Nothing serious or unusual for a car of this age and mileage under Austrian driving conditions (icy and salted (!) roads in winter, sometimes "Italian" temperatures in summer)!
- some faults were fixed by the dealer within half a year after purchase (fuel injection air pressure sensor, dashboard lights, flexible pipe between exhaust manifold and catalytic converter, central engine mount,..). This was covered by the used car warranty offered by the dealer, I just had to insist very intensely.
- locking mechanism of luggage hatch broke. Since I have a Station Wagon, I could dismantle the mechanism from inside and permanently fix it myself (soldering it together).
- engine idle problem in summer (sometimes revving up, sometimes stalling) at around 80.000km. Cleaned idle control valve and all involved electrical connectors - works fine ever since.
- cooling system thermostat replaced (originally resulted in low engine temperature and poor passenger heating)
- radiator leaked (corroded) at 100.000km, replaced.
- seals of rear brake cylinders leaked, replaced brake cylinders at 105.000km.
- muffler and tailpipe replaced at 110.000km (corroded due to lots of short distance city traffic)
- leaking oil, most probably through crankshaft seal on flywheel side, not critical. NOT burning significant amounts of oil, though!
- The electronic dashboard lights tend to burn out quite often. I took the dashboard off already three times (once a year), to replace the light-bulbs. In the meantime I can do this in 15 minutes, which is the positive thing about this one piece dashboard unit.
- clutch nowadays starts to become jerkier and develops noise, maybe has to be replaced next.
Apart from these unscheduled events, I did a number of preventive maintenance jobs:
- valves adjusted and ignition checked at 80.000km.
- drive belt and balance shaft belt changed at 90.000km (now this was really expensive, the only repair I had done at a garage, ~900 Euro)
- shock absorbers replaced at 90.000km. The old ones were still OK, but since I plan to use this car up to 160.000km, I wanted to profit from the Monroe SensaTracs, I installed. Very wise investment in terms of comfort, ride stability and braking safety, by the way!
- replaced front brake discs and pads at 100.000km, they just were worn out (usual for this mileage)
- brake fluid change every two years, frequent engine oil changes, frequent car wash (especially in winter),...
Holding a masters degree in mechanical engineering and considering myself an expert in automotive technology, I have a different, but critical viewpoint. The general technical concept of this car is very good (considering it's age), but the build quality is quite poor. Wherever manual assembly was involved, this was done very careless.
For example, the first winter in this car I suffered cold feet, because the carpet covered the air vent to the foot-well. They simply forgot to cut the appropriate hole into the carpet!
So if you have some spare time (to me it's kind of a hobby) and automotive knowledge, you can get rid of some imperfections of this car. Otherwise it could be annoying to some people. Still it is a very practical and highly underrated car.
A comment on FIAT service:
It is absolutely lousy, they are extremely unfriendly and let you wait for hours (on the phone and in the shop). What's worse, often they are simply incompetent, just not trustworthy and usually very expensive.
Consequently I try to fix everything myself, and purchase spare parts at third party providers (which works quickly and much cheaper here in Austria).
They just have a nice and competent sales guy, who brought me to FIAT in the first place.