Code issues, red striped relay on '97 GTV
First, the problem:
Code light stays on, fuel injection light doesn't light up at all. Car turns over but doesn't start. (Fuel, battery, fuses, keys all fine). Diagnosis: Immobilizer has immobilized the vehicle. Immobilizer is incommunicado.
Second, the solution:
After a few months of sluggishly poking around this and other forums, I arrived at the conclusion that the ECU wasn't getting juice due to a faulty relay. Found the right group: on the '97 GTV 3.0 V6 24V, it's at the rear of the engine bay, right below the windshield wiper, beneath a plastic cap with a screw. There are four in that group in a square formation; main, auxilliary, fuel pump and ECU. The ECU relay is the one with the diagonal red stripe.
(All of the previous are assumptions I've gleaned from reading around - I really don't know a damn thing about this stuff).
Anyway, I went ahead and bought a standard-issue 12V 30A relay, popped the red stripey one out, popped the new one in, and presto! Code light went out, fuel injector light went on and then out, car started right up. Took it for a spin and everything seems to be fine, except that the ABS light is now lit. That makes me think I may have blown a fuse somewhere when I reconnected the battery - haven't checked the box yet.
Third, the question:
I called the local Alfa-authorized repair shop and asked whether it is ok to have a standard relay in that position, and they said yes, by all means, have at it. This didn't quite gibe with what I've learned by reading around here, i.e. that the relay that feeds the ECU is "special" in some magical way; diode, resistor, some other technical oddity that differentiates it from the others in the group.
So I would just like to have it confirmed by the experts here that I'm not going to blow up the car by driving around with a regular relay in the "red stripe" position. Or am I?
Last edited by wheegtv; 18-05-09 at 11:23.