Alfa 156 JTS 2.0 very weird issue VDC system failure please read!! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Alfa 156 JTS 2.0 very weird issue VDC system failure please read!!

Good evening everyone,

I have been driving my 2004 2.0 jts for over three years now. Today as i was driving downtown i parked the car had to do some business for about two hours (it was rainy as hell in Sarajevo), came back sat down to turn on the car and the ignition was working but no engine start. Soon to be displayed an error saying VDC failure error.

My noob initial reaction was to check out relays and fuses and everything seemed fine, after a few desperate tries i had to tow the car to my mechanic.

He tried first to ODB the any faulty codes but it wont connect to the ECU at all, the connection wouldn't happen at all. Then he tried to re-check the relays and fusees and everything seemed fine.

He started investigating the fuel pump and apparently there was no fuel delivered to the engine, after further investigations the fuel pump relay (only black one amongst other reds) was not getting any electricity.

We tried connecting the fuel pump directly via cables to +12v and the pump worked.
Now he is saying its most likely a faulty ECU?!! having been not able to connect the ODB at all and the weird VDC system failure error and also no power to the fuel pump relay he concluded its most likely a faulty ECU and probably will work on replacing that.

Is there a possibility that its an immobilizer/Alarm cutting off power from fuel relay? does the ECU just die like that without any signs of going bad? do you think that the service guy is going in the right direction?

Any ideas, opinions are much appreciated guys.

Thanks for reading my long post.
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(Post Link) post #2 of 14 Old 1 Week Ago
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It could be but it is a sweeping thing to say.

I'd want to check power supply to engine ECU first. I'd check for voltage drop when ignition is turned on too. It may be a power supply issue or even earth to ECU.

After that I'd check I'd CODE light comes on at all and if ECU has power output like 5volts for sensors.

Last edited by Fruity; 1 Week Ago at 00:29.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 14 Old 1 Week Ago
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As above go with basics first before swapping out ECU.
What’s the battery condition,battery connections clean and tight,earth points in good condition etc
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As above go with basics first before swapping out ECU.
What’s the battery condition,battery connections clean and tight,earth points in good condition etc
I am not 100% positive about the battery condition, its not more than 16 months old. everything in the car, lights,ignition seems to work fine so we assumed the battery is in a good shape
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I've been having random Motor Control System Failure messages for months, usually first thing in the morning when it's cold and damp. The car would start OK but maybe be a little sluggish to turn over on the starter. I've fitted a new battery a couple of weeks ago and it's been fine since then. It seems Alfas are very sensitive to battery condition, so I'd try a new battery first.
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Update after visiting the service shop, he fitted a new battery to try things out and it was the same result.
I also tried with the spare key (to exclude any key/immobilizer issues) and also the same result. I noticed that no code check nor check engine lamps are lighting on when switching into MAR.

I am really hoping that the car is not completely dead and got its electricity messed up, more and more it seems like the ECU is dead.

Last edited by alialfaromeo; 1 Week Ago at 14:07.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alialfaromeo View Post
Update after visiting the service shop, he fitted a new battery to try things out and it was the same result.
I also tried with the spare key (to exclude any key/immobilizer issues) and also the same result. I noticed that no code check nor check engine lamps are lighting on when switching into MAR.

I am really hoping that the car is not completely dead and got its electricity messed up, more and more it seems like the ECU is dead.
For what stands VDC system?
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Vehicle dynamic control, its for vehicle stability like ESP.
For when you go in a slip or have to make a drastic manoeuvre

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Vehicle dynamic control, its for vehicle stability like ESP.
For when you go in a slip or have to make a drastic manoeuvre

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Strange that this was the first fault!
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Well it was rainy like hel and after that it happened, they checked the relay's etc but did they check where the relays go in to and the wires?
I have seen more simular situations and there it was where the relay(s) go in to what was causing the prob and they couldnt connect to the ECU to.
Maybe you got oxidation on connectors because of the rain, or a shortcircuit.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsMeMarty View Post
Well it was rainy like hel and after that it happened, they checked the relay's etc but did they check where the relays go in to and the wires?
I have seen more simular situations and there it was where the relay(s) go in to what was causing the prob and they couldnt connect to the ECU to.
Maybe you got oxidation on connectors because of the rain, or a shortcircuit.
We checked cables that connects to relay, so it is not that.
I am too suspecting that rain is the main culprit here.
The ECU was handed over to a specialist to test it out and see if it is really dead
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Check the relay in front of the battery marked "injection". I had exactly the same problem in my 156: not starting, fuel pump not running, vdc error, no connection to ecu possible. The relay is red if I remember correctly and supplies power to the ecu. I swapped it with a new one and all was fine again. There should be another relay of the same type in front of the battery which you can swap with.
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I got a call yesterday from the service, they fixed it
It turned out to be bad/broken cables after all, they tried installing a new ECU unit but the problem was still there. That made them check every cable going from the ECU to the relay and checking each cable's resistance until they found the spot. Replaced fixed and ready to go again.

it feels awesome to be able to drive my Alfa again, and man i love this car with all its negatives.

Thanks everyone for trying to help

Regards
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Good for you.

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