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Discussion Starter #1
I have searched for a problem on the forum like this but have not found anything, so this may be a first.
Last Wednesday I called to the supermarket after a normal journey in my 4 year old Giulia super.
When I returned to the car and hit start nothing happened, the engine would not turn over, no audible indication of a starter solenoid, nothing.
The dashboard lit up normally with no error messages or lights to indicate any problems. I was sure that the battery was OK as it was new only 4 months ago and had been on trickle charge with my CTEK. So I decided before I call roadside assistance I would try a wild idea just in case the engine ECU had got itself into a knot because of some strange reason. I opened the door got out and attempted to lock the car with the door open, this of course created an error with the alarm and I then cancelled it with the key. Hit start again and although there was 3 or 4 seconds pause the engine spun and started. I then got a CEL and stop start disabled but otherwise the car was normal and got home OK.
I don't know if what I did provided some kind of an electronic kick or it was just coincidental with something else but whatever the answer was it meant I wasn't stranded in a supermarket car park. This Thursday morning I was curios to know if the car was still operational so I attempted to start the engine and once again after hitting start no joy, nothing.
I checked the battery volts which read about 12.6 with ignition on which I thought should not be the problem. I then decided perhaps the car electronics need a full reset just like a misbehaving computer so I disconnected the battery. After reconnection got the usual lights on the dashboard and hit start which started the engine straight away. I will attempt to start the engine again tomorrow to see if this mysterious problem has returned and if it has then I will have to take it in for investigation by greater minds than mine. But if it starts OK and the CEL disappears after another 2 or 3 starts then I am gong to keep a 10 mm spanner handy in the car to disconnect the battery again.
 

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I have searched for a problem on the forum like this but have not found anything, so this may be a first.
Last Wednesday I called to the supermarket after a normal journey in my 4 year old Giulia super.
When I returned to the car and hit start nothing happened, the engine would not turn over, no audible indication of a starter solenoid, nothing.
The dashboard lit up normally with no error messages or lights to indicate any problems. I was sure that the battery was OK as it was new only 4 months ago and had been on trickle charge with my CTEK. So I decided before I call roadside assistance I would try a wild idea just in case the engine ECU had got itself into a knot because of some strange reason. I opened the door got out and attempted to lock the car with the door open, this of course created an error with the alarm and I then cancelled it with the key. Hit start again and although there was 3 or 4 seconds pause the engine spun and started. I then got a CEL and stop start disabled but otherwise the car was normal and got home OK.
I don't know if what I did provided some kind of an electronic kick or it was just coincidental with something else but whatever the answer was it meant I wasn't stranded in a supermarket car park. This Thursday morning I was curios to know if the car was still operational so I attempted to start the engine and once again after hitting start no joy, nothing.
I checked the battery volts which read about 12.6 with ignition on which I thought should not be the problem. I then decided perhaps the car electronics need a full reset just like a misbehaving computer so I disconnected the battery. After reconnection got the usual lights on the dashboard and hit start which started the engine straight away. I will attempt to start the engine again tomorrow to see if this mysterious problem has returned and if it has then I will have to take it in for investigation by greater minds than mine. But if it starts OK and the CEL disappears after another 2 or 3 starts then I am gong to keep a 10 mm spanner handy in the car to disconnect the battery again.
just a general remark.... The negative battery pole has a quick release, doesn't need a spanner ;)
 

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As @jwq said, you can release the negative pole by pushing a button on it for quick release. Saying that, there is no need to reset the electronics as such. The fact that you had a CEL, suggests there is an underlying issue possibly. What is the error code? Do you have an OBD dongle/app?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I started the engine this morning and it fired up on the first spin, so whatever the problem was seems to have disappeared for now.
Is the quick release on the negative post you refer to the movable main cable terminal on the battery to the car body?
I don't have an EBD reader but looking back over this problem now when it first appeared I don't recall hearing any clicking going on under the bonnet which I assume is the ECU initialising the engine ready to start.
This morning I heard all the reassuring sounds from under the bonnet before it started. I will keep an eye on the CEL and update if it disappears.
 

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The clicking noise is probably the starter relay. I would recommend buying a cheap OBD reader. I posted recently on this. I will link that post in a bit. It is easier to diagnose problems rather than stabbing in the dark. The quick release is on the actual negative cable to the post. Press the button to the side of the connector and lift cable up.
 

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on a side note, I have read about 1 or 2 cases of a defective starter relay.......
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok so for the first time in my driving career I had to call roadside assistance as my Giulia cut out on the entrance to a roundabout and would not restart, a repeat of the fault to start this thread.
The transmission was locked and the parking brake on so I couldn't even push it out of the way. I Tried disconnecting the battery again but this time sadly did not work. I just hope that the fault stays on permanently this time to allow the mechanics to trace it to its source.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just been in touch with the garage where my Giulia is with the engine start problem. The engine start relay is the cause of the problem as detailed on the thread in the American Alfa BB forum below.
Starter Solenoid Relay Location | Alfa Romeo Forums (alfabb.com)

My advice to anyone with a Giulia over 4 years old is to keep one of these relays in the car. You then have a chance if the circumstances allow to get yourself back on the road again.
The only alternative is roadside assistance with a low loader. My trusty independent is going to order a spare for me, I will update again with the details of the relay when I have it.
 

