FIAT Grande Punto – a cheap dream car

The life before

Right after I got my degree at the university, I found a job, had to move back with my family and work hard every day..

For the first few months, my grandfather landed me his old 1999 1.3 petrol powered Ford Fiesta so I can drive to my work place and impress some ladies. It was a jolly little machine ready for action that honestly had the ground clearance of some modern SUV-s. With that little car, I was able to drive any way I wanted. Over the pot holes – no problem, high sidewalks – no problem, mud and the dirt – no problem.

As the time went by, I got tired of the constant sharing and calculating when I can get the car and when my grandfather is going to use it. So, on that occasion, I decided it was the time to get my own vehicle.

The long search

After few months of hard work, I was able to save about 3500 € (which is quite a lot in my country) and started to look for a perfect cheap car. Having driven Ford Fiesta a lot, I grow fond of it and was looking for something similar.

It was the 2009 Ford Fiesta that got my full attention and I was searching day and night for a good one that could fit in my budget. But, my search did not come to success. 2009 Ford Fiesta was far out of my budget reach.

After my unsuccessful search, I asked for a help from a friend and a local car dealer that imports cars from Germany. I explained to him what was my budget and what type of vehicle I wanted.

It took him nearly two weeks to find a 2009 Ford Fiesta that could fit in my budget and when he finally called me, my heart was pumping like crazy. I had to wait for an hour or even more for him to send me pictures of it. And, when they finally arrived, I was utterly disappointed. One of the most beautiful things of that car, the center radio, was missing. The car was scratched and missing plastic hubcaps. Disappointed and “heart broken”, I decided to look further for other brands and models.

Together we have found several Škoda Fabias and VW Polos but most of them were in a pretty bad shape and have traveled more than 250000 km.

FIAT!?

Weeks have passed and we found nothing. But then, one rainy morning, good news came. My friend, the local car dealer, gave me a call and said he had a perfect car for me. He did not say which car it was until I saw the pictures of it.

“FIAT !? Why in the God’s name are you showing me a bloody FIAT punto?” – that was literally what I said to him after I saw the first picture.

It was my understanding back then that the FIAT is one of the worst car manufacturers in the entire world, if not the worst – hence the shock.

He did his best to persuade me to try the car. He told me that it’s a reliable model and even if something breaks, cost of fixing it and spare parts are cheaper than a pack of cigarettes. “There are so many spare parts and they are so cheap that you can buy them in a newsstand” – his words.

So, to the lot I went to see it.. And when I got there, the guy drove it out of the garage. It looked amazing! It was the 1.2 petrol version with 5 doors and a dark blue color. How the hell did FIAT manage to make car so beautiful? It looked better than 2009 Ford Fiesta!

I got in it and tried it. It run soooo smooth. The steering wheel felt so light that one month old baby could use it. At that moment, I knew, I would buy it no matter what.

I drove the car to my local mechanic who checked it and he said it was fine. So, I bought it and registered it. The car was so cheap I even had some money left, so I decided to do the small service (oil, filters, and drum brakes
change) and all of that was just about 80 €.

The life after

But, it was not all a smooth sail.. After 2-3 months, real colors of FIAT started to show, or so I thought.. The engine oil was leaking somewhere, and it was not just the small spots on the parking concrete. Once again, I went to the mechanic who went on and checked the car. The results: broken crankcase! To be honest, I was shocked and worried. At the time, I thought that the thing is so expensive that it will cost me my whole month’s salary. But the thing is… it just wasn’t. The whole new crankcase and the mechanic’s time to fix it costed me about 50€. And that was it. After a few hours at the mechanic’s garage, I got the car rolling and my heart was filled with joy.

Few months later, a car’s heating fan died at the speeds 1, 2, and 3. Oddly, the 4th fan speed was working. Once again, I thought to myself that I made a mistake of buying a FIAT. Thought myself a fool for listening to the car dealer, but as I was ready to face the truth and drive up to the mechanic to check it, the bloody thing mended itself back to life. It took it 2 weeks, but it somehow repaired itself and is still working! Later, I found out what actually happened and that it is a common fault on many car models that the fan resistor just dies because of electric problems, but strangely enough, I’ve never heard of a car that can heal itself back.

Now, it’s been a long time for me driving that FIAT Grande Punto. Somehow, I’ve not yet experienced any more faults. The vehicle still runs smoothly, it’s easy to drive and feels quite cozy inside. The interior still looks as beautiful as it looked the day that I bought it. It still does not consume a lot of petrol to run.

So, if you ever find yourself in a situation like I was in.. Take my advice, and get yourself a used FIAT Grande Punto with 1.2 petrol engine. The thing is really cheap to buy and to maintain, and will get you safely from point A to point B with no problems.

Thank you for reading this rather long post..

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