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Old 12-08-2008   #1
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Question Ignition switch faulty???

Seven out of ten times after I turn the ignition switch to the intermediate position I am not able to turn to the engine start position. I always pause at the first position and pause until all the relevant warning lights have extinguished before starting the engine.

I now have to return the switch to off and then go straight to starting the engine.

I don't know if this will be a problem in the winter as I don't know on modern diesels if you need to wait until the glow plugs have warmed up or if starting is now on a par with petrol engines.

I hoped that it was just the newness of the key and switch causing the problem and that it would get easier with use but this hasn't improved with time. It is the same with both keys so I am thinking of it being a barrel problem.

I am pretty sure that you are not supposed to lubricate the mechanism but I would be grateful if someone could confirm this (Pip, where are you) before going to the dealers.
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Old 12-08-2008   #2
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Re: Ignition switch faulty???

Grim, my petrol is the same.

I assumed it was to prevent engaging the starter motor if the engine is running, but the safety mechanism associated with that assumes that if the dash lights are on for a period of time then the engine is running?

For example, if you turn the engine off, but leave the keys in the barrel then you have to return the key to the initial position to start.

Similarly, if you have the dash lights on for a period of time then you have to return the key to the initial position to start.

I assumed it was the design rather than a fault, so would be interested to know.
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Old 12-08-2008   #3
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Re: Ignition switch faulty???

Quote Originally Posted by mark@vorny.co.uk View Post

I assumed it was the design rather than a fault, so would be interested to know.
Mark, thanks for the reply but I am still puzzled inasmuch as if it was a Fiat design then it should be the same all the time whereas sometimes it works OK (when I say OK I mean like my other cars).

I think it would have been a nice touch by Fiat not to have included the starter on the key but put a start button on the dash with the other three buttons.

Just got out the handbook to see what it says:


QUOTE:

The key can be turned to 3 different positions.

* STOP: engine off, key extractable, steering locked. Some electrical devices (e.g. car radio, central door locking system, etc.) are enabled.

* MAR: driving position. All electrical devices are enabled.

* AVV: engine start.

The ignition switch is fitted with a safety system that, if the engine does not start, forces to return the ignition key to STOP before repeating the starting operation.

I wonder if when I switch to the middle position I go slightly too far and the car assumes that I have attempted to start the engine and failed.

I will be very careful and deliberate the next time and see if that is the case.
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Old 12-08-2008   #4
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Re: Ignition switch faulty???

I think that when you are turning the ignition on, and you do have to wait for the glow plug light to extinguish, you are going a baw hair too far. Turn it gently to the first position, then it will go first time to the start position.

I have caught myself doing it a couple of times, usually when in a hurry.

Cheers

PD
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Old 12-08-2008   #5
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Re: Ignition switch faulty???

I have noticed this same thing with mine. Just go gently, I don't think that it's a fault. It's just the way it is!!
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Old 12-08-2008   #6
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Re: Ignition switch faulty???

quite normal,alot of fiats do this even some of the older models.
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Old 13-08-2008   #7
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Re: Ignition switch faulty???

Tried it this morning, very carefully turning to the first position, waited for a few seconds and then turned to start position with no problems.
Might just be a coincidence but the "door open" warning light now stays on. I have opened and closed the doors, switched ignition on and off but warning light still on. To be fair, this has happened before and sorted itself out the next day, as did the flashing mileage so I am not too worried at this stage.
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Old 07-09-2008   #8
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Re: Ignition switch faulty???

Quote Originally Posted by grimwau View Post
Tried it this morning, very carefully turning to the first position, waited for a few seconds and then turned to start position with no problems.
Might just be a coincidence but the "door open" warning light now stays on. I have opened and closed the doors, switched ignition on and off but warning light still on. To be fair, this has happened before and sorted itself out the next day, as did the flashing mileage so I am not too worried at this stage.
maybe water in the door lock switch has it rained when it did it

the ignition switch can be lubricated if you like it's all metal work in there and has some such grease inside it anyway but as you have worked out you were sinply flicking it just past mar engaging the lock as you returned to mar i do this on ocasion with mk1 punto it's just the way fiat locks are havnt changed in years besides the shape of the key making them much more secure

the question i notice noone has answered is the starting straight away verses waiting for glow plugs

many will notice that some diesels start much more redily than others like the hilux truck we have at work starts first flick in the dead of winter were as modern fiats if you try from straight away will not this is due to compresion ratios

now our truck has high compresion as it's a low powerd engine kicking out maybe 100hp from a 2 litre it is high compresion cos it runs miniumul boost

were as the fiat is lower compresion as it runs much higher boost to achieve 75 hp from a 1248cc displacement

there for it will require longer on the glow gplugs were as the hilux can get away without the glow plugs from time to time as we go straight to start without thinking about it

the fiat also has one more trick up it's sleve youll notice if you turn it straigt away it does seem to take along time to start and then sudenly cicks in not like strugling to start this is because the ecu times how long it has had glow plugs powered and untill it's happy it wont inject fuel

so the end result of starting the car like this is extra wear on the starter motor and the glow plugs take lo0nger to heat due to current draw into the starter motor deminishing battery voltage during cranking but dont worry you wont be loading the clinders up with diesel

so it's always best to wait there is no set time nor light to warn of the glow plug operation but i would give it 5 seconds to be safe more on a colder day i could find out for you if you like the timing of the glow plugs controled buy ecu and what exactly they do i spose they would have to stop eventually or would run battery flat so must run for maybe 20 seconds and then stop if you dont atempt a start it may give some detail in your user manual

in my experience the 1248 multijet starts very petrol like after a short wait on the more run in engines maybe a year or two old so something to look forward to
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Last edited by The Sultan; 07-09-2008 at 14:52.
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Old 07-09-2008   #9
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Re: Ignition switch faulty???

Cheers for that pip.
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Old 08-09-2008   #10
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Re: Ignition switch faulty???

Quote Originally Posted by grimwau View Post
Cheers for that pip.
oh just had another thought
check your earth clamp on battery it may be closed up but is it fully griping the battery post

on newer fiats the locking tigers after a battery has been disconnected and reconnected maybe a posible reason for your mis behaving locks normally after key on thou

but i doubt it as it would surely affect other things but worth a look
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Old 08-09-2008   #11
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Re: Ignition switch faulty???

Pip, checked that and it's properly clamped onto post. The car has now settled down quite well, just having covered 2000 miles and nearly all the niggles have sorted themselves out so I am very pleased with the car. I guess a lot of my problems were down to me and not following the basic mantra for all new car owners; RTFM.
Luckily, there is an awful lot of help available on this site.

ps. thanks for the info regarding boot light earthing through boot lock, I wasn't sure how the switching worked.
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