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Wow looking at the location of those relays makes me wonder how many stop/start - heated rear window - battery drain issues have been caused by water ingress in that area.

I never knew they were there ... thanks for the heads up


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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2017 Guila 2.0 Tbi Lusso spec, 1972 S2 Spider Junior, wife drives 939 Spider, + Abarth 595
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There has just been a report of a similar problem to this on the AROC forum. I was just about to post the AlfaBB link!
 

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Another reason to always have SS off to save all the premature failing of componants used to start the vehicle.
Will get a spare relay, but they dont sound easy to get to, especially if stuck in traffic.
 

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2017 Guila 2.0 Tbi Lusso spec, 1972 S2 Spider Junior, wife drives 939 Spider, + Abarth 595
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Wow looking at the location of those relays makes me wonder how many stop/start - heated rear window - battery drain issues have been caused by water ingress in that area.

I never knew they were there ... thanks for the heads up


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I too am astounded at that location, are they in some sort of enclosure, I read about the gaskets in the Alfa BB post, but that location is surely asking for trouble?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OK so got my Giulia back yesterday with a new relay fitted along with some spare relays, all seems well and good.
At the risk of sounding extravagant we have another Giulia super belonging to my wife and I am going to attempt to replace the start relay on this one myself, so I hope I get *** right!
The access through the hatch in the wheel arch liner does look awkward but I will do another post when complete.
In the meantime I have included a couple of pictures including the relay and the part number on the bag.
This was more expensive than my estimate at £24.92 each including VAT but it is a MOPAR OEM replacement and anyone wishing to chance an equivalent could do so as there seems to be plenty around.

IMG_20210306_092109.jpg


IMG_20210306_092145.jpg
 

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That's just a SPST 12 volt relay, as others have commented shouldn't be too hard to find online and a 30amp version should cover it. The nomenclature on the relay shown is 85 relay coil negative, 86 relay coil positive, 30 battery positive and 87 is the load supplied so in this case the starter motor solenoid.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Had a go at replacing the start relay as preventative maintenance on my wife's Giulia but had to give in as I couldn't work out how to easily release it from the bracket. Its extremely difficult to access through the opened hatch in the wheel arch liner as of the three relay sockets located in there, the one containing the start relay is located the furthest away. I did try and access it from the top in the engine bay as it is the only one of the three that can be seen, but this is also keyhole surgery and my ageing hands are not quite as flexible as they used to be. So as it was due its fourth service I decided to ask my local Indy to add replacing the relay to the list as they successfully managed to replace the one on my Giulia. He did explain that he managed to release the relay from the bracket within the engine bay, the relay socket then drops down to the bottom of the wheel arch where it can then be accessed from the opened hatch in the wheel arch liner. However he had to put the car on the ramp to raise it to a height in order to relocate the relay socket back on the bracket. So it may be possible to replace the relay with a spare at the roadside if you are stranded but personally I would recommend adding it to a third or fourth service as preventative maintenance. If anyone fancies a go then the picture below shows the location looking down into the engine bay.
Start relay location.jpg
 

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Thanks for all the research. My Giulia Super, bought new in March 2017, starter solenoid failed in September 2020 ie after 31/2 years and had to be recovered to AlfaCare who changed the solenoid, so the advice to have it changed every third or fourth service is good. I will try to source a spare ( any clues greatly appreciated) as the AA guy didn't know where the solenoid was, whether he could/would have fixed it if I had a spare is another question.

I have also stopped having the car jet washed as I don't think this helps and now have it connected to a smart charger as I had battery problems like most Giulia owners.

Steve.
 

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3 years of operation with STOP/START enabled potentially is a much greater number of solenoid actuations than would be the case with S/S disabled.

So another benefit of having S/S permanently disabled might be to allow the solenoid to last the life of the car?
 
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Discussion Starter #20
The start relay is an interposing relay between the computers in the car and the main starter solenoid which is mounted on the starter motor itself.
The only time stop start has worked on my car is when I had forgotten to disable it. If you look at post number 8 which includes the link to the Alfabb site in the US, there is an extract form the official Giulia technical manual which describes the operation of the start stop system. It appears that there are two interposing relays, one energised by the BCM and the other energised by the PCM. The BCM handles the ordinary start from the button on the steering wheel. If the stop start system has stopped the engine, it is the PCM which restarts the engine with the other relay. In my case since the engine would not even crank after hitting the start button suggests that the relay associated with the BCM had failed just through conventional engine starts using the button. Until Steve7D confirmed that he had the same problem in post number 18, I thought I was the only one outside the US with a failed start relay. Good to know I am not the only one!
 
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