3rd Gearbox on a 1.4 Sporting - Brian 247
Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Regd. August 2007.

This is one of a few Grande Puntos we have. It is the only 1.4 Sporting and is my son's car.

It has had a few niggles but a main problem is that about 3,000 miles ago when it had about 20,000 miles it blew a hole in the gearbox with internal components having exploded and there was a debate about it getting a new gearbox as it has allegedly been over-revved. The gearbox was reluctantly replaced by Fiat.

Three weeks ago and just over 3,000 miles from fitting, the new gearbox did exactly the same thing and Fiat Technical digging their heels saying it has been over-revved again.

Surely this should not be happening to the Fiat gearboxes. The internal components should not be so weak or soft to allow them to break. There are several posts on forums with the same problems and appear to be mainly the 1.4 gearbox.

Interestingly I had an old style 1.2 punto 2003 and the gearbox did exactly the same by exploding and blowing hole in casing. I was main driver at that time and no way was car abused.

I would be interested in hearing others comments or experiences.

Edited by Pugugly on 17/03/2009 at 19:42

3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - stunorthants26
Does the car have a rev limiter? most do these days.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - doctorchris
Over-revving would not destroy a gearbox.
Excess torque might but when an engine is at the limit of its rpm torque is falling off.
Of course, modern Fiats have a rev-limiter that cuts fuel to the engine.
I was chatting with the receptionist at my local Fiat workshop recently. She had a new Bravo that had required repeated gearbox replacement.
I suspect that there is an engineering fault leading to a misalignment of the box to the engine and resulting in repeated catastrophic failure.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - piggy
Judging from some of the posts on the Fiat Forum,part of the problem with GP gearboxes is caused by increasing the wheel size from 15 to 17ins. thus putting extra strain on the drive components.
I am not suggesting this is the reason in the OPs instance,and the g/box should be made strong enough to take some punishment.
Since I`ve actualy got the same model (1,4 Sporting),I`m going to keep my fingers crossed.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - annie g
Could you please give me any more info regarding the repeated gearbox changes in the new Bravo because I also had to get a new gearbox in my new Bravo after only 3 weeks and am having problems with the new one too.

I'm convinced there is a general problem with these but the the "technical report" the garage presented me with just had two word on it i.e. "Gearbox replaced". When I protested about this they asked hat did I want them to put on it. I said I wanted to know what was wrong with my gearbox and they said that gearbox was returned to fiat and would have been taken apart for spares and that there would be no one any where who could tell me what was wrong with that gearbox!!!!!!
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Brian 247
Hi guys,

Thanks for feedback so far.

Reply I got after chasing up the Fiat garage today is 'Sorry but Fiat are not prepared to authorise repair as it is not manufactures fault as engine has been over-revved'

I asked them to explain what was over-revved and were they suggesting my son was repeatedly revving the car when stopped or red-lining the car.

I was then told 'No, that's not what has been explained to me as the workshop manager. Over-revving is where the car is actually being driven say in 5th gear and then without slowing the car down it is changed to a lower gear like 4th or 3rd and the revs increase a lot but not necessarily to the red line.

Really? I reply. That's how I have taught him and it is actually called a sustained revs gear change, eg you are driving along at 50mph in 5th gear approaching a bend and know your speed is correct but decide on a lower gear of 3rd or 4th for better control, balance and stability.

So I told him i was aware of numerous problems posted online, I wanted in writing a full Fiat definition and a print out of the over-revving as well as fault diagnosis of the last gearbox as well as this one. If the report comes back as the manager has said, then I will be going for 'the vehicle gearbox is not fit for normal use'

I will keep you updated.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - stunorthants26
It seems beyond belief to me that Fiat can make such a pathetic claim - are Fiats that fragile that you must nurse them around like your best china?
Id be taking legal advice myself.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Avant
The answer to Stu's question would appear to be Yes - at least for Fiats made in Italy. The Panda and 500 are made somewhere in Central Europe and so far seem to have better reputation for quality and reliability.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - PR {P}
In a word no. The response from Fiat is however, poor. I would be going down the route of an independant engineer inspection/report (obviously claim cost of this back when you win!). As has been said above it seems that the alignment of the box is more likely to be a problem.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - J500ANT
Its good to see some things at FIAT never change, like the ability to wash their hands of their problems. I'd NEVER have another.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - oilrag
Brian, My understanding is that engine speeds are logged on the car and can be read by the Fiat diagnostic tool. Why not get a print out from them? If they have nothing to hide, surely its to their advantage to show it to you?

