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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I'm wondering if anyone can help me please?

I had an incident on 2nd Jan, I drove over a piece of wood which hit the underside of the car and the red light came on - I managed to drive the car 200 miles or so back home from my holiday (!) but it kept stalling at lights/roundabouts, the revs were up and down. I took it to my Alfa owner friend who runs a small garage business and he wasn't sure what the problem was - that cost £30. He then took the car to a guy who had the diagnostic software - another £30. It came up with an error for 3 sensors, which will cost around £25, £90 and £300 to replace. He replaced the £25 first and gave me the car back saying it was a little better. Nothing had changed. I called one of the recommended Alfa specialists on the forum and they suggested changing the idle air control valve. I have had problems with this in the past and my alfa friend said it would cost around £400 to fix - so I ignored it (it was fine after a clean). Anyhow, I looked up the BOSCH PN 0280140553 and found one for £39 + VAT -so promptly ordered it. I fitted this today and there's no change.

I spoke to Meridian Milano in Portsmouth about the 2nd sensor costing £90 - which I believe to be the air temperature sensor. According to Alfa friend this is fitted inside a pipe, so you have to buy the whole pipe? Meridian weren't sure what Alfa friend was taking about, they have a record of the quotes given to Alfa friend but can't see anything for £90. So they have quoted me £330 to fix the air temperatore sensor.

After spending time reading through the forums, it looks as though the sensor is situated inside the MAF, I've also tried unplugging this to see if it makes any difference - there isn't any. Some posts suggest that it's actually the lambda sensor with the symptons I have rather than a MAF problem, i.e stalling at standstill. Alfa friend said that the diagnostic check didn't show a lambda sensor error.

My Alfa friend has now gone on holiday for 2 weeks and I've already had to commute to work by bus for 1 month now and I'm getting pretty fed up! Sorry for the long winded vague explanation, but I've already spent loads getting the car upto scratch before Christmas - so driving over the piece of wood really was the last straw for me!

Any help/suggestions greatly appreciated, thanks, Suse
 

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Phase 1 twinspark or V6? Did the wood hit under the passenger footwell? If so, I'd check the connector on the ECU at the base of the A pillar behind the glovebox. It's a possibility that the impact has partially unseated the ECU connector. The locking mechanism should ensure the connector stays put, but ...

It's a quick free check with a free fix if it is the issue.

It's the grey box at the extreme left in this photo :
http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/m615/pkr1/Alfa Romeo GTV Phase 1 - Retro Fit Climate Control/3 Installing the climate control unit/3-1 Pulling it apart/2011-11-12_08-16-56_DSC_0061.jpg

( It may look slightly different depending on age/engine ).
 

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Laurence at Auto Lusso does a Saturday Surgery to diagnose faults and rarely charges just to diagnose, with the idea that you will hopefully go back and have a service or other work done. He is a really top guy and has brought my spider back to health for me. It might be worth a trip over on the ferry rather than wasting more money on possible fixes. He is also an expert on finding a good cost solution. My MAF died Alfa want £200 for the MAF, he used a second hand but nearly new sensor from a 2lt 147 cost £25.
 

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Suse, i hate to tell you but your "Alfa friend" hasn't a clue what he/she is talking about. A crank sensor is another reason why the car may be stalling? If it stalls when hot and then refuses to restart until the engine has cooled then the crank sensor could be the problem? But! from your description it sounds like the lambda sensor has been stretched by the plank of wood. The sensor is screwed into the front pipe and the whole pipe does not:tut: need to be renewed at all, a competent mechanic would quite easily be able to remove this sensor all he needs is a 22mm "Crows Foot" socket. You need, as mentioned above a half decent Alfa mechanic to properly diagnose the car rather than randomly replacing sensors as this is a very expensive solution.

PS: From Suse's Avatar it looks like a P1 Twinspark!?
 

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I had a similar experience in my old P1, bounced the car up in the air, it landed with a crunch and stopped as the fuel cut off switch had activated!
After resetting that it ran terribly and I thought all sorts of bad things, once the panic had subsided I tried an ECU reset as something had obviously gone out of sync...much to my relief it worked and the engine ran smoothly again.

Worth a try...and free of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi everyone, thanks for your replies.

Yes GT Paddy I've heard about Lawrence, I tried to call him but the phone number on their website goes to Auto Lusso nr Dunstable, I described the symptoms - they advised me to change the idle air control valve. The last few times I've not been able to get the car started and called the RAC/AA out, they have all pointed to this because it was held together by a piece of wire! So it did need addressing and I was secretly hoping that it might put it all right! Good idea going to the Saturday surgery, thanks. (Annoying that I would have driven straight past that from Devon to IOW!)

Ian - Symptons are starting up from cold it won't hold it's revs. I can hold the accelerator down for a bit and when I let go the revs will continually go up/down or it will cut out completely. Last night it started after about 5 attempts and cut out once after 20 minutes of driving. I must have been going 5mph downhill when it cut out, lights went out and steering wheel locked up. It started again straight away and parked OK without cutting out.

Yep, I've got the Twinspark not V6. Thanks for the photo pkr. The branch I went over was on drivers side, it is possible it flicked anywhere underneath the car though.

Thanks for all your input guys, invaluable as always. My money's on the lambda sensor but I shall try and get it over to Auto Lusso.
Cheers, Suse
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh OK, thanks Alfa Seltzer - yes panic is defaintely a familiar word owning this car!
 

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The "from cold" bit makes me think it might not be the lambda as this is ignored until the car is up to temp. But then I`m not sure what would give those symptoms either :)

Autolusso is the best bet I think, it needs someone who knows their stuff to give it a once over, physical damage should be easy to spot?
 

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Fuel lines are on the driver's side. But again, the symptoms don't seem to fit a restricted fuel line.
 

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Yes, do a search on here for ECU Reset and you'll get loads of info.

Sorry, I can't remember it off the top of my head :eek:
 

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I agree with autolusso guy, If after start up you car doesn't idle correctly ie revs going up and down on it's own and then cutting out, it is usually the idle contol value (it shouldn't be held on with a piece of wire) or leaks within the air intake system from air filter to throttle body, check for splits in the hoses and that the clips around the hoses are tight. If your car is a phase 1, there is also a temperature sensor within the the rubber hose from the maf to the resonator box. If you stand at the front of the car, follow up from the maf it's on the left of that first section of hose. You need to get someone to help you who knows what they are doing. You've probably spent money on parts that were not needed. Isn't there anyone near Suse that could help??
 

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As an aside, if you are in Southampton area (or anywhere really) then there are plenty of members on here who will do stuff like read fault codes for free.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks.
If I've already paid my 'Alfa friend' £60 to find out what the faults are and he's got the diagnostic report, then shouldn't I get a print out or something to show me what the faults are? Then maybe I can email it to Lawrence at Bournemouth perhaps?
 

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Yeah, you just need the list of codes (like say P1131) which will give some clue - but can often be as misleading as they are helpful. I don't think the Phase 1 GTV has an OBD port to make diagnostics a simple job you can do with a phone, but if you have a laptop then I have a cable you can use to talk to it.
 

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As mentioned by Ian, have a good search around for the physical damage. You would think something would be visibly damaged - all visible pipes and wires, lambda sensors screwed into exhaust, etc. Perhaps the timber got up into the engine bay? Do a search for the ecu reset procedure too. A diagnostic test will give you a list of fault codes if there are any. The tester should be able to read these out to you. Search for them on here and you can usually find out how people have dealt with them.
 
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