Fiat 1.2 Engine problems

Fiat 500 problems

The Fiat 1.2 engine was launched in 1993. It is one of the most reliable and durable Fiat engines on the market. But like other Fiat engines, it also registers several issues that interested users should know about. So, what are Fiat 1.2 engine problems? 

Some of the common problems with the Fiat 1.2 engine are lack of power, head gasket issues, radiator leak, oil leak, and clutch problems. Note that most of these issues occur because of negligence or proper maintenance.

What are the common problems with the Fiat 1.2 engine?

Head gasket issues

The head gasket is a very critical part of the engine. It sits between the engine block and cylinder head. The main role of the head gasket is to seal the combustion chamber and prevent coolant and engine oil from mixing. Nevertheless, if the head gasket fails, it can cause a lot of issues, such as coolant leaks and loss of compression.

As a result, the engine may overheat or even the car may perform poorly. In some scenarios, it may even lead to engine damage. Most head gasket problems in the Fiat 1.2 engine are due to wear and tear or old age.  To fix this issue, you will be required to replace the head gasket which is usually cumbersome and costly to fix.

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Lack of power

Lack or loss of power is common in Fiat 1.2 engines made after 2014, such as the 2014 Fiat 500 1.2 model. Even though this problem can be caused by several things, the most common cause is a problem with the car’s software. This is because the software that controls the engine’s performance can become faulty or outdated, leading to loss of power.

Some of the signs of lack of power are trouble accelerating, more so when driving uphill, and a decrease in overall performance. Furthermore, the engine may produce strange noises like ticking or knocking. To fix the problem, you will have to visit a professional mechanic to update the software.

Radiator leak

The main cause of the radiator leak in the Fiat 1.2 engine is a crack or hole in the radiator. However, radiators can become faulty because of rust, corrosion, or even impact, which can lead to leakage. Symptoms of a leaky radiator are low coolant level, coolant smell, and steam or smoke coming from the front of the car. In some cases, the engine may overheat.

If your Fiat 1.2 engine is having a radiator leak, it is vital to have it fixed ASAP. A leaky radiator will have to be replaced and the hoses inspected and replaced, if need be. 

Clutch problems

Another common problem that the Fiat 1.2 engine faces is clutch issues. Clutch problems are common in the Fiat 1.2 engines with a manual transmission. One of the things that cause clutch failure in this model is bent selector forks. Note that bent selector forks are parts that connect the clutch pedal to the transmission, and they are in charge of engaging and disengaging the clutch.

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So, when the selector forks are bent, they cause the clutch to slip, and changing gears becomes difficult. To fix this problem, you will have to replace the bent selector forks. Some of the signs of bent selector forks are loss of power and increased wear on other transmission parts.

Oil leak

Oil leakage is common on most Fiat 1.2 engines. Some of the main reasons why oil leaks are due to worn-out or damaged gaskets or oil seals. Signs of oil leakage include a burning oil smell, oil stains on the ground below the car, and low oil levels.

If you discover that your Fiat 1.2 engine has oil leakage, you should address the problem as fast as possible to avoid further damage. You will have to replace the worn-out or damaged parts to fix the issue.  


Is the Fiat 1.2 engine reliable?

Yes, the Fiat 1.2 engine is pretty reliable. On top of that, it is very durable and smooth in performance. However, this engine is not error-free and doesn’t cost a lot to maintain. What’s more, it is very efficient and its smaller fuel capacity means that less money will be spent on fuel.

What year Fiat is the most reliable?

Fiat has made some outstanding models over the years. One of the most reliable Fiat models ever made is the Fiat 500X. However, the title for the most reliable Fiat model year goes to the 2018 and 2019 Fiat 500. These model years registered the least issues and also received the least number of complaints from customers.

Which Fiat models are fitted with the Fiat 1.2 engine?

The Fiat 1.2 engine is one of the most popular Fiat engines on the market. This engine has been in production from 1993 to 2018. As a result, it has been featured in several Fiat models, including the Fiat Punto, Fiat Grande Punto, Fiat Panda, and Fiat 500. So, if you desire a Fiat model with the Fiat 1.2 engine, you should consider picking one of these models.

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How long does the Fiat 1.2 engine last?

The Fiat 1.2 engine may not be the most durable Fiat engine on the market, but it can last for a long while if properly maintained. On average, this engine should last for more than 200,000 miles. Nonetheless, some users have reported clocking over 250k miles.

How much does it cost to fix the Fiat 1.2 engine?

The cost of fixing the Fiat 1.2 engine depends on the model year and the problems that the engine faces. In most cases, the cost of repairing and maintaining this engine ranges from $95 to $5671 on older models. But when it comes to the latest models, it has an annual average repair cost of $522.

This is costlier than the industry average of $456 for subcompact cars and cheaper than $652 for all vehicles. 


All in all, the Fiat 1.2 engine is a simple and durable engine. It is also reliable, efficient, and operates smoothly. And since it is easy to maintain, many Fiat lovers prefer this engine over most Fiat engines. Despite having multiple issues, the Fiat 1.2 engine can last for a long while.

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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