Fiat Pop 400c’s sold in colder areas have cold-weather packages. My popalicious car is from the south, and has no such thing, so it’s being slowly winterized. Two challenges for cold weather: Pop engines won’t start at -20 F, and perhaps I won’t either. The certainty of a sneauxpocalypse in the Northwoods this year has had me gravely worried. People talked about driving to school last year in -35 F. Yeah. Remote starters are luxury up here, but engine block heaters are a Pop necessity. We went to the Fiat dealer in Appleton (great folks there) to get the heater and starter installed. The mechanicsRead More →

view from the pop dash

When it comes to cars and other things involving agility, dexterity, or getting stuck on the roadside, I have low uncertainty tolerance. As a weak adventurer, I’ve been nervous about my adventuring companion, the Fiat Pop 500c, and how it will handle the snow. After as much research as possible about the car’s capabilities, I realized that my quest for certainty and comfort comes only in the doing and not the reading. Here on The Wall, aka Rhinelander, winter is fierce, and now it’s time for the first doing. We got more snow yesterday than Rhinelander gets on average every November. Fortunately, as of lastRead More →

snow kiteboarding

Today is day four of new home ownership. It has snowed real-snow once, and I went to an empty parking lot to practice driving in the Pop. The Pop is at the dealer getting an “undercoating” to keep from rusting. It is colder than a Baton Rouge winter. I have worn everything warm that I own and winter is just beginning. Today is the day I stepped outside and said to myself, “I want to go home. What the hell did I do?” It’s only November 4. Fantasies of a snow mobile in the future brighten my day, though.Read More →

gas receipt

At the first oil change for the Fiat Pop 500c, I noticed that the sticker the shop put on the windshield listed the mileage incorrectly. I snapped a quick pic of the instrument dial since I didn’t want to lose track of the next oil change. I have a swiss-cheese memory, I couldn’t find a pen, and I was late for school. I was already tracking gas consumption with pics anyway, because I wanted to see what my true mileage was (it’s about 30 mpg). I do it by taking a pic of both the instrument panel and the receipt. The receipt shows how muchRead More →

Dear Fiat Poop Mobile Manufacturers: Thank you for making me a fun car to drive. Please enroll in a technical communication class. Your manual sucks. The Fiat Pop glared a warning light, a yellow triangle with an exclamation point and no clear indication of what it meant. The manual said GENERIC WARNING LIGHT, to which I replied with a generic WTF? On an entirely separate page in the manual is a list of problems about which I had been generically warned. On the list was something about a broken oil pressure sensor. Skary!!!!1! Not a good thing for a new car under 4k miles. OrRead More →

Fiat Pop 500c

I drive a 2012 Fiat Pop, bought used on January 11, 2014 with barely 1600 miles. The Pop has mixed reviews, but I love it so far. Magazine and buyer reviews enjoy the go-kart like feeling; it’s an engaging car that requires a relationship with the driver. For me, that fits; I like the involvement. Buyer reviews complain about two things: cheap interiors and constant mechanical breakdowns. Cheap interiors are the fate of low-end cars. The Pop’s cute and clever design far make up for the crappy quality inside. Now, I have driven low-end cars all my life, starting with a Bondo-bodied VW Bug proppedRead More →