The Truth About Cars » Freemont http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:00:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Freemont http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Piston Slap: TIPM and the Freemont’s Enlightening Journey Down Under http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/piston-slap-tipm-freemonts-journey/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/piston-slap-tipm-freemonts-journey/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1125289 Thanks to the 40+ people who sent queries to Piston Slap over the week. I’ve insisted the satisfaction derived from our interaction is why I keep writing, that everything else is merely gravy. Delicious gravy, but just that. You’ve once again validated that fact. – SM Bob writes: Good Morning Sajeev, I am asking a question about the headlights […]

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Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit (photo courtesy: blog.fiat.com.au)

Thanks to the 40+ people who sent queries to Piston Slap over the week. I’ve insisted the satisfaction derived from our interaction is why I keep writing, that everything else is merely gravy. Delicious gravy, but just that. You’ve once again validated that fact. – SM

Bob writes:

Good Morning Sajeev,

I am asking a question about the headlights of my 2015 Fiat Freemont, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder variety. In particular, replacing the globe in the left headlamp assembly. In the manual it states to move/relocate the TIPM. On the forums there is nothing mentioned about how to remove this particular item, plus I read all the horror stories about the TIPM, unreliability, etc.

As getting to the globe without removing the TIPM looks like an exercise in British engineering — “if you can make something important inaccessible, please do” — is it safe to (1) remove it? (2) how? and (3) what are the consequences if various things have to be disconnected?

The reason for changing the headlights so early (it’s only been in possession for a week) is that down under these headlights are not very effective. Stock standard halogens do not cut the mustard when you are at 110km/h surrounded by ‘roo’s, goats and other livestock. I would like to see them a bit further down the road, rather than right next to me on the shoulder of the road, before deciding whether to ruin my day and theirs.

Sajeev answers:

G’day, mate! Nice to see you’ve moved from German underengineering to one of Fiat’s finer works of underengineering! Not that the Dodge Journey is a terrible vehicle, even in Italian badge-engineered form.

The forums agree with the factory manual’s assessment of moving the TIPM to access the headlight bulb. It’s not a cause for worry, even if TIPM boxes are rather fragile. If so inclined, disconnect the battery for an hour (so the system will drain out) before starting disassembly. How do you remove the TIPM? Maybe this Jeep thread helps. After that, the process seems easy.

To be fair, I worry about upgrading headlights on a TIPM-controlled Chrysler Fiat product and burning out the damn module…then voiding parts of your warranty. And whatever bulb you install won’t be a good fit to a lighting pod designed for #9005 or #9006 halogen bulbs — perhaps a moot point, as you won’t blind other drivers in the middle of nowhere. (Who cares if the ‘roos get a little blind, right?) But if you must, avoid the radioactively bright, high-kelvin HIDs, install headlight relays and an inline fuse going to the TIPM. That fuse might rescue the TIPM, saving you hundreds.

I’d rather avoid it all via aftermarket driving lights from a big name company certified legal in Australia. Run them near/in place of the bumper mounted fog lights, wiring them directly to the battery. Then run a TIPM-free switch directly from the wiring to the interior. Install the switch under the dash or inside the center console, as to not upset the interior’s fine Italian design.

Possibly mediocre US-spec headlights possibly redesigned for Fiat’s global needs? Dubious conversions to stronger headlights with glare galore? TIPM failure issues? Warranty concerns?

Just skip it all and go aftermarket.

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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Italian Job: Badge Engineering Baby! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/italian-job-badge-engineering-baby/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/italian-job-badge-engineering-baby/#comments Thu, 03 Mar 2011 15:28:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=385920 Coming soon to a friendly dealer near you (if you live in Europe) and in a couple of months to another whole set of friendly dealers (if you live in Brazil), ladies and gentlemen, the totally brand-new, super exclusive, Italianate Fiat Freemont! Never seen before at Fiat dealers. This beast is all new. Well, to […]

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Coming soon to a friendly dealer near you (if you live in Europe) and in a couple of months to another whole set of friendly dealers (if you live in Brazil), ladies and gentlemen, the totally brand-new, super exclusive, Italianate Fiat Freemont! Never seen before at Fiat dealers. This beast is all new. Well, to Fiat buyers anyway.

According to my local paper Estado de Minas, Fiat representatives in Europe, talking to Brazilian journalists at the Geneva Autoshow, swear they have sweated out the details, giving it a whole new interior with a truly Italian vibe (interestingly though no pics of said interior were forthcoming). While at it, they continued the Italian job and decided to change the engines and offer two 2.0 diesels with outputs of 140 and 170hp, both of which developed by FPT (Fiat Powertrain Technologies, the Italian maker’s supplier of engines and transmissions). The venerable 3.5 V6 Pentastar from Chrysler will also be available for those who prefer their Italian with some American punch. News on the engines as per Brazilian enthusiast site Bestcars.com.

Though slow in America, the joining of the hip between Fiat and Chrysler is fast gaining pace in Europe. Brazil is also a “beneficiary” of this growing collaboration. At Geneva, Fiat launched the Lancia Thema and Grand Voyager (see here). Easy to spot what cars donated their lithe bodies to their Italian stablemates, no?

For Brazil, no word on pricing or engines. Here, diesels are verboten for passenger cars. That means at first probably the Chrysler’s 2.7 24v engine will continue to be the only choice. This engine powers the Dodge Journey now available in Brazil.

As Fiat has a better brand than Chrysler in Europe and (especially) in Brazil, will this be enough to get this baby rolling? In Brazil, the car is sold in two versions. The cheaper one goes for R$85,900 and the more expensive one goes for R$99,900 (at R$1.7=US$1, $50,529 and $58,765 verdinhas. )

One thing it has going for it as a Fiat is that it will be sold at Fiat dealers. The Italians have a very capillarized network in Brazil (second only to VW’s). Meanwhile, Dodge’s are sold at Mercedes dealers (a hangover from DC times), which is basically present only in larger cities. The negative? The price and competition. This bird, in Dodge guise, is rarely seen in Brazil’s cityscape. Without the stigma of an import brand (high-cost and difficult maintenance plus difficult re-sale), could this crossover (yes, in Brazil it is marketed as a crossover and not minivan) get close to the segment leaders (Chevy Captiva, Hyundai ix35, Kia Sportage among others)? That’s the Italians’ bet.

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