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(Post Link) post #26 of 50 Old 27-09-16 Thread Starter
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Ok, almost time to go home and get the Alfa,lol, the company where I horizontally parked over two parking bays already phoned me this morning to remove my car or they will have it towed,LOL

I got:

My spare key
flashlight
spare 50A midi fuse
various hammers and sledgehammers

Wish me luck!
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(Post Link) post #27 of 50 Old 28-09-16 Thread Starter
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Good morning

Well, just like previous times, I got there, got in, turned the key and she started right up, no failures. At least I got her home without having to tow her.

How can I fix something that is not broken? Now I am too scared to drive anywhere for fear the dreaded IMMOBILZ Failure/VDC Failure pops up again and leaves me stranded.

I disconnected the battery for now to reset the electronics, this is how the fuse compartment looks like, I will replace the 50A and 70A midi fuses tonight and give the metal connectors a good working over with the Dremel, it looks like the problem could be here but again, how will I know? The 70A fuse also lost blue color and is now brown, looks suspect and as someone said earlier this fuse solved the same problem for him.

Attached pics of the fuse compartment on top of the battery, you can see it has seen better days and is all salted up from years of being at the coast. Project for tonight

The other pic is of the ECU? mounted behind the plenum, is this safe to disconnect, remove and check for electrical faults i.e. capacitor that apparently looses charge? This might explain my loss of electrics ECU Failure at higher rpms?

Last picture is of the throttle body actuator motor? Should this be cleaned as well or should I just leave that one alone?

The last time it started right up again it took me home almost 400Km's away and I do not want to tempt fate but I have to drive down to the coast again this weekend (girl )
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Here is a pic I took from my hotel room after I was left stranded. This was the parking area for the Octoberfest and it was packed to the rafters.. As you can see, everyone has left except the Alfa. Can you spot her?
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........I disconnected the battery for now to reset the electronics, this is how the fuse compartment looks like, I will replace the 50A and 70A midi fuses tonight and give the metal connectors a good working over with the Dremel, it looks like the problem could be here but again, how will I know? The 70A fuse also lost blue color and is now brown, looks suspect and as someone said earlier this fuse solved the same problem for him.

The other pic is of the ECU? mounted behind the plenum, is this safe to disconnect, remove and check for electrical faults i.e. capacitor that apparently looses charge? This might explain my loss of electrics ECU Failure at higher rpms?
........
re the fusebox, yes, i'd start there. I would also remove the fusebox from the battery, and look at the underside. There are also metal connection strips there that have been known to crack.

Re ecu, it is not a "capacitor loosing charge", but falling of/coming undone. see here:
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...cu-repair.html (147gta diy ecu repair)

re throttle valve, i'd leave that alone....
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Thanks jwq, that thread helped allot.

After starting yesterday I also noticed that now my fuel and temp. indicators stopped working, I really hope it's not the ECU gone crazy.
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I like the solo parking picture - are you in Argentina?
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I like the solo parking picture - are you in Argentina?
lol, thanks, yeah, she refused to start and everyone left so she was having it her way all alone all night long. No, I am in Namibia, this was at the coast, Walvisbaai
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Don't poke the throttle body! Forcing it to open with your fingers is likely to damage its motor/sensing system.

As the behaviour is inconsistent I think an intermittent fault is quite possible.

If your car is unreliable, you need to be sure that you can bear the good lady's company for more than a weekend!
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Don't poke the throttle body! Forcing it to open with your fingers is likely to damage its motor/sensing system.

As the behaviour is inconsistent I think an intermittent fault is quite possible.

If your car is unreliable, you need to be sure that you can bear the good lady's company for more than a weekend!
That will be difficult because she stays 400km's from me so every weekend its a drive down to her for now.
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Just one point - you mentioned that battery was brand new, and then said you'd replaced the battery in the key.....don't confuse these things. The battery in the key only operates the remote locking - it has nothing whatsoever to do with the immobiliser - this has been said many times but people still don't get it. If your main 12v battery is in any way suspect or old, it could have internal cracked connectors for example, and produce just the sort of intermittent fault you describe.
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Good morning

Well, just like previous times, I got there, got in, turned the key and she started right up, no failures. At least I got her home without having to tow her.

