Frequently asked questions about FIAT Tipo 16V

Is the Tipo still manufactured anywhere?

The last place to produce Tipos was in Turkey until October 1999. They made the 1.4i, 1.6i, and 2.0i 16v engines but there are not more in stock. The models seemed to be the same as late Italian production, but with higher specs, avaliable in 1.4 and 1.6 litre versions. Interestingly the 1.6 retained the digital dash, dropped from series II cars in Italy in 1993.

Is there a FIAT Tipo club?

Andrew Edwards is thinking of starting a performance Fiat club for owners of fast Fiats. Anyone who is interested should contact him via his own Web Site.

There is a "Sporting FIATS Club" in the UK. I have no idea how good this is but details and an information pack can be requested by calling 01926 335097.


What precautions should I take in a cold climate?

Susanne Ambrén asked what she should be prepared for when driving the car in a cold climate. I have taken my car to Slovakia in the height of winter and I whilst there I was worried about the engine water freezing. I had not expected it to get quite as cold as it did (-30oc). I had only had 1 part antifreeze to 2 parts water which normally gives protection down to -17oc. If I had known it was going to get this cold I would have used 1 part antifreeze to 1 part water which should have given me protection down to -36oc. Please check the label on the particular brand on antifreeze you use just to be sure. Remember that antifreeze spilt onto paintwork should be washed off immediately with water. Drain and replace antifreeze every 3 years and do not dispose of antifreeze down surface drains.

Despite only having a 1 part antifreeze to 2 parts water my car was okay. Putting a sheet over the car when left overnight helped keep it warm. Parking next to a house rather than in an open space also helped keep the cold off.

Minor problems I experienced were that the locks would freeze. The key would turn in the lock but it would not trigger the central locking. You can buy some spray to put into the locks to de-ice them which helps.

Snow and ice tended to build up and pack into the front wheel arches. It would also form large lumps of ice under the side skirts. The only space free was where the wheels actually turned and had brushed the ice/snow away (have a look at my pictures in the gallery). I left it in place thinking I might cause more damage than good by chipping it away.

The biggest hazard was that the washer hoses and jets froze. This resulted in poor visibility after driving for a while. Ice would form over the front of the ice but providing the lights were left on whilst driving the heat of the bulbs would keep the headlights clear.

In general though the car started and drove without problems. Obviously please be careful when driving on snow and ice. It's probably also worth talking to a local FIAT garage to see if they have any extra advice.

How much are parts?

I don't intend this to be a complete list of parts prices but simply those that owners have had to replace. As you will see, some parts are very expensive and some are surprisingly quite reasonable. Hopefully this list will avoid any surprises.

What is the canister leading to the air filter for?

On 5 door versions of the car there is a canister of some sort underneath the air filter box. A tube joins the air filter box to this canister. Another tube which is about 2" to 3" in diameter leads from the canister to the radiator. Nothing actually covers the pipe at the radiator end. Does anyone know what its purpose is? I have not seen this canister on my 3 door version.

Pete Mirams (ex Tipo 16V owner) says that the plastic canister ahead of the airbox, and tucked under the front radiator pipework is some sort of resonance chamber.

Can I access the forum directly?

If you want to set up a bookmark directly the the forum page without having to go through the main Tipo pages then follow this link and bookmark the resulting page.

Where are the best places to buy Tipo 16V insurance?

The Tipo 16V is in insurance group 15 so no insurance quote is going to be particularly cheap. As with most things, it's best to phone around as many companies as possible (at least 10) as you will be amazed at the difference in price. Try phoning direct companies (those that only operate over the telephone), insurance brokers and also high street insurance shops.

There are standard ways of reducing your premium such as:

Unfortunately the aspects that effect the quote the most will be the area where you live (the crime record and number of cars), your age and driving record.

Be very careful before modifying your car. Some insurance companies are very lenient and for minor cosmetic changes such as different wheels and a spoiler the premium will not be effected. However other insurance companies may increase your premium or even refuse to insure you.

