Fiat Punto 1.2 Mia Review

October 23rd, 2003

We thought we’d had problems with our Punto. But we’ve been relatively lucky to only have faulty power steering, rusty engine, knackered exhaust and terrible brake fittings. Below are 29 problems taken from the user reviews on Parker’s website. We too have experienced terrible Fiat customer service and now have a second car for long journeys – A 1997 Renault Clio! Please share your Fiat Punto horror stories with the world so that others will avoid this terrible car. Also, if you’ve actually had some good experiences with the car, in the interest of a fair trial, please let us know.

Fiat Punto Mia

29 reasons not to buy a Fiat Punto (1999-2003)

  1. Seems to scratch easily.
  2. New 5th gear fitted at 25,000 miles.
  3. Wipers and cat faulty.
  4. problems with wipers, coolant, cat, gearbox and dashboard replaced.
  5. Looks good but falls apart all too easily.
  6. Returned for numerous faults which were never rectified beyond driving
    the car off the forecourt.
  7. Mystery cold-start problem were quickly rectified by dealer.
  8. New rear suspension and new sump gasket. Far too much time spent at Fiat
    garage for a new car.
  9. Rear suspension faulty from new – constant knocking. Took five visits to
    Fiat dealer before it was fixed.
  10. Rust under front grill.
  11. Terrible customer services. Nice car, but can’t rely on Fiat UK.
  12. Gear linkage gears ropey.
  13. Rust around engine mountings. Dashboard dropping to bits.
  14. Cylinder head crack/piston wear – not covered by warranty!!
  15. 2nd gear notchy – jumps out.
  16. 2 sets front brake discs and pads/rear shocks – 25,000 miles only!!
  17. Bearings and differentials gone completely.
  18. Clutch replaced twice.
  19. Water ingress, rattling trim and de-misting.
  20. Oil leaks, camshaft problems and persistent noise when idling.
  21. Moisture in headlights.
  22. Oil doesn’t Circulate well when cold, hence knocking kind of noise – fine
    once warm.
  23. Very rough. First gear has to be forced in half the time.
  24. Indicator switches its self off.
  25. Loads of electrical faults.
  26. Appalling handling. The worst of any supermini. No steering feedback.
  27. Engine pinking. 3 dealerships were absolutely inept.
  28. Steering, poor finish, no interest from supplying dealer or Fiat. Once
    bitten, as they say
  29. They never replied to my letters – it"s been about 7 weeks now.

Now over to you for your horror stories…


102 Responses to “Fiat Punto 1.2 Mia Review”

  1. Shay

    I’m not surprised to hear all those faults. Basically if you want a good car you either buy Jap or German. Accept no other substitute!! Richie has an older Punto, I’ll ask what he thinks.

  2. Avram

    Have you contacted Fiat regarding all the faults regarding your car? A car, after all, is an expensive product and the company should provide good service. If something’s not right, complain!

  3. Guy

    Have I? Well yes and I’ve threatened them with trading standards. Their reply: “we could put something towards the repair of the steering wheel”. Put something towards it they say. Not actually replace the whole sodding thing free of charge.

  4. john newbold

    I have a 97 sx 75 punto and have had it 5 years and due to illness has not done 5,000 mile in the last two years,but i have had a problem with the back suspension then the cylinder head gasket went after that nearly all the braking system was renewed and four months later i got a letter from fiat telling me they were recalling 97 and earlier puntos to have new brake pipes fitted. the knobs on the radio casette are broken and yesterday a massive oil leak oh and by the way two new exhausts have also been fitted the banjo part of the exhaust is a definate weakness on the exhaust and as i am unable to carry my own repairs out now its cost me a bomb. I do like the car itself but the quality is rubbish

  5. GB

    If you want to buy a Punto, you can’t go wrong with the Pre-99 ‘old shape’ Punto Sporting 1.2 16V. A fantastic little car. Looks good and drives responsively, albeit a bit hard sometimes on the suspension. Obviously you’ll have to look for ones which have been looked after. I bought mine from trade sales four years ago. I have now done over 80k miles, and have had no problems so far. I realise now that it won’t be worth anything if I was to sell it, but I won’t, because I think it’s great. Not the best car in it’s class, but it’s a preference thing. I bought the car I liked best, and that’s what matters.

  6. john newbold

    finally succombed to common sense and am getting rid of my punto since I last posted I have had to put on a new exhaust a new sump and the other day petrol all over the floor which turned out to be the fuel filter which had rotted through and last week a chunk of the plastic around the cigarette lighter (which has never been used)fell off and finally a new back windscreen wiper. It has 66,000 on the clock and is a ’97 yes a good car if you buy new and only keep for three years

  7. Phil

    I have owned a 1996 1.6 punto sporting for 1 & half years. For the first year it was fine and ran like a dream. In the last month the heater matrix burst and spilled water into the ECU which meant it needed replacing. Fiat fixed this in half a day and handed me a £775 bill. Now the head gasket has gone and am not looking foward to paying a big bill for a £25 part.

  8. Dave Evans

    I agree with GB. Bought a 99 (old model) 1.2 sporting 16v. Have had it two and a bit years. Runs excellently. Done over 60k in it now. Nothing mechanical has failed. Just wear and tear (pads, exhaust, discs). Very nippy. 85bhp is alot for a little car. The above list is fairly extensive but then I’ve heard of numerous probs with many other cars. Depends on the particular one I guess.

