1994 Fiat Punto 55S from UK and Ireland - Comments

28th Jul 2001, 15:43

It me, the original poster again.

Yes, I suspect the trailing arms could be a common fault. Someone else at work had to have hers replaced two years ago, and I think it was N reg, not sure.

I was getting worried recently about the MOT. This year though the only thing wrong was emissions, AGAIN. Another lambda sensor, the third now, and it passed, so it was the cheapest one for a couple of years I think.

And I really miss air-con in this weather!

31st Jan 2002, 13:00

Hi.

I have had a rattle in the clutch area for a while, then it got hard to change gear. After a while the whole clutch went and the bell housing around it had to be replaced due to the clutch making groves in the spike from vibration.

80K, my Trail arm has gone also!

85K, my heater matrix is now gone and I own a mobile swimming pool!.

Am going to join the inlet and outlet pipes from the engine to the heater in the car together so no water even gets in the car to start with :) just have no heating..

It's only a 55S, but it does go prrtty fast for a 1.1, some 1.4's find it hard to keep up.

The more you run the Fiat into the ground, the faster it gets :) but not much else has happened since, they are very easy to dent.

I would recommend this car to anybody who wants a cheap/fast car that looks nice.

Will be the last time I get one. Fiat are not the most helpful people on the planet.

Later.

Jim UK.

8th Aug 2002, 23:34

My first impression of reading your comments was 'you lucky people' since my catalogue of disasters is a little longer, no much longer actually. BUT I haven't been kind to the car as regards servicing!

My 55S has 89,000 on the clock, has had both sets of bearings replaced on the rear suspension, clutch gone twice, though I'm not convinced the first was re-fitted correctly at 45,000 miles, the head went at 60,000 and 78,000. The starter motor and the engine management system (potentiometer) were the next things. Also the back windscreen wiper actually fell off in the car wash!

Now the sump cover needs replacing though from what you say that's about right for mileage. The gearbox is noisy when the car is idling and there is play in the steering rack.

Just been recalled for the metal brake pipes to be replaced (adverse conditions in Lincolnshire) and to have the injector cleaned. I've persevered because its now my sons first car, but the partner calls it the money eating dog. Maybe I just got unlucky.

1st Jan 2003, 20:32

After reading up on these cars, I decided to take the plunge and bought a Capri blue 5 door 55 S from a local auction house for £800.00 in December 02. It had done 87k miles with no service history, so I decided to check the timing belt there and then, in the car park of the auction house. It was looking very worse for wear.

On the way home the temperature light came on (I was starting to get a bit wary at this point). Took it to my mate, who changed the belt and bled the cooling system, as apparently this is 1 of the main causes of gasket problems. The gear change is notchy, steering heavy, sump is rusty and the fuel consumption and performance dire, even after changing all filters and fitting good quality plugs. I still think the head gasket has gone, as after about 200 miles the heaters go cold, and I know I have to top up the radiator.

In conclusion, I would not buy another Punto, although I may have been unlucky, but I doubt it.

2nd Feb 2003, 05:18

Have bought a Punto 55S in December from a dealer- M reg -66k on the clock. At first, it went well, but now engine is noisy- more like a diesel. The car's performance seems unaffected. I suspect that the tappets are playing up- Parkers guide say this happens often and that I should buy a special detergent and replace the oil- this normally rectifies the problem. Would be interested to hear other experiences.

I also have a leak on the back seat, but cannot for find any opportunity for water to get in. This issue was especially noticeable in the recent heavy rains- with lots of water on the road. Do Fiat produce special secret holes anywhere?

5th Feb 2004, 06:12

Hi all.

Had a TD SX for a little while now - was given it gratis and now got to its first MoT for me and problems arisen include:

Excessive play on rear radials

Corrosion on the brake pipes

Brake load valve seized.

That and the phantom knocking that seems to be a feature on all Fiats and which could indeed be anything... on balance the car has been a corker - I did get it for free and the insurance was covered for me as well.

The performance has been great, especially the acceleration and its fuel economy has been excellent, compared to the my previous car which was a bit thirsty.

15th Feb 2004, 14:56

I have a 1999 60S which I bought in 2000 @ 10,000 miles.

It's now covered 42,000 and has been very reliable with only the heater blower speed control resistor and the exhaust system needing replacement.

I have it serviced by a local independent repairer pretty well as per Fiat's instructions and it has so far sailed through three MOTs with no problems.

My only concern is that I note that the Lambda reading for the last two years has been only a borderline pass (1.027 against a limit of 1.03) which is perhaps linked to the unexceptional fuel consumption which is about 39mpg (Winter) to 44mpg (Summer).

Has anyone any tips about how to lean off the mixture a little? I wondered whether it might be worth tinkering with the throttle position sensor so that the management system thinks the accelerator pedal is not down so far.

19th Apr 2004, 09:19

I have an N reg 55s.I have had it two years in Feb '05. Two months ago it failed its MOT on my shockers on the rear suspension. Then later in the month my clutch went which cost me £175. The other day I thought my head gasket had gone, but apparently it was my coil??? I am a nineteen year old girl and not too clued up on cars.

I'm considering selling it now as I feel I have spent too much on it. It only has 57,000 miles. What else could go wrong with it?

25th Jul 2004, 16:00

Well, I am the original poster, catching up on the website again.

My last post was three years ago after an MOT. Well, I ran the car for the following 11 months, then decided it would be a good idea to get the clutch sorted - it had been noisy for the previous 70k+ miles.

As always happens with these things, I started, but didn't finish the job. (In the meantime I bought a new VX220 - amazing car, so I didn't need the Punto)

Well, in January this year (18 months off the road!). I fitted a new clutch, but I should also have checked the gearbox bearings while the unit was off.

I put it in for an MOT expecting it to fail on something, but it passed - excellent.

Since then the petrol consumption has gone down to about 30mpg, which is dire. Also the ECU light comes on intermittently. Took it to a local garage who ran diagnostics on it and that said the Lambda sensor was failing. Again. That's three that have failed. This time I will buy one on-line and fit it myself.

The sunroof screw seals started to leak, but I just replaced them with rubber washers from B&Q - easy fix.

Water also found its way into the spare wheel area - not sure how, but the car it OK. The spare wheel though has rusted a bit and I don't know if I would trust it.

It was also broken into earlier in the year, so I have had an alarm / central locking fitted and the door locks removed - there seemed little point leaving the locks on as I'd have to get the door fixed. A friends Punto, similar age, was also broken into in the same way, - they are very easy to get in.

Don't LEAVE ANYTHING ON SHOW.

Overall I am still happy with the car - its costing very little to run (except in fuel costs) and has done probably 120k miles. (Err, the odo was stuck at 99999 for a long time so I don't know exactly.)

Current issues are that the paint match from Fiat isn't correct - probably because the car has faded in 10 years. There are a couple of rattles. The ECU light comes on (see above). Every now and again it takes a minute to start - usually when wet. Gearbox is noisy.

(Note, as per rules of posting I need to declare I work for a subsiduary of GM, who make the VX)