The 147, the wife and the guy from down the road. - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 19 Old 16-09-16 Thread Starter
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The 147, the wife and the guy from down the road.

Needing some 2.0 TS advice from some engine guru's.

Im currently away on business, but the wife tells me my poor lil alfa has stopped working. Turns over, plenty of battery power, just wont start.

Its the work horse of the family and i need it running as soon as i can.

Where the guy down the road comes in, he claims to be an ex-vauxhall mechanic. He has had a look and can find no fault codes on the ECU. He also believes none of the spark plugs are firing. So he wants to give her crank and camshaft sensors a good back probing, a good next course of action but wants it towed to his driveway to do it!

But i wonder, should the ecu have thrown out a fault code if either had failed? is there a common fault i have missed?

Be worth throwing into the mix i re-built her cylinder head and timed her myself about 18months ago and dont feel comfortable with this guys hands on my engine!

Any help appreciated!
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Cam belts gone?

Cam belt sensor fault doesn't stop the engine running but put it into "safe mode".

Crank sensor faults usually go away when the engine cools down - very rare for them to stop the engine running from a cold start.

Faults with both the above would throw a code up though.
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Here's an idea, ask your wife if when she is trying to start the car does the little "Padlock" symbol stay on?

If it does stay on while cranking it's a problem with the immobiliser, which prevents the engine ECU from firing the spark plugs!!

And rockhopper is spot on about the sensors, my suggestion is keep the guy down the road far away from the car and find someone who actually knows something about Alfas.

( oh, and with the title "The 147, the wife and the guy from down the road." I WAS expecting a completely different set of problems )

Baz

Patty - 2004 Alfa 156 2.0JTS Sportwagon

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If the padlock goes out while cranking there is one other thing to try before all else, get someone to disconnect the Throttle Body electrical connector and try starting. If may just not start still, but if it DOES start then you have a faulty Engine ECU. The car will just idle and be unresponsive to the accelerator pedal, turn it off and plug the connector back in and it will resume to not start.

This is not an uncommon fault with 147 ECUs.

I have suggested this to many 147 owners, and all of them quite understandably thinking I was an idiot, yet each time have tried it only to ring me back with comments beginning with "HOW the bloody hell did you . . . . . . "

Try both of these suggestions BEFORE touching anything else.

Baz
Rockhopper and sizewell like this.
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I'd be concerned the Vauxhall guy is trying to get into you wife's knickers.
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Is there enough fuel in - not uncommon when low on fuel not to start ?
If not
Does the eml come on with ignition ? If not then the code system won't allow the car to start.
If the eml light isn't coming on with ignition - I'd suggest checking the earth that bolts to the top of the cylinder head at the back of the head. Given you have had the head off I have seen this issue causing problems as that earth can work slightly loose over time and causes non-starting issues.
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On a "No start, no faults shown" situation, ether spray is a good determining factor also.

Is there someone presently on a Vauxhall forum whining about their neighbour's Alfa not starting?
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Ahhh Davffc may have just hit the nail on the head too. If its not the two items I mentioned above, you could be just out of fuel. I have had two 147s in the last 3 months with problem of driving perfectly till owner comes down one morning and car cranks away all day but won't start. Only to find the tanks were bone dry, they just had faulty fuel senders telling the gauges to show 1/2 tank continuously.

Follow the following steps:

1/ If when trying to start the car, the immob padlock symbol goes out while cranking then its not the immobiliser preventing starting. If the immob padlock symbol stays lit while turning motor it IS a immob problem

2/ Get someone to get a jerry can of fuel into the tank and see if it starts, if it starts, faulty fuel sender, if not, go to next step.

3/ Get someone to disconnect the Throttle Body electrical connector and try starting. It may just not start still, but if it DOES start then you have a faulty Engine ECU. The car will just idle and be unresponsive to the accelerator pedal.

If these don't give you an answer, then start working your way through the rest of the suggestions above.

Baz
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Bazz - is the ECU fault a failed driver for the motorised throttle? As in, bin the computer time? What actually causes it?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addo View Post
Bazz - is the ECU fault a failed driver for the motorised throttle? As in, bin the computer time? What actually causes it?
This is a fault that usually occurs on any of the engine ECUs that are mounted onto top of the Throttle bodies, 156TS, 156GTA, 147TS, 147GTA. It is not as prevalent in the JTS cars.

The problem is a manufacturing defect where one of the main surface mount power capacitors develops a crack in one/both of the solder joints or breaks loose completely.

As long as part of the circuit board does not break away as well and your are Professionally trained in Micro Miniature Surface Mount repair and reworking and you have the right equipment it can be resoldered.

But you have to understand, you are working in areas where thin gold wires 1/10 the thickness of a hair are soldered all over the place, and all the circuitry is covered in a thick layer of non conductive gel!

So, if your cool with all that, go knock yourself out and all the luck to you.

The usual procedure is to toss the ECU and get a replacement set from wreakers of the following

156: Eng ECU - Immobiliser Box/ECU - Key Immob chip

147: Eng ECU - Body Computer - Key Immob Chip

Baz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addo View Post
On a "No start, no faults shown" situation, ether spray is a good determining factor also.

Is there someone presently on a Vauxhall forum whining laughing hysterically about their neighbour's Alfa not starting again?
Sorted that for you

baz
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They can laugh all they want. I'm off to Costco for a pallet of Schadenfreude, waiting 'til when their skiting backfires.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazzbazz
...you are working in areas where thin gold wires 1/10 the thickness of a hair are soldered all over the place, and all the circuitry is covered in a thick layer of non conductive gel!

So, if your cool with all that, go knock yourself out and all the luck to you.
Great, just the ticket - thanks. Sounds like ABS unit repairs - best left to the Eastern bloc experts.
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(Post Link) post #14 of 19 Old 22-09-16 Thread Starter
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Gents,

Thank you for all your comments, they confirmed my thoughts on the cam/crank sensor suggestions, here is an update:
Jerry can of fuel added, throttle connector unplugged, no padlock, eml light stays on. An no joy unfortunately.

Home tomorrow so I will look myself but its looking like a ECU failure?!?

PS, the Vauxhall guys help got respectful declined!
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It could be something simple as a blown fuse. With a voltage probe, check the solid heavy gauge fuses on the battery terminal "plate", all the relevant ones in the engine bay fuse/relay panel and then the ones under the dash.

As it is unlocking the ECU and cranking you have at least some voltage. Try ether spray into the intake and see if it coughs/catches. Don't poke the motorised butterfly with your fingers.
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Does it sound normal when its turning over or does it sound like its going a bit faster than usual?
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Ok. You NEED to stop right now and answer one question. Do you own a windows Laptop?

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Baz, yes I do own a windows laptop.

Ok, so I have had a play. No blown fuses that I can find, dashlights as the wife described.

Fuel pump running fine.

I popped off the cambelt cover, all intact.

Sprayed in easy start, nothing.

A multimeter on the coil connectors showed no voltage so I think the ignition system seems dead. I have ordered a ecu set in case but I'm not sure, is there anything else that can trigger the immobiliser? or does anyone know the fuses and relays for the ignition system?

Pretty stumped, she turns over as normal oh and I tested the earth, all seems ok.
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In the engine bay, remove the fuse box cover in front of the battery. Relay T09 is the injectors Relay, also supplies power to the coil circuit. Swap it with relay T14 (fog lamps) and see if she starts. Check fuses F22 & F23, they also supply power to the ignition circuit.
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