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Couple issues - 156, 2.0 TSPARK -99

Hi! My first post here, looking for guru advice. I have a 156 2.0 TSPARK (932A2) 1999. Today it did not pass the yearly motor vehicle inspection. Therefor I have some things that needs some fixing.

Firstly, they said that I have a leakage in the exhaust system. They didn't tell me where and it was apparently so bad that they didn't even measure the CO2 levels and such. Now, I get that I have to get under the car to search for the leak. The idle sound and throttle sound does not seem very nice, it sounds a little to hard like the muffler is bad or something.

Are there any common leak points on the 156's, and, any tips for easiest checking where the leak is?


Secondly, this is kinda embarrassing and probably stupid. But yes, I have seen, from the outside of the expansion tank where the cooler fluid goes. That it's probably empty from what I can see, yet I haven't unscrewed the cap to see for my self. So today the guy told me it was empty. . I haven't driven the car for long runs but yes the temperature gauge has been a bit over the middle but maybe 1-2 times at most. The car just goes for about 10 miles sometimes so there are not many long runs where the engine gets the chance to heat up fully (yes bad also). But I'm surprised it hasn't boiled over yet?

Now - It could be a leakage here as well, I don't know yet. Would you advise me to buy some coolant fluid and try to fill it up and see if it stays in the system? Or is there any easy way to check if there is a major/small leak?
Plus, the guy that sold the car to me for peanuts almost a year ago gave me a new thermostat because it needed changing he thought. He said that the car ran a bit cold that it didn't reach what, 90°C easily? So, that hasn't been done yet, could a faulty thermostat be the problem and also where the leakage occurs?

Oh goodness, fingers crossed, hopefully someone can read a swedes english
Thanks!
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I guess the problems are minor compared to a lot that could be wrong.
Depending on the noise of the exhaust, it may be better to sort the cooling out as running an engine with no coolant can do a lot more damage!
Change the thermostat as you have one - chances are the one on the car won't be working properly. I recommend getting some hose clips as if they are the Alfa ones there is no screw on them to re-tighten. On the TS the thermostat is on the right side of the engine as you look at it and not that hard to get to. you may need to move the odd wire or clip aside to get in there.
Once replaced (and not on a wet day), fill with coolant and get the car running up to temperature either on a short drive or whilst stationary (which will happen a lot quicker with a working thermostat) with the heater on hot. Watching the temperature gauge and it should rise steadily, when the thermostat opens the reading will dip as the hot engine coolant mixes with the cold radiator coolant and rise to sit at about 90 degrees. keep the engine running a little longer. Then turn off and play hunt the water leak.
Look for damp patches under the car, along the bottom of the radiator, on hoses etc. I once had a split in the water reservoir (filler bottle) where the return pipe fits onto the reservoir that leaked. Any wet patches trace back to the source of the leak and fix what's broken.

As for the exhaust, again get the engine running and warm and put a thick rag over the end of the exhaust. Any holes or splits will easily be detected as the exhaust will be forced out of any holes or splits. If you cannot pin point the noise, ask someone to hold the rag and move along the car listening for any noise along the exhaust to find the leak. Probably don't even need to jack the car up if it's as you describe to find the area of the leak.

Hope that get's you started...

Oh and your English is very much better than my Swedish!
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I guess the problems are minor compared to a lot that could be wrong.
Depending on the noise of the exhaust, it may be better to sort the cooling out as running an engine with no coolant can do a lot more damage!
Change the thermostat as you have one - chances are the one on the car won't be working properly. I recommend getting some hose clips as if they are the Alfa ones there is no screw on them to re-tighten. On the TS the thermostat is on the right side of the engine as you look at it and not that hard to get to. you may need to move the odd wire or clip aside to get in there.
Once replaced (and not on a wet day), fill with coolant and get the car running up to temperature either on a short drive or whilst stationary (which will happen a lot quicker with a working thermostat) with the heater on hot. Watching the temperature gauge and it should rise steadily, when the thermostat opens the reading will dip as the hot engine coolant mixes with the cold radiator coolant and rise to sit at about 90 degrees. keep the engine running a little longer. Then turn off and play hunt the water leak.
Look for damp patches under the car, along the bottom of the radiator, on hoses etc. I once had a split in the water reservoir (filler bottle) where the return pipe fits onto the reservoir that leaked. Any wet patches trace back to the source of the leak and fix what's broken.

