Used car buying guide: Fiat Panda 100HP

Brakes: A new set of front discs and pads costs around £300 fitted. The rear brakes can hum when reversing, but it’s more of an inconvenience than a problem.

Transmission: No real issues with the gearbox other than the odd leak at joints. Small leaks shouldn’t be a worry, but check regularly. A stiff clutch points to a worn pressure plate. Clutches can wear quickly but should last 50,000 miles, even with sustained town use.

Interior: The seats are known to tear but aren’t too difficult to re-upholster. The electric window mechanisms are prone to failing but, again, it’s not going to break the bank to fix them. Check that the electric windows work and the headlights stay on when the indicators are on. The stereo can be problematic, too, switching itself on and draining the battery.

Engine: With regular servicing, the 100HP’s engine is relatively free of problems, but keep an eye on oil and coolant levels. Any tappet noises or rattling suggest the car has been running low on oil. Check all the levels and have a good look for any signs of leaks. Timing belts are best replaced every three years rather than the recommended five. Services come at 12,000-mile intervals. 

Also worth knowing

Check the drainage holes at the bottom of the windscreen. If they get blocked with leaves, water will collect there and can cause the windscreen wiper motor to fail. 

Also check the exhaust’s backbox, which is susceptible to rot. A full stainless steel exhaust is worth adding for around £600, saving you bills in the long run. 

How much to spend


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