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I put a 100 enjoyable miles on the new Q tonight and have a couple of questions to ask.
Let me say that there is a difference between the 94Q and the 95Q. It is amazing how each car has its own personality.

Question #1...at 3000 rpm in 5th what is the result speed? How many miles/hr per 1000 rpm? My wife in the Acura says I was doing well over 80mph. I was just going right by traffic like it was no big deal and I had it parked on 70 mph. :) Something is odd as my watch on the measured mile said I was doing 70 (50 sec).

The struts seem to be stuck in sport mode. Doesn't make a difference whether I put the switch in auto or sport mode, the setting remains the same-firm!. Is there a fuse to the struts? I was thinking that if a fuse is out or a relay is jammed, then it will stay in sport mode. Doesn't make for the best ride on the freeway!
 

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Wife drove the car from Sacramento, so she wouldn't know where the button is to change the setting. I messed with it this morning and tonight on the way back from Orland. The switch light changes but the setting on the struts doesn't.
 

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The electronic strut controls do measure the resistance of the strut solenoid, so it can't be that the struts are disconnected. If someone _did_ simply disconnect them and install a few ohm resistor to fool the controller, then this would happen. Sort of like when previous owners slice out the brake pad wear sensors and splice the wires together to keep them from indicating any problems (or notifying the driver of brake malfunctions). Check the strut by having someone actuate the switch while you are listening to the struts to hear the solenoid pop.
 

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My 94LS speedometer reads 4% high at about an actual 75 mph, according to the GPS, reading about 78-79 indicated. I would assume that the Q may also be about 4% high (a designed in speedo error?), this error being independent of the differential ratio if Alfa otherwise compensated in the speed drive for the ratio change which is different for the Q from the LS, provided the as used tire dia is not different from the OEM.

Does the little red shock system status light (between the "auto" and "sport" buttons) come on and then go out when you start the car? Or is it off all the time, or on all the time?
 

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My 94LS speedometer reads 4% high at about an actual 75 mph, according to the GPS, reading about 78-79 indicated. I would assume that the Q may also be about 4% high (a designed in speedo error?), this error being independent of the differential ratio if Alfa otherwise compensated in the speed drive for the ratio change which is different for the Q from the LS, provided the as used tire dia is not different from the OEM.

Does the little red shock system status light (between the "auto" and "sport" buttons) come on and then go out when you start the car? Or is it off all the time, or on all the time?
Yes. Remember this statement to when you get pulled over for doing 85mph or something like that :) Well officer I only showed 75 MPH on "my" speedometer.
Mention to the officer that most speedometers have a margin of error around 5-7MPH +/- off.
Plus the LS/Q/Q4 use the same speedometer!

Jason
 

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Fortunately, the speedo reads high, so that you are thinking you are going faster than you actually are. We would put the speedo at 78 for 70 speed limit, and 88 for 80 speed limit. Close enough to avoid too much trouble, although have to admit I don't know how much leeway the cops will give you at 80 speed limit compared to say at 70 mph limit.

The story in the old days was that the reason all Italian car speedo's read high was that the Italian Gov mandated the high reading error to slow down Italian drivers. Don't know if it was true, but all my Alfas read rather high.
 

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The black Q is dead on from what I can measure with the mile markers. The white Q I think it is dead on also. I need to know when AAA is bringing the speedo check machine this far north so I can be sure what the odo is reading.
Little red stut light? Hmm, never really paid that much attention to see if there is a light there. I know there is a light to indicate which mode your in. I will check tomorrow.
 

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On the 12V S cars, and presumably on the 24V Q cars, the red light is an error light. When the ECU detects a fault, it lights up. It also lights up at startup as an idiot light function test. If the car isn't going to auto mode, then the idiot light may be burnt out and the ECU may simply not be actuating any of the internal solenoids in the struts. You can test this by tapping into the strut wiring with a voltmeter. This is non destructive by putting small wires into the strut connectors and measuring the voltage when you are trying to put the car into auto mode. It was either Jon or TaeJin(sp?) who made a harness to tap into these signals and light up LEDs on a small panel he made, showing what the automatic system was doing to each strut during "interesting" maneuvers.

Michael
 

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I put a 100 enjoyable miles on the new Q tonight and have a couple of questions to ask.
Let me say that there is a difference between the 94Q and the 95Q. It is amazing how each car has its own personality.


What differences are there besides EGR, passenger side airbag, updated steering wheel and auto-dimming rear view mirror? Everything else is the same AFAIK. Why would they have different driving characteristics??
 

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observations

my 95 LS automatic indicates 72 mph at 3K rpm. I think its high by probably 6 or 7 mph. I'll try to check the 5 speed this weekend to see. There is something in the manual about rpm/speed IIRC

re: diff personalities. My cars, both 95's have very dfferent personalities, (expected I guess 5 speed to auto). Recently, new A arms and bushings, and lower ball joints were put on the auto. It drives like a totally different car! Talk about personality change-- I guess I had gotten used to a little slop over time and man, once the new parts were in, it was like driving a completely different car! I also really think that mileage may play a big part in the personality of the car-- the more mature, the more sedate!
 

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Fortunately, the speedo reads high, so that you are thinking you are going faster than you actually are. We would put the speedo at 78 for 70 speed limit, and 88 for 80 speed limit. Close enough to avoid too much trouble, although have to admit I don't know how much leeway the cops will give you at 80 speed limit compared to say at 70 mph limit.

