MCSF - the world's most useless error message - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Madness MCSF - the world's most useless error message

So there I am driving along, when I get a brief hesitation just as I was accelerating in 4th gear.

BING BONG "Motor control system failure - go to dealer"

Hmmmm thinks I. Wonder what that's about. Engine's still running fine but I pull over just up the road, turn it off and check the obvious bits in the engine bay. Nowt apparently wrong. Oil fine. Fuel is low but still some way off the empty mark.

Try to start engine. Nowt! Argh!

Oh sod it, the infamous crank sensor?

Wait a few minutes. Try again. Nowt.

Wait a few minutes. Try again. Starts. Joy.

Pull out onto road. Accelerating, into second, BING BONG MCSF again, then low oil pressure warning and I pull over into a handy bus stop. Bugger. Check oil again. Definitely fine. Belts haven't snapped. Heart sinking nonetheless.

Try to start engine. No joy. Wait a few minutes. Try again. Starts! Go up and down bus stop area a few times in 1st and reverse. All running fine. Pull out onto road. Into 2nd, hesitation and BING BONG MCSF again swiftly followed by oil pressure warning again. Just about manage to crawl off the road into a field entrance and by god that steering is heavy when the engine has quit.

Sat in the car wondering what's wrong and wondering why I didn't keep my breakdown service's card in my wallet, I idly look up the road. Up the gently inclining road. And look at the fuel gauge again.

Surely not. Surely in this day and age a gentle slope and a bit of acceleration would not uncover the fuel pickup in the tank when it's running very low and lead to fuel starvation.

Surely the computer would know about the lack of fuel pressure and just pop up an informative message like, perhaps 'FUEL EXHAUSTED' or 'FILL ME UP BIATCH'.

Well, sure enough, that was it. Got my neighbour to come out to me with a can of diesel, popped 10 litres in and off she went as if nothing had ever been amiss. Range on the display went from '34' to '54' and the needle barely moved.

Bloody Alfas and bloody MCSF and bloody gauges that have 'empty' as an indeterminate spot somewhere above the 'empty' mark!
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Err, so is that your way of admitting you were at fault for running low on petrol?

Glad it was an easy fix.

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You could change out the fuel gauge for a newly calibrated one. Surely you got warnings of fuel range. Mine warns me a heap of times when im getting low, generally manage another 30 miles or so even then with petrol fumes!
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He may have been low on petrol but certainly wasn't running on petrol fumes - ExBrick appears to have a diesel

Rather a horrid experience nonetheless and reminds me of day 1 with my 156 and the fuel gauge reading 'full' when it rolled to a halt with a flapping noise and something long and black whipping around the front left corner. Cambelt? Auxiliaries belt? Turned out to be an amazing coincidence that a rubber strap from somewhere embedded its metal hook in my tyre AND I ran out of petrol at the very same time.

Hope there's no more MCSF antics and it may be wise to replace the diesel filter just in case, perhaps?


'00 GTV V6, '08 FIAT 500, shell and parts for a '71 FIAT 850 Coupe
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(Post Link) post #5 of 5 Old 24-06-10 Thread Starter
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Yeah, diesel! Given the fill-up I had afterwards I appeared to have a whisker under a litre in the tank when it quit on me. Going in for a service in a week or so and will get the filter done then.
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