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Complete electronic system failure, then recovery, then failure.. then recovery!!! ??

Hi. I wonder if you could help me? I have a renault clio 1.2 '97 reg 'panache'. Here's what happened...

Last night I drove home, arriving late. I dropped my stuff into the house and got back in the car to move it into the garage. I turned the key in a hurry (as I often do) and as I did so I saw the dash lights pop on in their various stages like they normally do. However, just at the point I expected the engine to start turning over nothing happened! Also, a fraction of a second earlier I had noticed the dash lights go out. Being in a hurry I thought nothing of this and assmumed the immobilser hadn't deactivated (which was silly as the car still turns over even then -- it was late :-). I took the key out of the ignitionn and pressed the unlock button while waving it in front of the sensor - nothing happened. I tried the cabin lights, nothing, windscreen wipers, nothing, headlights.... nothing - all electrics were dead.

I left it to the morning and checked the fuses - they all looked ok but I decided to replace some of the major ones anyway to be on the safe side. I took out the engine functions fuse and as I replaced it i noticed a satisfying little spark as it touched the terminals - my cd player whurrred on and the car was back to normal. Phewww I thought.

Assuming I'd fixed it I drive across town. But... it happened again!! I'd parked but, hastily decided to reposition my car so, again, I turned the ignitition quite quickly (as I often do) but all was dead again. I immediately fell upon the same fuse I had changed before but this time changing it did no good. I ummed and arred and then thought about disconnecting and reconnecting the battery to see if this would reset something. This worked. Phew again, I thought. The car was back to normal. I'm not sure if the engine funtions fuse had blown on this occasion or not, reason being when I did the battery I'd left that fuse out and it'd got mixed up with old and new ones.

I'm left with a sinking feeling this could become a recurring problem.

Has anyone encountered a problem like this in a car and
/or would you be able to suggest what the problem might be? Or perhaps a good place to start looking?? Could turning the ignition too quickly be connected to the problem? Haynes says it could either be a blown fuse, a faulty relay, bad wiring or a faulty motor. Is this likely to be a time consuming electrical fault-finding mission? Is their a good proceedure or a process of elimination you would recommend I follow?

Thanks very much in advance for your help.
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