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Old 13-03-2009   #1
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G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Regd. August 2007.

Now into 5th week in garage!

This is one of a few Grande Puntos we have. It is the only 1.4 Sporting and is my son's car.

It has had a few niggles but a main problem is that about 3,000 miles ago when it had about 20,000 miles it blew a hole in the gearbox with internal components having exploded and there was a debate about it getting a new gearbox as it has allegedly been over-revved. The gearbox was reluctantly replaced by Fiat.

Three weeks ago and just over 3,000 miles from fitting, the new gearbox did exactly the same thing and Fiat Technical digging their heels saying it has been over-revved again.

Surely this should not be happening to the Fiat gearboxes. The internal components should not be so weak or soft to allow them to break. There are several posts on forums with the same problems and appear to be mainly the 1.4 gearbox.

Interestingly I had an old style 1.2 punto 2003 and the gearbox did exactly the same by exploding and blowing hole in casing. I was main driver at that time and no way was car abused.

I would be interested in hearing others comments or experiences.

Reply I got after chasing up the Fiat garage at start of week is 'Sorry but Fiat are not prepared to authorise repair as it is not manufactures fault as engine has been over-revved'

I asked them to explain what was over-revved and were they suggesting my son was repeatedly revving the car when stopped or red-lining the car.

I was then told 'No, that's not what has been explained to me as the workshop manager. Over-revving is where the car is actually being driven say in 5th gear and then without slowing the car down it is changed to a lower gear like 4th or 3rd and the revs increase a lot but not necessarily to the red line.

Really? I reply. That's how I have taught him and it is actually called a sustained revs gear change, eg you are driving along at 50mph in 5th gear approaching a bend and know your speed is correct but decide on a lower gear of 3rd or 4th for better control, balance and stability.

So I told him i was aware of numerous problems posted online, I wanted in writing a full Fiat definition and a print out of the over-revving as well as fault diagnosis of the last gearbox as well as this one. If the report comes back as the manager has said, then I will be going for 'the vehicle gearbox is not fit for normal use'

Well after two further call to Fiat Service at the local garage the Workshop manager now chasing it up with Fiat on my behalf as they had not noticed the gear/dif rod in centre console that had burst out of gearbox even although they were told it was there. Mmm looks more like part failure now.

Last night, surprise, surprise, another of our G/Puntos (1.2 this time) towed to same garage tonight. Gearbox stuck in third, so looks like another component/linkage failure.

Interested to see response in morning as 5 weeks with first punto off the road is too long and now another one off the road!

1.4 Sporting has got approx 25,000miles and 1.2 has 32,000 miles. Too soft and not fit for purpose comes to mind.

I get word tonight and garage say Fiat ar not fixing or changing gearbox under warranty - looks like I have another fight on my hands and would like to hear ther experiences of gearbox problems and how Fiat dealt with it.
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Old 13-03-2009   #2
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Quote Originally Posted by onboard View Post
Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Regd. August 2007.

Now into 5th week in garage!

This is one of a few Grande Puntos we have. It is the only 1.4 Sporting and is my son's car.

It has had a few niggles but a main problem is that about 3,000 miles ago when it had about 20,000 miles it blew a hole in the gearbox with internal components having exploded and there was a debate about it getting a new gearbox as it has allegedly been over-revved. The gearbox was reluctantly replaced by Fiat.

Three weeks ago and just over 3,000 miles from fitting, the new gearbox did exactly the same thing and Fiat Technical digging their heels saying it has been over-revved again.

Surely this should not be happening to the Fiat gearboxes. The internal components should not be so weak or soft to allow them to break. There are several posts on forums with the same problems and appear to be mainly the 1.4 gearbox.

Interestingly I had an old style 1.2 punto 2003 and the gearbox did exactly the same by exploding and blowing hole in casing. I was main driver at that time and no way was car abused.

I would be interested in hearing others comments or experiences.

Reply I got after chasing up the Fiat garage at start of week is 'Sorry but Fiat are not prepared to authorise repair as it is not manufactures fault as engine has been over-revved'

I asked them to explain what was over-revved and were they suggesting my son was repeatedly revving the car when stopped or red-lining the car.

