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Old 14-03-2009   #31
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Hi Guys,

This is getting interesting from my point of view.

So looking at the above information the 1.2s have had issues when 17" alloys fitted due to extra weight etc. All my early Punto 1.2s in 2002 & 2003 had 17" alloys fitted with full knowledge of garage and not once did they say it couldn't or shouldn't be done and not even mention when gearboxes were repaired or replaced.

So the issue now seems to be that the 1.4 sporting gearbox is merely a modified version of the 1.2 and the 1.4 comes with 17's as standard which on the face of it seem to be too heavy for the shafts, diff etc as they have not been made substantial enough in the first place or upgraded to allow for extra weight and drive required.

Ok apart from taking this up with Fiat customer care with regards the gearbox and then ultimately, the car not being fit for purpose as designed by the manufacturer and rejecting the car as the problems must have been present at time of purchase, any other suggestions or links to technical sites or posts re problems with the 1.2's or 1.4's and gearbox, diff issues?

Thanks so far, Brian
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Old 15-03-2009   #32
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Umm Its broke its under warranty isn't it?. If its not your pretty screwed. I got shafted when mine broke in its last week of third year warranty.

Yes 17" wheels will aggravate the problem at least on my car it did (98% identical engine / same gearbox).
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Old 15-03-2009   #33
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

I have only glanced over this thread but if it has happened to your sons car twice.......dont you think it could be his driving/driving style? You say you also have a 1.2 stuck in 3rd gear,well that could just be a cable fault.

Do you use these cars as driving instructor cars?
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Old 15-03-2009   #34
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

It would be very coincidental for this to happen repeatedly to the same car due to a manufacturing fault in the boxes or something in a very small amount of miles, I have the exact same model and while I occasionally like to drive the car hard as I do with every car ive ever had, mine still works basically fine apart from the whine I mentioned. I dont think Fiat will react too favourably to be honest if you start trying to reject the car at this stage claiming its not fit for purpose. The point is that while the gearboxes may not be very good in the long term, they will probably do say 100k miles if used normally and thats good enough these days.

Dont take this the wrong way but does he drive like a "teen", ie every start comes with wheelspin (mine makes very expensive sounding bangs when the wheels spin in the dry by the way) not fully pressing the clutch while changing, very aggresive shifting up and down?

Maybe the gearboxes are being installed incorrectly or with low or incorrect oil though, might be worth checking up on when you talk to the dealers again. Its also worth remembering that a new gearbox needs a few miles to loosen up aswell so despite the engine being in the prime of life ragging a brand new gearbox straight away isnt clever.

The Grande is also quite a bit heavier than the older ones of course so more strain on the boxes is natural and amplified with bigger wheels.

Dont get me wrong im worried too but I just dont see any modern car as a long term investment, keep it for the warranty period then move on.

Good luck with your battle though I hope you get it all sorted because I may look back at this thread if it happens to mine!
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Old 15-03-2009   #35
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Yeah that I mean does anyone know if they ever change the gearbox oil in services?
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Old 15-03-2009   #36
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Quote Originally Posted by T14086 View Post
I have only glanced over this thread but if it has happened to your sons car twice.......dont you think it could be his driving/driving style? You say you also have a 1.2 stuck in 3rd gear,well that could just be a cable fault.

Do you use these cars as driving instructor cars?
Hi,

My son's car is not a driving school car but the others are (or were re the 2002 & 2003 models).

Not many people will do the 20 to 35,000 miles year in their Fiats the way we will, but the car should be able to take it. As I have said, we have had issues with Corsas requiring new engines out of warranty time and mileage wise and although we had to fight our corner, Vauxhall did the right thing and accepted the problem was theirs.

I have read a small % of posts on this site but already there are countless posts/replies on this forum re gearbox problems, and in my opinion there are a high number of gearbox faults related to damaged components inside bursting the gearbox casings - they include the older 2000+ Puntos, the newer G/Puntos and especially the Stilos (a lot of the Stilos)

My main concern (after going through my son like the proverbial dose of salts) when the first gearbox holed the casing from the inside out was being told it was over-revved. I didn't question what was meant by this term Fiat were using and wrongly presumed it was constantly red-lining the car when driving or sitting stopped.

It is only this week when it was mentioned again, I asked the workshop manager if he could explain what was meant and he said, he initially thought the same as me but no, that was not the case. His understanding of the over-revving is the car being driven at a particular speed and without slowing the car down much or at all, a lower gear is selected and the revs increase but not necessarily up to the red-line.

On hearing this I asked my son if he still uses sustained revs gear changes the way I have taught him and he says he does. I am sorry but this is a perfectly acceptable manner of changing gears and any car gearbox should be able to take it. The Stilo was used by an experienced instructor and the older 2002/3 Punto was actually used by me personally when the same thing happened.

Speaking to the Fiat garage Sales Manager who sold us the cars his comment regarding the over-revving was - 'I am sorry Brian but what do they think they mean by that?' He had no idea.

