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Discussion Starter #1
I posted this on another forum and had some great advice which I'll edit and write below my initial comment. Just wanted as much advice as possible so thought I would try my luck here too :p

"Ok, So I'm guessing I'm in for an expensive fix but wanted a few opinions before I bite the bullet.

I have a facelift 53 plate 156 2.0 JTS

Has a bad misfire on cylinder one. The injectors and coilpacks have been swapped over to see if the fault stays at cylinder 1 and it does. Ergo the injectors and coilpacks are fine?? (he says, not really knowing if this is fact!)...

Wires seem to be ok and a mechanic feels it's the ECU which may need remapping. He's not an Alfa specialist and I am aware of the annoying injector issues so fear those expensive buggers may be to blame. I'm going to take it to my local specialist who are good guys but they say first point of call is sending off the injectors for checking....

I guess I'm hoping that some miracle man can point me to another potential cause which I can check before I go down the expense route. Any views on potential ECU fault?


Thanks"

The general consensus and advice I have received to the above post so far, is that my mechanic was less than competent and a remap is probably not the wisest course. I've also been asked if he erased the codes and reset the ecu between tests.... I would like to think so but based on other "advice" from him, maybe not! I'm looking to invest in some diagnostic software myself to do the tests, so my first question is what to buy and where?.

I have been advised to check sparks and sparkplug wells and also wiring (which seem ok)

The MSCF light is on and flashes and beeps at me, which I have been informed is a cat damage warning and could be the coil packs?

A compression test has been done and all cylinders seem fine?

Any further thoughts gratefully appreciated!

:confused:
 

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The injectors haven't been swapped around, the spark plugs (and coil packs) have. That does indicate that it's not either of those.

It probably is injectors, and it sounds like you do need a specialist. If you're in Bedfordshire then look up Auto Lusso. As a guide, mine cost me about £800, mostly in labour since they're in an inaccessible place. Expect even specialists to send the injectors away to be checked.

The wiring comment refers to the loom on the JTS which can degrade and cause difficult problems. This is about £100 or so and I opted to have mine replaced with this work as preventative maintenance, though it's unclear to me if this was really necessary.

You should also get yourself a code reader - basically £15 if you have an Android phone*. I say this because of your comment about the pre-cat; that's possible if you've been running it in this condition for a while, but not inherent with injector problems, so you should only heed that advice if it comes from someone who knows for sure. MCSF is a general warning and will come up for stuff like misfires. Edit: not quite, flashing = worse.

*If so you need one of these (£10) and then Torque for Android (£4). This working might depend on the age of the car but it's probably OK by 2003.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi thanks for the advice.

Ok.

I'm waiting for my connector to arrive for my diag software (just downloaded fiat ecu scan)so thought i'd check the other options while i'm waiting. Sparks have been checked and are ok and there is no oil/water/gunk in the wells.

Took connectors off coil packs one at a time whilst engine was running and whereas the running of the car did not diminish with No.1, all the others when disconnected pretty much made the car die which means the other three seem fine and the fault definitely on 1. Swapped the coil packs around (1 for 2)and repeated the test again and the fault stayed with 1 so all the coil packs are fine.

I contacted The mechanic who looked at the car to confirm he did indeed isolate the injectors and not the sparks and he said yes, he took the injectors from under the inlet manifold and swapped 1 and 3 around and the fault stayed on 1. He maintains it's electrical.......

Any other thoughts??
 

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Hi thanks for the advice.

Ok.

I'm waiting for my connector to arrive for my diag software (just downloaded fiat ecu scan)so thought i'd check the other options while i'm waiting. Sparks have been checked and are ok and there is no oil/water/gunk in the wells.

Took connectors off coil packs one at a time whilst engine was running and whereas the running of the car did not diminish with No.1, all the others when disconnected pretty much made the car die which means the other three seem fine and the fault definitely on 1. Swapped the coil packs around (1 for 2)and repeated the test again and the fault stayed with 1 so all the coil packs are fine.

