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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

I have a bit of problem with my car that I am quite concerned about and I am hoping you can help me figure out the cause.

For the past 4-5 months when pulling away first thing in the morning (but oddly not every day :confused: ) I get a sudden loss of power from the engine. The revs dip to about 500rpm and I cannot get it going, pressing on the accelerator does nothing for about 5 seconds and then it kicks in producing a bunny hop effect down the road and lots of clanking from the clutch when i lift it after changing gear.

This really worries me because I have to pull out onto a busy road almost straight away every morning and on several occasions I have stopped in the middle of the road when there is oncoming traffic :eek:

I have noticed that it can also be quite sluggish delivering the power whilst driving, I really have to give it some welly to get it going, by this I mean I put my foot down and it feels like something is holding it back and then a few seconds later whatever is holding back says "oh well" and lets go and then I get a nice burst between 3-4000rpm.

As some of you might know from my previous postings I do have a problem with the variator making it sound like a diesel and and another problem in the same area that makes an annoying ticking sound. I was wondering if this had anything to do with it?

Lastly, and I don't know if this is important or normal in fact but after driving it hard (not flat out but still giving it some) and I park up, I notice a horrible smell coming from the exhaust, it smells like sulphur or something like that. I know it gets hot but I don't expect it to smell like that :confused:

Unfortunately I haven't the slightest clue about cars so fixing it myself is almost out of the question, but I'm willing to give it a go its not to difficult, otherwise I will to scrap some penny's together and get it fixed.

Your help is appreciated, thanks.

kRyToN
 

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One thing to try given the nasty smells is your lambda sensor - it screws into the exhaust roughly where the bulkhead comes down. Also has a connector on the bulkhead if you follow the wiring. Did the car get through its last MOT OK on emissions? When was that? Lambdas fitted before? Unfortunately lambdas can be expensive although aftermarket ones on Ebay are cheaper - be sure to get the correct type......

But this is not the only thing that comes to mind. Don't know what else you've been told but see if disconnecting the variator solenoid makes any difference - should also stop the diesel noise and the engine should run Ok without it. Variator should allow normal cam timing at low speed and above 5000 I think, only changing the timing in mid-range which may be where yours is misbehaving. The other thing which has been known to happen is for the oil galleries to sludge up which feed the variator solenoid and the variator itself. If you can get out the nasty torx bolts which hold on the solenoid you can check briefly if oil is flowing up there.

The other fun part which is easy to change is the air flow meter whcih can also screw up the running. Its on the trunking from the air filter with a wiring connector attached - easy to change too.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your help :)

It passed its last MOT without any problems which was done when I bought the car in October last year. It is due again soon so thought so maybe I should wait until then? There is no mention of a Lambdas in the service history, so I don't think its been replaced.

I will get a mate to have a look with me as I really don't know what I am looking for (even though he thinks I'm talking rubbish when i say the cam belt has to come off to replace the variator). Is it worth taking it into an Alfa garage just to get it checked out? I think the idea that something might be clogged might be right because that seems to fit in with it not working and then all of a sudden it comes back to life, but then I know nothing about engines so what do I know lol.

Thanks

kRyToN
 

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For the past 4-5 months when pulling away first thing in the morning (but oddly not every day :confused: ) I get a sudden loss of power from the engine. The revs dip to about 500rpm and I cannot get it going, pressing on the accelerator does nothing for about 5 seconds and then it kicks in producing a bunny hop effect down the road and lots of clanking from the clutch when i lift it after changing gear.

MAF Maybe? Worth checking, is it better if you unplug it?

I have noticed that it can also be quite sluggish delivering the power whilst driving, I really have to give it some welly to get it going, by this I mean I put my foot down and it feels like something is holding it back and then a few seconds later whatever is holding back says "oh well" and lets go and then I get a nice burst between 3-4000rpm.

TS engines get a little kick of power at about 3.5K revs, then again at around 5.5k so sounds normal to me. The holding back though isnt

As some of you might know from my previous postings I do have a problem with the variator making it sound like a diesel and and another problem in the same area that makes an annoying ticking sound. I was wondering if this had anything to do with it?

