Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34


My fiat punto sport active is a 52 plate.

When i drive along the thermostate keeps moving up and down....from half way point to just b4 the red, it doesnt actually go into the red.... just near it... then drops again, the inside heating is also intimitant as well...sometimes its ok... but when its doing its overheating thing the hot air does not work....

Could this be a head gaskett going? the start of?

Or the thermostate stuck open? Or a hole in the housing?

Had a similar prob with a BMW ... that turned out to be the therostate.... but caused the headgasket to go eventually b4 the problem was identified...

If i catch a head gaskett going b4 it actually does... is it expensive to fix??

I go to a garage and get my bits done on the car and a windscreen wiper motor and arm plus fitting and a new blade they charged me £174... i never quiet know if im getting stung by them..... thought i might report them to rough trader... !!

Any advise? What should i do? And how much should i expect it to cost do you think?
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bell boy
i am always banging on about thermostats on puntos and the way they stick
do you mean rogue trader or as put rough trader?
wiper motor cassettes are a fortune at fiat (well over £100) the last one i got in a sealed fiat box from my factor for £60 inclusive but it took a bit of bartering (parrallel import maybe?)
get the car checked soonest a thermo is £15 plus fitting a headgasket is a lot more
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - Aprilia
If heater is going cold then that means air (or combustion gas) in the cooling system.

Try and new thermostat and bleed it out properly.
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34
Thanks for advise, ill give it ago....

Do you know where thermostate is on a fiat punto sport active ? And what angle to bleed engine? and where the bleed valve is? I am a complete novice when it comes to fixing cars, i.e: where to find things.... actually i have no idea..... but im willing to give it a go... being a girl its all gonna be new... but i dont want to be taken for a mug if its a simple job like a brake light.....

I have a boyfriend that cold prob do it.... but id like to know as much as pos b4 i start doing this as fiat cars are a pain to work on and a bit confusing... .... and blinking expensive!!

Do you think its worth me getting a thero switch as well and change that with the stat ? just in case??

Also if i do get stat and stat switch changed... and i did go garage... how much could i expect to pay???


Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bell boy
take it to a garage if you are not mechanically minded (or boyfriend)


ring a few for quotes if concerned on price ,most have a cd for the time it will take and charge accordingly these days.
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34
Yeah guess so... boo!! Ill ring around.... I may buy part myself so i know they wont sting me on that! i have to question the prices on parts these days...its crazy what it costs rip off...

Im thinking of takling a mec eng course in cars.... just so im not so dumb when it comes to fixing cars.... i pretty much know whats wrong with a car or have a rough idea.... but fixing it is another thing!
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - yorkiebar
Lots of garages not keen on you buying parts and getting them to fix it for various reasons.

1 if part is wrong, do they charge you for the time taken to do job, identify part and wait til sorted? or push your car outside in bits until you come along with the correct part (not easy without car etc)
2 if part goes faulty in near future they will expect you to pay for job to be completed twice. Not their fault the part went faulty etc. if they supply the part, part of their profit (if any) on it will cover this possibility.
3 Part you supply may be of a make they refuse to use because of known problems etc.

Not all garages are out to rip you off. use one that is recommended by family or friends etc. Get estimates from 2 or 3 garages including a main dealer. be nice and fair to the garage, most will be the same back to you.

Knowing how to do a job isnt the same as being able to do it; but does give you a better insight into why the job can be so expensive to do too. never hurts to get that information.
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34
boo boo boo and double boo!

I just hate the thought of spending all that money on my car... again £176 this week on a dam windscreen wiper arms and motor.... 2 months b4 it was £150 on a whole fan unit near radiator....1 month b4 that it was new wheels...... and a month b4 that it was 2 new parts to exhaust..... G-reat! Cars suck... i def wont be getting a fiat again though... my last ford fiesta N reg never did any of this to me... you think getting a newer car will save you money! sometimes its the old ones that keep going and never let you down....

i was told fiat parts were cheap... hmm so not true ;-(

thanks for advise
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - yorkiebar
Im not a fiat fan; would always recommend a fiesta in preference!

And agree newer isnt always cheaper. or better.

