Help with spark plugs/coils and Aux belt - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 10 Old 14-09-16 Thread Starter
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Help with spark plugs/coils and Aux belt

Evening.

I have two issues with my 147. Firstly I should point out I am a complete amateur when it comes to cars and don't even know the correct names for certain parts so please bare with me. I am however capable with my hands and like to learn how to do things myself. I change my own brake pads and discs for example.

Issue number one, intermittent smoking from aux belt. This is my toughest problem to explain as I don't know correct names or parts, hopefully someone understands my description. Its taken me a while to find where exactly the smoke was coming from as it only happens now and then. Smoke is coming from the 'pully' closest to the front of the car. The outer rim of the pully where the belt is in contact seems to be spinning freely with no problems, however the center of the pully is sticking after the car is running after a while and is heating up and smoking.


Issue number 2 is the common Motor Control System Failure message. At the same time this happened the car became sluggish and a vibration throughout the entire car started. It felt similar to what happened it my Focus when a cylinder was misfiring and that was a result of a bad coil. I thought I would take a look at the plugs, give them a clean etc in the hope it was something simple like that. I took the engine cover off and noticed straight away a very small puddle of oil sitting on top of the first coil. So i popped the first coil off to find the Spark plug completely flooded with oil. From left to right, First coil and two plugs completely flooded. Second coil and two plugs 80% flooded with oil, third coil and two plugs 10-20% flooded and the final coil and two plugs completely dry.

Is this the cause of my MCSF message and struggling performance and how has so much oil got in there? The oil sitting ontop of the coil made me feel someone has spilled oil when filling it up but surely they cant have flooded the spark plugs that way?

Anyway any questions or more info needed to help understand my issues just ask. Cheers in advance.
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Its really common on the TS engine for the plug wells to get oil in them due to spills when filling the oil. Almost every TS out there is likely to have varying amounts of oil in them depending on how carefully the oil has been topped up over the years.

It is possible that an extreme excess of oil could be causing some issues so I would definitely recommend getting some absorbent paper and a set of thin-nose pliers or even tweezers and try and absorb as much of the oil as possible from the plug wells. However it's also possible that your issue lies elsewhere, but start with cleaning the oil out of the plug wells and work your way from there.

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The pulley you are referring to is the aircon pump. It may be starting to seize. Make sure your aircon is switched off until sorted. The pump is reasonably easy to change BUT you should have the system properly drained first. And get a new aux belt when changing the pump. You could just get a shorter aux belt, remove the aux belt idler and run it without aircon meantime.
That amount of oil certainly wont help your running so as said get the oil out plug wells first.
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Originally Posted by Davffc View Post
The pulley you are referring to is the aircon pump. It may be starting to seize. Make sure your aircon is switched off until sorted. The pump is reasonably easy to change BUT you should have the system properly drained first. And get a new aux belt when changing the pump. You could just get a shorter aux belt, remove the aux belt idler and run it without aircon meantime.
That amount of oil certainly wont help your running so as said get the oil out plug wells first.
I've just googled it and that's exactly the one that's smoking. Thanks for that. Air con isn't often used in Aberdeen so that's not problem. Is draining the system a difficult task? Is there no way to stop it seizing?
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Edit: If its the AC you can ignore my post!

I can almost hear this one ticking... Suggest you dive in pronto before things get messy. Job is done from above and through the OSF wheelarch with splash shield removed.

The aux belt idler is dying, pop off the belt by using a spanner on the tensioner roller to swivel the tensioner away enough to pull the belt off one or more items - then release the tensioner. There should be no real play (wiggle) in the tension roller or the idler roller. To remove the idler roller you flick off its centre cap to expose the fixing bolt. Remove both...

I now recommend you remove the four "Ribe" headed machine screws holding the crank pulley on. You might have to knock the pulley side to side inside the cupped centre, with a rubber or copper mallet to walk it off the shaft.

Now remove the timing covers with a 5mm hex bit. I'm expecting you will find the balance belt shredded... It's OK to drive without it, just not so smooth. If this is your situation take care to remove the rubber grit from the belt enclosure and teeth of the timing belt proper.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottnmcleod View Post
I've just googled it and that's exactly the one that's smoking. Thanks for that. Air con isn't often used in Aberdeen so that's not problem. Is draining the system a difficult task? Is there no way to stop it seizing?

It will need to be drained professionally. The gasses used in air conditioning systems is an environmental and health hazard so make sure to get it done professionally as in most parts of the world (and the UK AFAIK) it is illegal to dispose of the gasses incorrectly and thus, must be done at a workshop or by a trained technician with the proper equipment.
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If it happened to escape the system on your drive with no environmentalists watching the earths atmosphere will probably sustain the event.
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It happens all the time in car accidents. No insurer pays a discharge surcharge to an environmental body...
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Originally Posted by addo View Post
It happens all the time in car accidents. No insurer pays a discharge surcharge to an environmental body...
"You’re legally required to prevent F gases leaking from mobile air conditioners, so you should get your technician to regularly service it and check for leaks.

If you’re a technician that services a mobile conditioner, you share responsibility for stopping leaks with the owner of the vehicle."

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/f-gas-re...other-vehicles
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True, and we have similarly toothless laws here. I have a system degassed before opening it - got a mate with a mobile AC van and he always carries a recovery cylinder. Panel shops do (degas) as well, because there's a markup on the service fee - it's money for jam.

Until owners are convinced that aircon is nowhere near the fuel cost to operate they imagine, and that it's also really handy for rapid demisting, many people aren't going to use it often as they should. So we get seized clutches and compressor shaft seal failures...
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