The Engine Lineup

The Engine Line-Up

1.2 16v and 1.4 12v engines
The basic Bravo originally had a 12-valve 1.4 engine. Some camshafts have needed replacing at around 100,000 miles because the oil feed pipe gets blocked; this may be due to careless servicing. When the engine is warm, open the bonnet and listen. If you detect a noticeable rattling from the top of the engine, reject the car.

In early 1999, the 1.4 engine was dropped in favour of a 16-valve 1.2 unit. The new engine is closely related to the FIRE engine from the Uno and is likely to be highly reliable. Replacing the 1.4 so soon suggests that Fiat felt they could do better. So if your budget allows, go for either an early 1.6 or a 1.2 16v in preference to a 1.4.

1.6 and 1.8 engines
The 16-valve 1.6 and 1.8 have not revealed any particular problems so far. The 1.8 is only slightly more powerful than the 103 bhp 1.6 and hasn¹t sold well. In 1999, a second 115 bhp 1.6 engine replaced the 1.8. This excellent unit is one of a new family of engines with advanced electronics and a carefully-balanced crankshaft.

Five cylinder engines
Fitting the five cylinder 2.0 155 bhp unit into the Bravo must have been a bit of an afterthought; it only just fits the engine bay, leaving no room for replacing the cam belt and other servicing jobs.

At 75,000 miles, the five cylinder unit has to be removed to replace the cam belt; cost is £500+. If you fit a new clutch and water pump at the same time (the engine has to come out to do these jobs, too), total cost can reach £1,000.

If you find a high-mileage car with invoices for a new cam belt, clutch and water pump, buy it! Five cylinder models offer excellent performance and value, but they are likely to be hard to resell. And if the cam belt change is coming up, don¹t buy unless the price is rock-bottom.

Diesel engines
The early diesel Bravos are competent but unremarkable. The five-cylinder Marea TD 125 is fast but thirsty for a diesel; not recommended.

Far better are the four cylinder JTD105 and five cylinder JTD130 launched in February 1999. These have a Unijet common rail fuel system. Fuel is injected directly into the cylinders, giving very good performance and outstanding economy.

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