  9. Will

    I have owned a 96 1.1 Punto for 5 years and all in all its been a great car. With 100,000 on the clock now I’ve driven 70,000 miles in it the length and breadth of the country and its never broken down while I’ve been driving. Its only once not started in the morning and that was a stuck fuel injector which the AA home start man fixed in 10 minutes. Ok so like all cars I’ve had to replace various parts over the years but the overall cost in parts has been comparable to my sisters VW Polo of a similar age. However, you would have to be mad to go to an Official Fiat Dealer for servicing. I went once myself and was dumbfounded by their rediculous prices and what seemed like a limited knowledge of the cars inner workings. I would recommend a Fiat Specialist; some one with a genuine interest in Italian cars like Fiat,Alfa and Lancia and probably drives and races one them selves. They charge half the price, tend to know alot more about the cars and can tell whats wrong straight away so you avoid repeat trips to the garage. If you’re driving an old car they’ll often also offer you the choice of second hand parts to save you even more money. Thanks to the reputation that Fiat has, partly from unlucky drivers like yourselves, the depriciation on their cars is high which means second hand fiats can be bought at a sustantial discount to the new price which in my opinion makes them a very good buy. I’ve just bought a new model Punto Sporting second hand and fingers crossed it’ll run as well as my old fiat and I won’t be on this web site next year ranting about rusty engine mounts. Happy Motoring.

  10. Bill Storey

    I am getting rainwater in the passenger footwell. This comes in even when parked, and I cannot find out where. Any ideas please.

  11. Guy


    I have the same problem. You learn to live with it. Just don’t put any books on the floor! However, if you ever work out how it’s getting in, i’d be interested to know!

  12. john



  13. Bill

    I have solved the water in the footwell problem. We are swapping the car for a better one. Got a good deal in Chesterfield.

  14. Guy

    Cool you solved it – how? Do you mean you solved it by getting rid of the car or you sold it before getting rid of the car. Any info would be great!

  15. Bill

    Guy, I think the water was coming in from the drainage channel behind the outer wing, and only came in when it was heavy rain and built up in the channel. I did not take the wing off to look tho’. I have swapped to an ’02 model, and told the garage of the problem and left them with it.

  16. Craig

    I have a ’96 punto 55s 1.1 and i have had hardly no problems with the car at all until recently apart from the obvious ware and tear (brakes, exhaust tyres etc), but have had the shocks start knocking on back and now flooding in footwell and then just to annoy me further 2 days ago i noticed the heating was not working in the car so checked it out for air lock in radiator and this was not the problem so took it to several garages and found out that my cylinder head gasket blew and to my horror they had a bill ranging from £350 to around £650 depending on the garage. Sorted the problems by going to Direct cars and buying a brand new Renault Clio Sporting 1.4 with all the add ons. Thanks to a loan, bring on the debt!!!

  17. elizabeth

    i have had my punto 8 weeks now and had nothing but problems its the brand new 53 plate and up to date had 10 problems with it the most recent is a complete new air bag as it was faulty, to buy brand new you do not expect these things to happen i have an appointment tomorrow with the dealer to find out if i can change the car or get my cash back !!!

  18. Nicola Grounds

    I’ve recently bought a 1997 Fiat Punto and have had to have a full exhaust fitted. I now notice a knocking noise when i go over bumps etc. I’ve taken it back to the garage that fitted the exhaust several times and they have replaced the rubbers etc but the knocking still remains. Any ideas?

  19. Jon

    Bought a mk 1 punto 60s in September 2003 from a dealer and since wipers, exhaust and radiator have all had problems, thought i had solved all the problems when the head gasket went, followed almost immediatly by Camshaft bearings, nice £600 bill. Apparently its got more bottom end problems too… friend has 1.2 16v and it goes like a dream.

  20. gina Vitti

    I am feeling really upset and disheartened, after reading this page I thought it was just my car that was a bag of crap but it would appear that it is punto’s in general. I bought mine last June, 03 reg and within a few days starting having problems. There was all this white stuff over the wing mirror which the dealership told me was delivery wax which would come off when I washed it, it never came off and I had to have a new wing mirror, then I noticed that a panel by the drivers door lifted when touched, I had to have that replaced too, the next problem was squeaky seats, everytime I changed gear or put pressure on the back of the seat they squeaked it was so annoying and my patience was now wearing thin. Five times it went in to have the seats sorted and eventually they realised that it was something to do with the shock absorbers. Then my handbrake went too high and needed adjusting. Then I couldn’t get in the car through the drivers lock it had competely seized. Recently I had noticed my gears were a bit dodgy, when i changed gear it was jerky and stiff then the clutch got really high, I started to think that it was me being paranoid as I hate this car now but when I took it back to the dealership they told me that the hydrolics had failed and I was not paranoid, they also told me that this is unusual, however unusual it is my car is a big bag of crap, it is the first new car I have ever bought and had I found a review like this page I would have stuck to the 206 I was going to buy. i am really really disappointed and angry.

  21. BillyBob

    I had a head gasket done on a MK1 Punto 60sx for £156, and that included skimming and everything, even a 12 month waranty. Anyhow I now have a MK1(99) 1.2 Punto Sporting and I am totally chuffed with it. She is pretty quick for a 1.2 and she wastes all the boy racers in their Corsas(Way too many Corsas) from my area. I have too say that if you are going to get one get the a MK1.

