Fiat 500s are widely regarded as one of the funniest subcompact cars to drive. If you’ve been considering purchasing one of these cars,
On average, a Fiat 500 will cost the driver around $520 per year in maintenance costs.
Compared to the average yearly cost of maintaining a vehicle, $650, a Fiat 500 is actually cheaper. However, the exact cost of yearly maintenance will depend on the mileage, age, and how you treat your vehicle.
Keep reading to learn more about the average cost of owning and maintaining a Fiat 500.
- Is a Fiat 500 Expensive to Maintain?
- Is the Fiat 500 a Reliable Car?
- Do Fiat 500s Have a Lot of Problems?
- Fiat 500 Recommended Maintenance Schedule
- What Factors Will Affect Your Maintenance Costs?
- The Bottom Line
Is a Fiat 500 Expensive to Maintain?
In general, you can expect your Fiat 500 to cost you less or the same as any other car on the road, in terms of maintenance. As with most cars, this cost does rise as your vehicle ages.
The cost of maintenance will typically depend on many factors.
Some of the factors that influence how much your annual maintenance will cost include:
- How you treat your car
- The mileage of your vehicle
- What year it was manufactured in
- What kind of environment do you live in
- If you follow regularly scheduled maintenance
- How previous owners have treated it
As long as you drive responsibly and take care of preventative maintenance on a regular schedule, your Fiat 500 should not be too expensive to maintain.
Is the Fiat 500 a Reliable Car?
The Fiat 500 is typically considered to be a reliable car. For evaluated models manufactured between 2012-2017, JD Power has given it an average Consumer Reliability Score of 70/100.
This score measures the amount of defects, malfunctions, and design flaws experienced by owners, and the higher the rating, the better.
Since its Consumer Reliability Score is relatively high, we can conclude that the Fiat 500 is generally reliable.
This is a car that’s known for its excellent handling and crisp manual transmission. In most cases, you can expect the Fiat 500 to last for up to 200,000 miles.
Do Fiat 500s Have a Lot of Problems?
The good news is that you won’t have to bring your 500 in for unscheduled repairs very often. However, there is a higher probability than average that an unscheduled repair will be due to a severe issue.
While this is a possibility, these cars do not usually have any problems that should deter you from purchasing them.
What are Common Fiat 500 Problems?
Over the years, there have been a few common problems reported by owners of this car. There have also been several recalls over the past 10 years, including:
- The shifter shaft may break in 2013-2018 model year vehicles.
- The clutch diaphragm spring may fracture in the 2013-2016 models.
- The vehicle may unexpectedly shift into neutral in the 2013-2015 models.
- The shifter cable bushing may detach from the transmission in 2013 models.
Thankfully, authorized dealers and mechanic shops are required to fix recall issues at no cost to the consumer.
If you’re considering purchasing a model that has a recall on it, check the service history to see if it’s been corrected. If it hasn’t, make sure to bring the car to the dealer to get it taken care of.
In addition to these recalls, there are a few other common problems that owners should be aware of. Below, we’ll discuss these issues.
Oil Leaks into Coolant System
This is a common problem reported with the 1.3 liter model of the Fiat 500. Engine oil may get into the engine and infiltrate the coolant system, which can cause severe damage if not dealt with properly.
If you notice your car overheating, or if you notice visual signs of this, you’ll need to take your car to the mechanic for a full oil change.
This problem can also cause your oil light to malfunction, requiring a complete reprogramming of the electronic control unit, or ECU.
If you scrape or collide with concrete on the road, you can easily damage the alloys on your wheels. While this is more of an aesthetic problem than an operational one, it’s still important to keep in mind.
This problem is especially common if the car has been driven on city streets. Due to the nature of driving, the front driver’s side wheel is typically the one that’s most affected.
While this typically will not affect drivability, it can still be an eyesore. You may want to see if the scratches can be buffed out, but if not, you might consider alloy replacement.
Issues with the Steering Wiring
Fiat recalled some models in 2014 due to a problem with the wiring underneath the 500’s steering column.
They found that this wiring issue made the car prone to premature wear, and could eventually lead to an electrical failure.
Before you purchase a car, you should always look up the VIN to check if there are any active recalls on the vehicle. When you know what you’re getting into before you drive off the lot, you can better prepare yourself.
Power Steering Loss
If you test drive a Fiat 500 and notice a stickiness or tightness while turning the wheel, it could indicate a common power steering motor problem.
A loss of power steering can be dangerous, especially when driving at high speeds. With that in mind, it’s important to get it looked at as soon as you can.
What is the Average Insurance Cost for a Fiat 500?
It’s well known that insurance costs can vary greatly based on the driver who’s being insured. However, the average liability-only policy for a Fiat 500 is about $542 per year, or $45 per month.
you opt for full coverage insurance instead, this cost rises to $1,352 per year, or $113 per month.
Along with your driving record, the model year of your Fiat 500 will greatly influence your insurance costs. If you’re considering an older model, the costs will vary as follows.
|Model Year||Average Liability Polic y||Average Full Coverage Policy|
Compared to other vehicles, a Fiat 500 is not very expensive to insure. However, there are a few ways you can save on your insurance.
One way to save money is by asking your insurance company about discounts. This can be especially advantageous if you have no accidents under your belt, as many companies offer “good driver” discounts.
Another way to save on insurance costs is by opting for more liability coverage. While this may increase your liability premium, it will likely reduce other costs, like comprehensive coverage.
Fiat 500 Recommended Maintenance Schedule
Following a manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule is the best way to keep your car in good operating condition. Below, we’ll outline Fiat’s recommended preventative maintenance.
|Mileage/Time Period||Recommended Maintenance|
|Every 8,000 miles or 6 months||Oil change
Fluid levels, hose, inflation pressure, tire tread, battery, belt, wiper blade, and air filter inspections
|Every 16,000 miles or 12 months||Cabin air filter replacement
Exhaust system, engine air filter, brake lining, CV joint, front suspension (including tie rod ends and boot seals) inspections
Cleaning and lubing of sunroof tracks
|Every 32,000 miles or 24 months||Spark plug inspection and replacement (if necessary)
Brake pad replacement
Sunroof tracks, hand brake inspections
|Every 100,000 miles||PCV valve inspection and replacement (if necessary)|
In addition to the maintenance listed above, it’s also recommended that you check your tires regularly for cracks. Typically, this should be done about once a month.
What Factors Will Affect Your Maintenance Costs?
As we’ve discussed, how you care for your car, the mileage, and the age of your vehicle will all affect your maintenance costs. However, there are a few other factors that will affect how much you spend maintaining your vehicle.
It helps if you live in an area with ideal driving conditions for this type of car. For example, warm, temperate weather is better than extreme temperatures. Smooth, level and unsalted roads are also typically preferred.
All of these factors will lessen the stress on your vehicle, reducing the need for replacement. If these conditions are not possible where you live, be sure to always do the proper preventative maintenance.
In addition to the factors you can control, there are also some factors you may not have any say in if you buy your car used. These include the trim levels, transmission, configuration, and other factory options on your vehicle.
The Bottom Line
The Fiat 500 has an estimated yearly maintenance cost of just over $500. The average yearly maintenance cost for a vehicle is about $650, making the Fiat 500 relatively inexpensive to maintain.
To reduce your costs as much as possible, make sure to take care of your car. Perform all the recommended preventative maintenance, take care of any recalls that have been issued in the past, and always drive carefully.