The mess that is stop start... - Alfa Romeo Forum
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The mess that is stop start...

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?
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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?
Whilst this post is in line with the many previous ones, I don't think it is right to regard STOP/START as the root cause.

My view it is the logic of the IBS and/or BCM and the control of the alternator which is to blame.

I feel that it is entirely reasonable for STOP/START to be disabled, if the battery charge is low.

It is not reasonable for the heated rear window to be disabled ever when the engine is running. The alternator should be capable of both charging the battery and powering the hrw even when the engine is only idling.

My presumption is that it is the IBS which controls the alternator output rather than logic within the alternator itself, though it might be the BCM. In any event, the logic controlling the alternator and hrw is flawed and needs change.

The challenge Giulia (and, I presume, Stelvio) owners face is getting AR to accept that change is necessary.

Andy
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Perhaps if all of us start writing to customer care and complain about the rear windscreen issues they may take some notice...... Eventually I guess.
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Perhaps if all of us start writing to customer care and complain about the rear windscreen issues they may take some notice...... Eventually I guess.
One owner has posted that customer care or alfa technical only take notice of reports submitted by dealers. However, I don't trust my dealer to submit a sufficiently detailed report for the problem to be understood.

Perhaps the better course of action might be to write to Alfa Romeo UK, maybe even using the phrase 'Not Fit For Purpose as supplied'.

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Let's hope we don't all have to complain about these issues!
In my experience Alfa themselves will listen to customers with things that need fixing. Otherwise how did I get the dealers to correct the use of the incorrect oil on my first Multiair Giulietta? The dealer is hardly likely. To own up.
I can see a week into owning my £43000 car that the fuel door appears a bit too flat and I'd expect a dealer to negotiate a fix on my behalf. If they don't then I'll need to call Alfa.
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A few thoughts from me.
I do not know if I have the same battery as you in UK, as in Poland they deliver cars with something like 'adoptation for winter' which is not officially explained, but some rumours were that it is stronger battery only.
In my Veloce (manufactured in Apr 2018) I got Varta Heavy Duty battery, 95Ah.
I suffer the same problems as many of you describe. S&S worked for say first month or so after delivery, then stopped. I was not complaining knowing it is standard behaviour of Giulia. Then in Aug I did nearly 2kkm holiday drive, so it went back again for some time and then gone. Problem started in Nov, when rear screed defrosting stopped working. Battery rechargin and all is fine. But, that lead me to start digging a bit. I started checking my battery voltage (bought small voltmeter plugged to cigarette lighter), started connecting PC with MES to check battery state of charge reported by IBS. During drive, I always see 14.4-14.6V charging, so do not even see what you say about alternator trying to save fuel - charging looks as turn on close to max what is safe for battery (14.8V).

After first rechargingaround 4 weeks ago, I got S&S working for a week, then it disapperared for a few days, then appered on one day, then gone for good again. I checked and status reported was 63%. Value didn't tell me anything, though I consulted with other guy on polish forum, who has 2016 Giulia Super, and has S&S operating all the time. He said that his status in the time I asked him for check was 83%. I did a few longer rides (like 50-100km over christmass time), and my S&S started to work. Charge status reported was 67%. Then I did another long journey, expected to bump up the SoC value, but nope, 66% reported. I started thinking something is wrong with either the battery or IBS poorely estimating battery SoC %s. So I connected charger, 10h of charging, current starting from 2.5A, soon dropped down to around 1A, then later to say ~0.5A, all was setup to avoid exceeding 14.8V. I managed to bump to 72%, but after 1 minute it shown 71%. After around 1-2h I measured battery voltage (nearly unloaded, I left boot open, closed car, waited some time, so only alarm and central locking was on, measured voltage at battery, was showing 12.73V, so probably pretty good). Next day I did 20km ride in the town (S&S works again, hurray), went back home, see SoC 70%.

My current suspicion is that IBS design is piece of rubbish, that probably it estimates in very crude way SoC, and so some cars have problems as they are below thresholds set to activate S&S (nonethelesss probably are still at pretty good SoC level), and at more difficult periods (winter, short distance rides only), they even go below (according to IBS) threshold set to deactivate things like rear screen heating.

