Engine sounds "electric" and breaks are soft - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 9 Old 13-05-11 Thread Starter
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Engine sounds "electric" and breaks are soft

Hello
Recently I have noticed that my Brera sounds a bit odd, it is especially noticeable in 3rd gear. It is a whining noise, the best way to describe it is that the engine sounds like it is an electric car i.e. it doesn't "purr" any more. Also I've noticed that the breaks are very soft and I really need to put my foot hard on the break to stop.
The car had a full service 6 weeks ago and everything was fine. Does anyone have a clue what it could be and what is the best way to fix it.
cheers
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Hmmmmmm... I don't think the 2 are related.

Soft brakes could be that they just need bleeding... but if the pedal starts firm and goes soft when you keep it pressed (do this stationary) then your master cylinder seals would be leaking. If it's the latter, get it looked at soon.. since it's a one-way appointment with a ditch otherwise.

The electric motor sound could be a belt. I dunno what the garage did during the service.. but if they touched or moved anything involving the power steerin, alternator (aux belt) or cam-belt then they could, would or should have moved or re-tensioned one or more belts in the process.

They either over-tightened it, lubed it (and now the lube is wearing off) or another component or pulley bearing is making the whine (esp. if the belt was over-tightened).

On the other hand.. is it coming from the gearbox? I don't know why it would just start following a service.. maybe coincidence.. but if it's coming from the 'box and it's in third gear particularly.. it could be a geabox issue. Does it shift okay (esp. down-changes)?


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(Post Link) post #3 of 9 Old 16-05-11 Thread Starter
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Thanks Ralf S. I will check the breaks this evening.

In relation to the sound, it is not coming from the gearbox and there is no issue with changing gears.

The sound doesn't affect the performance of the car, it just sounds really odd. I miss hearing the "vroom" of the engine when driving. I think I will bring the car back to the garage and ask them to have a quick look at it. Now all I need to do is find out how to describe everything in French!
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Cool.. at least the gearbox sounds okay, since there's nothing cheap to fix in a gearbox.

While you're having a tinker.. also check that the power steering fluid level is okay.

If you have some WD40 or similar (don't use any grease, jelly or any spray with grease in it, since those will attack the rubber) you can squirt a tiny amount into the belt run and see if it affects the sound (aux and p/steering will be simple to do).

Obviously keep your fingers, the aersol can, hair and small children out of the belt, since you have to do it with the engine running. Make sure too, you don't put your face where the stuff is going to fly off and hit you.. You only have to see if the noise changes a bit, so that you located the source of the noise. Don't get too stuck in (literally?) if you're not too confident. If you can point the mechanic to the right area it's something... then he/she can sort it out.


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Just another thought.. sometimes the fuel pump relays can make a racket, louder than the exhaust. If you can hear the whine coming from the bulkhead area then it could be that. It's easy to tell where it's coming from, even if teh component is out of sight.

Make sure it's definitely not the alternator though.. (this might also be near the bulkhead.. though I seem to remember that it's at the front of the engine?) since a whining alternator pulley/bearing is potentially something that will get worse and then pack up, whereas a whining relay can be like that for ages, change, go back to normal or never get worse.

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(Post Link) post #6 of 9 Old 17-05-11 Thread Starter
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Thanks again Ralf. I checked the brakes last night and I think it is simply a matter that they need bleeding.

In relation to everything else you've suggested, I think I'll leave it to someone who knows what they're doing. I know a bit more about cars than your average female but I still don't want to break a nail
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Ah.. you're a Ms.

It's still worth sticking you head under the bonnet for a peek.. just to see everything whizzing round.. You might be able to hear where the noise is coming from so at least you can say "it's that..." even if you don't want to touch it. Matey Mechanic will at least know you had a look.. so may be less inclined to flannel you..

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(Post Link) post #8 of 9 Old 29-06-11 Thread Starter
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Hello,
I meant to update this ages ago but I forgot. The soft brakes and the funny noise was actually due to the tyres! Basically when I brought it in to the garage, they spent ages trying to figure out what was wrong and where the sound was coming from. Then they changed the tyres and heypresto the problem was gone. Seemingly my tyres had warped and that was making the funny noise and it also affected the brakes.

The reason it was not picked up at my annual service was that the car had the winter tyres on at that time. I never copped on that the noise only started after I had the summer tyres put back on.

My Brera has some new tyres now and its purring like a kitten again.
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Cars are just weird...

Glad it's sorted though...


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