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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
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Too bumpy!

Hello everyone. I have a 500 Sport 2008 plate and I love it except that the suspension is so hard that it makes every journey so bumpy. It's taking the enjoyment out of driving it. Is there anything I can do to improve it? All suggestions welcome 😊
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: Too bumpy!

Switch to 14" wheels. The 16's are way too heavy. If you must have the looks you could compromise with a set of light weight 15's like those from Team Dynamics (pro race or something).
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
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Re: Too bumpy!

Sound excessive, replace all the front suspension and rear springs and dampers for OEM equivalent(parts are cheap), if they've never been done they're shot and yes higher profile tyres will help.
Has a previous owner "improved"(or not) it?
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Last edited by John202020; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:14.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
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Re: Too bumpy!

I don't think previous owner did anything. Would that be an expensive job? Sorry, what is OEM?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
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Re: Too bumpy!

Quote Originally Posted by Jilly C View Post
Hello everyone. I have a 500 Sport 2008 plate and I love it except that the suspension is so hard that it makes every journey so bumpy. It's taking the enjoyment out of driving it. Is there anything I can do to improve it? All suggestions welcome 😊
Hi Jilly, and welcome to FF,

the clue may well lie in the "sport" title..

but as others have said - at 9 years old it's probably not as it left the factory..either through "tuning" or just general wear and tear.

cheapest initial things will be ;

1, check the tyre pressures..

2,get a test drive in another - for comparison ( used car lots have plenty nowadays)

how long have you had the car ?
have you noticed any degradation..??

it may be - like me..that the "not 18 anymore" skeleton isn't as forgiving..

Charlie - Oxford
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
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Re: Too bumpy!

Thank you, that would be a good start.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
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Re: Too bumpy!

Quote Originally Posted by UFI View Post
Switch to 14" wheels.
A good suggestion, but it depends which engine the OP has. Great if it's a 1.2, but 14" wheels won't fit on a 1.4 due to brake clearance issues. Wheel size (& hence tyre profile) makes a significant difference on the 500, particularly once you go above 15".

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
the clue may well lie in the "sport" title..
From memory, the only differences with the sport in 2008 were trim and cosmetics; IIRC they run on the same suspension as the lounge & pop models of the day.

Early 500's have poor suspension, particularly at the rear - I recall driving one shortly after launch and coming from a Mk1 Ka, the ride felt like swapping a limousine for a landrover; it really was a dealbreaker. Later cars from 2010 onwards have a modified rear beam, which changes the ride from bad to adequate (the beam is stiffer, allowing softer springs to be used); easily retrofitted and a secondhand beam complete can be had for not a great deal of money; you'll need the later springs & shocks as well if you do this.

If it's still on the original rear shocks, change them; OEM quality isn't the best and they'll likely be well shot by now. It may help a little, but don't expect miracles. Replacing springs won't help much unless you go for a much more expensive option like coilovers; the 500 is badly damped rather than badly sprung. Coilovers are generally well regarded but the cost of the upgrade wouldn't make much sense on a 9yr old car.

Even on the latest models, ride isn't the 500's strongpoint, but it's adequate for a city car.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:52.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
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Re: Too bumpy!

As a matter of interest, how many miles are on this car? How long have you owned the car?

I agree with all of the above points, but keep things in perspective here, you have a 9 year old car, soon to be a 10 year old car. Do you really want to start spending money on it? As long as the vehicle passes its MoT, you'd probably be better off putting up with the firm ride and saving your money. If you really want a more comfortable ride, you'd probably want to consider buying a newer model depending on your finances.

Check your tyres. Make sure someone hasn't fitted Extra Load tyres on the vehicle. These will make the ride much firmer. Extra Load tyres are clearly marked on the sidewall of the tyre. Also, if they've got too much air in them, this will contribute to a firmer ride.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
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Re: Too bumpy!

Quote Originally Posted by frupi View Post
........... but keep things in perspective here, you have a 9 year old car, soon to be a 10 year old car. Do you really want to start spending money on it? As long as the vehicle passes its MoT, you'd probably be better off putting up with the firm ride and saving your money. If you really want a more comfortable ride, you'd probably want to consider buying a newer model depending on your finances.
Good advice there, and good advice for any car, let alone a Fiat500.

We recently sold our six year old 500, and although we didn't have to spend money on it, we knew that we would be forced to in the next few years. Fair wear and tear items like tyres and brakes are a normal stuff, but shocks and suspension wear out too eventually.

