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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Happy New Year.

Our Mito sat for two weeks over the Xmas and NY break and when I came to start it again the battery was virtually dead.

So, fitted a new battery and tried to start. Took several attempts but eventually off she went, followed very quickly by much smoke from engine bay and into cabin.

Found the problem easily enough since the alternator belt was lying loose in the engine bay.

So the alternator is seized and I read on here that this was a common problem with early Mitos. I read that there was a drainage pipe that dripped water onto the alternator and that they eventually failed - some pretty early on.

I don't have great history with my car but I did recently contact the last owner and they confirmed with their garage that the car had been maintained as per recommendations. I could of course just have a knackered alternators after 10 years and 100k mls but in all of my 35 years of motoring I have never had a seized alternator, even on my old Series III landy that sits outside all year round and is rarely used.

Anyway, I read that Alfa started to fit a redesigned pipe that didn't direct water at the alternator. My primary question is how I would know whether this mod has been fitted or not on my car. I did notice a drip immediately above the aircon pump and alternator but beyond that I'm not really sure what I should be looking for.

The alternator looks a bug*er to get to - I'm handy with a spanner but may end up giving the car to a mechanic if it has to be done from underneath.

The car now has no power steering and the driving modes are unavailable. I am hoping this is all due to the fact that the alternator is not providing power. I have driven the car around the block and all else is as normal.

Good ole Alfa's...

Anyone out there dealt with the above issues?

Cheers,

Al.
 

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If you have a look on this page there's a photo showing the two different parts (and a photo of the short one in situ):

So if your car hadn't been sorted it'd have the short one (that just drains straight down) above the alternator.

I think it's this part that is the fix:

You can see both parts on this diagram (2 and 3):

Regarding power steering - the EPS does draw a fair bit of juice so certainly plausible that the lack of alternator power is causing it to error (and thus the associated cascade of related errors when the power steering is disabled) - alternator output is on the list of things to check when people do have a power steering error.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Many thanks. I have checked and that mod has not been done. In fact it was still dripping away onto my seized alternator.

So, part ordered and local garage is going to fit it along with new alternator and belt. I'm hoping the old alternator was duff anyway which was causing power steering cut-out.

I'll report back once work is done.

Thanks again,

Al.
 

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Hi, had my Mito from new (2009) and this problem cropped up on owners forums just months after I'd bought it, apparently when the car was converted for right hand drive they left the drainage pipes in the left hand drive positions which dumped water onto the alternator, it can be fixed just by swapping the long and short pipes around! my car had the longer pipe fitted when it went in for its first service, the steering sensors also gave up on my Mito just three weeks before the warranty ran out, credit to Alfa though they did fit a complete new steering column and rack without any questions which I think at the time would have cost £1500! steering has been fine since but both of these known problems should have been the subject of recalls, other manufacturers recall cars for much smaller problems.
 

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I don't think the problem is so much with water getting in, although not ideal obviously, lots of cars have alternators where they might get wet from splash and spray when driving. The problem was more that the water that had dropped into it while stationary could freeze over night, seizing the alternator solid next time the car was started.

So while it would make sense to change the drain to direct water away from the alternator, ten years or so lifespan is fairly good going for an alternator on any car.

And yes, a faulty alternator absolutely will cause the power steering to stop working. My mum had an alternator replaced under warranty on her grande punto at a couple of years old and the car drove fine other than no epas and some warning lights. I'd imagine it's some sort of safety backup so the current demand from the steering doesn't kill the battery and means you can still move the car to a place of safety if it does fail.
 

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It also, apparently, didn't apply to all models!! Odd that the alternator is in the same place on them all though! Our 1.4 95hp wasn't subject to the recall ..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just for clarification, it wasn't actually a recall. Spoke to local main dealer - it was a service bulletin which in this case meant they only had to change it at the customer's request...

I have sourced the revised drain tube and it will be fitted today.

A.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
update - new alternator has resulted in driving modes becoming available but unfortunately has not fixed the steering fault - so looks like I will have to replace the column with one of the refurb units.

A.
 

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