I will be taling to my dealer next week, I'm planning to propose them replace of IBS to see if that chages anything other option is battery I guess, though mine seems quite good I think (I have also 2 tests done on my by dealer in Nov, one after first 3h charging, and other straight after some addtional charging they run (attached pictures below)
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53000+ km since May 2017 and Swedish winters which is far worse than Brittish. Never ever has the rear window heater not worked. Never extra charged my battery.

Am I lucky?
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Judging by your mileage Gustav, Iím guessing you do quite a few long journeys, which is possibly why youíre not having the issues some of us are having.

Stop/start and rear heated screen only work about 50% of the time in my Giulia, but Iíve had mine longer than you and although I use it daily, only have 15.5k miles on it. Lots of short journeys seems to be a real problem for the IBS.
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Let's hope we don't all have to complain about these issues!
In my experience Alfa themselves will listen to customers with things that need fixing. Otherwise how did I get the dealers to correct the use of the incorrect oil on my first Multiair Giulietta? The dealer is hardly likely. To own up.
I can see a week into owning my £43000 car that the fuel door appears a bit too flat and I'd expect a dealer to negotiate a fix on my behalf. If they don't then I'll need to call Alfa.
they only hear if dealer puts a ticket into the system. In Poland they name it TESEO tickets (maybe it is world wide name?) - only such are discussed with Italy. On my issues (which dealer can't resolve) I force dealer (but that is only FCA Poland run dealership, with TESEO department (they are mid point to other polish dealers for contacting Italy) in the same building) to get things through TESEO ticket, knowing that it is only way to get eventually solution. I reported e.g. boot lid not springing up properly (especially when car is parked uphills), half year nothing back from Italy, but recently they advised they have fix, there are some new/addtional parts to order (not available yet in stock), but expecting to have fix for that early next year. I forced them to report also complain on driver seat going backwards while openning door as unsafe for rear occupants (no setting for this in pre 072.xxx.xxx infotainment firmares).

concluding, must be ticket with Italy, otherwise I doubt there is big chance they even notice the issue (unless them monitor statistics of what are top warranty reparis/replace components and start digging down the issue)
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Judging by your mileage Gustav, I’m guessing you do quite a few long journeys, which is possibly why you’re not having the issues some of us are having.

Stop/start and rear heated screen only work about 50% of the time in my Giulia, but I’ve had mine longer than you and although I use it daily, only have 15.5k miles on it. Lots of short journeys seems to be a real problem for the IBS.
yeah, must be the case. I did only 11kkm over 7 months of ownership, a few longer trips over this time, but daily short distances. Gustav must keep SoC % above thresholds (and/or is more lucky to get IBS working better). there must be something wrong with design of IBS if for my car with fully recharging car I managed only reach 72% SoC reported by IBS (and only temporarily, soon value stabilized around 70%).
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The only way Alfa will fix 5his is if people take the car back to the dealer when they have an issue.
The dealer has to raise a ticket with Technical, which means they can track all issues. Hopefully, someone will be analysing these tickets to see what common issues are arising so they can fix them.
However, without a dealer visit they wouldn't know. So if you have a problem, book it in.
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yeah, over 7 months I was in dealer around 15 times (my dealer is not very good in sorting out things, usually 3-4 visit per item, and then 1 for correcting somthing else they broke attempting to fix (things like scratched panel, or fuse put into wrong location after checks etc)). anyway, as result of my visit they created a few tickets (but they resist, you need to bit press them to do so). I reckon if more people worldwide would also press on dealers to create tickets, we coudl expect a few updates some time in future sorting out or improving small but annoying things in Giulias.

small update from me regarding IBS. after charging it was reporting ~71% SoC to BCM, but I did today 8 short distance rides (3-8km each), and first time ever noticed that voltage from alternator was reduced - I seen 13.1-13.2V. After returnign home, I connected MES and read this time 77% SoC from BCM. I have suspicion that iBS algorithm requires a lot of time and numebr of rides to better estimate current SoC level. I will keep observing it over next days, wonder if I manage to reach over 90% results.
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All good thoughts

Which I will certainly be raising to the dealer at my next service, but it would be nice to see Alfa being proactive here.
It may also be a trivial fix - surely this must be software related.

