"Run-Lean" + VDC Error - Alfa Romeo Forum
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156 2.0TS

"Run-Lean" + VDC Error

Hi Guys

I have learnt a lot through the years from the gurus and the archives here. So its time I share 2 recent "FUNNY" experience that I had.

(1) "Run-Lean"
One of the tell-tale sign that your car is running lean is when your revs climb faster than your car is moving. I installed this superb ignition device (MSD PN7010 http://www.msdignition.com/ignition_28_7010.htm) in September 2005 and noticed the following:
- fuel consumption has improved, (from 9km/L to about 10.2km/L)
- car seems to be more responsive, even on hot days
- car rolls longer even after foot is off the throttle,
- engine is smoother and quieter.

But lately from end Nov, I noticed that the revs climb fast than actual movement. Very noticeable at traffic jams/lights .

So with the improved fuel consumption, I reckoned that it was my MSD that is causing it to run lean..... either that or its my clutch. (I have about 66,500km on the clock). Went to my regular workshop and the chief mech says no way its the MSD but highly likely the clutch. He took out my clutch and its just about on its way to clutch heaven Some grooves were no longer there.

Lesson learnt:
Don't blame your latest mod/add-ons before doing a thorough analysis

(2) VDC Error
My 156 is the gen 3. So it comes with 6 airbags, ASR and VDC. Had an irritating VDC error once in a while since early Dec. I learnt that doing a Microsoft execution will sometimes solve the problem. (Microsoft execution: Shut down and reboot ) But the VDC error is also messing up my fuel consumption. It shot up to like 7km/L.

So again I thought sharks, MSD. I unplug my MSD (Its plug and play no cutting of cables needed) but it does not help. Told my Mech to check out the error with the examiner during my clutch change and he had to adjust my steering wheel alignment, it was 20 degrees out. But then when I picked up my car, the VDC error came on again. Swung around and went back to the workshop. So the Mech told me that the examiner showed that its either:
- the alignment,
- ABS sensors,
- steering wheel sensor or
- there is some problems with the "communication" between sensors and the ECU.

He has checked 1 & 2 so we were left with either 3 or 4. I did a search HERE in AlfaOwner and discovered that some folks had this problem and sometimes it is a result of a weak battery. Apparently a signal goes to/from all sensors to the ECU every 2 seconds. If the battery is weak, this will not happen and the ECU will think that there is a VDC error.

So I decided that changing a battery is cheaper than changing the steering wheel sensor.

Guess what?! VDC error solved. I up my battery from 66amp to 71amp .

Lesson learnt:
Battery is a "life-limited-part" in aircraft speak. Replace it every year even if you are able to crank it start in the morning. (I replaced my first after 18 months, and the second after 12 months).

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error , runlean , vdc

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