The story in the old days was that the reason all Italian car speedo's read high was that the Italian Gov mandated the high reading error to slow down Italian drivers. Don't know if it was true, but all my Alfas read rather high.
You know I am not sure what it is with this car but anytime that I have been pulled over they all look the car over, talk with me a bit and let me go with a warning.

As of 1997, federal standards in the United States allowed a maximum 5% error on speedometer readings (per "Auto Tutor", American Automobile Association of California magazine, Oct. 17, 1997). Aftermarket modifications, such as different tire and wheel sizes or different differential gearing, can cause speedometer inaccuracy.

Like I mentioned Speedometers are not totally accurate, and most speedometers have tolerances of some 10% plus or minus due wear on tires as it occurs. Modern speedometers are said to be accurate within 5% but as this is legislated accuracy, this may not be entirely correct. This can make it difficult to accurately stay on the speed limits imposed. So most countries allow for this known variance when using RADAR to measure speed. Although levels of some 3 KPH, or 3% are also used, where tough enforcement is used. This causes many arguments due to motorists complaining that they were not doing the speed as reported. Revenue is being increasingly blamed for these stricter measures. There are strict United Nations standards in place but it seems not being enforced leaving this matter in limbo for many countries.
 

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That happened to us in Texas. Got pulled over in the middle of nowhere (Texas!!) but a cop who said I apparently didn't slow down or move over a lane when passing a cop car parked on the shoulder. What? Never heard of that in Washington. Gave me a warning, but finally admitted that he had never seen a car like the LS in Texas. Had to take a look at it. Thanks a lot.
 

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Del, that means you were SPEEDING! Lol :p

Police officers generally give you a 10 - 12mph grace. But, it really depends on the area. I-5, you can probably get away with 80 in 70mph zone. In front of a school, you will NOT get away with doing 35 in a 25 zone. In fact, the citation will be enormous.
 

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Nah, I never go faster than about 6-7 mph over the speed limit, don't have much need to give these guys any excuse. And, only on highways. My relatives in Texas normally drive about 90-100 mph on highways with speed limits of 70-80 mph. You would die of old age otherwise. This cop in Texas who harassed me was standing outside giving another driver a ticket when I drove by, he must have really run to his car to stop me. At the time I had slowed to the speed limit as I passed him. I couldn't believe it when he finally admitted that he just had to see the car.

I find that it doesn't take much to make these cars feel different from each other. My dealer is always surprised when he drives my LS, as it is quite different than what he is used to.
 

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G'Day Jason,

Like I mentioned Speedometers are not totally accurate, and most speedometers have tolerances of some 10% plus or minus due wear on tires as it occurs. .............Although levels of some 3 KPH, or 3% are also used, where tough enforcement is used. This causes many arguments due to motorists complaining that they were not doing the speed as reported. Revenue is being increasingly blamed for these stricter measures.
You must be talking about us. The Australian Design Rules (ADR's) for motor vehicles only require an accuracy of plus or minus 10% however in my state (Victoria) we now have a 3kph speeding tolerance. That's about the speedo needle width! We also have many many mobile speed cameras (see pics) and trip time cameras on some roads (cameras either end with the average speed calculated).

My 164 speedo reads 5kph under the actual speed and I found this out halfway down one of the trip time roads. Luckily I pulled out my old GPS just for the heck of it. I stopped for a snack to make sure I avoided a fine.

There are strict United Nations standards in place but it seems not being enforced leaving this matter in limbo for many countries.
Can you tell me any more about this? Any links?
 

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Hi,

I am also having some questions on Q, but I didn't make notes of various rpms and relative speeds. As for my experience, I like 12V more than 24V, sure 24V has more power than 12V, but the traction is awful. The front wheels spin very very easily and on a windy roads if you try to drive it fast, it goes out of the lanes easily and the handling gets bad. 24V is the best when u r doing straight line and on a rolling start. The gear box feels like it's not on par with the engine specs. Feels like it is not having overdrive gear or something or it should be having a 6spd in it. Whenever I am doin any speed in 5th gear, I always feel like changing it to higher gear than 5th.

Coming to suspensions, I am also confused about their functioning, I don't see any noticeable difference switching b/n auto and sport, but the sport dash light comes on when I select sport mode, that all I can see and the controlled dampening suspension light doesn't come on which makes me think that the system is good.

-Pavan
 

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Pavan, It is possible that your struts have leaked some oil or are otherwise weak. On the 12V 164S cars I've driven (two only) there is a distinct difference in "seat of the pants" smoothness between Sport and Auto modes. The Sport mode is a bit stiffer, giving more road feel to your seat, and there is a bit less roll in cornering in sport mode. You should be able to feel it when letting someone else drive and you shift Sport/Auto with your eyes closed. Particularly on a rough stretch of road.

If you can't feel it, then either the struts are loose from lack of oil or the strut controls are disabled due to a system fault and the error light is out. I can't remember just now, but I believe that when the 12V S cars have the error light on and are stuck in sport mode, the light will signal a switch to Auto (but it's lying). If the red (on 12V S cars) error lamp is burnt out, you'll not know what is happening. Look for the red light at engine startup. It's part of the idiot light test suite.

Again, I know nothing about 24V Q cars, only 12V S cars and it's been while since I've seen the error behavior. But worn out struts do make the car float. The strut system can't test damping, only the function of the internal solenoid and the car's special sensors. I'd think that the float might be due to funky struts or possibly loose bushings in the steering system, like maybe the A-arms.

Michael
 

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Also the mileage is awful... is it the case with these Qs??? Thank god I didnt sell my L, its a very good car, smooth, disciplined and gives relaxed feeling while driving it and at the same time kicks out the dust when I tell it to do so :p.

-Pavan
 
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