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I own a 1991 Alfa Romeo 164 Lusso, It's a great car but I've recently run into a pair of problems that have honestly stumped me. The first problem is with the electric, the stereo to be exact. I have an aftermarket stereo that has served me very well for a while now but one night I came home in the car and the stereo was working perfectly the entire night. The next day I get into the car turn it on and go to turn the stereo on and nothing happens. Not even an attempt to turn on it just remains completely dead, that day I spent a lot of time going through and checking every fuse in the car except a few in the trunk and one all the way up in the steering column that I couldn't quite get to, I ended up finding two damaged ones and replaced both of them but the stereo still did not turn on, I found the fuse specifically for the radio and replaced it even though it didn't seem damaged, nothing. I removed the stereo and looked behind it, I found one wire coming off the back of it that was not connected to anything so I looked around behind the radio but didn't find any dangling wires that might be able to connect to that wire, I checked all the other wires leading off the back of the radio and they all seemed fully connected and in tact from what I could tell, So I'm stumped, I don't know what could be causing the problem let alone how to fix it and get power back to the stereo.

My second issue is that the car runs hot, which is okay and has been okay for a while, until recently it has been getting super hot, the weather has cooled down significantly in my area so its not the weather, but now I go on a 5 minute drive to the store and by the time I get home the temperature gage is pushing the max and when I open the hood and oil cap smoke pours out along with a hissing sound. I replaced coolant a little while ago and I just topped off brake fluid and power steering fluid today. The oil level which I checked about a week ago was fine then and it still looks fine now, I'm wondering if it could be a problem with a worn piston ring or valve stem but I figured I would see if anyone could throw any other ideas out there on what it could be and what they think I should do about it. Anyways sorry for the essay but I love and care about maintaining this car to the best of my ability
 

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Have you checked the power wire to the radio with a VOM to see if there is 12v power there when the ignition key is turned on? If you do, it just might be that the radio died? That unconnected wire might be power for a power actuated antenna. Do you have one, or not?

The engine problem might be that the radiator fan is not turning on when needed, maybe because the big strap 40A fuse on the lhs firewall has failed? Check it by removing it to see if it is two pieces, as commonly happens with the OEM fuse. The slightly longer but very similar Honda strap fuse, available at any car parts store, is much longer lasting since you have to put a stress relieving bend in it to fit.
 

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Will, check out this thread regarding your radio power supply problem:


Hope this helps, George
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Will, check out this thread regarding your radio power supply problem:


Hope this helps, George
okay thank you
 

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Have you checked the power wire to the radio with a VOM to see if there is 12v power there when the ignition key is turned on? If you do, it just might be that the radio died? That unconnected wire might be power for a power actuated antenna. Do you have one, or not?

The engine problem might be that the radiator fan is not turning on when needed, maybe because the big strap 40A fuse on the lhs firewall has failed? Check it by removing it to see if it is two pieces, as commonly happens with the OEM fuse. The slightly longer but very similar Honda strap fuse, available at any car parts store, is much longer lasting since you have to put a stress relieving bend in it to fit.
I have no antenna, I plan on taking it in for an oil change to fix the overheat problem so when I do that I'm going to check to see if the stereo is getting power at all, if it is then the stereo itself is just busted but if it isn't I'm going to have to look at all the wires and find the problem, as far as my radiator fan I have a manual switch for it inside the car and I always have it on, I'll double check today to make sure it runs properly but I believe the issue to be with the oil itself just because of how absurdly quick it overheats, thanks
 

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Important item first cooling fan system you do need it working to prevent blowing head gasket. Aftermarket radio issue not my paygrade.

Try this essay on for size for cooling fan issue: Simplified Troubleshooting of the Alfa Romeo 164 Cooling...
Hi yeah I have a manual switch inside the car for the fan, I'll double check to make sure it works properly but now I believe the problem to be the oil which has gone bad due to it overheating a while ago and now can't disperse heat properly so I'm going to just get an oil change asap
 

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I doubt that unless it is mixed with water and choco milk. Did you all bleed the coolant system properly at bleed plug on top of thermostat to get air lock out of engine block after changing hoses? That bleeder should be opened enough to let air out as coolant tank being filled BUT with rags under it to keep coolant off belts.

Note: If OEM brass bleed plug us 6-point 14mm socket not 12-point.
 

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I doubt that unless it is mixed with water and choco milk. Did you all bleed the coolant system properly at bleed plug on top of thermostat to get air lock out of engine block after changing hoses? That bleeder should be opened enough to let air out as coolant tank being filled BUT with rags under it to keep coolant off belts.

Note: If OEM brass bleed plug us 6-point 14mm socket not 12-point.
No all I've done for my coolant recently was topped it off because I noticed it was low, apart from that the reason I believe that's the case is because before that problem was occurring I got stuck in traffic on a pretty hot day and the car overheated for a while, as soon as I could do so I pulled over and let it cool down but the damage had already been done, If changing the oil itself doesn't resolve the problem then I reckon the valve stems or piston rings became damaged in the heat and now oil can seep into the engine where it shouldn't be, I also get a shake when idling that I didn't get before and my check engine light came on after I got out of the traffic I was stuck in, the only reason I don't think it has anything to do with the coolant system is that over a week before I started having this problem I had topped my coolant off and everything was fine, the problems only started after the traffic jam that overheated the car for a while
 

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In addition to checking that the radiator fan switches on check that you have the two speeds working. The wire resistor on the radiator shroud often fails in the low speed side. This means the engine gets quite a bit hotter before the fan switches on. Running the AC should trigger the fan also. There are also two relays to check I believe.

Don't rule out the thermostat sticking partly closed.

Once you eliminate the radiator fan circuits as causing your problem then start thinking about fitting a new thermostat.

My car runs quite hot when ambient temperatures approach 30C (about 90F) and I suspect the low speed fan resistor has failed again.

As long as the high speed fan setting works you should not be overheating.

In that case suspect the thermostat.
 

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"I believe the problem to be the oil which has gone bad due to it overheating a while ago and now can't disperse heat properly so I'm going to just get an oil change asap"

I doubt that as well. I strongly suspect the oil is just fine. The engine overheated first for a reason, and you need to find out why. Still sounds like the radiator fan didn't come on.
 
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