Minor performance modifications such as performance exhausts and air filters are relatively easy to insure. However, if more extensive tuning has been carried out, such as internal engine modifications, then you will find it extremely difficult to find insurance. It's not just a matter of the premium being higher, as soon as you tell them the engines been modified they just don't want to know. With the modifications I've made to my car I only found a handful of insurance companies that would insure it. It actually got to the stage that I was beginning to think I was not going to be able to insure it. If your car has major modifications then try the following companies:

I'm currently insured with Adrian Flux. With full NCB, legal protection, clean driving license and being 30 years old it cost £595 fully comprehensive. Bear in mind that this price takes into account the extensive engine modifications my car has undergone.

Nigel Gladstone with full NCB, no offences, licence for over 10 years, unmodified and off road parking was charged £670 fully comprehensive.

Calvin Jones with identical licence details as Nigel got fully comprehensive insurance with Zurich for £450.

Andy Forsdyke was charged only £311 with Churchill with again the same licence details to Nigel.

Roy Tomlinson is insured with Privilege, telephone number 0113 2438448. Roy has full NCB and was charged £328 with £150 excess.

Miles Poolton is insured fully comprehensive with Privilege, telephone number 0113 2438448. whoe charged him £325.

Ben Sleeman is insured 3rd party through Adrian Flux for £645. This is based on him being 20 years old, 3 points for sp30, K&N 57i air filter and no catayltic converter.


How do I stop the heater fan making a noise?

Mike Jukes says that the fan in his car is very noisy (grinds and wails) and the output does not seem very good. How can he remove the unit and is it possible to quieten down the noise? If he looks in the passenger footwell he sees a black cylinder with a plug going into it. Detaching this plug stops the fan and stops the noise.

Nigel Gladstone says he has a imilar problem whereby when it rains heavily or he goes through a car wash the fan makes a wierd knocking sound.

Andy Forsdyke says to look under the glovebox. You will find that one screw holds the heater fan in place. Remove this screw, get hold of fan housing and twist the whole thing until it drops out. Nine times out of ten the noise in the fan is caused by leaves. These get sucked into the fan, If left inside they may mess up the bearing in the fan. This is because the fan runs on a plastic spindle which will wear away causing it to come out of place, slip and grind. Worth fixing as soon as possible as a new heater fan motor is £120.


What was the first 16V in the UK?

Neil Watson says that he was privileged to be the first person to drive a 16 valver in England. The cars registration number was J161 LCX. He worked for Fiat at the time and fell in love with the car on the first drive. Before delivery of the first car none of them had driven one so, knowing Fiat`s choice of all the best going to Alfa or Lancia, we thought the 16 would need a turbo to be interesting. Wrong! The 16 was fast, comfortable and handled like a dream and should anybody tell you it can`t compete with an Escort RS2000, Astra GSi or Golf GTi, sorry wrong!. They put J161 up against all three and it excelled in all catagories against all of them. Although may be not in build quality. However you couldn't argue that it was and still is an amazing car to drive.

Alan Shurety disputes that Neil was the first person in the UK to drive a 16V Tipo. He worked for Fiat Auto (UK) Ltd for nearly 10 years managing their company car department including all Press, Pre-Launch and Homologation Vehicles from February 1988 until August 1997. He saws I may be interested to know that when the Tipo was first launched in the UK back in the summer of 1988 the 16V was promised along with all the other versions, but due to technical reasons at the factory it never materialized. The First three RHD Tipos (all in white) were delivered to our workshop's at Park Royal, West London in the spring for homologation purposes, a 1.4s, 1.6dgt and a 1.9tds, these cars were basically put together by hand and strangely had a smooth dashboard as they were pre-production (without any grain). After they were type approved by the Ministry of Transport they went on to be used by Fiats technical training department to familiarize all of the UK's Fiat technicians on the "model". Alan says he can't remember the exact registration numbers of these but they were "E*** KLN". Shortly after another 30 RHD Tipo's arrived for the UK press launch (still no 16V). Apparently because of stringent EU laws immanent on emissions the 16V had to be fitted with a catalyst thus substantially reducing bhp, this took time to overcome so that is why the 16V didn't reach our shores until 1991 (originally the 16V was to have 156bhp on tap as opposed to the 148bhp it arrived with). Anyway its 1991 and the first Eight pre-launch 16V's arrived at our now moved workshops in Southall, Middlesex. As you can imagine it's been three years promised and my colleagues and I are virtually fighting over them as they were being unloaded off an Italian transporter, need I say more? My colleagues and I were Officially the first to drive the new 16V, and this is all before any Fiat Dealerships knew that a RHD 16v existed. The registration numbers of these 16v's has eluded Alan but again they were "J*** LLH". Alan says you may find some pictures in old magazines but more often than not Fiat change the number plates for photo shoots.


