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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well after doign the throttle butterfly thing with some carb cleaner, I got the usual erratic tickover. Couldn't get it to reset happily so as she's being serviced I am getting them to look at it. It turns out there's a problem with the idle actuator. . . so the question is, how much do we think it'll cost me? . . .on top of the new pads and discs and a service!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
wrinx said:
No I won't 'cos I can't find it :rolleyes: ...sorry :(

wrinx
No worries Wrinx. . .but I'd love it if they were 80 quid in Oz. . .I'm staring down the barrel of $750 + fitting!. . . .which seems pretty different to 80 quid. . .any thoughts
 

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Where exactly is the idle actuator/motor located.

Does anyone have any pictures of it. Is it something that I can overhaul myself?

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
TrueBlue said:
Where exactly is the idle actuator/motor located.

Does anyone have any pictures of it. Is it something that I can overhaul myself?

Regards
Not sure, top of the engine I'm guessing, but once replaced you need to introduce it to the ECU so you'll need a computer etc. . .although my mechanic said it was a quick job once the part arrives.
 

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jimjambandit said:
Not sure, top of the engine I'm guessing, but once replaced you need to introduce it to the ECU so you'll need a computer etc. . .although my mechanic said it was a quick job once the part arrives.
Most common is a dirty IA, you can clean it out with appropiate spray i.e. WD40 or some such, compressed air to blow the thing clean (the inside) I did that to mine (I was driving the 146TI then) and it worked as new ! no 750 quid ... :rolleyes:
 

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The idle actuator operation is self learning. When it is cleaned, it has to start learning all over again. Some people make the mistake of pushing the valve butterfly open to clean out the residue, which can damage the stepper motor. When it is out of calibration, you need to reset it with the diagnostic tool and relearn the throttle.
If you clean it, I suggest you disconnect the battery for an hour and unplug the ECU. BE CAREFUL that the ignition key is not in the lock when you begin to ensure you can't zap the ECU when you reconnect it and the battery. Once the battery is reconnected, wait 5 minutes then turn the ignition key to ON for 30 seconds, then OFF for 30 seconds, then ON for 30 seconds. Start the engine and let it stabilise then go for a drive for 25km. This sometimes works if the acuator is not damaged.
Good luck. :
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
shawn said:
Seriously guys how can you clean the bosh idle actuator as i have just replaced mine?
Hi Shawn,
well I'm still waiting on a new one. My trusty mechanic (no. . .seriously) can't get one for love nor money. He gets the feeling that Alfa in OZ are holding out on him as he's not a dealer.
Not sure why you'd clean the idle actuator (if indeed you can) most of the cleaning refered to here is of the throttle butterfly, which is what stuff my cat in the first place. I think I'm going to pop along to a Bosch dealer and see what they say.
 

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Earlier Idle Actuators were (IIRC) in fact by-pass valves in a seperate tube parallel to the main throttle body, as, for example, on 155s. Later IAs are stepper motors that work directly on the throttle butterfly. The earlier ones could be removed and the valve cleaned and this is well documented elsewhere and can lead people into trying to take the later version apart :eek:
In my experience if you do try to take the later one apart it is at least possible to put it back together without causing irreparable damage ;) It just needs resetting. :rolleyes:
 

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jimjambandit said:
Hi Shawn,
I think I'm going to pop along to a Bosch dealer and see what they say.
I got mine reset and checked over by a Bosch agent (in the UK) they had all the analysing kit just as a AR dealer would, but cheaper and no waiting :)
 

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Hi johne, my idle is rock solid however it huunts around in trafiic. i beleive its an early 156 problem from all the documnets i have read so far. In fact i replaced my idle actuator myself last week and i can say that there is a slight improvement even in throttle response. however in traffic it still hunts around. The actuator itself cannot really be cleaned and ifit is the stepper motor inside which is knackered there is not much one can do to fix it just replace the part. I beleive the root of all evil of this idle problem lies within the ECU and a remap should do the trick. Unfortunately here in malta no one i capable of doing it.
 

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Shawn, mine is the same as yours (also a 98 2.0TS, 60,000km), idle is stable but car is jerky on light throttle in traffic, particularly between 2000-3000rpm.

From things I've read I get the impression:
- this is very common
- people/dealers often change parts such as lambda/AFM/idle actuator/throttle potentiometer which sometimes helps, often doesn't
- Replacing the ECU with a new one (and its newer map), or a remap of the original ECU gets rid of the problem

Which leads me to suspect:
- this is a separate issue to the fluctuating idle problem, although if a car has the idle problem (due to damaged/poorly set idle actuator) I can believe that the light throttle behaviour may also be poor
- this may be a basic problem with the factory map (which may be sensitive/intolerant to less than perfect signals from sensors?)

All of the above is speculation from a recent 156 purchaser, can anybody who knows these cars better help explain? In particular:
- Did they do this from new, or do they get worse with age? (as sensors such as the throttle pot wear and give less than perfect signals??)
- Can remaps be done by normal Alfa service agents? (Aftermarket tuners in the UK seem to offer remaps for original generation ECUs, but the ones I've seen require the ECU to be sent to them. Not an attractive option for those of us at the other end of the world (NZ))

Thanks,

Mark.
 

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MarkB hi,

Mine is very siumilair to yours however mine has 70K. Otherwise the issue with jerking at hight revs like yours 2000-3000rpm could be the MAF. THe issue with the TS pre 2000 enginges is probably a fault in the tolerance of the ecu lambda reading leading to this flactuation/hunting of revs between 500-1500. otherwise the thing is that when not in traffic the idle becomes rock solid. I think an ecu remapp should solve the problem in fact an ecu change is what Bosh had suggested I believe in a service bulettin. I am booked for an alfa remap next week. I dont know what rev of software they r going to put in but strangely before i take the car the car behaves itself really well ALSO in traffic, making me rethink the idea of doing a remap. :confused:
 

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Mine is 02, with stepper motor IA. i pushsed the butterfly a bit when cleaning, then took the whole throttle body off instead (pretty easy to do) and cleaned it that way from both sides. I pushed the butterfly fully open so i could even clean witha rag, and the edge of the butterfly.

I had no idle problems at all, just put all back together and fine. The engine management light was on for a couple hundred miles, then went out on its own - maybe from the cleaner effecting emmisions temporarily.

So I reckon maybe opening the butterfly with it all connected and live, the ecu learns the pushed open position as the new idle setting, so when started after cleaning, it opens up to pushed position to idle, then suddenly over revs so cuts it and then gets all confused

basically take the throttle body off to clean it is the moral of this story!

or at least disconnect all electrics and be gentle!
 
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