1 Mile is 1.6km so 20,000km is 12,500 miles
Offically Fiat in the UK operate a 12,000 Mile or 12 month Service Schedule
with a low usage/mileage option.
If you have an overhead cam belt driven engine then the chances are your
manual will suggest a 72,000 mile (115/120K km) belt replacement interval.
I strongly suggest you adhere to 50,000 miles/80,000km OR 5 years (which
ever comes first) replacement schedule. And when you have the belt replaced
have the tensioner and static belt stretchers replaced as well. From what I
can gather it is the tensioner and static belt stretchers that fail before
the actual belt. The old 'pulleys' used to be made of steel and solid
bearings. The modern ones are maily plastic!!!!!
Nick, you are right about the cambelt change every 120000 km (75000 mls).
The manual says so, but it also says: 120000 km OR 36 months. I think 120000
km is far too long and i don't risk it. I had mine changed about 75000 km
( 46875 mls; car has done 85000 [53125 mls]now with no problems whatsoever),
and had the tensioner changed as well. Better safe than sorry!
I feel very sorry for you! ;-) You should drive a Punto instead; very cheap
car to run. :-)) Though, i must admit, a Coupe Fiat is a gorgeous
car...expensive, but gorgeous! By the way, you wrote Fiats....?
I do drive a Punto!!!!!
Meet the Fleet
Strada Abarth 130TC
Fiat Coupe 20V
Punto HGT (1.8 twin cam petrol!)
Please don't ask me to say which is my favourite. They ALL are. Horses for
Courses as they say. None of these babys are slouches!
And if you ask me nicely I'll tell you what an UNO SX with 46BHP at the
wheels can really do! Yes my modest Uno SX, lowered, stiffened, suitably
shod holds a few recods to herself................sadly Mistii gave way to
Martini the 20V Coupe but the skills of performance, sprint and race circuit
driving learned live on.
When was the last time heard a number of experienced drivers of 200+ bhp
cars say they could not believe how my Uno went through the bends and that
they could not toucher her in the bends!. Mind you I really had to peddle
on the straights :-)
Great! Right choice. Have you seen Top Gear's best 100 sporty cars? There
was a Strada 130 TC Abarth (Ritmo over here) in it. Clarckson chose the Golf
GTI :-( because he thought the Strada wouldn't start anyway...How rude! As
C-3PO would have said. How is yours keeping up?
Please, tell me what what an UNO SX with 46BHP at the wheels can really do!
Nicely enough? :-)
Well, my father used to drive Fiat for years when he was younger (600,
128, 124), and then Ritmo and Uno my parents used to have. The last
cars they had were several other brands, but i have a feeling the their
next car might be a Fiat Stilo :-)
And, since i am a member of the Puntoclub in Holland, i am really
jealous.... those GT turbo's, wow.... and even better with some tuning,
they are very fast.
My next car daily car (i also have a VW Golf cabriolet) will certainly
be Italian again, however, Alfa is nice too...
But time will tell, for now i have other things to spend my money on, i
am sure my Punto will last long enough ;-)
Right, i know the "feeling". When i was a little boy, unspoiled, obedient
etc. my father drove a white Fiat 128 2-door (early seventies). In
the cars the father's of my friends drove it was like a "racing-car". It was
great fun to drive, instead of all the Fords, Opels and so on in my
humble (and my father's) opinion. And it was car of the year, remember? Many
Fiats followed (several 128's, a 127,
a 131, Uno and a couple of 238's (van), which he rebuild to campers.).
where my love for Italian cars came from. And, of course, an exellent
in the town where i live. This dealer has a passion for Italian cars and
Fiat in particular and
owns several old Fiats like a 1100, 500, 2300 Break and a Dino. So, i'm
hooked for life, i'm afraid. And yes, those GT's......:-) and eh, isn't Alfa
And what's that with the "don't mention the war" -car? Just kiddin'.
Italian cars, good ones and bad ones are driven by passion and desire. Even
the humble Fiat 500 or Panda just oooze passion and desire. Add styling,
performance (class relative) etc. and you have cars that you can just desire
and live with forever. Personally I can't say that of a Ford or Volvo or VW
or Merc or Vauxhaul etc. No disrespect to these cars or their customers but
I have top range Fiats, have exerienced or owned many models and yet I would
love to have and drive a 500 for example. (I entered with a 600D). I'm not
unique here. However I don't believe that the same could be said of say a
Vauxhaul Senator CD driver (or what ever their latest top range car is) and
them wanting to own a Nova 1.0. Same goes for many of the other makes.
Italian cars are a love affair, full of the ups and downs, but always true
to their 'form'. Top end, low end, exotics alike.
Well here goes!
Personally I think that ALL would be sports, racing ..... drivers should
start to learn their trade in an under powered, unstable, top heavy,
understeering, poor braking, ...... vehicle.
No excuses, you have to learn to live and perform with limited and RELIABLE
machinery! That is where my Uno came in. Reliability allowed me to do 6500
miles on circuit, foot to the floor (binary throttle :-) ) driving over a 9+
year period. Wet, dry, light, or dusk you learn to master your trade
realtime!. I learned to out outperform the gearbox syncro, double de-clutch
(try select a gear in an Uno at 5000+ rpm on the way down), heel and toe and
know WHEN TO YIELD! Above all I learn respect. Repsect for my machinery
and respect for my fellow track mates.
For the boy racers amongst you YOU WILL BE BEATEN by a Citroen 2CV! Fact!