However as a post script, in looking for a battery charger, I couldn't help note that Alfa have brought out an Alfa branded charger

https://moparonlineparts.com/alfa-ro...er-p-7720.html

Coincidence?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U696783 View Post
....
However as a post script, in looking for a battery charger, I couldn't help note that Alfa have brought out an Alfa branded charger

https://moparonlineparts.com/alfa-ro...er-p-7720.html

Coincidence?
Not really, it's been available right from the introduction of the Giulia....
It was/is also available for the 4C.
It's a rebranded CTEK
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FCA have never managed to get Start-Stop right - it's been reported as troublesome on many models since they introduced it, with owners saying other brands S&S operate much less intrusively. I've tended to switch it off on my cars and it thankfully stayed off once you did that (2013 MiTo, 2016 Giulietta, 2018 Fiat Tipo). I don't think it does the car any good long term (especially the turbo) so i'm not a fan of it apart from in longer periods of stationary or stop-start traffic.

On my Parents Fiat 500 that they had 2012-2015 it had to be disabled at every start-up. If we forgot to disable it, it often stopped and then re-started the car within a few seconds. Thankfully on my MiTo (the only car I used it on enough to judge) it worked flawlessly. On none of those cars however, did we have problems with other systems like the heated rear window, so I don't think the problem on the Giulia is down to the start-stop system per se. It's just that they're both affected by the battery voltage and whatever, clearly non-too-effective monitoring system Alfa have installed on the Giulia. This really needs looking at - Alfa seem to have been ok at ironing out some issues with Giulia and don't seem to protest at repairs under warranty but 2 years into production people really shouldn't be having to buy battery chargers as fall-back options. That's like something from the 70s & 80s and I'd be pretty cheesed off if I had to do that for any new car, let alone one costing upwards of £30k.
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My Speciale would only S/S if I charged the battery from an external charger and then after a few days it would no-longer work. My Veloce S/S all the time with no-issues. I mainly do long motorway journeys.
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Never had a problem with stop-start.
I turn it off as soon as I start the car and it stays off.

Car is left parked up for 4 weeks every other month due to nature of my work and at those times it is connected to a CTEK Charger.

Almost 2 years into ownership and no electrical issues with the car whatsoever.

However I dont have a heated steering wheel or heated seats.......such things are for girls! STIR STIR

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My Speciale had the same problems, I could tolerate S/S being intermittent, but no heated rear really was pushing it and is/was not acceptable.

I've yet to experience the same problems with my Veloce, we've had mild conditions upto now but I'm epxecting the issues to materialise.

What I couldn't understand was Heated Rear Window did not come on, but the heated steering wheel and seats did!!

I would like to think Alfa know what the problem is and they have a fix, doesn't seem so based on the many responses on here.

Back putting on the miles now.
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A few days ago I wrote here that my IBS reported finally 77% and seen reduced charging during drive (like 13.2V) was hoping it realizes battery was fully charged (as I charged it day earlier to full), and so reduces charging as was discussed in a few threads on this and other forums. unfortunatelly next day morning (no driving in the meantime, car parked indoor bit heated garage - say +15C deg) it showed back 66%, and then after afternoon short trip (a few km) it shown 63%. I have 63% since (so no leackage). Of course S&S stopped working (I do not miss it but it should not happen like that, especially as reduced SoC level means less headroom to have issues with rear screen heating). And here my doubts in terms of neartime talks to the dealer service:
1.Is the algorithm of battery estimation rubbish in Gulia - then probably they won't do anything about this (coudl report to Italy, maybe in far future there will be software upgrade for solving this?)
2.Or is it my IBS faulty
3.Or is my battery really poor condition (say around 60-70%)

any thoughts?
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Originally Posted by U696783 View Post


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


I'd say it's Alfa's execution that's the issue, the stop-start system in my Mazda works brilliantly (when I bought the car I expected to hate it). It doesn't even use the battery to re-start the engine, just spark. You can also control when it stop or not and when you want it to re-start by varying the pressure on the brake pedal
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You can also control when it stop or not and when you want it to re-start by varying the pressure on the brake pedal

This is the same on the Giulia. If you come to a gentle stop in traffic and are light on the brake pedal then S/S doesn't kick in. Increase the brake pressure pedal and the engine stops.

