27th Mar 2010, 18:04

Hi, the Punto needs a competent mechanic to change the head gasket - they must use new stretch bolts, must replace the water pump and thermostat, and must flush and FULLY bleed the cooling system, or the gasket will fail.

Most important is the bleeding of the cooling system - fail to do this and a coolant change will kill the head. The engine is as tough as nails, but give it to a novice or careless mechanic and it will cost you.

HT leads need to be changed regularly, but they are cheap.

Coil packs can die, as can lambda sensors, but all are cheap and easy to replace.

The 75 model with MPI fuel injection is a pile of plop, to be avoided - go for the 60 SPI every time. The Punto is what it is - it's cheap, cheap to fix, cheap to run, but can be a hoot, and flies when happy. I love em.

And if you know a little about them, they are THE easiest car to repair, bar none.

12th Jul 2011, 05:17

My 98 SX has had 3 head gaskets in 18 months.

3rd Mar 2012, 17:47

Crap mechanics change the coolant, don't bleed the system correctly, causing hot spots, then the gasket goes again. Repeat as necessary.

Get a good, careful mechanic and the gasket will never go. The coolant system needs to be bled using a high level temporary fluid reservoir to gravity bleed it of air. Just filling the header tank and bleeding through the radiator bleed screw won't do it - there is another bleed screw back beside the heater pipes, and the fluid has got to be added from a high level to force all the air out.

It's a simple car to work on. I now have a 14 year old diesel Punto van as our works run around for everyone to use, and it just runs and runs.