  22. Martin

    What can I say about the Fiat Punto. With Fiat, it’s always style over substance, as all must agree that the Punto continues to be a car that cuts a ‘dsah’ in the styling dept. But you have to that enough? I have to say no! Here are my problems with my Punto 1,2 16v Dynamic bought from new in July 2002. It currently has only 15,000 miles on the clock but has had constant problems since day one. Here goes. 1. The wing mirror dropped off when being adjusted and had to be completely replaced. 2. The roof lining at the boot was not fitted properly and kept coming away. The plastic clips that were holding it in could’nt do their job and kept falling out. Fiat ordered some more but it took six months for them to arrive. I demanded some sort of compensation, so they eventually offered me a frr first service. Eventually the problem was sorted a year later. 3. The headlights kept misting up and dealer had to fit a kit to the lights to stop it. (If it is needed, why not fit it as standard?). 4. The CD radio doesn’t work properly and rejects the CD’s on an ad hoc basis. The radio would not receive properly and the ariel wire had to be replaced. 5. The car sometimes decides not to start. But leave it for five minutes and it will!! 6. The car makes a tapping noise badly on cold mornings, but goes after it warms up. 7. Last week the dashboard lights kept going crazy and the warning light showing faulty circuit kept coming on. Then the car battery was drained and it had to be restared by AA. Got it to dealer who said it was repaired, but guess what? The light still comes on. I keep thinking, will it let me down again. Will have to call dealer again next week. What are the good points about this car? Well it is stylish, nippy, drives well WHEN it will, is spacious inside and has that magical Italian flair that no one can match. But Fiat need to know this. When they made utility cars like the old Panda and Uno, people accepted the problems, it was all part of the appeal. But not anymore in 2004. I expect reliability and not having to worry that it will break down. Improve the build quality, or I will not come back for another go after this. By the way, Fiat Customer Services are rubbish and they are rude and unhelpful if you complain. However, my dealer has been very good and most helpful. Fiat should be glad that the good dealerships do exist, cause they do their best as selling what I now feel are very poor cars.

  23. James

    Have y reg fiat punto- 1.2 with in 7000 replacement clutch, 20000 new gear box, 18000 miles new breaks, 30000 miles new breaks and tappets and the Air bags failed. Then i had it serviced by FIAT to have the above repaired- it was not but cost me £250 for £12 worth of parts and the tappets were not altered. I am currently inthe position to sell the car

  24. b

    fiat are the best you all moan a lot ok so they break down a lot but look so cool stationary

  25. b

    fiat are the best you all moan a lot ok so they break down a lot but look so cool stationary

  26. Peter

    I have just taken my Fiat Punto (Sept 2000) as the head lights would not switch off. The fault was traced to the “computer” and fuse box. These were damaged due to water ingress which came from the joint of two panels in the bulkhead area, exact area yet to be confirmed to me. The dealer advises that sealer was not applied during manufacture in two places, thus water got into the parts. He then said that the floorwell was very wet under the nylon floor mats. When we said we had never noticed either the wet carpet or any musty smell he said the dampness would not come through the nylon. The car had been in the dealership for a week whilst they were trying to find the leak and I think that the reason that water was so evident in the footwell was that they played pressurised water around the bulkhead thus the very wet footwell. Off course even though he stated it was a manufacturing defect the Fiat Representative stated they will not pay for the repair £537 !!!!!!!

  27. Peter

    Further to my previous note I now find the water leak was due to either incorrect application of the sealant, sealant cracked or did not adhere to surface. When I inspected the footwell the water had been coming in for some time evident to the rusting and mildew apparent when the carpet was removed.

    Bill is now nearer £700 and a further rejection by Fiat of any responsibility.

  28. SAI MAN

    dear dear me, im shocked, i was saving up for a punto mk2, but after reading theses reviews ive changed my mind.. i might haed for a corsa now!!

  29. SAI MAN

    dear dear me, im shocked, i was saving up for a punto mk2, but after reading theses reviews ive changed my mind.. i might head for a corsa now!!

  30. DARREN

    Agree with so much that has been said alread, had a 99 1.2 2nd hand head gasket blew only had for 3 months dealer did deal with me as I was not happy and made it clear, deal was for 02 active with 40 miles on clock (brand new) I have done 2400 miles and had to have timing belt tightener replaced, and now today the garage tell me it needs a new water pump. Brakes are very hard too with heavy grinding noise. Very Unhappy wish I did not buy FIAT cannot afford to change at the moment. Stay away from FIAT

  31. Alun

    Anybody had clutch problems?

    My wife has a 52 plate 1.2 Active Sport – bought from new, it’s the worst car we’ve ever had ! It’s just done 10k and has already had 3 clutches and guess what? – this replacement clutch has just gone ! That works out at a new clutch every 2.5k !
    Dealer wants to book it in for a 4th replacement, with the promise that it won’t happen again, but we’re rejecting the offer (& the car) as I think they have had ample opportunity to rectify the problem. I’ve looked at other forums and it seems to be a big problem – prior to it’s 3rd clutch the dealer cancelled a week before it was due to go in as Fiat had put a stop on clutch replacements until a ‘technical report’ had been supplied by their ‘Top Engineers’. It finally went in for it’s 3rd clutch last December and had the ‘Top Engineers’ resolution applied – change the flywheel as well as the pressure plate.
    Well here we are then 3k later with another clutch required. I think I’ve given them ample opportunities to fix, don’t you?
    Anyone out there with same problem?

  32. Alun

    Oh yes, I forgot to add the other ‘little niggles’ to the above. It’s also been back for:-
    1. Key jamming in door locks
    2. Loss of power steering
    3. Back for sticking key/locks again
    4. Engine warning indicator on – loose wire.

    We want our T Reg 1.2 S60 back. Never had any problems with that one!

  33. Stacey

    Please Help!
    I have just bought an x reg punto, when i am stood still at traffic lights etc i can feel the engine ticking over and every so often it gives a little jump, i have taken it back to the garage were i bought it and they said its normal for a punto as they dont have a very smooth tick overs when ideling and that all puntos do it. Anyone elso have the same problem?

  34. Guy

    Sounds as if the timing is out on your engine. Any local garage will fix this problem and it shouldn’t cost too much.

