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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My journey, late Thursday night, was interrupted with a series of flashing lights on the dashboard, along with a loss of power and a misfiring (rough sounding) engine. The engine management warning light was on, so too the anti-skid light and my fuel gauge would swing from half full to empty, with a periodic empty fuel warning light just to confuse matters.

The AA man scratched his head at the ‘multiple’ failures and early the following day, the car was despatched to my near Alfa garage in Manchester. Two days later, I am still none the wiser and the car is still not fixed and no indication as to when the car might be ready – not impressed one bit. Alfa have suggested that they might have to replace the complete engine management system (is this complex or just expensive?). The car is under warranty so this work will be covered.

But I am greatly disappointed, having sung the merits of these ‘new’ Alfa’s for the last 2 years, the sign of the AA truck towing the car away was met with familiar nods and chuckles. Of course, these things can happen to any vehicle but the timing could not have been worse.

I am in the process of replacing my 2 year old Alfa 159 SW TI and I was seriously considering a new 159. Now I am seriously considering buying something else! I can live with the running costs of relatively poor fuel economy and the great expense of replacing my 19” tyres more regularly than I would have wished, but I need ‘reliability’ more than anything else. As an aside, I have never been impressed with the lack of communications or support from Alfa UK (they have never responded to any query or question I have raised without multiple prompts) although I have no complaints about the garage I bought the car from (Piccadilly Motors). But things are starting to stack up against Alfa so it could soon be arrivaderci to my 159?

Anyone else experienced a similar 'engine management' problem?
 

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My money is on the battery (made by Exide or Bosch)!
 

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From your description,especially of the swinging fuel gauge and also the dashboard flashing lights,it sounds more like a bad supply/earth problem,rather than an actual engine management fault.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your thoughts - it is interesting that after 2 full days my Alfa garage has yet to confirm the cause of the problem. I will see what Monday brings.
 

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I also had a problem with a misfiring (rough sounding) engine a couple of months ago.... I took the car to the shop... left it there on friday afternoon.... (at the end of the day) and the mechanic there said that the computer was showing misfire at number2 and number4 cylinder... . So we left it there with the first car to be checked on Monday morning.... (He also told me that it could be timing(not much of a chance cause it would show an error code or most likely water in the fuel since the problem appeared after a refueling and a parked car for around 4 hours)... monday morning they called me and told me that they started the engine and there was no problem... they did nothing with the car .... no enging error code and everything back to normal as usual... I quess all the car wanted was to let it rest for the weekend
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update. After assuring me that the part (engine management module) was on its way and would be fitted and fixed by Wednesday (after a week off the road), Bauer & Millet called last night to say that the part hadn't arrived and they couldn't tell when it would? Not only that, they couldn't provide me with a car so I would have to make my own arrangements.

Staggered by this scarcely believable news, I managed to speak to Alfa Customer services who promised to sort out the problem and to get me mobile by the time I return to the north this evening. This is obviously a big task for Alfa UK and right now I still don't know whether they have managed to sort out a hire car for when my train arrives in less than 50 minutes. But I can guess.

B & M are now talking about a 'mix up' but no one will explain what or how. And my car part won't arrive before next monday and won't be fixed before Tuesday, nearly two weeks after the breakdown.

One word: shambles. I could go on but I won't. I have never experienced such an appalling service. Nor will I again. Bye bye Alfa.
 
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Alfa deserves to go down and get berried like Rover with this type of service doesn't it.

Put aside, encouraging new buyers, they are losing their current ones. One by One
 

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My journey, late Thursday night, was interrupted with a series of flashing lights on the dashboard, along with a loss of power and a misfiring (rough sounding) engine. The engine management warning light was on, so too the anti-skid light and my fuel gauge would swing from half full to empty, with a periodic empty fuel warning light just to confuse matters.

The AA man scratched his head at the ‘multiple’ failures and early the following day, the car was despatched to my near Alfa garage in Manchester. Two days later, I am still none the wiser and the car is still not fixed and no indication as to when the car might be ready – not impressed one bit. Alfa have suggested that they might have to replace the complete engine management system (is this complex or just expensive?). The car is under warranty so this work will be covered.

