Technical Flat battery, alarm, ECU, keys, Arggh.

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Technical Flat battery, alarm, ECU, keys, Arggh.

fubar

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Mar 11, 2008
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Hello all, the battery on my Coupe 16v non-turbo went flat lately but when I try to jump start her the alarm goes off.

I only have the blue key - no silver or red keys. I have the alarm fob with brand new battery (the red LED comes on too). I have another little thing on the keyring that looks like a little dongle or something but have no idea what it is... like a little nobbly thing with a pin in the end. What's this & where's it go? Why are there 2x buttons on the immobiliser fob?

I have tried leaving the battery negative terminal off for a few hours (I read the immobiliser is confused by the lack of a battery) to no avail. I was sent to a website by a Fiat dealer but it wants me to buy a repair manual.

Other threads suggest pushing down the bonnet clasp to trick the car into thinking it's closed and other cryptic things.

I can see a tiny light flashing by the hand brake but when I turn the ignition there is something stopping the car from starting, the alarm will continue. Is there a tried and tested method for bringing the car back to life without this 'red key'?

It's worrying me that my battery could go flat and I'd be stranded in the wilds somewhere - surely an immobiliser isn't supposed to stop the legitimate owner from starting the car with it's own keys & immobiliser fob?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Ta peeps!

:)
 

Rustbucket

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Jul 31, 2007
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This is the oldest topic in the forum? Do a search on 'red keys' 'master key etc'

LONG threads on the Fiat Coupe Forum (fccuk.org) but you might have to register to do a search. Excellent Coupe site but more mods than cons in Parkhurst (and with even less sense of humour), beware!
 

Palio

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Oct 17, 2005
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Princes Risborough, Bucks
You should get a flashing orange/red "key" on the dashboard if it's the Fiat immobiliser causing trouble. A flat battery will not cause a problem with this.

Hope it isn't the Fiat Code Immobilser! :eek: That's a rare problem, but we don't recommend not buying the car without it for nothing! Probably £500 to sort it in that case, so I hope the car was cheap accordingly.

Sounds more like an alarm problem - try a local specialist and they can probably sort it for you. (y)
 

Rustbucket

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I had an intermittant fault like that on one of my coupes. Sometimes it would start sometimes not. The code light flashed all the time but there was no injector light showing so the emergency start process wouldn't work.

Turned out to be a faulty Meta alarm box. Specialist had to remove the complete alarm and re-wire car with no immobiliser. It worked fine but they charged €€€€.
 

s130

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Turned out to be a faulty Meta alarm box. Specialist had to remove the complete alarm and re-wire car with no immobiliser. It worked fine but they charged €€€€.
How did they do that? The ECU and Key Control Unit are paired with an encrypted handshake. The immobiliser function is in the ECU itself.
 

Rustbucket

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Didn't make it clear, sorry.

The Meta alarm had an additional immobiliser built in.. The dongle like thing you stick in a slot in the side of the steering column. The power to the fuel pump and ECU were re-wired through this box which went faulty. the car still had/has the original Fiat code system which works fine. Downside is no alarm and no central locking.
 

csj2k

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Jan 20, 2009
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East Yorkshire
Depends on the alarm but on my fob left button is for open and close, right button is for panic alarm. The 'dongle thing' you described does not sound familiar but I wondered if it may be part of an aftermarket immobiliser, the type where you have to push it in to a recepticle to disable the immobiliser. Providing a pic might help.
 

Rustbucket

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See my post above..

This is a similar thing fitted to my Barchetta. Round Meta alarm fob and black unit that disables the extra immobiliser. Its a chip that goes in a slot on the side of the steering column.

The code unit is a fag pack sized box (in mine, bolted to the bracket above the steering column behind the dash and the extra alarm module is under the floor mat in the left footwell). Its fairly large 3"x4", black box with a Meta logo and and extra red Fiat plastic code tag taped to it.
 

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bridges

Here to help
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Oct 7, 2006
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1,688
Location
Lincolnshire
Hello all, the battery on my Coupe 16v non-turbo went flat lately but when I try to jump start her the alarm goes off.

I only have the blue key - no silver or red keys. I have the alarm fob with brand new battery (the red LED comes on too). I have another little thing on the keyring that looks like a little dongle or something but have no idea what it is... like a little nobbly thing with a pin in the end. What's this & where's it go? Why are there 2x buttons on the immobiliser fob?

I have tried leaving the battery negative terminal off for a few hours (I read the immobiliser is confused by the lack of a battery) to no avail. I was sent to a website by a Fiat dealer but it wants me to buy a repair manual.

Other threads suggest pushing down the bonnet clasp to trick the car into thinking it's closed and other cryptic things.

I can see a tiny light flashing by the hand brake but when I turn the ignition there is something stopping the car from starting, the alarm will continue. Is there a tried and tested method for bringing the car back to life without this 'red key'?

It's worrying me that my battery could go flat and I'd be stranded in the wilds somewhere - surely an immobiliser isn't supposed to stop the legitimate owner from starting the car with it's own keys & immobiliser fob?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Ta peeps!

:)

1st take off the battery and charge it ;) replace battery. lock and unlock the car a few times, get in and start.
 
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fubar

fubar

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Mar 11, 2008
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When I reconnected the charged battery (with the bonnet still open) and tried the imobiliser it would not switch off. Putting my foot on the bonnet release catch didn't work at first either. I tried immobilising 15 times but that may have been something for a red key reset only.

Car is working fine now, can't remember exactly how I got it back from the dead. Did I leave it for a few hours or overnight, did I push the bonnet release catch before connecting the positive terminal or did I press some cryptic combination on the immobiliser key... hmmmm

Can't see a cigar shaped 3rd party alarm there but when I bought the car the normal horn terminals were disconnected and there is another plug poking up out of nowhere under the hood - could well be another alarm lurking somewhere!

There's something in the glove compartment with little keys attached and a sticker talking about a 'gas generator' - is this in all Fiat Coupe 16v N/A?
 
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