That 2CV that beats you will be driven by a master at their art. They don't
measure top spead or BHP. They deliver over multiple miles, laps .... and
can up their game by stepping up into a car the same as yours and leave you
Seriously though, results in any sport is down to dedication, to some extent
talent and reliability (as measured by one's ability to show and perform
event after event)!
I personaly have found that Fiats for sure, and also Lancia and Alfa Romeos
are basically bullet proof and deliver the goods lap after lap, mile after
mile. Don't take my word for it. Go ask the Lancia Motor Club GB and AROC
(Alfa Romeo Owner's Club), oh and don't forget the Fiats.
What did my modest Uno achieve. 6500+ circuit miles with zero mechanical
failures, bar two colapsing exhuast systems, at the rear box, which nearly
took the rear brake pipe on each occasion.!
Typical lap average speeds of 80 to 85 mph, top about 102 mph. And I bet
you didn't think and Uno SX could reach 80mph :-)
To help my Uno achieve these figures I left the engine standard, re-jetted
the carb, and changed the air filter. This gave the 46 BHP at the wheels.
I also lowered and stiffened the supspesion system (mainly SACHS components)
and indreased the tyre size to 185/60R13. Also played with 185/55R13 tyres.
Note! 185s are the largest size tyres the Uno can take without going into
offset rims with lower profiles which then upsets the rolling radious.
185/55 or 50 is a favourite for many racers as the slight gain in
acceleration does not compromise the top speed or road speedometer readings
At the end of the day taking one's road car (including you) from public
roads to race circuits, hill climbs etc., requires one to be realistic,
modest and begin as a novice. Look and learn. Listen and watch. When the
rain comes and you see fellow drivers taking air out of their tyres go and
ask them why. You might think you know why but go and ask anyway. When you
see a front wheel car driver increasing the rear tyre pressure go and ask
why. (Hint - increasing rear pressures can help to dial out front end
understeer). There is so much to learn and continue to learn. Why do you
think Michael Schumacher and other F1 drivers work so hard and do so much
testing. It is said that Michael is the most demanding, learning and
feedback driver of all times. Sure he makes mistakes, sure he has a good
car but one has to wonder how the car got that good and how he manages to
stay on top of the game. Love him or hate him (I'm sure many of you do and
you are entitled to) but at the end of the day forget Michael, forget
Ferarri or Fiat. Think you, think your car, think.
The next time you drive along with your elbow resting on the arm rest or
window ledge, driving with one hand, feeling cool cruising then WAKE UP. Do
that at over 60mph in the outside lane of the motorway and experiance and
front wheel blow out and you won't look or feel so cool any more. With luck
you will get away with it.
Driving is an art to be perfected at all levels from beginner to F1. Hand
in hand with this is car knowledge, sympathy and the willingness to learn
and keep learning.
Summary. There was nothing particularly special about my Uno. I'm told I
have a driving talent. I maintain that any judged exposition of talent is
actually a marriage between man/woman and machine that we can all achieve.
SureWhite Van man can burn you off, hound your tailgate, defy death etc. but
he/she can't drive! You can build your skills and marriage to your vehicle
to the extent that you become 'one' so that you both know each others
limitations. Yes I know it sounds odd but I can tell you that when you are
on the limit pushing the envelope a little wider that you would have wished,
your car will give you that 'little feeling/feedback' that you know through
learned experience says 'enough'. It won't come as a surpise because you
will have got there over many years and you will have learned to respect
what the vehicle is telling you.
Wow Nick, what a story! I only asked a simple question in my opinion but the
answer was quite thorough. Thanks!
I have read your story well and i can see why your answer has to be like
this. I can agree with you for a great deal, although i do not have any
race-experience myself, but that isn't really the issue here. A few years
ago i took part in a socalled "race-experience" at the circuit of Zandvoort
in the Netherlands. It was a day all about how to drive a racing-line on
track; find the limits of a race-car; how to drive a slalom track; how to
anticipate; karting; driving a socalled "skid-car" and so on. On that day i
learned at lot about how to "really" drive a car. Driving fast is not so
difficult; anybody can. But driving fast and save, now that's something
different. Indeed, it takes years and a lot of experience to get there. And,
after all these years driving my car on the road, i still learn every single
Greetings to you E-Cie as well.
There are so many talented sensible drivers out there driving all sorts of
machinery from modest little cars to big, fast and expensive cars.
I remember taking a little bit of criticism when I once said "if you are not
prepared to be overtaken by a woman driving a Citroen 2CV then don't go out
on the circuit". I was only trying to make a statement to put an egotistic
male driver in his place before he trashed his car and wrecked go circuit
time whilst being recovered from the 'kitty litter' or worse still from the
Armco barriers or off his roof.
Sadly the males seem to trash more cars than the females in my experience.
The blokes response is "they weren't trying" to which I have only one
So many people seem to not to be able to grasp the object of the exercise.
To get from A to B, alive and well, damage free, having totally enjoyed and
learnt from their experience. Road or Race Track the object is the same.
A top/police driver or instructor will judge the ability to "make good
progress". This is so much more than keeping up with the flow of the
traffic. This is reading ahead, being ahead of the game, spotting the
hazards, NOT breaking the speed limits etc.
Now for the fun bit!
At this time of year our Fiats have illuminated Christmas Trees in them.
Possibly technically illegal but certainly consider bad taste by many, but
what the heck, it is Christmas!
Merry Christmas to all Italian Machinery Drivers! You only have to try and
list them to realise how extensive and much loved this kit is.
Don't you just love the herritage
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