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Punto's central locking problem

Discussion in 'Exteriors / Body' started by RaviHegde, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Punto's central locking failed within a day of fixing ac relay problem. I felt happy and thought I will have a trouble free run after I changed ac relay. Yesterday morning I happily drove to a place with ac at fulll blast and parked the car in sun for 3 hours. I came back and headed back home. Everything was looking fine until the car picked up speed and the automatic locking system kicked in. "dag" it locked the doors and ... "dig" it unlocked immediately. I thought some door is not closed properly. But no indication of that on the MID. I got down from the car and checked all doors. All doors are shut properly. What is the problem?!

    I tried pushing the door release latch down to manually lock the car. Locking works fine in both the rear doors. I tried the co-driver side - it did "dag...dig". At least co-driver side lock is in working condition. It tries to lock but the central locking system unlocks it immediately. I tried the driver side door latch - no, it does not go. It is stuck like some locking mechanism is jammed. Now I am left with the car which does not lock - neither when running nor when parked. Wherever I go I will have to hire a watchman to guard the car. Not locking the doors when in running is a dangerous situation. Car is running very well, but unusable! Now I strongly believe Fiat cars are intelligent - they know when the warranty and extended warrnty end. Parts start dying one by one soon after warranty ends.

    I have 2 options now: (a) replace the jammed locking mechanism. (b) repair it if I can. Being 200 kms away from nearest service station (which has lazy fellows who don't want to even lookup a part price on the computer) leaves me with only one option of DIY as much as I can. I like DIY - from carpentry to computer, everything is DIY as much as possible. One of the reasons for buying Fiat was the DIY friendliness of Fiat because of very helpful Fiat forums. So I decided to try my hand at repairing the door locking mechanism. I was able to take the locking mechanism out, figure out what is wrong, fix it and put it back. Now it seems to work normally. But I believe its "peace of mind index" is very low now. I will have to change it for better peace of mind. Now I will ask one of my friends in a city like Bangalore to buy the replacement part and ship it. But I believe Punto Emotion Pack's door locking mechanism is pretty expensive because of the electricals included in it.

    What follows in the next part will be some pictures to show how to take the door locking mechanism out. Sorry, I could not take pictures of mechanism in open condition because I was so busy thinking what is wrong and how to fix the mechanism; taking pictures was the last thing in my mind. But only thing I can tell is - with some basic tools and some mechanical engineering skills any one can do it himself/herself (oh yes, gender equality; don't ask me how many ladies will be interested in getting their hands dirty with grease and oil!).
    V. K. Pasupathy and testdrive like this.
  2. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    Messages:
    2,325
    Thane
    Ravi,

    With your newly acquired detective skills, I will not be surprised if you would open a Fiat workshop soon or some training videos on how to solve the issues in Fiat cars.

    I am convinced that the relay issue might have resulted in the door locks going faulty. Yes, they acting weird after EW is something to worry about. If it was mechanical, it can be still repaired but if the motor had gone bad, then you would have to rely on Fiat spares to replace the faulty unit. But good to know that you have identified and resolved the issue. We are waiting for the detailed step by step pics. Hope nothing goes bad in the car after this.
  3. zenwalker

    zenwalker Esperto

    Messages:
    2,150
    Bangalore
    @RAvi,

    Even after me buying my punto in a month i was driving back to home from mysore after a long drive (BR hills, nanjangoud..) and suddenly near channapatna it started to behave weirdly as u described.

    Next day i had TFImeet. So after finishing that i rushed to the SCC (Vecto) and they changed the faulty piece in 30 mins. Please note you need not to buy this piece as it is under warranty.

    Perhaps talk to Mr. Channabasapp and see if he can do warranty exchange for you in some way.
  4. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    :confused: From what he suggested in the first post I guess warranty has expired.

    @Girish,
    Don't know about garages, but given that some people have more trouble than others with cars inspite of good upkeep, I guess most of us might benefit to do some part-time apprenticeship under experienced car mechanics and electricians. Far-fetched it is but we might learn some and come-up with better solutions than Fiat who knows. :D

    Alternatively Fiat should start selling DVDs for comprehensive troubleshooting of car issues for each car; especially in India.:wink:

    @Ravi Hegde,
    Don't know if Fiat cars want to trouble us or Fiat engineers and designers. Certianly it looks like parts are well designed for planned obsolescence, atleast to help spare parts manufacturers and themselves thrive at the cost of customer expense and satisfaction. Some day soon car companies too should start selling cars like IKEA furniture kits with diagrams and with user replaceable and upgradeable push-pull kinda modules. :rolleyes:

    So much for fundas and ethics of planned obsolescence and value engineering...:mad:
  5. Anup

    Anup Regolare

    Messages:
    303
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    @Ravi,

    I am also very disappointed to read this issue, I mean on 1 hand we buy Fiat cars because of the Build, Heritage, Design and so on reasons and on the other hand we have someone from a School pass out doing the PDi of the car and the Service Centers still at large is a big Bad NEWS.