    You might find this info useful:

  35. Stacey

    i have a warranty on the car but they just dont seem to want to know, they keep going on about this being normal, thanks for the advice Guy, this time im not going to be so nice!

  36. Ian

    Well I have got a 2000 Punto which I bought second hand I have done 6,000 miles since I had it and I have got a faulty air bag and the brakes pads need replacing.6,000 miles for brakes is not alot I am now looking at Ford Focus

  37. Kelly

    Just bought second hand T Reg Punto 60S from a reputable garage. Two weeks later cylinder head gasket blew, knocking coming from under the bonnet, splutters and misfires when it first starts up until it gets warm, indicator doesnt work, sounds like a double decker bus when I first start it up. What more can I say! Why did’nt somebody warn me? Always had Nissans, and this purchase was a terrible mistake. NEVER AGAIN.

  38. matt

    What a sh*t car i have got a fiat punto 60sx it started off well but as soon as one thing goes wrong every bloody thing goes wrong wont be buy another fiat in a hurry

  39. Sergio Gatt

    My Punto is not even 1 yr old. I live in Malta and it hardly rains here, but today it rained buckets and my car happened to be parked out in the rain.
    I was horrified to find my windscreen light fixture full of rainwater and the “gear-tray” litterally full as well.
    I took some pictures and I have to go and complain about this on Monday, because FIAT offices will be closed on the weekend. Any suggestions on what I should expect and what I should demand from FIAT as compensation or repair?

  40. Mo

    Hi all

    I have a 2001 Fiat punto 1.2 Mia. I have covered 38000 miles and the rear exhaust box needs to be replaced. I was told that it will cost me 200 pounds ( a bomb ) because its the first time the exhaust needs to be replaced. The original rear exhaust box is just one part connected to the cat at the front and the replacements are split. Is that true? what can I do? help!!!

  41. Mick

    New front discs at first service,boot and door rubbers fell off, wipers judder, rear axle made of cheese and so bends, lights blow constantly and now first gear grinding. My second Punto i am a fool.I’m buying a jap diesel next.

  42. Maggie Fraser

    My 2 yr old 12,500 mile Punto Mia requires a new engine management system,cost £330. Fiat UK’s attitude is appalling, trained robots staff their ‘customer services’. Lesson learned, don’t deal with Fiat.

  43. raymond

    it is very common for the radius arms on mk1 punto’s to fail and cause a knocking when going over a bump cost just under £100 from fiat to change and this will cause you to fail mot if not fixed. also if you change antifreeze make sure you bleed rad and find other bleed screw above exhaust manifold this will remove airlock and reduce risk of head gasket blowing

  44. raymond

    also i have noticed more and more fiat cars on the road have their spare wheel on, is there some one going around putting nails under the tyres lmao. although i have had my head gasket blow and my radius arms replaced already the car aint too bad i changed the timing belt myself as it nearly snapped and it has less problems then other cars i have had and its not been serviced in 2 years.but i do agree with all the common points listed above …….

  45. delboy

    1999 1.2 60s ,does anybody know how to turn the airbag light off as it stays on all the time ,please help1

  46. Bagpuss

    Just thought I’d add to the collection of comments to agree to the crapness of the Fiat Punto. Bought an Active 1.2 punto in Jan 04 and surprise surprise have had nothing but problems. After 2 weeks of driving a terrible knocking/ squeaking sound appeared from the back of the car every time I went over even the smallest bump – still continuing today 4 months on!!! Has anyone any ideas – I think the rear suspension system might be shot – anyone had similiar experiences. Next problem – this one really takes the biscuit – and the answer form the dealer’s was a peach. After filling up the car in its second week a rather large puddle of fuel appeared under the car after filling up – had to have the petrol station closed because of this!! Didn’t I feel a tit. To cut along story short apparently this is a common problem and the car has an “overflow valve” to prevent the tank being filled too full – have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous. Anyway, one new fuel filler neck and a new tank later the problem is resolved – but on a new car thats two wks old – I ask you.

    The car is still the worst thing I’ve ever bought, my first new car, the experience ruined and still torturing me with this cluncking noise at the rear.

    Oh yeh, customer service is non-existent. My advice to anyone thinking of buying a fiat especially a punto is save your money and buy a decent car – don’t make the same unfortunate mistake I, and all the others seem to have made.

    I wish I’d found this site first. Happy driving unless its a fiat.

  47. Dave

    yes i own a Fiat punto Go.brand new when obtained the vehicle only to find the head gaskette had gone within two weeks,windscreen washer wiper motor faulty,air bag warning light constantly on,various warning lights on the dash keep flickering whilst driving.breaks binding,electric windows refusing to return to closed posistion,and the list goes on

  48. Tom

    Time to be a bit controversial lol!

    I drive a mk1 fiat punto GT and ive had no problems atall with it that you wouldnt expect from any other car.
    The clutch was recently replaced but that was probably due to my attempts at double clutching rather than mechanical problems. The car is a joy to drive (doesnt hang around =oD) and i’ve got nothing but praise for fiat.
    However my friend with a 1 yr old mk2 punto just had to spend £400 on some parts for his rear suspension…so im not 2 sure on the quality of the mk2’s.

  49. Darren

    Just bought a 2001 Punto 1.2. Everything seems to be fine so far. Valve tappets just need adjusting. All to be done under warranty from dealer (not Fiat dealer). Car seems to drive very well for such a small engine. Will keep posted if anything else happends.

  50. Dave

    Punto wet floors

    My daugher got a 97 Punto. Wet floors were the order of the day. Fially traced it to water getting past the plastic moulding at the corners of the sun roof and running down inside the door pillars. This is cause by the water being able to “surface tension” itself around the fold in the roof metalwork. Cured it by extending the metalwork at the corners od the sunroof hatch vertically into the plastic moulding below using a plastic strip hot melt glued to the metal (needs a notch for the wind deflector arm). Hasn’t leaked since!