I was then told 'No, that's not what has been explained to me as the workshop manager. Over-revving is where the car is actually being driven say in 5th gear and then without slowing the car down it is changed to a lower gear like 4th or 3rd and the revs increase a lot but not necessarily to the red line.

Really? I reply. That's how I have taught him and it is actually called a sustained revs gear change, eg you are driving along at 50mph in 5th gear approaching a bend and know your speed is correct but decide on a lower gear of 3rd or 4th for better control, balance and stability.

So I told him i was aware of numerous problems posted online, I wanted in writing a full Fiat definition and a print out of the over-revving as well as fault diagnosis of the last gearbox as well as this one. If the report comes back as the manager has said, then I will be going for 'the vehicle gearbox is not fit for normal use'

Well after two further call to Fiat Service at the local garage the Workshop manager now chasing it up with Fiat on my behalf as they had not noticed the gear/dif rod in centre console that had burst out of gearbox even although they were told it was there. Mmm looks more like part failure now.

Last night, surprise, surprise, another of our G/Puntos (1.2 this time) towed to same garage tonight. Gearbox stuck in third, so looks like another component/linkage failure.

Interested to see response in morning as 5 weeks with first punto off the road is too long and now another one off the road!

1.4 Sporting has got approx 25,000miles and 1.2 has 32,000 miles. Too soft and not fit for purpose comes to mind.

I get word tonight and garage say Fiat ar not fixing or changing gearbox under warranty - looks like I have another fight on my hands and would like to hear ther experiences of gearbox problems and how Fiat dealt with it.
Probaly no help, but I know the 6 speed boxes in the Grande Punto are vauxhall items being used in the Astra VXR etc etc.. I dont know if it is the same for the 5 speed boxes. If it is the case is it happening to 5 speed Corsas?
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Old 13-03-2009   #3
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Does it have oversized wheels? Kids you know, they do allsorts when Mom & Dad aint about, and I include my own in that. Its not a common thing at all in this Forum, but its very common in that car, I'd blame the main user for hacking it about to beat his mates TBH, and I know you wont like that, sorry.

In all my 25 years driving I have never fooked a gearbox, I lost count of the vans, cars and motorbikes I have had of all makes, ages and engine sizes and I have driven all my working life.
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Old 13-03-2009   #4
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Im pretty certain that the ECU will log over-revs, this is then recorded and read by Examiner. Ask them for the Examiner report to prove the damage caused.

I had a Stilo gearbox fail on me, which punctured a hole in the casing. We never proved the fault, but I am brave enough to accept responsibility
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Old 13-03-2009   #5
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Also shifting down a gear as long as you dont go into the redline isnt over-reving lol.
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Old 14-03-2009   #6
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

The ecu can not record time and date but will log an over rev , having only just got my gp back yesterday after nearly 7 months of fighting , and being greatly out of pocket , this is the very same exscuse fiat used to void my warranty, and leaving me with no chioce but to buy a replacement motor for my 1.9 sporting after a conrod found its way out through the block after 24,554 miles ,,
So good luck with your claim .

as mr royal might say , over rev my arse!!
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Last edited by BrokenGPthatFIATwontFIX; 14-03-2009 at 00:59.
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Old 14-03-2009   #7
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

have fiat told you if it is the gearbox that is failing or is it the diff that is exploding?
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Old 14-03-2009   #8
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

So to recap, you have had three gearbox failures in two seperate cars (not including the last one being towed to garage. There seems to be two common denominators here, Fiat, of which there are millions driving around with no gearbox problems, and the drivers.
We as a dealer are not fitting gearboxes regularly, last gearbox we fitted was in a 147 a year ago, before that we did a stilo 1.6 about two years ago. I would be slightly suspicious if one customer had three failures on two seperate vehicles. Good luck with any claim you have against Fiat, sorry I cant give you any info that could help.
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Old 14-03-2009   #9
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

I feel your pain I'm on my 3rd Gearbox on my mk2b Punto Sporting 1.4. The first one broke catastrophically like yours did after 20k miles. Second one went in about 8k miles and wasn't even a new gearbox it was a "remanufactured one". Third time I didn't bother going to dealer (to over charge and put a "remanufactured" box on again) I just sorted it myself sourced a brand new box and now i'm at 73k on the clock with no problems.

