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My 2009 Grande Punto EP

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD' started by inv, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. inv

    inv Timido

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Hey guys,

    Long time lurker, finally decided to make an account and post my ownership experience here!

    I used to drive my dad's M800 and had an opportunity to move on to a slightly bigger car. I bought this 2009 Punto EP off of my friend who was moving abroad. I know him from my college days and been around the car since he bought it. He's a good driver and maintained/babied the car really well so it seemed like a good choice!

    We had been on many road trips in this car and i had driven it myself for a good 5-6k KMs. I had fallen in love with the way it handles itself on the road and my mind was set on the Punto. I couldnt really afford a new top end Punto, and had an opportunity to buy his car so i jumped at the chance of owning one :)

    The car had run 65,000 KM when i bought it. However it was due for a service ,the 60,000 KM one. After settling on a price, sans the cost of a major service, i brought home the car and I am now a proud owner of a Fiat Grande Punto!

    Initial impressions

    I am not going to lie. I bought this car only for its handling (and looks :p).
    The hydraulic steering and the feedback it provides is just great. I have driven other hatches, but this one just feels right! The ride quality and handling at speeds gives you a lot of confidence on the road. The doors shut with a solid THUNK which i love!

    Coming from a Maruti 800, to me this felt like a merc! :p

    The car has now run 72,000 KMs.


    It all started with a rat entering from the fresh air intake. No rat menace at my house, so im guessing it hopped on in somewhere else. Took the car to Vecto Motors, Mysore road. Anyway i asked them to check for it during the 60k service and they charged me 3k to open the dashboard (the rat was dead by now i think). I just wanted to get rid of it so i agreed.

    A service was long due and at 67,000 KM i knew it was gonna cost me quite a bit.

    The 60k routine service came up to 19k. Attached bill.
    60k_1.jpg 60k_2.jpg

    After this service, i went on a road trip to goa. It was just a gem to drive! Loved every KM of it.

    A few months later, a few more problems started showing up -
    1. a kat-kat sound started on the right side near the steering, mostly showing itself during turns on an incline or decline.
    2. Fifth gear was a bit of struggle to engage
    3. The clutch was hard and the release after gearshift was resulting in a nice jerk
    4. The gearbox drain bolt was cross threaded during the previous routine service and had to be "lathe'd" out. The SA told me that he would club the labour of the clutch and this together.

    I wanted to write to FIAT about this, but back then i didnt have the time or patience. I should have.. Hmm

    After inspection, i was told the elastic pads for the front suspension were gone, the gear cables were gone, hence difficulty in gear shifts and the clutch would last about 1-2k KM more.

    Well, another hole in my pocket. But atleast the car felt almost new after. Attached bill. Clutch+gearcable_2.jpg

    Both these services were carried out at Vecto Motors, Mysore road.

    More drama

    Everything was fine and the car was running great until now.

    The sudden power loss + check engine light, which needed a complete ignition off and on, engine jerking during/post turbo spool occurred 2-3 times. I took it to Vecto FASS and Surendra told me it could be the EGR. He suggested to disconnect the EGR and drive it for a couple of weeks. After disconnection of EGR, i didnt seem to have the power loss, but the jerks persisted.

    I had gone through a lot of threads suggesting a complete EGR + intercooler + turbo pipe cleaning for this problem. I got this done at Pride cars. I spoke to Mr Harish and told him about the problem and he said cleaning would be solution.

    There was another white punto there too, undergoing the same procedure. I left the car with him on tuesday morning.

    He called me later on and told me that the intercooler had a crack in it on the "fiber part of the intercooler" and that was causing the problem. Getting a new intercooler would be difficult given the spares not sold OTC. He said he would just put some araldite for now. Car was ready by evening and i went to pick it up.

    The EGR was connected back.

    I went for a test drive, and the initial seemed much better. I floored it, the turbo kicked in and it was all great! Back to normal i thought. I did it again on another stretch of road and back to square one.. the engine cut off and i didnt have any power at all. Had to switch off and on again.

    Now, along with this, a new "Kar-kar-kar" sound started after 2k revs, accompanied with thick black smoke from the exhaust.

