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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday evening I parked p outside my local gym, turned the headlights off and stopped the car engine. I the realised that I needed to adjust my position & when I re-started the car to my surprise the headlights came on. I checked the lights switch position and they were set to off? I then spent a couple of minutes flicking the switch on and off but to no avail. (my headlights were on all he time, including the side lights). They went out when I switched the engine off. I put the key fob back in and they came on again even though the switch was off and engine off.
When I got home later on that evening I had a quick play with them and they suddenly worked fine, however today it has done the same again. Another fault is the dashboard lights dimmer and menu switch doesn't work either leaving me with the lowest setting on the dash. It's winter and cold so I'm worried about having to start the car with the lights on as soon as I put the fob in. (by the way, the indicators & low/high beam are fine).

Has anyone had a similar issue? The car is 07 plate and 1 month out of warranty TYPICAL!
I've booked it in for it's service (about 75K miles) in 2 weeks and asked the garage if they know of any issues but he has to research it first.

When (or if) I get it sorted I'll update!:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
expensive repair

Looks like the light switch itself has failed. Took it to the alfa dealer in Shrewsbury and have been told it could have been my after-market HID lights that may have fried the circuit board on the combined switch (lights & dash menu) Although the mechanic admits he cannot be certain the HID's caused it but has never heard of this before. (I had an independent check out the system and when they plugged their laptop in they said they could turn the lights on & off from the control module so that was ok and were 99% sure it was probable that the switch was at fault or broken wires) So I removed the HIDs and re-fitted the original lights and have booked it in for the repair next Friday. The switch unit does not come as a single switch but the entire set of stalks (lights, wiper & cruise control) come as a combined one-piece unit at a whopping £400+....OUCH. Just have to wait until end of next week to see.
 

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Looks like the light switch itself has failed. Took it to the alfa dealer in Shrewsbury and have been told it could have been my after-market HID lights that may have fried the circuit board on the combined switch (lights & dash menu) Although the mechanic admits he cannot be certain the HID's caused it but has never heard of this before. (I had an independent check out the system and when they plugged their laptop in they said they could turn the lights on & off from the control module so that was ok and were 99% sure it was probable that the switch was at fault or broken wires) So I removed the HIDs and re-fitted the original lights and have booked it in for the repair next Friday. The switch unit does not come as a single switch but the entire set of stalks (lights, wiper & cruise control) come as a combined one-piece unit at a whopping £400+....OUCH. Just have to wait until end of next week to see.
Ouch indeed! Hope you get problem resolved - if not start scouting round for someone who might be breaking a 159 to get switches and stalks cheaper. £400 seems an outrageous amount
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Ouch

Thanks Mike.
I considered that but the trouble is when I went into Alfa to chat about it they showed me that there at least 6 different stalks and all show as my model so it depends on the chassis number as to which one I need. Whoever was the first owner of the car had 'extras' added to the spec so I can't just pop on a standard one. As usual, it looks like the only way for me to be certain I get the right one is to allow Alfa to do it. I agree that the price is outrageous but as I intend to keep the car for some time and don't want to risk putting in the wrong stalk and cause more issues with the modules so it looks like I am tied to Alfa, albeiit that the Alfa garage are pretty good and sympathetic to me. On the other side of things, my local garage, who are brilliant did my service, Cam belt & water pump last week. I had a 'Ball-Park Figure' from Alfa and that was around £1000! My garage did it for slightly under £400 using genuine Alfa parts although they haven't given me the bill yet as they often send it through my letterbox some weeks later. (They are a family run business and have been servicing all the family members cars ((4 of them))for the past 12 years and even collect the car and deliver it to the door after they have worked on them) So all in all a bitter pill to swallow tainted with some satisfaction.
As much as I love the car I am uncertain if I will replace it with another Alfa in the future as my Wife hates being driven around in it -all the better for me ;-) and I don't really need such a big car now the kids have their own. I may look at an Audi A3 or even an Astra 1.9 diesel 150bhp? But this is a question for next year!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Work done. Budgens of Shrewsbury did the work today and the fault has gone (as has my holiday money). It was the switch stalk and the cost was £400 + labour + VAT....However they gave me discount and despite the engineer having problems removing the steering wheel airbag which took him longer than anticipated, which took the labour time to over 2 hours the final bill came in at under £500. Thanks to Paul at Budgen! When I saw the unit that was replaced it is easy to see why the cost is so hi. It incorporates ALL the switches on all the stalks, the horn, the airbag connections, rotory switch etc... A crazy design but I guess nobody expected it to fail! Anyway, job done. I can turn off my lights and see the dashboard without having to wear a head-touch when I drive after dark!
 

