Odd problem has dealer mystified and me tired!!! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 12-06-03 Thread Starter
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Odd problem has dealer mystified and me tired!!!


I have an Alfa 166 and my wife has a 146. Both are fab and have brought us both much joy. However, lately the 146 has developed a weird problem that I'd like to get to the bottom of:

It's a '98 146 1.8T.Spark. I understand this engine is also used in the 156, so hopefully someone out there has experienced this problem before and found a cure.

The engine when idling has a mind of its own. It will vary from 6-7k to over 20k by itself, and then settle to 10k. A few moments later and is has another rev about before settling. More worryingly is that when driving the car in normal use, it regularly cuts out when dropped into neutral at junctions as you approach a right turn etc. and has often left my wife looking rather silly as it cuts out leaving her in the middle of the road with no power steering etc.

I would greatly appreciate anybody’s suggestions for what may be at fault. The car has 58k miles and has had a full service and timing belt change at 56k. I know spark plug replacement is recommended at 60k miles, so maybe they are failing early?? The local dealer seems mystified, quoting me over €1000 to sort it out saying loads of things are wrong. A non-dealer mechanic I gave it to said it was a problem with a stepper motor, he replaced this and we got it calibrated at with a computer, but the problem remained.

Anybody got any previous experience of this type of problem on a 1.4/1.8/2.0 T.Spark???

Hoping someone can help,

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Sounds like the idle actuator that has been so popular recently. It can be cleaned, try a search....should be a few recent threads.

...........and welcome to the forum

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<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:<hr /><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Fixtronix:
<strong>It will vary from 6-7k to over 20k by itself, and then settle to 10k. </strong><hr /></blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hi Fixtronix
I think if it is revving over 20,000 rpm, this could be your problem.
Some one has fitted a Honda 125 NSR engine while you weren't looking.


It will be, in no particular order:
idle actuator - can be cleaned DIY
lambda probe - can be replaced £100 ish
ECU temperature switch - can be replaced £20 ish

Welcome to AO!!

PS Plugs will want doing as they don't last 60k.
I have just bought some Champion ones for £48 + VAT. NGK are £112 + VAT.
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Another thing to have the dealer check is the stepper motor. This is what was causing mine to rev when idling...
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(Post Link) post #5 of 7 Old 13-06-03 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I'll take a look over the weekend at the idle actuator and if it can be cleaned DIY great, otherwise at least I've got some good suggestions from you all.

Thanks again.

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IA can be cleaned out with the old and trusted Wd-40 !!! did it 2 years ago and works like new ever since... my 2.0 ts had a life of its own, some instances I blasted away without touching the throttle and sometimes it stopped dead cold causing many raised fingers and fists.
And a couple of near misses.... standing still for a traffic light I looked like f*cking Michael Schucklegruber revving before hitting the launchcontrol.
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Fixtronic....Looks as tho' you took my advice and contacted Alfaowner, has it helped?
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