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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So short story long our 159 pre FL 1.9 auto started to act up. It would sometimes be hard to start because the starter motor wouldn’t spin and on top of that sometimes it would die completely and abruptly without warning sign.
The sudden death syndrome was avoided after some thinking because the car had a tuning box when we bought it and it would sometimes loose contact with engine stop as a result.

The car got a new battery and all seemed fine afterwards. Started fine and all.

one day the starter motor wouldn’t spin (again..) and when after a few attempts it DID spin it did so non-stop until I pulled the battery cable.
So that starter motor was worn and now also fried with a jammed solenoid.
Bought a new starter, high end brand.
worked fine and dandy for 3 weeks and now we’re stuck with a new starter and a car that won’t work.

I have checked eLearn and gone through and cleaned every ground inside the cabin, every plug/contact has been checked and were clean. The m089 steering lock/immo box contact was unplugged and plugged back in.
I’ve taken apart the whole centre console twice and measured the cables and I have 12v coming from both the key holder AND the start button. I’ve gone through all cables all the way to the junction that is situated below the relay and fuse box in the engine bay. In that box I’ve found the contact that holds the red 12v start button to solenoid cable. It goes from red on one side of the plug to pinkish brown in the other side.
On the red side I have 12v when I push the starter button but when I press start and measure on the other side of the plug, the pinkish/brownish cable I only get 7v!?
I’ve removed the starter motor about 5 times now and can tell you that I have good constant 12v on the permanent 12v from battery to starter and to generator. I’ve tried a separate ground wire to help the starter, nothing.
I’ve tried an extra ground between battery and engine. Nothing.
I’ve tried cleaning the already clean ground from the battery to the chassis. Nothing.
I’ve pulled the starter and had the company try it in their test bench. Flawless in every way.

when I install the starter it tries to start and you hear the solenoid clang but it doesn’t get more than 7v so doesn’t meet the end of its travel to start the starter. Note it doesn’t start at 12 and dip to 7, it starts at 6.5v and goes up to 7v.
if I remove the starter motor and plug it in and measure the solenoid cable I get a continuous nice 12v when attempting to start and the starte fails to start (except it isn’t screwed to the tranny so that doesn’t help me)

so plugged in but not screwed in it gets 12v and spin. As soon as I screw it back on I get 7v and no start.

I even tried to replace the solenoid cable from where the plug had the red cable under the relay box that got 12v when I pressed the starter button. No F’in go! Only 7v on the new cable as well?!

here’s the kicker: the car starts flawlessly if I short circuit it manually with a screwdriver over the starter and solenoid contact points!! All. The. Time!

So anybody got an idea here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Car Auto part Gas
I genuinely thought I found the culprit when I found that the pinkishbrown cable had an aneurysm and I thought AHA I got you you little F’er! But it wasn’t broken, just the outside that had a little damage. The cable is unbroken. But doesn’t work.. this is where I have 12v on the red side but just 7v on the pinkishbrown side. Makes my head hurt.
I’m not a car building novice but I’m lost here. I must have done everything except the right thing and I can’t wrap my head around how or why.
 

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I am guessing that when you removed the starter motor you examined the teeth on the flywheel and there was no obvious damage?
 

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So on the main positive to plug on red wire you have 12v but on wire other side you only have 7v? I assume this is tested when cranking so the voltage has to be lost through the pins in the plug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am guessing that when you removed the starter motor you examined the teeth on the flywheel and there was no obvious damage?
teeth look real fine both on starter and flywheel. It had never jammed or made horrible noises. Just not engaged at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So on the main positive to plug on red wire you have 12v but on wire other side you only have 7v? I assume this is tested when cranking so the voltage has to be lost through the pins in the plug.
Exactly. And the strange part of it all was that when I depinned the plug and clamped a new cable on the red cable all the way to the solenoid that bugger also got 7v
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Where does the red wire originate?
You got some resistance somewhere dragging that voltage down.
It apparently goes through two or three junctions as eLearn calls the plugs. I’ve checked them all I think for clean contact points but the problem could lie within the steering column module which does the communication. Perhaps it only whispers? 😂
 

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It apparently goes through two or three junctions as eLearn calls the plugs. I’ve checked them all I think for clean contact points but the problem could lie within the steering column module which does the communication. Perhaps it only whispers? 😂
I remember hearing similar case on three occasions and only 2 of which were fixed in the end. IIRC: one case had actual issues with the Keyhole-thingie where you insert your key. Worn out, or something. And yes, the issues were similar that when you pressed START it would just dip.
Another solved case was actually broken alternator. I think they got to it by disconnecting the +lead on the alternator end and tried starting - which worked fine and all then.

You would have to check everything you don't have with manually short-circuiting. You lack all the IMMO-stuff, all they Key-stuff and those. So, honestly: check that your keybase (whatever it's called in english, the thing you put the key into :D) works. Also check that none of the fuse boxes bottoms are wet or have been wet. The topsides usually stay dry, but the bottom where all the actual connecting goes on? Those might have issues - don't remember seeing once in 159, but with 156's it was quite commonly seen here in Finland.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I remember hearing similar case on three occasions and only 2 of which were fixed in the end. IIRC: one case had actual issues with the Keyhole-thingie where you insert your key. Worn out, or something. And yes, the issues were similar that when you pressed START it would just dip.
Another solved case was actually broken alternator. I think they got to it by disconnecting the +lead on the alternator end and tried starting - which worked fine and all then.

You would have to check everything you don't have with manually short-circuiting. You lack all the IMMO-stuff, all they Key-stuff and those. So, honestly: check that your keybase (whatever it's called in english, the thing you put the key into :D) works. Also check that none of the fuse boxes bottoms are wet or have been wet. The topsides usually stay dry, but the bottom where all the actual connecting goes on? Those might have issues - don't remember seeing once in 159, but with 156's it was quite commonly seen here in Finland.
Thanks for taking your time. I might have alook at the key fob holder and see if that’s the culprit but the other things seem ok. Alternator charges fine, fuse boxes are immaculate and so on. A friend of mine helped me in the end and installed an extra relay so we activate the relay through the factory system with start button and all original but we feed the relay from the 12v on the battery so there’s no dio in the current anymore. This has the car working perfectly for now but if there’s a half burnt cable somewhere that created this mess one of these days that cable might give up and then I’ll have to revisit this whole thing again.

until then - fixed it with an extra relay!
 
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