  51. peter

    I’ve had a plain badge X reg 1.2 since Dec 04. I’d had it 3 months when the head-gasket went in the middle of rush-hour Manchester. AS soon as the AA man arrived he said ‘I bet it’s the head gasket, it always is’. So now I’m stuck with a car I don’t trust. Oh, and the gear lever know keeps coming off!

  52. Claire

    I own a 99 Punto. Have owned it for 5 years and never had a problem with it. Recently though water has started comming in at the passengers feet and the windcreen wipers have begun to make a terrible noise. Replaced the windscreen wipers and a week later the same thing heppened. Apparently the drains under the front windscreen are blocking and rusting the windscreen wiper motor. Has anyone had this problem????

  53. Guy Carberry

    Claire – Yep, we have both problems. Rubbish, rubbish car.

  54. Dave

    I’m on my second Punto. First one was the old shape, pre-99. Blew head gasket within first few months, exhaust fell off at roundabout, clutch failed meaning had to be ferried on back of AA truck to nearest Fiat dealer (who then fitted new one so badly had to go back cos gear oil leaking), then rear windscreen wiper motor conked. I think that’s all, but after I crashed it at 70mph and got out in one piece (me, not the Punto!) I was impressed anough to get a new shape, 1.2 Active Sport version. I’ve had that 3 years and done 60,000 miles, but lately everything is going wrong. Airbag light permanently on (needs entire new passenger airbag, 200 quid job); engine management light was on and turned out needed oxygen sensor, over 100 quid. Then on long journey overheated big time. Turned out radiator fan had melted to engine and blown head gasket. 662 quid repair, only still leaking coolant so now garage say water pump must also have sprung leak. Another 90 quid. Also recently had to replace corroded wires to headlight (no power left side, garage had to run left light off the right light in the end) and wiper motor (144 plus labour just for that). Suspension squaksy from day one. And yeah they do scratch easy and dent easier still. I am keen to trade it in asap.

  55. peter

    Hello, I’m the poor sod who contacted in March, after my head gasket went. More recently I’ve had to replace the rear shock absorbers, then the clutch went and took the starter motor with it. All this on a car that’s only done 38000 miles. I’m sorry, that’s not good enough. If you’re considering buying a punto, then change your mind quick. They’re crap.

  56. VolvoMan

    Buy a Volvo. Quality car, its safe. Driving anything else is like Russian Roulette.

  57. Super Mark

    Mo : Fiat Punto Mia exhausts. It’s true that the original manufacturer part is a single piece. Replacements are only availible in two seperate parts, yup. Had mine replaced. Garage told me the same thing.

    I’ve got the dreaded first gear judder in my Mia now 🙁 Still on it’s first gear box at 25k miles as far a I know.

  58. Davey

    Ive had my MK1 Punto55 for over 2 years now, its a 1.1 and ive thrashed the bollocks off it, and it just keeps goin, the only thing i wud have to grumble about on them is the Shocks which are pretty naff, but other than that its a great car,you just have to make sure your buying a good one, in the next few weeks im off to get a sporting one, so genrally i think there great little cars

  59. puntofan

    Anyone wishimg to stop the airbag light without buying a new airbag can just remove the bulb! Anyone not wanting to remove the clocks to take out bulb can look at the light!

  60. coady

    O’dear, i just got one, its got a sticky tappet at the moment! but no other probs….. so far! Volvo man: lol, we dont all have caravans!

  61. Ryan

    Like most of you guys, i have a rubbish punto active sport 54 reg. i wont list all the problems, i’d be here all day. main issues are on the 3rd clutch and engine management system within 25000 miles. anyone treading this and thinking about getting a fiat of any sort, think again. you would be signing up to a life of missery!!

  62. David

    Have a 2002 Punto Sporting bought new, 40000 miles on original tyres. 4th Punto I have owned and as all the rest it has been fantastic. 50 mpg all year. I drive all sorts of other cars at work from Protons to BMWs and find their reliability no better, often much worse.It seems this forum is just for the complainers, the millions of satisfied owners keep quiet.

  63. ASHLEY


  64. Jon

    Hi, I have an 04 1.9jtd. nice drive, excellent economy, high spec for cheap price but spoilt by water all over passenger footwell. Dealer says I am two months outside 2 year warranty, so I would bear the cost of repair. I was told it was due to hot weather causing condensation to overflow the drip tray under the climate control… Surely air con is designed to be used when its hot? However it was only 12 degrees and dry this morning yet after an hours drive more water dripping down front bulkhead into footwell, I have lifted the carpet to see it.. So whats going on? Help?? Please! I am getting worried cos we have also got a multipla, what mugs….

  65. lori-ANNE

    I have a punto and it is sexy and no problems as yet fingers crossed

  66. Jon

    Water in footwell – follow up. turned off chiller when not needed, dried everything out. So will live with it and argue the toss with Fiat if it happens again. Had a new grande punto as a courtesy car. smaller inside, intrusive dashboard, poor visibilty and nowhere to put your left foot. Makes my 04 look really good, advise, don’t buy new, just up to 55 and then only top spec with a 1.9 jtd. Last of the excellent puntos.

  67. Matt

    I have a 97 punto. Had it for about 5 months now. Two months ago I had to replace the slave cylinder. Last week I broke down on the M11. Something just ‘went’ whilst I was driving at 75mph. Had to join AA to get home. Will turn over but not start. Any ideas???(aa man said ?flywheel?