I say here again that the garage say they are backing me 100% and feel it is a manufacturing failure of the rod that damaged the casing. I will be asking the garage and Fiat under the Data Protection Act to release to my son, full disclosure of all information they have on computer, worksheets or hand written notes regarding his car and this will be going the full way.

Already my wife is saying that on the face of it the G/Puntos appear to be better than the older Punto but that wouldn't be hard as we experienced numerous faults requiring them to be off the road in the garage from only a few 1,000 miles on the clock and we can do 500 to 1,000 miles a week!

However she can also see already, as the cars are about 1 1/yrs old, that they still do not take the wear associated with higher mileage, that we would expect from other cars our instructors have in our fleet.

As I have already said in this post, is the car a reasonably good value for money car for someone doing average or less than average miles? YES I do.

Is it as good value for us from a business point of view covering high miles? NO I don't

My wife will be thinking very carefully before she considers a Fiat for the driving school car again and yet she has an instructor who was hinting at the New 500.
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Old 15-03-2009   #37
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Driving school cars are well known to be hurt and neglected, in fact most used car buying guides advise against buying one and "to beware" those examples that are not obviously ex-motoring school vehicles (in other words, their history is hidden as best possible).

Sorry to hear of your problems, but here is YOUR real problem...

Fiat dont have a massive mark-up on retail price and are heavily discounted, therefore Warranty claims at times can be difficult.

Other makes with wider margins on sale price can offer better warranty terms, as the manufacturer has "factored in" the claims, and more importantly, their response to them.

Maybe you are right, Fiat cars are not good Driving School cars.... so I would imagine you will next be spending big bucks on Toyotas, Hondas or VW's then.... I feel your pain, but the choice is yours, no-one in here will try to defend the un-defendable but many are multiple Fiat owners (we have 2) and dont feel let down at all.

I still suspect the element of user abuse is high, whether intentional or not.
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Old 15-03-2009   #38
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Hi,

Some people would say, you get what you pay for.

When we got the first 7 Puntos in 2002/3 we paid abbout 7500 for the Active Sport in Broom Yellow which was well below list price. Terrible cars and nearly put us out the game when we first started trading and we took a major hit to offload the cars. One that gave us a lot of problems was the HGT and it was mainly gearbox related.

We then got Seat Ibizas, much the same price and a pretty good car but service intervals too short for us at 10,000 miles.

Next up were the range of Corsas, paid much the same for pre-regd Corsas in 2004/5 as we did for the early Puntos. We still have all bar 1 Corsa we bought and apart from the engine issues all are going strong.

We also have a diesel Yaris bought in 2005 and although it has 115,000 miles it has had no issues at all.

As I have said also, one of our instructors has had one of our early Puntos in 2003 and he wouldn't touch one again due to reliability including the gearbox on that one. He then went to a Corsa and although he had the engine replaced it was a pretty good all rounder. His last two cars however have been the Honda Civic 2.2 and the last one had over 110,000 miles on clock at 19 months old when he changed it. This one will be slightly less.

Given the chance to go for the Fiat Bravo 1.9D SPORT with 5 years unlimited mileage warranty or the Civic 2.2D with 90,000 miles warranty he wouldn't even give the Fiat a 2nd thought now
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Old 15-03-2009   #39
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Your feelings are entirely understandable, indeed the Fiat reputation almost put me off when I switched to my 1.9 MJet from a 1.9 Mitsubishi, which I have to say was a very good car. However, not wanting to harp on, I have been delighted with my Fiat and I use it daily as a fun car as well as for work, not so many miles as your cars do but still 44,000 miles in 2 years. Nothing has broken at all, but I am an experienced driver and I am empathetic towards the mechanicals in my car, which most youngsters and pretty much all learners are not.

Seat are pants by the way, my daughter has one. No just joking... but seriously all VAG cars in the Ibiza sector (Golfs, Polos etc etc) cars seem to have chronic issues with clutch cables and pedal boxes which the VAG group hide very well, except for on their Forums equivalent to The Fiat Forum....
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Old 15-03-2009   #40
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

The reason why I asked about using GP's as driving instructor cars is because you keep refering to your driving instructor business....yet you dont use them for this purpose (your using the 188's)

Since the introduction of the GP & me spending most of my days in a Fiat garage from memory I have only personally seen 1 GP have a gearbox repair (3rd gear syncro) however there has been clutch master/slave cylinder issues.Comparing the amount of GP's sold to the amount that have had gearbox faults I would say this proportion is normal with any other make of car and nothing out of the ordinary.

You said 'Fiats are 'too soft' for high mileage and constant daily use' however Fiats are capable of high mileages/business use there are loads of doblo/scudo taxis on the road, some running 24/7 covering 80-90k/year. Niall_g's (forum member) doblo has 342,000 miles on it & still going strong.Many GP's are used by hire car companies (1.2's) covering large distances often with uncaring & mechanically unsympathetic drivers.

I'm not disputing what you are saying and not saying your claims are wrong but if it was me & I was needing my car that badly I would grab a secondhand box & stick it in.

Over-revs recorded....ECU's are capable of recording alot more information than some people think.

