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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

Though I signed up some time ago, this is my first post here. I drive a 94' 164 3.0 12v Super , european version. I've had this car only for 4months and I love it.Always wanted one. So far I've been able to solve all minor issues with info found on these sites, as well as digest.net , but now I think I need your help on a small problem. The car is really well maintained,clean and everything works fine ( apart from A/C, I'm leavig it till spring). Recently though, i noticed an intermittant loss of power conncted with a relay clicking somewhere behind speedo. It lasts for a split of a second and the car is driveable, but I expect it to get worse in the most unsuitable situation.

The worst thing is that I cannot find any dependencies, it happens after the car warms up a bit and usually under light accelleration, it must be some electrical issue but all the electrics work fine, gauges, climate control, radio etc. No other signs than 3 clicks and a very short loss of power. Then it could be fine for the next few kilometers.

So, does anyone know what the relay is? I suspect some ground connection, but which. I eliminated relays round the fuse cluster, it's none of them that clicks.
I can tell you that I did a lot of studying on the car, I mean cardisc,manual, faq, forums and all the stuff I could find while lookind for previous typical 164 issues like abs sensor or fuel smell or not working defroster. I've been able to solve them mostly thanks to you Guys, but this time I'm helpless.

I promise I will send some photos and descriptions soon
Please help,
E.T.
 

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On USA models book shows onlt 4 relays behind speedo: Q22 A/C clutch, I17/I25 Fog lights and I94 Defroster.

If Euro model has more I have no info to check on that. I would be suspect of your ignition switch as being possible candidate. On USA models you can run jumper between red wire and brown wire at connector to ignition switch under fuse panel door to right of steering column and see if that stops clicking and power lose.
 

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The clicking relay sounds like a symptom (as well as the power loss), of some other problem. Doesn't sound like the relay is the problem, in other words. Battery cables are clean and main ground wire clean to chassis, etc? If all the basics are sound than it could be an ignition switch problem as Alfisto Steve suggests. A common cause of a clicking relay behind the dash pod, that I have come across is, when someone installs an aftermarket radio that doesn't have enough built-in capacitance in it, the relay will cycle on and off continuously, but that doesn't jive with your simultaneous power loss problem and Steve is not showing a radio relay on the 94 behind the dash. But you can check and see if that is the relay that is clicking by simply running around with the radio off and see if the relay clicking goes away, but I think it is just a symptom of something else going on. Of the 4 relays Steve list, the A/C clutch relay is the only one that might effect the way the car runs, isn't there a signal wire from the A/C clutch that goes back to the ECU? Carefully trace your 12V A/C clutch wire and make sure it isn't grounding out somewhere. Just a thought. I guess in that case it would be the problem and not a symptom. Excuse me, I have a headache this morning. :(
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thank you for your replies,
Yes the battery is new and connections at least within my eyesight are clean.
Now I start to think the same- it is not the relay causing problems, but it can be a clue somehow.Steve, I assume that there are no other relays because according to those diagrams I just found, the rest of my connections e.g. fuse locations match exactly.
I'm going to look through diagrams and find sth in common between those relays and engine management.

thanks again,
E.T.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
But you can check and see if that is the relay that is clicking by simply running around with the radio off and see if the relay clicking goes away, but I think it is just a symptom of something else going on. Of the 4 relays Steve list, the A/C clutch relay is the only one that might effect the way the car runs, isn't there a signal wire from the A/C clutch that goes back to the ECU? Carefully trace your 12V A/C clutch wire and make sure it isn't grounding out somewhere.
Charles
Hi again,
I tried running the car with everything on and off, no dependencies as I said :( I haven't had the time to start tearing things apart yet, now I'm just looking into diagrams, but unfortunately I don't have the 94-95 cardisc, I just found some pages uder the link from previous post. I attach a picture for 94-95 relay locations because what wonders me is that It shows six of them by the steering column and I found only four in my car. One of those missing is I35 - key operated supply relay.
The other thing is that in pictures for 94-95 i can't locate the I51 ECU power supply relay, which in 91-93 cars is exectly by the steering column (p.40-08)
All this makes me think that in european version there are more relays somewhere behind the instrument cluster-namely I35 and I75, and one of them clicks.I say "somwhere" cause when I turn the fog lights on/off, the relay sound comes from exactly behind the dash, while the problematic clicking seems to be a bit more to the left, and is louder-like a bigger relay.

