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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All! This is my first 916 area post but some of you may have seen my posts on 166 and 147 related stuff as I have previously owned them.

After 2 years without my own Alfa, I have recently come back into the fold and bought a nice 2001 Spider (TS). I’m pretty pleased as it was a good price, is in good condition (well, see below, not quite true…!) and I bought it from a very helpful chap. At present it’s sat in my Mum’s garage. I currently live in Italy (and will do for the next 12 months until my work contract finishes) and it’s my intention to drive it out here for use on trips / weekends away etc until returning to the UK.

I return to get it on the 3rd of February. I asked for her to start it a couple of times a week just to get oil moving round the engine etc. However, yesterday when she tried she couldn’t get in the car off the remote. She used the key to open the car and when she tried to start she said the whole thing was dead, no dash lights, nothing.

First of all I am assuming (hoping beyond hope!) that this will be a dead battery. It is very cold up north at the minute so this cant help. Also, I have read on here that there is a chance that the stereo cabling can leave lines live without the ignition, so a small current can be drawn when the car is stood… The last time she started it was the 4th...

My main question to you guys is, should the car stand until 3rd Feb when I get there and put in a new battery, can any problems occur with the keys / immobiliser etc or would it be better to get someone to replace the battery in the next few days and keep it turned over on a more frequent basis…?

Hope you can alleviate some concerns as it’s my intention to pick up the car and immediately drive it the (circa) 1000 miles back to Milan!

Cheers, Cluffstarr.
 

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How quickly did it drain? It could just be that the short starts and alarm have drained it if its been sitting for a while so a charge might sort it
 

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My V6 will drain within 2 weeks when left, even thou its a new battery. I now have it on a charger which comes on for an hour a day (she's SORN until the sun comes out!)
 

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I should leave it and fit a new battery when you're back in the UK. Asking your Mum to disconnect the existing battery would be setting her quite a task as it is difficult enough at the best of times to remove the 'L' shaped carpet/cover to the battery and this is going to be even more inaccessable in a garage, especially if the Spiders hood is up. Stereo head units are usually to blame for this sort of power loss as they are still in standby mode even with the engine off. Should be a fun drive to Milan, I did it in my Spider for the 100 year Alfa celebrations.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all for the swift responses! I think I'll get a new battery ordered along with a charger so I can just swap over and go (finger, toes, ears and everything else crossed...) and then have a spare if necessary. The previous owner tells me that the current one is quite new but given my current logistical situation it'll be easier just to swap and have a spare.

Hopefully I'll be able to reply back with a positive outcome and I'm sure I'll be along with other queries soon!! Cheers!
 

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Have it on an Optimate charger/conditioner full time, otherwise after 2-3 weeks it's dead :(
 

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This sounds like a problem that's going to need some monitoring.... Is there a fix to stop the stereo wiring draining the battery? I think for anything more than a few days it sounds like the prudent thing is to remove one of the battery terminals?!
 

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This sounds like a problem that's going to need some monitoring.... Is there a fix to stop the stereo wiring draining the battery? I think for anything more than a few days it sounds like the prudent thing is to remove one of the battery terminals?!
Some stereos will, some stereos won't - but popping the faceplate off ensures it really is 'off'.

I learned that the factory-fit alarm (that's the one with the two-plug ECU behind the right headlight and IR remote) will drain the battery if the bonnet is open.

Your idea - disconnecting the battery - is the best :) and you should expect to take a new battery to the car to bring it back to life. In my experience, it doesn't have to be a big battery capacity-wise, you can save a little money (it's not a diesel) and fit a DIN55, but you might need a piece of polystyrene or similar to make the clamp fit tightly.

-Alex
 

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If you are getting a battery drained in 2 weeks then somthing aint right.
As others have said do you have a non alfa head unit installed, if so has the ISO plug been modified as a non alfa unit although will plug and play the constant live and the live on ignition are reversed, hence will drain you battery when not on!
there is a good write up on here about fixing the issue.

J
 

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its when it sounds like a dis-easel engine you gotta worry :cheese:
Yeah, my phase-1's starting like a diesel, the starter motor has that chow-chow-chow truck sound and the variator is doing a brilliant rigadigadigadiga diesel knock imitation, dunno whether to try and fix. I have a variator that came out of my 156 (replaced as a precaution), I'm sure that wasn't as noisy and suppose it will be minimal cost to change.

-Alex
 

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I have a variator that came out of my 156 (replaced as a precaution), I'm sure that wasn't as noisy and suppose it will be minimal cost to change.

-Alex
I was informed by a very well respected indie, that the cam belts should be changed if the variator is changed, so a bit more expensive than you might think. Leaving it till cambelt time would be sensible.
 
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