Transmission?? knock - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Transmission?? knock

Dear friends,

Day before yesterday when I was driving my 164, the transmission warning light showed up. I stopped the car and since it was a leisurely drive, it could not be an overheat situation. So I pulled the dipstick and found that fluid was at or sliiiightly above min level at hot side. It was a Sunday so had no place to buy fluid. Therefore I drove it home which was only about 10km.

Next day morning, I took the other car and bought fluid, topped to level and started the 164. The warning light showed up and atf cooling fan came on.
So I disconnected and reconnected the battery to clear the warning.

Then there was no fan and no warning light and all went well. All the time shifting went smooth on all gears.

Today when I was driving, i could hear a tapping sound which sometimes came on slow part throttle acceleration and most surely when the foot is taken off the accelerator.

The tramsmission warning light too was ON once again. Still this happened with smooth driving on mountain roads so no any stop n go traffic.

The tapping sound isn't a metal clack or clang. Something like when someone taps foot on the floor board. A muffled tapping sound.

Shifting is smooth so this is really confusing. No fluid leaks and after I came home, checked and fluid level was there at the level it was before.

Is this symptom a known issue? This is 96 24V Super with ZF 4HP18EH automatic transmission. 124k kms on the odometer. ATF was chaged 2 years ago by myself and less than 1500km were driven since. ATF was BP Dex II.

Timing belt and water pump was changed last month. Temperatures and oil pressure all were normal.

Could this be something else? Where should I go from here? Please help.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 10:35 AM
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Is the A/T cooling fan running/making noise?

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
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Alfa Semi-Daily driver: USA model - BB2 1991 164S Black Beauty II ALFISTO [U]

[U] BB1 1991 164L w/S engine and A/T now excess to inventory [U]

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Is the A/T cooling fan running/making noise?
AT fan ran before I reset the battery. Doubtful whether it ran when the knock appeared.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Well friends, false alarm on one part...the tapping noise incrased to a point where I could recognize it as loose wheel nuts. Tightening them solved the knocking issue. Came with the warning light so I was confused.

However, the transmission light came up day before yesterday. AT cooling fan was running. Indicator was blinking. Link here:

Yesterday all went well with no light on dash.

Today once again the light came up but it was steadily on, (no blinking) once the car warmed up. It is extra hot here these days 33 celcius.

Checked fluid level when hot at park and engine running. It was 1mm less than max level at high temp scale. Trans runs smooth and no hiccups whatsoever.

What should I do next?


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 03:51 AM
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Have you ever thought with REALLY hot weather this maybe normal? Does fan starting running as soon as you turn on key and start car first thing in the morning?

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
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Alfa Semi-Daily driver: USA model - BB2 1991 164S Black Beauty II ALFISTO [U]

[U] BB1 1991 164L w/S engine and A/T now excess to inventory [U]

Daily driver and parts hauler but not car hauler 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7L H.O. V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Steve,

No the fan does not start. But when I am soon on to driving, the warning indicator comes on. However, it shifts without any problems but I am so worried. ATF cooling fan does come on.

Can this valve be the cause?
https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/sho....php?p=8208921

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuseetha View Post
Hi Steve,

No the fan does not start. But when I am soon on to driving, the warning indicator comes on. However, it shifts without any problems but I am so worried. ATF cooling fan does come on.

Can this valve be the cause?
https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/sho....php?p=8208921

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I would think if the A/T cooling fan comes on the thermostatic valve is working.
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Alfa Semi-Daily driver: USA model - BB2 1991 164S Black Beauty II ALFISTO [U]

[U] BB1 1991 164L w/S engine and A/T now excess to inventory [U]

Daily driver and parts hauler but not car hauler 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7L H.O. V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Steve,

Sorry it took time to reply. I had to have the car with my parents few weeks ago. Last week I visited them in my other car and started the 164, which was sitting over a week. As soon as it started, the transmission light came on and the ATF cooling fan too came on. No way the transmission is overheating just as I started it. Could it be because it had a fault recorded and acting up accordingly? If the fan is running and I am driving normally, could that damage the transmission as actually it's not overheating?
Appreciate your thoughts and suggestions

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 02:50 AM
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You have a strange event occurring. I don't have a clue as to what is causing that overheat light and fan to come like that. I might suggest you disconnect the battery negative cable for awhile to see if that will clear the transmission ECU of any faults and then see what happens when you reconnect and restart car.

