A few years ago I started getting an issue where my alfa suddenly wouldnt start when turning the key. After much googling (and finding this forum) I discovered I wasn't alone and this extremely common problem was due to the immobiliser system in the car.
The problem/how to short term fix for anyone unaware is as follows:
* Put the key in, turn (but not all the way so don't start)
* Check if the red immobiliser light comes on. If so this is likely the issue
* Take key out and as you try take it out wiggle it a bit around and retry a few times, sometimes this fixes it.
* If not, take the key out, then (on right hand drive) grab the bunch of cables in the bottom right under the steering block (near fuse box) and gentle wiggle around a bit. 95% of the time this fixes the issue and the car will start fine.
6 months ago when at the garage I decided to fix the issue for good and bought the part number 606207711 which is the immobiliser antenna. I was told on good authority that this is normally the cause of the issue so forked out the 50 quid (in Sweden so everything costs more here!) to get one of these. Its sat in the bag for a year now and finalyl decided to take the steering wheel area apart to see if I can replace it to avoid this bodge job cable wiggle every time it happens.
So I followed the tutorial on my alfa 156 elearn CD (managed to get a copy), you can see the steps below that I have:
The good news is I ran a test by trying to take off the antenna (the bit that the key goes into the middle of) and sure enough the problem shows (and engine wont start and warning light comes on). Putting it back on and it works fine, so I'm fairly sure the problem as suggested at the alfa garage is the antena, it must just be badly connecting and wiggling the cables around may just help fix it (or possibly its a static build up issue? I had this issue on a porsche 944 I used to have where static build up was causing issues)
So far I managed to take off the steering wheel cover, top and bottom, and the fuse box, but i'm now stuck. I see the antenna peice and can follow about half the length of the cable but it vanishes into a piece behind the wheel and I cant see how to get to it. In the elearn CD its designed for left hand drive cars, mine is a left hand drive so I'm wondering if maybe the set up is different on these (fuse box for example is on the right for me). I can't even see where the other end of the antenna connects to it seems really well hidden.
Any ideas, if anyone has a diagram (if one exists) for the right hand drive version you will become my next best friend!
Thanks ahead for any help.