News & Restorations

Checks to perform when you decide to buy a vintage Fiat 500

Checks to perform when you decide to buy a vintage Fiat 500

 

If you don’t see the video, click here and watch it on youtube. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel!

Are you thinking of buying a vintage fiat 500 but are you afraid of taking a scrap?

In this article I will try to give you some advice to avoid scams.
If you buy the car from professionals, you will probably have extra guarantees.
For example, we offer:
– the one year warranty
– the money-back guarantee

But, above all, we offer our customers a Check-up of 120 checks, able to give us the certainty of the actual health of the Fiat 500.

And it is from this list that I have extrapolated some of the checks that you can also do without special instruments.

When you ask for information on the fiat 500 you are buying, you demand maximum transparency from whoever is selling you the car.
One thing I’m very proud of, for example, is the fact that, in my company, we have been able to develop an app that allows you to follow the updates of the restoration of your fiat 500, directly on your mobile, practically in real time!
For us it was necessary to find a solution, because we have customers all over Europe, USA, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. It would therefore be impossible for our customers to come and periodically view the works on the cars.
With this app we were able to overcome this obstacle and, to give maximum transparency to the work we are going to carry out, which has now become our priority.

Whether you are buying your Fiat 500 from a professional seller or a private seller, always carry out the checks that I am going to list in this article.

An important thing you need to do is to always ask for photos of the restoration. If you are buying a restored car, the person who carried out the restoration must certainly have taken photos of the restoration and, if there are no photos, draw your own conclusions. The fact is simple: you would spend a lot of money and a lot of time on a restoration, without taking even a picture ???

If you cannot go and view the Fiat 500 yourself, ask the seller to carry out the checks for you. Get a video sent, or better yet, have a video call.

If you prefer you can contact us and take advantage of our purchase advice service, and we will carry out the 120 checks, then providing you with all the documentation.

But let’s not waste any more time and see what these controls are.
So, let’s start immediately:

  • the first thing to check is the chassis number. Get the booklet, or have a photo of the booklet sent, and then check that the chassis number on the booklet is identical to the one you find inside the car.
    You have to open the hood and go to see the serial number which is present inside the front hood at the top left.
    the other check you have to do is the visual inspection of the paint. Check that the paint is shiny and even, if it has imperfections such as orange peel, if there are bubbles or if there is rust. Take a ride around the car and check that, at least visually, the bodywork is in good condition.
  • Another thing you need to do is check that there isn’t too much filler. How do we see if too much filler has been used? Just by going to get one of those souvenir fridge magnets. Probably there are some that have fallen and broken, leaving you as a memory, only the magnet.
    Take it and wrap it with some gummed paper tape. This for 2 reasons:
    – 1 to avoid scratching the bodywork
    – 2 to try to create a little more thickness, in order to make the magnificent effect less powerful.

    Once you have done this, you simply have to start checking the various areas where it is easier to find the grout, then, the lower part of the fenders, the lower part of the door, and the under doors. If the magnet sticks, it probably means that there is no large amount of putty.

    Another area that should always be checked is the rear panel. If the car has suffered some rear-end collisions, they may have carried out the repair simply using putty

    Do the same thing then on the other side. If the magnet remains attached it means that there is no filler, or in any case, the quantity is reasonable.

  • Another important check you need to do is check the condition of the hinges. Although the kit costs very little, they are often not replaced. The check you have to do is to see, first of all, if the door closes correctly, and that it does not touch inside the stop or recess.

    Then, open the door, grab the door and try to move it up and down, if you notice that the door has some tolerance in the movement and moves up and down, then the hinges are worn and will need to be replaced.
  • Another check you need to do is to check the condition of the floors. You have to get on the ground and look under the car. So, avoid going to see a Fiat 500 in a suit and tie 🙂
    Make sure the shapes and edges are smooth and visible. If you notice an excessive presence of covering material, surely the floors will need to be repaired or worse, replaced
  • Check that the interior door panels are in good condition, check that the seat covers are intact and not worn. Check that the springs under the seat are in good condition and that the foam is also in good condition

  • The next check you need to do is to assess the health of the back bench. Lift the seat and check that the sheet metal is not rotten or rusted. Everything must be clean and all geometric shapes must be regular and clearly visible

  • Similarly, check the condition of the backrest, remove the buckle, lower the backrest, also remove the thermal protection and verify that the backrest is intact and solid.
    If, when you lift the thermal cover, you find rotten parts or you realize that too much covering material has been used, be very careful, because perhaps they have tried to cover some problem.

  • Another area to inspect is the pedal area. Always check that everything is ok. Check under the pedals, try to go as deep as possible, even if the carpet has already been fixed, and even if the owner gets angry and yells at you: Stop, damn! , you continue your inspection.

    Check all the hidden parts, do not leave out anything, because it is not what you see that worries you, but it is what you do not see and is hidden, which must worry you, because underneath you may find something “that you humans could never have imagined”

    Then, of course, put everything back in place so the owner doesn’t feel bad.

  • Another check you need to do is the battery compartment. Remove the spare tire and, if you can, the battery as well. Next, check that the front is in good condition. In this area, the water, mud and dirt, combined with the battery acid, mean that the car can have “spontaneous air vents”. Seriously, check that the sheets are in good condition and not corroded.

  • Now check the inner fenders. When you run your hand through the inner fender, you need to find a sharp and clean edge. The edge must be linear.
  •  
  • Then, also check the state of the engine compartment, check the engine if it is clean, if there are oil leaks, if there are oil slurries and dirt. Check the top of the engine, then look underneath and check that the oil pan is not dirty with oil. Pass your hand to see if there is any oil leakage. Another good rule is to check that there is oil in the engine!

    You know, better be sure that the absence of oil leaks is not due to the lack of oil in the engine 😀 Never take anything for granted!
  • Then check that the handles work, both the external and internal ones.

  • An important test you have to do is to check the health of the spindles, this is very important for the stability of the fiat 500.

    A very simple way to check this is to grab the upper part of the wheel, and pull towards you, and push towards the inside of the wheel arch. If the spindle is in good condition, you will not hear any strange clicking or clicking sounds. If, on the other hand, you see that the wheel makes a little movement, it means that the spindle is worn and therefore the car, while driving, will skid.

Ok, perfect, I hope you found this article useful.

When you go to view a Fiat 500, sold as restored, try to focus more on the hidden parts, focus on the lower part of the car, look at the bottoms.
To repaint a car, it doesn’t take much, you fill it with putty, and you repaint it. Maybe the 500 can also be beautiful to look at, then you discover that there are so many problems underneath. Get under the car and look at the engine, the suspension, the plates. Check that everything is in order, I sometimes happened to find cars where it was painted on dirt and dirt.

Check all the cables that come out of the cockpit and go to the engine, check if they are new, if they are damaged or torn. Pay attention to all these details, because you recognize a good restoration by the care and attention given to the parts that are not visible or hidden.

 

Ok, with this I think we can say goodbye. If you think there is some other control that I have missed, and certainly something I have missed, you can feel free to comment and we will add more controls, so whoever comes later will find more information.

For the moment, hello everyone.

Gabriele Denitto