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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently bought this Alfa and immediately seem to be victim of one of the traditional electrical 'charms' that one reads about quite regularly. Having said this I've searched around and can't find a definitive answer for the fault I'm experiencing:

Every so often the car won't start; all of the onboard electrics come on as expected but when I turn the key to start the car there is no crank from the engine at all - as though the starter motor isn't connected to the ignition barrel. However it starts about 60% of the time?

I've done my best to clear the battery connections/posts of corrosion but if anyone has any ideas on this or how to fix then please shout, would be greatly appreciated (y)
 

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On top of cleaning the battery terminals, it would be a good idea to clean the earth cable from the battery where it attaches to the inner wing around the battery box. The battery box will need to be removed though and beware of one of the bolts which is underneath the battery box. The bolt is set in a transverse axis (its length is across, or from one side to the other). The battery box bolts all use 13mm heads. That would be good maintenance but it may not solve your current issue but some emery cloth or a rotary wire brush may help prevent some possible soon to develop issues.

It is probably the starter motor solenoid developing an issue. A new starter motor is probably needed which should be sourced from a motor factors. They will probably need your old starter motor back as it will be a remanufactured unit on exchange. A good one should cost a possibly a little over £100. It is possible to change it from the top but induction trunking and the throttle body will need to be removed. If you are not well versed with the back of the engine, it may be useful to have access from underneath to help you see how to get the the lower fasteners. Other than ratchet, extensions, sockets of 13mm and 8mm, you will need Clic-R pliers and Torx bits of around T40 size. If anything is held on with jubilee clips, the hex size is normally 7mm which I prefer to use rather than the screwdriver attachment (for the same bit).

That said, there are a couple of things you may like to test and/or do to ensure diagnosis is correct and the new starter performs as it should...

You could test if the earth cable is good by attaching a jump lead to the battery earth and then to the engine (making sure of a good connection). If it solves it, clean up the earth cable terminal ends.

You could also then try attaching a jump cable to the battery positive terminal and then to the starter motor main positive connection which should have a plastic cap protecting the 13mm nut which secures the cable to it. This eliminates the positive supply cable and would show if there is an issue there.

Starter motors for JTS and TS engines are in theory the same but make sure you don't fit one for a small capacity TS engine as the power rating is lower and may be marginal for the larger capacity, higher compression JTS engine.

If you are working on high current electrics, always disconnect the earth terminal first and connect it last.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
On top of cleaning the battery terminals, it would be a good idea to clean the earth cable from the battery where it attaches to the inner wing around the battery box. The battery box will need to be removed though and beware of one of the bolts which is underneath the battery box. The bolt is set in a transverse axis (its length is across, or from one side to the other). The battery box bolts all use 13mm heads. That would be good maintenance but it may not solve your current issue but some emery cloth or a rotary wire brush may help prevent some possible soon to develop issues.

It is probably the starter motor solenoid developing an issue. A new starter motor is probably needed which should be sourced from a motor factors. They will probably need your old starter motor back as it will be a remanufactured unit on exchange. A good one should cost a possibly a little over £100. It is possible to change it from the top but induction trunking and the throttle body will need to be removed. If you are not well versed with the back of the engine, it may be useful to have access from underneath to help you see how to get the the lower fasteners. Other than ratchet, extensions, sockets of 13mm and 8mm, you will need Clic-R pliers and Torx bits of around T40 size. If anything is held on with jubilee clips, the hex size is normally 7mm which I prefer to use rather than the screwdriver attachment (for the same bit).

That said, there are a couple of things you may like to test and/or do to ensure diagnosis is correct and the new starter performs as it should...

You could test if the earth cable is good by attaching a jump lead to the battery earth and then to the engine (making sure of a good connection). If it solves it, clean up the earth cable terminal ends.

You could also then try attaching a jump cable to the battery positive terminal and then to the starter motor main positive connection which should have a plastic cap protecting the 13mm nut which secures the cable to it. This eliminates the positive supply cable and would show if there is an issue there.

Starter motors for JTS and TS engines are in theory the same but make sure you don't fit one for a small capacity TS engine as the power rating is lower and may be marginal for the larger capacity, higher compression JTS engine.

If you are working on high current electrics, always disconnect the earth terminal first and connect it last.
Beautifully thorough, thanks very much. I'll get to work on the earth cable firstly - hopefully it's as simple as that and nothing too spenny.
 
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