How can I fix something that is not broken? Now I am too scared to drive anywhere for fear the dreaded IMMOBILZ Failure/VDC Failure pops up again and leaves me stranded.

I disconnected the battery for now to reset the electronics, this is how the fuse compartment looks like, I will replace the 50A and 70A midi fuses tonight and give the metal connectors a good working over with the Dremel, it looks like the problem could be here but again, how will I know? The 70A fuse also lost blue color and is now brown, looks suspect and as someone said earlier this fuse solved the same problem for him.

Attached pics of the fuse compartment on top of the battery, you can see it has seen better days and is all salted up from years of being at the coast. Project for tonight

The other pic is of the ECU? mounted behind the plenum, is this safe to disconnect, remove and check for electrical faults i.e. capacitor that apparently looses charge? This might explain my loss of electrics ECU Failure at higher rpms?

Last picture is of the throttle body actuator motor? Should this be cleaned as well or should I just leave that one alone?

The last time it started right up again it took me home almost 400Km's away and I do not want to tempt fate but I have to drive down to the coast again this weekend (girl )
Yes I had the same symptoms you have, both times it was the 70 amp fuse, what you need to do is remove both 70 & 50 amp fuses and check them by holding them by the metal ends and gently twist, if the metal ends move then the fuse is blown, should take a couple of minutes to do, and the blue colour you see is and anti corrosion spray
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(Post Link) post #37 of 50 Old 29-09-16 Thread Starter
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Just one point - you mentioned that battery was brand new, and then said you'd replaced the battery in the key.....don't confuse these things. The battery in the key only operates the remote locking - it has nothing whatsoever to do with the immobiliser - this has been said many times but people still don't get it. If your main 12v battery is in any way suspect or old, it could have internal cracked connectors for example, and produce just the sort of intermittent fault you describe.
I have a brand new 12V battery, installed one or 2 months ago, took battery out and charged it, it is now fully charged and awaiting deployment.

The little 2032 inside the key I replaced just for in case, I was under the impression the little chip inside for the immobilizer needs to be energized. Can't hurt.
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Yes I had the same symptoms you have, both times it was the 70 amp fuse, what you need to do is remove both 70 & 50 amp fuses and check them by holding them by the metal ends and gently twist, if the metal ends move then the fuse is blown, should take a couple of minutes to do, and the blue colour you see is and anti corrosion spray
You said both times?? Did it happen in quick succession or?

I went out and bought two brand spanking new fuses, one 50A one 70A midi fuses, I am currently busy redoing the whole small fuse holder box on top of the battery, took it out completely, every little screw has been dremel'ed down, all metal connectors are now pure shiny metal on metal. Cleaned all fuses in the box, sanded off all metal legs for 100% power transfer.

I also took off the throttle body and gave it a good clean while battery is out and everything, checking all connectors on ECU plenum side tonight and then it is assembly and testing time.

Below some pics, as you can see, the metal is corroded everywhere. I gave it a good clean and polish with the 'ol Dremel and looks brand spanking new, will post pic of completed box later.
Other pic of throttle body, yes I know, DONT touch the butterfly.

I also want to check the steering sensor connection but I am unable to locate this sensor exactly? Then I can take pics and maybe help out the next chap looking for this sensor connection?
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You said both times?? Did it happen in quick succession or?

I went out and bought two brand spanking new fuses, one 50A one 70A midi fuses, I am currently busy redoing the whole small fuse holder box on top of the battery, took it out completely, every little screw has been dremel'ed down, all metal connectors are now pure shiny metal on metal. Cleaned all fuses in the box, sanded off all metal legs for 100% power transfer.

I also took off the throttle body and gave it a good clean while battery is out and everything, checking all connectors on ECU plenum side tonight and then it is assembly and testing time.

Below some pics, as you can see, the metal is corroded everywhere. I gave it a good clean and polish with the 'ol Dremel and looks brand spanking new, will post pic of completed box later.
Other pic of throttle body, yes I know, DONT touch the butterfly.