  68. Louise

    I bought a fiat Punto 2001 1.2 8v 4 months ago. This car can only be described as a joke!! The first thing that went was the clutch 2 months after I got it, bearing in mind its done 50k I didn’t really question this but….
    Had to put it into the garage this morning because it is virtually undriveable or rather an embarrassingly noisy drive, It judders and overheats because my head gastket has now gone (I was informed buy my Brother who is a mechanic, but tight with it!) The revs are too high (this only began to happen this morning, and it seems to have a mind of its own), the Windscreen wiper will only wipe 4 or 5 times before the bolt pops off and it gets stuck!
    It also tends to make a few strange noises Noise #1 The front farside Wheel a screeching noise that is constant until I press the breaks or stop #2 Kinda sound like the noise of two wooden cogs turning each other.(I know, you’re wondering, what the hell does that sound like!!) The pitch tends to go in line with my acceleration, the more I accelerate, the higher the pitch.
    It all seemed to go all at once!! Im dreading the phonecall from the garage tomorrow!
    NEVER BUY A FIAT ( I was warned of this but I ignored advice because, to be fair, they are good looking cars!!) BUT STILL NEVER BUY A FIAT!

  69. Mark

    I have a mk2 punto, 2001 xreg. Matt – I had the problem of it turning over but not starting. I got a friend who is a mechanics lecturer at a university to check it and he said to replace the starter which cost me about £80ish and has been ok since or it could be the timing belt – it went on my mates punto van. however i bought the car second hand last may, and the guy said it had a new head gasket at 20,000 miles. I bought it at 30,000 miles and is now sitting at 62,000. I got the car serviced 2 days ago and today the mechanic that looked at it for the starting problem looked at it, because it was drinking cooling water like i do beer at a pub on a night out, and told me the head gasket has gone. Also watch on some of the valeo radiators the fan motor has a thing where the bearings go.My punto has had one just before i bought the car and one last month. I also get the squeeking off the back end. I have had it at a few places and they cant rind the cause of it.

  70. Bryan

    Fiat Punto 1.2 Active 2002, 20000 miles

    I agree the clutch is a nightmare. However a kindly person e-mailed me to say the flywheel needs to be cleaned before any new clutch is fitted. After telling the Fiat dealer this they confirmed with Fiat and replaced the clutch, ECU, and some other bits at about 13000. So far so good. The judder (the irritating telltale sign of a rotten clutch) hasn’t returned (touch wood). So that appears to be the solution, though the guys who should know (dealer) didn’t seem to have a clue! You really do have to lead them by the nose.

    It does idle erratically at times but that seems to be near the services so I ask for it to be retuned. As with so much you need to know what to ask for before they do something about it.

    As for brakes I’ve just been quoted £204 for front discs and pads. When the parts alone are available on the internet for c£50 that seems rather steep. So I shall be getting it done independently. Knowing someone in the tyre trade they tell me that dealers hype up the price of the tyre at approved premises. So I’m guessing it applies to all parts. And as to ‘genuine’ bits, all the manufacturers put out tenders for parts and take the lowest at the time – tyres, brakes, pads, exhausts, etc.

    Although there have been niggles, and a lot of pain in getting the car just right within the warranty period (what a relief it gets a 3 year one) it does drive well, is reliable, and deserves its place on Top Gears cool board. Yep, it does look cool!

    I believe that Fiat Puntos can be good cars. However when many (including mine) have spent the best part of six months lying idle in a field as pre-registered vehicles some problems are to be expected. The best advice is to ensure that if you do buy used look carefully at the service history to see if the previous owner(s) have pointed out every niggle at the service and have had the car fixed by the dealer in its first 3 years, confirmed by invoices. If they didn’t bother, walk away.

    Would I buy again? The Grande sure looks the part! But why throw good money away, and take a gamble, when the one I’ve got seems reliable?

  71. Stephen

    Ive had a Fiat Punto Mia 1.2 8v 2001 since 20k on the clock it has now done 96k and it still is going strong only things ive replaced is tyres exhausts ect things that ware over the years great car best idea about it is the city streeing loven it and if the cambelt snaps on me its a (safe engine) no damage what so ever will happen loven it again dont get me wrong you will get your good batches and bad batches of any cars guess mines good.. 🙂

  72. Phil

    Thinking of buying a 95-97 Punto 55SX for my son. Question-Are these better than later versions or should I look for another make? It seems to me that the most problems are on the newer model. Can the rear radius arms be repaired by DIY? Any advice would be gratefully recieved. Many thanks.

  73. Abbie

    I have just got home after driving about half an hour from work and the engine has really overheated, it has also been making funny noises when stood still in traffic. Phoned the garage this afternoon and they have said that it sounds like the cyclinder head gasket. Does anyone know how much that will cost on a Fiat Punto 1.2?

  74. Nick Wood

    I own a 2002 Punto 1.2 8v. Numerous faults when purchased with only 1600 miles on it. Rear suspension squeak/knocks over speed bumps, oil leak from cam cover, headlights steam up, knocking from engine on startup. Despite numerous visits to main dealer it was bought from all I seemed to get was “its a characteristic of the model”. I was even told the knocking from the engine was because the oil needed to circulate through the hydraulic tappets (or whatever they are called these days, I still call them that), yet the 8v doesnt have hydraulic tapetts, they are mechanical…I even showed service manager the sales brochure with the engine specs and he didn’t believe me. If I wasn’t such a placid person, the service manager would have had his head pulled off. Truly terrible service, they just didnt want to know, once they have sold you the car they weren’t interested.
    I have to admit the car was cheap and was bought as a second car for winter use and serves its purpose, but those niggling things and the lack of customer service means I would never buy another Fiat. My other car is a Mazda and the service I received from my dealership was second to none.
    Luckily I am quite mechanically minded and service the car myself. I would never let a Fiat mechanic near it.
    Parts are cheap enough when bought from independant suppliers.
    I will keep the car and run it into the ground but when the time comes to replace it, there wont be another Fiat sat on my drive.

