Common problems with the Fiat 124 Spider

Fiat 124 Spider problems

The Fiat 124 Spider features an iconic design that brings out magnificent beauty to the roads. It is also compact, powerful, and fun to drive. However, this car also comes with a few issues that are important to note. But what are the common problems with the Fiat 124 Spider?

Some of the common issues with the Fiat 124 Spider are a faulty electrical system, unbalanced suspension, poor visibility, water pump problems, engine failure, camshaft issues, and transmission problems. Note that these issues vary from one Fiat 124 Spider model year to another.

What are the common problems with 124 Spider?

Faulty electrical system

This is a major problem across Fiat models. The Fiat 124 Spider also experiences a faulty electrical system. The main causes of electrical faults on the Fiat 124 Spider are a faulty alternator, a malfunction in the charging system, broken or damaged wires, poor battery connection, and poor ground connection.

The best way to fix a faulty electrical system is by fixing the faulty parts. For instance, replace the faulty alternator, blown fuse, or broken wires.

Poor visibility

Like most Fiat models, the Fiat 124 Spider also faces poor visibility issues. This is usually caused by the dashboard positioning. Rear visibility is also a problem. Besides, the type of lights your Fiat 124 Spider has are very important for visibility in poorly lit areas. Ensure to install front fog lights for excellent visibility in poor conditions.

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Unbalanced suspension

The work of the suspension system is to maximize the friction between the tires and the road. Additionally, this system offers stability to the steering system. So, if one of the parts of a suspension system is damaged, it can affect how the suspension works and endanger the driver and other motorists.

Some of the major parts of a suspension system are the shock absorbers, struts, tires, and springs. So, if you’re having an unbalanced suspension in your Fiat 124 Spider, this is a sign of worn-out tire threads or faulty shock absorbers. Take the car to the mechanic to fix the underlying issue.

Transmission issues

Many Fiat 124 Spider users have also complained about transmission issues. Nevertheless, the main transmission problem is an issue with the software that controls the transmission and can cause an unexpected downshift, which can make the car slow down abruptly and unexpectedly.

Furthermore, this problem can make the rear wheels lock; thus, increasing the risk of an accident. The good news is that Fiat recalled the models with this issue and most of them were made between 2017 and 2018. So, if you’re buying a used model that was manufactured between this duration, you should ensure the problem was attended to. 

Water pump problems

After your Fiat 124 Spider puts on several miles, some parts like the water pump will wear out and start causing issues. When the water pump fails, you will begin to notice things like engine overheating, smoke or steam coming from the radiator, and broken seals.

Ensure to replace the water pump and worn-out parts to avoid serious damage to your engine. This is because it is part of the cooling system, which allows the engine to function optimally. 

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Issues with the camshaft

The Camshaft Position Sensor relays vital information from the camshaft to the engine control module. However, after being used for an extended period, the camshaft may fail or malfunction and affect how the ignition and engine work.

Common signs of a bad camshaft position sensor are vehicle stalling, check engine light coming on, performance issues, and car failing to start. If you have a bad or failing camshaft position sensor, you should have it replaced ASAP!  

Engine failure

Even though the Fiat 124 Spider is very reliable, it still has several engine issues. Nonetheless, the most common engine problem on this car is a failing fuel pump. This issue is common in the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider model. The manufacturer recalled this car as they noticed that the impeller inside the fuel pump may be deformed, potentially causing the fuel pump to fail.


Is Fiat 124 Spider reliable?

Since the latest Fiat 124 Spider is based on the iconic and popular Mazda MX-5 Miata, expect this car to be very reliable. Fiat is among the least reliable car brands on the market, but Mazda ranks in the top ten. So, since the Fiat 124 Spider is based on the Mazda, it should do very well. So, the cost of repair and maintenance should also be low.

It is expensive to maintain Fiat 124 Spider?

The Fiat 124 Spider is cheap to maintain. It is estimated that the average cost of maintaining a Fiat Spider annually is around $283. Nonetheless, the cost will vary between $95 and $2,180, depending on how you take care of the car, your driving habits, and your location.

How long does Fiat 124 Spider last?

The Fiat 124 Spider is one of the most durable Fiat models on the market. It was reported that a Fiat Spider lasted from 1966 to 1985, which is around 20 years. So, with proper care and maintenance, the latest Fiat 124 Spider models can also last over 250,000 miles. Additionally, the driver should exercise good driving habits for the car to last longer.

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Is the Fiat 124 Spider safe?

Yes, the Fiat 124 Spider is a safe car. This is because it is equipped with lots of advanced safety features and driver-assist technologies. On top of that, it was awarded a top safety rating for passenger protection, making it one of the safest convertibles on the market.

Do Fiat 124 Spiders hold their value?

Yes, Fiat 124 Spider is among the car models that hold their value well. This car will only depreciate by 23% after 5 years and have a resale value of $23,440. However, the car should be well-maintained to hold its resale value. Besides, the Fiat 124 Spider is slowly becoming a classic and its price will increase as years go by.


The Fiat 124 Spider is an iconic and lovely car that many people would love to own. Nonetheless, it also comes with some issues that interested buyers should know about so that they can take care of the car properly. Overall, this is an elegant car with lots of fascinating features. On top of that, it is among the most reliable and durable Fiat models ever built.

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Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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