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Two days ago I was out running a errand to the local post office and when I got back in the car to head home, strange things began to happen.  I put my foot on the brake and turned the key which then set up a bunch of warning lights and some horrid clunk that I felt in the brake pedal.  The ESC light had come on (Electronic Stability Control).   Knowing this is a electrical beast and sometimes reset helps, I pulled the key back out, sat a minute and tried again to get the same result.  I decided to get myself home (3 blocks of suburbia away) and look up info online to see if I had to do a hard reboot or something.

As soon as I started to move through the parking lot I knew something was amiss.  When I pushed the brake to a full stop the pedal would vibrate at the very end.  I limped home at 20 mph.  On my street a very stupid morning dove decided to land in front of a Fiat with questionable braking ability.  I hit the brakes with plenty of stopping time but the car lurched forward, clunked, and pulled to the right.  What the hell?  Avoided the dopey dove and got my car parked in front of my own home.

Called Fiat while still in the drivers seat and aranged for a free town through their roadside assistance to my local dealership to have it looked at.  They arrived 30 minutes later and Antonio was loaded up and shipped off.

I gave a call to the studio around 4:30 since i had not heard a thing since the car left at 10:30 am.  I was told over the phone that they were just finishing up and I could head over.  I was also told this was all due to a software upgrade that I needed.

Software caused the car to be unsafe to drive?!  Not sure I'm really thrilled with new technology sometimes.

So while the paperwork is being written up I asked the guy at the studio if there is any way I can find out about these software upgrades in the future.  Is there a e-mail reminder service, text, etc?  He stated that no, the way they tell you the car needs a update is dash lights come on and systems start to fail.  Wow Fiat, REALLY?

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So for 10 months now I have learned to avoid pedestrians who do not hear me and step right in front of my moving vehicle on pretty much a daily basis.

Today I learned a new problem though.

About 2 hours ago I went out to pick up a few sodas at the drive through.  When I came home I had full hands and delivered the cool drinks to my friends.  I knew I had left the car unlocked and the window part way down.  Window to let some heat escape and I planned on locking the car once I put down a Coke.  Well I forgot to deal with that but then now I just get a knock on the door from someone down the street who noticed the radio was bumping when she walked by my car on the street.

I left the key in the ignition and the car ON.

*facepalm*

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no no, don't buy one

So according to Sergio Marchionne, no one should buy a Fiat 500e because he loses $14k per car.   What this article does not explain is he takes that hit so Chrysler can keep selling gas guzzlers in California.  The 500e is what is known as a "compliance vehicle" and I'm ok with owning one and I'm ok with them losing money on it.

Plus I like a car that even makes a Mini Cooper look BIG
I have not heard from Fiat yet and neither has anyone else that I know of but there is a looming recall for a faulty power inverter.  Should be hearing something in the next few weeks.

feelin hot hot hot

It's getting hot here, looks like Spring is just going to skip 2014 and we are going right into Summer.  This does not make me happy but I am thrilled that the 500e has the ability to "pre-condition" before I head out on the road.  For those not in the know this means that while the car is plugged in and charging, you can turn on the air conditioner to cool the vehicle while it is pulling power off the grid instead of taking it out of the car's battery.  No more burnt butt on the seats, no more fried hands on the steering wheel.  This is all done with a phone ap.  Now the catch is I have to remember to turn it on before I need to head out.

In other news, those of you who are friends of The Oatmeal would probably be interested in reading his new comic about being a Tesla S owner.

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The cork in the carwash bottleneck

Today I was out running errands and passed by the car wash I have used for years with my other cars.  I have to be honest here, I have had the Fiat since last July and it has NEVER been to a car wash.  I took it to one of those wash it yourself places 2-3 times but he was in need of a serious cleaning and I just did not have the mojo to do it myself.  As I passed the carwash I saw a bunch of guys standing around with no cars to clean so I pulled in.

I get up to the front and get my wash ticket from the manager.  I turned off the ignition, put it in Park and pulled the brake but left the key dangling there.  I told the guy who gave me my ticket "this car is electric so there is a push button transmission, it's a little weird".  He pretty much waved his hand with a "yeah yeah whatever" mumble and I walked away figuring this was old hat to them.

I sit in the waiting area fiddling with my iPhone and i notice quite a few people starting to show up.  I picked the perfect time I guess because now the lunch break crowd was arriving.  They all start to sit around me in this area that is where the cars pop out of the car wash tunnel to be wiped dry and drive off.  I come to realize nothing has driven out since i got here an the drying guys are all standing around looking perplexed.

I turn around to see Antonio's back end with the brake lights on but he is not moving.  I picture the guy inside with his foot on the brake turning the key and waiting for a engine noise.  I see those lights go off and on a few times and finally he scoots into the wash tunnel.  I go back to my iPhone fiddling for awhile and the crowd is getting bigger, more cars lining up.  I assume i just missed them pulling my car out and i turn to the drying area just to see a half dozen guys standing around with towels and speaking another language.  I did happen to hear the word "Fiat" though.  Eventually one of them calls to a guy from the detailing booth and he ventures into the tunnel after saying "you mean that one?" as he points inside.  Sure enough, no clue how to drive the thing except this guy who got Antonio though his bath and brought him out to be dried.  All of a sudden cars are coming out of there left and right so yes, Antonio corked up the car wash today.

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Good news for my Fiat fans in Oregon!

Looks like this Summer you guys will be able to get your hands on a 500e! I suggest if you want one you start talking to your dealer now and see if there are going to be waiting lists you can get on!

Article HERE

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thinking about a second e

Yes the conversation has come up in my household of having a second Fiat 500e.  Not anytime soon and something else may come up in the meantime but my husband's commute is going to change up a little next year and it would be handy for him to have a car with range like Antonio.  I need Antonio for my daily stuff and don't want to hand him over if I don't have to.  We will just have to see what is available next Spring and what the incentives are at that time.  As of now, California is out of incentive money and i think they ran out of the carpool lane stickers as well.
Makin Friends
Here is a shot of Antonio making friends in the neighborhood.

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4001 miles, so many more to go

So yeah I am not using as many miles and I thought I would on this lease.  The car I traded in (2004 Focus ZX3) was doing 10-12k miles per year but it looks like the 500e will only be getting around 7k.  I guess I did quite a bit of road tripping in the Focus I did not account for.  Now with the range of the Fiat I take my gas car on the road trips (gasp).



Today was a rainy dreary day here and I had a lunch date with a friend in one of those parts of town where parking can be a serious premium during the lunch hour.  I refuse to pay for valet for lunch and the hotel next door wanted $4 to park so I was determined to sneak in some where on the street.  I spied a spot from across the street and guessed I would fit.  Went down the street and flipped a U to check it out.  When I came up on the spot I was not quite sure of my parallel parking abilities from a traffic filled street into a spot so small but I took my chances and got Antonio in there Like a Boss.

Driving a SMALL car rocks. 

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