  75. Emma Davies

    We too have a fiat punto x reg, lovely looking car but rather worrying when i read the comments above as these problems seem far too common. we’ve had new power steering (in 2003) head lights always condensate, wipers broke, problems with exhaust, bonet catch broke and now to top it all think head gasket has gone. will cost min of 400-500 quid to fix but could be a lot lot worse we’ve been warned!! great !! have been told many times “you’ll only ever buy one fiat” how true!! we’ve been advised to swap it in for a ford as much more reliable and cheaper to repair. has anyone else had the head gasket repaired and it cost a small fortune, am very scared about getting it done. oh and finally i do agree fiat’s customer service is generally terrible but when i recently had it mot’d at a fiat dealership they were brilliant, totally shocked!!

  76. Linsey

    I have a 51 reg 1.2 Never again!!!
    Have just been told I need a new gear box £1700 from fiat dealer. I’ve only done 38k.
    Find it strange that they diagnosed the gearbox as they only took it for a test drive! No problem getting through the gears, does not jump out of gear. When I drive I get the crunching squealing sound you get when the clutch isn’t fully pressed and you change gear. I have no confidence in what fiat are telling me. The dealership wanted to charge me £60 plus vat for diagnosis….then my Dad called to double check and it suddenly became £30 plus vat hmmm.
    I also get the squeaking from the rear suspension and don’t have to go over any bumps for it to start. Handbrake has not been right since day one, the cable is too slack and this causing a constant knocking. Dealership adjusted it and then it snapped!!!!
    If you want a car of this size buy a Clio.

  77. Giovanni Palladino

    I have had 2 of these punto’s a sporting and a jtd dynamic – both have performed very well with only the expected wear and tear faults – i spent nothing on the sporting in 3 years other than servicing.
    However the customer care/service centres for Fiats in the uk are generally crap and that is the major problem with owning a Fiat – could be worse though you could own something french!

  78. Menai John

    I bought a 1.2 Active in May and I keep getting water in the passenger footwell. I spoke to a person who worked at Fiat and she said it was a known problem with Fiat. She said it was either the wing or the broadside?

  79. sarah

    i have a 2000 fiat punto mia and i love it. i never had a problem and have done ove 20,000 miles in it.

  80. dennis

    i have a 97 fiat punto 55 1000cc had it 10 years no problems at all.serviced every 12 months by local back street garage. very happy.

  81. Mark

    I’ve had a 98 punto sx from new.
    It’s been ok, but now it’s starting to be a pain.
    New head gasket at 55k (sounds like I was lucky to get that far) and then another at 70k. New clutch and countless other niggles.
    Will fix and get rid.

  82. ian

    got a 2001 jtd probs with front coils a bit fell off twice. door hinge noises could get you an asbo. now the passenger front and rear floor is almost totally soaking. how do i go about fixing this with bodyshop being last resort.

  83. faye

    I’ve got a 1997 fiat punto 1.1 that i bought last July. I didn’t drive it much only for practicing for my driving test which i passed last October. I only paid £500 for it and it was used but in good condition. In the last 3 months ive had to buy 4 new tyres that were £150, my electrics went which cost £20 to be fixed, i had 2 holes in my exhaust in 2 different places that were £120 and £130, my os drive shaft went last week which cost £195 and my clutch went 2 days ago which i have to pay £175 for today so in my opinion, NEVER BUY A STUPID FIAT PUNTO. EVER!

  84. Ian

    I bought a new Punto GLX in 1999. It’s now done 60,000 and it runs like clockwork. Very few problems – the ignition was f****d after I had it steam cleaned, but everything else has been consumables like tyres, battery and light bulbs. It is the second Punto I’ve owned and it is a cracker – quick, good handling, reasonable load carrier and still looks good after 8 years.I have considered replacing it, but I’d rather run it into the ground.

  85. Aaron

    Hey, i recently bought a 2000 punto. Its my first car, in search of information about it i came across this website which has worried me a bit. As i havent had it that long theres not much i can say but in the past week or so its been really good. We’ll see i guess…

  86. marius

    my ordinary WHITE punto 60, 2000 has the same problems but the spirit is good, I like it, my punto has 160 000 Km and goes
    fine at 170-180Km/h for many hours, this
    car goes with love …only

  87. stevie j

    I have a punto 1.2 8 valve,loosing coolant but block test shows no cylinder head damage? any ideas anyone?

  88. victoria

    i have a 2003 punto mia 1.2 and its the best car ive ever had. no problems at all with the car or the fiat dealers, everyone is pleasant and helpful. all in all id tell everyone to buy a punto.

  89. salv

    ive got a mk2b facelift active sport in broom yellow and it deffo stands out.its a 53 plate with only 20k miles on it.i bought it after looking for such a long time off a private seller.its very tidy and runs smooth and fun to drive.very spaciouse and i actualy think its built really well.the doors have a nice thug solid noise to it.very comfortable,very nippy for a 60bhp 8v.looks very sexy too. the paint is abit thin though and scratches easiily and ive had the power steering light come on once but its now never appeared for a few weeks now so im glad:).i had a rattle coming from the back and i got it checked out and it was only the exaust abit lose hitting thebody work making that its fine:).i absolutely love the car and i hope it serves me well.i think people have been unlucky if theyve had bad fiats in the family have always owned fiats and have all been great.i previosly had two fiat uno’s and they where both great learner cars wiv minor faults:).i hope now my new replacement punto keeps going well and im sure it will.i dont want to go to the fiat garages never.

