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Thread: Looking to possibly buy a 500, some general questions

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Looking to possibly buy a 500, some general questions


    I'm in the market for a car and the Fiat 500 is one I'm highly interested in. Specifically, I'm leaning towards a manual 500 Abarth. Given that they are no longer sold new in the US, I'm looking in the used market. I've been doing my research on the 500 and other cars I'm considering and found this forum and wanted to ask a few questions regarding 500 Abarths.

    1) How reliable are they?

    Naturally, I've done some research on this subject already but there's still some things I'd like to ask. Specifically, I'm wondering what are some of the more common problems? How much do these issues cost to fix on average? And are there any specific things to look for at certain mileages? Any issues pertaining to specific model years? I'd mainly like to know if there's any major problems that'll essentially be break downs that'll put it in the shop, though any information is helpful! Be it about Abarths or 500s in general. I know that, since I'm buying used, it can depend on how well the previous owner(s) treated their car too.

    2) What are my options for maintenance?

    What I mean by this is, can they still be sent to Fiat dealers? I imagine the answer is an obvious yes, but I just want to make sure. If there are no Fiat dealers near me, would a local Chrysler dealer be able to help? One issue I found in my research was that apparently not every mechanic knows how to service Fiats since they're not extremely common here in the US. Obviously, before I go to buy, I will check to make sure there is something nearby, but I'm just wondering if this issue is common, or was just anecdotal from someone on the internet. And also, how much do parts cost and are they common enough to where there wouldn't be any unusually long wait time to get it fixed?

    3) What about maintaining them yourself?

    Specifically, I want to know if they're easy to maintain for the average person and could the average person learn to do some basic maintenance without too much trouble? I ask this mainly because some modern cars can be overly complex to the point where you'd have to be a specialist or need special equipment. I don't really have any familiarity with 500s in this regard so I don't know if it's the case with them at all.

    4) What is a reasonable price range?

    I've found a few manual 500 Abarths from 2012-2015 model years between 50k-75k miles and without mentioning any of the prices I found, what should I expect to be paying for them given this information? Making the assumption that they are good condition with only typical wear and tear. Just want to make sure they aren't being overpriced here or anything. And is there anything to look out for when looking at a used 500 Abarth?

    5) Any specific Fiat 500 quirks?

    Here, I'm not talking about reliability or anything, but more so just about how to use the car that maybe isn't common on most cars. Not sure if I explained that well, but as an example, is there something on 500s like does the trunk have an unusual handle to open it? Or are the buttons to just adjust the radio volume in an unusual spot? Things like that.

    6) Any other good information sources?

    I've spent plenty of time looking around, including on this forum, and found plenty of good information, but if there are any other good sources out there, I'd love to know about them!

    Sorry if this is very long-winded or anything, I tend to get nervous regarding important big purchases like on a car, especially since Fiat 500s are still a bit of an unknown to me. Thank you if you even took the time to read any of this! And let me know if this thread needs to be moved or anything. 500 Abarths have always caught my eye but I've never been in a position to buy one until recently.

  2. #2
    lammie200's Avatar
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    1. I found mine to be very reliable. I had a 2013 Sport and now have a 2017 Abarth. I would stay away from the early years if possible.
    2. FIAT shops have closed consistently around the country. I have never taken one of mine in for service. That said, they are fairly easy cars to work on so if you find a confident mechanic you should be OK.
    3. I do all the maintenance myself. Most of it is doable if you have worked on cars previously. You do have to maintain it. Checking fluids regularly, etc.
    4. Can’t help you on the pricing, but one with 50k+ miles should not be more than $10k IMHO.
    5. The biggest quirk is the seating position relative to the height of the seat and the reach to the steering wheel. You sit up pretty high and have to have your arms outstretched to reach the steering wheel if you have reasonably long legs. I put a 2” spacer on my steering wheel which helped greatly.
    6. YouTube, NGEN, the vendors, etc.
    Last edited by lammie200; 11-30-2020 at 01:04 AM.
    2017 Abarth Grigio Cenere SR | OEM 17s | EC V3 & Sprint Panel Filter | E+D Tune P1 | TMC Autoflash | 4C CPs | MPx Exhaust | RRM Turbo Blanket | GFB DV | PCV Catch Can | 5mm/12mm Spacers | Neu-F Rear Bar | DNA Lower & Side Braces | 4 Konis | 4 Springs | MPx MC Bracket | 2" Steering Wheel Spacer

    2013 Sport Argento SR - SOLD - | Many Mods

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  4. #3
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2015
    Ponca City, Ok.
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    I have a 2013 Sport. It may be one of the most modified NA Fiats in the US. It is a daily driver . It has been ultra reliable . I take it to Texas each year and do the Twisted Fiat cruise. I've done the Dragon once. I wouldn't have given you a dollar for a dozen of them in the early 70's ( I would now), these cars are much more reliable.

  5. #4
    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member Tramonto's Avatar
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    Sep 2017
    Chattanooga, TN
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    I had a 2015 spot and now I have a 2015 Abarth Cabrio, and a 2015 500L Lounge. All with auto. The worse thing I have had to to is replace the battery in the Abarth. The 1.4 is a very reliable engine. The 500 is one of the easiest cars to modify and there are several places to purchase parts for them. Several of those companies follow this form and all the ones that I have dealt with have provided both excellent service and tech support. As far as finding a place to as questions, this forum is by far the best. You will find people are willing to give sound advice. All of which comes without ridicule, judging or belittling. Many MOPAR dealers will still work on Fiats as many of their cars are basically a Fiat. Pricing can very. If you buy from individual do they have paper work to back up their claims. Good Luck. Keep us posted. We hope that you are able to find one that suits your needs.

  6. #5
    smark's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
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    I’ve own my 500, for the last 9 1/2 years. Haven’t had any major issue. The know problems, on a 500, are rear wheel bearing failure, broken outdoor door handles, blue and me modules, stop functioning. Wiring harness to the lift gate, breaking, loosing power to open the hatch. Leaking front half shafts. Broken arm rest.

    I would purchase a 2014 or newer. Owners have rack up miles on their 500’s. Past 200K.

    Check out cars.com. Prices for used ones range all over. The 500, isn’t a exotic car. It can be serviced at any qualified automotive service department. Parts will be available for at least 10 years. From the Fiat manufacturer.


    Good luck on your choice.
    Last edited by smark; 11-30-2020 at 12:39 PM.

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