Our Cars: FIAT 500 1.2 Lounge

25 March 2015: HJ’s unused FIAT 500 remains largely unused

The Details

Mileage 18,302
Claimed economy 55.3mpg
Actual economy 48.39mpg

Another year and my 2008 FIAT 500 has spent almost all of it locked up in a lockup, emerging only for 30 mile runs to charge the battery.

In fact, its 307 miles on the road over the last year were even less than the previous year.

So why keep such a depreciating asset? My problem is that at any time I may have to make a 300 mile emergency run up to Northumberland to ageing parents. And if, for any reason, I don’t have a long-term test car up and running at the time, I could have a serious problem.

FIAT Panda Parkside 23 March 2015 (1)

Despite the tiny mileage, this year’s service at my friendly FIAT dealer Parkside of Hounslow involved more than just a check-over and an oil change.

FIAT recommends a new timing belt and waterpump at 60,000 miles or 5 years, whichever comes first. So, to be on the safe side, at 18,300 miles and 7 years, I had that done.

Though the bill for everything came out at a lumpy £520.34, the timing belt and waterpump were only £325.91 + VAT. Which is fair enough. The downside is they noticed some staining on the radiator, which now needs to be pressure tested. One of the things that can happen when a car is left doing nothing for months on end.

FIAT 500 Jump Start (2)

Inevitably, there wasn’t enough left in the battery after 7 weeks left standing over December and January. So a jump from the long-term Peugeot 308 was required. But, according to Parkside, the battery is still holding a charge, so all it needs are a few long runs.

And that’s the plan for this year. Get it out and use it more.

So far, absolutely nothing has gone wrong with the exception of maybe the radiator and the routinely replaced waterpump that had started to leak a bit.

This means that, even though the car is at the end of its design life in years, there’s a lot left in it.

And, if you don’t mind being bounced about a bit, it’s still fun to drive.

 

« Earlier: FIAT Turns 17,000 Miles     Later: FIAT 500 Still Alive »

Updates
HJ's 'spare' FIAT 500 doesn't get out much and barely covers 500 miles a year. Now approaching its 11th birthday it sailed through its MoT, got treated to a service and also a new set of Continental AllSeasonContact tyres.
After a mammoth 1,248 miles, HJ's FIAT 500 gets its 8th Annual Service
HJ's FIAT 500 spends most of its life locked away in a garage, kept in case it's ever needed. Well, last week it was needed.
After not quite 400 miles over the last year, HJ's 'spare' Fiat 500 goes in for its annual service and MoT.
25 March 2015: HJ’s unused FIAT 500 remains largely unused
Another year and my 2008 FIAT 500 has spent almost all of it locked up in a lockup, emerging only for 30 mile runs to charge the battery.
HJ's FIAT has been busy recently and has now covered 17,234 miles
FIAT 500 on 15,000 mile tyres complately unfazed by torrential rain on the motorway.
Honest John's little used 500 gets its fourth year service and MoT and in that time nothing at all has gone wrong with the little Fiat.
Took the opportunity of a mild day to get the winter wheels and tyres fitted.
HJ's FIAT 500 finally gets to use its cold weather tyes.
HJ goes looking for snow in his Fiat 500.
HJ cleans his paintwork then coats his 500 with Autoglym High Def wax
Fiat 500 starts its Winter Tyre test.
Winter wheels arrive, winter tyres ordered.
FIAT 500 gets some winter tyres on its winter rims, and turns in a summer fuel economy of 56.2mpg.
Most recently I've had the opportunity to compare my 500 with the new, super-eco TwinAir version. On paper the TwinAir is much better, but what's the reality?
During my second year with the little Fiat 500 I drive the newer 500C cabriolet and the hot Abarth 500, both of which had their suspension improved over my older model.
My company bought the car for me in March 2008 for £9,470, including side bump strips and Italian Tricolor side stripes. Because it emits 119g/km of CO2 I was immediately able to write down 100% of the purchase price.
 

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