I also want to check the steering sensor connection but I am unable to locate this sensor exactly? Then I can take pics and maybe help out the next chap looking for this sensor connection?
It happened 2 weeks ago and the first time was about a year and 1/2 ago
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Blimey, I wish this info had been available about 15 years ago, the dealer's proposed 'fix' for a very similar issue on my GTV was a new ecu and maybe a new loom!

Needless to say I got rid of it asap, but if I'd known about the fuses I might still have it now...

Just goes to show how valuable the combined experience on this site is. Hope you get it sorted soon, sounds like you're well on the way to a fix
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I have a brand new 12V battery, installed one or 2 months ago, took battery out and charged it, it is now fully charged and awaiting deployment.

The little 2032 inside the key I replaced just for in case, I was under the impression the little chip inside for the immobilizer needs to be energized. Can't hurt.

Won't hurt, but won't help Our V6 hasn't had a battery in its fob all the time I've had it. Chip is entirely passive.

Hope all your cleaning and fuse replacement bears fruit. This sort of failure is frustrating.
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Good morning

@ rgwm, I also kissed her numerous times, also won't hurt and probably wont help either

So I finished up the little fuse box on top of the battery, replaced both midi fuses, see below picture, looks brand spanking new and electricity can now travel again freely, something I think she really needs because one screw not tightened and the whole car goes bananas, which I think and hope was the cause of my problems especially since windows started winding down by themselves, reverse parking sensor speaker making beep beep even when not in reverse and of course locking me out with the CODE system and me not able to do the manual override (maybe she was jealous of the girl in the car at the time,lol) I also took all the relays out, contact cleaner again and re-seated them all, same with big fuses for ignition etc.

Just for additional peace of mind I also took of the big black plug on the far side of the battery to earth, took it off, applied some good amount of QD contact cleaner and refastened and oiled plug, it was all sandy and stuff.

Did the same with the two big black plugs on the engine control unit, contact cleaner, cleaned, oiled, also gave me more confidence knowing I did all that.

After that I went to the front, took steering wheel plastic covers off, checked receiver for immobilizer cable, again, took the connector off by the key insert, contact cleaner, re-inserted plug. I took out all fuses, cleaned with contact cleaner again and Dremel'ed little feet for good contact. One thing I do not seem to find is the steering position sensor to check loose connections, I cannot find it. Also, the little wire connected to the receiver/antennae, it goes into the big black wiring cable and then dissapears somewhere towards the engine bay, cannot locate the other plug going to the body computer.

After this, I hooked her up (she likes that ) to the multiscan via EML327, connected to the engine module no problem so at least I know it is not buggered up, no faults in memory, did all the actuator tests, all looks 100%. Then I took apart the ELM and bridged pin 7 to pin 1 for ABS readings, there was one fault recorded, didn't give specifics so I just cleared it, did the different actuator tests, again, 100%. I did not yet re-solder pin 1 cable to pin 3 for airbag because there was nothing wrong with it so maybe some other time.

After this, I reconnected the negative terminal of the battery and want to start and nothing....dead! I am starting to sweat until I realized the little nut that holds the positive big red wire from the alternator, I forgot to tighten it so I disconnect negative again, tightened the nut and voila, she springs to life! FINALLY!

Now I disconnected the negative again for 2 hours, reconnected and went to sit on my throne, hehe. Then turned key to MAR for 90 seconds, turned off for 90 seconds, then started WITHOUT touching accelerator pedal and let her run for 15mins until fans kicked in and then let her rest for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes I went for a thrashing,lol, she drives better than before (throttle body clean?), no faults and my dreaded Motor control unit error past 6,000 RPM is also gone I am so happy. This morning, started up like no other.

I am driving down to the coast again on Saturday, (same girl) 400 odd km's, tonight will feed her some new juices and I will take my tools along this time, spanners, spare key (brand new) and contact cleaner, wish me luck this time!!

and thank you for all the excellent suggestions and help, I guess it was either one of the midi fuses or one of the contacts I cleaned somewhere, yes, very frustrating chasing intermittent fault, maybe even could have been the moisture at the coast that played havoc on the ECU, I dunno.

