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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I'm an existing Alfa owner (this will be my fourth) and I've just bought an Alfa 156 Sportwagon 2004 1.9 JTD 16V from somebody who described the car as 'drives like new, well maintained'.

Turns out it isn't well maintained and certainly doesn't drive well! Anyway, that aside...

The engine will start as normal, however will flash up "Motor Control System Failure - Go To Dealer" and the engine management light will appear. The engine will rev with a complete lack of guts up to the red line but then won't rev above 3000rpm. Anything below 2500rpm is flat and I'm struggling to hit 40 on dual carriageways. There's quite a strong smell of exhaust gasses in the cabin also, I'm wondering if this is linked?

I've read a fair bit on here about VNT pipes (around 5mm?) being split - could this perhaps be the issue?

I'd love to take my beautiful new 156 to an Alfa specialist but unfortunately having just splashed out on the car, funds are tight, so any help would be really appreciated.
 

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Crikey ... First off you've got to find the source of the 'smell of exhaust gasses' . Must be a serious leak somewhere . Is the exhaust noisy from anywhere other than the tailpipe ? Have a look around the turbo ... any signs of black sootiness or noise when engine is revved ? ... Secondly , try unplugging the Air Flow Meter and driving the car . If performance improves it could well be a fooked AFM ...... A scan will need to be done ... if you can't get a garage to do it , use your RAC membership. MCSF light on is a valid 'breakdown call' . All RAC patrols carry the gear to read codes and live data on Alfas.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, will get the codes read - I'm going to investigate further today and hopefully find out what's causing the problems!

My gut feeling is the EGR valve hasn't been connected properly or something along those lines to cause the exhaust gasses - consider the guy I bought it from bought a new EGR valve 2 weeks ago on eBay? (After a bit of digging around)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update all, and thanks for the responses.

I've replaced the VNT hose that was split - instantly now the car will rev above 3000rpm and what a difference! I used some fuel line I had around the house but will order some 3mm silicone hose as above from eBay.

I took the car to my local Alfa specialist and they hooked it up to the code reader (£57 charge!) - it appears there is a problem with the EGR valve according to the code. The mechanic said I need to give it a few days to see what the exact problem is and to go back to them.

I'm a novice to be honest, but in order for me to learn more about my car, I had a look at the EGR valve. It is brand new (still gleaming), but it wasn't bolted in properly!! Two of the bolts were completely loose, so I've tightened these up and the engine appears to be running much much better now. I also cleaned up all the glow plug electrics and the flashing glow plug error has disappeared from the dash now - success!

However, now driving beautifully, upon applying revs, there's black soot coming from the EGR area, seems that the upper turbo hose is leaking to me. I'm going to order the silicone ones from Autolusso, as there's a cloud of black smoke coming from the exhaust under acceleration too. This would probably explain the exhaust fumes smell in the cabin as the black smoke is coming out near the pollen filter.

I have a few questions and sorry for asking these but I'm determined to find out more about my car through investigating things myself!

1. How easy are the turbo hoses to fit yourself? or is it more wise to pay somebody to fit them?
2. Is there anywhere else around the EGR valve I should look for leaks?
3. The EGR valve fault still exists (motor control failure on display), any suggestions?

All in all a pretty productive day!
 
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