What is causing this serious electrical fault in my Fiat 500?

I love my FIAT 500 Cabriolet, but it has been back to the dealers many times for the same problem. Every time I leave it a day or two without using it I return to find it will not start. The car is a 2010 which I bought as an ex-demo at 6 months old. They have charged the battery, the next time they replaced the battery, then it went back twice as everything on the dashboard was flashing constantly. A few weeks later it went in again with a dreadful smell of fumes through the heater, so a new hose was fitted. Finally two weeks ago they replaced the alternator, positive this was the problem.

Lo and behold, yesterday, after only having my car back a week, I got in and there was a dreadful clicking sound. What do you advise me to say to the garage as I feel the car they sold me is not reliable and it will cost me quite a bit to change it for another Fiat? Have you heard of other Fiats with this problem?

Asked on 28 April 2012 by SC, Bromsgrove

Answered by Honest John
You have a draindown. It could be the radio, which should always be switched off at the radio before you switch off the engine. Or might be a fault with the "see you out" light dimmer. Try switching that off entirely, and if doing so eliminates the problem then you have found the cause. It is not a general problem with 500s. Mine is nearly four years old and I regularly leave it unused for periods of up to six weeks with no problems.
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