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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, so was just driving my parents off to gatwick airport, off on their holiday. Slight traffic jam up ahead, so pulled up to stop and I suddenly noticed the power steering was gone when I'd come to a stop. I'd thought the car had just sputtered and died or something so tried to start it, and... nothing. The battery was fine and it was trying to start, but it was like it had run out of fuel, just wouldnt fire. I'm pretty sure I saw it say something about immobiliser on the display, but it only flashed once and I was rather panicking at the time lol being in the middle lane of a motorway stranded.

Anyway, have noticed the mechanical noise under the dash that happens when you first turn the key (im assuming this is the immobiliser?) doesn't stop after about 15 seconds like usual, and seems to judder and continue.

After £300 getting it home and off the motorway, (breakdown cover ran out the other week), it now tries to fire, but then quickly dies. Also sounds like the exhaust is off too.. dunno what thats about. Batterys dead now too after trying to start the damn thing, so gonna charge it.



Just wanna know if anyone had anything like this before, does it sound like the immobiliser buggered, and any way to fix it myself? Or is this going to be an expensive garage job..

Great start to the year.
 
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If the car has cut out you will lose the power steering.
The question is whats caused it. The code system is electronic and doesnt make a noise so not sure what you are describing.

Check to see if the auxillary belt is still in place however given what else you describe when was the timing belt last replaced ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The noise I assumed was always an immobiliser. When I turn the ignition to on, I can hear a mechanical sound from behind the dash, like something is moving, and then after around 10 seconds it stops. Usually around 10 seconds after turning the car off, it repeats the process. So I assumed it was an immobiliser. Now when I stick the key it, it doesnt stop, just keeps on doing it, like its come off a hinge or something lol, I dont know how they work. Its not a noise coming from the engine bay or anything clunky sounding that you would notice when the cars exploded if you get my meaning. It wants to start, but it just wont.

The thing that got me was how sudden it was, there were no warning signs, the car was behaving just as normal, then all of a sudden, its like its got no petrol, you stick the key in and it attempts to start, but it just wont fire.
 

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The noise I assumed was always an immobiliser. When I turn the ignition to on, I can hear a mechanical sound from behind the dash, like something is moving, and then after around 10 seconds it stops. Usually around 10 seconds after turning the car off, it repeats the process. So I assumed it was an immobiliser. Now when I stick the key it, it doesnt stop, just keeps on doing it, like its come off a hinge or something lol, I dont know how they work. Its not a noise coming from the engine bay or anything clunky sounding that you would notice when the cars exploded if you get my meaning. It wants to start, but it just wont.

The thing that got me was how sudden it was, there were no warning signs, the car was behaving just as normal, then all of a sudden, its like its got no petrol, you stick the key in and it attempts to start, but it just wont fire.
noises behind dash are climate control setting and resetting >>>>>>> normal

i think your crank sensor has failed
 
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The noise you describe from behind the dash is the heater flaps opening (ignition on) or closing (ignition off) it's the sound of the servo motors.

Have you checked the emergency fuel cut off switch - passenger side foot well, there's a hole in the top of the plastic trim that follows on from the bottom of the door sill running into the front foot well, there's a rubber button in there, push it, if it clicks then it had tripped... try starting her up.

A sharp kick or a door slam can cause them to trip on odd occasions, used to have a 145 that tripped if you dropped the front seat too hard :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ahh okay so those noises are normal. Gotcha. I'll check tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure all the belts were okay. It wouldnt fire at all on the motorway, but once I got it home it did briefly sputter to life only to die again. Did it a couple of times before the battery finally gave out, so I'm gonna charge it. If it was a belt wouldnt it not start at all? And whats the crank sensor and could I fix it myself? I'm not brilliant with cars but I managed to change the cv joint before so I'll always have a go. Especially since I just lost 300 quid getting the bugger home lol.
 

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this may sound daft but did you put the right fuel in? My brother car died a couple of months back and it turned out he had put diesil into his nice subaru impreza .... expensive repair bill to him ... but yeah, if you left it for a bit then tried to turn it, it would try to come to life then die?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ive never put wrong fuel in before.. so it would be a first, and I was practically empty before filling up to head to gatwick and I made it 45 miles. I dont know alot about cars but I wouldnt of thought I could of made it that far with the wrong fuel.

As I said, was cruising along at 70 for ages, no trouble, not overheating, no warning lights, had to slow down quite quickly to a sudden traffic jam, and then just before stopping, it turned off. I'm charging the battery now, but for half an hour on the side of the motorway it wouldnt start. Then once we were home, it attempted to start, but quickly conked out. Also it sounded wrong, like when my friend started his car with no exhaust on, it proper roared before quickly dying again.
 

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My crank sensor gave up before Christmas and same thing happened - car dies at idle once it's warm but started up again once cooled.

Did you get a Motor Control System Failure warning message on the dash display, and the yellow engine warning light by the rev counter?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
No motor control warning, but I pretty sure I saw "immobiliser failure" flash on the screen pretty quick. I also had a sidelight blow the other day, and am still waiting for the damn thing to turn up, and every time I switch the ignition on it comes up with "right sidelight failure" and thats it. Could that overide other failure notices?

Can't even try and start it yet cause the battery's flat so I've gonna charge it now. Quick q tho, I've always taken the battery right out of a car to charge it yet it says in the alfa manual just to take the negative off and charge like that.. is there a right or wrong way to do it?
 

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The fact that it failed after you stopped quite quickly points at the fuel cut off switch. Reset it as someone else described above.
 

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No motor control warning, but I pretty sure I saw "immobiliser failure" flash on the screen pretty quick.
I had immobiliser failure as well when I tried to restart the car - but strange that you don't have an engine warning light as the crank sensor would normally produce an error code.
 

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I had exactly the same happen to me. Turned out to be the ignition barrel. Basically it had worn and got to the stage where it didn't realise it had a key in it.
 
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