The Fiat 500 is a small, stylish car that is known for its fuel efficiency, manoeuvrability, and overall fun-to-drive experience. Whether you’re a city dweller looking for a car to navigate tight streets and parking spots, or simply someone looking for an affordable, yet stylish car that’s easy on gas, the Fiat 500 is definitely worth considering.
But, like all cars, the 1.2 Fiat 500 has its own set of problems and issues. In this article, we will be discussing some of the most common engine problems that owners of the Fiat 500 have reported, including issues with oil leaks, lack of power, and head gasket failure. Additionally, we will also be discussing servicing costs, longevity and FAQs. Whether you’re in the market for a new car or are looking to maintain your own iconic Italian 500, this article is a must-read. So, let’s dive in!
Fiat 500 1.2 Common Engine Faults
The head gasket problem in the Fiat 500 1.2 is most common in models built in 2008 and earlier. A head gasket is a critical component that sits between the engine block and cylinder head. Its main function is to seal the combustion chamber and prevent coolant and engine oil from mixing.
When the head gasket fails, it can cause a loss of compression and coolant leaks. This can lead to a number of issues such as overheating, decreased engine performance, and in some cases, engine damage. You may also notice white smoke from the exhaust, coolant leaks, and low coolant levels.
The cause of head gasket failure in the Fiat 500 1.2 is usually just down to age or high mileage. A head gasket replacement is usually required to fix the problem, and it can be a costly repair.
It is important to conduct a thorough inspection before purchasing an older version of the Fiat 500 and check if the head gasket has been replaced. Also, it is highly recommended to maintain the engine coolant at the correct level, and avoid overheating the engine.
The Fiat 500 1.2 is known to have clutch problems, which can occur in some manual examples. The most common cause of clutch failure in this model is bent selector forks. These are the components that connect the clutch pedal to the transmission, and they are responsible for engaging and disengaging the clutch.
When the selector forks are bent, they can cause the clutch to slip, making it difficult to shift gears. This can also lead to a loss of power and acceleration, as well as increased wear on other transmission components. Additionally, the clutch can make noise or vibrate when it is not functioning correctly.
To fix the problem, the selector forks will need to be replaced, which is usually covered under warranty for new cars. For older cars, it is important to have a professional diagnose the problem and determine if the clutch needs to be replaced. Regular maintenance, such as checking and adjusting the clutch pedal free play, can also help to prolong the life of the clutch.
Oil leaks in the Fiat 500 1.2 can be caused by several factors. This can happen when the engine oil seals and gaskets wear out or become damaged, allowing oil to leak out. Common places where oil leaks can occur include the valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, and the front and rear crankshaft seals.
Another possible cause of oil leaks in the Fiat 500 1.2 is a clogged PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve. The PCV valve is responsible for regulating the pressure inside the engine’s crankcase, and if it becomes clogged, it can cause oil to leak out.
Symptoms of oil leaks in the Fiat 500 1.2 include low oil levels, a burning oil smell, and oil stains on the ground under the car. Additionally, the oil light may come on, and the engine may start running poorly.
It is important to address oil leaks as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the engine. Repairing or replacing the faulty gasket or seal and cleaning or replacing the PCV valve are the common solutions. It is highly recommended to have a professional diagnose the problem to determine the cause of the oil leak and to make sure it is fixed properly. Regular maintenance, such as checking and changing the oil, can also help to prevent oil leaks.
A radiator leak in the Fiat 500 can be caused by several factors, but the most common cause is a crack or hole in the radiator. Radiators can become damaged over time due to corrosion, rust, or impact, which can cause leakage. Additionally, the hoses that connect the radiator to the engine can also develop leaks, which can allow coolant to escape.
Symptoms of a radiator leak in the Fiat 500 include a coolant smell, low coolant levels, and steam or smoke coming from the front of the vehicle. The engine may also overheat, which can lead to more serious engine problems if not addressed.
It is important to address radiator leaks as soon as possible. A leaking radiator will need to be replaced and the hoses will need to be checked and replaced if they are leaking. Additionally, regular maintenance such as checking the coolant level and flushing the system can help prevent radiator leaks. It is highly recommended to have a professional diagnose the problem to determine the cause of the radiator leak and to make sure it is fixed properly.
Lack Of Power
The Fiat 500 1.2 engine can have issues with a lack of power, particularly in models built after 2014. This problem can be caused by a variety of factors, but the most common cause is an issue with the car’s software. The software that controls the engine’s performance can become outdated or malfunction, which can cause a loss of power.
Symptoms of a lack of power in the Fiat 500 1.2 include difficulty accelerating, especially when going uphill, and a decrease in overall performance. The engine may also make strange noises, such as knocking or ticking.
