CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2012 Fiat 500 - are starter failures related to the transmission failure?

This car has had 3 starters since purchase, and the transmission is going. Could the starter failures have anything to do with the transmission going. The car has only 45,466

There’s a reason FIAT stands for Fix It Again Tommy! I doubt the starter failures are causing the transmission to go. When did you replace the transmission fluid last? What’s the fluid level at?

1 Like

All problems are listed here for this clunker.

Anne, Fiat-Chrysler no longer sells the Fiat 500 in the USA. Your experience is not uncommon… but no, a failing transmission isn’t likely to cause bad starters… but stranger things have happened.

1 Like

Thank you for your reply. The car is at the dealer so I can not go outside and check the fluid levels. I regularly took the car into the dealer and on my invoices, they performed multi-point inspections that included fluid levels checks.

1 Like

Thank you for your reply.

FYI: This is a manual transmission vehicle.

The Fiat 500 is so problematic that having two separate things break at the same time is no surprise.

1 Like

There is just nothing I can add to what the others said. Reminds me of Chrysler back in 1978.

I mourn for Chrysler, most of the cars I owned were Mopars, but this loyal fancan no longer find something they make that I want to buy. I just wish other people made cars that fit me like theirs did,

It’s really is too bad. I kinda thought a Renegade would be nice but on an employee site, a guy was responding to someone else that bought one and said to enjoy the first 25,000 miles because after that they will fall apart. I go back to the 60’s where mechanically they were great cars with the 318 etc. and lower cost than the competition. Yep, too bad.

Yes, I loved the 57 to 65 318s with the cross flow poly heads before they went to the AMC type with the valves all in a line.

I am not sure if they were all solid lifter engines, but all the ones in our family were.

Whenever I hear of multiple similar parts replacements on a low miles car (3 starters in 45k miles) I get a sense of someone is making a serious misdiagnosis of the problem.

As for the starter/transmission I cannot say definitely without car in hand but I will say it’s possible a transmission (auto or standard?) could be damaged because of a faulty starter instlallation.

Short story. Many years ago a frend bought a brand new Camaro Z-28. A few months later starter gnash due to the infamous GM shim issue. Replaced under warranty. Six months later lingering problem knocked out second starter and this time took the flex plate. Four or 5 month laters there goes the starter, flexplate, and this time it forced a chunk of flexplate while the engine was cranking and cracked the transmission case. Point being here that the problem was not the car. It was the guy who did not know how to shim a starter properly with a 3 dollar bag of shims and the factory shares some blame because it obviously left the GM plant that way. (After the 3rd warranty fix he just sold the car)

Who is doing this work and exactly what is the transmission doing or not doing.

1 Like