Why do FIATS go thru so many owners? Why is this car traded so often?

Asked by Jun 06, 2017 at 09:28 AM about the 2015 FIAT 500

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

does the FIAT have many maintenance issues?

23 Answers


It's NOT a good car.. and people buy them because they appear cute.... it's all flash.... A slick marketing thing.... plus, they're basically Chrysler cars and sorry to say, but Chysler cars are junk...read this, http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/12/fiat-sales-crumbling- america/

13 people found this helpful.

Awesome n4 Thank you so much!


F.I.A.T. = Failed Italian Attempt at Transportation.

2 people found this helpful.

Theres quite literally NOTHING Chrysler in any Fiat, theres quite literally millions of Fiats happily running around Europe, Brazil, south Africa & India on a daily basis that are cheap to run, more reliable than anything else even vaguely similar & generally put a smile on your face. Most Fiats have the well proven FIRE petrol engines, a superb engine dating back to the mid 80`s, and with normal, basic maintenance is easily capable of 2-300,000 miles without issue. I have been running Fiats (& Jaguars) on a daily basis for decades, both of which have been spectacularly reliable, unlike other "premium" German cars I've owned. I`ve had my current 1990 Fiat for over 9 years, & to date it's been completely reliable. I've not even had to change the battery yet. My brother, a driving instructor, has a 2012 Abarth 500 which has done 180,000 miles, to date its only needed a starter, an alternator, a front exhaust flexy, a set of engine mounts & a few batteries. Thats it.. Its left him stranded once with a broken coolant hose clip, & that was sorted within half an hour. The worst thing for Fiat is its reputation in certain countries, including the USA, & going by the ignorant statements on your question, I`d say that ill founded reputation (often quoted by people who've never touched a Fiat, let alone owned one) is still very much in effect.. Another problem because of this "reputation" is poor residuals, this leads to people skipping on servicing & maintenance, in many cases completely ignoring all servicing requirements completely, which, obviously, results in cars wearing out or failing much sooner, which then results in the skinflint, half arsed owners moaning about the manufacturers reliability. Frankly, you are infinitely more likely to be left stranded in a VW, Audi or BMW than you are in a Fiat, contrary to popular belief.

55 people found this helpful.

Well, it's not just an opinion about reliability....why don't you look at sources such as True Delta....the First 500 L has a terrible record... Really.."skipping maintenance"...can just about send any car into turmoil.... not a good idea...

2 people found this helpful.

I`m speaking from experience Markw1952, having been a long term Fiat owner & someone who knows many happy Fiat owners, what's your direct, personal experience with Fiat, other than reading posts on websites that are specifically there for people to complain on? Theres roughly 400,000 Fiat 500`s currently registered in the UK (where I am), as well as 100,000 Panda`s (which have the same chassis & running gear as the 500) and over 200,000 Punto`s (which shame the running gear & most of the electrics), thats approaching 3/4 of a million cars just in the UK alone, theres virtually no streets in London that dont have at least one 500 in them, and you cant go 5 minutes without seeing a few driving, you cant move for them, yet how many times have I Fiats broken down at the side of the road? I can't recall a single one since my brothers coolant pipe clip broke a couple of years ago (@ around 150,000 miles), yet I see broken down BMW`s, Mercs & VAG cars stranded at least twice a week, that tells me everything I need to know... On top of that, when you look at the reviews on reliability website, how many issues are related to actual reliability? A squeaky seat, a burned bulb, a broken heater knob, even a cracked windscreen.. I mean, seriously? Whats actually left you stranded? People moan about the stupidest of things, and in many cases broken trim & switchgear breaking will often be down to an owner with the mechanical sympathy of a Rhinoceros, so I'm afraid I don't take their stories seriously.

30 people found this helpful.

I have 2 fiat 500. 2012 and a 2014. One with 200,000 miles one with 130,000 miles. Never had an issue at all. I find it hard to believe that I just happen to get two that are good and so many are bad. These cars are great.

39 people found this helpful.

People reporting that the Fiat 500 is a bad car are ignorant as hell, and very likely never had one. The Fiat 500 is a outstanding car in the reliability department. I have a 2012 one with 152,700 miles on it, and here is what it needed: 1 battery, rear bushings replaced. That's it.. It has been, by FAR the most dependable vehicle I have ever owned., and I mean by FAR.

23 people found this helpful.

Does anyone have experience with the 0,9 twinair motor? Reliability and mechanically, like is it a good engine I cared for properly?