    Mr Harish told me that was the engine knocking and it was due to bad fuel. But this problem didnt exist before i dropped it for the EGR+ other intake cleaning!!!

    I really didnt know what to do now. I paid him 3k for the cleaning done and drove the car back home keeping it under 2k revs.

    Maybe it was a mistake taking it to Pride cars.

    Wednesday morning -

    I took it to Vecto, spoke to Mr Surendra. He remembered my car and the EGR disconnection. Told him about the cleaning done and the crack in the intercooler. Intercooler would have to be replaced, no doubt he said. 7-8k + labour

    Regarding the harsh "Kar-Kar-Kar" sound after 2k revs, I was told after inspection that it was the Common Rail sensors that was damaged. Replacing it would cost be 5k+labour. The part has been ordered.

    Another 20k hole in my pocket im guessing


    However, i checked the underbody of the car and there is NO damage. The bumper is intact. The intercooler couldnt have been damaged because , i have not hit anything head on, OR nothing has hit it from bumps or other stuff on the road from below.

    I dont know how the intercooler got cracked. How did the common rail sensors get damaged?
    Was it during the duration at Pride cars? I called Harish and told him about the sensors. He checked with the "boys" who worked on my car and told me nothing was damaged during the cleaning.

    I really dont know.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  2. inv

    inv Timido

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Not able to edit my first post. Any idea why? Here's a pic of the car. Ill add more soon.


    I have some updates.

    After the egr cleaning fiasco at Pride Cars, dropped my car at Vecto, Mysore road. Replaced the intercooler and the fuel pressure sensor. Here's the bent fuel pressure sensor. Also attached bill.


    But there was still no turbo "kick", dropped the car the next day again, after inspection I was told, there is sludge in the turbo and the hoses. Also there was an error showing up in the scanner about the EGR valve not opening correctly at various speeds. It was occurring at random times, but not always. I was suggested to go in for the EGR and turbo replacement. A reconditioned turbo from the factory.

    I dont know any other mechanics or places which would perform repairs/clean the turbo, so i went for the replacement.


    A very very expensive affair. But i love this car and just wanted all the problems fixed. Everything is back to normal. The turbo kicks in at 2k rpm and lasts till 3k rpm. Can someone chip in and tell me when the turbo kicks in on their 75HP puntos?

    The car is out of extended warranty. Is it advisable to still get it serviced at the FASS?
  3. Ganges

    Ganges Esperto

    Driver Seat _/
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Sorry for the troubles you have gone through your car.i think its a real pain and big hole to the pocket once the car ages.

    Seems like you have all new critical components in your punto and still struggling with the Turbo Kick-In.

    In 75Hp the turbo should kickin at 1800rpm.

    As you have replaced with all new egr,turbo,clutch. you should get resolved the problem with same FASS at free of cost.

    Never saw one harsh word from your post in the name of FASS :eek: after spending so much amount,that show your emotions against your punto :) .

    All the best.
    punto_emotion likes this.
  4. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    Holy cow, each time you visited the FASS, you ended up spending in 5 figures. Thats something which is going to hurt the Fiat buyer sitting on the fence.
    Have you thought of selling the car and buying a new Punto since you have spent close to 80K for a 8K running which roughly translates into a whopping Rs 100/- per km. Did you know that the car had an history of services earlier too? I mean did you check the service history of the car before buying?

    All the best man.
  5. inv

    inv Timido

    Grande Punto 1.3
    I've had sleepless nights during the turbo+egr replacement. I did the same exact calculations and its ridiculous. The thoughts of selling the car did occur to me, but right now im not in a position to buy a new car.

    My reasoning was i would spend a bit(had kept aside about 40k, NOT 80k lol) on the car, and have a few trouble free years with just oil changes and dealing with the usual wear and tear. I just didn't expect to be replacing the turbo+egr+intercooler so soon.

    The car is fine now. Maybe i should start preparing myself for a new car...

    Edit: Yes i knew the car service history. Its just the usual wear and tear + 15k service intervals. There has been no major issues. I guess my friend should have had the egr and hoses cleaned every 30k. I think neglecting it built up till now and exploded in my face.
    Ganges likes this.

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