As for the exhaust, again get the engine running and warm and put a thick rag over the end of the exhaust. Any holes or splits will easily be detected as the exhaust will be forced out of any holes or splits. If you cannot pin point the noise, ask someone to hold the rag and move along the car listening for any noise along the exhaust to find the leak. Probably don't even need to jack the car up if it's as you describe to find the area of the leak.

Hope that get's you started...

Oh and your English is very much better than my Swedish!


Hi and thanks for the reply! Well, I suppose the coolant thing has been going on far too long. But wouldn't it be better if I changed the thermostat firstly as it might waste/go out a fair amount of coolant if i open the hoses and change the thermostat?

Im not near a car technician in any way, I mean, i can change tires and I know how screws go in and out but I'll definitely follow this guide as it seems quite right for my car http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/engin...twinspark.html (How to: Change a thermostat on a twinspark.)


But what I don't understand is wouldn't my engine have taken the damage to be dead already since I've driven around without coolant for so long? I guess there should be a trace of it in the coolant tank if there were any in it. I'll try to take some pictures as well. I think I've seen a large wet maybe oily patch on the bottom between the engine block and the radiator in front but it could be old oil as well and that I don't know because in the time I've own the car I don't know what was there before and such.

I will do so with the rag. I guess it's not that harmful, blocking the exhaust pipe for a short while.

Thanks a lot!
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Don't apologise for your English, apologise for IKEA. The store's labrynthine floor plans make me so angry - I just want to go in, buy a specific item and get the hell out!

OK, rant aside... I am a tightarse so the first thing I would do is top up the reservoir with distilled water. Measure how much you put in. This is how I do it:

Add enough liquid to reach just under the minimum mark.
Start the motor with the AC off and cap not on the reservoir.
Run the engine until the fan comes on at low speed.
If, prior to this the tank becomes completely empty, dribble more water in slowly to preserve a level near the minimum.
As the point is reached where the fans come on, add sufficient fluid to take the reservoir level just above the maximum (maybe 2-3mm).
Fit the cap and tighten down, then shut the motor off.

Run for a week and observe if the coolant level continues to drop each consecutive day. If so, you need to investigate this loss but at least you're not dropping strong anti freeze all over the ground to poison the wildlife. If no coolant losses, remove the under tray, place your drain pan under the motor and disconnect the bottom radiator hose at the block. Replace the thermostat and filter your coolant as it is poured back in. Leave out 50% by volume of the plain water added first time around and substitute anti freeze. Don't be surprised if the reservoir appears full before this stage, only once it has reached operating temperature will it purge the air pockets.
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Don't apologise for your English, apologise for IKEA. The store's labrynthine floor plans make me so angry - I just want to go in, buy a specific item and get the hell out! http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/images/smilies/wink.gif

OK, rant aside... I am a tightarse so the first thing I would do is top up the reservoir with distilled water. Measure how much you put in. This is how I do it:

Add enough liquid to reach just under the minimum mark.
Start the motor with the AC off and cap not on the reservoir.
Run the engine until the fan comes on at low speed.
If, prior to this the tank becomes completely empty, dribble more water in slowly to preserve a level near the minimum.
As the point is reached where the fans come on, add sufficient fluid to take the reservoir level just above the maximum (maybe 2-3mm).
Fit the cap and tighten down, then shut the motor off.

Run for a week and observe if the coolant level continues to drop each consecutive day. If so, you need to investigate this loss but at least you're not dropping strong anti freeze all over the ground to poison the wildlife. If no coolant losses, remove the under tray, place your drain pan under the motor and disconnect the bottom radiator hose at the block. Replace the thermostat and filter your coolant as it is poured back in. Leave out 50% by volume of the plain water added first time around and substitute anti freeze. Don't be surprised if the reservoir appears full before this stage, only once it has reached operating temperature will it purge the air pockets.
Thank you for your advise, sorry bout the IKEA thing, I think they have it like that just to make you buy unecessary stuff such as a dishbrush, candles and towels that you don't need

The things you write that I should remove, is it a part of the thermostat change itself?


Top up with distilled water I can do, I just wonder, as I wrote earlier. Shouldnt I just change the thermostat if the system is empty to make it easy?



