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Fiat Punto full of style... and a few faults

PUBLISHED: 09:03 08 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:03 08 August 2017

Jonathan Mayfield’s first car was a Fiat Punto Active Sport similar to the one pictured. Pictures: Fiat

Jonathan Mayfield’s first car was a Fiat Punto Active Sport similar to the one pictured. Pictures: Fiat

Fiat

Jonathan Mayfield had his fair share of minor niggles with his Fiat Punto but travelled in style.

Jonathan Mayfield’s first car was a Fiat Punto Active Sport similar to the one pictured. Pictures: FiatJonathan Mayfield’s first car was a Fiat Punto Active Sport similar to the one pictured. Pictures: Fiat

I bought my first car, a blue 2004 Fiat Punto – registration AO04 UEG – in October 2008.

At the time, I needed the car for commuting to work. I worked on a potato farm for a while before changing jobs and commuting to Cambridge.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the car but it was the Active Sport version and I paid £3,920 for the car.

While working on a farm, I had a few highlights.

One of them was that the car got stuck on a muddy track and I had to free the car by pushing it.

Another was the time, when it was getting dark, that I had to leave the car on an unlit road while I worked. My colleagues suggested that I leave the parking lights on to make the car more visible to fast-moving traffic and avoid a collision. When I had finished work, I went to my illuminated car, only to find that the battery charge was too low to crank the engine, so I had to call the AA.

There was another time when I had to cancel an MOT test because the horn decided not to work. I also had to have the resistor block changed because a fault developed where the ventilation fan would only operate at full speed.

There was one fault, which I did manage to fix. The cigarette lighter fuse kept blowing and I decided to do some detective work and it seemed that there was a short circuit that was caused by positive and negative pieces of metal rubbing together. So I cut a piece of insulator cardboard from a toilet roll and inserted it between the positive and negative pieces, which stopped the fuse from blowing when an accessory was plugged into the socket.

On the plus side, the car did seem rather stylish so it was good to look at even though it suffered a variety of faults.

The final nail in the coffin came in January 2011 when a unpleasant smell entered the cabin while I was driving through Norwich with my father. I don’t consider myself a car expert, but I suspected that the cause of the smell was a blown cylinder head gasket.

I decided to get shot of the Punto and part-exchanged it for a more reliable Suzuki Alto.

Tell us about your first car – email your motoring memories with a picture of the car to motoring@archant.co.uk or post it to Andy Russell, Archant motoring editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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