    I have made a friend to buy a Pre-Lift Linea, she was all for a City almost finalised but I didn't give up I forced and forced and finally she get a T-Jet Emt , sounds good to be true but the car is just 1 week old and 160 kms run and even that car has a issue with the Center Locking and that too it's a very wired problem even I don't know what to say.

    The Dealer added the T-Jet still plate and since then if you open the Left Front door from inside only the single door gets unlocked and opens, Actually once the doors are locked and anyone tries to open either of the doors from front, the un lock mechanism unlocks all the 4 doors and this is applicable only on front doors, the rear however does not have the feature.

    I don't know who to blame because Still plate fitment does not involve opening the door pad and fiddling with the Locking mechanism and locking happens to all the 4 doors and the MID shows Left Front Door Open warning but here you go the problem was noticed just yesterday.

    To add more misery the Center Arm rest lock is broken form inside, the Arm rest does not gets locked and freely opens, initially she thought it is made for a reason because the arm will keep it closed but after she sat in my car she got freaked out, how on Earth can Fiat of the Dealer miss this ?

    Not all New Owners are well aware of there cars and majorityof new car owners at my work place pick there cars and go to take the deliver of there cars with the Faith that the Company and the Dealers do there job properly and give them a Trouble Free cars.

    But never the less Fiat should pull up there socks and if they expect the numbers of cars sold to Double than what it is now, they should and must do a Strict PDi and A.S.S training very diligently and A.S.S should be thought about being ethical come on Fiat how difficult for you to do this for just about 1500 cars a month? :uh
  6. pv_krish

    pv_krish Regolare

    Messages:
    418
    Chennai
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Ravi, I had a similar problem twice with my one year old punto. Luckily its still under warranty.

    First was the driver door, which actually does the center locking. The center locking through remote failed but the manual key locked failed. They replace the actuator and everything was fine.

    Next problem started on the highway where the left rear door started having the problem of locking and unlocking and it was horrible to drive in the highway where the locking and unlocking happened every second. Called up the support and they directed me to the service consultant. He asked me to unplug the sensor wiring in the door, lock it manually and not to use the door. Came back to Chennai and the entire lock assembly was replaced free of cost. So far things seems to be good.
  7. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Taking out door lock assembly / changing door lock assembly

    Disclaimer: This procedure works with Fiat Punto 2010 model sold in India. Very likely it will work with other Punto and Linea models sold in India also. Please note - I will not be responsible for any damage to person(s)/equipment(s)/car(s) direct or consequential because of your experiment using this procedure. I suggest you not to try this procedure if you are not a DIY type and has not done a DIY work on cars of not less than 2 hours duration in the past. I think that is enough warning - let us get to the job now.


    Tools needed:


    1. One medium size star/philips screw driver.


    tools-01.jpg


    2. One T40 size torx screw driver/wrench. Wrench allows you to apply more torque when removing the screws. However, you have to be careful not to over-tighten the screws when you are putting them back (because the wrench allows you to apply more torque without realizing it).


    tools-02.jpg


    3. One 5 mm Allen / hex key.


    tools-03.jpg


    4. One pice of rope, preferably cotton (nylon rope is slippery, not a good choice). I used my wife's skipping exercise rope.


    tools-04.jpg


    5. One small flat screw driver. (No pictures because it is a regular screw driver).


    6. One pair of hands. Better if both the pairs are of the same person;) Don't laugh at me - I realized how difficult it is to do this with only one hand when I was doing it with only one hand trying to take pictures from the other hand. You better get another person to take photographs/shoot video during the process if you want to keep a record of your work.


    tools-07.jpg


    Procedure:


    1. Park the car in a place where there is enough space to open the defective door completely.
    2. Ensure the window glass on the defective door is 1-2 inches below the topmost (completely closed) position.
    3. Open the door and remove all the star/philips screws near the bottom of the door. Position is shown using blue circles in the picture below.


    proc-03.jpg


    4. Remove the ornamental cover behind the door release lever. Later we will have to remove one allen screw behind the ornamental cover.


    proc-04.jpg


    5. We have to disconnect the wires connected to the control panel on the door panel. Control panel is fitted on the door panel using the spring clips on the sides of the control pane. Approx position of the spring locks is shown using blue circles in the picture. Control panel has a small notch on the lower side. Lift the panel up by pushing small screw driver in the notch. Lift the panel and take it out, but don't pull it out all the way up because there are wires connected to it. Pull the control panel out only as much as the wires allow.


    proc-05.jpg


    There are two connectors on the control panel in case of Punto E-pack. Other models may have one (or none in case of models without power windows).


