I am continually amazed at how similar Tipo 16v/Alfa 155 problems are.
My first Tipo managed 101,000 miles, the second 86,000. You get to learn about every single problem during this sort of mileage ownership.
Fortunately my 155 has just done 20,000, so I should not have to deal with any such niggles for some time.
Anyway, here we go...
Graham, the heater control lights are tiny little bulbs held in with even tinier little clamp/things. If the bulb has come even slightly loose, it will do what you have described - come on intermittently. That good prod with the palm is pushing them back into their little clamps (but obviously only temporarily).
If you want to fix the problem, you're gonna have to remove the heater control knobs and very carefully take out that small rectangular plastic section behind the knobs. Then you will have access to the bulbs and the little holders. Either replace them with new ones (holders) or have a close look and see if there is anything visibly wrong. They may just need a good squeeze (oo er!) with some pliers.
Be very careful taking this section of the car apart. You will need patience, a precision screw driver set and about an hour.
Secondly, the hand brake warning light actually doubles as a brake fluid warning light. If your brake fluid is low, the handbrake warning light will come on (Italians eh?). The reason it is only coming on in flashes is that you are probably not that low on fluid. So when you take hard corners, the fluid is moving about in the reservoir. (Like when you are low on petrol and corner hard, the petrol light comes on).
Check the fluid level and top it up immediately. Clutch and brakes use the same fluid/reservoir. If it gets too low, your will lose control of your clutch. (The pedal will slump to the floor and you will be stuck in gear). This is not funny at all. It happened to me once in the Tipo and it could have been very serious indeed.
You need to find out why the fluid is low. Maybe one of your master cylinders is on its way out (what mileage has your car done?)
Sorry, can't help with the central locking problem, but the key fobs on both Tipos were crap. Just get a decent alarm and get two benefits in one, security and remote central locking.
Two additional points. Is there anywhere on this website where these sort of problems are logged or stored? For those of you that haven't already had a look, please visit www.tipo16v.co.uk,
especially the FAQ section, as it can often provide many useful answers to common 155 problems.
Finally, my 155 has a strange problem. The interior light remains on for two minutes after getting into the car and driving off. The little door open light on the warning panel show the driver's door is open, but then goes out after 2 minutes. Is this a common problem?