A known history and condition can be worth more than newer car and risk!
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34
Damm right yorkiebar!!! but when you get a litle older (26 in total wow!) You tend to earn a little more and want shiney things.... im such a magpie! doh!!
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bell boy
i think you have just been unlucky bagpus fiats as a whole (sic) i find generaly good reliable easy to work on and basically nice to drive,plus you can leave your tardis on the back seat as they are so big inside
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34

Well im calling garages today..... this fiat is just annoying... they are expensive ... parts are silly money....

I topped water up and no over heating... but its only a matter of time i guess... as thats exactly what i did last time ... i think its a pressure thing.... it needs bleeding badly i reckon....

DOes it take long to bleed?

Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - Gromit {P}
Don't despair, Bagpuss! What you've got is a list of repair jobs that the car's last owner left undone because they knew they were about to sell the car.

Once they're sorted (and there's nothing gravely serious on that list) you'll be left with a fine car to drive. And Oldman is right, you'll carry much more (be it moving house or friends!) in a Punto than a Fiesta...

Mine's a '99 SX five-door, and I'd be slow to change it - there's little else on the market at reasonable money that's more practical than the Punto.
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - percy
Hints on how to bleed system in Haynes manual, covers 1.2 8v and 1.2 16v. On the 8V there is a bleed screw on top RHS of radiator and a combined screw on the heater flow and return pipes by the bulkhead. My daughter has a 1.2 8v and it is not the easiest system to bleed, the last of the air only came out after a run. You need to squeeze the large pipes while undoing bleed screws. It helps to keep the pressure cap on while doing this. As you may know the head gaskets on the 8v are a little 'fragile'. Always make sure there is plenty of antifreeze/water in the system.
Good luck!
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bell boy
percy i always find a quick thrash up the yard always gets rid of the air blockage and allows you to finish the bleeding process and get heat into the matrix (tip of the day)
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34

Thanks for advise... im getting a mates garage man to do it ... he says he will do for £40 not too bad... thats inc changing the stat and switch and bleed... plus labour.... no vat as hes not vat registered.... so £40 all in i think is good....

Ill tell him all the bits you said so it looks like i know what im talking about!! he he

No gunk or white residue on oil cap or hole... and no cross over from oil to water... no blue spoke out of exhaust ..which i hope are all good signs of a head gaskett not going...

Will let you know on fri what happens,,,,,,, i should start taking bets? he he

What do people actually think it is? he he
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - local yokel
Find your way to - then you'll be in company with many others with your condition. Good forum, lots of experience on there, seriously.
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34

It was the thermostate btw! and i got it bled.... £30! found a garage.... dont charge VAT


Thanks for advise guys

Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34

Ok so you may remember this post a while ago,

I thought i got i sorted,,,,,,

Today.... i get in car...5 - 10 mins later... i get the same problem back..... No cabit heat, and the thermostate going up and down .... a lot.... i think it goes down when the fan kicks in and manages it......

I have had
a New fan (which is working as i heard it today)
A new thermostat
It has been bled
Its had a load of coolant put in it.......................

So what else could it be??

There is No water in oil, No oil in water, No white residue around oil cap, When the man checked the car and changed thermostat he did a chemical test on the water to see if the gasket had gone and the liquid stayed blue ..... so its not head gasket,,,,,, any ideas guys??

Could it be the radiator or the heater matrix? How would i know?


Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - braindead
possibles that sometimes get missed
radiator cap
cracked head (have you overheated it yet ? if so head gasket as well)
kinked heater hose
blocked radiator air fins
defective water pump

i have a very dim view of all fiats but good luck
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34
i have a dim view of them also!! lol
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - sierraman
How would you know the thermostat 'is going up and down'?If it is it is faulty,it can only be that or an airlock that is preventing coolant reaching the heater .
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - vincey
Sorry you had so many problems with your Punto, I'm running 2 at the moment, a 2000 8v and a 2001 Sporting, both have been very reliable. for spares try SHOP4PARTS they supply proper Fiat parts at very good prices.
all the best!
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34

Well i biked to uni yesterday, great!!! but today i looked in water bottle .... and there wasnt any in there!! was dry!!! Thing is the garage man filled it up with coolant and everything...about 20 days ago.... i stood there and watched.... plus i saw him change thermostate.... its a brand new stat.... and bleed it..... and let it all pump round....

