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Old 09-07-2017   #1
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Looking at a 500c twin air

Saw a lovely 10 plate 16k 500C 1.2 pop today and got offered a decent deal on our px and I thought the deal was done until my daughter noticed no aux lead which for some reason is a complete deal breaker for her.
So tomorrow I am off to look at a 13k only 11plate 500C lounge with a decent spec but have only just realised that it is a twin air and I know absolutely nothing about them, are there any major problems with these engines, especially as it has covered so few miles over 6 years. Would we be better off waiting for a 1.2.
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Old 09-07-2017   #2
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Re: Looking at a 500c twin air

Quote Originally Posted by animal47 View Post
Saw a lovely 10 plate 16k 500C 1.2 pop today and got offered a decent deal on our px and I thought the deal was done until my daughter noticed no aux lead which for some reason is a complete deal breaker for her.
So tomorrow I am off to look at a 13k only 11plate 500C lounge with a decent spec but have only just realised that it is a twin air and I know absolutely nothing about them, are there any major problems with these engines, especially as it has covered so few miles over 6 years. Would we be better off waiting for a 1.2.
We've got a 500C TA and a 1.2 and I don't think the TA is any more problem prone than a 1.2 going by what's been posted here over the last few years. Regular servicing and correct oil are more critical though and a complete service record is a must.

If your daughter enjoys driving, would appreciate a car with a bit of character (and great sound) and will look after it, get a TA. If she regards it as simply transport to get from A to B get a 1.2.
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Last edited by Piccolo Nero e Bella; 09-07-2017 at 07:45.
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Old 09-07-2017   #3
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Re: Looking at a 500c twin air

Some people love the twin air
Some people hate the TA
The TA engine is a very odd sounding thing and drives​ differently to a four cylinder engine.
Your daughter must go for a good long test drive to find out if she hates it or not.
Lots of people have had problems with the TA engine and other people have not had expensive problems.
The 1.2 is a well proven engine , though nothing is infallible.
Worth checking insurance categories in case there is a big difference.
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Last edited by jackwhoo; 09-07-2017 at 07:52.
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Old 09-07-2017   #4
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Re: Looking at a 500c twin air

Quote Originally Posted by jackwhoo View Post
Lots of people have had problems with the TA engine

For a potential buyer, that's a bit misleading & inaccurate, there certainly have not been 'lots' of people reporting problems on this forum
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Old 09-07-2017   #5
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Re: Looking at a 500c twin air

Quote Originally Posted by Mercky View Post
For a potential buyer, that's a bit misleading & inaccurate, there certainly have not been 'lots' of people reporting problems on this forum
my post said some people love the twin air.
Nice to see the lovers are awake first.
Thanks Mercky lots could sound a bit strong my vocabulary is not what it could be , more than a few but less than lots . TA particularly vulnerable to incorrect grade of oil, spark plugs don't last as long as service schedule state. Full service record very important but sadly no guarantee servicing correctly carried out even if from Fiat dealer.
I don't dislike the TA but any slight hint of criticism of it results in a backlash.
It's great that people who have good TAs are on here posting their experiences but people have problems with this engine (yes as well as Evey other engine) it is more complicated than the 1.2 draw your own conclusions.
The TA engine is complex and less tolerant then the 1.2.
If someone is looking to buy a TA take someone along who knows the TA well for test drive , it's so different unless you know how a good one should drive you won't know if it's good or bad.
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Last edited by jackwhoo; 09-07-2017 at 08:58.
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Old 09-07-2017   #6
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Re: Looking at a 500c twin air

I'm not a fan of low mileage older cars; they tend to be expensive for what they are and can often cost unsuspecting owners thousands in repairs over the next couple of years. In the UK climate, age, not mileage, does most of the damage.

Personally I'd sooner buy a properly maintained '14 plate car with 70k than an '11 plate car with 13k, and you'd likely get the first car cheaper than the second.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that there have been a lot of problems with the TA engine, but there have been some and if you are unfortunate enough to be one of the some, it could prove expensive. The early ones suffered a spate of coil pack issues and whilst most of these will have been fixed by now, a few will have slipped through the net and these are more likely to be the low mileage cars which haven't been used much. The TA will generally cost more to maintain than the 1.2; several of the service & routine wear and tear items are 2-3 times the price.

The two engines are very different and you need to drive both to find out which one is right for you; but be aware the TA will cost you more in just about every department bar road tax. If money isn't an issue, then the TA is certainly more of a fun drive, but if money isn't an issue, you probably wouldn't be considering buying a 7yr old car.

Whatever you decide, I'd recommend getting it professionally inspected; buying an older low mileage 500 with undisclosed issues is an easy way to lose a lot of money very quickly.

