How To Service the Fiat 500 Hatchback, Part 2

In Part 1 of our guide to Servicing the Fiat 500 hatchback, we addressed removing the door cylinders. This final installment covers removing and servicing the ignition lock cylinder, and transponder programming.

Removing the ignition with a key is fairly straightforward. But once again we are making our way in new territory so I am sure we made some extra steps.

First, you have to remove the two Phillips screws holding the bottom shroud. Then there are two more screws underneath holding the top shroud on. After the screws were removed, getting the top shroud out proved to be a little difficult because two clips on either side were holding it to the bottom shroud. Once we figured that out, it popped right off (See Photo 1).

The shroud is firmly snapped on the bottom, so we had to use a screwdriver to separate them. Once we did that we understood but up until then we were not sure what was holding the top shroud on (See Photo 2).

Once the shrouds were off, Photo 3 shows our view. The orange tab you see in the photo is the shift lock release. This could be an issue in the future, so we wanted to point it out. Photo 4 provides a closer look.

We were unfamiliar with some different notations on the face of the cylinder. We finally discovered that you must turn the cylinder to “MAR” in order to push the retainer and remove the cylinder ( See photo 5). It is a slightly different type of retainer than we have seen here in the USA in the past. There is also a large rubber cover in the way. We just pulled it off and over the end of the wiper handle. Stacy is showing the retainer in Photo 6. In Photo 7, you can see how high this retainer sits outside the cylinder housing.

Now we can begin to remove the core cylinder from the housing. This is very tricky and a little hard to explain in a written form. The first two things we need to do are remove the face cap and the ‘C’ Clip on the end (See Photo 8). Slowly work the face cap off and over the end of the cylinder. Set it aside to pop back on later. Next, remove the ‘C’ clip (Photo 9).

The next step is to put the key in the cylinder. When you insert the key, a tab will extend out of the cylinder (Photo 10). First, push the slide forward. The slide acts as a retainer for the inner cylinder. In order to turn it counterclockwise to release, you have to push this slide forward as you turn the key counterclockwise ( Photo 11). Then slowly slide the key out about a quarter-inch. As you do, this tab should retreat back into the cylinder.

As you slide the key out just about a quarter-inch, the tab will retract (Photo 12). Once this tab has dropped totally out of the way, you can then slide the cylinder out of the housing (Photo 13). At this point, be very careful; these wafers can easily fall out of the cylinder (Photo 14). There are numbers on the wafers, so that makes it easy if two or more do fall out.

At this point you can put in a key cut to all ‘1s” and read the wafers. You can take the wafers out one at a time, remembering they will fall out if you don’t hold them. The wafers are marked with a letter, not a number (Photo 15). Can you guess this depth? Tumblers are marked A, B, C, D, and E.

The housing profile looks familiar (Photo 16). It appears to have the same outward shape and size as the Ford Focus. I am sure going to try and get the two housings together to look at that…

In Photo 17, I am showing you the outer housing and the ‘X’ mark where the side bar would be located. If you need to get the cylinder out without a key, you could drill a hole and apply pressure to the side bar and pick it over.


Transponder Programming

Now that we have shown you how to get all these locks out to service, we are going to move into the transponder portion and the chip set. You must have a PIN number to program a key to this unit. There are some programming units in the USA that will program these cars at the time of this writing.

We had a Zedbull with a Fiat Cable that was supposed to pull the PIN and program the transponder. We could not get it to connect at this time. The Advanced-Diagnostics machine will also program the vehicle with a PIN number.

The transducer ring appears to be a totally separate system so that if it were to be damaged, you should be able to just replace it (untested). There is a quick disconnect plug for the antenna ring (Photo 18).

That is why we think you can replace it, should it be damaged. We did not need to remove the antenna ring at any point of this entire process to access the cylinder.

Our cloner provided a transponder reading as a Phillips 46 CRYPTO 2, Locked Manchester chip set (Photo 19).

As this is all very new to the U.S. market, I am sure by the time you will read this there will already be more information available to in order to help you along with the vehicle.

The last bit of information probably will not mean much to most, but I thought I would add it. Here is a picture of the ECU Board front (Photo 20) and back (Photo 21). Those into EEPROM Technology may appreciate these pictures.

Although this vehicle did prove to be a challenge, it turned out to be a lot of fun and certainly interesting. As always, Stacy and I hope this helps you out and makes it a little easier for you. Any questions can be e-mailed to or

Editor’s Note: Check out several helpful videos from author Jim Hetchler. Just click on the video links in the Related Content box accompanying the article.