The mess that is stop start... - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Well, it's reassuring that some people have had no problems, but this thread has pretty much persuaded me not to buy a Giulia. A car is a major investment whose value is undermined by poor design/execution such as this. I had an S type Jag from new which cost me four figures to diagnose and fix a faulty wiring loom that caused battery drain! Cars are really becoming dysfunctionally complex these days, and I'm happier running older vehicles which are pretty good to drive, and which I understand well enough to fix.
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Originally Posted by rjwooll View Post
Well, it's reassuring that some people have had no problems, but this thread has pretty much persuaded me not to buy a Giulia. A car is a major investment whose value is undermined by poor design/execution such as this. I had an S type Jag from new which cost me four figures to diagnose and fix a faulty wiring loom that caused battery drain! Cars are really becoming dysfunctionally complex these days, and I'm happier running older vehicles which are pretty good to drive, and which I understand well enough to fix.
You'll see, you'll regret not experiencing Giulia.
BTW, I have every suspicion that the few incidents of battery flattening noted on here have been (largely ?) due to careless leaving ignition on.
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Originally Posted by U696783 View Post
OK, so I have given in and the car sits on the drive getting its CTEK charge, but of course the battery is in the boot and the boot tends to spring open unless latched - which I don't want to do in case I pinch the cables.

So - any top tips for a sneaky place where you can route the charging cables and shut the boot properly in case of rain?
I use an extension mains cable connected to the CTEK Charger which I made up from flat profile 2 core cable.
There is more than enough scope in the rubber seal on the boot sil to accommodate this cable without either pinching the cable or damaging the rubber.

My car sits for 50 % of the time like this due to the nature of my work and I have been doing it for nearly 2 years with no issues at all.
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Originally Posted by rjwooll View Post
Well, it's reassuring that some people have had no problems, but this thread has pretty much persuaded me not to buy a Giulia. A car is a major investment whose value is undermined by poor design/execution such as this. I had an S type Jag from new which cost me four figures to diagnose and fix a faulty wiring loom that caused battery drain! Cars are really becoming dysfunctionally complex these days, and I'm happier running older vehicles which are pretty good to drive, and which I understand well enough to fix.
That would be a shame. It's really a great car, but this is a brand new fundamental design and there will be (relatively minor) design issues which will be remedied over time - true for most cars I would wager.
I just want Alfa to know about them.
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New Giulias, Stelvios and Giuliettas come with a 5yr warranty. This should be reassuring and if the warranty is called on Alfa should be aware if a dealer is not fulfilling their obligation to keep you on the road. People constantly refer to dealers as if they've taken the car to Alfa or Audi or whatever but they are taking them to a franchisee who's not the manufacturer.
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Originally Posted by rjwooll View Post
Well, it's reassuring that some people have had no problems, but this thread has pretty much persuaded me not to buy a Giulia. A car is a major investment whose value is undermined by poor design/execution such as this. I had an S type Jag from new which cost me four figures to diagnose and fix a faulty wiring loom that caused battery drain! Cars are really becoming dysfunctionally complex these days, and I'm happier running older vehicles which are pretty good to drive, and which I understand well enough to fix.
I think it's truer to say that MOST Giulia owners have had no problems. On fora like this the problem cars get a disproportional amount of attention.

It is absolutely true that there is a battery/alternator/heated rear window design issue in the Giulia, and I presume the Stelvio too, which AR are taking a long time to recognise and fix. I maintain that STOP/START itself is fine, not that I ever leave it enabled, but it is the logic to disable certain functions when battery charge is low and to limit the charging rate of the battery which is flawed. Also it is too easy to shut the car down in a way which leaves circuits draining the battery.

If you were to speak to to a range of typical Giulia owners, I believe that you'd be persuaded that the risk involved in buying one is low.

My experience is 21,000 miles in a little under two years with the only significant problem being the battery going completely flat on me once. I've not owned a better or more reliable car than my Giulia Quadrifoglio.

I do though agree fully that modern cars are getting to be unnecessarily complex.

Another factor is when a Giulia does go wrong, the average dealer in UK is inadequately trained to get it fixed.

