Airbags, window, thermostat,... :) - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 3 Old 11-04-13 Thread Starter
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Crazed Airbags, window, thermostat,... :)

Ok guys this will be a long one. Please bear with me.

I have a 3 door 2002 147 1,6TS 105hp with (allegedly) 140.000km
I got it quite cheap 3 or so years ago and since then found out why it was so cheap.

The car was imported from Itlay (i'm from Slovenia) and was crashed there.
It was on a straightening bench because there are marks from the jaws on the undercarriage and the steering wheel has to be held a tad to the right to go straight.

Almost the entire body was repainted (figured that out when a couple of friends bought a paint thickness meter for like 40- would recommend to anyone buying a used car).

I had a towbar fitted and now when I plug the trailer into the outlet all lights work fine but after a minute or so the rear lights on the car and trailer go out (indicators and brake lights still work fine both on the car and the trailer).
First I thought the load is too high because I was towing glider trailers with really old wiring but now I tried a brand new small trailer with tiny lights...
Any idea what this could be?
It is not the contacts as it is always the same - works perfectly for a minute and then turns off the lights.

The driver window made slight noises from the start and when being wound up it would move the seals quite a lot and seem it takes some effort to come up the last 3cm as it slowed down a bit but I didn't think anything of it.
Then it started to make a loud noise - a loud crack (like the window would break) but only once in a while a few months back. When it did that the window wouldn't close to the end but I would wind it down for a few cm and close it without problem.
And now after doing this one last time the window fell into the door and off the guide rail.
I then pulled the window up by hand (luckily it didn't fall in all the way) and then brought the mechanism all the way up and it holds the window in place now. The motor seems to be working but it won't pull the window down anymore.
Did just the window somehow detatch or is somethign seriously broken?
Should I attempt to fix it myself?
My garrage told me it needs a new mechanism and with work it would set me back for 300 which is too much for a car that is worth a couple times that much

I guess this guide applies for the 147 also right?

I had the standard problem with the tensioner cables below the seats and the car would turn off the airbags all the time.
After getting tired of paying 20 for a reset every time (one dealer even wanted 70 for that - for 5 min of work - thats a nice price ) I threw the connectors out and soldered the wires together. All was fine till last month when the airbag light came on again and I was like WTF - did the solder break now??
But at the garrage they said that now they can't even acess the airbag central unit and a new one with work is 500 - again great
They also gave me a number of a guy that supposedly fixes stuff like that. Does that make sense or should I jush have him turn off the warning light to keep the car driveable - with it on I can not pass the yearly inspection.

With the car being totalled I was suspiciouss about the airbags all the time.
Could it be there are no airbags?
Or does the fact that previously they could reset the airbag light after the problem with the contact below the seat mean that the airbags and central unit were then fine?

The yellow engine warning light came on and when I took it to the garage (without driving it inbetween to prevent any damage) with the light on when the mechanic turned the key it was out. On the computer it told him that the sensor on the thermostat is faulty. The light is still off.
They told me in the garage that the sensor is like 14 but the thermostat costs 200+ with work
I did notice that the temperature indicator would be a bit lower than usual but I wasn't completely sure and this winter the heater wasn't as hot as usual.
The issue has gotten worse now - the water would heat up to like 75C and while driving in 8C would drop to 50C in a second or so - the needle moves really quick.
But then sometimes it would end up at 90C and just drop to 80C now and then.

Are a slightly higher fuel consumption and the heater not being as good the only side effects of this overcooling or is there something more serious to worry about?

Should I buy a temp sensor and replace it or replace teh thermostat?
Since the regulation seems to work and sometimes 90C is reached quickly in cold weather it would seem that the thermostat is ok right?

The oil sump has been hit from below and has been "fixed" so that it still leaks a bit. There is a small oil stain where I park. And the engine seems to drink some oil too so I used to have to refil like 1l/2000km. Since i get Shell helix 5W/40 for 4,5/l i didnt bother with it and just check the oil regulary.
How much oil does a car like this drink without any oil leaks?

So I don't want to throw money into this car - I would rather buy a new one
But since this is a backup car now (my gf having a better one) it would be nice to keep it running if that can be done cheap + it's the only one with a towbar.

Defects 2,3 and 4 all came in on my 30th birthday - is this a standard way for an Alfa to congratulate you? :S

What do you guys suggest?
Any insight is much appreciated.
I am willing to put in any kind of work, have acess to a service pit and am reasonably handy with tools.

Before all this my friends told me that buying an Alfa was a really bad idea but I told them that in the 3 years all that had to be done was routine stuff (brake pads, clutch, oil and belts) and I felt pretty smug. Now I feel stupid



PS: Other defects:
The passenger window is lazy (slow on the way up)
Headlamp adjustment doesn't work - cables are cut at the lamp - any idea why someone would do that?
Left side of front bumper came loose - now fastened with a cable tie
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(Post Link) post #2 of 3 Old 25-04-13 Thread Starter
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Right, lets see.

Regarding your window regulator, it's quite possible that you have a frayed cable, which could account for some noise, most likely the plastic clips which fix the window to the regulator have failed, hence the cracking noise. Also, it sounds like the window is not fully in the window runners, which may result in it being slow, and pushing the seals up.

Replacing this with a good used part shouldn't cost too much, and isn't a difficult DIY job if you have basic tools and skills.

Regarding the coolant, I'd suggest you have a failed thermostat, for the price, worth replacing that first, and giving the coolant a change to eliminate any air trapped in the system, again, something you could do yourself, there are guides available.

Airbag issues are not always the connectors, whilst it's a common fault. Worth asking to have the fault codes read, and asking on here, someone will point you in the right direction. Or even better, invest 20 in a cable and a free copy of fiatecuscan and you can check them yourself.

Lastly oil usage, probably not helped by the repaired sump, alfa advise usage of 1 litre per 1000km is normal, some use less, some use none, all depends on the engine.

These cars do require some looking after and careful maintenance, so worth consulting your handbook and getting into a schedule of checking the oil and other fluids frequently.

Hope this helps,

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airbags , thermostat , window

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