  90. salv

    ive left a previose message but i want to say one more thing: fiats are fantastic cars and you just need to look around for a decent one:).and there are about just dont go buying any one you see. like any other car…thers the ones that are really bad(friday night job ones)and the ones that are just gota look around for a wel taken cared one:) fiat is a brillaint car though

  91. Mike Rawson

    Bought a 2000 1.2 8V nearly 5 years ago for the wife. Mileage still only 32000.
    Exhaust dropped off and all brakes replaced by 25000. Dangerous problem with over-revving, eventually found to be throttle body (good old e-bay, £40 instead of £400). Battery replaced and rear wiper broken, front wipers always been rubbish. Now found metal plate under radiator completely rusted away. Paintwork starting to look very dull.

  92. leon

    I have an x reg from new & have done 120k miles.
    Most reliable car I have ever owned (through luck or otherwise). very few problems..recently the battery was flat (first time the car has actualy broken down or rather not started)
    had to replace the clutch a few thousand miles ago (but has done over 100k miles on the original clutch)
    I have had to replace numerous break pads. replaced exhaust twice. other problems – recently replaced sump due to reported problem, engine thermostate trigering warning light had to be replaced replaced, one head gasket, and one door hinge.
    I expected to get some problems within th 60k/3yr warranty period but I had no problems at all during this period except for when the back exhuast needed to be replaced towards the end of this period (but not covered by the warranty)

  93. Daisy

    Help! I brought a Fiat punto active 1.2 in feb07 when the warranty ran out the exhaust blew, so i got a new one and it keeps banging at the rear so i got a second new exhaust put on today and it’s still banging. please can someone tell me its not the suspension!!

  94. Rusty Lee

    Fiat Punto’s are fantastic economical cars, value driving reflected in vehicle price and running costs. If you treat them with respect they are as good as any other car and continue to improve with every generation. All cars have faults. Respect the Punto. Love it and have fun with it.

  95. Guy Carberry

    Sent from Salvo..

    hiyaa daisey

    i got a active sport and wen i bort it it had a clunking noise coming from
    the back now and then. i took it to a garage and i was hoping it wasnt the wasnt :). it was the middle part of the exaust was too close
    to the metal of the car and every time i went round cornsers or bumps the
    exahust was hitting the metal of the car making that the mecahnic
    put a bit of rubber around the exaust soo it kept it still instead of the
    exahust moving about hitting the metal soo it stopped the noise:). try n get
    it checked out it might be that.mine runs perfect now.let me know if urs is
    the same.hopethat helped:)

  96. steve j

    daisy babe don worry,ur exhaust its just a rubber on it thats why its banging,cheap to fix,i suggest getting a back street garage to do it. x

  97. steve j

    can anyone tell me why i can hear water running thru matrix (behind dash) and then when car gets to temp i cant hear it? it is losing small amounts of water to,its had block test done and no apparent haed dammage,any ideas enybody.

  98. Jules

    I have an 03 plate Punto active 1.2 which I’ve had for nearly three years.Its just had a service at 47k miles and has had to have the oil sump replaced. It’s also had the well documented clutch jutter which thankfully my fiat dealer replaced with no problem, it’s also had about 5 sets of wipers in 3 yrs as they stop working get catch in each other and snap. I’ve also just had to fork out nearly £200 for a new wiper motor – it didn’t need one but the linkage broke and fiat won’t supply just a linkage you have to fit a new motor too. It’s had a whole new exhaust and there were problems with the engine management light which required several trips to the dealership. I bought this car as my first car and because I got a good deal on the price – now I know why cos it costs a fortune to fix everything else – and usually after the warranty has expired!!!

  99. lee

    My Fiats had loads of issues 1999 T reg 1.2 sx.

    Its become a thing of comedy value. It used to judder around everywhere, but no fault was found. Had issues starting and and needed the red key all the time. Grinding noise underneath which three seperate garages couldnt identify.

    Eventually went to an independent garage after a tyre blew on the motorway. Turns out a control arm went through the wheel as the suspension failed. Cost 500 quid plus another 200quid for a clutch.

    Persisted with it but then had issues starting could drive it get out leave it ten minutes then wouldnt start for an hour. Which slowly moved to 3 hours – were now at 6 hours!!! Various items replaced startmotor etc Its back in again tomorrow. I really cant afford to replace it being a student and i need a car for work.

    I was told to get it because nothing would go wrong with it because there was nothing to go wrong! Ha although it doesnt have electric windows, power steering, central locking or anything like it. Its still riddled with electrical faults. Its badly designed, and probably dangerous. Heating now only works on setting 3. Wipers used to stop half way accross the screen, and the radio doesnt work at all, despite that being replaced too. Headlights missalign themselves, horn sometimes doesnt work. Water leaked through for 8 months until i took it apart to find out its manufactured with two massive holes undearneath the wipers (below the plastic seal) that if two vents get blocked it runs into the car. Ive spent more on it then what i paid in the year ive owned it! It slides around corners, the temperature sensor went. It looses water from the radiator all the time, despite having that checked and radweld etc.

    Complete heap of crap. It replaced my renault clio which also had a million faults. Do not touch fiat with a shitty stick. They really dont look that nice and if you havent got endless pockets for repairs this isnt the car for you

  100. Steve

    Just drove home and my dashbaord lights have decided not to light up, Do not know what spped i am going and dont know how much petrol i have, oh yes and my brake lights have stopped working aswell??


  101. Steve


  102. Phil

    Just read some of the horror stories and have always steered clear of Fiats in the past as they were always rust buckets and had terrible electrics but hoped they had changed as my daughter has set her heart on a 1.2 Sporting Punto for her first car. Not a new one but 2000 shape, about £2000 worth. Any comments on this version?