What do you have for us PC gamers?

If you have "Need for Speed" on the PC then Pedro Baioes has kindly added a Fiat Tipo Sedicivalvole to the list of cars you can choose from. It took him several hours and they can be found at www.fiat.tipo.sedicivalvole.drive.to.

Is the Tipo in the film Ronin a 16V?

There are three Tipo scenes in the film all in Chapter 25, the Parisian Pursuit. As the BMW enters the first tunnel it overtakes a normal red Tipo. You see the Tipo on the right as they enter the tunnel (1 min 23 seconds into chapter) and strangely on the left when the view switches to the front. They exit the first tunnel and drive through the streets, the BMW hits a motorcycle and goes around a roundabout. They then approach three lanes of stationary traffic. The car in the left hand lane is a white (possibly 16V) Tipo (3 min 10 seconds into chapter). They turn left and crash through a barrier. They then enter the second tunnel going against the flow of traffic. They cross over into the correct lane. One car crashes into the central reservation. As they cross back into oncoming traffic there is another white 5 door Tipo in the right hand lane (4 min 28 seconds into chapter). Again this could be a 16V. It has alloy wheels and fog lights, however it has black door mirrors and a strange front grill.

How can I tidy up my Cam Cover?

Martin Hodges asks how does he clean up all the dull metal under his hood such as the cam cover etc?

Nareman Virk says take it off, clean it with paint thinners and sand it down and then re-spray it with heat resistant paint. Anyway, you could alternatively remove it and have it sand blasted for a newer than new finish. The advantage of spraying it is that you can change the colour. John's is particularly cool in red, or Baber's in black. I saw a yellow Integrale with yellow cam covers. If you do decide to take off the cam cover yourself, remember which bolts came off where because they are different sizes. Also, you may need a new cam cover gasket when replacing the cam cover.


What cars does the Tipo share its floorpan with?

Phil Ward says that the Fiat Tempra and Lancia Delta, Alfa Romeo 155, Lancia Dedra and Fiat Coupe all share the Tipo's chassis.

How many Tipo 16V cars were made?

Alan Shurety who worked for Fiat Auto (UK) Ltd for nearly 10 years managing their company car department including all Press, Pre-Launch and Homologation Vehicles from Feb 88 until Aug 97 contacted Fiat regarding the above question.

Acording to thier marketing records thier were 600 16v's officially imported into the UK, But RHD Fiats have been imported by third parties from Asia & Southen Ireland. Unfortunatly a specification breakdown is not kept by Fiat as it has no valid use once the vehicle is no longer imported.


My cars reporting speed/mileage when stationary?

Jara Shaw said his car reported that he was doing a constant fictional speed whilst stationary. Other problem were that the rev counter did not work, the fuel gauge had a lower reading than expected or no reading at all. Another sympton was that the electronic check light was lit but would go out whilst braking. Part of the problem was a dodgy electrical connection in the big block that sits behind the nearside headlight. Fixed with the use of a water dispersant such as WD40. However the main cause of the problem turned out to be a bad earth connection. The speedo cable wires are cream and blue with a brown stripe were fine the blue/brown wire has a 12 volt, these two join another 20 wires snaking to the right side of the battery. The untaping and de sheathing resulted in dashdoard flicker. The pipes had a T piece taped which contains a black and purple/black wire that connect to a spade washer on the right hand strut the bumper cross member is bolted to. This connector had perrished. Once replained everything worked correctly.

What does Sedicivalvole mean?

It's Italian for sixteen valves.

Other names for the car include "Teapot". The Fiat Coupe owners often call then "Bricks"!!


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