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Old 08-02-2007   #1
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MK1 Punto lots of problems

Hi

This is my first ever post on fiat forums, unfortunately its not about some thing positive. I suppose i better get right to my current problem (this is probably the 8th thing to go wrong in my car in the last 6 months... which is exactly how long I've owned it by the way)

Right I've got a blue mk.1 punto, '98, 60S (and has a team sticker on the side if that helps at all). My engine has been overheating a lot recently, i've had to refill the radiator twice in the past week or so, there's no real heat comnig from the air conditioning either... i get a quick blast for like 30 seconds or so then it just goes back to blowing cold air... not very handy when its this time of year and its snowing/frosty all the time. I also used to hear a sloshing sound coming from behind the air con part of the dash. I've checked around the net about this and from what i can tell i had an air block which has lead to the over heating which has stuffed my head gasket.. does this sound about right? if this is the case it looks like it'll be expensive to fix and i've already spent 1000+ keeping this car going in 6 months (i'll give details later). My question is really is it the head gasket? and if so how long can i feasibly run it by just refilling the radiator as i don't want to sink any more money into this car and i'm looking at getting a new car in the next few weeks or so (once my pay check comes in that is)#


Cheers!
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Old 08-02-2007   #2
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Re: MK1 Punto lots of problems

Firstly, Welcome to the forum!

Does the car run badly at the moment? A common cause of your problem is the air lock but you should also have a look around the engine for coolant leaks., the water pump, all hoses, core plug etc,
If the car is still running ok then its still possible the the Head gasket is ok,
Have a look at the oil cap for a white substance and in the coolant for iridium colour which will be oil in there.,.,
if you have those thing then its definately a HG failure., if not then i would search for a leak in the cooling system..,.
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Old 08-02-2007   #3
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Re: MK1 Punto lots of problems

if its not got the symtoms that vtec said, could maybe be faulty thermostat..
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Old 08-02-2007   #4
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Re: MK1 Punto lots of problems

If it IS a blown HG....feasibly you shouldn't be running it...even if you DO keep filling the rad. The longer you run the car with a blown HG the more damage will occur and therefore the more cost to repair.
We're talking damage like pitted valves.....which require new replacement...that would probably need new valve seats to be cut in....the list goes on.
Find out for certain if your HG is gone....get a garage to do a compression test if need be....and if it has...stop driving the car until it is fixed.
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Old 08-02-2007   #5
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Re: MK1 Punto lots of problems

thanks for the welcome!

right I've just checked my filler cap and there's no white residue, checked my oil while i was under the bonnet anyway, that looks fine. topped up my radaitor again, need much less was needed than last time and on my way home from work i got some hot air (at last) was only driving for 15mins though so not sure how long that wouldve lasted.

I haven't noticed any problems with the way the car's been running, its just as quick (i use the term loosely) as ever, there's no juddering, no horrible noises (a rarity with this car i assure you) and it starts fine. MPG is still about the same as ever

it's the 1st time i've used the car since having one of the seals changed on my slave cylinder (which failed on me during a lunch hour leading to quite a traffic jam going to tesco's lol).

I don't see how this could've made a difference but the car does seem to be holding its temp better and the nice warm air seems a good sign.

but i'm scared to get up hope cos with this car so far i've had to replace the catalytic converter and the exhaist about 2 weeks into the ownership as some of the cat broke off and got lodged in the exhaust, then obviously had to replace the exhaust, then the clutch which went when iwas down visiting my mates in edinburgh just before i left for home, which was 120miles away! meaning i had to get the bus at like 11oclock at night back home (got home at around half 1) and started work at half 8, then went down the next week to pick it up with a trailer and drag its sorry ass all the way home, then a seal from the slave cylinder which went last week, the starter motor which went beginning of jan, all four tyres, new brakes all round as old ones were rusted quite badly, had to get the tracking redone, the handbrake wasn't tight enough when i bought the thing, meaning i walked away from the car and heard a loud bang, otherwise known as my car rolling into a pillar putting a nice square dent in the bonnet, i had some one take a wing mirror off within 2 days of buying the thing (not the cars fault i know, but annoying none the less), when i wired in my cd player (as the one in it alrady was wrecked) i found out the aeriel cable was broken, so no radio for me only cd's, then i blew a fuse thus taking out all my interior lighting, in the middle of the night, and when it was morning and i tried to fix it the spare fuse had already been used. grrrrr

i was think of getting the new panda 100bhp for my new car but this experience is close to putting me off fiats for a good long time, so i might end up going japanese instead, at this point reliabilty is my main desire, rather than design and general fun which is fiat's forte'

the thing is i used to drive my mum's N reg punto 55 and it never had a problem in like 9 years of ownership. thats why i got this one, but it seems that my mum's car was the exception and it really is fix it again tomorrow

thanks for the help!
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Old 08-02-2007   #6
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Re: MK1 Punto lots of problems

oh and i almost had to get the locks redone as the driver doors lock was sticking. there was a panic cos the stupid last owner thought she'd lost the magic red key! that being said she did offer to pay for the replacement if she had lost it at but she found it in the end, and it turned out all i needed to do was change the barrels. (now my passenger door sticks instead of the drivers one... lol)

oh and did i mention that i bought this car from.... my cousin

so much for family's helping each other out eh!
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Old 08-02-2007   #7
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Re: MK1 Punto lots of problems

so theres no antifreeze in the radiator...
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Old 13-02-2007   #8
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Re: MK1 Punto lots of problems

I'm now getting a lot of white smoke from my exhaust when I drive it. And it's struggling to get any revs when the car starts from cold and stalls unless i keep the starter going for an extra second or so. My HeadGasket is blown for sure isnt it?
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Old 13-02-2007   #9
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Re: MK1 Punto lots of problems

Well, if it wasnt blown it probly is now from what your said, is there any mayo on the oil cap or oil in the water?
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Old 14-02-2007   #10
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Re: MK1 Punto lots of problems

sounds like a host of bad things happened, shear neglect by th sounds of it.

and as for parking, NEVER EVER RELY ON THE HANDBRAKE, you've now learned and will be parking in 2nd or reverse won't you
the reason it sliped is either handbrake just needs tightened, or more likely (knowing your run of luck) rear brake cylinders are seized up good (lack of use and age).
obvious symtom, drive at 60mph on a straight and level road, make sure there are no cars around you. stop as hard and straight as you can.
now, does the car feell like its gonna do a stoppie and the back end come up, or overtake the front? if so, rear cylinders are seized or at least need some attention.
couldn't believe the difference when I got mine done


as for the other things, like tyres they are wear part, you obviously need to replace them every 20k so don't blame the car for that, hardly even worth mentioning it unless they wore out in less than 5k.

clutch, guessing the release bearing exploded like mine and not the actual clutch wearing out, mine was about 15% worn (so 85% material LEFT on it!!! ) @ 82k miles, bearing exploded, new clutch on now, feels better, but still 15% wear over 82k is quite impressive. unlike mk2 puntos' (you will be replacing the clutch due to WEAR about eveyr 40k!!)
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Old 14-02-2007   #11
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Re: MK1 Punto lots of problems

often people blame the car when its due to lack of servicing,prevention is better than cure.
do you have a full service history for the car,i ask because it seems a lot to go wrong at once,and more likely the problems have been stored just for you(!) by the previous owner
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