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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I'm a newbie here but on my 3rd alfa 156 selespeed - seven and a half years of fun without problems! First I had a 2001 sportwagon TS 155, then a 2002 sportwagon TS 150 and now I'm driving a 65,000 mile 2003 JTS selespeed saloon and have had it 3 months with no problems until this week...........

When i first start the car (left in neutral overnight now so i know it will start) the selespeed gear light flashes and beeps and no gear can be selected (is this a sign of low hydraulic pressure?). I leave the car to warm up for 3 to 4 minutes and eventually the flashing stops and I can hear the box trying to select gears or move something on its own. I then try and select 1st or R and it shows its selected on the dash but always stalls with a bang as soon as i try to pull away. I then re-start the engine and everything works perfectly for the rest of the journey/day as if the jolt moved a bad connection? If the car is left for a number of hours and cools down I have the same problem again but if I'm on a journey i can stop, switch off and come back after 30mins/ 1 hour and all still great.

Error codes on multiecuscan consistently show P1703 engine shutdown from auto gearbox and P1743 clutch sensor signal low and once it had P0725 engine speed no signal.
The car had the clutch done a year ago and supposedly calibrated so hopefully not that
Clutch rod length 27.7 (bit short I know)
Pump primes for 14 secs when door opened
Checked tutela oil level and it was on min so topped up - no change

Could it be a dodgy battery? Sensor? Low hydraulic pressure?

What do you reckon folks? Any help appreciated or recommendations for a good selespeed mechanic in Oxfordshire/Berkshire
 

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For Selespeeds, this application is better than multiEcuScan, as it can plot graphs of what is going on, and show things like system pressure while you are changing gears to tell you if the pressure is indeed too low:
https://dnecudiag.codeplex.com
It will also tell you in the sensors are recording everything correctly.

As for the problem you have, I have no idea, sorry. :(
I would guess sensors as they are the first things to fail, but I would not know.

Good luck!
 

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It does sound like a pressure issue and the noise you hear after it has been warming up for 4 minutes is probably the Selespeed pump running.

You should hear the pump run when you open the driver's door and then again when you turn the ignition on (not to be confused with the fuel pump in the tank, which you can also hear).

But also remember that one of the reasons it is beeping at you is because it was parked in Neutral (although I can understand why you are doing that at the moment!!).

When my pump started to go, the slight vibration from opening the bonnet was enough to get it running.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies so far. I can hear the pump when opening the door and again on the ignition. The noise I was hearing during warm up seemed to be more like the actuator attempting to do something but not like a full gear change clunk when you know it has selected. Did a graph of the pressure this afternoon and looks ok........

min pressure was 42.98 after a change and max 54.8 before

clutch pressure plate travel ranged from 13.9mm to 28.01mm during gear selection

I do have a new spare pump in the garage from when I bought my first selespeed but am beginning to suspect electric connection or sensor gremlins?
 

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accumulator is my first thought, especially as it takes 14 sec to get to the correct pressure, even more so m=now the pressure drops so much after a change. Does the pump run frequently?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
yeah, possibly the pump runs quite frequently when car cold. Think I'll have a look at the pressures again in the morning and listen to the pump frequency
 

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Discussion Starter #10
update 1
monitored pressure and pump frequency on Sunday and the pump is working every 2 gear changes and the pressure graph shows 2 drops before the pressure goes up again. The 2nd dip in pressure goes down to 42 or 41 - is this too low? The fault where the car stalls immediately occurred last night but not this morning so is intermittent. As a result I'm not ruling out electric gremlins so will work through all the connections (any tips on where they all are and how to separate them would be good) and I may get a new battery as voltage is 12v, sometimes lower when engine not running. Any recommendations for batteries for selespeeds? I'm thinking Varta Type 027 / D15 or similar
 

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Well the battery voltage is important for Selespeeds as well, but you can graph that with the software as well.
Should be 13-12 volts minimum.

The pump should not run every two changes though, four - five more like it.
What happens if you just let it stay ? ie. is the pressure dropping ? It should be more or less stable but if the pump keeps going off even when you are not selecting gears, it means the accumulator is borked.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'll check the pressure again without a gear change (if the rain stops)

PS - you have good taste :thumbup: (red with black wheels). Mines red with anthracite teledials
 

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still sounds like the accumulator! The main electrical connector is between the thermostat and the battery, a multiplug where you have to prize a coloured (red maybe?) section away before it separates in half. Get some contact cleaner from Maplins in there.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update 2
Ok so last week I got my battery tested and it failed miserably so a new battery was fitted - Yuasa YBX 5027 silver 620 CCA and I had a couple of trouble free days then the problem returned for 1 cold start - stalled on first take off, re-started and then ran fine all day. Pump is working every 2 gear changes still but I've compared this with my other 156 selepseed (not JTS) and on that one the pump activates every 2 changes too so I'm assuming that is normal. Since then I've been working through the connectors with contact cleaner - I've done the 2 large ones at the back of the engine, the big one in between the battery and engine, the lambda sensor connectors (might as well while in there) and a couple of connectors between the battery and headlamp. There is one more connector above the air filter that I haven't managed to open yet (any ideas?). Anyway this was at the weekend and I have had no stalling on cold start up since and I've used the car everyday. I'm waiting to see what happens next time we have a frost as it seemed to happen more frequently when we had the cold snap. So I seem to have reduced the frequency of the intermittent fault (or the faulty component has decided to work for a while) and will have to wait for a recurrence before deciding what to do next.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update 3
Problem returned in the frosty mornings last week. Seems to be a bit of hydraulic fluid coming out of the tank (possible blow back from a stuffed accumulator?) Anyway I took the battery and tray out cleaned up all connectors on the actuator and car running fine. I'd like to rule out a faulty accumulator though (intermittent though it is) so have ordered one from shop4parts. I'll change it next week - any top tips?
 

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If the only remaining problem is the car stalling when cold, it's probably nothing to do with the sele system. The only time my JTS sele has ever stalled was when the MAF sensor died. Very annoying but fitted a new MAF and perfect again so easy fix.

Having said that your accumulator is likely getting on a bit....
 

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Accumulator

Replace accumulator.....been there done that !
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks Rarebear, I'm beginning to think you may all be correct about the accumulator.

Update 4
So, I replaced the accumulator on Tuesday (excellent price and delivery from shop4parts as usual) - not too bad a job really, apart from first having to get the 27mm spanner ground down so it would fit down the back of the old accumulator and me dropping sockets/spanners down into the undertray. I didn't de-pressure the system (left car for 3 days and then opened bonnet using passenger door before disconnecting the battery), didn't re-calibrate the clutch or use multiecuscan for anything. Just plug and play. Have used the car for 3 days and all working perfectly at the moment. Too early to say if its a fix yet but certainly looking promising.

Thanks for your replies
 

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Discussion Starter #19
update 5

so 1 week of daily use and 230 miles since replacing the accumulator everything is still working perfectly - long may it continue :thumbup:
 
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