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Old 01-03-2005   #1
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Red key and radio issues

OK, i bought a MK1 punto last november (55 SX). I had both swing arms replaced on the back. After this was done i was asked if i had a red key for the car, which i don't. So i was told i need to get back onto the guy that sold me the car.....

I had a quick look through the previous posts on this and I have found a lot of posts on the subject, just to clear it up for me.
I know that the red key is used for the ECU, but i am not sure what an ECU is. Can anyone explain.
When would I need the red key? And where can i get a replacement?

Also i have a new radio for my car,
If i disconnect the radio from the battery, i will then have to input a code to get it to work again. But if i do not want the radio it doesn't matter.
I know it sounds stupid but i won't need to use the red key if i replace the radio.

Finally....
What common problems may i encounter with my car now it has done ~86000 miles.
I have had my rear swing arms done, and welded my seat so it no longer leans to the left.

thanks in advance
Jon.
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Old 01-03-2005   #2
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Re: Red key and radio issues

hi there

the ecu is like a small computer in the form of a chip. it runs everything electrical in your car from immobiliser to fuel injectors. it is teh engines brain basically.

changing the radio "should" be fine andyou wont need the red key

the red key is normally required if something goes wrong with your normal blue keys or you lose them. or with the engine immobiliser. the red key is the master key containing a code that matches a code on your ecu that is used to make new keys for your car, like if you lost your blue one. Now if you were to lose your blue key and had no red master key you would have to have a whole new set of keys and a new ecu to match the code on the new red key.

you have done the rear suspension fault on your 55 wich is common the other common fault that seems to come on here is head gasket. but you may be fine you can never tell with them.
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Old 01-03-2005   #3
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Re: Red key and radio issues

isnt it a case of dont disconnect the battery???.....or does the ECU not lose the key's signal?
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Old 01-03-2005   #4
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Re: Red key and radio issues

No
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Old 01-03-2005   #5
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Re: Red key and radio issues

Thanks for the reply guys. I seem to slowly learn more about my car every day.
Regarding the red key, if i have not got in touch with the guy that sold me the car, or he doesn'y have it. What is the best thing to do? I rang Fiat (The priory one in Urmston) and they told me that it could cost around 800 to fix/replace.

What is the 'no' an answer to?
No do not disconnect the battery, or
No the ecu won't lose the signal

Regarding the headgasket.
Looking through the history of the car my headgasket has already gone has been skimmed. I looked about and asked a few guys regarding this and found that it could be that i have had a crack in my engine block? Hopefully this is not the case. All seems to be running ok at the moment though so fingers crossed.
If it says to watch my coolant levels, how often should i be topping up the fluids for me to be concerned?

Are there any other common problems that crop up that i may have issues with or need to look out for. I have had a browse through the forum but not found more for mk1's

thanks again,
Jon.
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Old 01-03-2005   #6
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Re: Red key and radio issues

the no was no the ecu should not loose the code. i guess its remotely posible but it shoudnt happen.

to get new red key from official place costs lots as you need a new ecu to match and full set of keys.

coolant should be checked weekly if not monthly at least. it should not need to be topped up at all really. and shohould allwayed be checked when engien is nice and cold.


as for otehr problems i dont know i own a mk2, one thing that isnt a problem just info is that the 55 has a "safe" engine this means that if your cambelt were to snap no damage is doen to engine you just need new cambelt and timing set up. rememebr that just in case it happens to you and mechanic trys to charge you hundreds for repairs. this has happpend a few times to people onhere.


oh that reminds me i think squeeking from cambelt tensioner is acommon problem seem to remember seeing that mentioned.
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Old 02-03-2005   #7
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Re: Red key and radio issues

you say the 55 has a safe engine does the sporting, 16 V ?
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Old 02-03-2005   #8
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Re: Red key and radio issues

Yup, cambelt tensioner goes sometimes, it's a high-pitched whine at certain revs but isn't an expensive part - but the cambelt will need to be changed at the same time. I think the suspension was on its way out when I sold my old 55S, there was also a brake pipe corrosion recall which should have been done but that was some time ago.
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Old 02-03-2005   #9
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Re: Red key and radio issues

Quote Originally Posted by uno_94
you say the 55 has a safe engine does the sporting, 16 V ?

nope sorry its only 8 valve engines. the parts inside cant touch each other and there for bend if they go out of time. but on a 16v damage will occur unless you super lucky
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Old 02-03-2005   #10
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Re: Red key and radio issues

Quote "No" Quote

Cheers for clearing that up Fishdude,I was too tired for long answer
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Old 11-04-2005   #11
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Re: Red key and radio issues

hi there if you go to www.codeman.org/fiat that will give you most of the information on red keys or ring me on 07957247152 and i will explain what it is and what to do about it.

mark
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Old 16-04-2005   #12
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Re: Red key and radio issues

Does your 55 Punto need a red key? Does it have a code light on the dash?
If it doesn't it dont need it as hasn't got a immobiliser so you haven't got all that hassle.
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