Keep it and put up with it, or sell it for a newer one.

By the way, OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer.

Good luck,
Mick.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
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Re: Too bumpy!

I have a 9-year-old 500 1.4 Sport which I've owned for years and yes, the ride is harsh and crashy - and always has been! Having said that, the unsophisticated ride certainly isn't bad enough to cause skeletal jarring to my ageing frame and I wonder whether replacing the rear shock absorbers and tyres might improve things with your car. Mine has 15" wheels (which I think was the standard wheel size on all the early Sport models so yours probably has these too), all of which are fitted with Michelin Energy Saver+ tyres that still have around 5 mm of tread. I rate these tyres for comfort, road noise and low wear rate and recommend them. At 5 years old I replaced the original rear shock absorbers with Bilstein B4s and these definitely improved things at the back, reducing the crashiness of the ride and the tendency to 'skip out' when driving around some corners.

The crude suspension set-up is certainly one of the downsides to the early 500s. In other respects I've been very happy with my 9-year-old. It's been superbly reliable so far and great fun to drive!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
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Re: Too bumpy!

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
From memory, the only differences with the sport in 2008 were trim and cosmetics; IIRC they run on the same suspension as the lounge & pop models of the day.
I think the only difference was that the Sport models came with lowered front springs (lowered by 30 mm I think). Mine certainly has a slightly more 'purposeful' stance vs a standard Pop or Lounge when viewed side-on.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #12
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Re: Too bumpy!

Plenty of good advice above. MarginWalker makes a good point concerning tyres. If it is needing new ones, the Michelins he suggests sound good. A possible better alternative are Michelin Cross Climates, which soften the ride more and are quiet, as well as giving good grip in cold/icy/snowy conditions. If it's got 16" inch wheels with 45 profile tyres though, I don't think they are available in that size.
Whichever tyres are fitted, for the best ride inflate them to the minimum recommended cold pressure.
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Re: Too bumpy!

Quote Originally Posted by TrevC View Post
A possible better alternative are Michelin Cross Climates, which soften the ride more and are quiet, as well as giving good grip in cold/icy/snowy conditions.
But be careful. Quite often the XL (Extra Load) versions are offered cheaper than the regulars. Don't take the XL versions if your goal is to make the ride more comfortable.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #14
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Re: Too bumpy!

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
A good suggestion, but it depends which engine the OP has. Great if it's a 1.2, but 14" wheels won't fit on a 1.4 due to brake clearance issues. Wheel size (& hence tyre profile) makes a significant difference on the 500, particularly once you go above 15".



From memory, the only differences with the sport in 2008 were trim and cosmetics; IIRC they run on the same suspension as the lounge & pop models of the day.

Early 500's have poor suspension, particularly at the rear - I recall driving one shortly after launch and coming from a Mk1 Ka, the ride felt like swapping a limousine for a landrover; it really was a dealbreaker. Later cars from 2010 onwards have a modified rear beam, which changes the ride from bad to adequate (the beam is stiffer, allowing softer springs to be used); easily retrofitted and a secondhand beam complete can be had for not a great deal of money; you'll need the later springs & shocks as well if you do this.

If it's still on the original rear shocks, change them; OEM quality isn't the best and they'll likely be well shot by now. It may help a little, but don't expect miracles. Replacing springs won't help much unless you go for a much more expensive option like coilovers; the 500 is badly damped rather than badly sprung. Coilovers are generally well regarded but the cost of the upgrade wouldn't make much sense on a 9yr old car.

Even on the latest models, ride isn't the 500's strongpoint, but it's adequate for a city car.
Thanks so much for all of this info. I shall give it all some thought.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #15
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Re: Too bumpy!

Quote Originally Posted by frupi View Post
As a matter of interest, how many miles are on this car? How long have you owned the car?

I agree with all of the above points, but keep things in perspective here, you have a 9 year old car, soon to be a 10 year old car. Do you really want to start spending money on it? As long as the vehicle passes its MoT, you'd probably be better off putting up with the firm ride and saving your money. If you really want a more comfortable ride, you'd probably want to consider buying a newer model depending on your finances.

Check your tyres. Make sure someone hasn't fitted Extra Load tyres on the vehicle. These will make the ride much firmer. Extra Load tyres are clearly marked on the sidewall of the tyre. Also, if they've got too much air in them, this will contribute to a firmer ride.

You're probably right. It has 69,000 miles. Like me, it's getting old!
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