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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I've owned a couple of Alfas but I'm new to AO.

My 2013 159 3.2JTS has been running rough when I start it from cold, lots of vibration and a little rattle ifrom the engine bay. This morning the engine light began flashing in amber as I started the car but went off quite quickly. The car has only done about 61,000km so it's quite concerning.

I have noticed a squeaking noise from the engine bay once the car starts to warm up but it goes away by the time the engine is up to full temp. I'm no mechanic but I thought it may be a bearing, but the fact that it goes away once warm is strange to me.

Has anyone had a similar experience or know what could be going on? Could these all be linked?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Alfa 159 2.0 JTDm Lusso 6sp.
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Timing chain is the usual issue on those. What were the fault codes that went with the warning light? Without those it's just guess work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Timing chain is the usual issue on those. What were the fault codes that went with the warning light? Without those it's just guess work.
Thanks for the insight. I havent taken it to the shop yet so i don't know what the fault codes are. I'm going to try to book it in tomorrow.
 

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I doubt it's the chain as the EML light would be permenantly on since a streched chain will always be stretched. More likely to be a split air intake pipe, VVT solenoid on its way out, worn variator or chain tensioner.
A split intake pipe will cause the engine to splutter, buck, misfire and run rough when cold, sometimes this will throw up the EML. The split itself can be tricky to spot, you'll need to flex and move the pipe as the split could be hidden between the ribs
The solenoids and tensioner rely on oil pressure to operate, so if the oil is old and gungy it won't flow correctly and will take longer to build pressure - when was the oil last changed and how regularly has it been done? Clean oil makes a massive difference to these engines (mine is the 2.2, but I believe the basic architecture is similar to the 3.2). Worn variators are supposed to make a diesel-like clatter when cold and a worn or sticking solenoid will also make the engine clatter when it can't adjust the timing correctly. The solenoids literally take minutes to change, but the variators are a chain off job i think. The tensioner doesn't need the chain to come off, but you're most of the way there by the time you get to it, so you'd almost be rude not to put a fresh chain and gides on!
Best idea is to get the code read and take it from there, a stretched chain will be P0016, the VVT solienoids will be P0010/11 (being the V6 you may find there are more codes for these as there will be 4 solenoids rather than the 2 on the 4 cylinder engines, I want to say P0012/13 but am not too sure) and be described as "Inlet or Exhaust camshaft positioning diagnosis"
People can be too quick to jump to the worst-case scenario and often overlook the smaller, simpler, cheaper things that can go wrong.
 

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I doubt it's the chain as the EML light would be permenantly on since a streched chain will always be stretched. More likely to be a split air intake pipe, VVT solenoid on its way out, worn variator or chain tensioner.
A split intake pipe will cause the engine to splutter, buck, misfire and run rough when cold, sometimes this will throw up the EML. The split itself can be tricky to spot, you'll need to flex and move the pipe as the split could be hidden between the ribs
The solenoids and tensioner rely on oil pressure to operate, so if the oil is old and gungy it won't flow correctly and will take longer to build pressure - when was the oil last changed and how regularly has it been done? Clean oil makes a massive difference to these engines (mine is the 2.2, but I believe the basic architecture is similar to the 3.2). Worn variators are supposed to make a diesel-like clatter when cold and a worn or sticking solenoid will also make the engine clatter when it can't adjust the timing correctly. The solenoids literally take minutes to change, but the variators are a chain off job i think. The tensioner doesn't need the chain to come off, but you're most of the way there by the time you get to it, so you'd almost be rude not to put a fresh chain and gides on!
Best idea is to get the code read and take it from there, a stretched chain will be P0016, the VVT solienoids will be P0010/11 (being the V6 you may find there are more codes for these as there will be 4 solenoids rather than the 2 on the 4 cylinder engines, I want to say P0012/13 but am not too sure) and be described as "Inlet or Exhaust camshaft positioning diagnosis"
People can be too quick to jump to the worst-case scenario and often overlook the smaller, simpler, cheaper things that can go wrong.
when my chain had stretched on my brera the light was not on all the while. This dies sound like a stretched chain. Mine would misfire when I first drove off and over time got worse. Ended up changing them for a new kit and now all is fine
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I doubt it's the chain as the EML light would be permenantly on since a streched chain will always be stretched. More likely to be a split air intake pipe, VVT solenoid on its way out, worn variator or chain tensioner.
A split intake pipe will cause the engine to splutter, buck, misfire and run rough when cold, sometimes this will throw up the EML. The split itself can be tricky to spot, you'll need to flex and move the pipe as the split could be hidden between the ribs
The solenoids and tensioner rely on oil pressure to operate, so if the oil is old and gungy it won't flow correctly and will take longer to build pressure - when was the oil last changed and how regularly has it been done? Clean oil makes a massive difference to these engines (mine is the 2.2, but I believe the basic architecture is similar to the 3.2). Worn variators are supposed to make a diesel-like clatter when cold and a worn or sticking solenoid will also make the engine clatter when it can't adjust the timing correctly. The solenoids literally take minutes to change, but the variators are a chain off job i think. The tensioner doesn't need the chain to come off, but you're most of the way there by the time you get to it, so you'd almost be rude not to put a fresh chain and gides on!
Best idea is to get the code read and take it from there, a stretched chain will be P0016, the VVT solienoids will be P0010/11 (being the V6 you may find there are more codes for these as there will be 4 solenoids rather than the 2 on the 4 cylinder engines, I want to say P0012/13 but am not too sure) and be described as "Inlet or Exhaust camshaft positioning diagnosis"
People can be too quick to jump to the worst-case scenario and often overlook the smaller, simpler, cheaper things that can go wrong.
Great info, thanks misterflaps! So the oil was last changed by my nearest dealer about 4,000km ago at it's last service on the plan (typical that something would go wrong shortly after coming off the plan).

The service centers here in Johannesburg South Africa have been struggling to give me a quote to change the timing chain (wanted to know what worst case scenario would cost me) so I haven't taken it in to get the error code checked. As everyone has pointed out, I should get a better idea of what's going on once we run the diagnostic.

I'll be sure to post an update as soon as the diagnostic is run and we find the problem.

Thanks all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So after being in and out of the shop over the past few months, the problem has been solved. As it turns out, the dealer put in the wrong oil when they did the last service on the plan. This blocked up all the oxygen sensors which caused the engine management system to try to compensate for what it thought was a mixture that was far too rich.

My mechanic had to flush the engine oil three times and replace every oxygen sensor throughout the system to solve the problem but good news is that my timing chain is in perfect condition...

Thanks for the input though!
 

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So after being in and out of the shop over the past few months, the problem has been solved. As it turns out, the dealer put in the wrong oil when they did the last service on the plan. This blocked up all the oxygen sensors which caused the engine management system to try to compensate for what it thought was a mixture that was far too rich.

My mechanic had to flush the engine oil three times and replace every oxygen sensor throughout the system to solve the problem but good news is that my timing chain is in perfect condition...

Thanks for the input though!
what was the name and spec of oil they used?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No idea, the dealership closed down (unsurprisingly) the month after they had it. I suspect it must have either been a cool-weather oil and burned up in the summer heat or possibly just contaminated oil.
 

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ahh okay, if you have the documents/service history from when they do it they always list what oil they put in it, for example 5w40 would be next to the oil change
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The mechanic told me that there aren't too many other things that could damage every oxygen sensor beyond major things like a cracked block, broken gasket etc. and he checked all of that.
 
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