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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I recently broke down and got the RAC to come out and get me going again which they did nicely and he traced the problem to the battery. I got a new battery and everything was fine for about a month but today I broke down again, I was about to pull out of a junction and the engine just cut out and refused to start again. As I had a new battery I was pretty sure that it wasn't the problem.

I called out the RAC again and he spent 2 hours tracing the problem. Initially after lots of electrical testing he traced it to a relay in front of the battery (there is a cover in front of the battery, pop that off and there are 3 poking out). It seemed the contact was dodgy. How he explained it was the electric coil magnetises causing a lever to contact it which allows a circuit to form allowing current to flow to start the engine. This lever was getting stuck so the engine wouldn't start or the opposite and refusing to stick after the engine started which caused the engine to stop.

He managed to get the engine turning over and he advised me to replace the relay and we thought that was the end of the problem but then the engine cut out again and no matter what he tried it wouldn't start again. He tested some more and he thinks the ECU is faulty which in turn has burnt out the relay because it is drawing to much current.

Has anyone had similar problems? I am hoping it is just a case of buying another one and fitting it in and it will work, it doesn't need any more programming by a garage or anything?

My car is a 146 2.0 Ti, 2000 X reg. I googled the ECU part number 0261204946 which I think is a Bosch M 1.5.5

I am having trouble finding a part as google is taking me to pages with lots of tech specs and I am also not sure if I should go for a brand new one or get a second hand one. I looked on ebay but the part numbers don't match.

I am having so many problems with this car it is infuriating, when it rains it pours eh :)

Thanks
 

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Where about are you?
You cannot use an ecu from another car as they are coded.
If you need one though(new or used) we can help.
Give us a call.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh forgot to mention the faulty relay part no. is 46520412.

I can't seem to find this on google either lol
 

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Highly unlikely to be the ECU. It will still be those fuses and relays by the battery (aka the BBOB). If you do a search for BBOB on here and also on Alfa145.com you will see that it's one of the most common causes of intermittent starting problems.

You need to clean up all the fuses and relay connectors (including the connectors in the block that the fuses /relays actually plug into). Also try to tighten the spade connectors inside the block so they get a tighter grip on the fuse/relay connections. Use something like scotchbrite to clean the connectors so they're sparking. Then use some electrical contact grease or vaseline before reassembling. If in doubt just completely rewire the BBOB.

It's a 99% certainty that bad connections in the BBOB are the cause of your intermittent starting problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi,

I see what you mean. I had a look at the connector on the relay (the black box that pops out) and the connectors weren't to great. A silly question but what is Scotchbrite and where do I get it. I had a look on google but got about 5000 products to choose from came up, is it some kind if cleaning liquid or a scratch pad of some kind?

Just tested my car this morning and it started straight away, it flat out refused to start yesterday. I checked the connector on the orange coil thing (in the photo below) and it was def making contact fine and disconnecting when the ignition was off. I left it running for a few minutes and then it cut out again while idle. The ignition was still on so I checked the contact again and it was still ok, it hadn't disconnected.

Thanks

Some photos:

Image058.jpg

Image059.jpg
 

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By "Scotchbrite", I mean the abrasive cleaning scourer pads (see HERE).

It looks like someone has already made an attempt to rewire that fuse box because with the exception of the black relay, all the others just have normal spade connectors plugged onto the bottom of them. On a standard setup there should be holders mounted to the bracket for all the relays & fuses like the one the black relay is plugged into (see this picture and this picture). The order of the relays/fuses and what each one is for is described in this post. The two important ones are the middle two (Main Engine Relay and Fuel Pump Relay). If the contact in any of the relays look like this one then you need to clean the contacts. Also, all your relays need to have the red or black covers on to prevent them from corroding inside so if any do not have covers you need to replace them.

I guess it's possible that someone just hasn't made a very good job of the rewiring.

