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Graham Bell
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Electric Clitches

On my Alfa I experience the following minor electris problems.

Dash Heater control illumination. When I turn the lights on these lights do not usually illuminate with other dash lights. A good prod with the palm of the hand on the dash and they light up.
I imagine these lights must be controlled by some sort of solenoid as even testing with car stationary , lights on and a quick off on with ignition it almost always results in these lights going off but not back on till given a prod.

Handbrake light. Under hard cornering or acceleration this light flashes.

Central locking. Regardless of new batterys
seems to have almost zero range, need to hold key fob right beside window to use.
Incidentally does anyone know what the little press button beside the detector does
I assume it alters alarm interior movement detector sensitivity and not the reciever sensitivity. Cant find any mention of it in the manual. Also my key fobs have 2 slim batterys on to of each other and not one big battery is this correct?
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I am continually amazed at how similar Tipo 16v/Alfa 155 problems are.

My first Tipo managed 101,000 miles, the second 86,000. You get to learn about every single problem during this sort of mileage ownership.

Fortunately my 155 has just done 20,000, so I should not have to deal with any such niggles for some time.

Anyway, here we go...

Graham, the heater control lights are tiny little bulbs held in with even tinier little clamp/things. If the bulb has come even slightly loose, it will do what you have described - come on intermittently. That good prod with the palm is pushing them back into their little clamps (but obviously only temporarily).

If you want to fix the problem, you're gonna have to remove the heater control knobs and very carefully take out that small rectangular plastic section behind the knobs. Then you will have access to the bulbs and the little holders. Either replace them with new ones (holders) or have a close look and see if there is anything visibly wrong. They may just need a good squeeze (oo er!) with some pliers.

Be very careful taking this section of the car apart. You will need patience, a precision screw driver set and about an hour.

Secondly, the hand brake warning light actually doubles as a brake fluid warning light. If your brake fluid is low, the handbrake warning light will come on (Italians eh?). The reason it is only coming on in flashes is that you are probably not that low on fluid. So when you take hard corners, the fluid is moving about in the reservoir. (Like when you are low on petrol and corner hard, the petrol light comes on).

Check the fluid level and top it up immediately. Clutch and brakes use the same fluid/reservoir. If it gets too low, your will lose control of your clutch. (The pedal will slump to the floor and you will be stuck in gear). This is not funny at all. It happened to me once in the Tipo and it could have been very serious indeed.

You need to find out why the fluid is low. Maybe one of your master cylinders is on its way out (what mileage has your car done?)

Sorry, can't help with the central locking problem, but the key fobs on both Tipos were crap. Just get a decent alarm and get two benefits in one, security and remote central locking.

Two additional points. Is there anywhere on this website where these sort of problems are logged or stored? For those of you that haven't already had a look, please visit www.tipo16v.co.uk, especially the FAQ section, as it can often provide many useful answers to common 155 problems.

Finally, my 155 has a strange problem. The interior light remains on for two minutes after getting into the car and driving off. The little door open light on the warning panel show the driver's door is open, but then goes out after 2 minutes. Is this a common problem?

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My 155 seemed to go through brake fuild on a regular basis, until I changed the pads and it's been fine ever since. This leads me to the conclusion that as your pads get low and need changing, the brake fluid light comes on more.
I wouldn't trust the pad warning light as I have had a sticking pad befor with metal on metal and no lights came on!!


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As Henry Yorke says, if your pads are gone the light will come on due to the fact that more brake fluid goes into the tubes before the car brakes, a week ago I started noticing this light too and some noise but it could'nt be the front brakes as I changed pads and disks last summer so I just checked the rear ones and their completely gone, the noise comes from the metal to metal element.

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Graham Bell
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Yes worked that one out for myself. re article Which disks. Both my front pads & disks are on bare minimum and no theres no light lit up to say pads need changed even though Ive got that tell tale sound from the wheel when going around slow corners. Already got some on order should arrive today.

With reference to interior light problem, I have also found it can stay on for a couple of minutes. I seemed to remember something like this. If I start the engine before the passenger doors are shut then when they shut it doesnt always go out, dont think this applies to the drivers door though. Turning ignition off and on and the light goes out.
If you have a faulty door switch its likely to cause something like this. Trouble is where are the door switches, seem to be built into the catch or the pullspring between the hinges.

If anyone knows what the tiny button beside the led beside the remote sensor beside the back interior light does please advise.
Simon Atkinson
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The button in the alarm receiver is for programming new keys into the alarm system. See an earlier post- "remote central door locking".

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Check front left (nearside in UK) brake and look for a small wire that connects through the brake caliper to a brake pad. This should be the wire that shorts to the brake disk when the pad is getting low on that corner. Not very high-tec but standard fare on a lot of cars. If by some miracle the wire is intact, wearing that brake pad down should give you a warning light on the dashboard. It worked once on my Alfa and never since.
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Graham Bell
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Yes Chris, We all have those wires for the brake pad warning. I think we are all in agreement that on no account assume your
brakes pads are OK because the light is not lit. Your going to be scratching metal on metal and damaging your disks before the wires wear through if indeed the circuit is working.

Changed my disks for EBC 284mm slotted with new pads now (reason Alfa parts so expensive), Actualy old disks were not so much damaged as completely worn out. Seems on most modern cars these days the disks are quite soft and only good for about 65K Mine were down from 22mm do 19mm + vents were solid full of rust. Pads had about 3mm left Stopping was still OK for the time. With new disks braking seems about the same as before
possibly not quite as snatchy, more progressive. Ive always thought stopping power was one of the 155s strong points I think like me others fitting slotted disks + sports breakpads are doing it mainly doe to the cost of the origional parts rather than dissatisfaction with the standard.

I've noticed there are so many warning sensors on these cars, The realy important ones seem to all work but the auxiliary ones generally do not, due to either bad design, rerouting of wiring harness on right hand drive cars which leaves some wires a bit tight (trying to make excuse for Alfa, are left hookers as bad?), Alfa dealer botch ups.

Eg Windscreen washer reservoir light sensor, breaks, and how hard is it to remove from the reservoir if you would li9ke to fit a replacement, actualy if anyone knows if this is a TIPO part may be get the whole reservoir from a scrap yard , Wire to engine coolant expansion chamber level sensor streeched too tight and gets snapped easy.
When a haedlight bulb goes theres no warning light illumination? but a rear light and there is?
Curiously on my vehicle turning ignition off turns all lights off. no I cant park with lights on. But if I want to use my break pedal the break lights do not require ignition?
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Disks wear out much quicker on modern cars dut to asbestos no longer being used in brake pads.
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Hi Guys
I do find the brake disks rather “soft”. When I bought my 2.0 16v it had had all four disks (and pads) renewed some 18k km/11k miles / 9 months earlier. They looked rather worn and the back ones a bit rusty. I soon got rid of the rusty parts of the back ones – some heavy braking to care of that – but they don’t seem any worse now.
I haven’t so far had problems with my Tivoli of warnings lights but it’s curious that there is none for the headlights. Taking of headlights, my left-hand one burned a bulb on my resent holiday - it a nightmare to change so I turned the fog lights on instead.
Front experience I know that it’s a good idea to give the dash a good prod now and then – this Alfa of mine have OK lightning but the odd sweek.

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