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Help Help please! Erratic engine performance issues.

Hello and thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to help me out. I have a 2001 alfa spider 916 2.0 t spark. I've owned in for 6 years and apart from the usual issues with it the engine has always run perfectly. As it approached 50k I treated it to a full service and MOT. When I got it back it was running really bad. Simptoms are: on cold start it is running as low as 500 revs on idle, and I think because of this it stalls, coughs and needs loads of throttle to get it to move. It has some major flat spots in low gears. After 10 minutes driving it seems much better although it still seems underpowered, but at least when it's up to temperature it's drive able at lower speeds. Also when warmed up it seems to run and 1100 revs on idle but occiaisionally drops back erratically to 500.Wether cold or not it drives ok above 2500 revs. Obviously I took it back t the garage and they went through everything they did, ( new plugs and filters) and if anything it is worse now.
They are saying that it cannot be anything they have done, but genuinely it has always run without any trouble prior to this. It has had a new clutch and timing belt in the last 3 years.
This may be a side issue but they also really struggled to get it through its emissions test, in fact it failed but they let it go as long as I get it fixed. The exhaust is only 3 years old so doubt it is cat problem. Could it be related? .?
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If it failed emissions and it has a cat .. they should not have given a pass..
It might feel good because you 'got away with it' but fact is your cars running out of tune
could be a number of things.. did they do the emissions test before or after they changed the plugs?? what were the results??
I'd check anything to do with ignition .. plugs, coil packs etc.. can you hear a misfire??
it was good, now it's bad.. what's been messed with?? induction leak?? correct plugs??
500 rpm at idle warmed up is correct.. 1100 is way high.. what was idle at before you took it for a service??

Gettin' to old for this sh*t

Last edited by seadart; 04-05-14 at 18:41.
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sounds like a problem with one of the many sensors: MAF, Crank, Idle, lambda etc, etc - did the garage not check the fault codes?

Are they Alfa specialists? (they don't sound like they are!)
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im thinking timing?
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Originally Posted by james1950 View Post
im thinking timing?
Have a v6 spider that is exhibiting rough idling at 500rpm, but purrs on the gas. Led to believe that the rough idle may be down to it being a tooth out on the timing belt which would be a pita but fixable....caused an inexperienced mechanic during a recent water pump change. Still to be investigated in the near future.
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The Op's car is a tspark which idles a little higher than the v6.

Was the timing belt changed as part of the full service? Do you know what type of spark plugs were fitted?
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have you checked what spark plugs are fitted? cheap ones will run bad as well. i had similar issues that improved a bit when warm. platinum plugs sorted it
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engine , erratic , issues , performance

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