So my two questions are :
Can anyone who has a full 94-95 cardisc where the I51 is supposed to be? at least for US version, might be helpfull.
Is it safe to move out the instrument cluster while the battery connected and start the engine to make it click ? I fear of a short circuit.

Thanks,
E.T.

ADDED
I just found I am not the only one :) Subject of this Thread: "Relay?"-- Powered by DCForumLite -- www.sitedeveloper.com
It remains a mystery since 2001...
 

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Alfa 164 24v USA model dash area relays

You can not disconnect wiring from instrument cluster and turn on key because you will induce a fault into air bag system AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE A AIR BAG LIGHT THAT FLASHES. YOU CAN NOT REST IT WITHOUT special Marelli Tester.

Here is a picture of 94-95 24v USA model relay locations. I don't see a I51 or I75.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
You can not disconnect wiring from instrument cluster and turn on key because you will induce a fault into air bag system AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE A AIR BAG LIGHT THAT FLASHES. YOU CAN NOT REST IT WITHOUT special Marelli Tester.
Luckily what I plan to do is to move the instrument cluster up a bit, leave everything connected, and try feeling the click with hand on the relays.Hope thats possible and wiress are long enough. Maybe I wasn't precise ,I just feared that one of the connectors that attach to the cluster might slide out and cause some unpredictable effects.Well, one of them is predictable now-the airbag light- so thank you for your advice Steve.
E.T.

ADDED
oh, and thanks for the picture, I think I misspelled smethin,should be "namely I35 and I51" in my previous post,sorry for that -don't know where I75 came to my mind from. Anyway I51 isn't there either as you say, looks like It wasn't necessary anymore :)
 

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I just added front and rear of car relay locations FYI, too. There are a few differences between 91-93 12v and later 24v models.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have an impression that there are differences between each particular car that left the factory ;) Post 94 models are supposed to be 24v , but mine is a rare 12v model with "some changes".These were contiunued as well, I learned-at least for Europe. Now I have to really investigate thouroughly before I buy spare parts, cause some catalogs say 94-> is 24v and thats it. And it might fit or not. But it's still joy for me to own an alfa :)

E.T.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi again,
I reached behind the dash and it IS the Q22 relay that clicks... It must be the Q22
because there are only four relays, exactly as pictures show, three clicked when I turned F/R fog lights and defroster. It is also true that relay itself doesn't cause the problem, I removed it and started the car which would lose RPM rapidly as well, but off course without clicking from the removed relay. I Also reached from the bottom and tried moving cables around,looking for possible damage- doesn't help. They are pink, black-pink, green, black-green and I have no idea where they hook into since 91-93 cardisc shows different colours :(

So far I can only say clicking is RPM sensitive- doesn't happen at idle, only at about 1500 or more rpm and only after the car warms up a bit. If it is a bad ground or a cable grounding somwhere woludn't it react to bumps or other road conditions ? it happens at a standstill when I rev the engine. If it was the ignition switch wouldn't there be more symptoms, like Christmas-tree-dash etc? Maybe still it is something of those,and even maybe the radio circuit. I will try to check things step by step. I'll start by looking for cables around the A/C clutch, as ChazzyD suggested.

E.T.
 

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Q22 is the "electro-magnetic coupling control relay" used for powering the A/C compressor. You mentioned that you haven't looked into A/C issue yet. So, perhaps for now you want to check that the A/C compressor pulley can turn freely and also disable the electrical control to the clutch so it does not kick in to cause problem in case the compressor is seizing.

To rule out a bad relay, you can try swap it with another relay. The pic below show other relays that are of the same type.
 

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I have an impression that there are differences between each particular car that left the factory ;) Post 94 models are supposed to be 24v , but mine is a rare 12v model with "some changes".These were contiunued as well, I learned-at least for Europe. Now I have to really investigate thouroughly before I buy spare parts, cause some catalogs say 94-> is 24v and thats it. And it might fit or not. But it's still joy for me to own an alfa :)

E.T.
USA only got 94-95 24v V6 models but Euro spec models came with many engine choices in 4 and 6 cylinder variants.
 

