147 Motor Control System Failure - Alfa Romeo Forum
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  #1 (Post Link)  
Old 23-10-07
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147 Selespeed Lusso

147 Motor Control System Failure

Bought my first alfa on 14th August, all went well - she's a 2.0 selespeed lusso (2002) in red of course.

It's great fun, been keeping it off the back roads but had to go over one recently. I wasn't going fast, but the road was bad and I'm sure the car ground out on a high apexed bit of the road

Everything seemed fine until a few days later - the dreaded "motor control system failure comes on. no difference to driving. Seems to come on and off as it wishes - the alfa garage said its ok to drive until i find out what it is - as long as it doesnt affect the driving, then stop.

Anyone got any ideas what could be causing this - my local garage want £150 just to do the diagnostic check, and it's money I just aint got right now.

Thanks.
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  #2 (Post Link)  
Old 23-10-07
techie
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Re: 147 Motor Control System Failure

Do an ECU reset and see does the error come back. Have a search for ECU reset procedure on here and see how it goes.
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Old 24-10-07
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Re: 147 Motor Control System Failure

hi mate


i ve had this on my 147 as well ...was driveing along and all of a sudden control system failure had come up ...looked under the bonnet and here was no water in tank .topped it up water and drove on ..pulled up and checked again ,water was fine ,looked under car and bone dry .. when i got home checked water again and there was nothing still cant see no water on floor ...took it to alfa and turned out that the head had blown ......very expensive
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Old 24-10-07
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Re: 147 Motor Control System Failure

Originally Posted by sd52 red View Post
Bought my first alfa on 14th August, all went well - she's a 2.0 selespeed lusso (2002) in red of course.

It's great fun, been keeping it off the back roads but had to go over one recently. I wasn't going fast, but the road was bad and I'm sure the car ground out on a high apexed bit of the road

Everything seemed fine until a few days later - the dreaded "motor control system failure comes on. no difference to driving. Seems to come on and off as it wishes - the alfa garage said its ok to drive until i find out what it is - as long as it doesnt affect the driving, then stop.

Anyone got any ideas what could be causing this - my local garage want £150 just to do the diagnostic check, and it's money I just aint got right now.

Thanks.
Could be something as simple as your battery is on the way out ... 5 year old car, bet it's the original .... mine lasted just under 7 years and I was lucky ... but a Sillyspeed is more susceptible to those volts. Get it tested at an auto electricians or a tyre and battery place (not a dealer) unless you have a multi-meter handy !
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Old 24-10-07
Nev
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Re: 147 Motor Control System Failure

Originally Posted by SANJ View Post
i ve had this on my 147 as well ...was driveing along and all of a sudden control system failure had come up ...looked under the bonnet and here was no water in tank .topped it up water and drove on ..pulled up and checked again ,water was fine ,looked under car and bone dry .. when i got home checked water again and there was nothing still cant see no water on floor ...took it to alfa and turned out that the head had blown ......very expensive
Dude, don't scare the guy, you've posted your bad experience a
few time already on here. Sorry to hear it.

There is a sticky thread in this tech lounge concerning Motor Control
failure and the link with near-dead batteries. Maybe he should check
that (cheap) fix out before thinking about blown heads!
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  #6 (Post Link)  
Old 25-10-07
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Re: 147 Motor Control System Failure

well, thanks guys. I did the ecu reset thing that was suggested and it hasn't come back yet (fingers crossed) If it does come back, I'll check the battery - if I remember right halfords used to do a free battery check, or they did many moons ago when I worked there.

Thanks for all your help. Went on to my local boy racer forum (cos they always know everything don't they!), and got nothing back but "why did you buy an alfa" "thats what you get for buying italian" etc.

helpful. Cheers guys.
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Old 25-10-07
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Re: 147 Motor Control System Failure

I'd only change the battery if your definatly sure your battery has had it. I was told to try and change my battery, so I thought okay I'll try it. It seemed that everyone on this forum recommended it, so I went a head with it. £100+ pound out of pocket and still the darm beeping and Motor Control System Failure TAKE TO DEALER message. So if you don't mind lossing over a £100 give it a go.
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  #8 (Post Link)  
Old 25-10-07
Nev
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Re: 147 Motor Control System Failure

Originally Posted by Joski View Post
£100+ pound out of pocket
How much for a battery !?!?
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  #9 (Post Link)  
Old 25-10-07
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Re: 147 Motor Control System Failure

It's a Exide X-treme 2.

Thought if I get a good battery all problems will go away. Obviously that wasn't the case.
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Old 18-08-08
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Help 147 Motor Control System Failure

Hi guys,

I have the same problem as "sd52 red" and I think it happen in similar conditions....I was driving on a bumpy road and suddenly the error appeared.
I talked with a friend of mine, who is an mechanical engineer and he suggested that maybe the error appeared after I changed something. And I did fuel the tank from another gas station...so I refilled the tank from my previous gas station....but I still got the problem...
so... I guess I will try the ECU reset method.

