The Fiat 500 is an agile, retro-styled subcompact car that was first introduced in 1957.
In this article we’ll give you the full rundown of its maintenance, tune-up and running costs.
Here is the short answer to are Fiat 500 expensive to maintain:
The Fiat 500 has reasonable maintenance costs. It would cost you around $522 to maintain a Fiat 500 every year, which is slightly higher than the average of $456 annually for subcompact cars. A tune-up will be around $268, including the replacement of spark plugs.
Are Fiat 500s Expensive to Maintain?
The Fiat 500 might not be the cheapest car to maintain in the segment however it is still very affordable.
When looking to buy a new vehicle it’s important to assess maintenance costs to ensure you’re able to properly look after it.
Failing to stay on top of routine servicing and repairs will lead to poor reliability and shorten the lifespan of your car.
Below you’ll find a complete price breakdown for some of the most common costs for the Fiat 500, all data is from RepairPal:
|Fiat 500 Maintenance||Cost|
|Average annual repairs and maintenance||$522|
|Alternator replacement||$549 – $590|
|Oil change||$127 – 146|
|Wiper blade replacement||$60 – $67|
|Air filter replacement||$68 – $76|
|Battery replacement||$200 – $212|
|New brakes||$180 – $244|
|Coolant change||$132 – $167|
|New tires (set of 4)||$784 – $796|
|New tire (one only)||$196 – $199|
|New spark plugs||$163 – $200|
|Tire & wheel assembly rotate & balance||$79 – $100|
|New transmission||$1800 – $3400|
|Insurance||$1130 / year (average)|
How Much is a Tune-Up on a Fiat 500?
This will vary greatly depending on where you take your car and you’ll likely have to pay more at a Fiat dealership than your local mechanic.
Fiat recommends having a tune-up every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first.
You can expect to pay in the region of $268 for a fairly comprehensive Fiat 500 tune-up that includes, but is not limited to:
- Replacement of plugs, wires and other parts in the ignition system
- Thorough inspection of engine components
- Thorough inspection of belts and hoses
- Filters changed e.g. oil, fuel, air, and cabin.
- Fluids changed where needed e.g. engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid.
Whilst your car is under warranty it is advised you get your car serviced at a registered Fiat dealership.
Regular tune-ups are highly recommended because:
- They can bring more power back to your engine.
- Helps your engine run efficiently and start smoothly, which equates to lower emissions and better fuel economy.
- Ensures long-term engine health and performance
Alternator Replacement Cost?
A new alternator on a Fiat 500 will set you back between $549 – $590 for a replacement which should last around 80,000 to 150,000 miles or 5 – 10 years
While the battery is used for starting your car when the engines off, the alternator keeps your car alive when the engine is running.
The alternator powers most electronic components while you’re driving around or idling and is also responsible for charging the battery of your car while driving.
Oil Change Cost?
The cost of an oil change should be between $127 to $146, this includes parts and labor, however does not include taxes and fees. An oil change is one of the most meaningful and vital services for your car.
An oil change should be performed on the Fiat 500 every 3,000 – 5,000 miles for conventional oil.
Synthetic oil typically should be changed every 7,500 – 10,000 miles.
At most, oil change intervals should not exceed 10,000 miles or twelve months (whichever comes first).
Wiper Blade Replacement Cost?
This is a relatively simple and quick fix, and you can easily save yourself a few bucks by buying your own wiper blades and installing them yourself, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials on this.
Most Fiat 500s use a 26″ wiper blade on the driver side and a 14″ on the passenger side but be sure to double-check first.
Wiper blades for the Fiat 500 can be picked up for around $25, and installed by yourself for free.
However, if you want a professional to fit them for you then you can expect to pay in the region of $60 to $67 for parts and labor with taxes and fees on top.
Related: 6 Most Common Problems With Fiat 500 (Explained)
Air Filter Replacement Cost?
According to RepairPal, air filter replacement cost on a Fiat 500 is between $68 to $76, not including taxes and fees.
The good news is this task, which should be performed annually or whenever the filter is clogged or dirty, is another fairly straightforward DIY.
Simply open the hood, locate and open the air filter’s housing, remove the old one, insert the new one and replace the housing cover.
This will help both your car and your bank account breathe a little easier, lots of tutorials on YouTube for this one also.
Battery Replacement Cost?
According to RepairPal, the cost of a battery replacement for a Fiat 500 should cost between $200 and $212.
Whilst there are no specific mileage recommendations for when a battery needs to be replaced, they do eventually die.
In general, it’s a good idea to replace your battery once every 4-5 years.
A vehicle’s battery life varies depending on many different factors such as climate, driving habits, and battery type, among many others.
New Brakes Cost?
The average cost to replace your Fiat 500 brake pads, according to RepairPal, is between $180 and $244.
Fiat 500 brake pads can last anywhere between 30,000 to 60,000 miles and necessary brake work isn’t a cost you can afford to neglect.
Brake pads will wear out at different rates depending on factors such as climate and your style of driving.
Pro tip: To prolong the life of your brakes – Keep your speed low in heavy traffic and avoid any sudden braking.
Cost to Change Coolant?
If it’s just a top-up your car requires then this is a simple task you can perform yourself.
You can pick up coolant at any gas station for a few bucks and top up to the level required.
If on the other hand, you require a coolant change, which simply involves draining the coolant from the base of the radiator and then replenishing with fresh fluids, this is going to cost you a bit more.
According to RepairPal, the average cost of a Fiat 500 coolant change is between $132 and $167 (excluding taxes and fees).
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Fiat 500s Last?
How Much Does a New Transmissions Cost?
Transmissions on the Fiat 500 typically last 10 – 14 years or around 150,000 to 200,000 miles, depending on how well they are maintained and how the car is driven.
The average cost for a new transmission for a Fiat 500 is anywhere from $1800 – $3400. This range may vary depending on the model year.
Tire & Wheel Assembly, Rotate & Balance Cost
Tire rotate ensures each tire gets worn evenly whilst balancing ensures they roll smoothly and there’s no vibration (this also helps improve your fuel economy).
According to RepairPal, the average cost for a Fiat 500 tire & wheel assembly rotate & balance is between $79 and $100 – this does not include taxes and fees.
How much Insurance Cost?
According to insruaviz.com, the average cost of Fiat 500 insurance is $95 / month or $1130 / year (compared to the subcompact class average cost of $1419).
These figures can vary greatly depending on a number of factors such as your age, driving record and state requirements etc.
It’s always best to shop around and get at least 3 quotes, make sure the company you choose is reputable.
Fiat 500 Repair Costs Compared to Similar Cars
|Model||Avg. Annual |
|Frequency of |
|Probability of |
|Toyota Prius C||$383||0.36||7%|
|Mazda MX-5 Miata||$429||0.3||10%|
|Mini Cooper |
|Avg. Subcompact Car||$456||0.3||11%|
How Reliable is the Fiat 500 Compared to Other Cars?
According to data from Repair Pal, the Toyota Yaris is the most reliable subcompact car.
|Toyota Prius C||4.5/5.0|
|Mazda MX-5 Miata||4.0/5.0|
|Mini Cooper |
|Avg. Subcompact Car||4.0/5.0|