But I agree with the rest of the thread, the overall implementation is poor.
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A few days ago I wrote here that my IBS reported finally 77% and seen reduced charging during drive (like 13.2V) was hoping it realizes battery was fully charged (as I charged it day earlier to full), and so reduces charging as was discussed in a few threads on this and other forums. unfortunatelly next day morning (no driving in the meantime, car parked indoor bit heated garage - say +15C deg) it showed back 66%, and then after afternoon short trip (a few km) it shown 63%. I have 63% since (so no leackage). Of course S&S stopped working (I do not miss it but it should not happen like that, especially as reduced SoC level means less headroom to have issues with rear screen heating). And here my doubts in terms of neartime talks to the dealer service:
1.Is the algorithm of battery estimation rubbish in Gulia - then probably they won't do anything about this (coudl report to Italy, maybe in far future there will be software upgrade for solving this?)
2.Or is it my IBS faulty
3.Or is my battery really poor condition (say around 60-70%)

any thoughts?
I finally managed to get my MES working again today and I logged some IBS data on my Quadrifoglio.

I last used the car on 22/23 December clocking up 950 miles in the two days so Iíd expect the battery to have been fully charged when I put it away in the garage.

Iíd not touched the car at all until today, 10 days later.

Before I started the car today, MES logged:

battery charge 63%
battery volts 11.7V
battery volts from IBS 8.8V

I then took the car for a drive of about 75 miles averaging 34 mph.

During the drive, the charge climbed to 70% over the first half of the journey and only rose to 71% by the end.

I would have hoped that 75 miles would have been sufficient to charge the battery fully.

The MES readings at the end of the journey with the engine stopped were:

battery charge 71%
battery volts 12.4V
battery volts from IBS 11.6V

Iím also beginning to make sense of battery current as logged by MES using a clamp ammeter on the battery earth lead. Roughly one has to divide the value logged by MES by about 140 to convert to true Amps, eg MES logging 5000 ĎAmpsí equates to about 36A.

My car is an early 2017 model. I almost always leave STOP/START disabled. I've had the battery go completely flat on me once. I've not experienced any problems with the heated rear window except once just after a software upgrade.

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thanks for detailed info. numers look very similar to my Giulia's (manufactured apr 2018). i ge numbers from other guy from Poland (Giulia Super 2.0 2016, but first registration h2 2018), his numbers from IBS are between 73 to 83%

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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?
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?
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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 can only speak as I find. Having had a Giulia Super (2.0 TB) from the first month that the model became available in UK (Dec 2016), I only had a single episode of s/stop (which I almost always inhibit) and HRW non operational. That was after the car had been parked up for almost a month over the coldest period last winter. The car never ever showed any reluctance to start but it took a few days of normal running about before normal HRW operation resumed after the period of inactivity. Of course, I do understand that if you do very short journeys, especially with everything switched on, then battery charging might need a bit of assistance.

For the record, I never used, nor felt the need to use, a battery charger (although I do possess one with cables sufficiently thin that pinching by a closed boot wouldn't be a problem) and I never experienced a flat battery incident. After reading scare stories on here about flat batteries, I have taken the precaution of carrying a set of old jump leads in the boot of the Veloce (some if not all (??) new Giulias have 40/20/40 folding rear seats as standard so it's possible to get into the boot via the central section even with a flat battery) but I'll be gobsmacked if I ever have to use them.

When I traded the Super for the Veloce a few weeks ago, all functions remained fully operational.
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