General 2002 Fiat Punto Overheating - HELP!

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General 2002 Fiat Punto Overheating - HELP!


New member
Oct 3, 2007
My girlfriends 02 Fiat Punto (I think it's a 1.2) has started to overheat. Today she actually had to pull over and wait for the temperature to go down before completing her journey.

I've checked the oil and coolant level, both are fine and there doesn't appear to be any leaks. She said that she could also hear the fan coming on when the temp gauge went past half way.

Can anyone suggest what could be the cause?
Yes.. check that the fan really does cut in.. but if it does then there's either a blockage, or the thermostat is not opening or the radiator has air in it.

There's a bleed screw on the left rear of the rad (as you look at it) under the headlamp. If you loosen this off a touch, air or coolant will seep out. Don't take it all the way out as it'll be difficult to put it back. Listen for a hiss of air or look for coolant coming out.. that's when it's fully bled.

The stat can be checked by taking it off and putting it in a pan of water and then watching it to see if it opens just before the water boils (86C if you have a thermometer). If it's sticking shut or not opening at least 5mm then it's time for a new one.

If you have a dodgy head gasket you'll have air in the system, coupled with optional oil in the water (what looks like mushroom soup in the coolant) or water in the oil (what looks like mustard under the oil filler). You'll bleed the rad' but it will keep doing it. You can get a test done on the coolant to detect Carbon Monoxide (it's a 5 minute test any garage can do.. so don't pay a fortune for it).

Head gaskets are not uncommon on the Punto. Your missus did well to turn the motor off.. as carrying on would have knacked the h/g if it wasn't knacked before.

Ralf S.
THanks for your comments guy.

Incidently, she drove it home last night and said that the temp guage didn;t go above half way, so I will have to go though your comments and check them out!
If the fan is coming on would that suggest the theromstat is working OK?

The fan is definitely kicking in when the temp guage is about half way.
Aint sure about the thermostat with the fan, but i know air locks can stop the fan from coming on, you could take the thermo out and test it in a sauce pan with hot boiling water to see if it opens-closes correctly.