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I was under the hood of my S4 Spider and accidentally bumped the oil separator and realized the bracket was loose. Looking closer, I could see one of the 10mm bracket bolts was missing and the other was loose. Replaced the missing bolt and tightened the rear one (that one was more difficult to get a wrench on than it should be because it is underneath some kind of vacuum valve assembly).

Anyway, since everything was now tight and I never had any previous reason to mess with the oil separator (its not leaking or corroded externally), I tried to find if there was anything on maintenance of the oil separator in the shop manual. Couldn't find any reference to the darn thing other than the under-hood diagram showing where it was located.

Anyone know whether an oil separator that otherwise seems to be working fine should have any regular maintenance? 80,000 miles and I'm sure it's never been touched.
 

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At least once a year it is good to remove it from the car, and soak it overnight in varsol or similar. Then the next day drain it, and continue to flush it a few times with clean varsol or similar, until the fluid runs clear, and no more solids (like rust) come out of it. Then make sure its completely empty and dry inside before reinstalling it in the car.

This is all assuming the S4 is more or less the same beast as the S3.
 

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agree, I do it once a year!.....the first time what came out looked like something from hell! Now each year it is not bad at all.

I use brake cleaner spray, fill it half full, then block off the 2 big outlets with a cut down cork (good excuse to finish off the wine!) and with finger over the little holes, shake the heck out of it...repeat several times till what runs out is cleanish.....the brake cleaner will evaporate off once done.

Finally, after fitting, squirt 20cl of clean engine oil into the small hose that goes to the engine block (that was mentioned in an alfa services tech bulletin), reconnect..all done.

the 'vacuum valve assy' you mention is the 'solenoid evaporative valve' (only S4 spiders have this). To check that works apply 12v to the two spade connectors, should hear a slight click.
#14 here..it allows fumes from the charcol canister (#18) to re-enter the plenum and get recycled (triggered by the ECU)
 

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