The rest of the procedure sounds hard to understand as I have to figure out where the parts you describe are but I'll figure it out, cant be that hard
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Yes, the only serious items to remove are the under tray and the lower hose connection, if you are changing the thermostat.

However I would not do it first as if you have (for example) head gasket problems you are possibly going to waste fresh antifreeze, and that costs more money than distilled water.
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Yes, the only serious items to remove are the under tray and the lower hose connection, if you are changing the thermostat.

However I would not do it first as if you have (for example) head gasket problems you are possibly going to waste fresh antifreeze, and that costs more money than distilled water. http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/images/smilies/smile.gif

Sorry for asking so much... I'm obviously an amateur. Just to be clear,
I shouldn't just go on with removing the tray and the hoses, switch thermostat and then connect everything again? As it appears that i dont have either coolant or water in the system? Or is that an impossibility since the engine cant run without either one and not being overheated?

You think I should get like 4 litres of distilled water(4 pounds) keep track of it and top up the reservoir firstly before even switching the thermostat. To see if I have a leak?

Just wanna be really clear on what I should do first because i'm such a beginner

Head gasket problems, where is the head gasket?
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The motor will have water/antifreeze in it (if it doesn't, you really are looking at a dead engine sooner than later) but the plastic tank is simply the "highest point" in the system and basically holds spare water in case it's needed. It actually does more than that, but I'm keeping it simple for now.

But yes, first add water to the tank. You might find it only takes 1 litre to the Minimum level mark.

The replacement of your thermostat is not hard, but as a complete beginner I think it's good you get an understanding of how the cooling system expels air and how far you need to fill it. This knowledge will help you with the thermostat later.
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The motor will have water/antifreeze in it (if it doesn't, you really are looking at a dead engine sooner than later) but the plastic tank is simply the "highest point" in the system and basically holds spare water in case it's needed. It actually does more than that, but I'm keeping it simple for now.

But yes, first add water to the tank. You might find it only takes 1 litre to the Minimum level mark.

The replacement of your thermostat is not hard, but as a complete beginner I think it's good you get an understanding of how the cooling system expels air and how far you need to fill it. This knowledge will help you with the thermostat later.

Roger that! Firstly getting the water from the shop.
Oh and BTW, I'll buy coolant at the same time but I read that it's absolutely dangerous to mix Propylene glycole with ethylene glycole. Now, since I don't know what's in the engine already, what's my safest bet? Yes, I'll start with the water anyway
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Head gasket problems, where is the head gasket?
You don't want to go there .. It's between the engine block and cylinder head and major surgery to replace.


Check for simple leaks first. Mine was loosing coolant and it turned out the plastic header tank (that's where you fill up the coolant) had hardened and cracked at the outlet at the front. As the pressure increased, the coolant was forced out but very slowly.

Then the screw on cap wasn't sealing properly n the new tank so I replaced that too.

Check all the hoses on and around the engine. Park the car over some cardboard to see if you are getting any drips. Fill the header tank and run it up to temp.

The radiator could also be on the way out. They only last about 6-7 years max.

I wouldn't worry about changing anything until you have first found out what the problem is. Also check the floor carpets as the heater is fed from the coolant and may spring a leak. If the carpets are damp, that might be the problem.

cheers, Gary

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Roger that! Firstly getting the water from the shop.
Oh and BTW, I'll buy coolant at the same time but I read that it's absolutely dangerous to mix Propylene glycole with ethylene glycole. Now, since I don't know what's in the engine already, what's my safest bet? Yes, I'll start with the water anyway
Your car should use the BLUE coolant .. red came in about 2001-2
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You don't want to go there .. It's between the engine block and cylinder head and major surgery to replace.


Check for simple leaks first. Mine was loosing coolant and it turned out the plastic header tank (that's where you fill up the coolant) had hardened and cracked at the outlet at the front. As the pressure increased, the coolant was forced out but very slowly.

Then the screw on cap wasn't sealing properly n the new tank so I replaced that too.

Check all the hoses on and around the engine. Park the car over some cardboard to see if you are getting any drips. Fill the header tank and run it up to temp.

The radiator could also be on the way out. They only last about 6-7 years max.

I wouldn't worry about changing anything until you have first found out what the problem is. Also check the floor carpets as the heater is fed from the coolant and may spring a leak. If the carpets are damp, that might be the problem.