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Thanks for the mention, glad we could help! :)

Work done. Budgens of Shrewsbury did the work today and the fault has gone (as has my holiday money). It was the switch stalk and the cost was £400 + labour + VAT....However they gave me discount and despite the engineer having problems removing the steering wheel airbag which took him longer than anticipated, which took the labour time to over 2 hours the final bill came in at under £500. Thanks to Paul at Budgen! When I saw the unit that was replaced it is easy to see why the cost is so hi. It incorporates ALL the switches on all the stalks, the horn, the airbag connections, rotory switch etc... A crazy design but I guess nobody expected it to fail! Anyway, job done. I can turn off my lights and see the dashboard without having to wear a head-touch when I drive after dark!
 

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I thought my head lights came on the other day when i unlocked the car with the fob and i thought that was good but i cant get it to do it again. Iv done the follow me home thing and its not that. been though the manual and their is no mention of such a feature.

Is it a fault?
 

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Ned

I know its not much use now but I had a similar problem, the lights would come on automatically when it got to dusk and you couldnt turn them off, took it to a local indie and they diagnosed the same fault and quoted the same cost for a brand new one!

Like Mike said, I found a breaker on ebay and managed to get a stalk unit for £100 and got charged one hour labour so all in for around £150. I also checked on eper and although the part was a different number, it was cross referenced to my unit and a like for like replacement

For future reference might be worth doing
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hmm, more faults

Lights ok now after massive bill but still splashing the cash for repairs. Now had:
light switch (lights on all the time and no menu screen/dimming ability)
2 front wishbones (1 on warranty 1 last week after it sounded like I was driving with a squealing pig stuck in the drivers front wheel)
2 ball joints (thought I was driving on the worlds largest cattle grid all day)
1 rear link (started knocking like mad, only heard it after the front wishbone was replaced)
1 manifold (swirl valve stuck & attaching bar ejected itself after driving over a pebble)
1 clutch/ flywheel (big revs, no move)
2 front springs (they went ker-snap on my drive all by themselves, wasn't even driving the thing)
timing belt & water pump (due)
ECS (warranty, over £1k so glad I didn't have to pay for that one!)
4 tyres (slicks no longer legal)

All in all, I find it hard to believe Alfa's claim that they no longer have a reliability issue with their cars since the 'Big Change' to increase customer satisfaction.
I've kept all my receipts so once I decide to go back to a boring yet reliable motor (probably Vauxhall Astra or Insignia), I will send copies to Alfa UK and ask them to justify such a claim.
I doubt they will have the decency to reply!
Yet, as if drugged by the badge I still have the beast and still apply copious amounts of shampoo and wax and fuel on regular occasions and still like driving it (when it works). Maybe I need hypnotherapy?
 
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we all need help

therapy is possible one of many correct words preceded by another word that escapes me at the moment.LOL.:lol:
 

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I have same problem, litghts wount to turn off, and dimmer is at the lowest point, cant enter menu and change date, clock etc. I was at service but they suspect on a light switch malfunction BUT they disconnect whole part where is light switch and board computer control and lights was still ON so they disconnect relay of front lights and low beam was turned off BUT position light was still ON and find them confused and said that cant resolve problem because they dont know how. Probably the light switch is OK but does anyone know where could be problem?
 

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Hi Ned, I'm also in Shropshire who is the indie dealer who does your servicing? I have 3 yr old 2.0 @ 38K that will need the cam belt & water pump soon and I'm trying to find my good local indie specialist.
Anybody else reading this in Shropshire please feel free to recommend their indie also, Thanks.
 

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Hi Ned, I was in service and they suspect on FUSEBOX and bodycomputer, not the lightswitch because when they disconnect all from switch light are still ON. Did u try change any of it?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Cave,

Cave, I use my local garage who has been servicing all my familys cars for about 13 years. They are not alfa specialists but have done great work on it since the warrnty expired. Great value & sturdy work. I live near Newport. If you are near ask & I can fwd you the addy, tel no....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
No, it was the circuit board in the light stalk as I pulled it apart after it was replaced & the resistor was fried. I could have repaired it but I needed the car every day at that time so gritted teeth and opened wallet. Its been faultless (touch wood) ((Ned strikes own head)) since the apart from having to replace the manifold and the odd suspension bush.
 

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No, it was the circuit board in the light stalk as I pulled it apart after it was replaced & the resistor was fried. I could have repaired it but I needed the car every day at that time so gritted teeth and opened wallet. Its been faultless (touch wood) ((Ned strikes own head)) since the apart from having to replace the manifold and the odd suspension bush.
So in your case definitly was the light stalk problem. We suspect on the but mechanic was confused besause lights are on when he disconect light stalk, so now we think the is fuse box and BSI. When we do test in MultiEcuScan are switch on and off normal. Does your lights was on when mechanic disconnect light stalk?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm not sure. The mechanic did the job and it fixed it so I had no reason to question it. I trust the Alfa garage even though I use a different repair & service garage now because of locality and cost. I used a mega from work and it told me the circuit had failed but only after I had it replaced. We did try the fuses by taking them out and the liggrscwent out, as did the dashboard menu, so it all pointed towards the switch assembly. Sorry but we may have same fault but different cause? Hope you find out whats causing it!:confused:
 
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