Shouldnt affect the running noticeably


Lastly, and I don't know if this is important or normal in fact but after driving it hard (not flat out but still giving it some) and I park up, I notice a horrible smell coming from the exhaust, it smells like sulphur or something like that. I know it gets hot but I don't expect it to smell like that :confused:

Lambda sensor but also with that smell i would check the Cat, could have melted

kRyToN
Oh and does it get worse as it warms up? Thats a classic symptom of lambda sensor failure
:thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Rafe005, thanks for the reply :)

For the past 4-5 months when pulling away first thing in the morning (but oddly not every day ) I get a sudden loss of power from the engine. The revs dip to about 500rpm and I cannot get it going, pressing on the accelerator does nothing for about 5 seconds and then it kicks in producing a bunny hop effect down the road and lots of clanking from the clutch when i lift it after changing gear.

MAF Maybe? Worth checking, is it better if you unplug it?
I will check it out as soon as I can, but what is it and where do I find it?

I have noticed that it can also be quite sluggish delivering the power whilst driving, I really have to give it some welly to get it going, by this I mean I put my foot down and it feels like something is holding it back and then a few seconds later whatever is holding back says "oh well" and lets go and then I get a nice burst between 3-4000rpm.

TS engines get a little kick of power at about 3.5K revs, then again at around 5.5k so sounds normal to me. The holding back though isn't
Most of the time it is fine but occasionally it just doesn't move, I never have a problem when in 5th and above 80mph. I very rarely go past 4000 revs (I cruise on the m'way @ 4-4.5k), just out of curiosity, what is a safe limit to rev the engine too? you say 5.5k give another burst of power, i might try that some time :D

Oh and does it get worse as it warms up? That's a classic symptom of lambda sensor failure
No, it definitely gets better, it only happens when the engine is first started and shortly after until it warms up. Luckily it has never happened once it gets going.

Thanks again

kRyToN
 

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Most of the time it is fine but occasionally it just doesn't move, I never have a problem when in 5th and above 80mph. I very rarely go past 4000 revs (I cruise on the m'way @ 4-4.5k), just out of curiosity, what is a safe limit to rev the engine too? you say 5.5k give another burst of power, i might try that some time :D


kRyToN
I can rev mine up to 8K and she quite regularly goes up to 7.......in first the variator doesnt kick in til about 6-6.2k but then (once its had its first go) it kicks in around 5.5k and there is a noticeable shove in your back :thumbs:
 

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I can rev mine up to 8K and she quite regularly goes up to 7.......in first the variator doesnt kick in til about 6-6.2k but then (once its had its first go) it kicks in around 5.5k and there is a noticeable shove in your back :thumbs:
The variator actually kicks in at 3000 - 3500 and then drops out at around 5500 rpm to keep the engine on cam, this burst your feeling will be as the cam is phasing back through the optimum region, I'd suggest that you get the whole engines timing checked out and possibly try a compression test, you may have a slightly bent valve and that will also sound like a faulty variator. Also power will be down with this at low revs but higher up the revs the power will increase dramtically, I had this problem with an engine last sunday and today she's running sweet after changing 2 valves.
 

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The variator actually kicks in at 3000 - 3500 and then drops out at around 5500 rpm to keep the engine on cam, this burst your feeling will be as the cam is phasing back through the optimum region, I'd suggest that you get the whole engines timing checked out and possibly try a compression test, you may have a slightly bent valve and that will also sound like a faulty variator. Also power will be down with this at low revs but higher up the revs the power will increase dramtically, I had this problem with an engine last sunday and today she's running sweet after changing 2 valves.
Ah there you go, wrong way round. I was always told it worked the way i described it but I will certianly stnad corrected and bow to your superios knowledge on this one smaky :thumbs:
 

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Ah there you go, wrong way round. I was always told it worked the way i described it but I will certianly stnad corrected and bow to your superios knowledge on this one smaky :thumbs:
Yeah sorry, not meaning to put anyone down, just a lot of folk don't know it phases twice in the rev range, it was late and I was tired when I posted and I hope your not upset, I dislike using the word "actually" as it sounds so "Trisha showesque".
 

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Yeah sorry, not meaning to put anyone down, just a lot of folk don't know it phases twice in the rev range, it was late and I was tired when I posted and I hope your not upset, I dislike using the word "actually" as it sounds so "Trisha showesque".
No offence taken, always happy to be corrected, helps my knowledge too. At the end of the day the best way to learn is to watch and listen to your peers :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys :thumbs:

So much to take in lol.