Okay, well yeah honestly I just want the car to work until april, but since I have the thermostat I thought i want to give it a go and that the guy on the vehicle inspection told me my reservoir was empty. It kinda started this. But yeah I'll try with the water first and check for any leaks. I mean, the guy that sold the car to me THOUGHT that the thermostat needed changing because he said the car "Ran cold" (never reached 90?) So yeah, might not even need a thermostat change?


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Your car should use the BLUE coolant .. red came in about 2001-2
Ok, blue it is then I'll get the things tomorrow, so I have the whole weekend to perform surgery
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You might need new jubilee clips too .. it's unlikely your '99 TS has never had a new thermostat but the original hose clips are not reusable. There a how-to on my website (link in my signature, then click on how-tos and scroll down) and that lists the sizes you need and the tools!
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Replacing a thermostat guide for a TS engine (with good pics) on this forum...
weblink (How to: Change a thermostat on a twinspark.)
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Ok so I'm inside again. I performed the task that you said Addo. Although I wasn't fully patient with the fan kicking in, I did put the AC on just to make sure it worked and it did. Here's the timeline of what happened:

I filled the reservoir with 6dl of distilled water, now thats about 2.5 US cups. It got to the minimum mark

I then started the engine, without AC being on. No fan so far, the level of the reservoir reached between minimum-max. I suppose it was because of the temperature rising.

The level in the reservoir is still rising, thus far without the fan kicking in.

Almost 90 degrees now on the dashboard. No fan yet, got kinda worried :P

Now the level is above max, maybe 2-3mm. The lid is still off as it was from the beginning. It's smoking from the reservoir, heat building up.

Now, I wrote earlier I wasn't patient enough so I put the AC fan on max for 6 sec just to make sure the fan worked. And it did so I shut it off. Temperature over 90°C, now between 90 and the next mark, 110?. Now the fan kicked in

So I assume when it reached 100°C the fan kicked in from time to time. The temperature on the gauge lowered a bit.

Now, I had the car on idle and put on a throttle now and then. I didn't drive it. It took about 20 minutes, 15-20 minutes before it reached 110° and the fan kicked in. I shut the car off, put the lid back on the reservoir and the level is well above MAX. Maybe I should do anything about this?

Also, the water in the reservoir looked on the grey/reddish scale, it could be that the body paint (red) is reflecting somehow but it got me wondering if the glycole in the car already is the red one...


Now, I have until november the 7th to drive around in it before I need to have it inspected again or else it is banned to drive on the roads until I fix some other things. I will check from day to day and take it on a couple of rides and watch the coolant level on a basis.


Now about the thermostat. Is it normal that it took what, around 15 minutes for the car to reach 90°? At least what the gauge took 15 minutes to do so. And that the fan kicked in at about 110°. Isn't it what it's supposed to do? Maybe my thermostat isn't faulty after all?

And, it's starting to get chilly up here in the north. I've now added 6dl of water, is it safe or do I have to get some out and put some coolant in? It won't over freeze now will it? It's not below 0 in the night yet.

Thanks so much for the help guys.
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OK, I suspect your "low speed fan resistor" may be a problem, this is on the upper right cooling fan housing and failure is not unknown. Test it for continuity. I think the fan is not coming on the slow speed, it is only coming on the high speed once the temperature is getting more critical. With the engine off, make sure you can turn the fan blades easily by hand.

The water amount you added is OK, as I suspected the level was not incredibly low initially.

Resistor example: Kylfläkt Elektrisk - Alfa 147 -04 - W116648 You can do much better on price.
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Quote:
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OK, I suspect your "low speed fan resistor" may be a problem, this is on the upper right cooling fan housing and failure is not unknown. Test it for continuity. I think the fan is not coming on the slow speed, it is only coming on the high speed once the temperature is getting more critical. With the engine off, make sure you can turn the fan blades easily by hand.
I agree with Addo.
It seems your resistor for the low speed is broken

The wiring of your cooling is somewhat similar to a GTV/Spider Ph2.
It is the O22 component that probably is broken in your car.

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/9098010-post8.html (Radiator Fan not working)

I can't find the wiring diagram for a 156 2.0TS
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OK, I suspect your "low speed fan resistor" may be a problem, this is on the upper right cooling fan housing and failure is not unknown. Test it for continuity. I think the fan is not coming on the slow speed, it is only coming on the high speed once the temperature is getting more critical. With the engine off, make sure you can turn the fan blades easily by hand.

