BIZARRE experience with EOBD sensor!!! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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BIZARRE experience with EOBD sensor!!!

I just got my new Alfa GTV 2L TS (compliance place 11/02 so it is brand spanking new) yesterday and have only put 100 kms on it in one day. The dealer was kind enough to put a full tank of petrol in it, but he put f***en normal unleaded petrol (RON 91 Octane) instead of premium (96-98 RON Octane) - in OZ we only have two types of unleaded petrol - unleaded and premium.

Now it didn't have a problem yesterday, but today (when it got to about 3/4 tank) it started to sh!te itself - my EOBD light came on and then my car started to totally lose power, almost like the fuel supply to the engine had been cut off - and I trailed to a full stop despite pressing the accelerator, downshifting etc. The only way I got it restarted was to switch off the engine, wait about half a minute, and restart again (very disconcerting when you're on a freeway going at about 90kmh).

On all occasions this ferking EOBD light comes on and apparently needs to be reset by shutting the engine off and restarting. I had to do it about 10 times this morning and afternoon - pull over when it shat itself, restart, then keep driving, then repeat all over again. I rang my dealer to have a massive whinge (this is a TWO day old car) and their service department said that it was because normal unleaded had been loaded in the car and had set off the EOBD thing, and said for me to take it in tomorrow and they would drain the petrol and replace it with Shell Optimax which is high-octane (98 RON).

I eventually managed to use up 1/4 of a tank by driving in circles in back streets and then topped it up with premium petrol, and it seemed to go ok after that (though the EOBD light still stayed on, the car didn't experience loss of power).

Anyway...has this happened to anyone else? Do I even need this EOBD thing, seeing as I live in OZ? And has anyone tried to put normal sub-95 octane petrol in the car? What were the results???
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Get an octane booster for it, should cost around $10 max

Good luck!
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madyroch firstly congrats on the sexy Alfa

When I bought my GTV6 they filled it with 95 Octane Mobil Petrol and I have never put in the lower grade fuel...usually 98 Shell OPtimax ..what I find totally strange is that they filled your car with regular that had to be the problem...shame your not in Melb so we could have GTV meet ups wink

Just realised I didnt even really help you out..oh well :
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Ok, this is what's been happening. I've managed to use up another 25 litres of fuel and have topped it up with Shell Optimax (98 RON). I guess I'm gradually increasing the octane level by blending Optimax with the 91 RON rubbish the dealer put in on Wednesday.

AO, I looked around for an octane booster but nobody at the service stations seemed to know what it was?? ??? Do you have a brand name you can recommend to me?

It's still stuttering, but I've noticed that it now only happens immediately after the car has been started - the EOBD light will flash on and the car will lose all power (which is VERY scary when you're making a right-hand turn across oncoming traffic). It's fixed by turning the car off and back on again, or by leaving it in neutral and revving it. It's the most fuking annoying thing, seriously!!!!

The dealer's offered to drain the tank for me, but earliest I can make it there is Friday. Does anyone know if my engine's been damaged by all this?

Passa - thanks mate, I'll try and post pics soon!
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You guys won't believe this - this must be the dealer fiasco to top all dealer fiascos. I went to the dealer today to try and get them to drain this 91 RON fuel that they'd put in there, because the first dealer told me to. When I get there ANOTHER dealer steps in and says that the first dealer was an idiot - draining the tank was not a simple exercise, apparently they need to take the tank out and tip it over - they can't just suction it out. Supposedly it's meant to take 20 hours+. Then the two of them started arguing with each other about what to do!!

Anyway a consensus was reached when the service guy stepped in and said that the best thing to do, since I'd been diluting it anyway, was to simply burn all the fuel off by driving it around and using it up, then filling the tank with Shell Optimax (98RON). So that's what we've "agreed on".

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Welcome to another aussie owner!

Sorry to hear you have had some heartache with your new toy. EOBD stands for Electronic On Board Diagnostics- it is a standard which engine management computers (fuel injection and ignition) must comply to.

Current Alfas are designed to meet current european emission laws (Euro 3) which is tougher than the current Australian Design Rules.

Even though current european cars are "cleaner" than the Australian laws currently demand there is little point in designing a "dirtier" engine just because our laws don't require it.

Unfortunately our fuel isn't quite as good as it could be and there is a high Sulphur content in Australian fuels, not to mention dilution with chemicals such as ethanol. This can dramatically change the burning characteristics of the fuel and cause problems such as you have experienced.

Draining the tank in a GTV is no easy task, there is no drain plug and removing the tank requires removal of the entire rear suspension- 20 hours sounds a bit excessive though.

It is possible to remove the fuel pump from the top of the tank and syphon out 99% of the fuel in the tank but progressive dilution of the fuel is certainly the easiest way of doing it.

Hope your car finds it's chosen brew soon enough for you to start enjoying it!
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Well, it only happens when I start up the engine now - I drive off, and after a few seconds the EOBD light will come on and the engine will lose power, and I'll have to restart the engine or rev it to get over it. The dealer said something about how once the EOBD light is on then fuel delivery to the engine is no longer interrupted. You can imagine how embarrassing this is - parking to drop off some dry cleaning, then getting in again, restarting, stalling, and having to restart again.

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