But I am greatly disappointed, having sung the merits of these ‘new’ Alfa’s for the last 2 years, the sign of the AA truck towing the car away was met with familiar nods and chuckles. Of course, these things can happen to any vehicle but the timing could not have been worse.

I am in the process of replacing my 2 year old Alfa 159 SW TI and I was seriously considering a new 159. Now I am seriously considering buying something else! I can live with the running costs of relatively poor fuel economy and the great expense of replacing my 19” tyres more regularly than I would have wished, but I need ‘reliability’ more than anything else. As an aside, I have never been impressed with the lack of communications or support from Alfa UK (they have never responded to any query or question I have raised without multiple prompts) although I have no complaints about the garage I bought the car from (Piccadilly Motors). But things are starting to stack up against Alfa so it could soon be arrivaderci to my 159?

Anyone else experienced a similar 'engine management' problem?

I suspect I had the same issue you are experiencing. My problem started about a year ago; there was an engine hesitation sometimes (inconsistent, difficult to replicate whenever I took it to the dealer for service), usually when under strain going up steep hills before changing gear. Evenually, the local service manager told me about an issue that had surfaced on the local Australian importers tech web site. Involves a sticking shutter valve that is built into the inlet manifold; hence, the whole manifold has to be replaced to fix the problem. I was told it is about a $5k job in Oz. The service manager told me that it was a design fault and components were changed on later engines (mine is a 2007, built late 2006).

It went in for the job but the local distributor decided to try changing some gaskets (EGR valve gasket I think) before committing to the full expensive solution. It was OK for a while but started to show hte same problem just before Christmas. I started to think that it might have been caused by inconsistent quality fuel.

Heading up the highway with a full load (people and luggage) I suddenly lost power and it slipped into 'limp home mode' and the warning light you mention. Alfa roadservice arranged a tow to the nearest dealer (about 18km which is lucky in Australia as dealers are few and far between).

That dealer diagnosed the same issue with the shutter valve and told me the manifold would need to be replaced.

Got the car to my local dealer, they had it for 4 days. They did not replace the manifold, apparently at the direction of the distributor (ATECO in Australia). Over the four days they first cleaned the shutter and EGR valves, removed and lubricated top linkages. Put it back together and it was no better. So they pulled it apart again but soaked the shutter valve for 2 days in 'Rost Off'. That worked and they assure me the problem is solved. I've been away since it was fixed and drove today for the first time. Already I am getting a similar hesitation in some circumstances.

The car has 60k km on the clock. My fear is that if I have to have the 'Rost Off' treatment every 60k (or less, I put up with this for a long time while they stuffed around acknowledging there was a mechanical issue) it won't be covered by warranty and I'll foot the bill. Also, I am worried about it being unreliable and where I will be when next it breaks down - I bet I won't be 14km from the nearest dealer.

I believe they should acknowledge this design fault, especially given that they changed components on later engines, and replace the manifold. I need to seek some legal advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just to finish off .......... two weeks later, after the engine management module was finally located in Italy, shipped over and fitted, guess what? The problem re-occured.

It WAS an earthing problem as some quickly identified on here. And the problem occured again and again, several times in the following two weeks as the electricians at B&M struggled to locate and fix the fault.

Five weeks after the problem originally occured, the whole wire loom was replaced and I can only assume that the problem is now well and truly fixed. I won't know for sure as, by that stage, I had already sold the car and just needed to drive it to a garage in order to get rid.

A sad end to what had been a thoroughly enjoyable experience for two years. I know these things can happen to any modern car and I have no complaints about the garage, who despite an initial mix-up, genuinely did their bit to find and fix the fault. But throughout this month or so of severely interrupted driving, the support offered by Alfa Romeo (so called) Customer Relations has been nothing short of poor – I had do to all the running around, for hire cars and courtesy cars, and it cost me a considerable amount of inconvenience, time and money.

So arrivaderci Alfa Romeo. I will miss driving my 159 but the last month proved too much of a disruption and, in the end, I had lost confidence in the ability of my car to get me from A to B. But a couple of years driving something else, something a little less glamorous or exciting, might just see me return to the Alfa fold?
 
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