The Fiat 500 a is a fun and fashionable small car with a long list of personalisation options. It's a popular choice for those wanting a nippy performer in cities and towns.
The tyre pressures for the Fiat 500 should be checked regularly and maintained at the level recommended in the owner’s manual. There's also a small panel in the driver’s door jamb that shows the recommended tyre pressures for your particular model. Usually, the tyre pressures for a Fiat 500 will range from 32 psi for the front tyres - or 2.1 bar - to 35 psi - or 2.3 bar for the rear ones.
Once the tyre pressure warning light appears in a Fiat 500, you'll need to pull over to see whether there is a serious puncture to deal with. If so, you'll have to change the wheel and you can call a professional to help you do this or a recovery service. If it's a slow puncture, you will have to take your car to a garage to have it fixed.
There are several ways to check the Fiat 500’s tyre pressure and the most accurate way is to use a small gauge for this purpose, which you place onto the tyre valve. Otherwise, you could use a foot pump gauge and top up the pressure as necessary or use one of the air pumps on a garage forecourt.
If you need to reset the Fiat 500’s tyre pressure warning light, then the process is straightforward.
• Firstly, apply the parking brake and turn the ignition but not the engine.
• On the dashboard screen, use the menu button to scroll through to ‘Vehicle information’ and then ‘Driver information’.
• From there, there's the ‘Tyre pressure’ menu.
• Press the set button to begin the process for the sensors to be matched.
• Press set again to confirm the selection.
• Go through this process until the sensors relearn the pressures and a horn will sound.
• Turn the ignition off to exit the learning mode and the warning light should be switched off too.
Alternatively, find the best Fiat mobile tyre fitting specialist in your area to get your puncture repaired at your convenience.
If you need to know the correct tyre pressures PSI for your Fiat 500, then your owner’s manual will give these details, plus there's a sticker in the driver';s door jamb revealing what the PSI pressures for your actual model should be. If you need to replace a tyre, then contacting a professional to do so will ensure that not only will the correct tyre be fitted but its pressure will be correct. Older models of the Fiat 500 will be needing PSI tyre pressure of 29 and rear tyre pressure of 29 or 30.
All of the dashboard lights for the Fiat 500 will light up when you start the car and should immediately switch off. Sometimes if there's an issue with the system check, the light may remain on to show that the system may have detected an error. To make sure, switch the engine off and then turn the ignition back on to see if the light remains on or goes out. You will need to check the owner’s manual to see what the dashboard light is warning and potentially take your car to a professional to have it fixed.
The Fiat 500 has several warning lights that may illuminate when you are driving to warn you of a potential problem. In most cases, there's no reason to worry and you should consult with the owner’s manual to find out what the problem might be. There are some lights that will need prompt action and they include:
Low engine oil pressure
This can be serious if there is little oil or the oil pressure is low because your engine may be damaged if you continue driving. On the Fiat 500, this symbol may flash which may indicate that the engine oil needs replacing, which you can do when you arrange a service.
When the battery warning light appears in the Fiat 500, it is warning you that the battery is not charging, which could be down to a faulty alternator or you need a new battery. You need to appreciate that if the battery runs flat you will not be able to restart the car, so you may need professional assistance to resolve this problem.
Brake warning light
Depending on the model, you may have a break warning symbol or a single exclamation mark in it. This either means that the parking or handbrake has been left on or there's not enough brake fluid in the system so your brakes may not work effectively. If this is the case, it’s important that you get your brake pads and discs checked by a specialist to avoid potential issues in the future.
The engine warning light may appear on the dashboard but there's no need to panic when it does so. This is an amber light and is indicating that there is an issue with the ignition system, and possibly with the emissions system. You can still drive the car but you'll need to have the problem checked out as soon as possible.
It's important that you maintain your Fiat 500 properly and this will mean following the set service intervals. The newer versions of the Fiat 500 with petrol engines may need servicing every 18,000 miles and for the diesel versions, the schedule is 21,000 miles. Along with a visual inspection of crucial components, various fluids will be topped up or replaced. Extra work will include:
16,000 miles: change the engine oil and filter
32,000 miles: change the engine oil and filter, replace engine a cleaner filter and spark plugs
48,000 miles: change the engine oil and filter, change the rear axle fluid for all wheel drive models
64,000 miles: change the engine oil and filter, replace engine a cleaner filter, replace cabin filter, replace spark plugs
The timing belt is scheduled to be replaced at 152,000 miles or 9.5 years.
Once your Fiat 500 reaches one of these mileage milestones, get it checked over by a local full service specialist.
If you need to update the service reset on the Fiat 500, then these instructions will help.
• Turn the ignition on, but do not switch the engine on.
• Depressed the accelerator pedal three times within 10 seconds but do this slowly.
• Turn the ignition off and then restart the engine.
• The service light should now be extinguished.
While the Fiat 500 should deliver years of sound service, there are some common problems that you may encounter. These include:
Diesel particulate filter:
If you have a 1.3-litre diesel engine that has a diesel particular filter, then you may find it becomes clogged and may damage the engine.
The Fiat 500 was recalled to repair a clutch problem. The issue affected models built between 2012 and 2016.
Power steering loss:
One common issue for the Fiat 500 is to undergo power steering loss when performing slow manoeuvres including parking. The power steering motor will need replacing.
Oil warning light:
In some models, the oil warning light will become illuminated, but it's not an issue with the oil but with the car’s ECU instead. You'll need to take this to Fiat to reprogram the ECU.
While the automatic gearbox for the Fiat 500 should work without problems, there are some issues the owners need to be aware of. They include:
Duologic gearbox: Older Fiat 500s with the Duologic gearbox may encounter the gears moving into neutral without warning. This is an issue with the ECU which needs to be reprogrammed or the transmission itself needs inspecting.
Other Duologic issues: Fiat 500 owners may need to resolve issues with gears sticking or not shifting quickly enough by replacing the transmission fluid. There may be a damaged accumulator, so the gears are not being selected or there's an issue with a solenoid. A professional inspection may be needed.
One of the issues for Fiat 500 owners is a clutch problem which can lead to a hefty repair bill. Some of the issues you'll need to watch out for include:
Bad pressure plate: When the gears will not engage, there may be issues with the pressure plate.
Clutch failure: A well-known problem for the Fiat 500 is a poorly performing clutch, which may completely fail. This is a particular issue for models built between 2009 and 2010 and can be
expensive to repair.
If your clutch begins to show one of these symptoms, visit a Fiat clutch specialist in your area.
Everyone would like their car to be reliable, but some Fiat 500 models have particular issues. While the 500 rates highly for safety, it doesn't score very well for reliability in various customer service surveys. One consumer organisation has reported that the Fiat 500L was its most ‘unreliable car of the year’, and owners report niggling faults on various Fiat forums. Among the issues are:
One warranty organisation says the suspension on the Fiat 500 is a worry with regular fails.
Another common problem for the Fiat 500, especially for those built between 2009 and 2010, is the gearbox packing up. You will find that the clutch will judder, and the gearbox stops working. It needs a big repair or a completely new gearbox.
To help ensure that your Fiat 500 runs smoothly, you'll need regular oil changes using the correct oil type. Usually, the Fiat engine will require 5W-30 oil but you should check with the owner’s manual first.