    6. Disconnect the power mirror control connector. This connector has a thin black plastic lock holding it in position. Hold the connector using your index finger and thumb as shown in picture. Push the index finger and thumb in the direction shown by the arrows. Lock has a gear mechanism to lift the connector out as you move the lock. Move the lock by full 90 degrees to take the connector out. Ensure you don't put too much force on the lock when you are pulling it back because it is little delicate. Note down the lock position when you pull out the connector because it should be in the same position for you to be able to put it back.


    proc-06.jpg


    7. Disconnect the power window control connector. This connector has a small lock in the middle of the connector. Push it down little bit by your thumb as shown in the picture and pull it out.


    proc-07.jpg


    8. Using the Allen/hex key remove the 2 nuts below the door handle. Also remove the hex nut behind the ornamental cover you had removed in step 4.


    proc-08.jpg


    Remember one thing - hex nut behind the ornamental panel is slightly shorter than the nuts below the door handle. Remember to put the short one back behind the ornamental cover behind the door release latch when you put it back.


    proc-08-1.jpg


    9. At this time door panel is ready to come out because all the strong fasteners have been removed. However, there can be two things attached to the panel still: (a) door release stalk is attached to the door panel (b) in models with speakers there can be tweeter connection to the tweeter on the door panel. Because of this it is not safe to pull the door panel out and allow it to drop. I came up with the idea of tying a rope from door handle to the door panel at the top so that the panel will not drop down when we pull it out. It is a kind of safety arrangement to keep the panel handing there when we work on the connector and the door release stalk. This is the reason why I suggested to lower the window glass down by an inch or two for having space to tie the rope to the door frame at the top.


    Ensure the rope is not tied very tightly for allowing you to work on the door panel. Give a slack of 1-2 inches on the rope. See the arrows - you should be able to move the rope an inch or two as shown by the arrows.


    proc-09.jpg


    10. Grab the lower outer corner of the door panel and pull it away from the door. Hold the panel in one hand and the door in another hand and pull it. There are 6-8 plastic rivets holding the panel to the door. They come out making a kind of ripping/tearing sound. That is normal because they are designed to be like that. Pull the lower side of the door panel 6-8 inches apart from the inner wall of the door. That will pull all the plastic rivets out and the door hangs from the rope you tied in step 9.


    proc-10.jpg


    11. Disconnect the tweeter wire in case of models with tweeter. Though my car originally had it, I had changed the speaker last year (that is another topic for a DIY). Therefore you don't see the tweeter and the tweeter wire.


    12. Separate the door release stalk from the door panel. Door release stalk is held in position by plastic locks above and below the white part of the stalk indicated by the red circle in the picture. In some cases there can be a plastic tie tied to the door panel and the stalk to firmly keep it in position. You have to either undo the tie and take it out (not easy task, but can be done if you know how the tie works) or cut it off. If you cut the tie keep a spare tie handy to tie it when you put it back later. Plastic ties used in Big Bazaar to tie around the shopping bags is good enough. Ensure the tie is around 4-5 inches long.


    You should pull the white part of the stalk away from the door panel as indicated by the arrow A. The locks there easily release the stalk without much trouble. But remember, the L shaped end of the door release stalk is still attached to the panel and held in place by a white plastic lock. Hold the white part of the stalk with thumb, keep the index finger on the end of the lock and move the thumb and index finger as shown by the arrows B in the picture. White plastic lock rotates and releases the door release stalk.


    proc-13.jpg


    13. Gently push down the L shaped end of the door release stalk as shown by the arrow. It easily comes out of the hole in the door release latch. Now the door panel is completely free hanging only by the rope you tied in step 9.


    proc-14.jpg


    14. Ensure nothing else is attached to the door panel. If anything else is attached, remove it/them. Untie the rope and keep the door panel in a safe place to avoid it getting damaged. Rear seat is a good place (only if someone is not sitting there already!).


    You will find a plastic sheet called weather shield (only the creator knows what weather it shields!) stuck to the innder wall of the door. Working through the weather shield is very difficult. Weather shield is stuck to the door using some black sticky glue (tar kind of stuff). Remove the weather shield by pulling it from one side to the other making sure already pulled parts don't touch something and stick to it. It is not easy to put it back later. But, don't worry, I don't see much of a need for it. If you want to put it back, make sure you don't fold it or nothing sticks to the black sticky goo. That black sticky goo is difficult to get rid of once it sticks to something. So be careful and keep the shield unfolded, glue side up in a place where nothing sticks to it until you put it back. IMHO it is not worth the trouble; it is ok to discard it.


