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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

Just bought myself (as a 2nd car), my first Alfa: a 2000 156 Selespeed with 30k on the clock (!) Love the car
Gearbox etc is all fine, but it's throwing an engine management light. I haven't had a chance to put an OBD reader on it yet but will do.
However the symptom seems to be the car idles okay, and pulls away decently, but seems to run out of puff between 4-5000 revs, so I'm 'guessing' it's related to air or mixture somewhere.
When I collected the car (and it was very cheap), it wouldn't go above 3000, though this has cured itself to a degree.
Any ideas on the best places to look for this please guys?
Thanks and best wishes
 

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Possibly an OE, year 2000 air filter? With or without nesting rodents. They are awkward, so easier to 'leave until next time' than change. Or the MAF: disconnect to test - it will idle rough but if your power >3k is restored, you found the problem. If so, only replace with an OE MAF.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! Plenty to go on there, I appreciate it.
Understand re the air filter - looks like i'll need to remove the battery and tray I'm assuming.
With the MAF: is it simply a case of unplugging the electrical connector, or does it need to be removed wholly from the pipes/car?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks both.
I pulled the air filter - it wasn't spotless, but not really clogged in any way either.
Have also pulled and cleaned the MAF. When I disconnected the MAF, the car (on the drive) would not rev above 3000rpm.

The car is running cool though. Only gets up to 90 degrees in slow traffic, so I've ordered a thermostat to change this weekend. Would this cause the lazy revving though....
Also noticed when cold the power delivery is erratic, but only for the first few yards then it's fine. Any further pointers please guys - any help much appreciated!
 

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If your car is a 2000 model then a normal OBD reader probably won't work, that only became standard from 2001-ish. You need to use MultiEcuscan or similar.
 

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I think you do need those codes. Thermostat sticking open would cause rich running. In time that might damage lambda sensors. Or there could be an issue with the throttle body (search out the miracle cure thread) . Or or or... guessing gets expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys.

Yes, it's a 2001 plate, but no doubt a 2000 model, and my OBD does not fit- Doh!

I'm sure the thermostat is stuck in the open position, so will change that when it arrives. I tested the temp sensor with a volt meter and it seems okay, so I'm guessing the stat is faulty.

It is running rich (As I guess it would when it only gets to about 60 degrees), so I guess the problems are all linked into each other.

Still, saying that, I love the car and am determind to get it running properly.
 

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I think the code reader plug should still fit. That didn't change. You're trying to plug it in to the big connector at the top of the fusebox under the cover by the drivers right knee (in a rhd car)? And if actually a 2001 reg car it could be EOBD compliant so it might work.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think the code reader plug should still fit. That didn't change. You're trying to plug it in to the big connector at the top of the fusebox under the cover by the drivers right knee (in a rhd car)? And if actually a 2001 reg car it could be EOBD compliant so it might work.
Thanks - I will check this over again
 

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Check the bellows pipe from the MAF to the throttle body. They are prone to cracking / splitting and passing air after the MAF. This makes them run way lean - wont rev properly etc. Wrapped this hose in race tape in my son's 156 and the difference was incredible.

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks all - I'm most grateful for the help. Just switched to 156s after 14 years with Saab c900- - have found this forum so friendly and informative - thank you
This weekend going to change the thermostat. I ordered one two weeks ago, drained the coolant, disconnected the pipes, removed it from the cylinder head and, doh : I ordered the wrong one, so back in all the old bits went!
Will also check thoroughly vacuum leaks and see if I can get my reader to pull any codes.
I must say, although the car isn't running A1 it has been totally reliable as a daily driver and I'm most impressed with that.

I've cleaned the MAF, and though it hasn't improved the running much (which I guess discounts a faulty MAF), the mpg has gone up so thats something.
I've been really impressed with the car overall, the idle is steady and it pulls well, and the electrics seems A1. So much for the Italian electric gremlins.
Even the Sele seems fine. So far, haha
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Check the bellows pipe from the MAF to the throttle body. They are prone to cracking / splitting and passing air after the MAF. This makes them run way lean - wont rev properly etc. Wrapped this hose in race tape in my son's 156 and the difference was incredible.

Pat
I took off the pipe, and it did look fine. The front of the throttle plate was gunked up though, so I have cleaned this and it's at least revving a bit more freely.

Also changed the thermostat this weekend. got a new part, but I'm getting the feeling it isn't working correctly. The guage seems to sit around 72-75 on the open road, though it shoots up to 90 as soon as the car slows. It's an improvement to an extent the car was running virtually cold (50 deg) when I got it, but I'm getting the feeling something isn't right.

Any thoughts please guys?
 

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I assume you're getting the temp from the gauge, not directly from diagnostics? On my 156, the mark between 50 and 90, which you'd reasonably expect to be 70 deg, is actually 80 deg. In which case your temp and thermostat are fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi. Thanks. And yes, I'm getting the temp from the guage, not diagnostics.
So it's 'bottoming out' at the middle line between 50 and 90, and rising to 90 in traffic, or hard driving.
And yes it's hovvering around the middle line between 50 and 90, which I thought was 70, but maybe not from your reply....
 

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Thanks guys.

Yes, it's a 2001 plate, but no doubt a 2000 model, and my OBD does not fit- Doh!

I'm sure the thermostat is stuck in the open position, so will change that when it arrives. I tested the temp sensor with a volt meter and it seems okay, so I'm guessing the stat is faulty.

It is running rich (As I guess it would when it only gets to about 60 degrees), so I guess the problems are all linked into each other.

Still, saying that, I love the car and am determind to get it running properly.
Mandatory verify lambda probes (normally when it's running you should have 2->2.5v on obd, anyway over 2v).
I recommend that you should clean all connectors with a cleaning contact spray (to be sure that you have good connections, especially the conn from ECU).
If Air filter, MAF sensor are ok next things to verify are the flowmeter and lambda probes.
 

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156 thermostats are a right pain. Took three different ones in our JTS until we got it right. "Facet" brand is the goods! All the others I tried including genuine sat at around 70 degrees until driven hard and then climbed to 90. Current one (Facet) climbs to 90 after about 5km of normal driving and just sits there as it should. Also stopped the ECU complaining about out of range lambda readings and fixed the fuel consumption since it was running in rich mode all the time.

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter #19
156 thermostats are a right pain. Took three different ones in our JTS until we got it right. "Facet" brand is the goods! All the others I tried including genuine sat at around 70 degrees until driven hard and then climbed to 90. Current one (Facet) climbs to 90 after about 5km of normal driving and just sits there as it should. Also stopped the ECU complaining about out of range lambda readings and fixed the fuel consumption since it was running in rich mode all the time.

Pat
Put a 'new' MAF on this car this weekend. It's revving much more freely, and feels more like a 155hp car now rather than leaden. Doesn't feel like it's running rich either now, so I'm hoping fuel consumption may drop. (was getting 23-27 when I got the car :-(....)

Changing the MAF, and the stat, has had a remarkable effect on the car general running.
I am most grateful for all the help and advice on here. Thanks guys !
 

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MAFs degrade slowly. Sometimes they properly fail, but the difference between a 100K MAF and a new one is like chalk and cheese. I changed the MAF in our 2.5 at 90K. No errors or codes, but I got a cheap OE Bosch insert and put it in. The car was transformed....
 
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