Fiat Punto 1.3 Multijet – 2011 – 324,299 km

Antonio Nieveld drove more than 150,000 kilometers in his Fiat Punto diesel in just under four years….

150,000 kilometers in four years, owner wants to put that on again

Almost every day Antonio Nieveld whizzes from Enschede to Wezep in his Fiat Punto diesel. The engine doesn’t suffer much from that, especially with such a calm rider like him. “It is 110 km one way. A moment of rest for me, I drive outside the rush hour.” For example, in just under four years, more than 150,000 km were added and it is the intention to do that again. Is that going to work?

His career switch was the direct reason for the purchase of a compact and, above all, economical car. Fortunately, in 2011 and 2012 the Netherlands was flooded with small, economical diesels; after all, they were MRB-free. They are now on the coast and for sale at used dealers throughout the country. Antonio: “In 2019 I switched to defense. That started with a training program for which I had to go to Vught, Assen and Ermelo and that became a bit expensive in my Skoda Octavia on petrol. After I had put all my wishes and requirements on paper, the Punto came out as the best alternative. After that I started to study that car and that’s how I found out that the distribution chain is a point of attention. I also read that the turbo sometimes breaks. My brother-in-law, who works in the car industry, had his doubts about my choice.”
He went looking for a well-maintained Punto with a not extremely high mileage and ended up with this one. “It had had a major service at 163,000 kilometers and there were also previous invoices. Small disadvantage: it is a three-door, but that is favorable for the price. And it has all kinds of luxuries that my Skoda didn’t have. Radio controls on the steering wheel, cruise control and climate control. The total package was good, the price too and I got a nice amount for the Octavia. Now we are almost four years later. I have not had any major costs yet and I do most of the maintenance myself.”

Sounds cold as a tractor

Although the majority of diesel-driving tax evaders at the time opted for something with the three-cylinder 1.2 TDI from Volkswagen (Polo, Fabia, Ibiza), a four-cylinder is just that little bit nicer. Opel used the 1.3 JTD for the Corsa and the Astra, among others, within the Fiat Group you will find this engine in all kinds of models. It turns out to be quite a good thing, apart from the chain, but there are more examples of that. On the other hand: we have a copy here with more than three tons on the clock and nothing indicates a worn timing chain. “I’m doing everything I can to keep him whole,” says Antonio. “After starting, let it run for a while before driving and don’t turn it off immediately at the end of the ride. At every service I put a bottle of injector cleaner in the tank and I add something Teflon based to the engine oil. I have to say honestly that it sounds like a tractor in the morning. Once at temperature and at speed you only hear some hum. I usually get 900 kilometers on a full tank and that was exactly what I was after. I occasionally change the tires from front to back, then they wear out more evenly. I have considered changing the center console so that it can accommodate a large screen for DVD and navigation. That did not happen and in the end you have just as much convenience from your smartphone. I have installed some mood lighting under the dashboard, everything else is still original.”

Jet black exhaust

Antonio proudly tells that he drove to Croatia last summer. With three adults and two children on board. In a three-door Punto. That doesn’t sound like a party to us. “It was a monster ride, I admit. And once there, the bottom or the engine hit something when we drove up a path somewhere. During the descent a strange rattling sounded and I immediately drove to a garage. I still don’t know exactly what was going on. In any case, it was fixed fairly quickly and didn’t cost much.”
Via YouTube, Antonio follows someone who only vlogs about the Punto and that is really a godsend for him. “I do all repairs with the video. Occasionally on pause or rewind but I always get out. I now even know how to reset the service light. Other than that, it’s just turns, that’s not that complicated and I’ve just replaced the front brake discs. There are drums behind it, I don’t get into that myself.”
Judge Joep Schuurman’s hawkish eyes had already spotted the front brake calipers. “Copper grease in places where it shouldn’t be, we often see that with the do-it-yourselfer. And those tires aren’t much good anymore either. That this Punto has a fresh MOT is a miracle. Because I suspect that much more soot comes out than allowed. You can already tell by the jet-black exhaust”, we hear from the technician. Whether Antonio can go another 150,000 km with his Italian diesel is still the question. The next inspection can throw a spanner in the works.

Maintenance history

Antonio does the maintenance himself, which means that the oil and filters are changed every 30,000 km. In 2020, a garage replaced a spring at the front and the multi-belt. The brake discs and pads were renewed at the beginning of this year. There is also some history from the previous owner:
105,727 km service, 2 tires, MOT €397.11
136,637 km service, brake hose, brake discs / pads, wiper blades €1,229
163,127 km service, fire plates, clutch, oil seal, 2 tires €1,784

What’s wrong with it?

Lots of tire noise
Lots of engine vibration at idle and at low revs
The glass of the right wing mirror vibrates quite a bit
The rear wiper blade is bad
Everything rattles under the dashboard
The front right indicator is cracked and contains moisture
The air conditioner condenser is exhausted
The engine sweats profusely
The turbo is leaking exhaust gases
The exhaust gases smell excessively and the exhaust is jet black inside, this indicates a malfunctioning particulate filter
All tires are worn out
There is copper grease in the wrong place on the front brakes

The opinion of Carrec Technocenter

“If the brakes hadn’t been tampered with and four good tires were on the Fiat, I would have given at least one thumbs up. Now one down because there are tires that should not have passed the MOT.”


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