    15. Follow the door release stalk through the big opening in the inner wall of the door. It guides you to the door lock mechanism you want to take out. Door lock mechanism has some levers connected from the lock to the door opening latch outside. When you pull the door opening latch outside the door it acts on the lock through these levers. I believe only the driver side lock has 2 levers - one for locking and the other one for releasing the door. Dther locks probably have only one (just a guess, I have been lucky, other locks have not failed yet, so I dont know). In my case driver side lock had failed, hence the description is about the driver side lock.


    proc-15.jpg


    One lever (indicated by A) is visible easily. Other lever (indicated by B) is obstructed by the window glass moving guides. Only the end of the lever B with threads coming through a yellow block is visible. Both levers have a white plastic lock very similar to the door release stalk explained in step 12 - B. Lock holding lever A is visible. Rotate it as in case of door release stalk to release the lever. Lock holding lever B is not visible, but you can move your fingers along the lever till the top and feel the lock. Release that lock also in the same way.


    Caution: Lever A is not fixed to the lock mechanism. One end of the lever goes through a hole in the lock mechanism and that is what holds it in place. It can be difficult to figure out which end goes where if it comes out. Therefore mark which end is near the lock mechanism and which end is near the door release latch so that you can put it back if at all it falls off the lock mechanism.


    Lever B is firmly attached to a plate on the lock mechanism, it will not come off easily. Don't worry much about that.


    16. With both the levers released now, you are finally ready to take the locking mechanism out. Remove the 3 torx screws using the torx screw driver/wrench.


    proc-16.jpg


    proc-16-1.jpg




    Now the door locking mechanism is ready to come out. However, in case of models with central locking there is a wire connected to the door lock mechanism. Slowly pull the lock mechanism out of the opening in the inner door wall. The connector connecting the central locking system to the lock mechanism has a leaf lock on the lower side of the connector, which is not visible when the lock mechanism is in its place. You can see the lock when you have taken it out. Press the leaf lock towards the connector body and pull it out. With the connector off the lock mechanism, it is finally out of the car :)


    You have to follow the procedure in the revers order for fitting the new lock mechanism.




    About the electrical central locking mechanism:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    I was under the impression that central lock works using solenoids because of the "dag" sound it makes when we lock/unlock the car using the remote. Surprise is - it is not a solenoid, it is driven by a small motor and couple of gears. Those gears are in a specific position and they can rotate only by one round back and forth for locking and unlocking (well ... technically not one full round, they rotate by around 320 degrees or so). In my case one of those gears had gone into a wrong position and got stuck. That is why the lock was stuck - not only through remote, even manually pushing the door latch inside to lock it or using the key to lock it did not work. Lock mechanism has a plastic cover around it held by 4 plastic leaf locks. If you undo the locks and remove it you can see the internals of it. You can also open the electrical locking mechanism held by 4 screws to inspect it. If at all you dare opening it, please do it very carefully to avoid the gears coming out and falling down. It can be very difficult to guess their position and place to put them back. But if you do everything properly, it will all work properly when you put it back. It is 2-3 days since I have fixed it. So far so good - it is working fine. Touch wood. Keeping fingers, toes, hands and legs crossed - hope the result of my effort will last for some time!
    varunrtr, Ravi, PaddleShifter and 4 others like this.
  8. pushkaraj

    pushkaraj Amatore

    Messages:
    107
    Pune
    Ravi , Nice work and good description :)
  9. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    Appreciate your nice explaination with pics. :smile:
    Thanks once again for DIY with valuable tricks and tips and fact finding. ::T

    I am not much of a DIYer myself when it come to hands-on troubleshooting, but fortunately for me and some others in our city, there is an inconspicuous garage nearby that has this person who is a specialist in door and window related issues. Many people from the part of Mumbai where I live come hunting for him to get such niggles fixed in their cars. Just a few months back a Skoda customer who was traveling from a different part of the city happened to pass the area and was told by someone to ask around for this door-window specialist. In this guy's case, the window carriage cable of his Skoda had broken and a replacement was offered by private and ASC at approx. 6500/- Rs. + labour. This door window specialist removed the entire assembly and took it apart and made a wonderful replacement cable and locking mechanism that went through this carriage assembly which is sealed such that it needs to be replaced even when the motor in that assembly was ok. The cost of this Jugaad was Rs. 1500/- total. The Skoda guy was very happy since it saved him a good amount of money and the assembly worked again like new. This guy is so good at refurbishing car doors and window mechanisms that he only does this work for a living. His marketing tool is totally by word of mouth publicity. He is either dozing off in the shade or working on doors & windows of cars through his life. :)

    I guess these small Jugaads make us a bit lazy and life a bit easier for us metro dwellers.

  10. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    Messages:
    299
    Karnataka
    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Unfortunately being so far away from a city does not give me any such help. I am my own "jugadu"! Being DIY jugaad it costed only some sweat and time, no $$ :)

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