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Old 10-10-2017   #1
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500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

Hello all,

Iím new to the forum. We have a 2012 500 twin air with 36,000 miles. Had it from new but weíve just moved and the car will now be doing around 20,000 miles a year. Just booked it in for a service and was thinking about a service every 18,000 miles and an oil change in between. Anyone on here have a high mileage twin air? Any advice would be very welcome. Iíve got my concerns about how long this will last!
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Old 10-10-2017   #2
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

Quote Originally Posted by TheMarketTrader814 View Post
I’ve got my concerns about how long this will last!
How long it lasts is really up to you!

As a 63 plate Twinair owner, mine was originally bought as a commute car through my LTD company to do a 100mile a day commute. At the time I could right off £17500 worth of income and corrosponding corporation tax in the first year due to the low emissions of this engine. I did this commute for a while and then left that contract.

Besides this though I loved the Fiat and it's drive way more than our BMW X3, which is probably a little more capable (although not much) but vastly more costly!

The Twinair 500 is perfectly capable! I think it is one of the more capable small cars.
Think of the engine design as half a high performance 4 cylinder 1.8 and it should last with regular oil changes to what you would expect from a larger car.
Mine is now just up to 30000miles. I did replace the top mounts and all 4 shocks with Monroe gas units (the Fiat rear shocks are particularly bad) at 19000miles and it feels like it did when it was new. In fact a year on those replacement shocks still feel great!

Mine has always had an oil service at 6000miles. In fact the Alfa/Fiat specialist I used to take it to in the UK commented, that they were seeing a number of TwinAirs with stretched warn or damaged cam chains due to the oil servicing being left to 18000miles. He suggested 10000mile max for oil services.

So it depends if your prepared to spend a bit keeping up on the maintenance!
I would suggest oil changes at 9 or 10000miles. Changing the shocks gave me that new car feeling back and made a huge difference to the handling and drive of the car. By 18000miles the bushes on the Fiat rear shocks were warn and the rear end felt sloppy!
Mine has also had regular washing (every week when knocking up the mileage) and a polish twice a year. The rear suspension was also inspected and treated to wax oil at 20000miles and the car still looks like a 6 month old 500!

I would guess at 5 years old and 36000miles your not going to get much of a trade in on it. WeBuyAnyCar offered me £5800 in January (then 3 years old) as we were moving to Spain - that felt like giving it away so we imported it. On the other side of the argument, that is still low mileage and if you have looked after the car it will be good for a few more years motoring!
I would guess over the coming miles its going to need - Brake disks, pads, front suspension top mounts and shocks - assuming that none of this has been done so far. Still way less expensive than the monthly payments or upfront cost of a new car!
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Last edited by p6baseunit; 11-10-2017 at 00:08.
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Old 11-10-2017   #3
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

The TA spins at 2,000 at 60, pretty much any NA 4 cylinder spins at 3,000+.

I know which I'd rather have.
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Old 11-10-2017   #4
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

Thanks for the feedback. The car had new discs and pads at 29,000. Main reason Iím not hugely confident in the engine is an oil leak from the timing chain cover we had just after 3 years. To be honest, FIAT were good and covered the significant labour cost to replace and I was just left with the parts bill. Also, a couple of months ago we needed a new drivers door handle as it was on the brink of coming off
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Old 11-10-2017   #5
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

Quote Originally Posted by TheMarketTrader814 View Post
Hello all,

I’m new to the forum.
Hello and welcome

Quote Originally Posted by TheMarketTrader814 View Post
...thinking about a service every 18,000 miles and an oil change in between.


Also ensure both brake and clutch fluids are changed every two years.

It'll last as long as it does; there are known common issues such as wiring, door handles etc but whether you have a significant problem is a bit of a lottery with any car given that sort of usage. I wouldn't put Fiat at the top of the reliability list but they're nowhere near the bottom, either. Given the known history of the car and the fact you likely won't get much for it if you sell it now, you haven't a lot to lose by keeping it, and perhaps much to gain.

Find a trusted independent garage with an understanding of modern Fiats - depending on a franchised dealer for everything is likely to be an expensive strategy on an older, higher mileage car.

On the longevity issue, my 1.2 Panda has just turned 80,000 miles and everything on the car is still original apart from front brakes, wiper blades and tyres .
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Old 11-10-2017   #6
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

From my experience until recently with a TA engine commuting, lights and level check every 500 miles (weekly). Oil did 9000 and was due another change if I'd kept it. Tyres last 30k minimum. Next to no oil usage. Plugs were still going at around 23k. I think you'd be unlucky to have problems.
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Old 11-10-2017   #7
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
Hello and welcome





Also ensure both brake and clutch fluids are changed every two years.

