12 March 2014
I bought a Hymer 534 motorhome on a Fiat Ducato chassis. I had previously had a coachbuilt motorhome on the same chassis but with a 2.5 turbo diesel that had been fitted, after the previous owner found that the 2.0 petrol engine was useless. The turbo diesel wasn’t much better, and the gearbox was particularly bad changing down from 3rd to 2nd despite having had all the linkages renewed, a new clutch, and the synchro on 2nd gear replaced. It was a nightmare to drive, and particularly noisy despite being "soundproofed" The second time it was used the alternator packed up on the way home leaving us with no lights or windscreen wipers. Having sold this van for a massive financial loss, I recently bought the Hymer thinking that Fiat would have improved over the years. No such luck! On the way home from buying the van I encountered the Fiat judder when reversing out of a parking space. The engine was so noisy with tapett noise that I was deaf on reaching home. Not good I thought. On the first outing, having invested in an engine blanket to slightly minimise the racket of the engine, I stopped for diesel and found the engine wouldn’t start, as the battery was totally flat despite having driven for 90K when by rights the battery should have been fully charged. Deja Vu I thought. Thanks to some kind-hearted lads that gave me a push start I managed to make it home, but as soon as I switched off the engine it wouldn’t restart. I tried charging the battery, and it managed to start OK so I made arrangements to take it to a local garage the following day, but to my horror, the following morning the battery was again completely flat, so it would now appear to be either the battery or the alternator, or both that are defective, which seems rather unlikely that both would fail together. Having read some of the posts on here I am no nearer finding out what the problem is. I used the van over a 3 day camping weekend stopping and starting, using the 12 volt systems and also the 240v hook up with no problems whatsoever. I am wondering if it could be something to do with the relay switch over from the leisure battery as it shows as fully charged on the dial on the zig unit. Unfortunately there is very little information with the van, which is a German import. All the documentation is in German, and there is a very basic English instruction book which is pretty useless as what information it contains is stating the bleedin’ obvious! Has anyone any idea where I could possibly obtain an English translation for the vehicles mechanical and habitation instructions without it costing a fortune from Hymer, or being totally useless as the 6 page document I got with the van. It would appear that Fiat doesn’t really have a customer service follow-up and the same mistakes appear to occur with monotonous regularity.
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