Just bought a 159. First gremlins ;-) - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 4 Old 31-01-13 Thread Starter
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Just bought a 159. First gremlins ;-)

Hello all from Madrid, Spain!
Yesterday I traded by Mondeo ST220 by a Alfa 159 1.9JTDm 16v.
The car is looking and running nice. But I had the first two failures yesterday:

1. The infamous "Hill Holder Unavailable" message appears from time to time. After some driving it tends to disappear. It doesn't say anything else, BUT the orange VDC symbol at the left is on. Does this mean that the full VDC system is also unavailable when this message appears? I have read here that it has to do with brake or clutch sensor, will have them a look!

2. Most important: my fuel gauge always reads "empty", orange light on and of course the range indication in the trip computer doesn't say anything (it seems to lack information about how much fuel is in the tank). And yes, I have put fuel on it :-)
Any ideas?

BTW: I bought two nice eBay logos for the front and back. Will try to substitute them soon and post some photos, I think this info may be useful for many owners as all of them get bad over years!
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Others can advise on point 1, but not come accross the fuel gauge issue before, a few people have with the 147 and 156, seems the gauge can be sticky if run empty for a while, try filling the tank til full and driving on rough roads! Alternatively the float may have sunk (in which case needs replacing).

But start with a check of all the fuses and connections if you can.
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Hi there!

I have seen your post about this topic also in "Alfistas" where I appear also as "Garbancillo" (by the way, I am also based at Madrid).

First, check that battery is Ok. 159s tend to spot some warning lights and messages just before the battery dies. If you are running out of battery, it may be possible that the fuel gauge issue is related also to a low charge level of the battery. However (at least, in my case) such odd messages and warning lights come out of the blue just before the battery runs out completely (I mean, it would be rather strange that such messages and warnings are there for a while, let's say for some days. What I have perceived on the matter is that battery will die inmediately thereafter, in no more than a few hours.

In my particular case, the only time that battery came to an end, the fuel gauge reached only the very first quarter of the scale, becoming then affixed in such position instead going back to "0" when you put the Start/ stop button in off mode. When you replace battery, all is normal again and all warnings and messages dissapear.

Then, if the battery is OK:

1. Double check the clutch sensor. I would recommend you to pull the clutch pedal and go then for a ride to test if the "VDC/Hill Holder unavailable" appears again on the screen. Anyway, replacement of the sensor is easy, cheap and will take only a few minutes.

2. The issue of the fuel gauge is not an iddle one, may be the float/ leveler into the fuel tank is not working properly (I would disregard problems with the fuel pump).

Anyway, I read also at "Alfistas" (for all of you, the Spanish forum of "Alfaholics") that you acquired the car recently

1. In Spain, you know, if you acquired the car form a private vendor, this shall bound by operation of law to repair these tricks whether the appearing problems may be regarded as a "hidden defect" (In England, "fitness for purpose", although our legal institution of "hidden deffects" is more protective) We call it "saneamiento de la compraventa por vicios ocultos", Article 1484 of the Civil Code. You are entiltled to get these repaired by seller during six months from the purchase date.

2. If you acquired a used car from a professional vendor, the above is not applicable, but the provisions set forth in the Royal Decree 1/2007 ("Real Decreto legilsativo 1/2007, de 16 de noviembre, Texto refundido de la Ley General para la Defensa de Consumidores y Usuarios"): You are covered by "warranty" which in no event may be less than one year from the purchase date, and such warranty is absolute, unlimited and unconditional.

So, in any of 1 or 2 above. go back to the seller and seek to do the needful on your 159.
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(Post Link) post #4 of 4 Old 01-02-13 Thread Starter
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Thanks, garbancillo.
I must say the dealer is treating me very well. The day after I bought the car and took it home, they called me just to check that everything was ok and whether the Hill Holder error appeared again.
They requested me to take the car back for inspection and they will provide a substituting vehicle, so I cannot ask more.

I have been doing some more experiments and I think that the fault is caught: as soon as the Hill Holder error appears, I can make it disappear by pulling the clutch pedal up with my foot, so it must be the clutch pedal switch.

The fuel gauge issue must be an electrical problem as the reserve light is intermittent and not steady, that indicates that the car is detecting an error. It may be simply that the fuel sensor is disconnected, has a bad contact or something like that.

Last edited by ssanmor; 01-02-13 at 05:46.
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