147 'Motor Control System Failure' - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Old 12-12-07
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147 'Motor Control System Failure'

Good morning.

I've got a 2001 Alfa 147 1.6 TS and currently suffering from the dreaded 'motor control system failure'. I've read a few posts on here about the problem possible being linked to a flat battery. However, my case is slightly different to all other cases i've seen on this site because my car doesn't even start 80% of the time. Some days it starts, some days it doesn't...when it does start it flashes up the 'motor control system failure' message.

My car always turns over (but doesn't start), and the radio, wipers, lights all work fine so does this rule out a problem with the battery or is it still possible that a battery change will fix my problem?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
thanks
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  #2 (Post Link)  
Old 12-12-07
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

I think you'll find the prime suspect will turn out to be the crankshaft sensor. Its relatively inexpensive but a right b&^*d to reach.
:xmas:
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Old 12-12-07
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

Hi there and welcome to AO. I would agree to sloucher. Have a diagnostic done to find out exactly what is the cause......
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Old 12-12-07
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

Thank you for your quick replies. I've got someone coming round to look at it today so fingers crossed. I'll keep you all informed as it seems to be a fairly common problem.

Do you have to go to an alfa delaer to have a diagnostic test or can any old garage do it?
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Old 12-12-07
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

a 2001 petrol model will use the alfa specific protocol, but a good code reader will still be able to read fault codes.
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Old 20-12-07
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

ballymoney id the exact same problem, turned out it was the crank shaft sensor. not too expensive to replace fingers crossed!!
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Old 20-12-07
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

sounds like the crankshaft alright - and yeah its really not a big wad of cash to fix just a pain in the knuckles!
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Old 20-12-07
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

i just had mine in with the same problem, it was the crankshaft sensor, having gone to an alfa dealer who replaced battery and cleaned the maf! i went to a local fiat dealer and he had it running sweetly in an 1hr and a half!
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  #9 (Post Link)  
Old 08-07-08
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

I have exact same prob had it diagnosed ystdy afternoon me friend who got it on his computer said its just like a coil when it heats up it can go short circut therefore no start.Also note that it will probaly come up on the computer as RPM sensor. Hope I helped someone with this bit of info.Also note its not just alfas that give the odd problem yer man was tellin me modern alfas arent the worst especially ones fitted with Bosch electrics
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Old 08-07-08
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

Ahh I remember old RPM sensor problem, I had it on my previous 147. A real bugger when you went to fill up on Petrol, only to find the car won't start and you have to sit there and wait for it to cool down for 30mins or so.
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  #11 (Post Link)  
Old 08-07-08
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

Hello,

1st post here....have read lots from others re this problem, but my own seems slightly different. ?

I have an 147 JTD 16V and the Motor Control system Failure light arrived on Sunday.

Have a rasping or air escaping type noise once revs reach the 1500rpm and above band...obviously once the turbo kicks in....car is booked in for the end of the week to Alfa dealer, but if anyone has any experience of this, its better going in forearmed so to speak...

Thinking the worst here, but little has chaged, performance is slightly down, but have been driving softer since the light came on....

thanks
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Old 08-07-08
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

Do you not have a specialist local to you, rather than a dealer? Or is the car under warranty?
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  #13 (Post Link)  
Old 08-07-08
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

I live 35 miles from nearest dealer or specialist, so it horses for courses on the distance on that....

