RAC have checked the car today. (Had to call for a homestart as the car started, stalled itself then wouldn't start again).
The car started first time when he got here, lots of smoke coming out of the exhaust which he says is petrol burning off - the reason it is struggling to start is an excess of petrol in the works, so it won't spark up. He explained the ECU is compensating (over-compensating I think!) for this by revving the engine high in a bid to cure the problem (it settled down to normal levels after about 10 mins of running) and also that's why the fan is running like crazy, apparently because the ECU knows something is wrong but doesn't know what is wrong so it just goes into an emergency mode and runs everything it can in a bid to keep the engine under control.
The question he couldn't answer is why is there an excess of petrol being pumped in. He recommended taking it to an Alfa garage (which for me would be Lyles in Newcastle) if it continues giving me problems. I did drive 12 miles to work with no problems after he'd been, although the engine light was flickering on and off at times.
Still....does anyone have any ideas what may be causing this and if it's easily and cheaply fixed?
I figured a bottle of Redex might be worth a try, so did. Car started normally this time (I know the Redex of course would take a while to find it's way around) but still with a high idle around 2500rpm, which it kept but only for about 5mins this time. The fault light kept flickering on and off for a good 15 mins but eventually went off and stayed off for the final 20 mins of my journey. I got home and left the car and restarted a few times (about 5 min gaps inbetween) and the idle was as it should be every time.
My next journey has been this morning, setting off at 7am in pretty cold temperatures. Same problem this morning, very high idle and again the fault light flickering on and off quite often (i.e. on for about a quarter of a second, literally a flash and it's gone). This time the fan did not start up with the engine, so I'm thinking it may not be a temperature or ECU error.
Any thoughts on it perhaps being the choke stuck and that's what is flooding the engine? (RAC insisted the high idle is simply the ECU increasing the revs to burn off the excess fuel).
Does anyone even have any thoughts whatsoever on this? Please?!
I've only had this car 6 months and already forked out £1,500 on it - I'm very loath to go to a garage and hand over yet more hundreds for a job that may or may not fix the car. I'm happy to do relatively easy jobs myself, if only to try, someone must have experienced the same symptoms as me before?
Yes I have checked the search facility but there doesn't seem to be anything matching what I've had.
Last edited by randomthought; 14-04-10 at 07:38.