alternative to the Fiat option and works well. Several manufacturers offer this option (some also with water hetaing). Arrive on site with a warm 'van and hot water.

After-fitting is, I believe, an option.

 

Clive

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Thank you all for the information, really appreciated.

 

However I did ring Fiat and expressed my dissatisfaction and was told to take the van to my nearest Fiat dealer, the name of whom they supplied. Their engineers need to check on what may or may not be the matter and report back to Fiat, this van, although new to me, is now 4 years old and personally I can't see Fiat admitting to fitting poor heating systems in addition to all their other issues, but I've booked the van in for next week so will keep you updated as to the outcome. Again may thanks for your interest and advices.

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  • 1 month later...

Rupert,

You say you can leave you gas heater on, does this mean you have changed the regulator for one that's suitable for use in a moving vehicle? Otherwise you could go up with a be bang.

The Truma 'C' ragne have a fanned flue so can be used on the move but only with the correct type of regulator.

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I too suffer from cold in a 54 Fiat and usually resort to floor to ceiling curtains hung on a curtain wire behind the seats and direct the dash vents towards the feet.

 

One little hint is to try moving the heaters directional dial a lttle to the left or righ tof the appropriate "feet "symbol. This improves the heating output on my vehicle - give it a try for nothing, it may also work on other vehicles too.

 

I've noticed that the top of my dash, particularly around the CD/Radio gets extremely hot and wonder whether a pipe has become disconnected or crushed or if a flap is misdirecting the hot air flow. Anybody have any thoughts or expereince on this ?

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Hi,

Geoff sometimes the deflector plate drops down or sometimes may not be fitted as we sometimes cannot find it. You can remove the radio unit and insulate the piping.

Drollie, check that the controls are operating the flap on the air box unit to deflect the air to your feet. As reported these units are not up to the job to heat a large motorhome only the cab but should be well able to keep your feet warm.

Regards,

Brendan.

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geoff - 2009-01-26 1:34 AM

 

I too suffer from cold in a 54 Fiat and usually resort to floor to ceiling curtains hung on a curtain wire behind the seats and direct the dash vents towards the feet.

 

One little hint is to try moving the heaters directional dial a lttle to the left or righ tof the appropriate "feet "symbol. This improves the heating output on my vehicle - give it a try for nothing, it may also work on other vehicles too.

 

I've noticed that the top of my dash, particularly around the CD/Radio gets extremely hot and wonder whether a pipe has become disconnected or crushed or if a flap is misdirecting the hot air flow. Anybody have any thoughts or expereince on this ?

 

After taking the vehicle into the local Fiat Agent who after having it all day and carrying out various checks could find nothing wrong, I did notice that they had set the heater to floor and face, whereas I had previously set to feet only, during the ride home there was a considerable improvement, not great, but better, I have subsequently fiddled around with the various settings and find this one does give out the most heat. It's certainly not as good as my old Autocruise but it is bearable and I have travelled around in this latest cold snap without the discomfort I previously experienced. So whatever they did or did not do things have improved, and they never even charged, plus Brownhills @ Newark refunded my costs incurred when I had the quadrant flap released at my local garage; so all in all I consider the heater issue resolved very satisfactorily.

Again thanks for all your advices. :->

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