If you're 100% sure the problem is not to do with the BBOB and you find the car is difficult to start (or will not start) when hot but will start fine when it's cooled down then the problem is a faulty crank sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi,

Thanks for your help :)

I am a little concerned that my picture looks nothing like yours and that someone has already messed about with it, it has none of the fuses in it like in yours. How can it possibly run like that :confused:

I will give replacing the crankshaft sensor a try as when I started it this morning it was fine then cut out after a few minutes and again after leaving it a few hours I tried again and it was fine and hasn't cut out since, it just sat there idle for about 20 minutes and wouldn't cut out .

Is this what I need to buy? - http://www.onlineautomotive.co.uk/product_details.php?search_type=P&pr_id=58254&se_pc_id=2&se_sc_id=21&se_ft_id=1&se_ma_id=2&se_mo_id=7&se_es_id=23&se_bt_id=12&se_yr_id=51&se_pr_ref=

I don't think I will try replacing it myself as it seems quite difficult from the posts on this site, especially for a novice like me. Might be best to let the garage take care of it.

Thanks
 

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The lack of fuses in yours isn't a problem and the relay is probably the immobiliser relay, to see if it's working just turn the key and watch the "CODE" symbol, does it extinguish after 3 seconds? It should. But if the car is turning over and not firing then I would presume it was the crank sensor at fault and this would have been your problem from the very beginning, I'm affraid Burnham is a bit of a trek for me atm, but if you can get the car up to Chippenham then Ican take a good look at it for you and sort it properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Smacky,

Thanks for the offer :)

I have taken it to a garage this morning and they are going to do some diagnostics to see if they can find the problem, I have advised them of what I think it could be including the crankshaft sensor so hopefully they can sort it. I would happily drive it to Chippenham but I don't want to get stuck half way there, especially as it won't start again for about a day if it does stop ;)

I am glad the fuses missing isn't a problem, it just seemed a little odd lol. When i turn the ignition on the CODE symbol does go out so that is working fine.

I am having so many problems with this car, it's quite sad cos I love driving it. There is this problem with the engine, the steering problem where it veers to the right, the problem with the brakes squeaking (although I have been advised I need new brakes) and the problem with the electrics or fuse box which makes the wipers start randomly (even though I got a new wiper relay). I tried to get the fuse box out to have a look but didn't get very far. There are also a few minor problems that are trivial, such as the front grill being cracked, the fuel flap is broken (I have the parts for these they just need to be fitted) and the paintwork is chipped and fading (my fault for not looking after it properly). There is also a clunk sound when I sometimes lift my foot of the clutch but that could be my driving and lastly there is sometimes a knocking sound when I go over a bump, sounds like the suspension.

I don't think I have done a very good job looking after it as when I got the car it a very fast and responsive, when I put my foot down it flew and sometimes even pinned me to my seat and the steering was spot on. Now when I floor it doesn't feel as powerful and the steering doesn't respond as well. It might sound weird but when I drive it it just doesn't feel right and I would love to get it back to its best but I think that would cost me a lot of money I don't have :(

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I got a call back from the garage this afternoon saying that their diagnostic machine can't communicate with my car so they are getting a specialist to come in on Thursday and check it out. I bet that's gonna cost me an arm and a leg :(
 

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Is the garage an Alfa or Italian car dealer / specialist? If not then the liklihood is that they either don't know how to connect their equipment up or they are connecting it to the wrong socket (the ABS diag socket no doubt instead of the ECU diag socket). Find out which connctor they're trying to use. It should be the one on top of the left side suspension strut (as looking in from the front of the car). The socket on the other suspension strut is the ABS socket.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi,

No they are not a specialist, i don't know of any specialists in this area so I took it to a garage based on recommendation. I will see what they say on Thursday.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi,

They finally got round to fixing it on Monday.

The problem was with the wiring in the BBOB, they said that someone had a go at wiring it themselves and made a bit of a mess of it and that it was loose. They rewired it and charged me £40 to get the guy out to do the diagnostics and £35 labour + VAT which came to £86.25. Not bad :)

It looks a lot more professional and there's even some fuses in there now lol.

Hopefully that was definitely the problem and I don't end up stranded somewhere if it cuts out again.

Thanks for your help guys :thumbs:
 

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The BBOB strikes again :D As said before, it's nearly always the cause of intermittent starting problems.

Anyway, glad you finally got it sorted :thumbs:
 
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