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Discussion Starter #1
There are a few threads about other Alfas with this issue, but no 159s so far.

My 2009 159 2.4 started displaying this yesterday, with no obvious cause. I didn't hit any speedbumps, and I had an uneventful drive to an underground car park. When I came back from my appointment, the car powers up on key insertion, but clunks on 'Start'.
It's displaying the fuel symbol, so my guess was that it was the fuel cut off.

This had happened one time before, about two weeks ago, I joined a motorway, crossed the 'rumble strip' when I noticed my nearside wheel was loose (user error, I'd been working on it). I powered down, tightened the wheel nuts, but when I went to start the car, the fuel shut off light was on. I searched here and came back with two possibilities; the fuel cut off under the passenger seat, and the battery reset in the engine bay. It's conceivable that the wobbly wheel and rumble strip caused enough vibration to trigger the fuel shut off, but it was certainly less g than hitting a speedbump at 30kmph.
I pressed the yellow battery reset button, and left the battery -ive terminal unconnected for 60 seconds. Presto, car starts, but the trust had disappeared.

The first time it happened, I toggled the untriggered fuel shut off under the passenger seat. It appeared to be in the 'up' position, I pushed it down, and pulled it back up.

Car started, I felt better about myself.
The 2nd, 3rd and 4th times it happened, the rear fuel shutoff toggle (alone?) didn't work.
The 5th time, simply popping the bonnet, turning off power and removing key, and pressing the 'reset' button did the trick.
It seemed like this was going to be my life, but today, inexplicably, as I was gathering evidence for this post, she started without complaint.
It feels like a temporary reprieve though, I'm just waiting for the day it happens again. Ideas?

My first reaction was to replace both switches, but I can't find the parts anywhere, and I'd rather than new ones if possible.
There's a slightly frayed wire going to the battery reset switch, but there's nothing it could be in contact with really. All the same, I'll put some shrink tubing over it.
The red plastic tab labelled 'MTA' is cracked, but I can't see that that would be the cause of anything, unless it's some sort of fuse?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Found this on a search:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-159-brera-andamp-946-spider/533033-what-battery-do-i-need.html

You are best searching using a search engine rather than the AO search function. It's brings up the site information better.
Thanks, I did do a Google search, and found 1 thread I hadn't read. The interesting tidbit is that the main dealer in that case was able to replace the cut out switch on the battery terminal. I might chance a visit and see how many grand they want for one..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hmmm, problem has gone away, somewhat mysteriously. I don't believe my fiddling had much effect, but it hasn't happened in a week. The joys of owning an Alfa.
 

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I can make this happen at will by sliding the seat all the way forward and make it go away by tweaking the wires near the switch. Although there is nothing visibly wrong, It's pretty obvious what the problem is in my case!
 

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Ok, so this is probably the reason why the previous owner of my car had is switch disabled too. But they seem to have connected the wire running to the ECU to ground instead of just leaving it "open air", as shown on the pic. I always get the error message on the display when starting, but the car runs fine. What is the part number of the switch? I would like to replace it and reconnect the wire and see if it runs fine and I can get rid of the error message.

:)

/Rikard
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I have a further update. Driving home from a long trip, I got a full Christmas tree of error lights, followed quickly by the failure of all electronic systems. ABS, VDC, parking sensors, then the radio, air con, window and door switches. Couldn't get my luggage out of the boot, because it wouldn't open either.

I got it home, checked all fuses and voltage across the battery was 11.5V, so it looked like an alternator problem. Charged up the battery, and still, a click when I hit the starter, and nothing else. Started to strongly suspect a Body Control Module failure, and to despair. Dave from TI Autos had a cooler head though, and suggested that it sounded like an earth problem, that he'd seen the battery to body earth strap go rotten. As that's cheaper and easier to fix, I started pulling stuff out. It can be done without moving the battery tray, but it's much easier with better access.

Disconnect the battery terminals, release the battery strap nut (13mm) and make sure you have a magnetic reach tool handy, it wants to fall into the depths of the car. (Same goes for putting it back, drop it down and do the first rotation with the magnet). Disconnect 3x 10mm nuts to free the ECU tray and move it out of the way. There are 3 more nuts holding the battery tray in place, and 3x ties to cut to free the wiring conduit. The tray lifts out pretty easily.

The main negative to body earth was made almost entirely out of rust!
I used a wire brush attachment on my drill to clean out the mount, bring back the copper strap to actual copper and I swapped out the horribly corroded bolt for another cleaner one, from which I stripped the coating.
For good measure I did the nearside suspension turret earth (which goes to the loom rather than the battery negative) too.

So far so good, not a hint of failure to start, no Inertia Switch Intervened and the PD across the battery terminals on idle is 13.9V, so I should have fewer charging issues.
It costs €0 to do, though I'll find some conductive grease to cover the over-exposed parts with. The earth strap is copper under all that coating, and the body is mild steel; there'll always be galvanic corrosion, so I'll make this an annual 'service' task.
Give it a go, it could work!
 

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What worked for me.

Ok, so this is probably the reason why the previous owner of my car had is switch disabled too. But they seem to have connected the wire running to the ECU to ground instead of just leaving it "open air", as shown on the pic. I always get the error message on the display when starting, but the car runs fine. What is the part number of the switch? I would like to replace it and reconnect the wire and see if it runs fine and I can get rid of the error message.

:)

/Rikard
The cut wire has to be connected to the battery positive. And the "Inertial Switch Intervened" message will disappear:rotate: I learned it the hard way after 1 year with the message and randomly disappearing/reappearing while driving (which by the way unlocks all doors and turns on the interior lights.
Very annoying.)
 
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