Andy
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I think it's truer to say that MOST Giulia owners have had no problems. On fora like this the problem cars get a disproportional amount of attention.

It is absolutely true that there is a battery/alternator/heated rear window design issue in the Giulia, and I presume the Stelvio too, which AR are taking a long time to recognise and fix. I maintain that STOP/START itself is fine, not that I ever leave it enabled, but it is the logic to disable certain functions when battery charge is low and to limit the charging rate of the battery which is flawed. Also it is too easy to shut the car down in a way which leaves circuits draining the battery.

If you were to speak to to a range of typical Giulia owners, I believe that you'd be persuaded that the risk involved in buying one is low.

My experience is 21,000 miles in a little under two years with the only significant problem being the battery going completely flat on me once. I've not owned a better or more reliable car than my Giulia Quadrifoglio.

I do though agree fully that modern cars are getting to be unnecessarily complex.

Another factor is when a Giulia does go wrong, the average dealer in UK is inadequately trained to get it fixed.

Andy
Just a note: I haven't had my MY'19 Veloce for long enough in cold conditions to know whether or not the s/start - HRW issue still persists. D
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Originally Posted by rjwooll View Post
Well, it's reassuring that some people have had no problems, but this thread has pretty much persuaded me not to buy a Giulia. A car is a major investment whose value is undermined by poor design/execution such as this. I had an S type Jag from new which cost me four figures to diagnose and fix a faulty wiring loom that caused battery drain! Cars are really becoming dysfunctionally complex these days, and I'm happier running older vehicles which are pretty good to drive, and which I understand well enough to fix.
Might I be right in suggesting the issue is mostly with petrol cars, and QF's in particular ? Our diesel has never failed to start, or had a HRW issue. 40k miles on it. That said, it is going into the dealer this week because the s/start has not been working for a couple of months. That is, it doesn't stop when you come to a halt, at all. Some of you may find that a bonus feature Ordering a new, like for like, model when they announce the rumored interior upgrade this year. You really would be denying yourself something special by letting this minor, non-conclusive thread put you off including Giulia in your selection of a new car. Especially as you don't know what model/s are affected, what conditions cause it, whether its confined to a small batch of a faulty part, has been rectified on new production models, or even if its being caused by driver error. Spending a large sum of money on a jag is par for the course normally, but you were obviously out of warranty, as mentioned earlier Giulia has a 5 year warranty. I'm not sure buying a battery charger and leaving the car charging when not in use is the best course of action, its a bit old school and doesn't further the process of rectifying the issue. Anyways, we love ours, and are looking forward to the same brilliance in a newer model. End of my ramblings.
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Just a note: I haven't had my MY'19 Veloce for long enough in cold conditions to know whether or not the s/start - HRW issue still persists. D
I've had my Veloce 7 weeks with none of these issues. Touch wood.

I agree with the comment about locking the car and believing everything is off when in fact the ignition is still on, this will drain the battery sharpish.

I use an old model Black & Decker electronic charger, that has the flat cables which are joined together, only used it once on my Speciale, no problem using it.

I would say think twice before discounting the Giulia, it's a great car.
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Might I be right in suggesting the issue is mostly with petrol cars, and QF's in particular ? Our diesel has never failed to start, or had a HRW issue. 40k miles on it. That said, it is going into the dealer this week because the s/start has not been working for a couple of months. That is, it doesn't stop when you come to a halt, at all. Some of you may find that a bonus feature Ordering a new, like for like, model when they announce the rumored interior upgrade this year. You really would be denying yourself something special by letting this minor, non-conclusive thread put you off including Giulia in your selection of a new car. Especially as you don't know what model/s are affected, what conditions cause it, whether its confined to a small batch of a faulty part, has been rectified on new production models, or even if its being caused by driver error. Spending a large sum of money on a jag is par for the course normally, but you were obviously out of warranty, as mentioned earlier Giulia has a 5 year warranty. I'm not sure buying a battery charger and leaving the car charging when not in use is the best course of action, its a bit old school and doesn't further the process of rectifying the issue. Anyways, we love ours, and are looking forward to the same brilliance in a newer model. End of my ramblings.
I doubt if the issue is limited just to petrol Giulia's and certainly it doesn't affect only Quadrifoglios.

