Is the DPF blocked in our Fiat 500?

I would love some advice as I am desperate. I purchased a Fiat 500 Multijet Lounge in 2008. The car worked fine until 2012 when, every month or so, the filter light would keep flashing on. We were advised by a local garage that this type of vehicle needed more than the usual school run, so I would do as advised and run on motorway for a while. On Boxing Day 2012 the car suddenly lost all power and stopped the engine still running but not driving. We thought it was the clutch so, next day, the local garage took it to fix. We found out a few days later that it had been sent off for diagnostics as the garage didn’t know what the problem was. The garage took out injectors to test and found three out of four not working so these were replaced, but the car still had no power or acceleration.

It was sent back to the local garage as we had no more funds available to carry on the diagnostics. The local garage suggested it was the turbo, so this was replaced, all seals were checked and a switch of some kind in the engine was replaced, but the car still had a rattle. We definitely had no more money to carry on with it so drove it home, barely. It sounds like a tractor and drives as slowly as one, with blue smoke coming out the exhaust. It is currently SORN as it is not safe to drive. I want to know if there is anything I can do or someone I can get in touch with over this matter.

Asked on 20 April 2013 by DM, Bolsover

Answered by Honest John
It should be obvious to anyone with any experience that the diesel particulate filter is blocked. When that happens it can take out the turbo, but the root of the problem is the DPF. You bought completely the wrong engine for the type of use to which you put it, but at the date you bought it no one knew that FIAT 500 Multijets would prove to be particularly bad in this respect.
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