How To Maintain Your Fiat How to maintain your prized Fiat
Fiat cars are very popular in both the new and used markets and much of the popularity comes from their reliability. Every car needs basic maintenance, however reliable it is, and some people like to leave this to garage workshops whilst others like to do the basic things for themselves. Buying Fiat parts
online is not difficult and there are also helpful forums for people who might find they have a rather more unusual problem to solve – there is always someone out there who has encountered the issue before.
There are a number of points which should be checked regularly and your Fiat will probably have come with a manual listing them. If not, you will find that a new manual should not be hard to source online. If you are lucky enough to be the proud owner of a classic Fiat model – a 124 Spider or the ground-breaking off-road Campagnola for example – you will need to take a little more care in looking after it, but again there should be ample help online or even locally if you have a Fiat club near you. You should check tire pressure regularly as an absolute basic necessity. While you are doing that, you should check for wear. If it isn’t even, take your Fiat into a garage or tyre centre for them to test the tracking – this isn’t really something you can do at home. Also check wiper blades and replace them as necessary. You may get used to smeary windscreens and the difference when you change the blades will probably amaze you! Also check coolant and oil levels. Use the manual to find out what grade oil your Fiat needs and adjust as it gets older – some oils are recommended for older engines. Keep an eye on the coolant specific gravity, especially as the cold weather begins. Insufficient antifreeze can cost you dearly with a cracked block.
If you are reasonably confident with car maintenance, you may feel you can do things such as replace lights and other tasks. Buying the part online is likely to save you quite a lot of money and you can choose at this point to buy generic parts or genuine Fiat ones. In some cases, it doesn’t really matter which you choose, but for most visible parts, particularly if you are renovating interior trim, it is best to go for the genuine article. If you are renovating a classic model, it is of course essential to find the real thing and so online clubs are a good source of parts and sometimes work on a ‘swap’ system.
Keep a record
If you do your own maintenance, keep a record of what you do. Although this won't carry the same weight with a buyer as a certified garage work-sheet it will show any new owner that you have made sure that your Fiat has been well looked after and it will also provide a good guide as to what may be coming up next, such as plugs (they are usually good for around 100,000 miles these days) or timing belt if applicable. It will also help you if anything doesn’t last as well as it should – if you need to go back to the supplier, it is easier if you have dates and serial numbers to hand so you can claim a refund or replacement.