Engine Issues! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 17 Old 16-12-07 Thread Starter
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Engine Issues!

Ok, so newbie Alfa owner, ive bought a 156 2.0 TS on a 98 S plate.
134k on the clock with no service history. (It was a steal though!) Obviously Cambelt and other bits and bobs around that area to be done too. Theres also what sounds like a bearing gone on one of the ancillary pumps as it sounds a bit dry! At first i thought it was lack of power steering fluid, but its all okay. BUT my main concerns are two things. Anything over 4000 RPM i get a very strange whirring noise that also sounds and feels like its knocking? Its fine after under 4000rpm, apart from the whirring bearing noise.

Thats one of the issues, but the second is strange, its intermittent, but more regular than not. You start the car and its fine with no throttle, but once it gets a little warm and youve touched the throttle, it hunts like fury at tick over almost like its going to cut out, there is a distinct lack of power at anything under 3000 rpm and if you cruise along under 3000rpm, it feels like your on the back of a bucking bronco, all the time the powers on, its okay, just completely gutless. Foot Hard Down with no speed increase gutless, you have to back off, put in neutral rev it up and quickly get your gear to get it to go.

Ive swopped the MAF sensor with a friends one, a fellow 156 owner, and it doesnt cure it. Ive had the engine cover off, cleaned all the electrical connections and put them back on. Ive reset the ECU and the throttle position thing. A day at about 3 oc within the first 24 hours of ownership. All part of the joys i'm assured.

My friends 156 is the 1.6 engine which at the moment is out performing my 2.0. Its like the roles have reversed, only slower!

I'm loving the car, but cant help have that little niggle of "Oh God! What Have I Done!"
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(Post Link) post #2 of 17 Old 16-12-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Issues!

Almost forgot, it appears that in the mornings it spins over a few times before it fires, whereas once its been running, it kinda starts reasonably easy. Any Help/Advice would be fantastic.
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Re: Engine Issues!

Thanks for giving the game away and telling everyone mines a 1.6!!

I would like to think mine is faster because I'm a better driver than you... but you are right, it is gutless under 3000.

It will all be worth it in the end!! Promise!
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Re: Engine Issues!

Mine does that too, I have always believed it to be normal... Maybe wishful thinking.
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(Post Link) post #5 of 17 Old 16-12-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Issues!

Well i won't worry about the starting thing then, just the other issues that we know about, tomorrow will be the test, for fuel consumption, and to see if it actually lasts the day. If it doesn't, guess where its being towed too........
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Re: Engine Issues!

I dont know if this is possible, so maybe someone more techy could tell me if its a load of rubbish or not...

But...

Here it goes... Its quite 'round about'...

If the battery isnt great (it doesn't look like its new thats for sure!)... and if the bearing screechy rattle we can hear is the alternator...

Then I would guess its not charging or delivering as much current as it should, if the cam belt was then to slip on the alternator, or it just stops generating enough current or whatever cos its b*ggered... then could that cause the revs to dip and loose power as it could be missing unlit enough current has built up again.

Sounds far fetched, but is it possible??

If its a load of rubbish, pleeeeeease don't laugh! lol
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Re: Engine Issues!

The cam belt doesn't drive the alternator.
1.6 Maf and 2.0 Maf are not the same (as far as I know)
Whirring noise that is strange is most likely a tensioner on the cam belt or balancer shaft belt.
Buy a complete set of belts and tensioners from Steve at Alternative Autos Fun starts @ 3000!. If you don't then prepare for the whole lot to go bang. The noise you tell us of is a warning.

You will need to get your hands on camlocks for the belt change but like most things on an Alfa the job is easier than it is made out to be. I did mine on my 166 last month and found it straightforward as long as I was methodical.

The flat spot and sluggishness would most likely be resolved by you buying a new MAF from Steve at the same time.

Perhaps you should put a new air filter, and set of plugs in with some nice clean 10w40 oil and a filter. You really can't determine anything until you have a baseline. The plugs can be a bit pricey too but once again Steve is probably the best source (they last for 60,000 miles) so even if you are lucky yours probably have 74k on them.

Hope this helps and doesn't double your budget.

Richard
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Re: Engine Issues!

Oh, didn't know the alternator didn't run off the cam belt, never had cause to investigate where it is on mine... I checked the part numbers before changing the MAF sensors over, and they were the same... thats not to say the one on there is the right one to start with tho!

I think I can speak for Martyn when I say it is definitely a budget kinda job... Cam belt deff needs doing asap, but we can swop out the plugs etc with mine tomorrow to eliminate them. Do oil and filter then look at getting the belt done.
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Re: Engine Issues!