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Ignition switch has two circuits so two sets of run position contacts. Brown wire set for engine etc. and pink wire for dash and lights so if brown wire contact intermittent it will not affect dash lights, etc.

Hard to second guess what hitting 1500 RPM could have to do with your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Q22 is the "electro-magnetic coupling control relay" used for powering the A/C compressor. You mentioned that you haven't looked into A/C issue yet. So, perhaps for now you want to check that the A/C compressor pulley can turn freely and also disable the electrical control to the clutch so it does not kick in to cause problem in case the compressor is seizing.
Hi, you're right, these problems might relate to each other, but on the other hand the RPM/relay problem occurs also when i set the whole HVAC to off, or to econo mode, both of which should I think prevent the compressor from kicking in or at least trying to do so.

E.T.
 

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You say the A/C doesn't work. Is it all still wired up? Have you tested the functioning of the A/C wiring? Do you get 12v to one side of the pressure switch when you turn the A/C on? Does that change concurrently when you get the hiccup, probably will though since the relay will be a clicking. Just grasping at strays here. :confused: May be good to eliminate the A/C wiring as the problem then move on to testing the ignition switch. I don't have any wiring diagrams for a '94, so I don't know if the ECU gets a signal from the A/C system or not. If that is the case it would have to be 0V or 12V but not ever a ground signal. I don't know what it would do given a grounded situation, might cause the relay to click and the car to run bad, maybe? I might be all wet. Did you try Steve's ignition switch test from post two?
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I haven't done any A/C testing yet. It is winter, days are short and I don't own a garage,and have some important work to do at my computer, so now I'm trying to solve it with minimum time spent in the car tearing wires apart. But: I went through most front end ground connections, wires near alterantor and false firawall with a contact cleaner, moved around cables from ignition switch, changed the steering wheel position and the problem started to occur less frequently. I took the car for a proper ride, with radio off and minimal heating and it clicked several times, but with smaller hiccup.After about 20 kms it almost completely dissapeared and on my return home it was fine. What I suspect now is power loss. Maybe, due to cold weather and the fact that I often drive the car on short distances around the city, with lights, heating ang other things on, somehow it was missing power-though the battery is 6 months old it might have been undrcharged. Now it is evening and I'll see what happens next morning. I will post an update.
Thanks to all of you so far,
E.T.
 

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FWIW, I have had an issue with relay I52 or I53 (right rear by fuel filler) clicking. I forget which is which without checking, but I think it's the one for the rear deck lid. Incidentally, I've had issues with the rear deck opening on it's own over the years, so I'm guessing that these are related, but that's not verified.

I've replaced the solenoid and I've replaced the relay, but no change. I can't say I've done any deep diagnostics on the problem - mostly just tried the parts-swapper route, and when that failed, I just left the relay out and I use the key.

I realize this likely isn't the same issue you're having, nor do I have a solution. Misery loves company though, right? :O)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi again,
I haven't written for some time, guess why- I went on fighting with click/rpm problem. The last time I wrote I thought it was an undercharged battery, but the next day it occured again. Finally I went through almost all possible connections in the evaporator area with a contact cleaner and it seems to have helped. Still don't know the exact machanism that caused this set of symptoms, but now at least they're gone.
Thanks for all your helpful replies !!

E.T
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Evaporator area? As in the A/C evaporator? :confused:

Oops, I think I ment condenser -behind the false firewall where HVAC system has its main components. I thought it may somehow corelate with A/C cluth relay which was clicking. But till not sure how and why.

BTW,Brad, I also had a funny story with trunk release button. It worked only when I shut ignition off. This seemed to be useless- what do I need this button for if I have to shut the engine off? I can take the key with me to open the trunk as well, makes no difference at all.
But this was at the time when I had ABS sensor broken and ABS disabled. Once I fixed it, the trunk release button works fine. I just have to stop the car to open it and the engine can be running- that's perfect for me :) Anyway, all these stories prove how complicated these machines are-but this makes them so addicting!
 
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