I will keep you guys updated on my little trip
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Great

Let's hope all your (car) troubles are now solved . I think you have a good chance, as I still think it was an electrical problem
Guess time will tell .....
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Good morning

So I did the 800 odd km round trip and I am happy to report that everything worked 100%, we had sandstorms, drizzle and fog and cold weather, she always started and never mentioned the CODE/VDC error again so I assume my cleaning of the electrical fuse box, replacing of the two midi fuses and wiggling the immobilizer antennae under the steering column helped.

Thank you for all the help guys, much appreciated!
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Congratulations, well done, I would say that you have well and truly earn't that nervous breakdown that's coming your way soon.

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Midi fuse for sure, handi to keep 1or 2 as spare
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Ok, First of all you KEEP saying you get the Immobiliser AS WELL as the VDC/ABS failure lights.

These are the tell tail indicators of the ECU failure.
BUT! It is also the same indicators of the faulty steering sensor connector, and last and worst, loose faulty connections in the Body computer.

May I make a suggestion or two. I do not mean any disrespect, nor do I believe I know more than the local sewer rat, but I DID spend 10 years of my life keeping F-111s in the air, one of my core specialties was Diagnostic fault finding.

The first thing you learn is that its sometimes faster to find what its NOT, than search endlessly for what it might be.

1/ Disconnect Throttle Body Main Electrical Connector, try and start the car, if it DOES start you know 100% its the ECU. If it still doesn't start, its not likely the ECU

2/ Take the cowl from under the steering wheel housing off and check the cable and plug is securely plugged into the back of the steering sensor.

After those 2 checks, follow any of the sage advice given above, in any order, choice you see fit.

And again, I feel for you, good luck.

Check Six

Baz
hi BazBaz i have the same problem cant access emergency starting procedure. wont start now but could start tomorrow. Airbag light is on all the time, ASR light will come on after a few miles driving. but when imobilisor wont turn off the ASR light comes on without having moved. I have spent about 800 quid trying to get this sorted and the auto electricshion sorts it but its back again now. Took the car to alfa romeo York this week they have refered me to Leeds going to get it looked at there it will be the last chance saloon, shame because its only done 39,000 miles. if you could explane in detail where to find and how to unplug the ecu please
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hi BazBaz i have the same problem cant access emergency starting procedure. wont start now but could start tomorrow. Airbag light is on all the time, ASR light will come on after a few miles driving. but when imobilisor wont turn off the ASR light comes on without having moved. I have spent about 800 quid trying to get this sorted and the auto electricshion sorts it but its back again now. Took the car to alfa romeo York this week they have refered me to Leeds going to get it looked at there it will be the last chance saloon, shame because its only done 39,000 miles. if you could explane in detail where to find and how to unplug the ecu please
Try the fuse mentioned earlier on in the thread. Your issues sound almost exactly the same as the ones I had with a v low mileage, immaculate GTV; no doubt it was v low mileage because it would never start I went through all the same faffing about with ASR / immo / airbag resets and was eventually told to get a new ECU / BCU (at which point the car became somebody else's problem) but I'd put money on it being that fuse having read through the rest of the thread. I wish somebody had known about at the time - even the 1 or 2 specialists were flummoxed, and it could have saved me and being put off Alfas for the best part of a decade...

Failing that take it in to Autolusso rather than a dealer; chances are the main agents are more used to Chrysler-Alfas than real 'designed by Italian maniacs' ones.
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hi BazBaz i have the same problem cant access emergency starting procedure. wont start now but could start tomorrow. Airbag light is on all the time, ASR light will come on after a few miles driving. but when imobilisor wont turn off the ASR light comes on without having moved. I have spent about 800 quid trying to get this sorted and the auto electricshion sorts it but its back again now. Took the car to alfa romeo York this week they have refered me to Leeds going to get it looked at there it will be the last chance saloon, shame because its only done 39,000 miles. if you could explane in detail where to find and how to unplug the ecu please
What year, model and engine type do you have? All relevant to the possible answers.....
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Yep, cant give any advice for you until I know what car, what engine, what year, Selespeed/manual ect.

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