D1- Water ingress into the engine bay messes with electronics
A classic and severe problem, but Fiat design of the drainage scuttle has been much improved for the current model (2015 plus). I had stone damage and needed a new windscreen. Thereafter the scuttle was not close enough to the windscreen, so I had it glued to the screen. Always clean autumn leaves out of the drainage ducts, and in the summer check for warping of the scuttle drainage system and ensure that it neatly abuts to the wind screen over the full width of the van !
D2- The Ducato looses power above a certain speed
That happened to me twice. The Ducato handles well, is fun to drive and purrs like a kitten. BUT a huge challenge is the stalk switch assembly with the blinkers on the left side of the steering wheel where it competes for the drivers attention together with a separate stalk switch that activates cruise control and speed limiter. So newbies may set off the wiper instead of the blinker and the fumble for the blinkers and mess with the speed limiter unintentionally (see Fiat user manual pg 56). It happened to me on an 80 road where I ended up limping at a speed of 30 ! I didn't even know that was possible ! What to do: Check that the speed limiter is not set to anything less than 110km/h and that it is not activated on drive off ! The symbols that flash up in the dashboard for cruise control and speed limiter look confusingly similar (Fiat manual pg 62) !
WARNING !!! FLOOR THE GAS PEDAL HARD IF YOU LOOSE POWER because you turned the cruise switch wrongly and your speed control gets activated. It may be set as low as 35km/h. Even if it was preset to 100 km/h holding down the lever will change that !
D3- Be careful of potholes and be aware of the impact switch that cuts the fuel.
If for any reason your campervan / motorhome breaks down on Australian roads cause cause you hit a kangaroo or a pothole check your fuel cutoff (safety switch) and learn how to reset it (Fiat manual).
D4- The Ducato door locks do not activate
My sliding door does not close properly when handled from inside the van. Slam the sliding door a bit harder (push/pull support) and press lock button again. It may not have been closed properly with a small 2mm gap which is almost impossible to spot.
D5- The Ducato sliding door is hard to open from inside
Use your knee and/or left hand to push the door outwards while sliding it sideways with your right hand.
D6- The Ducato rolls back on a gentle slope
This is normal. Move your foot fast from break to gas in less than 2 seconds or use handbrake support if the slope is too light for the hill start support to kick in.
D7- The auto transmission plays up or shows fault codes
It is possible to press the break and gas pedal simultaneously with your right foot. Learn to move your right foot between the pedals in a distinctive motion. Avoid lazy sideways slides of your foot between the pedals. Yes it is possible to press both pedals UNINTENTIONALLY with the right foot !
D8 - Prepare before your big trip !
- No reception - carry a second phone on a different service or a satellite phone
- Unable to pull van over due to deep ditch - carry extra battery operated warning lights
- Fuel cut off switch has disabled engine on impact - learn how to reset it (Fiat manual pg62)
- Dashboard warning light ON / no mobile carrier connection for help - carry a diagnostic transmitter plug and self diagnose on your mobile phone
- and ... and ... and ...