How To Service Fiat 500 Hatchback: Videos Added

Part 1 of our guide to servicing the Fiat 500 addresses removing and servicing its door lock. Part 2 will address ignition lock servicing and transponder programming.

After almost 30 years, the Fiat Company is back to selling cars in the U.S. market. At this time, the Fiat Company owns about 70 percent of the Chrysler Corporation. With this much invested in the company, we can expect more and more changes in the Chrysler vehicle line. Some Chrysler vehicles are equipped with Fiat 500 Transponder software, for example the 2011 Chrysler Journey and Charger. More and more of the Chrysler products will be going to this software system. Outside of the U.S., these are some of the more difficult vehicles to service.

Photo 1 shows the Fiat 500 hatchback. The first thing we are going to do is work on the door lock, shown in Photo 2. Warning: there is a lot of plastic on this unit. Proceed with caution as we pull the door panel apart.

Looking over the car, we opened the rear deck and found a storage compartment inside. We opened it up and located a card with Electronic Code and the Mechanical Code (Photo 3). All the locks we worked on had this Mechanical code printed on it. So if you are making keys for this unit, look in the rear compartment for a card. If you find one, you will have a key code and PIN number in hand.

These units take a two track HS Key (Photo 4). It utilizes the VW style worm cut in the key blade (Photo 5). Most high security key cutting machines on the market today will cut this key. It comes with the Standard IKE Remote Key and transponder system seen in most all the cars today.

At the time of this writing, it appears that the Advanced Diagnostics Device can program with a PIN number and the Zedbull can pull the PIN number and program the transponder part of the key. But in order to program the remote portion, a different PIN number is required. This is contained in the ECU of the unit and is said to be encrypted. The dealers have not been very helpful in acquiring the PIN number so you can program the remotes. It varies by area and dealer.

Photo 2 shows the door lock on this vehicle before we begin. The small torque screw does not release the lock or allow you any other access. The door panel on this unit came off the hard way as you will see in the next few steps.

Plastic Door Handle

As we start, identify the two screws on the outside edge of the door -- one screw toward the top and another toward the bottom. The little plastic plug that covers these holes usually break upon removal. This isn’t a huge issue. If you are going to be doing any re-keying or repairing and you feel this can be a problem, you may want to buy some replacement covers for these screw holes.

Photo 6 shows where a retainer screw goes into the side of the door. There are no other screws on the outside of this door trim on this model. It may be different with other models. Once these two screws are removed, we can work on the interior door handle and arm rest.

It is important to note that the inner door handle is all plastic. Nothing is holding this on except some very easy-to-break tabs as seen in Photo 7. Note the larger tab can be difficult to pop off. Once you remove this door handle, you will see a Phillips screw to remove. This is set back in the hole fairly deep (See Photo 8). Just unscrew it then set it aside where you will not lose it. It isn’t an average type screw like you will find at the hardware store. Remember, you are dealing in metric sizes here.

Next up is the arm rest and the two screws behind the panel. Take a small screw driver and gently pop the cover off. Once it is off, you will see two Torque screws behind it.


Removing Door Panel

At this point you should be ready to remove the door panel. It is held on by the common plastic tabs as you can see here with Stacy pulling the panel Photo 9.

The next step is to release the door handle cable, and in this case, an automatic mirror switch. Both unplug and come off easily. Now you can grab hold of the whole door panel and pull it toward you. It will pop off cleanly. Nine plastic tabs were holding the door panel on.

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