I have a fiat 2014 that only has 74,800 miles and the dealership reports that it has a bad engine. Please tell me how is this possible? I've never gotten into a car accident with the car nor to I drive on empty when it comes to gas. I've went on 2 road trips and always get my car maintenance. Please help me if you can because this is tremendously OUTRAGEOUS!! I will not buy a new engine for a car that still can be sold brand new. I haven't gotten my time out of it plus I LOVED MY CAR but I'm in fury for being sold a car with a faulty engine email me splunge22@gmail.com

6 people found this helpful.

Hey Markw1952 You have no idea what your talking about. Pabs is right. Everything he said was correct about the Fiat 500. There are literally thousands and thousands of them driving around in the UK alone, not to mention many other countries throughout the Globe. The Fiat 500 is a outstanding car with outstanding reliability overall. Brian

10 people found this helpful.

I have a 2015 Fiat 500 Sport with 90k miles and zero problems. You have no idea what you're talking about when you give spurious blanket statements. Get a life!

11 people found this helpful.

Hi guys, I'm clearly late to this thread which now appears to be about a year old, but I'm going to give it a try anyway. I just test drove a pre-owned 2012 Fiat 500 Pop convertible. The silky 5 speed gear shift, amazing gas mileage and of course the totally fun & unique styling~ well, safe to say, it "had me at hello". I've been researching Fiats and people seem to be on the fence about them here in the US, where we've seen a huge decline in sales over the past couple years. There also appear to be a lot of used ones for sale here with very low mileage, so I can't help but wonder why people are so quick to trade these in? I worked in England & Denmark years ago where they were a staple on the streets. But we seem to have more horror stories here in the US, with reported long wait time on back- ordered parts, lots of recalls, unreliability, etc. That said, the devout fans are out there who claim to have experienced nothing short of sheer joy from their Fiat purchase. Soooo, I'm at a crossroads and really wishing I had a crystal ball right about now. Wondering if I'm just falling for a (very) pretty face, or if these cars can be trusted. All thoughts, insights and crystal ball predictions are welcome! Thank you~

8 people found this helpful.

Yo Mark, you act bare solid fam. Me and the Fiat 500 lads, will go 0-500 on yo head. You know nothing fam. Ive had a Fiat 500 for 7 years and Ive done 1.5 million miles and not a single breakdown. Me and the mandem challenge you to a race, Tesco car park, next week. We can grab a meal deal and settle our difference. Ya boy, Wilfred III

7 people found this helpful.

I've owned one for 7 years and 160k miles. Most reliable car I have ever owned. It's fun to drive with the manual transmission. It still has the original Clutch and brakes. I bought it in June of 2011, as a 2012 model. Other than a few minor warranty repairs, I was blown away how cheap it is to maintain. I've owned nothing but Toyotas before, but the last ones were garbage and parts cost 2 to 3 times than my fiat. They have one really big negative weakness- resale value. Never buy a new one. Buy one with 10k miles that are a year old. You'll save 40 percent and will have a fun car, for half the price of a new Toyota Yaris.

7 people found this helpful.

I bought a used 2014 Fiat 500L with 74,000 miles. The turbo went out in 1000 miles. Supposedly it had been in a previous accident and damaged the oil tubes to the turbo. I have 85,000 now with various check engine lights , service electronic throttle control warning, so I just bought a plug in diagnostic reader and downloaded a app on my cell phone to read. I now just reset the codes, also if it sits a week without starting it will not start, the lights just flicker on the dash as it cranks over. The battery is fully charged. If I leave the battery on a trickle charge it starts perfect. The clutch is very hard to push down, you have to push it very firmly to the floor to change gears. I love driving this car and get 30 mpg at 85 miles per hour on long trips. If I drive 65 mph I get 35 mpg. I use 0w40 Castrol Syntax synthetic oil. Never uses any oil between oil changes. I plan on keeping this car for ever because the are worthless on trade in.

4 people found this helpful.

Maintenance is always critical with any car. All the standard maintenance stuff applies to the Fiat 500 ... to any Chrysler ... and even to a Rolls Royce. And there are variations in ANYTHING that is mass produced .... that may lead to reliability problems later. And of course... throw in IDIOTS who don't properly care for their car. The US version of the Fiat 500 requires Premium grade fuel, so put Premium in it. Be sure to use ONLY the correct motor oil recommended by the manufacturer. DO NOT TINKER WITH the SAE ratings for the oil set by the manufacturer. 5w-30 means 5w-30 ... or whatever the spec says. And just for good measure use Fully Synthetic. With the longer oil change times, these days, it is worth the extra to get Synthetic. Also... as with any engine... a brief warm up period at idle ... (No Revving!) ... allows the oil to properly circulate during warm up. And for those of you with Turbos --- News Flash: Turbos require maintenance. More than non-turbo engines. Check the owner's manual and be sure to do whatever it says to do. In short... LEARN HOW TO READ the Owner's Manual... and be sure to do what it says. Do not try to outsmart the engineers who built the car. And, that advice applies to ANY car you buy, regardless of who built it, or how expensive it is. One last thought, specific to the Fiat 500. My take on people buying the 500 and then selling it after a short time is... I don't think people FULLY understand how small this car really is. If it is your only car, you will hate it within a week. As a second or third car... a commuter... in particular on city streets, this is a great car! I think people in general ask their cars to a wide variety of things. The Fiat 500 simply can NOT fill all those roles... all those functions... simply because it is too small. But, if you use the car "within the box" it was designed to be used in, I think its a great little car!