To fix the problem, the car’s software will need to be updated by a professional. This can be done through a process called re-flashing, which involves updating the car’s computer with new software. Additionally, other issues that can cause a lack of power such as the air filter, spark plugs, and mass air flow sensor will need to be checked and replaced if necessary.
Fiat 500 1.2 Servicing Costs
As the Fiat 500 is a small vehicle, servicing costs are quite reasonable. The Fiat 500 1.2 usually costs around £210 with qualified dealer servicing. Online discount websites may be able to provide coupons or direct cost reductions.
How Long Do Fiat 500 Engines Last?
The Fiat 500 is a well-established engine platform. With basic maintenance and a considered driving style, the engine is capable of lasting 200,000-300,000 miles.
If a Fiat 500 has had regular service schedules, ongoing repairs are usually down to wear and tear items. Items such as water pumps, rubber seals, and coolant pumps have also needed replacing over time.
How can I prevent engine problems in my Fiat 500 1.2?
Regular maintenance, such as regular oil changes, checking and replacing the air filter, spark plugs can help prevent engine problems in the Fiat 500 1.2. Additionally, having a professional diagnose the problem and fixing it as soon as possible can help prevent further damage.
Is the Fiat 500 1.2 engine reliable?
While the Fiat 500 1.2 engine is generally reliable, it is not without its problems. Some owners have reported issues with oil leaks, lack of power, and head gasket failure. However, if you maintain your car regularly and address any problems as soon as they arise, you can help ensure the longevity and reliability of the engine.
How can I fix a lack of power in my Fiat 500 1.2 engine?
To fix a lack of power in the Fiat 500 1.2 engine, the car’s software will need to be updated by a professional. This can be done through a process called re-flashing, which involves updating the car’s computer with new software. Additionally, other issues such as the air filter, spark plugs, and mass air flow sensor will need to be checked and replaced if necessary.
Can I fix oil leaks in my Fiat 500 1.2 engine myself?
It is not recommended to fix oil leaks in the Fiat 500 1.2 engine yourself as it requires specialized tools and knowledge. It is best to have a professional diagnose the problem and fix it as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the engine.
Is The Fiat 500 1.2 A Good Engine?
The Fiat 500 1.2 engine is generally considered to be a good engine. It is a small, fuel-efficient engine that is well-suited to the compact size of the Fiat 500. It offers good power and performance for its size and is known to be relatively reliable.
However, like all engines, the Fiat 500 1.2 is not without its problems. Some owners have reported issues with oil leaks, lack of power, and head gasket failure. Additionally, it has been reported that the engine tends to have more wear and tear when used as a rental car or a driving school vehicle.
Overall, the Fiat 500 1.2 engine is considered to be a good choice for the car, but it is important to maintain the car properly and address any problems as soon as they arise to ensure the longevity and reliability of the engine.
In conclusion, the Fiat 500 is a great car that offers a lot of benefits for its size, including fuel efficiency, manoeuvrability, and a fun-to-drive experience. It’s an iconic car with a lot of history, and it’s easy to see why it has so many fans. But, like all cars, the Fiat 500 is not without its problems. From oil leaks to head gasket failure, it’s important to be aware of these issues before buying a used model. However, with proper maintenance and timely repairs, the Fiat 500 can be a reliable and enjoyable vehicle for many years to come. Whether you’re in the market for a new car or simply a fan of this Italian classic, it’s always worth considering the Fiat 500.
1.2 Engine problems do occur. But the majority of owners usually only need wear and tear items replaced. Remember, if you experience anything unusual with your Fiat 500, have it checked out immediately. Fiat 500 1.2 engine problems rectified in the early stages can save big repair bills in the future.
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Fiat 500 Facts
- The Fiat 500 is a popular choice among celebrities, with high-profile owners including George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, and Lady Gaga.
- The original Fiat 500 was produced from 1957 to 1975 and was known as the “Cinquecento.”
- The new Fiat 500, which was introduced in 2007, is a modern interpretation of the original 500 and is available in various versions such as hatchback, convertible, and electric.
- It is one of the smallest cars in production today and is considered a city car, perfect for navigating narrow streets and tight parking spots.
- It has won several awards, including the “European Car of the Year” in 2008 and the “Women’s World Car of the Year” in 2010
- In Italy, the Fiat 500 is considered a cultural icon and is a symbol of the country’s post-war economic boom.
- It was designed by Dante Giacosa, one of the most prominent car designers in Italy during the 20th century.
- The Fiat 500 has been featured in several films, including the Italian Job and The Great Beauty.