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Discussion Starter #1
Since I bought my 2.4 Ti 2 weeks ago, she hasn't been the best at starting. She does start, after a little persuasion sometimes, but she always runs a bit rough upon starting. She also idles a little bit lump generally. Even after a 2 hour journey down the motorway.

Tonight, she took an age to start. A lot of cranks of the engine, and just as I thought she wasn't going to bother, she did. Followed by a rough tick over. I happened to record it on my phone as I've been waiting for this to happen. So hopefully this might help with diagnosis.

So, once the car started it seemed a little hesitant pulling away and creeping around the car park to the exit. I popped it into 2nd gear and crept around. As the speed of the car dropped (slow but still at a speed where 2nd was the correct gear) it practically stalled and I just caught it on the clutch and selected 1st and went on.

Next at the traffic lights out of work it stalled from stationary in 1st gear. I thought it was just me being crap. But turns out it was because the car was misbehaving. (How the hell do you stall a 2.4 diesel anyway right?!?!)

The next thing I noticed was when I joined the slow moving traffic on the M6. 40mph in 4th gear just cruising. Next thing, the cars in front slow down to about 27mph then move on again. So being lazy, I left it in 4th and just squeezed the accelerator pedal. Nothing happened. It was like I was going up the steepest hill you can imagine, and the car just couldn't get going (but wasn't spluttering). So I dropped to 3rd. About 20mph now. And the same. My foot was flat, and the car just crept up very slowly until around 1,700RPM then everything came back to normal and I ended up nailing it up to 50mph!! :confused:

This continued for the rest of the journey. I ended up dropping to 2nd for all the corners I would usually take in 3rd just so the revs didn't drop below 1700RPM.

No warning lights have appeared I will add.

I have also noticed (or may have imagined) that the steering feels a little heavier. It's not been great since I've bought it anyway, but it seemed worse tonight. Only at low speeds, while the RPM was playing up. There was also a noise like somebody quietly running a wet finger over glass (you know, the squeeky, rubbery sound), as I turned the steering wheel.

Finally, when I turned to full lock left, I heard a 'TWANG' from the left arch I think. This is the second time I've heard this now, and thought it was nothing the first time.

Finally, finally, I have also noticed a slight clicking sound when moving the steering wheel slightly when at dead centre. Almost like an electrical click. Any ideas?

Finally, finally, finally.... The steering wheel needs help to come back to dead centre. Particularly when coming from the left. And left to it's own devices, will centre in chunks rather than smoothly for the last couple of inches of travel from the right, and pretty much doesn't centre for the last 2 inches when coming from the left.

Thanks for taking the time to read through all that!
 

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Sounds like all you need after a day at work!!

Have you put some fuel cleaner through it as of yet?? BG244 is the flavour of the month, or there are others if you have a read with differing views on the dilution level, eg put whole bottle in when fuel low and give it a blast.

Following that id be questioning how clean egr valve is and how its operating and / or how coked up the inlet manifold is & possibly cylinder head. Badly coked up head is not uncommon causing problems over time leading to rough running with sticking valves. The trouble is with this problem it will not necessarily through up any EML issues for diagnosis. I assume the car has been through a good regen process since youve had it??

Hope this helps!
 

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I would have a read on here with posts link to 'DPF/EGR/MAF issues' & 'power steering rack/pump issues'.
I posted on here yesterday 'EGR Woes'

Rik
 

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I tried BG244 just after the new year, hopefully it helped clean the engine, unfortunately the EGR was too far gone and need replacing.
 

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After running, check to see whether you have any foam or bubbles in your power steering fluid reservoir.

As others have noted, it does suggest either a coked up head, or a sticking EGR. Lack of power below a certain rev range suggests that your EGR is sticking open, and all the turbo boost is disappearing back down the exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
AlfieFreak:
I haven't done anything with it other than just drive it. So no BG244 fluid or anything like that. I was thinking it may be EGR and other coking related issues. So something to get looked at when I have the money. I just hope that these problems don't persist now until then, as they're only going to get worse aren't they.
A credit card may have to be the remedy rather than waiting until March!

RikDH:
I've read quite a lot about EGR/DPF issues, also spent quite a lot of time reading the BG244 results thread with interest.

Redmatt75:
Boost did seem to rise but do nothing, yes. I looked over and it was just over half way around the gauge but crawling along until 1700RPM

Thanks for the replies. I will see how she is tomorrow, hopefully this was just a blip. If so I will continue until I have the money. If not I will have to get it sorted on the old credit card. I've been thinking about taking it to Gus at Alfatune (St Helens) for the works. But I wanted the stainless steel exhaust too which makes things rather pricey. That was one for next year. I don't really want issues like this to force me into doing that. Don't get me wrong, the positives of doing it are obvious. It's just the money side of things that don't really allow it at the moment.