The arrow pointey thing always sits in middle.... now it goes up a bit towards red area ...but never actually goes into it.... then the fan kicks in or i go faster and it cools down... then the gauge pointer keeps moving up and down.....

Today my friend bled it again... and air came out of it.... which was odd.... as the garage man did it....and none came out.... then i took it for a quick drive and we bled again....topped water up...drove home.... then checked it again.... and no air bubbles.......

So do you think it was it wasnt bled properly?? Or do i have a leak somewhere? Esp as there was no water in the bottle when i looked today....20 days is not enough time to boil it dry!! Where could it be leaking from?

I dont think its a head gasket.... but im afraid all this over heating cant be doing it any good......
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34
Vincey thanks for advise on parts ;-)
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34

Any ideas? ;-(
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - Aprilia
To be honest I think it might be HG. I would have a sniffer test done.
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34

Urrrr what is HG?????
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - mss1tw
Urrrr what is HG?????

Head Gasket.
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - Kingpin
These engines are very difficult to re-fill the coolant without getting air-blockages. I had a 2001 Punto and suffered from gurgling noises behind the heater controls which was trapped air in the system. If your Punto is like mine the filler neck is on the side of the radiator with a see through vertical section with Min and max for the coolant. I found that this can be empty and the engine still run OK due to air blockages. Secret is to keep this topped up with proper coolant and anti-freeze mixture and then with the engine ticking over carefully loosen the plastic bleed screw on the top right hand side of the engine near the back, the heater hose. This should let out air bubbles until you see coolant coming out then screw it up again (watch out for steam etc and don't overtighten it as they can snap). There is another one on the right hand side of the radiator which can let air escape before closing again. Unless the engine runs really badly it may not be the head gasket but just air blocks in the system.
The needle on the dash might be moving around due to air pockets near the temperature sensor.
If you do decide to keep topping up and bleeding the system please be careful for scalding etc.
I managed to cure mine by regular topping up and letting out air until the level in the coolant filler remained steady.
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34
Yeah i drove it today and it sounded like a bit gurggeley..... i have found the bleed valve near the termostate top right... where is the other?? i didnt know there was two... i only bled from one valve.........

I think there is a leak tbh.... i keep putting so much water in....... it must be going somewhere.....! Im doing a compression test tomorrow on the spark plugs... see if the water is getting passed out of one of them.. if there is a difference in the pressure id assume its the head gasket just means the water is going out the back end ...not in the sump.

All these tests aey!! Im really hoping its either a leaking tube... or lots of air in system.... i dont wanna stump up £250 b4 xmass ;-(

Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34

Maybe the water is going down a piston??

Btw... a fiat engineer said it was the head gasket without a doubt...... which is odd.... as he said all my car symptoms dont matter.... he just said...8v fiat punto?? yeah its the HG!!! i was like.... oh great

Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - Pip Dunlop
Head gasket failure is a really common problem on Punto's.

If it is that, insist that the head is pressure tested to check for leaks and also checked for warping which can be rectified in most cases with a light skimming.

Otherwise the problem will re-occur without a doubt.

Good luck.
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34
Well im going to get it sorted this time.... then when i graduate next year im hoping to get a pay rise at work.... then ill sell it and get a new one........

I would like a japaneese car as im told there really reliable,but expensive ................ but i quiet like a ford as well ,,,, as my N reg ford fiesta was great!
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bagpuss34
Well car went in friday...came out sat...def not head gasket... there is antifreeze stains around the water pump so garage man thinks its that ..... i saw a leak spot of water on carpark where i had parked all night on left hand side......... just gonna keep topping it up until it next messes around then see what it is for sure....but garage man checked everything....radiator, tubes, compression, oil, water, everything.... he said def not a head thats good news......

Just thought id post outcome on here so if anyone else has same problem they know the outcome.
Fiat Punto 52 plate..overheating - bell boy
bagpuss34 did he not pressure test your water system then?
this is my first port of call to identify any possible leaks,
bad show on his part in my opinion im afraid. :-(

Ask Honest John Right column

Value my car