Also, be aware that many of the comments here will be from folks who buy new and trade away before the warranty expires; that is a very different scenario than buying a 7yr old car and being responsible for any unexpected bills. The best value car for someone in the first situation may not be the same as best value for someone in the second. Fashionability means used 500's generally command a price premium over similar cars of similar age and condition; IMO there are better value secondhand cars in the market right now. My own view is that the 500 is a car which is better bought new and traded in after 2-3yrs. If you can't afford the monthly pcp payments on a new one, you likely won't be able to afford the depreciation and maintenance on a used one, either.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 09-07-2017 at 10:03.
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Old 09-07-2017   #7
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Re: Looking at a 500c twin air

To be honest I don't think that a TA would be the best idea for her as she isnt really one to give it the care that it might require and is just as likely to drive it for weeks with a problem before bothering to mention it to me.
I am thinking that maybe she doesn't need to be so hung up on the bluetooth as I take it that we can easily upgrade the stereo to an aftermarket one with Bluetooth and aux.
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Old 09-07-2017   #8
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Re: Looking at a 500c twin air

Quote Originally Posted by animal47 View Post
To be honest I don't think that a TA would be the best idea for her as she isnt really one to give it the care that it might require and is just as likely to drive it for weeks with a problem before bothering to mention it to me.
I am thinking that maybe she doesn't need to be so hung up on the bluetooth as I take it that we can easily upgrade the stereo to an aftermarket one with Bluetooth and aux.
Changing audio is definitely an option.
Slightly off topic and call me old and out of date but being on the phone while driving even with a hands free kit is a proven distraction and should be discouraged.
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Old 09-07-2017   #9
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Quote Originally Posted by jackwhoo View Post
Changing audio is definitely an option.
Slightly off topic and call me old and out of date but being on the phone while driving even with a hands free kit is a proven distraction and should be discouraged.
I quite agree however I should have been more specific, the bluetooth that she is desperate for is actually for playing music.
Just viewed a slightly tatty white lounge which I wasn't impressed with but whilst on my way home I noticed out of the corner of my eye a yellow one in a garage about 20mins from home, turned out to be a yellow 14 plate lounge on 30k and in lovely condition, great price and a fair px offer. Now I just have to convince her that yellow in the flesh really doesn't look as garish as it does in pics.
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Old 09-07-2017   #10
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Re: Looking at a 500c twin air

Quote Originally Posted by animal47 View Post
I quite agree however I should have been more specific, the bluetooth that she is desperate for is actually for playing music.
Just viewed a slightly tatty white lounge which I wasn't impressed with but whilst on my way home I noticed out of the corner of my eye a yellow one in a garage about 20mins from home, turned out to be a yellow 14 plate lounge on 30k and in lovely condition, great price and a fair px offer. Now I just have to convince her that yellow in the flesh really doesn't look as garish as it does in pics.
Yellow is very now in my opinion, en vogue if that impresses your daughter, though frankly if my father had bought me a car any colour would have been fantastic. Different times as is said on radio 2. Plus I'm male.

Another plus yellow is a high viability colour , be safe .
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Old 09-07-2017   #11
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Re: Looking at a 500c twin air

Quote Originally Posted by animal47 View Post
I quite agree however I should have been more specific, the bluetooth that she is desperate for is actually for playing music.

Just viewed a slightly tatty white lounge which I wasn't impressed with but whilst on my way home I noticed out of the corner of my eye a yellow one in a garage about 20mins from home, turned out to be a yellow 14 plate lounge on 30k and in lovely condition, great price and a fair px offer. Now I just have to convince her that yellow in the flesh really doesn't look as garish as it does in pics.


You won't be able to actually stream music over Bluetooth except on current cars with uconnect so you'll have to use aux or USB, either way these inputs are only available in cars which are Blue & Me enabled, I use the aux and its fine with better sound quality to Bluetooth anyway. Sounds like you found a good car and let's hope she likes the yellow!
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Old 09-07-2017   #12
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Re: Looking at a 500c twin air

We bought ours BECAUSE it was a TwinAir.
Given the choice, it would have been the 105TA, but our 85TA is wonderful nonetheless.

Mick.
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Old 09-07-2017   #13
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Quote Originally Posted by jackwhoo View Post
Yellow is very now in my opinion, en vogue if that impresses your daughter, though frankly if my father had bought me a car any colour would have been fantastic. Different times as is said on radio 2. Plus I'm male.

Another plus yellow is a high viability colour , be safe .
Don't worry I'm not going to be actually paying for it, she is 20 so the bank of dad has well and truly shut now lol.
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Old 09-07-2017   #14
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Re: Looking at a 500c twin air

Well I dragged her over to see it after she finished work tonight with her protesting that I was wasting my time as she wouldn't want an inbetweeners yellow car, took one look at it and instantly screamed OMG it's lush and I want it lol. For some strange reason they just don't seem to photograph very well, the colour is so much nicer in the flesh.
Now I have to just hope that when I ring first thing in the morning that it hasn't sold.
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Old 10-07-2017   #15
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Re: Looking at a 500c twin air

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
I wouldn't go so far as to say that there have been a lot of problems with the TA engine, but there have been some and if you are unfortunate enough to be one of the some, it could prove expensive. The early ones suffered a spate of coil pack issues and whilst most of these will have been fixed by now, a few will have slipped through the net and these are more likely to be the low mileage cars which haven't been used much. The TA will generally cost more to maintain than the 1.2; several of the service & routine wear and tear items are 2-3 times the price.
My coil packs went at around 1000 miles from new so you'd have to have seriously low miles to still be on a set from the bad batch

The TA's higher parts cost is offset by not needing a timing belt every 4 years. The only TA failures we've seen is one of two Uni-Air units, which all things considered are a fairly minor thing on a modern car.
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