Good luck anyway in your claim with Fiat.
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Old 15-03-2009   #41
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

but T, is down shifting to a lower gear at the same speed over reving?
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Old 15-03-2009   #42
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

can i just point something out that a poster on here had said about the conrod going on his motor!

i had a mate, who let one of his other friends his motor, a vaux corsa. he floored it and had it up to 95mph, then shoved it into 1st! needless to say he really foocked the car up(think the piston went through the bonnet), and i remember something about the conrod being knackered due to this! might be wrong, but worth looking into!!
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Old 15-03-2009   #43
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

um I think you would know if you chucked it into 1st at 90mph.
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Old 15-03-2009   #44
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Quote Originally Posted by Ffoxy View Post
Driving school cars are well known to be hurt and neglected, in fact most used car buying guides advise against buying one and "to beware" those examples that are not obviously ex-motoring school vehicles (in other words, their history is hidden as best possible).

Hi Ffoxy,

I am not here to fall out with anyone but take exception to your statement above, as most driving instructors would, to their cars being 'hurt and neglected' as you put it.

In this day and age when image and health and safety is everything and reliability of your car to keep you on the road earning is as, if not, more important, any driving instructor who didn't look after his/her car would be really foolish indeed.

Not only are all our driving school cars serviced to at least the manufacturers guidelines they are also checked on a daily/weekly basis for routine wear and tear. The 1.2 Punto with 32,000 miles which is in garage getting the gearbox cable replaced as I type is not due a service until 36,000 miles and yet I have asked the garage to carry it out 4,000 miles early, certainly not a sign of a hurt and neglected car.

I agree with the reply to post about the heavily discounted cars from Fiat, why price them up with comparable models of other manufacturers but discount them on a whim by often as much as 26% to 28% when to do this you need to use inferior quality parts.

I have highlighted in the above reply, cars we have had, that have not been that different price wise to the Fiats and these cars have racked up the miles and have not shown the gearbox problems.

With regards the Corsas, you could say exactly the same, I would be suspicious if one customer needed new engines in 3 different Corsas, but we are doing relatively high mileages in these cars and if there is a fault then generally it will show and it did. The big difference here for a comparable priced car is the fact that Vauxhall after initially saying no it is not their fault and the car is out of warranty, actually put their hand in their pocket and replaced the engines free of charge once they were presented with the facts. One of our instructor with his own car had a difficult time with Vauxhall re getting a new engine due to the same fault and was told it wasn't a common problem, until I sent a letter to Vauxhall highlighting it was the same fault we had experienced and he then got the new engine free of charge.

With the Fiat's, from my experience, there is no doubt a problem and some people on here may never experience it as their car is not doing 500 to 1,000 miles a week. But it is clear to me that within this forum alone there are many owners of new and older cars who have experienced gearbox problems and many lucky ones who haven't. While I accept that faults or problems can happen, it is the way they are dealt with that is the issue here. We should not need to get into a drawn out debate with Fiat and their Customer Services Dept about the repair or replacement of faulty or worn components so early in the life of the cars.

With regards my son and the way he drives the car and 2nd gearbox needing replaced after just over 3,000 miles. This may have been an issue but doesn't stand up due to the fact it is the same gearbox we had in the 1.2 2002/3 models and 7 of these cars had specific gearbox problems with 2 of them actually holing the casing. The Stilo which was owned by one of our instructors and is now owned by us has just turned 4 years old and has had 2 new gearboxes as well as a gearbox repair all within the 60,000 miles and was covered no problem. Possibly as it was a mature owner?

I note another young lad on here who got hit for a 1000 repair to his G/Punto for a new gearbox under similar circumstances.

When I was researching the issue I had with the Corsas, I learned that although most manufacturers give a 3 year or 60,000 mile warranty they have a legal obligation to provide goods and services (after sales warranty) that are fit for purpose and in the case of a car, it is not unreasonable to expect the car to give you almost 6 years of trouble free motoring in respect of the main components.

I will continue to post my progress with this matter and I will have a busy day of calls and emails tomorrow.
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Old 15-03-2009   #45
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

The 1.4 Sporting is not used for learners, the other G/Puntos and the Stilo are.

Too many people accept manufacturers of many different products 'fobbing' them off.

So on a lighter and happier note in relation to the sale of Goods Act and Trading Standards, I bought a rear projection JVC TV for my father-in-law in August 2007 r.r.p. 1999 and he paid 1099 for it (so heavily discounted too) last month the main optical unit packed in just after he had replaced the bulb. The bulb was 163 and it was 50 to get the TV looked at by engineer who estimated the repair at 1463 for the new optical unit. He also said unlucky as it's out of warranty!

I sent a letter to JVC highlighting clearly that the TV was out of warranty and further that I didn't have an extended warranty and my main concern was the TV not fit for purpose as it was a main component failure.

Two days letter I get phonecall saying yes you are right, it shouldn't have failed and although it is out of our warranty we do have an obligation to repair or replace it. It is an uneconomical repair and we don't make the same TV. We would therefore like to give your father-in-law the latest 46" LCD television and we will also reimburse him for the bulb and the engineers report.

Now that is how customer service should be.
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