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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys
I have just become the proud owner of my first Alfa - a 1999 GTV V6. It joins 2 Triumphs and a Range Rover Classic in my garage.
The car has come with 2 keys - the plain master key and a red key with the rubber pad to operate the locking etc.
This key is in poor condition but complete.
The micro switch beneath the rubber pad is definitely broken and the rubber pad isn't great either.
Otherwise the circuit board looks ok and the transponder is in place.
Does anyone refurbish these keys (if so who do you recommend) or is it a case of a massive bill from a dealer for a brand new key?
I'd like to get the key functioning if possible.
Apologies if this has been asked many times before!
Many thanks
Mke
 

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Hi Guys
I have just become the proud owner of my first Alfa - a 1999 GTV V6. It joins 2 Triumphs and a Range Rover Classic in my garage.
The car has come with 2 keys - the plain master key and a red key with the rubber pad to operate the locking etc.
This key is in poor condition but complete.
The micro switch beneath the rubber pad is definitely broken and the rubber pad isn't great either.
Otherwise the circuit board looks ok and the transponder is in place.
Does anyone refurbish these keys (if so who do you recommend) or is it a case of a massive bill from a dealer for a brand new key?
I'd like to get the key functioning if possible.
Apologies if this has been asked many times before!
Many thanks
Mke
What country are you from as the keys you describe are not like the ones fitted in the UK. My 2000 Spider has 4 keys, 2 operate all the locks and ignition, there is a 'service' key that only operates the door lock and ignition and the master coding key a browny red colour. The central locking/alarm is on a separate fob. Yours sounds like a 2 button Fiat key as fitted to Pandas, Puntos and Ducatos around 2003 and later, Replacement fobs are available on the net, those from the far east are of doubtful quality and might not work.
 

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930073

There are two types of keys/fobs that came with 916s. I’m not 100% sure of the exact cause of the difference as it isn’t age related. I think it could be to do with whether the car was bought tax free in Germany as a RHD or full UK Spec RHD. Being U.K. spec meant it would need a Thatcham approved alarm hence the Meta M99 T1 or T2 alarm depending on age with the separate fob (mine on the GTV has been updated so I can now open the boot remotely). Others had the standard ‘continental’ alarm which was integral to the key.

There are two parts to the security system... a transponder in the key regardless of type which operates the immobiliser and the alarm/central locking operated either by the key or the fob. Timpsons can copy the transponder and cut new key (about £40 each) and Abacus Alarms can replace the Meta fobs or provide a new ECU with fobs if you don’t have all the docs etc to replace just the fobs.

The issue comes with replacing the combined key and alarm fob. I have 2 Spider keys both of which start the car but only one operates the central locking remotely. The other will open the door manually. I haven’t investigated too closely but my alarm seems to have been disconnected or even removed as it doesn’t go off if I manually unlock the doors. If you are in the same situation then I’m guessing the options are to fit either an after market alarm or after market remote opening. Having done this, if you are a bit Alfa OCD and don’t like having a key with a button on it the does nothing then you could always get a new key from Timpsons.
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info both of you.
The red key I have is the same as the top one, with the rubber button on the top. This, I believe operates both the factory alarm and central locking.
The car was imported as RHD via Belgium from new, so I guess it will have the "continental" system.
The key blade opens and shuts the doors manually and the boot without problem, but like you say, there appears to be no alarm functionality evident. No LED illuminating on the dash.
I'm sure if the key could be repaired the central locking would then work remotely again. It looks to be all there apart from a bust micro switch. Transponder is definitely there.
Worst case scenario I will have to fit an after market alarm. I can probably live without remote locking in the short term at least, but security is a worry.
Sounds like I should also invest in another spare key from Timpsons.
Thanks.
 

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Having thought about this a bit more... I’m guessing another option would be to try and obtain a set of “continental” keys and alarm ECU from a car that’s being scrapped. Keep your original key blade and transponder and swap over the ECU and circuit board. Might be an expensive option as keys are normally sold complete with all ECUs, transponder, boot lock etc etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Having thought about this a bit more... I’m guessing another option would be to try and obtain a set of “continental” keys and alarm ECU from a car that’s being scrapped. Keep your original key blade and transponder and swap over the ECU and circuit board. Might be an expensive option as keys are normally sold complete with all ECUs, transponder, boot lock etc etc.
Yes, that sounds a bit drastic. I'd be better off going with an aftermarket alarm and forgetting the remote locking or a system that provides both the alarm and links into the central locking. I can have a chat with Abacus as they are local and have installed 2 systems for me in other cars.
 

