Rainy day, dream
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Last Thursday, for the third time since August my 159 decided it didn't want to play when I went to start it. The first and second time all lights lit up ok, but the starter wouldn't turn. A new battery was fitted 1st time and a new alternator the 2nd - both under warranty.
This last time I went to extend the mirrors and instead was treated to a real light show - everything flashable flashed and the info panel scrolled through a litany of warnings, the mirrors stayed put though. Pressing the starter put out all the lights and I got a sound like a catfight from the dash. That's when the wife bailed out!
A meter across the battery showed 10.8v
I organized a waiting appointment with the dealer, same day and jumped the Alfa with our other car.
By the time the techie checked it the alternator had charged the battery and was putting out the correct voltage. Nothing showed as faulty.
I told him that the two previous occasions happened the day after I had used the CD player and ejected discs and left the car without turning off the player. This time I hadn't used it.
He asked what else had I done the last time I used the car (2 days prior). I had turned off the climate control - unlikely to affect anything.
I had also made a hash of opening the o.s.f window, without looking at the panel, succeeding in opening both rear windows before finally finding the right button (doh).
When I pressed the correct button, nothing happened. For some reason I then pulled up on the button; not surprisingly nothing happened. On pressing the button again the window went down OK. Nothing spectacular, but it caused me to remember the incident.
The techie went off to check the window switches, coming back some minutes later smiling. The osf window had:
1: not worked
2: gone down on an "up" action.
3: jerkily raised
He ordered a new switch and ECU unit for the drivers door.
They have been fitted and all seems fine (fingers crossed). The techie was positive it was the cause. It seems that if a fault in the ECU or the switch causes the ECU to "expect" a command and that command has not been received at the time that the car is shut down, the processor will not shut down and continues to draw power from the battery. If you don't use the car for a couple of days there's not enough left to power up.
It seems bizarre that something as as ancillary as the electric windows would cause a total system failure, but I'll be chuffed if it is the answer.