This one Is actually going to last I think as its off a grande punto which is a better box from what im led to believe.
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Old 14-03-2009   #10
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Quote Originally Posted by NumanR View Post
So to recap, you have had three gearbox failures in two seperate cars (not including the last one being towed to garage. There seems to be two common denominators here, Fiat, of which there are millions driving around with no gearbox problems, and the drivers.
We as a dealer are not fitting gearboxes regularly, last gearbox we fitted was in a 147 a year ago, before that we did a stilo 1.6 about two years ago. I would be slightly suspicious if one customer had three failures on two seperate vehicles. Good luck with any claim you have against Fiat, sorry I cant give you any info that could help.
I would suggest that as a level of customer service which should be any business' priority I would ask, why is this customer not happy and what is wrong with the cars he/she has?

I will explain at the end of this reply why I think we are better placed than most to make comment.

It is good for you as a dealer to reply on here - however I will now give you a bit more information on me as a Fiat customer and what I have experienced.

We started our driving school in 2002 and bought the Fiat Punto Sportings in broom yellow to get noticed. After a year and a half we had 7 puntos and an 8th on order, as a result of constant, and I mean constant faults with the cars, we told our dealer where to shove the 8th Punto. At that time all 7 cars we had, had experienced gearbox faults and that particular week we had 5 out of the 7 cars in the garage and 2 of them had been there several weeks waiting on gearbox repairs.

Many times over the ownership of these initial cars we or our instructors would be standing at reception and hear the staff tell customers with problems we had experienced on all the puntos we had, 'sorry we don't get that as a regular problem it must just be your car which has that problem ! Unbelievable.

I actually vowed at that time never to touch the Fiats as working cars again as it nearly put us out the game very early into our new business, as we had to get rid of all the Puntos far earlier than we would have done, if they had been more reliable. Faults to name a few were, gearbox problems with linkages, dif etc, serious clutch problems (going through clutches in a few thousand miles), airbag warning light problems, steering rack problems and many other niggles.

However in August 2007 the local Fiat garage managed to persuade me that the new Grande Punto was a far better car and many of the old problems we had experienced had been resolved in the newer models.

After a test drive and an initial feeling from me that the car felt a better car, I decided to take the chance that it was a better car.

Over a few weeks I bought 5 G/Puntos and one of my instructors also bought one to replace his 1.9D Stilo. Incidentally he had experienced 3 gearboxes in the Stilo as well as many other problems, but like me he thought initially the G/Punto would be a better car and went for the 1.9 Sporting. He regrets the day he did this and the main issue for him, is the fact he is getting a worse fuel return on the diesel than we do on the petrol with his return being about 38 to 40mpg when he regulary got 53mpg in the Stilo. garage say they can't find anything wrong with the 1.9D car.

So far the G/Puntos we have had, have had a few minor faults that have been repaired, as I have mentioned the 1.4 Sporting got a new gearbox end of last year and after only 3,000 miles or so the exact same thing has happened. It is the garage workshop manager who is telling me it is the same problem but Fiat are refusing to sort this time.

I don't know exact fault but I have asked the garage for all info they have relative to the car, before delivery, as well as last repair, this pending one, as well as any emails notes etc between them, us and Fiat. Basically I am looking for full disclosure of everything to do with the car which legally they must provide.

With regards the 2nd car being in garage end of this week, it is one of the gearbox cables and I have been assured the car will be repaired and I will have it back on Monday.

NOW, I know this is getting a bit lengthy but I will now explain why I am better placed to make comments about the cars and what we have experienced:

At the current time we have 38 cars, 14 we own and 24 owned by the instructors - we have been trading 7 years now and have experience with numerous cars, of different makes, with them getting changed anywhere between 18 months and 4 years but generally we keep our own a bit longer and the instructor changing his in 18 months, for example, was a Honda Civic 2.2 with 110,000 miles on the clock still with original clutch and totally reliable.

With well over a hundred cars in the timescale, appart from the odd minor problem with some and issues with Corsas once they get to 60 to 70,000 miles re timing chain problems and needing new engines generally still covered by manufacturer even outwith 60,000 miles warranty, I can categorically state that the 'COMMON DENOMINATOR' with the problems with the Fiat cars are the fact they are Fiat cars ! we don't have any other cars at all that have had gearbox problems like we have xperienced with the 2002 to 2004 Puntos, the G/Puntos and the Stilo.