Regarding the warranty its a case of maybe, my 3 year warranty from date of ownership runs out on the 29th of this month, but it is at the dealer discretion so its worth it for the diagnosis at least, maybe not the repair, but would like some help on the thoughts of others in what the "problem" might be........
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  #14 (Post Link)  
Old 15-07-08
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

Thank God I found this forum. I've been going nuts with the Motor Control Sysytem coming on, car grinding to a halt without warning, running out of power when I go over 3,000 revs, not starting if I've done a trip of over 30 minutes, having to wait 20 minutes until she cools down to start her again, starting the engine repeatedly until the little engine light goes off etc etc. I've tried V-Power, Redex everything. The dealership thought it was a fuel supply problem, cleaned out the tank but to no avail.
....and all it is is the rpm sensor.
Alfa Romeo 147 1.6 Lusso - I still love her - even after all this pain.
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Old 15-07-08
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

Originally Posted by duncanh007 View Post
....and all it is is the rpm sensor.
careful, in the uk "rpm sensor" means cam sensor. your problem is the crank sensor (aka tdc sensor). replace the crank sensor and your starting issue should be solved.

however your powerloss issue is most likely caused by your MAF. clean it and it should come alive above 3500rpm.
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  #16 (Post Link)  
Old 16-07-08
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

Thank you Jug - will take print out of your reply to the garage this evening.
D
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  #17 (Post Link)  
Old 17-07-08
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Re: 147 'Motor Control System Failure'

Took my 147 1.6 to my local garage last night so that he could assess how difficult it is going to be to replace the tdc sensor.
He found it ok but says the bolt he has to undo is badly rusted and he's afraid that it may break.
Also he says he has 2 options to access the bolt -
1. by taking off the gear box mounting or
2. by taking off the exhaust.
He's never done anything like this before. Can anybody out there offer advice please ?
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  #18 (Post Link)  
Old 09-07-09
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I was on the outside lane of the motorway doing close to 80mph last night when the dreaded 'Motor Control System Failure' light came on and the engine cut out. Nightmare,
trying to recover to the hard shoulder at speed without any engine. Still awaiting reply from garage as to the cause. Anybody experienced this?
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  #19 (Post Link)  
Old 10-07-09
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Motor Control System Failure

Sensors - 3 of them - crankshaft, camshaft and mass air.
After they are replaced, the symptoms you are suffering might not go away immediately.
I don't know why but it took time for them to bed in.
By the way 147 owners, my timing belt broke again at 32,000 miles after Alfa told me to come back at 36,000 miles to have it checked - I'm suing Alfa.
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  #20 (Post Link)  
Old 13-07-09
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Hi Guys, Yep problem was a crankshaft sensor. £36 for the sensor and £40 to fix it. My concern was that this went while I was on the outside lane of the motorway at speed. I cannot believe that Alfa Romeo can allow a single sensor to completely cut out an engine, yes give you a warning but to cut out the engine could have been a disaster. I am writing a letter to Alfa Romeo to explain this problem and show them this forum to highlight this. This sensor should be replaced under a factory recall as I believe it is very dangerous.
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  #21 (Post Link)  
Old 29-05-11
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hi there!my motor control system failure warning come on today,but i have no symptoms! yet??any help please?
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  #22 (Post Link)  
Old 29-05-11
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spot on!
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  #23 (Post Link)  
Old 26-09-11
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Ditto, no symptoms as yet, sounds like a known defect!

Is it worth getting it checked out before any symptoms arrive? I've had warnings on the car about faulty lights almost as long as I've had it and the lights are fine!

All advice appreciated! Also, if anyone knows of a good Afla specialist in Kingston it'd be much appreciated!
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  #24 (Post Link)  
Old 31-10-11
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147 TS Lusso

Motor control system failure!!

Help?? Second time in a year, 1st was an expensive coil pack, but this time its not affected by speed, but only displayed when i turn the engine on and the little engine light on the dash stays on. Any advice??
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  #25 (Post Link)  
Old 08-11-11
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Timing belt

Hi guys.

I had the same problem on Saturday with my Alfa 147 1.9 JTD (54)

I had only been on a 20 minute journey when the 'Motor Control System Failure' message appeared. Engine cut out and it's the first time it has happened.

Car wouldn't restart at all so had a tow to a local garage.

I've now found out that it was the timing belt that has snapped

Luckily the garage that it is at is a friend of the family so hopefully won't be too much to do. Looking at around anything between 200-500 quid I think.

Will keep you updated as to what the damage is.

Thanks
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