All the best...
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - AlanGowdy
My experience is that FIAT will probably try to wriggle out of any admission of there being a common fault with any components, even if provided with evidence to the contrary. Having said that, I suspect most other manufacturers in current trading conditions will do likewise.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Alanovich
Precisely Alan. A recent call to Mazda about a failed water pump on a car 5 weeks out of warranty and with below average mileage elicited the response "Nothing to do with us, guv. Good luck". Or words to that effect. Still let's all slag Fiat off, eh?
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Brian 247
Well after two further call to Fiat Service at the local garage the Workshop manager now chasing it up with Fiat on my behalf as they had not noticed the gear/dif rod in centre console that had burst out of gearbox even although they were told it was there. Mmm looks more like part failure now.

But surprise, surprise, another of our G/Puntos (1.2 this time) towed to same garage tonight. Gearbox stuck in third, so looks like another component/linkage failure.

Interested to see response in morning as 4 weeks with first punto off the road is too long and now another one off the road!

Ist car got 25,000miles and second one has 32,000 miles. Too soft and not fit for purpose comes to mind.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Brian 247

Hi, Just an update.

The gearbox I have been advised is the same gearbox as used in 2002/2003 Puntos of which we had two that were holed at dif casing in 2003 & 2004.

Not sure yet if same box as Stilo but will find out.

Fiat Customer Service today say FINAL ANSWER not repairing under warranty as it has been over-revved. 'Over-revved' I still need more details on, but I have been told today and this is important for Forum users is - 'shifting down gears too soon causing the road wheels to allow the engine to go over the max engine speed for the gear' - not making as much sense to me yet but heh it may just be me as I think the 1.4 Sporting has a rev limiter fitted and also I don't think this means the car was red-lined and if it was red lined how can it be over-revved when a limiter is fitted.

Now I have learned today that it is the pinion from the dif that has sheared and damaged the casing from the inside out. I have been advised by the workshop manager and an independent motor engineer (albeit he has still to view the actual parts and subsequent damage) that they don't understand how even over-revving the car could cause such a component to fail and they would expect other components to have failed first.

I will be aiming for a meeting with the workshop manager and service manager of the garage concerned and I will be expecting to be shown the failed component as well as the ECU reading relative to the recorded over-revving as well as interpretation of the reading in terms that I, as a non mechanic or technician, will understand.

If this shows beyond doubt that it is driver error and abuse of the vehicle then heh, I stand corrected and will update accordingly.

If it does not show, beyond doubt, that it wasn't manufacturing or mechanical fault then things will progress up a stage and:

I will also be requesting all relevant information re this gearbox and the previous one.

Depending how this goes and what is explained to me, my next steps will be involving the HP company who still own the vehicle under the terms of the agreement as well as others who have been told the same by FIAT 'sorry about the problem with your gearbox but it has been over-revved and is not covered by warranty.

Interesting I was told today that the car is showing 255 over-revs. I have also found someone else who was told their car had been over-revved resulting in a gearbox problem at dif. How many times had they been told it had been over-revved and this I find incredible ..................... also 255 times ......... what a co-incidence.

I hope this has stayed within the bounds of what is permissible to post on this Forum and has stayed on topic.

3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - pmh2
>>also 255 times ......... what a co-incidence.<<

Not a coincidence, just the maximum decimal number that can be stored in a 8 bit binary code!

>>I think the 1.4 Sporting has a rev limiter fitted and also I don't think this means the car was red-lined and if it was red lined how can it be over-revved when a limiter is fitted.<<

You are failing to understand what Fiat have quite clearly explained - over revving cannot be limited when agressively down shifting! The limiter will only work when accelerating towards the red line.

I think that you need to carefully review how the car has been driven. Whilst this would not cause the diff to fail directly, the evidence is there to demonstrate that the car has been abused. Aggressive 'wheelspin starts' can certainly cause diff wear and tear not consistent with normal use. All typical boyracer activities.

As yoofs we have all done it to a greater or lesser extent when allowed out in parents cars or in later years when pushing the envelope in company or hire cars.

3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - rtj70
The fact his is being driven by presumably a teenager.... might they be down changing to soon? Thus over-reving the engine.

With this one off the road, and another with a gearbox problem... has the same teenager driven this one too.

Sounds like misuse to me. I wish you all the best.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - oilrag
I think the give away was 3 blown gearboxes in one family and two on the lads car.. There was a lad with a Punto on the F-forum that block shifted a brand new car into second to overtake and blew his engine.

Good of Fiat to replace the first box really - free of charge - given the alleged mechanical overspeed - recorded on the car.

Funny how any fiat problems (even if not proven) bring out a `bile` response in some members while any problems with "proper japanese cars" get an Emperor`s new clothes reaction..

Better check you`ve got your underpants on Gentlemen ;-)
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Brian 247
Hi rtj70,

The one with two gearboxes is my son's.