I think I'll give Alfie at Heath Rd Garage, Sandbach a call and see what he thinks. Hopefully he may be able to help.

Anymore for anymore?
 

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Sad to say but the first question when buying a used Alfa, especially a highly desirable one, is why are you selling it.

I suspect you car at best has a gunked up inlet manifold, at worst, coked up exhaust valves.

The steering issue sounds like the rack itself.

Fingers crossed, but I suspect you are in for a credit card battering.
 

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Some of what you describe sounds like Diesel Engne Issues and lots of active threads on that. I stay clear of them and run a V6 these days!

But it sounds like you have some other issues as CJ points out.
First stop is renew power steering fluid with GIR (and replace reservoir if necessary). That is cheap and easy to do.
However that sqeaky rubber sound may point to something not being well on the ancilliary belt (Power Steering, AC, Alternator, Tensioner). If one of those has a bearing going or some othr issue the belt may slip, drainng engine power and affecting the alternator, power steering etc.

To be frank, it sounds like it needs some decent TLC before any performance upgrades.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
cj romeo:
I bought the Alfa from an independant trader. He's been alright to deal with, and helpful, but you'd expect that really considering the money he's had from me! In it's previous life, my Bella was a lease car :vomit: so not suprised it needs some TLC. Surprisingly, the body work and wheels are in excellent shape. I've suspected it needed TLC from the word go, but I'm only now starting to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
I don't currently have a credit card, but if I do get one, I think I will be getting lots of calls from the 'Fraud Department'!!! :cheese:

swq4:
The reservoir and GI-R upgrade is pretty much top of my list (as it's more affordable!). The squeeky noise is very faint, and only when turning at low speeds. i.e. navigating car parks etc. Not sure about the lumpy centering of the steering wheel though. Hopefully the previously mentioned work will sort it. Here's hoping.
I am planning on having the cambelt service (with water pump, and Aux/Pas belt kits replaced) done in March. But it might all have to come a lot sooner.
I'm not comfortable with the idea of taking it for any mods (DPF remap) before this is sorted out. No way! :tut:

Jodav:
I'll take a look at that thread, thanks.
 

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cj romeo:
I bought the Alfa from an independant trader. He's been alright to deal with, and helpful, but you'd expect that really considering the money he's had from me! In it's previous life, my Bella was a lease car :vomit: so not suprised it needs some TLC. Surprisingly, the body work and wheels are in excellent shape. I've suspected it needed TLC from the word go, but I'm only now starting to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
I don't currently have a credit card, but if I do get one, I think I will be getting lots of calls from the 'Fraud Department'!!! :cheese:

swq4:
The reservoir and GI-R upgrade is pretty much top of my list (as it's more affordable!). The squeeky noise is very faint, and only when turning at low speeds. i.e. navigating car parks etc. Not sure about the lumpy centering of the steering wheel though. Hopefully the previously mentioned work will sort it. Here's hoping.
I am planning on having the cambelt service (with water pump, and Aux/Pas belt kits replaced) done in March. But it might all have to come a lot sooner.
I'm not comfortable with the idea of taking it for any mods (DPF remap) before this is sorted out. No way! :tut:

Jodav:
I'll take a look at that thread, thanks.
If it was a lease car the exterior will have been put right upon return of the car. Either by the driver or by the lease company.

As you said, best sort the car's current issues out first before even thinking about modding it. Mods are great fun but no cure for any underlying issues that need resolving.

Good luck!

:thumbs:
 

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I think your best approach is quickly deal with the cheap easy potential solutions.
Always best to elmiinate the cheap easy fixes before spending money!

Having had a look at the clogger thread that fix is hose checks and new jubilee clips.
Cost - whatever a couple of big Jubilee clips cost! It might fix the engine woes.

Thinking about it, the ancilliary belt may not be slipping - you would hear high pitched whine and possibly a rubber smell. Changing the power steering fluid costs about £28 for 2 litres of Tutela GIR (from any Fiat or Alfa parts place). And a big syringe or Turkey baster (£3 from Morrisons etc). That might fix the low speed wind and steering realted problems.

Time to do these about 2 hours max if you are thorough, and less than £40.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
An unpleasant journey home with a happy ending!

But for how long?

I decided I would try to communicate with my car using the only language it's knows.

A right foot of the Italian variety!

Had the same issues leaving work and joining the motorway. But I decided last minute to stay on 4th gear when joining the motorway and I went straight to the 4th lane (in true German car owner fashion)! Left the car in 4th up to 90mph (4000RPM) and left it there for a few minutes.

I then moved into 5th at 3/3500rpm for the rest of the motorway journey.

When I left the motorway I had my rev range back, and a smile.

God knows what this did?

Thanks to Alfie at Heath Road garage for the long conversation about my options with sorting my car.

I don't for one minute think that this is a cure but it's better than nothing.
 
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