8 people found this helpful.

I just got a Fiat 500 Lounge.... I think they call it here in the US. It is a 2017 model with 4,000 miles on it. Basically a new car. People stop me and make comments about it all the time.... oddly enough... most have never even seen one. After 6 years of sales in the US ... the car is still basically unknown. I find that amazing. US sales for 2018 of the 500 were only 12,000 units.... which is really low. RELIABILITY: which is the topic of this thread. I bought this car as a second car, as a commuter car. It does not need to haul groceries around or kids to soccer practice, or anything like that. It needs to take ME to work and back ... which is a 10 mile round trip. The car it replaces, I was putting 3,000 miles per year on it. So, starting at 4,000 miles.... and adding 3,000 per year... I predict the 500 will last me 30 years, or so. BUT ...the catch is... that I am 59 years old... so I probably won't last another 30 years, or at least I will not be DRIVING another 30 years. Plus... the work commute goes away when I retire... so... realistically, this could easily be the last car I ever need to buy. I may have to replace car #1... my wife's car ... which is a Chevy Malibu that I absolutely hate. So... sorry... what was that about dependability? At 3,000 miles per year... I figure I will get many years of FUN dependable driving out of the little 500. I could care less if it falls apart at 80,000 miles, or whatever, because I will be long done with it and I won't be the person driving it, at that point. My ONE concern is RUST up here in Michigan. THAT one is tough to avoid, even if only driving a few miles, every year. I had some friend of mine make a big deal about changing out the Thermostat because they are "all bad from the factory" .... and I laughed. I'm not tearing apart a basically new car, still under warranty ... because a friend of mine says so. People are nuts. These cars are FINE. My one concern is that because it is FUN to drive it a little bit harder.... around town... I may wear things out ahead of schedule... like tires. But THAT is on me ... for hot rodding around just for fun. And this car IS fun. And maybe at age 59 ... I could use a little fun. Sorry to see there are so many Americans who don't get it. THE CAR IS FUN. Name a more fun car available in the US and I will trade the 500 in for it! Well?

5 people found this helpful.

I've got a 2015 Abarth with the 1.4L Turbo engine. Currently it has 114k mi. It's been meticulously maintained- I bought it new in October 2014. Anyone who says Fiats are unreliable is flat out wrong. Other than scheduled maintenance here's what's been done: 3 sets of tires Front brake pads and rotors Passenger side window regulator Emissions purge canister That's it. This car has had fewer unscheduled repairs than my 2009 Mini Cooper S did in 30k miles. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Fiat. I'll also never buy another Mini- that thing was always in the shop.

5 people found this helpful.

I bought a 2016 500x..i like the look and the design of the car but i dont like the way it drives. The transmission seems really off..theres not much get up and go until it really warms up. Ive only had it for a short while and while nothing majorly bad has happened its a monthly visit at least to have something fixed bc some random light has gone on. The worst part is the Fiat service center near me takes forever to get you in so you drive around w yoir check engine light on for weeks only to find out Fiat wont even fix the problem until the try to run a software update..so the next day light comes right back on and nothing is better. Its been giving me anxiety attacks bc i feel like something is always going to break. It also has alot of clanky road noise. Its a sickly little car. I wanted to love her but its been much like purchasing a sick puppy and constantly being at the vet.

1 people found this helpful.

@jackie Yours should be easier to fix than the 500 Hatchback- even though they are both called 500s, your X is really a Jeep Renegade. Same vehicle mechanically. Try a different dealer.

1 people found this helpful.

We bought our daughter a used 500 X 2016 it's got 44K miles on it and were just told the engine mounts were bad and needed replacing. There are 3 mounts. Is this expensive?

1 people found this helpful.

Ive owned a 595 Abarth from new, purchased in Sep 2016. Its been very reliable, cheap to insure, and is great fun to drive. It may not be very practical as an every day car, but as a second vehicle, its a great addition along side my Audi A3.

1 people found this helpful.

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