I will investigate your suggestions as soon as I can, I have a weeks holiday coming up so will do it then. I have a mate that is willing to help so hopefully between us we can find the problem.

I have 2 other problems that with the car that maybe you can answer.

Firstly, my remote locking key is dying. It takes about 50 presses for it to respond. I think I read this can be quite expensive to get replaced? I have the master key so that makes it easier but I can't turn the alarm off without the remote and I only have one of these. Its annoying because I opened the car manually with the key in the door and the alarm went off when i opened it, so i put the key in and turned the engine on and the alarm stayed on. I was stood there for 5 mins constantly pressing the key and eventually it responded.

Secondly, when I go into reverse 1 out of 3 times it doesn't go in at all. I have to lift off the clutch and back down again and then when i put it into reverse there is an all mighty crunch. First gear is a bit of a pain as well, that crunched the other day even though my foot was all the way down :confused:

I've always tried not to rev my engine too much because I don't want to damage it but my last question is: if its ok to take it up to 7-8k what gear do you do that in? I took it to 6k once while in second but wimped out when it got that high cos i didn't want to blow it, i'm paranoid I will blow my engine up :lol:

Cheers

kRyToN
 

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:lol: first off i would try replacing the battery in the remote....I have the same problem with mine occasionally and when i take it apart there is usually gunk in there so maybe worth a look. The crunching i will leave to smaky and as far as revving, when i'm at 7K in third im up around the 100mph mark so third is so never rev that high in 4th of 5th...yours should have a rev limiter at 7 though to stop you blowing it,.....just do what you feel comfortable with. Mine has been revving up to that on the odd occassion :) for over a year now and its fine
 

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lol, i didn't think of that. I thought if i took the battery out it would need reprogramming or something. I read a couple of posts about it a while ago but I couldn't remember what they said exactly so rather than read up on them again I was lazy and made a post instead.
 

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:lol: np, I have never had to reprogram my key after changing a battery......not saying you wont have to as i dont really know enough about the programming but I would doubt that you would have to....imagine the uproar when they came out if you had to pay for a re-program every time your battery went dead
 

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No offence taken, always happy to be corrected, helps my knowledge too. At the end of the day the best way to learn is to watch and listen to your peers :thumbs:
OK, so a nother little snippet of info for you on the phase out at 5000 rpm, it knows your heading for the red line and it's secondary purpose is to realign the cam so that when the fuel is cut the loss of acceleration slows the engine and if the cam was still advanced you'd be looking at 8 new valves, though in theory it should not hit them, it would because the belt goes slack at the point of limiting and if they were advanced the 25' then that's half open.
 
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An intersting read..................way beyond my limited knowledge but absorbing to know how the various "bits" work.
 

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It's actually quite handy having the Alfa tech notes from my apprentice days here, they have the complete dimensions and workings of every component in the TS engine and why and when they do it, I was surprised when I first heard that but it makes sense when you see the display model battering the valves as they leave the variator engaged.
 

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Yeah, makes sense to me, didnt really think about it but its perfectly logical explaination
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi Everyone,

Just an update....... On Sunday my mate helped me to see if we could source the problem. The first part was identifying the various bits and what they do which was quite interesting as I had never looked at it properly before.

The first thing we tried to check was the Lambda Sensor but this was underneath the car and we didn't have a jack other than the one in the boot which he wasn't comfortable using to get under the car, so we are going to have a look when we can get a good one.

Next he took the engine cover off and I think we found the variator solenoid, when he unplugged it and then plugged it back in the engine lost power and juddered a bit before it come back up to power. We took the car for a drive with it off and then put it back on and drove back and it didn't make any difference either way.

He also checked the MAF which I think is the airflow meter and that works fine. As he didn't have much time and the proper tools he suggested we do 2 things, firstly to give it a service as sometimes that sorts problems out which he is going to teach me how to do. I bought an Ariflow Filter, Oil Filter and the 8 Spark Plugs needed as well as some oil from The Alfa Workshop, independent specialist Alfa Romeo garage and web resource and we will hopefully do it this weekend or next. Secondly, if that doesn't sort it out then he will have a proper look.

I'm quite looking forward to it, hopefully I can get into it properly and learn quite a bit and then maybe i'll be able to fix future problems myself :)
 
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