156 ECU - the root of all evil?? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 4 Old 18-03-10 Thread Starter
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Help 156 ECU - the root of all evil??

I have recently bought my first Alfa and absolutely love it - really, I've never driven anyhting quite like it.
It's a 2002 156 2L JTS Lusso with 700000 miles.

However, being new to Alfas, i'm not sure which of the problems on my ECU are serious and need urgent attention and which are things i can ignore and live with until i can sort them out myself.

The main issues i'm having are:
1) The infocentre screen itself fades whenever its starts to warm up at all.
2) I occasionally get a VDC failure. It goes away with a quick turn on / turn off, but is still annoying!
3) I have also seen an Engine Control Failure. Again, this went away once i turned the engine off and on again.
4) The engine sounds a bit irratic when idle, revving very slightly - makes me very nervous it's about to stall on me.
5) Only happend to me once, but my temp guage decided to shoot off the scale, prompting me to pull over to let the engine cool. This was after a pretty gentle 20min dirve on a cold day and the engine wasnt hot at all.
6) The petrol guage can be slightly erratic too!

I know there's a lot there, but it all seems to stem from some electrical problem. It's recently been serviced and passed MOT no problems.
Have been reading other threads on this site, and i'm going to try an ecu reset (advice on best methods would be appreciated) but i cant believe this will solve all the problems.

Even with all these little problems i love the car to bits, but would love some piece of mind and some advice from those in the know!

Thanks in advance guys
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700,000 ??? hope you got one zero too many there ...

On the electrics, you probably need to check out the battery. The can give false errors and other problems. It could be the battery connections as well. So that's where I'd start.

The overheating may several things: rad, water pump, fans (relays, and speed resistor)

The fuel gauges are always erratic!
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(Post Link) post #3 of 4 Old 19-03-10 Thread Starter
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Thanks Gazza, yeah I did mean 70,000 - would count myself very lucky indeed if those werer the only problems on my car if it had 700,000 on the clock!!
Thanks for that, will get the battery checked out.
If it is the case, i read somewhere that you can have batteries restored my mechanics. Is this a viable option or would you recommend I just buy a new one and be done with it?
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The fading infocentre is a common fault on pre-facelift exterior models. If you can get hold of a post-facelift display it is a plug-in replacement. Nowt to do with your ECU.

Worth getting a diagnostics lead and the Fiat ECU Scan freebie software to look at your error codes. The erratic idle is probably the only issue worth worrying about...
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