Car was bought in 1998, and I was something like the 11th owner in 12 years. Previous owners had NOT looked after the car.
Clutch failed at around 85000, possibly the original so it comes under normal wear and tear.
Alternator packed up at 80000 miles, replaced with one from a breakers.
Distributor replaced twice, though the first time it wasn't the distributor that was at fault!
Had some carburetor problems, and managed to go through three carbs. To be fair, all the replacement carburetors were second hand, and the problem was solved after a strip down, clean and rebuild with an overhaul kit.
Replaced fuel pump twice, though it wasn't at fault. Turned out to be a leaking carburettor gasket and stuck heat valve in the air-cleaner that cause carburettor icing in cold weather.
Exhaust system rusted through at around 80000 miles, replaced (including down-pipe) with new system for only £45. Bought at trade price and fitted myself.
Drive shaft gaiter went around 90000 miles. Cleaned, repacked with grease and fitted with new gaiter. Carried on happily after that.
Timing belt replaced at 100000 miles - routine maintenance.
Door bottoms rusted badly (3 door version), as did the front wings. However, the rest of the car was rust free, and at 13 years old it had never needed any welding. Structurally, FIAT had done an excellent job with Uno rustproofing.
Initially, my Uno came with wind up windows that didn't. Flimsy mechanism sounded like a football rattle when used while the window stayed put! Problem was solved by fitting electric windows from a a 70S, easily done and adapted into the Uno's wiring loom. Oh, and while I was at it I fitted tinted glass all round from a higher spec model.
Interior was cheap and felt flimsy. One switch pod was broken when I bought the car, but replaced with a second hand unit. However, in my hands nothing in the interior broke and the styling oozed character. A bit eccentric, but fun and held together well despite feeling like it would fall to bits. It was still holding together at 15 years old...
Deservedly awarded car of the year when it came out.
My car was an 1986 model, one of the first to use the 1.0 litre FIRE engine. And what a cracking engine it is too. A little buzzy and noisy, but wind it up and watch it fly. I came to the Uno after a 2.0 litre Ford, and thought I would really suffer with the reduction in performance. But the Uno surprised me, very nippy and able to hold it's own. Would happily sit at 80mph on the motorway, and nearly cracked 100mph once. Not bad from a 1.0 litre.
Handling was great, though a little bouncy. Was brilliant fun on twisty roads where the engine could be revved, and the steering was light and positive. However, use 155 section tyres as 135's were woefully inadequate for grip.
Interior, despite feeling cheap held together and was incredibly versatile. Split folding rear seats, cavernous boot and was suprisingly able to carry four people and luggage in comfort. Even better was the design that allowed the rear seats to be completely folded forward allowing a huge flat load area. I managed to get a Honda CB400N motorbike into the back, as well as washing machines, furniture, drunken friends etc.
Dashboard was an excellent bit of styling. Looked weird with the switch pods, but worked well. Especially the higher spec models with rev counter, which I fitted to my basic 45. Face-lifted Uno's lost all the character of the earlier interiors.
One of the biggest assets of Uno 45 ownership was the minimal cost of running it. Petrol was sipped at between 45 and 55 mpg making it a cheap car to run.
Parts were also cheap, and plentiful from breakers.
It was also easy to work on, at least the 1.0 FIRE engine variant.
But most of all, the car was FUN to drive and despite it's faults one couldn't help, but smile when behind the wheel.
It was replaced with a Citroen AX GT, a fine car, but somehow didn't have the character of the Uno. In fact, I really missed the Uno as it really won me over. Maybe I should have gone for a Uno 75SX, or even better, the Turbo!
To some up though, the Uno 45 1.0 is a super little car. Buy it, forget what petrol pumps look like and save a fortune by driving a simple, well designed, versatile little hatchback. Get a good one and wear a big smile on your face!