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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there

Very new to these fantastic forums and in need of advice really.

I recently bought a 1997 GTV 2.0 16v Lusso. It looks great but sounds very noisy and is revving itself when idle between 1000 and 1500, most notably as soon as the accelerator is touched.

I took it to a local garage who specialise in plugging cars in and running a diagnostic check, but they were unable to even run the checks and were advised by Alfa that my model of GTV was using an old engine management system and would require Alfa themselves to plug it in?

In my desperation (a neighbour asked was it a diesel) I'm booked in for a general garage to have a look. Does anyone have any advice on what could be causing the revving/noisy engine and also if Alfa are the only people able to plug my GTV in and run some tests?

Any feedback would be much appreciated. :thumbs:
 

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Sounds like the variator which involves a cambelt change. I don't know exactly about the Ecu, but my v6 of the same age had to be run on the fiat Alfa examiner system, so I would imagine yours would be the same.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

The noise is the variator. Basically you need a cambelt and variator change. Sometimes the cambelt can get changed without doing the variator but if you replace one its worth changing the other ;). Some on here say that you can do a flush and oil change to silence the variator but I found it didnt help so I would recommend the belts and a new variator :thumbs:.

Have a look on eBay for the cheapest prices on the variator, around £90 on there.

PS I dont believe diagnostics would pick up that you need a new variator so it would be a waste of time sticking it on a machine, promise its the variator.
 

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do a search on here for 'variator' its a thing in the engine that when knackered makes it sound like a diesel..

it usually does no harm.. just noise.. it needs changing at the next cam belt change.. also do a search on 'cam belt'.. and make sure the oil is always topped up to the max mark..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cheers for the fast replies guys. :thumbs:

It does make sense. The guy I bought the car from did advise me it would most probably need a cambelt change October/November time. I priced it up at a local garage and they quoted £460 including a mini service. Don't know if that is reasonable?

Forgive my lack of knowledge, would the revving also be down to the variator or is that something else?

Again, I much appreciate all your help. ;)
 

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A knackered variator will make it sound like a diesel on start up, mine does it when I start it from warm.

The cam belts do have to be changed at fixed intervals (36,000 miles I think, do a search on here) and while there is no guarantee that doing this would fix the revving itself issue, £460 is a very reasonable rate to get the belts and variator done, along with a minor service.

Make sure it's done either by a main dealer or a trusted independent Alfa garage. If you need a recommendation for a garage, go and have a look in the north west regional lounge on here :thumbs:
 

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The variator is not causing the un-even idle, that could be the idle actuator valve, or air leaks in the air intake system i.e. splits in the rubber hoses. It probably needs a good service. Welcome to the forum and you'll soon be enjoying the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again for the replies. :thumbs:

I'll check the regional lounge as the garage that quoted £460 is just a general garage. (and that was for a cam-belt and mini service, not the variator too)

The idle is bothering me more than the noisy engine. It could be that it will worsen over the coming days/weeks/months, in which case it would probably be very irritating.

I'm beginning to wonder whether to cut my loses, sell the car as it is, and use the £460+ I need to spend, as well as the cost of fixing the idle issue, and just buy a better GTV. I was going to change the wheels over anyway, so there is another £500 needed.

I'll get some quotes first then make a decision. I've definitely been won over by the GTV despite it's thirst for my money only a week into owning it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks a lot for the link. :thumbs:

I'll be giving the local garage a swerve after reading that. Cheers ;)
 

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Where in Lancs are you?

I know of several NW places to recommend :thumbs:



Ignore my location BTW :)
 

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If you do decide to keep the car and get the cam belt changed ask for the balance belt to be changed at the same time, the b/b can fail and cause the cam belt to fail!!
Some garages just change the cam belt.
 

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If you do decide to keep the car and get the cam belt changed ask for the balance belt to be changed at the same time, the b/b can fail and cause the cam belt to fail!!
Some garages just change the cam belt.
Thanks for that. I'll ring up and get a full quote for replacing the cambelt/balance belt/variator & also what it might cost to fix the uneven idle. Suddenley this cheap car became rather expensive :rant: :lol:

Where in Lancs are you?