It'll last as long as it does; there are known common issues such as wiring, door handles etc but whether you have a significant problem is a bit of a lottery with any car given that sort of usage. I wouldn't put Fiat at the top of the reliability list but they're nowhere near the bottom, either. Given the known history of the car and the fact you likely won't get much for it if you sell it now, you haven't a lot to lose by keeping it, and perhaps much to gain.

Find a trusted independent garage with an understanding of modern Fiats - depending on a franchised dealer for everything is likely to be an expensive strategy on an older, higher mileage car.

On the longevity issue, my 1.2 Panda has just turned 80,000 miles and everything on the car is still original apart from front brakes, wiper blades and tyres .


Thanks for the feedback. Iíve got no intention of selling, just wanted to know about the experience of others and get some maintenance tips. I sometimes read that modern cars should be capable of 200,000 miles without any major work. Iíll be interested to see how it does over the next few years, particularly with the twin air engine.

Would love to replace with a Panda when the time comes.
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Old 11-10-2017   #8
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

Most modern engines (as in since the mid 80s) should be capable of 200,000 miles without any major _engine_ work, provided cambelts are changed on schedule and they're not overheated. When was the last time you heard of someone having a bottom-end rebuild or new piston rings fitted?

Expect everything else to wear out and need replacing though.

Will be interested to know how it fares.
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Old 11-10-2017   #9
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

Quote Originally Posted by TheMarketTrader814 View Post
........Also, a couple of months ago we needed a new drivers door handle as it was on the brink of coming off
Lies! Lies! Lies! I don't believe you! Are you serious? Fiat have produced a car whereby the door handles just come off?.........
(former owner of two of Fiat's finest small cars which both had their door handles break off and were replaced under warranty.....odd that innit?)

Oh, and two out of the four 500's I saw go through an auction house just last week, were missing at least one door handle......
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Old 11-10-2017   #10
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

[QUOTE=frupi;4296284]Lies! Lies! Lies! I don't believe you! Are you serious? Fiat have produced a car whereby the door handles just come off?.........

Honestly, it was almost coming of in our hands

I had a 2001 Punto for a while and never actually experienced anything like that. Will keep you posted on what else falls off..
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Old 11-10-2017   #11
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

Quote Originally Posted by Steve145 View Post
Most modern engines (as in since the mid 80s) should be capable of 200,000 miles without any major _engine_ work, provided cambelts are changed on schedule and they're not overheated. When was the last time you heard of someone having a bottom-end rebuild or new piston rings fitted?



Expect everything else to wear out and need replacing though.



Will be interested to know how it fares.


Good point Steve145, Iíll expect to replace a few things before the engine gives up the ghost.
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Old 11-10-2017   #12
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

[QUOTE=TheMarketTrader814;4296303]Honestly, it was almost coming of in our hands .........

I bet it was Not the first time I've heard that one!
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Old 11-10-2017   #13
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

Quote Originally Posted by UFI View Post
The TA spins at 2,000 at 60, pretty much any NA 4 cylinder spins at 3,000+.
UFI, I don't understand. I guess you mean 2000 rpm, but it can't be 60 mph and it can't be 60 km/h. So, what do you mean?
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Old 11-10-2017   #14
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

All I would add to the above is that it's cost effective at a major service to have iridium plugs installed, as they have double the life.
Like all cars, they have their weak areas. The doorhandle thing isn't unique though - quite a lot of reports of Merc C-class interior handles coming off, and that repair costs around £500 just for the parts.
Manufacturer's reliability ratings here:
http://www.reliabilityindex.com/manufacturer
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Old 11-10-2017   #15
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Re: 500 Twin Air doing lots of miles

Quote Originally Posted by TrevC View Post
.......Like all cars, they have their weak areas. The doorhandle thing isn't unique though - quite a lot of reports of Merc C-class interior handles coming off, and that repair costs around £500 just for the parts.
Manufacturer's reliability ratings here:
http://www.reliabilityindex.com/manufacturer
Whilst I agree that no car is perfect, I formally worked at a car auction site for over 12 months. I can positively tell you that I have yet to see a single Merc C class with a missing door handle that has gone through auction, and I drove them onto the stand during bidding. On the other hand, I've seen Fiat 500's running into double figures, that have had at least one door handle missing.

The reliability index for the 500 isn't so hot by the looks of it.....
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