The water amount you added is OK, as I suspected the level was not incredibly low initially.

Resistor example: Kylfläkt Elektrisk - Alfa 147 -04 - W116648 You can do much better on price.
Yes I could spin the fan very easily by hand.
Yes the level in the reservoir is now at max exactly pretty much.

I think I found where the resistor is, if I look in the heading direction of the car it was on my upper left. (See picture)

Well if that's broken then it feels like the more I dig the more crap I'll find haha!

But as I said earlier. We rarely drive the car for more than 30 minutes straight, so we rarely get the temperature up to 90-100° even while driving in 70Km/h. So that it went now to 110° and the fan kicked in just on idle pretty much. That's rare.

I assume the resistor is behind the red tape there behind electrical wiring?
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Yes, that is your resistor. I do recommend replacement if it does not have low resistance (a few ohms).

Over coming days, monitor your coolant level in the reservoir with normal usage.
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Yes, that is your resistor. I do recommend replacement if it does not have low resistance (a few ohms).

Over coming days, monitor your coolant level in the reservoir with normal usage.

Alright, yeah I'll look into to find a spare part somewhere, is it the same that you linked? Although that is for a 147? Or is there a part number somewhere? I guess the resistor is easy to change.

In the following days I'll try to find the exhaust leak and try to have the wishbone/steering joint changed.
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They should interchange fine between 147 and 156. After 2003, the 147 resistor shares the 156's resistor part number.

I encourage the "Duck Test". If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck - it probably is a duck. Similarly, if two parts look the same, fit the same, and perform the same function they can probably be interchanged. Sometimes manufacturers use almost obscure differences between models, like the Shore hardness of a rubber bushing. In an older car, a difference like this is possibly trivial although the items can have completely different part numbers.

Quite importantly for suspension work, be warned there are two different 8mm threads (coarse and fine) used on some suspension parts. If you replace the wrong nut, you may damage the male thread of a costly item. The difference is subtle but critical.
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They should interchange fine between 147 and 156. After 2003, the 147 resistor shares the 156's resistor part number.

I encourage the "Duck Test". If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck - it probably is a duck. Similarly, if two parts look the same, fit the same, and perform the same function they can probably be interchanged. Sometimes manufacturers use almost obscure differences between models, like the Shore hardness of a rubber bushing. In an older car, a difference like this is possibly trivial although the items can have completely different part numbers.

Quite importantly for suspension work, be warned there are two different 8mm threads (coarse and fine) used on some suspension parts. If you replace the wrong nut, you may damage the male thread of a costly item. The difference is subtle but critical.

Thanks a lot buddy, yeah I don't think I'm doing the joint change myself. My level of mechanicalness is not that high yet Gonna get this car through the inspection I damn it!

There is also a brake wire that had a little damage on the same area as the joint, also that I'm not changing myself

Cheers and have a wonderful weekend.
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One trick is to join the two wires for the resistor together (a short piece of wire with two male spade terminals crimped on works).

Then the fan will kick in on high speed at 95 degrees not just at the higher temp and save a few worries.
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One trick is to join the two wires for the resistor together (a short piece of wire with two male spade terminals crimped on works).

Then the fan will kick in on high speed at 95 degrees not just at the higher temp and save a few worries.
Thanks for the idea. I'll see what I can do.

What do you guys think about the thermostat itself now that the coolant is between min-max and that the fan at least works on high temperature... Is my thermostat bad because it takes about 15-20 minutes to reach 90° on idle? And at least for now it doesn't appear that I have a leak in the coolant system...

What I really need to fix on the car before november the 7th is the damaged brake wire, the bad joint/wishbone and the leaking exhausts.

I just stumbled upon this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ALFA-ROMEO-1...-/201468757452

Seems right for my car ey?

Cheers
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The best to see if your thermostat is ok is to start your car from cold at let it idle.
Open the bonnet and feel the temperature on the top hose from the thermostat to the radiator.
It should feel cold until the thermostat opens and then the hose should be warm quickly.
If it slowly warms up, your thermostat it stuck open and need to be replaced.

The resistor for your car has p/n 51736774 according to ePER
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Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Alfa 147, 156 & GT

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