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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This car has been extremely quirky starting a year ago.
It would not start after being driven and turned off.
Usually no problem starting cold, after overnight.
-Julio, my mechanic and I replaced fuel pump relay, but the problem came back after about two weeks.
-We swapped the battery and the problem stayed away for two weeks and came back.
-We replaced the two sensors on the bell-housing and all was well for about two weeks.
-Then, suddenly, I drove the car on Saturday and left it parked. When I came to it on Monday morning, the dashboard lights were lit, but no power to start.
-I gave it a jump and it started. Drove to work in mid morning and parked it. At 5:00 PM as I came to it dashboard was pitch black. Got a jump and started it.
-Drove home and parked in the garage. Within less than two hours dashboard was without lights.
-(I installed the trickle charger a few a few months back.) After connecting the charger to power for about 15-16 hours I got absolutely no power in the battery. In other words it drains as fast or faster than it charges.
-Got a regular charger and rebuilt the power. After less than 45 minutes, after disconnecting the charger, I could see a loss of power by turning on ingnition.
-My wife alerted me to the hum from the rear right side of the car - the fuel pump.
-I disconneted the negative and the hum stopped.

Two major questions:

a, any gusses what may be wrong, and what is the right corrective action, and

b, am I likely have flooded a cylinder by constatly active pump causing me to have a hydraulic lock that may shatter my starter, something this car has done in the past?

Any and all opinions and advice will be welcome and highly appreciated.

Thanks,

Simon
 

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Try disconnecting the run relay while the battery is charged. IE no power to pumps. It sounds like you have a bad relay with shorted points, probably fried. I tried after market, then switched to Bosch due to problems.

Tackle one problem at a time. I've been fighting my 86 for over a year, fix a problem another pops up.
 

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looking at your list, I'd say Julio is draining your wallet. crank sensors for an electrical drain problem? It is very easy to leave the headlamps on this car causing the dashlights to stay lit, some where you may have a short. The correct fuel pump relay is important, go through the fusebox connections, the battery, body and engine connections, check the headlamp switch and its connections. It could be a bad ignition switch, I'd immediately add the auxiliary starter relay described in various threads. The fuel pump being on will not put any fuel in the cylinders with out the injectors pulsing, which doesn't happen till the motor spins.
 

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A common source of battery drain is the footwell lights. The light cover acts as a switch - tilt it one way for automatic (on & off with door open/closed), tilt it the other way for 'alwyas on' and in the middle for always off. Since they are not very bright and down in the footwell, if one were bumped to 'always on' it will drain the battery. (And once a battery has been drained it may never fully recover even if re-charged.)

Theoretically a stuck on fuel pump plus a stuck open fuel injector plus an open intake valve could result in a cylinder full of fuel. But practically speaking that seems unlikely. Once shut off (if the fuel pump were to shut off properly) the fuel rail can stay pressurized for quite a while. And we don't have a rash of hydro-locked Spiders.
 

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Actually it looks like what you really needed was a starter relay installed. The cold start, warm no-start issue is taken care of with the installation of a relay or the replacement of the ignition switch AND addition of a relay.

The new battery also plays to the ignition switch failing - where the older battery couldn't put out enough juice to bridge the decaying contacts inside the switch.

If you and your mechanic played around with the fuel pump circuit (relay), then the best starting place is there...


EDIT: ALSO, BOTH fuel pumps (the one in the tank) should be on - not just one. If its just one, that is even more reason to double check the wiring at the fuel pump or relay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for ideas and suggestions. Just about all of you are onto something.
Julio has been a gentleman when it comes to payments. He has refused to take any payment till we establish for good what this car's problems are.

The car did have a loose ignition connection which was taken care of. My sense is that the fuel pump relay is the first place to look at. My recollection is that both the fuse and the relay are under the panel, behind the passenger seat. The know-it-all acquaintance of mine insists that the relay should be easily accessible, i.e. either in the fuse panel, by driver's knee, or somewher in the engine compartment. What say you all?

I have thought of lights, both, headlights and dome, but have ruled those out. The car is in the garage and it is dark enough that the dome light on would show.

Pump relay is the top suspect.
My guess is I have to take off the ledge behind the seats and the side panel off to get to it. As I am writing the know-it-all called and suggested I may flood a cylinder if I have a leaking injector, which is not unheard off.

I welcome advice as to the easy location, diagnose, removal and replacement of the relay.

Thank you all,

Simon
 
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