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Not sure if this info really helps or not...

The upper key in Nelly's pic is the same as the keys I have for my 1999 156. The upper rubber button operates the alarm and central locking when the button is pressed.
The key itself will unlock both front doors and the boot (The 156 has a cable operated boot release).

Interesting that the euro-spec RHD cars seem to have a 156 key/alarm combo
 

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Not sure if this info really helps or not...

The upper key in Nelly's pic is the same as the keys I have for my 1999 156. The upper rubber button operates the alarm and central locking when the button is pressed.
The key itself will unlock both front doors and the boot (The 156 has a cable operated boot release).

Interesting that the euro-spec RHD cars seem to have a 156 key/alarm combo
Yes, sounds like exactly the same system in terms of functionality. Every day is a school day as they say!
 

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Not sure if this info really helps or not...

The upper key in Nelly's pic is the same as the keys I have for my 1999 156. The upper rubber button operates the alarm and central locking when the button is pressed.
The key itself will unlock both front doors and the boot (The 156 has a cable operated boot release).

Interesting that the euro-spec RHD cars seem to have a 156 key/alarm combo
A lot of Alfas from that era that are now in the U.K. were originally bought tax free in Germany. British military stationed in Europe were entitled to buy tax free cars and the Fiat group gave an extra 25% off. Maybe someone with left hooker could let us know what keys they have. My GTV worked out at about £12.5k compared to a U.K. price at the time of £23k. It also explains why sometime reg no’s and age don’t match. The date of registration for my GTV according to DVLA is when I was posted back to the U.K. not when I bought it. My Spider was also bought in Germany and despite being an earlier model than the GTV is registered after with DVLA.
 

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I've been through this exercise with the 'continental' system as it was also fitted to 916's sold in South Africa. Shortly after I bought my Spider the only working remote died and I had no codes to program in a new one and therefore wasn't able to 're-enable' remote central locking.

The system works as follows:
Each remote has a unique 4 digit key which is permanently programmed in at the factory. These codes are stored in the receiver which is part of the dome light fitting. To program a new remote into the receiver you need to know the code for one of the existing keys which have already been programmed in. Without this you cannot open the receiver's programming function. If the car's first owner was smart he/she would have stuck the code stickers that came with the keys onto the back of the code card (shown in the picture)
The alarm unit also receives the code from the key via the receiver. This unit sits above the driver's side front wheel and came be disabled with the alarm key shown in the attached picture.

It is possible to have codes recovered from working keys or have the codes pulled from the receiver itself. It's also possible to 'virginize' the receiver back to factory default settings. In this state it keeps the programming memory unlocked for the first 256 or so lock/unlock cycles, after that it self locks

I went to the great expense of buying a new receiver from the dealer and because it's memory was unlocked they where able to program in the existing keys without any codes. The problem was the alarm unit then wouldn't work because it needs the original codes entered before it would recognize the new component. I then found an electronics expert who was able to pull the codes from my keys which allowed me to unlock the receiver's memory and reprogram all the remotes into the system. The entire system then sprang to life and now works perfectly.

You can have a look at this thread on a different forum for more info. The forum is for the Alfa 145 which isn't a problem because the 145 uses the same system. GialloEvo who wrote the guide was the one who retrieved the codes from my keys for me in 2014. He was a top chap and extremely helpful. I don't however know if he's still about or still doing this.

You can also get new rubber buttons from Totally Alfa:

Good second hand keys can be found on Ebay. You can remove the circuit board and move it over to your key:


There are also repair services available however I cannot vouch for their reliability:

If a second hand key is too dear I believe (not know) that the Iveco replacement key shell is useable alternative.

It's also possible to still buy a new alarm ECU/siren if yours is dead:

Hopefully all that helps
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Many thanks for such a helpful reply. I have actually purchased the spare key advertised which I can use to replace the broken pcb and switch, together with the cracked cover on the key at present. I have had a spare key cloned by Timpsons today so making some progress. With luck I will get the remote locking and alarm up and running. Sadly I don't have the alarm barrel key, but may have a spare from another car. I'll check out the alarm siren tomorrow.
 
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