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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone come across this before;

Driving on the motorway on Monday in All weather mode. Warning beep, all weather unavailable followed by handbrake, hill start and power steering or what ever the exact warning titles are. Steering went a bit stiff then altogether locked. Got towed away and under warranty the Alfa dealer replaced a split steering fluid pipe. Great news and happily I drove off to work. On my way home exactly the same resulting in steering so stiff again almost locked, again on motorway. Now I'm told it needs a complete new steering column.

can't work out why they thought the pipe had sorted it, the dealer is mortified and very apologetic and so they should be. Result is I now don't want to drive my beloved mito until I can understand how this could have happened. I'm the only driver and only do motorways, unaware of driving in any pot holes etc - what do others think.

Alfa have to come out now either tues or thurs next week to authorise the repair as it's over 2 years old. It's a 59 plate 1.3 jtdm 42k not a spot of bother until now.

Need to get my confidence back or it's going, I do 500 miles a week commuting. Want to love my car and alfas again particularly as we were going shopping for another mito or julietta to replace our other car.

Before you think I'm a bit of a wimp I can confirm I am so please do point it out to me, husband doesn't want be to swap my car cos he knows he wont be able to get a new one too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well they definitely said they replaced a pipe which had split to do with the power steering - does it have a pipe to do with that. I'll go ape with them if they've fobbed me off the first time. I have asked to see the parts they replaced both times when I pick it ip so they can explain exactly what's happened.

Please advise your last comment was interesting.
 

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Well they definitely said they replaced a pipe which had split to do with the power steering - does it have a pipe to do with that. I'll go ape with them if they've fobbed me off the first time. I have asked to see the parts they replaced both times when I pick it ip so they can explain exactly what's happened.

Please advise your last comment was interesting.
It has electronic power steering integrated into the steering column so there are no pipes used as in a hydraulic system.

What dealer?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm going to phone them at 8 when they open to ask what part they replaced. A west Yorkshire main dealer, narrows it done to 1 I think!
 

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This problem is well known with the electric power steering and there have been threads on here before. It can be costly as the coloum itself costs around 700-800 plus fitting; basically its a problem with the sensor's in the coloum. Had two failures on my old grande puntp sporting that uses the same coloum, one going around a roundabout, I couldnt even turn the steering wheel so I know what your saying and how dangerous it is.

If its out of warrenty these are a good company, you can get a local indie garage to strip the coloum out and send it off to them and they will test the coloum and replace faulty parts with uprated parts.

Remanufactured Electric Power Steering and Electric Hydraulic Power Steering
 
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We had this happen to our car a couple of times, load of error messages and no power steering. Dealers calibrated the steering coloumn sensors and it hasn't happened again.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys I knew a few of you would know about it. I phoned the garage and the pipe to do with power steering when I asked the part number is technically known as a tube! They will phone me with more details on Monday.

It is under warranty and Alfa uk phoned me last week keen to find out whether my dealer was sorting out the problem ok. Do you think I've been fobbed off with " we replaced a pipe to do with the power steering which had frozen", I'm thinking I might have been!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Read this it's unbelievable.

So the pipe which was replaced the dealer says is the water drainage pipe and explained how the dripping water can cause error messages. This was changed and nothing showed up on the computer so let's all assume it's ok.

Obviously I know all about water drainage problems- we all do on here thanks to the forum. I made it clear that I thought it was unacceptable that they change a part with nothing to do with the steering but they are sticking to their original diagnosis that it could have been the water drainage pipes which could have caused an alternator problem. I explained that I wouldn't have got off the drive and the fact that I broke down 20 miles into a journey on a morning when it was not freezing elimainated that as a cause. I disagreed.

I've felt I have had no option but to raise a call with Alfa uk crm team.
 
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Read this it's unbelievable.

So the pipe which was replaced the dealer says is the water drainage pipe and explained how the dripping water can cause error messages. This was changed and nothing showed up on the computer so let's all assume it's ok.

Obviously I know all about water drainage problems- we all do on here thanks to the forum. I made it clear that I thought it was unacceptable that they change a part with nothing to do with the steering but they are sticking to their original diagnosis that it could have been the water drainage pipes which could have caused an alternator problem. I explained that I wouldn't have got off the drive and the fact that I broke down 20 miles into a journey on a morning when it was not freezing elimainated that as a cause. I disagreed.

I've felt I have had no option but to raise a call with Alfa uk crm team.

What year buid is your car?

Ours had the modified drain pipe done at the factory and is a 2010 build.
So if your car is a 2010 plate or later.........................
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's a 59 jtdm, I was told the drainage problem didn't affect diesels when I asked on the main thread last year, but we swapped the pipes just incase and checked no water was dripping. The alternator was charging, it was the first thing the Aa man checked and ruled out alternator problems when the steering went the first time.
 
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This problem is well known with the electric power steering and there have been threads on here before. It can be costly as the coloum itself costs around 700-800 plus fitting; basically its a problem with the sensor's in the coloum. Had two failures on my old grande puntp sporting that uses the same coloum, one going around a roundabout, I couldnt even turn the steering wheel so I know what your saying and how dangerous it is.

If its out of warrenty these are a good company, you can get a local indie garage to strip the coloum out and send it off to them and they will test the coloum and replace faulty parts with uprated parts.

Remanufactured Electric Power Steering and Electric Hydraulic Power Steering
+1

Had it on our GP's and on my Mito. It is just a power steering failure but it fails in a way which makes it resist steering inputs, making it almost feel like it has locked. It can be fixed easily and once it is your car will be as good as new.

To be sure that the fix is properly done, when you pick up the car turn the steering wheel from lock to lock, ensuring that you hit the fully turned position on both sides. If your cars steering is still broken then it will give you the warning messages and the power steering will fail when you do this. Tried it with mine when it went wrong and if you restarted it, it would appear fixed, until you turned it to full lock, which would always cause it to fail.

Just for some piece of mind though - this type of power steering failure is common among a lot of manufactures, the Mini was highlighted for it on watchdog and the AA man that picked up my car said it was a common issue for all manufacture types. Personally it's not something that has put me off the car. It is disappointing at your dealer did not pick up on the issue though.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Im picking my car up tomorrow, it had a new steering column which didn't solve it and now the dealer is convinced it was water shorting out some wiring. Thanks mattgusto I'll check the full lock each way. They've had an Alfa uk technician out to it to get to the bottom of it. Hopefully that's sorts it now. The service manager has been dealing with the car and ensured me that they won't give it back until he's happy with it. Let's hope it's been sorted this time. Have to say alfa uk customer service have been very good at keeping in touch, i certainly wasnt expecting them to bother about my car so much. Thanks for help everyone.
 

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I had a similar problem except it didn't go as far as the steering locking up. The original thread: http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-mito/275773-asr-vdc-hill-holder-steering-corrector-unavailable.html

The problem started out with a bunch of error lights and mad beeping: ASR, VDC, hill holder, steering corrector, DNA all unavailable. It went from an intermittent fault when driving to showing up each time I started the car. The dealer diagnosed it as a steering angle sensor fault - the error showed up many times on Examiner - and the steering column was replaced under warranty. The sensor and power steering motor are all integrated into the column so it's a very expensive repair if the car is out of warranty.

If your car has a new steering column, it would probably include new steering sensors. The problem could very well be with the wiring if the fault is still showing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes it turned out to be the wiring. There is a loom of wires top right under the bonnet, you can just see them through the vent. It was a return one which was partially corroded. All washed and valeted and looking great. I was beginning to really like the A3 S line I have been borrowing but I still love mine. I think the garage is glad to get rid of me but in the end they and Alfa have been more than ok.
 
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