I'd assume that the IBS / BCM logic which disables certain circuits when battery charge is low is common to all Giulia's.

Perhaps the diesel versions have a higher capacity battery which might make the issue less likely to arise.

Though I think the significant conclusion to draw from Hugh Myles' post is that it confirms the view there are many Giulia owners who haven't had problems.

I'd belong in the no problem majority, if it weren't for my battery going totally flat just once. That event was very likely down to me not shutting the car down correctly.

Andy
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I had my battery changed before Christmas as stop/start hadn't been working again and nor was heated rear screen. If already had the IBS changed and a software update but that didn't work.
A couple of weeks in and stop/start and HRW are still working fine. Time will tell but so far so good. Maybe it's the battery. I know I fully charged the old battery and it only lasted a day or so before HRW and stop/start packed up again.
My car is Feb 2017 build by the way.
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no heated rear screen again for me this morning. although its mainly getting short 7 mile drives at the moment, half of those with the lights on, and i havent used it all weekend.

It is daft that it disables the rear screen heating, but allows you to use the heated seats. It is also daft that it allows you to lock the car with the ignition on and it'll sit there while the battery runs flat. (i havent done this myself, but others have) It should just switch off after 10 minutes... why would you want to leave the car in that state?

It seems to me, having looked at the various comments on the forum, that the car can vary the charge current into the battery, so even when the the alternator is running (as seen by those wish volt meters connected) it still isnt necessarily charging the battery very much. It "seems" to be aiming for 75-80% charge level, rather than fully charged. all in the name of efficiency i suspect. This obviously isnt quite working well enough, as reports of taking it for a long drive doesn't seem to fix it. If the car changed it all the way up, then the occasional longer drive would likely mean those with a short commute would have less issues.

I dont have a driveway, so charging my car regularly would be a bit of a faff to be honest.

i can live with it, and still love the car, but if after the 3 year deal is up its still an issue, it might make me look around a bit... not to say i wouldnt get another one anyway, but if i was on the fence, it might sway me.
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Whilst issues around Giulia niggles are covered in a number of threads, this is an attempt to draw a couple of threats together and call out - stop start as the culprit.

So - after picking up your lovely Giulia from new - you find that the stop start mechanism is very quick to cut in. For the first month or so, this is charming - and hey, it is saving the environment.
But, by the third month it is starting to get a bit annoying. So after you fire it up, you remember to press the button to disable the stop start, perhaps a little annoyed that you have to do this everytime. But - at least you have an off button.
So - six months has gone by. And then you think - when was the last time you remembered to disable the start stop? And you can't remember. But you also can't remember the last time it kicked-in. Bonus, surely?
And then winter comes and you worry about snow and whether the front spoiler will be good as a snow-plough. But first comes frost. And you scrape the front screen willingly, but then you notice the rear screen hasn't cleared. And that's a bit of a problem as you can't see out of the back. Worse than that, sometimes the heater rear screen works fine, sometimes it doesn't. So you get on this forum and see what you can find out...so here it is. (I don't claim the facts are 100%, but there is enough dialogue for them to be plausible.)

1 - Stop Start technology is really really hard on batteries. You need a good one. Possibly even lithium, certainly more than a box standard one.
Nope - The OEM battery is standard (albeit a bit bigger than usual). It's also in the boot, so it stays cold - not great for a battery in winter.
2 - The Guilia has an intelligent battery monitoring capability. If the battery is a little below par, then it proactively disables some battery draining activities such as stop start (See above) and oh - heated rear screen (and other things, which you will simply find out about in due course). And it decides, not you. It also doesn't tell you what it has done.
3 - The Guilia has an eco-friendly alternator, which means that it doesn't charge the battery all that well - especially if you do short journeys or use eco-mode. Sure, it saves the planet (by reducing the resistance against the engine), but the whole point of an alternator is to charge the battery, isn't it? Well, no - apparently not.

So we have a £30,000 car that, in winter, doesn't have a working heated screen - that may also be a safety issue. It's fine for the first year, but these niggles will appear.

