2012 FIAT 500 Long Term Road Test


2012 Fiat 500: Oil Change How-To

October 25, 2011

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How do you change the oil in a 2012 Fiat 500? It's a simple four-step process.

1) Drive to your local Fiat dealer and locate the service advisor.

He'll be the one looking like the Maytag repairman, but without the hat. More than likely he's also the service manager. He could also run the parts department while he's not carrying out the duties of mayor or sheriff.

It's not that Fiat 500's are supremely reliable -- the jury is still out on that point. It's just that they have but one model to sell and none of them are so much as a year old.

2) Ask for an oil change.

3) Wait 30 or 45 minutes.

It shouldn't take much longer than that. It's not like there's a stream of 500s waiting in line when the service department opens each morning. My local dealer, Orange Coast Fiat, had more than a few bays loaded up with off-road vehicles getting modded.

Turns out the Fiat dealership has a side business called OC Motorsports. Or maybe the Fiat dealership is the side business. It's a nice building with over 50 new Fiats on the lot out front, so I'm betting on the former. Either way, the mechanics have to have something to do until a sufficient supply of high-mileage Fiats builds up, right?

4) Attempt to pay, and then get waved off.

The 500 comes with scheduled maintenance for 3 years or 36,000 miles. Oil changes are scheduled in the book every 8,000 miles, as are tire rotations. Other items such as air filters and brake pads get sprinkled in at various other intervals.

But my service advisor advised me that up to nine oil changes are allowed in those 36,000 miles, meaning you can halve the oil change interval to 4,000 miles if you wish or, presumably, if your driving pattern is defined as severe service. Ours probably isn't, but the owner's manual is currently AWOL and I can't confirm that.

Total Cost: $0.00

Days out of Service: 0.021

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 FIAT 500 in VA is:

$135 per month*
* Explanation
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