For the avoidance of any doubt, I will state again that although all cars are driven in a similar manner, very well maintained with regular services and daily/weekly checks carried out by the drivers, the only cars we are having the gearbox problems with are the Fiats!!!

Now I have that off my chest, let's look at the Fiats again objectively:

If I was your average customer and only driving 8 to 10,000 miles a year, am I likely to be happy with my car in the initial 3 year period? Yes, I probably am. Even with regular minor niggly faults spread out over my ownership of the car of say 3 to 4 years and only covering 24 to 35,000 miles in that time, I would say it's probably a good value for money car.

However this is where the big BUT comes in:
If I was a customer who was going to do 20 to 35,000 mile in a year, I wouldn't touch a Fiat again as I am likely to see more regular faults with my car spending more time in the garage and more chance of main failures. I state this as a judgement of my own personal experience here, I would already say there are gearbox issues re dif and cables failing, battery and starting issues as well as warning light issues on panel when the car stalls as it certainly doesn't like stalling and takes a while for the lights to go back out. There are also isues with the alloys being out of balance as well as uneven front tyre wear, as well as the issue with the diesel not giving anything like the fuel return.

To summarise, in my opinion the Fiats are 'too soft' for high mileage and constant daily use and now I am about a third of the way through my projected ownership of the cars, I am dreading the constant faults that I now anticipate may develop.

I will as a courtesy to owners on here give appropriate updates re the Fiats and I am aware of postings on this and other Forums of owners with the gearbox problems.

If anyone wants to PM me about any of the things I have commented on or raised here, feel free to do so.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, Brian
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Old 14-03-2009   #11
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

I too have a 1.4 16v Sporting, and while my gearbox is still working fine (touch wood) its at 35k miles now and in 5th and 6th while off the gas and slowing, the box is whining very noticeably...the response I got from the Fiat tech who came with me on a test drive and drove the car himself noticed it but said "they all do that"....

Rubbish, its the only car ive had that has done that, ive had very high mile cars that had a whine in say 5th while on the power, but not on the overrun...which says bearings to me rather than gears as the problem.

Also the box is getting quite stiff when cold, its been checked and im told its fine, im not so sure, it doesnt feel fine to be honest and combined with worn engine mounts, again described as fine the whole drivetrain is feeling decidedly old now, which I find terrible after not many miles and only 2 years. I will take the car to the redline occasionally while accelerating but I dont hammer the box and I dont downshift to high RPMs either and being honest it should be able to take it anyway, the car is only rated at 95bhp!!
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Old 14-03-2009   #12
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

There are a couple of driving instructors on here who have done lots of miles on there GPs and afaik neither of them have had any problems with gearboxes on there cars.
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Old 14-03-2009   #13
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

I think its just the bad batch issue, it seems the quality of individual bits can be very patchy, annoying when talking about big things like gearboxes, turbos etc. As I say mines not dead yet but I feel at some point and well before its time it will be, whereas some people will never have a problem until rocketship mileages. Its annoying but then all modern cars are throwaway items really built to a very low price and therefore quality will inevitably suffer.

Also I think im right in saying the 1.4 16v is the only GP to use this particular gearbox?
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Old 14-03-2009   #14
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

the gear box on my diesel dosent feel the strongest, I think one day its going to go, it grinds into 2nd most of the time if I dont let the revs drop right down, mine was 2nd hand so it may well have been previously owned by some ****

the box on our 160k miles doblo feels like brand new though, i think its down to luck and the end user
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Old 14-03-2009   #15
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Re: G/Punto 1.4 Sporting Needs 3rd Gearbox - Opinions Please!

Quote Originally Posted by auto_blanco View Post
Also I think im right in saying the 1.4 16v is the only GP to use this particular gearbox?
Yes your right. It's the 1.4 16v box which causes the most issues. I think this may also be the reason fiat used a more sturdy 5speed box for the t-jet . The 6 speed unit on the abarth is completely redesigned feels totally different to use!.
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