Buying a used Fiat in 2021

TheChamp

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
35,155
A family member had a mid 2000s Fiat Punto about 5 years ago, it gave head gasket trouble and this was at 60k kms.
She opted for it, because it had aircon, ew and other features (plus low mileage) for the same price as a citi golf or a corsa lite.
Suffice to say, she regretted that decision.
It's always sad when that happens and everyone goes I told you so, even though it could have happened on any other car. Head gasket failure is very seldom a random failure, it's a symptom of something else that isn't working right, it usually occurs as a result of overheating, and overheating is also not something that just happens out of the blue, signs are usually there long before the head gasket happens.
 

airborne

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Messages
11,654
It's always sad when that happens and everyone goes I told you so, even though it could have happened on any other car. Head gasket failure is very seldom a random failure, it usually occurs as a result of overheating, and overheating is also not something that just happens out of the blue, signs are usually there long before the head gasket happens.

I'm not sure if that's true, some poorly designed engines inherently have a propensity to blow the head gaskets, without needing to seriously overheat the vehicle, a few overly warm days in bumper to bumper traffic can be enough.

And most people these days are absolutely clueless when it comes to how engines work, the first thing they'll know is the vehicle has lost power or won't start.

I'm still waiting to hear if Fiat have any bulletproof motors, I'd seriously be interested to know.
 

TheChamp

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
35,155
I'm not sure if that's true, some poorly designed engines inherently have a propensity to blow the head gaskets, without needing to seriously overheat the vehicle, a few overly warm days in bumper to bumper traffic can be enough.

And most people these days are absolutely clueless when it comes to how engines work, the first thing they'll know is the vehicle has lost power or won't start.

I'm still waiting to hear if Fiat have any bulletproof motors, I'd seriously be interested to know.
It's simple for engineers to get it wrong on a high performance motor, getting it that wrong on a 55kw motor will take some serious effort. There are exceptions of course but basic engines just work.

There is a guy here who has an Uno that is over 400 000 kms, I think that is the very meaning of bulletproof, not sure if it's @unobeat.
 

riscbroker

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
2,088
@airborne - not sure of your criteria to meet bulletproof status, but I have a 2006 Panda closing in on 280 000km. It's had one timing belt, a water pump and a dash of welding to the exhaust manifold, apart from the normal service stuff. Oh, and a new steering pump some years back, it's a known weak point on these cars. It's a non-interference engine so no sweat if the timing belt goes.
 

unobeat

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2014
Messages
630
It's simple for engineers to get it wrong on a high performance motor, getting it that wrong on a 55kw motor will take some serious effort. There are exceptions of course but basic engines just work.

There is a guy here who has an Uno that is over 400 000 kms, I think that is the very meaning of bulletproof, not sure if it's @unobeat.

Yep its me
My Uno 1400 is currently sitting on 444000KM and i have owned it for 14 years now.
Did an engine rebuild once @310000km about 6 years ago and also its running a Fuel injection setup for 7 years using a Spitronics system which has clocked over 100 000km.

I got it at 155 000km in 2007 and it has worked hard clocking plenty of kilos driving between PTA & JHB daily and its be reliable solid in that horrible traffic without much issues.
 
Last edited:

airborne

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Messages
11,654
Yep its me
My Uno 1400 is currently sitting on 444000KM and i have owned it for 14 years now.
Did an engine rebuild once @310000km about 6 years ago and also its running a Fuel injection setup for 7 years using a Spitronics system which has clocked over 100 000km.

I got it at 155 000km in 2007 and it has worked hard clocking plenty of kilos driving between PTA & JHB daily and its be reliable solid in that horrible traffic without much issues.
How many times have you done the clutch in that time?
 

unobeat

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2014
Messages
630
How many times have you done the clutch in that time?
2x Clutch kit and due for a 3rd one now.
1x Slave Cylinder
2x Master Cylinder
1x new starter after trying to fix the OEM a couple of times.
2x Alternator regulator because car has sound system and other extra electrical items
1x set of front wheel bearings
1x set of rear wheel hubs
1x Water & Oil pump
3x set of tyres and due for another
1x set of CV joints
2x Thermostat & Radiator
2-3x sets of Ignition switches, CV boots, Coils, Batteries, engine & gearbox mounts, Distributors brake pads and rear linings
1x Mechanical fuel pump when it was CARB
it is on its 2nd electric external fuel pump with FI setup

Given that it worked hard to get to those kilometers, clocking them quickly and i would say it has been reliable and solid car hence why i cannot get rid of it. I am too attached.

I keep a detailed spreadsheet of maintenance and document everything. I DIY majority of normal services and then other work like clutch, CV, or timing belt replacement, I have a mechanic who has been working on the car for 8 years and he has been good.
 

Nithan15

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2016
Messages
1,997
Man i have been telling people on here how Useless Dekra reports are.
My Car got a full clear report from Dekra but I had to do the engine mounts as well as the brake rotors yet the Dekra report claims that these past perfectly, makes me wonder if they even looked at the car when they filled in the report.
 

Steamy Tom

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
7,032
My Car got a full clear report from Dekra but I had to do the engine mounts as well as the brake rotors yet the Dekra report claims that these past perfectly, makes me wonder if they even looked at the car when they filled in the report.

a dekra inspection is as good as getting the guy at the service station who dispenses your fuel to look at the vehicle
 

Nithan15

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2016
Messages
1,997
a dekra inspection is as good as getting the guy at the service station who dispenses your fuel to look at the vehicle
I launched a case of Fraud and corruption against the site that inspected the car with Head Office, got a call stating thats not how they do bussiness and blah blah blah, in the end they offered me to come back the site and have someone different inspect the car.

A few years ago I had another one of my cars inspected at a independant place in Roodepoort, they went through the car with a fine tooth comb and gave me a proper report, shows you that some name brands are just not worth it.
 

The_MAC

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
5,434
2x Clutch kit and due for a 3rd one now.
1x Slave Cylinder
2x Master Cylinder
1x new starter after trying to fix the OEM a couple of times.
2x Alternator regulator because car has sound system and other extra electrical items
1x set of front wheel bearings
1x set of rear wheel hubs
1x Water & Oil pump
3x set of tyres and due for another
1x set of CV joints
2x Thermostat & Radiator
2-3x sets of Ignition switches, CV boots, Coils, Batteries, engine & gearbox mounts, Distributors brake pads and rear linings
1x Mechanical fuel pump when it was CARB
it is on its 2nd electric external fuel pump with FI setup

Given that it worked hard to get to those kilometers, clocking them quickly and i would say it has been reliable and solid car hence why i cannot get rid of it. I am too attached.

I keep a detailed spreadsheet of maintenance and document everything. I DIY majority of normal services and then other work like clutch, CV, or timing belt replacement, I have a mechanic who has been working on the car for 8 years and he has been good.

The car is intrinsically weaved into your life..

I miss my Conquest :crying:
 
Top