Also you might want to check the electrical cable attached to top of tranny cover for cleanliness again when the battery cable disconnected.

Check for a shorted wire for cooling fan going to thermostatic valve and cooling lines on front of transmission.

I don't think fan running when tranny not overheated will NOT cause a problem.
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Alfa Semi-Daily driver: USA model - BB2 1991 164S Black Beauty II ALFISTO [U]

[U] BB1 1991 164L w/S engine and A/T now excess to inventory [U]

Daily driver and parts hauler but not car hauler 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7L H.O. V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 12:51 PM
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Does your mechanic or dealer have a Fiat-Lancia Tester with module M26A (for the ZF 4HP 18Q/EH transmission)? It probably would indicate the fault immediately as oil temp, oil temp sensor, relays, and fan operation are all parts of the testing routine. The tester can clear the faults as well. The attached description for the M39A module (similar to the M26A) gives you an idea of how the tester is used. It may be a simple as a shorted wire as Steve said or even a faulty oil temperature sensor.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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That tester is not available in the country unfortunately. All have OBD 2 scanners only.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Faulty oil temp sensor is a good possibility because the fan could be activating with a false signal. Would anyone have the resistance values of the sensor at known set of temps? Then I could check that.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisto Steve View Post
I might suggest you disconnect the battery negative cable for awhile to see if that will clear the transmission ECU of any faults and then see what happens when you reconnect and restart car.

Also you might want to check the electrical cable attached to top of tranny cover for cleanliness again when the battery cable disconnected.
I should try these first.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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I should try these first.


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Hi Steve,

I drove the car back to where I live. It was about 20km drive at night (mixed conditions of flat road fast driving, corners, hills and slopes) and it went without any issues and no indication of transmission light.

Then few days later, I drove it on a Sunday evening for a leisurely drive about 5km and here comes the transmission light and it's cooling fan.

Later I disconnected the top connector at the transmission like you said, sprayed contact cleaner and wiped both connector and pins with a cotton swab. Then started the car, still the fan and indicator was on as soon as I started on a cold engine. (forgot disconnecting battery that time)

Today I disconnected the battery, reconnected it and started it. No indicator or the fan.

What's left is to drive it around and report the findings.

Meanwhile, I read the Workshop manual and came across these two pages. I understood that if the transmission is experiencing a failure, there would be shifting issues and no display of the mode.

I also read that the temperature sensor is located within the transmission along with the solenoids, so it will not be a simple replacing like a water temp sensor.

Then what does it say on the next page? I simply cannot understand. Could you please explain to me?

Thank you so much
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 02:00 AM
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I hope your 164 is still behaving itself and the A/T is working fine.

I really can't add anything to the verbiage you posted from shop manual. There is a Marelli Tester that has a test cartridge for testing the electric controlled 164 LS(uper) ZF transmission but where you would find it and a technician to use and be able to troubleshoot your transmission issues I have no idea.

About the only advice I can offer you is if you haven't cleaned the electrical connector at transmission cover do it and changed the transmission fluid and cleaned the filter element I would do that.
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Alfa Semi-Daily driver: USA model - BB2 1991 164S Black Beauty II ALFISTO [U]

[U] BB1 1991 164L w/S engine and A/T now excess to inventory [U]

Daily driver and parts hauler but not car hauler 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7L H.O. V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"

Last edited by Alfisto Steve; 07-21-2019 at 02:04 AM.
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