MK2 punto cuts out ! any ideas?

Hi My sons MK2 2000 X reg punto cuts out at randon times , it loses all power to the car. Nothing works other than the starter motor. Ive checked terminals and earths but it still happens. Fiat just say they
will run a check on the ECU and then change bits untill it stops happening but this sounds a very expensive way to do it to me. Some one has said it could be the ignition switch. Does any one know if you can just change the switch part and keep the same barrel as that is going to be very expensive if we have to change the barrel as that will mean a ecu change as well. Any help thoughts on this fault greatfully accepted Rob
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On 17-Aug-2004, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (rob w) wrote:

I've had to change the ignition switch on three Fiats, one wouldn't actuate the starter, one locked up mechanically and wouldn't turn at all, even after WD40, RAC lifted the front and towed it a couple of miles, well they had to as the steering was locked. The other one cooked the switch contacts, no relay, so headlamps, heater motor, rear screen heater, wipers, and just about everything that comes on with the ignition goes through it. Fiat use several mfrs. so it's a case of pot luck as to whether you can swap the contact block. Replacing barrel is a pain in the butt, due to the awkward location and snap off head bolts, job to get the drill centered. Can't see how these bolts help security in any way, so fixed replacement with ordinary bolts. Of course replacing the switch means one more odd key, worst case, one for the doors, one for the ignition, one for the filler cap. If it is intermittent sods law dictates it won't happen when it's with the garage. To check Ignition switch I'd jury rig 12V bulbs on the switch outputs, then if it's the switch one will go out. Not sure about your model but there may be protective devices and well hidden impact sensor switches that do things like fuel cut-off and kill the ignition on impact. Had a case where a relay in this setup was intermittent, took a guy who had worked for Fiat to (after may had expensively tried, and failed) to find it. ECU readout showed nothing. Dealers working on intermittents, by trial and error, gets expensive, sure it's electrics ??? The little neon gizmos, that go in series with a plug, are invaluable here, to see if the plugs are getting a spark. Personally I use a timing light, brighter flash, easier to see in daylight. The simple ones only cost a couple of quid. You can of course bring a lead through one of the bulkhead grometts, and put a 12V bulb on the feed to the coil, if that one goes out and everything dies, work from there, back towards the Ignition switch.
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