In defence of Alfa - this is not unique to Alfas - it's just the start stop concept is a bit rubbish.


And for the first time in many many years, I find myself buying a battery charger. Progress?
AlfaWorkshop in Royston when replacing battery on my older Giulietta said it needs 85% battery condition for it to work. The Giulietta stop start worked for a while. Not any more.
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There's been much discussion on the Start/Stop in the Giulietta section over the years. Mine almost always worked on both my Giuliettas as they were used at least 5 days a week for commuting 28 miles each way. If not used enough and weather was cold it wouldn't come on. The issue seems to be different with the electrical system on the Giulia and Stelvio with the rear screen heater not coming on if the charge is low. Nothing to report yet on my Stelvio but I imagine the seat and steering wheel heaters on and less usage it's likely to get low on charge.
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5:35am

-3 deg

Fired up car, Front & Rear De-mister buttons pressed, by the time Iíd scraped front and side screens, rear was clear ... less than 5 mins

Carís been stood since Saturday.


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The mess that is stop start...

This morning I drove to work with S/S on, car was last used on Wednesday. Weather was a bit warmer (about 4deg), HRW worked fine to remove some dew from the rear not long after setting off.

I donít like S/S but I donít sit at traffic lights with my foot on the brake, I use the Ebrake. I have about 6 sets of lights to deal with before I hit the M61, and what is pretty clear is that S/S doesnít kick in if youíre braking gently and then using the Ebrake.

The same pressure applied once I came off the M602, at the lights the S/S didnít kick in after braking. Tried more pressure at the next set of lights and S/S kicked in. Ebrake on and foot off brake, engine obviously started with no lurch forwards.

Completely pointless exercise I know as itís kind of defeating the object of S/S, just wanted to see what conditions triggered it.

Useless when in traffic jams, pulling out of junctions and switching the car off, so Iíll continue to switch it off if memory serves



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Previous Alfas
2001 - 2010 (1999 S)156 2.5 V6 Sport Pack 3 Silver
2008 - 2009 (2004 54) GT 1.9 JTDm Azzurro Blue
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2015 - 2017 (2011 61) Guilietta 1.4 TB Multiair Red
2010 - 2017 (2007 07) Brera 2.4 JTDm SV Misano Blue
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The stop start on my Apr'17 Giulia Super stopped working about 2 weeks ago. I took to the dealer and they loaded an updated version of the software. After driving it for a few kilometres it's become effective and works perfectly again (straight after loading it wasn't and they told me that the car had to be driven at least 30kms first).
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id reckon your battery just charged up over this 30km enough to be above kick thresholds and ss went back to operation. keep observing it for some time i wonder if in some time your ss wont stop again. i havent heard about any significant changes to ss in some updates - i have all latest software and it is bot great about ss (or my battery is not good enough zince SoC cant exceed 70%)
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As my Giulia has been charging its battery on the driveway for the past two weekends, I now think my neighbours believe it to be an electric car.
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My car sat all week then I used it at the weekend. Stop start still working so the new battery seems to have solved my issue.
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this thread has pretty much persuaded me not to buy a Giulia.
My Giulia would be gone within a week the second time it let me down (I'd overlook one obscure incident) because it has to work every day, every time I use it. But I've haven't seen this issue in 18,000 miles, maybe my 40-mile (each way) commute helps.
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Another handy tip with ss, when it works. If you are stopped on stop start and you want to get ready to go, you can raise your foot off the brake and back on again. Yoi can do this without the car moving. The engine will start and will stay running. Stops you being that guy at thr lights that doesnt move quick enough haha.
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You don't even need to raise your foot off the brake. Just release enough pressure and it will start up.
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As my Giulia has been charging its battery on the driveway for the past two weekends, I now think my neighbours believe it to be an electric car.
And glad to report that the stop start is now working again. Now - where is that off switch?....
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You don't even need to raise your foot off the brake. Just release enough pressure and it will start up.
this is what i do when in traffic


stil no SS issues (apart from forgetting to turn it off sometimes when not in traffic)despite car sitting for min a week between use. touch wood
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