I know of several NW places to recommend :thumbs:



Ignore my location BTW :)
Sunny Skelmersdale. Would really appreciate a heads up of a decent local Alfa garage. :thumbs:

Out of Curiosity/desperation I put the car in another local garage regarding the uneven idle and they just rang to say they are unsure! Their advice is seek a specialist. I'm a bit puzzled by that to be honest or am I that naive? I would have though they could address an uneven idle. :confused:
 

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:)Dont cut your loses Sambora , stick with it , i have had mine 4 years now and properly looked after the car will be very reliable , the cambelt & variator is a big bill but you wont have to worry if the engine will blow up for another 3 years ,as long as you keep her well oiled & serviced and keep on top of things .
 

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Can you get to St Helens? - Alfatune Motorsport Gus comes highly recommended ;)
Cheers. :thumbs:

Yeah St. Helens is 20mins away. I rang Alfatune earlier and was quoted £550 for Cam belt/balance belt/variator and water pump supplied and fitted.

Also, the guy I spoke with totally dismissed the uneven idle being anything to do with the throttle body. As soon as I told him it was a 1997 GTV he ruled that out straight away. (a local garage took a look this morning and were stumped, saying it was perhaps a "breather problem or throttle body fault")


:)Dont cut your loses Sambora , stick with it , i have had mine 4 years now and properly looked after the car will be very reliable , the cambelt & variator is a big bill but you wont have to worry if the engine will blow up for another 3 years ,as long as you keep her well oiled & serviced and keep on top of things .
I'm still in two minds. Not about GTV's, just whether I should pay out what could end up being £700+ on a 15yr old car that I've only owned a week. Add to that I would want new wheels, there's over a grand needed. Would it be better to sell up now, and add that to the £1000 I might be spending if I kept this GTV?

I bought the car quite cheap with high miles (132,000), full history and over £7,500 worth of receipts for work done. Also the add specified NO FAULTS so I assumed I would have a few months of pain free driving before it's next service/cam belt change in November.

Any thoughts guys? :confused:
 

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Disconnect your MAF and see if it drives/idles any better? 5 min job and easy DIY'er

PS If you sell you will most likely loose money!? The fix may be easier than you think, if the idle is erratic have the engine running and grab a screwdriver, hold it by its shaft and bash the plastic idle stepper on the throttle body. Give it a few good whacks and see if that has any influence on the idle? If so, it may just need a careful clean?
 

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Fix the car :)

I paid out huge when I bought my first Spider with no history.

As there was no history we changed EVERYTHING the belts, variator, radiator (had a small hole) lambda sensor, plugs and ht leads, clutch Slave cylinder, battery, and the usual service bits.

Luckily my mechanic is my husband, but it was still £700 parts at trade prices.

WELL WORTH IT in my opinion. The car was a STAR for the next four years, got countless amounts of joy from her, and the only reason she is my last spider and not my current one I'd because some other fool crashed in to her and wrote her off :(

So I'd get the work done, personally
 

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Cheers. :thumbs:

Yeah St. Helens is 20mins away. I rang Alfatune earlier and was quoted £550 for Cam belt/balance belt/variator and water pump supplied and fitted.

Also, the guy I spoke with totally dismissed the uneven idle being anything to do with the throttle body. As soon as I told him it was a 1997 GTV he ruled that out straight away. (a local garage took a look this morning and were stumped, saying it was perhaps a "breather problem or throttle body fault")

I'm still in two minds. Not about GTV's, just whether I should pay out what could end up being £700+ on a 15yr old car that I've only owned a week. Add to that I would want new wheels, there's over a grand needed. Would it be better to sell up now, and add that to the £1000 I might be spending if I kept this GTV?

I bought the car quite cheap with high miles (132,000), full history and over £7,500 worth of receipts for work done. Also the add specified NO FAULTS so I assumed I would have a few months of pain free driving before it's next service/cam belt change in November.

Any thoughts guys? :confused:
That's why I told you to go to an indie ;), Gus at Alfatune obviously knew straight away.

This car you have now has lots of receipts, so if you do the cambelt, then hopefully there should not be too much that more will go wrong.
However if you do buy another Gtv, you will be looking out for one that has had the cambelt done recently and which has fewer miles, otherwise you're just in the same boat again.

So in summary - better the devil you know...
 

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If you intend to keep the car (and can afford it) then go with Alfa Andys suggestion and make sure both belts are changed. Again, if money will allow change everything that they drive, i.e. water pump (with metal impeller), variator and power steering pump and then you know that these aspects are sorted for at least three years
 
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