2.0 S-plate MAF should be a 0280 218 019

Batteries can have a big impact but the lack of revs under 3000 sounds a lot like a failing MAF. Trouble is they can do this forever and never go completely. When you fit a new working one, the difference is instant!

The intermittent revs can be a number of things but on mine it turned out to be the idle actuator on the throttle body. Quite often it just needs to be reset, but worst case in a new one. Usually the throttle body is filthy with oil and to clean it you have to open and close the thottle butterfly .. this in turn upsets the actuator position. What happens now is the ECU and butterfly are out so when it tries to shut it slightly, it actually shuts a lot ... causing the revs to drop suddenly and almost stall. The ECU tries to correct this, opens it too much and the revs shoot up. Then the cycle starts again ...

This reset has to be done on a diagnostic system so you might want to look into investing in AlfaDiag ... the cost of the software and interface cable pay for themselves with just one use ... usually less than the cost of taking it to a dealer to hook up to their system.

Cambelt drives cams (obviously) and water pump. This one is hidden behind the covers on the front/right hand end of the engine. The 2.0 also has balance belt to add to the number of tensioners that can go wrong.

Aux belt (the big one you can see) drives alternator, steering pump and a/c condensor). The alternator and steering pump are at the back of the engine ...

cheers, Gary

HIS: ex-1998 156 2.0 TSpark with Sport Pack 2, sunroof and hi-level spoiler in Alfa Rosso. V6 intake mod, clear side repeaters and Zeatek undertray. 10th Sep 1998 to 12th Jan 2017

HERS: 2009 MiTo 1.4 95bhp Turismo arrived 21st November in Techno Grey with colour-coded headlight surrounds.

My Alfa156 Web Site - how-to's, piccies, links, useful stuff, etc.
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Re: Engine Issues!

Check Lambda sensor and Stepper motor, also clean the trottle body, The lambda sensor will give low power once the car has warmed up and at low revs and the stepper motor will cause idling probs. When you have the cambelt done also make sure that variator is done as well as this will make it feel gutless if its all clogged up.

Best way to make sure you are replacing the right parts is to get it plugged into diag machine, around £50 at my Italian Specialist.
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Re: Engine Issues!

i would use contact cleaner to clean the MAF and throttle body, that should sort out the lack of power at higher revs and the hunting at warm idle. it worked on my car, a can of contact cleaner cost me £3 from maplins so its the best thing to do before you go spending any money.
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Re: Engine Issues!

Martyn and I cleaned the throttle body and MAF already with some carb cleaning stuff from halfords, reset the throttle position (ignition on for 90 secs etc etc). And the MAF has already been swopped out for a new one, which made no difference....

I have a cheepy OBD2 reader thing, and the AA man (which we had to call) out also used his computer gadgetry and it came up with the following... Air Mass Sensor Lambda, Lambda Interrogator, and Phase Variator

Whats a lambda interrogator? Does anyone know? From the name I am assuming its whatever the sensor itself plugs into.

Gazza, the reset you are talking about with the OBD thing... is that different from the Battery disconnect and the ignition on / off method? Does it reset something different?

Will the AlfaDiag software work with OBD1 (pre 1998), as well as OBDII?
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Re: Engine Issues!

what were the actual fault codes?

alfadiag compatibiity is described in full detail on the alfadiag website.
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(Post Link) post #14 of 17 Old 19-12-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Issues!

Well, a blast up the motorway, 40 quids worth of fuel and a one shot redex thing appears to have done the trick *touch wood* we'll find out tomorrow if it plays up. Hasnt done at all today since i put the redex in. If it is, then it means a service is all thats needed for the cam belt and various bits, and also a new thermostat. Mine appears to be stuck open, as when im sat still, it reches a reasonable temp of about 80-85 oc and keeps around that mark, however, as soon as i start driving, the gauge drops down to just under the 50 mark, obv as the air has started flowing around and cooling bits down, it then doesnt get warm until i sit around and wait for it to warm up. I need decent heat in this weather!
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Re: Engine Issues!

you've defo got a stuck open thermostat.
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Re: Engine Issues!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jug View Post
you've defo got a stuck open thermostat.
If its cooling it that much you definitely have. I don't think I've ever heard of one going that cold, I wonder how accurate the dial is?
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Re: Engine Issues!

Mine sat that low when it went ... don't forget the outside temps are pretty low meaning the water is being super cooled!

the gauges are there as an indicator ... 50 on mine is around 50, the "70" mark is actually 80 and at 90, the real temp is closer to 96! That's measured using AlfaDiag and watching the needle and the laptop graphs ...
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