I am a newbie to motors and to this site and I hope I won't ask silly questions but....can I reset the ECU, or do I have to go to an alfa garage !?
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Old 18-08-08
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Re: 147 Motor Control System Failure

Old, or age unknown, batteries are often the prime suspect, especially with the Seles' need for battery power.:
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  #12 (Post Link)  
Old 13-09-09
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motor control system failure alfa 147

hi all, yest after filling my alfa with petrol... that icons of the ABS, ASR and handbrake.. lighted up on the electronic screen. Then after switching it off and started it again after some 2hrs, this time the motor control system failure message appeared. the performance remained the same but this message is getting on my nerves since i dont know if any damage is being done. can someone tell me what can be the problem?
(and can the problem be from the petrol.. maybe it wasn't a clean petrol and the lampda sensor is sensing higher level of Co2 being emitted?)
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Old 13-09-09
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the best thing to do is try and find a member on here who has alfa diag that lives near you, that might plug their laptop in if you ask. you have not put down where you live.
it will need diagnosing to be sure but obviously you don't want to pay £150.
there is point guessing what could be wrong, it could be one of many different things.
maybe if you have a laptop and are going to keep your car for a while, get alfa diag yourself , its about £80 with the lead.
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  #14 (Post Link)  
Old 13-09-09
Nev
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Originally Posted by gilli_rock View Post
hi all, yest after filling my alfa with petrol... that icons of the ABS, ASR and handbrake.. lighted up on the electronic screen. Then after switching it off and started it again after some 2hrs, this time the motor control system failure message appeared. the performance remained the same but this message is getting on my nerves since i dont know if any damage is being done. can someone tell me what can be the problem?
(and can the problem be from the petrol.. maybe it wasn't a clean petrol and the lampda sensor is sensing higher level of Co2 being emitted?)

Get your battery checked.
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  #15 (Post Link)  
Old 28-09-09
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I have this darn problem too. The Motor Control System Failure light came on a few months back and just went away the following day, it then came back a couple of weeks ago so I had my local garage look at it while they where replacing my lower arm and they 'killed' the light (I presume they did an ECU reset). The light has now come back again, this time though (probably a coincidence) it came back at the same time as a horrid knocking noise when in gear (clutch down and it stops) which could maybe be the clutch bearing or drive shaft or... many more options involving lots of £££.... so this time I am not sure what to do apart from taking it back to the local garage and dreading the quote. It seems as if the ECU light coming on could just be a grubby sensor maybe? I'm not really sure. sd52 red, what is the procedure for the ECU reset? I think it would be a good idea to post it here as a possible answer to this question. The only other issue with her is a wet passenger foot well which is an absolute nightmare!
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Old 30-09-09
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i have had the same problem went on went off numerous times then came back on and then wouldn,t start got it to alfa romeo in knowle and they told me the ignition ecu was shot and it was gonna cost £668 to fix. the part they used was a recon and came from italy.drove superb when i got it back, but noticed it had a hole in the air box (not caused by the garage) but didnt have the money to fix straight away but now the motor control system failure light has come back on a friend has reset ecu and said it has come up with 7 faults 2 unrecognised (witch means it has to go to alfa) one of them is a speed sensor witch he said could be the cause of it cutting out when in idle, and that the airbox and the pipes and sensors could do with a good clean witch i will do when new airbox is fitted but the dreaded light is stil on even he scratches his head
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  #17 (Post Link)  
Old 14-10-09
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Alfa Romeo 147

Please help!

My MCSF light came up a few months ago, where following that my car sometimes struggled to start (it was turning over but not firing). Had a diagnostic test which highlighted a crankshaft sensor fault. My dad (aren't they great eh!) changed the part for me and I had no further problems... Until a few weeks later when it started again. Had a diagnostic guy visit the house to have a look - his machine highlighted a key fault and was advised to change the key I was using. This worked for a while but the MCSF light came on again and I'm having major trouble starting it. Tonight was the last straw when it wouldnt start after work!!

Any advice would be a great help. Just a few more details... tried unhooking the battery for 12 hrs, it used to start fine when the engine was cold but would struggle when it wasn't...

Sorry about the rant but thought you oracles would appreciate as much background as possible.
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  #18 (Post Link)  
Old 09-11-09
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Originally Posted by theoriginalno1 View Post
I have this darn problem too. The Motor Control System Failure light came on a few months back and just went away the following day, it then came back a couple of weeks ago so I had my local garage look at it while they where replacing my lower arm and they 'killed' the light (I presume they did an ECU reset). The light has now come back again, this time though (probably a coincidence) it came back at the same time as a horrid knocking noise when in gear (clutch down and it stops) which could maybe be the clutch bearing or drive shaft or... many more options involving lots of £££.... so this time I am not sure what to do apart from taking it back to the local garage and dreading the quote. It seems as if the ECU light coming on could just be a grubby sensor maybe? I'm not really sure. sd52 red, what is the procedure for the ECU reset? I think it would be a good idea to post it here as a possible answer to this question. The only other issue with her is a wet passenger foot well which is an absolute nightmare!
Garage reset the light and it never came back on. Lucky one it is then!
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