The other being driven by a learner at 15mph, as it is a driving school car and it turns out to have been a faulty cable in the gearbox which has been replaced but the gearbox is still making some vibrating noises and will need checked out again.

The previous Puntos I had which had new gearboxes in 2003/4 were 2002/3 models which had holed the gearbox in similar ways were driving school cars. At that time we had 7 Puntos with an 8th on order and told the garage where to keep the 8th one as 5 of the other 7 were in the garage for repairs and 2 of them were for gearbox issues one a repair and one which was replaced due to being holed from inside out. 5 of the 7 cars had gearbox related issues.

Vowed never to touch them again but late in 2007 I was persuaded to try them again as all had been improved from older model.

I am also aware of an instructor who has had 2 replaced and a repaired gearbox in a Fiat Stilo 1.9 so trying to find out if that was the same C514 gearbox.

3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Brian 247

If FIAT had clearly explained then I wouldn't be in a position to not understand fully what was meant.

The trouble I have is Fiat Technical are not customer facing and any additional questions require to be relayed via customer service.

I will be happier once I have seen the ECU printout as I have been assured it should show the times it has been over-revved what the speed of car was as well as speed of engine and what gear was engaged at particular time.

I have not as yet heard of another manufacturer quoting an engine as being over-revved, nor at the moment am I aware of another manufacturer having an issue with gearboxes failing as a result of the engine being over-revved. Nor do I see anything in the owners handbook warning of such a failure of a component if it is over-revved. I do appreciate that car components have a certain tollerance built in and it depends what they can prove has taken place with the car.

Where I have the issue, is if this was just my son's car that had the problem then it may be fair enought to assume it has been abused but and here is the big but.... I have had two previous Puntos 2002/3, which have had gearboxes holed in a similar way and no over-revving. I know, as I was driver of one of them and it happened while I was driving. That particular car was not used without me or my wife being in the car.

As stated, I await the opportunity to see ECU
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - pmh2
Brain247, I am afraid that you do not appear to fully comprehend what has been explained to you here, and the meaning of what has been said (or printed) by Fiat.

Whilst we can have some sympathy for the position that you find yourself in, to give you the best chance of some sucess I suggest that you analyse the information that has already been given to you.

I will be surprised if Fiat can tell you exactly when and where the events that have occurred, although I may be proved wrong. Can anybody confirm whether the ECU stored info contains data on engine revs , road speed (and by implication, gear selected), and dates of occurence. You may be better off posting inthe Fiat Forum where car specific knowledge may be more readily available.


Edited by pmh2 on 17/03/2009 at 20:13

3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Brian 247

It is FIAT Customer Care who have told me today what the ECU should show me and she will be checking with Fiat Technical and the garage that the information will be available for me.

I do understand what is said but it is what is not said that I have issues with and that is what muddies the water.

I have been told the car has been over-revved and it has been explained to me as I have shown in quotes in previous post. I now also understand what has been mentioned here in previous post, that a rev limiter cannot prevent the enging being over-revved in a downward change when engine speed is maintained but can only do so in upward acceleration.

At the moment I have had conflicting information from the garage and also Fiat as to what over-revving is. Th workshop manager has told me his understanding of over-revving is eg when you are in 5th gear and change down to 3rd causing the revs to increase but not even as far as red line then that could be over-revving - I am sorry but that could be quite an acceptable sustained revs gear change. I accept he may not have understood what he has been told by FIAT but that doesn't help me.

I will get things clarified and will be asking for a meeting to get the information first hand.

3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - oilrag
By the way Brian - good luck with your situation - but just re reading your posts you seem to have had four identical gearbox failures - two on your sons car and two on your other Punto`s....?
The Punto seems to be a popular first car and if you check out the fiatforum you will likely find mechanically unaware lads subjecting them to block down changes at speed and so on...

We have two Punto`s - with no gearbox problems... Wishing you well.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Brian 247

Result as hoped for - car was returned on Friday with reconditioned/repaired gearbox with cost FULLY covered by the garage.

It appears to be a little close between 3rd & 4th and 5th & 6th but garage say it should settle down after a few miles and reckoned it was fine on road test. Will wait and see if it does.

The garage sent gearbox to be examined & reconditioned at gearbox specialist and the garage have confirmed they are covering the full cost of the repair and the gearbox will have a full year warranty.

Although it should have been dealt with quicker, at the end of the day it is the result that was required in the circumstances and should give some hope to those who experience problems like this.

It appears that some have interpreted this thread as an 'epic rant'. I see it as merely stating facts as they have appened to help others who may find themselves in a similar position.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - Pugugly
Sell it.
3rd Gearbox on Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Sporting - alan01

Yet another Punto 1.4 gearbox broken after 13500 miles,. Fiat are coming out with the same storey again and very little facts
How did you get them to replace the box i seem to be banging my head against a wall