I contacted The mechanic who looked at the car to confirm he did indeed isolate the injectors and not the sparks and he said yes, he took the injectors from under the inlet manifold and swapped 1 and 3 around and the fault stayed on 1. He maintains it's electrical.......

Any other thoughts??
I already told you what the problem is and how to fix it

Ned
 

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Oh, fair enough re: swapping. That's fairly serious work!

The wiring loom may be your best bet then. This is the one that goes to the brown plug at the back of the engine bay, part number 55192126. They are known to be a bit temperamental.

I have my old one but it's probably no use to you, since it may have played a part in my problems.

Edit: I was wrong in my earlier comment about the MCSF - flashing is something else, and may well be the pre-cat. Not good.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@trashcat. Appreciate the advice....

@Ned, I can't get the car to you as have been advised not to drive it any distance. I'm hoping to get a friend to tow it in to you guys at autolusso but can't do so until he's off work on Friday so I'll give you a shout then. You say you know what it is and how to fix but you haven't looked at it yet, how can you be sosure without inspection?!

I know you mentioned that it is the injectors and they will need sending off when we spoke on the phone based on the symptoms I described and you may ultimately be proved correct, but I wanted to rule out everything else first. What I didn't know when I spoke to you was that the injectors have already been isolated and switched around and the fault stays on the same cylinder?? Surely if it was an injector fault this wouldn't be the case?

I'm going to check the electrics and if that fails I'll let you loose on the injectors :)
 

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@trashcat. Appreciate the advice....

@Ned, I can't get the car to you as have been advised not to drive it any distance. I'm hoping to get a friend to tow it in to you guys at autolusso but can't do so until he's off work on Friday so I'll give you a shout then. You say you know what it is and how to fix but you haven't looked at it yet, how can you be sosure without inspection?!

I know you mentioned that it is the injectors and they will need sending off when we spoke on the phone based on the symptoms I described and you may ultimately be proved correct, but I wanted to rule out everything else first. What I didn't know when I spoke to you was that the injectors have already been isolated and switched around and the fault stays on the same cylinder?? Surely if it was an injector fault this wouldn't be the case?

I'm going to check the electrics and if that fails I'll let you loose on the injectors :)
I have two of these buggers and recently had similar,you seem to to have knowledge of what you are doing,Pm me and I will see if I can help you.:thumbs:
 

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Hi is it the 156 of ebay from blackburn area?
03 Black 156 2.4 JTD with red leather ?

Might have been to see it ... Sounds dog rough and there is a long list of MOT advisories that could be expensive to fix
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just to keep you all posted, as I can't drive the car at mo, I have a very respected auto electrician booked to come have a look at the car on Tues. will update findings then......
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Trashbat, the gold medal goes to you! It was the wiring loom. All fixed at a very wallet pleasing price :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Another minor annoyance....car is running good on old loom (had a short term repair) but needs changing so have bought a new one....Was just about to fit new loom and realised I have the wrong one....grrrr. Seems I have bought the coil pack harness not the injector loom. Oh well have to sort it out tomorrow. Just another day in the life of an Alfa owner............
 

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Another minor annoyance....car is running good on old loom (had a short term repair) but needs changing so have bought a new one....Was just about to fit new loom and realised I have the wrong one....grrrr. Seems I have bought the coil pack harness not the injector loom. Oh well have to sort it out tomorrow. Just another day in the life of an Alfa owner............
Don't worry we will swap it over for you

Ned
 

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Another minor annoyance....car is running good on old loom (had a short term repair) but needs changing so have bought a new one....Was just about to fit new loom and realised I have the wrong one....grrrr. Seems I have bought the coil pack harness not the injector loom. Oh well have to sort it out tomorrow. Just another day in the life of an Alfa owner............
I thought it was the coil pack harness (and everything else on it) - that's what mine was anyway.
 
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