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Old 31-03-12
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Problems with GT JTD Engine

Hi, I was wondering if anyone could help? About a month ago, my car started loosing power at low revs. I took it to the nearest Alfa garage and they said it was the EGR valve, and it needed to be replaced. I had this done a couple of weeks ago and it seemed to fix the problem although I still though the fuel consumption was higher than it used to be before the original problem started.

Anyway, yesterday, when I was pulling away from a set of traffic lights the car lost pretty much all power again and wouldn't rev. When I pulled up, the car struggled to idle, with the engine hunting between about 500 and 700 rev/min. I stopped the engine and tried to start it again but it really struggled and eventually died... :-(. I left it a while and tried it a couple more times but the same thing happened so I called the AA.

They arrived and did what I did, tried starting it a few times. After about 4 or 5 attempts, it reluctantly started and seemed to be OK, although was still a bit sluggish in reaching the revs. As there were no dash indicators on, the AA said that the engine management system would not be able to provide them with the likely fault. All they advised was for me to try to drive home as it was. For about the first 10 miles, the car was quite sluggish, but all of a sudden it seemed to be back to normal and full power was available. It's been OK since.......

Can anyone help? Any suggestions what the problem may be?

Also, what is an EGR valve and what does it do?

Thanks for all your help.

Cheers.
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  #2 (Post Link)  
Old 31-03-12
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Its the exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve (Hence EGR) its to do with emissions.

Last year my 147 M-Jet stood around in the freezing cold for over a month becasue of accident damage (long story, don't go there) when I got it back it felt awful, no power at low revs.

Bunged up EGR....

I was going to just get it changed, but money was tight (nailed by the excess!) and I bought some Wynns Halfords | Wynn's Formula Gold Diesel Treatment 500ml (I thought it was called Diesel System Cleaner, but they may have changed the name) it cured the problem almost as soon as I'd started the engine.

A warm up and "Italian Tune Up" and its been as sweet as a nut ever since, the whole system had probably furred up, a bit like a kettle does in hard water, the fuel consumption was better too

Its expensive, but worked for me, cleaning the fuel system through won't do any harm

Last edited by Richard H; 31-03-12 at 07:58.
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Old 31-03-12
Status: missing my GTA
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159 1.9 JTDM Lusso

that does almost sound EGR related, although the complete lack of power is baffling. EGRs do tend to lead to consumption issues and lacking of power at the bottom end, suprised it would make it stall though.

what an EGR is: stands for Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve. its a bit of an emissions device that passes exhaust gas back through the manifold (from the exhaust, obviously) to go through the combustion cycle again, the end result supposedly that there is less harmfull emissions from the car.

The EGR unit is made up of two seperate parts that bolt together, the valve body and the actuator and it sits under the top right hand corner of the engine cover as you stand looking at it. The actuator is black cylinderical thing with the plug right on the end and the valve body is a rectangular metal block. you cant miss it, if you follow the black inlet pipe from the wing towards the engine, where the pipe is clipped to the engine, the bit thats bolted onto the engine intake between engine and the bulkhead is the EGR.

Problem with them is the soot that passes through blocks them up, so the valve body itself gets stuck, the actuators dont usually cause any issues as its an electrical reaction, only 1 moving part.

You can clean the EGR valve for yourself if you've got basic mechanical skills, I clean mine of from time to time.

if you take off the engine cover, you can see the EGR valve. Remove the two large bolts that go through the top of it, holding on the metal pipe that feeds exhaust in to it. be aware there is a metal gasget on this that you want to keep.

Then you can remove the 4 bolts that run horizontally through it from back to front, two top, two bottom. All that is left after these is the electrical connection on the actuator. simples.

to disassemble further, undo the 4 torx screws that hold the actuator to the valve. the actuator rod should be sticking out the end of the actuator and you should be able to push this freely in and it will pop back out no trouble, if it does, thats fine.

The valve itself, you want to be able to push right open so it hits the valve body. it will make sense when you do it, there is a shaft that runs through the valve body which is spring loaded and has the valve plates on it, the end of the shaft should be able to be moved right until it hits the valve body. it should be light enough and easy to move its full deflection, albeit with the resistance of the spring. If its stucking, won't go full deflection or won't return instantly once released, it needs cleaning.

To clean mine, I start off my removing the light stuff with a detailing brush. Think toothbrush that has metal brushes - available in halfords. Then i just the metal gasget mentioned earlier, make up a carboard gasget or two and run some bolts through to blank off that side of the valve. Then I fill it with carb cleaner type spray. Make sure you open the valve as you fill so it fills both sides.

Then i leave it to soak for a while. The gasgets I made up were only old cereal box and not up to the job and leaked a bit but still works as I wasnt bothered about making a mess. Once soaked spend a good 10 mins or so with it just pressing and releasing the valve until it feels silky smooth. then dry out and reassemble and you should be good.

admitedly it will only last so long before its completely warn out but my jdt 16v 150bhp 156 is still on its original at 86k and its going fine!
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Old 31-03-12
Status: turbo charger assembler
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if it was a new one they fitted i cannot see it been that, unless plug for wires is loose.......may be worth cleaning your MAP sensor with brake cleaner, its at rear of engine along from the egr to the left..........held into manifold with one torx bolt, very easy job to do, then id do the ecu reset on the car, but not before u have cleaned that sensor
when was last time it had a fuel and air filter........may be worth doing a service on it too then see if fuel consmption goes back to normal

i have no idea what could have caused that problem that needed the aa thats very weird like it was starved of fuel

Gary
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  #5 (Post Link)  
Old 31-03-12
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Originally Posted by stuartytait View Post
I stopped the engine and tried to start it again but it really struggled and eventually died
I didn't think a dodgy EGR could make the car cut out.
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Old 15-04-12
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***** Romeo GT

Hi everyone,

Thanks Richard H, Artermis, hdseven, and t3yls for posting.
I've just got the car back from the garage for a service and they can find no problem with it. All they suggested was that a piece of carbon may have been stuck somewhere and it has caused the issues.

For info, the car only has 13,000 miles (9,000 in the last year), so maybe I've been done with the new EGR!!....

hdsteve, thanks, I'll try cleaning the MAP sensor. How do I then reset the ECU though? Also, does anyone have any instructions / part numbers for changing the air and fuel sensors?

Richard H, I've ordered up some of the Diesel Cleaner so I'll give it a go to see if it helps.

Thanks again everyone for all your help!
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Old 16-04-12
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159 JTDm 2006

Had similar problems - twice - with the 156 turbo JTD. Both times it was a pin hole / small split in the turbo pipe. But had to spend a lot of money before that was discovered. So rule that out befoer spending.
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