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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got an '89 Milano on the road and the fuel economy is AWFUL. I cracked open the AFM,sprayed it with tuner cleaner but the AFM looked good, flap moves smoothly. Funny thing is that exhaust is not sooty, no black smoke of any kind. You can almost watch the gas gauge go down. I'd guess 15 mpg, maybe worse. I have a pretty light foot so I was expecting better. Engine runs great from cold, some usual cold running hesitations, idle smooth. No fuel smells anywhere.:eek:
 

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My SC Verde shares daily driver duties with my Spider. It gets 24 mpg on 87 octane. It uses less gas and less oil than my Spider.
I suppose that there are a number of things that could be giving you such bad mileage. The lambda sensor is a possible culprit.
 

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I changed my plugs and wires and noticed a significant improvement in mileage. Then I replaced the 02 sensor with a new 4 wire ( you should find a 3 wire though). My mileage is about as good as the window sticker estimates, maybe a bit worse because I changed my gearing.

I'm getting around 19-20 mpg city, 24 mpg freeway.
 

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Oxygen sensor and the engine temp sensor are likely culprits, but you really just need to go through the whole system and check everything. Greg Gordon wrote a great testing guide: L-Jetronic
 

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Is there really a Denver in NC?

I get about 23mpg here in the other Denver in the winter where it was around 0F this morning. It seems to take forever to warm up once the weather get's cold and I have a new thermostat (164). I get around 27mpg in the summer. Make sure you're reaching operating temperature.

Mitch
Denver, CO
'88 Verde
'69 Spider Jr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
poor milano fuel mileage

Yes there is a Denver in NC! The reason being that when Colorado was joining the union, the town of Dry Pond wanted a more exciting name, as the railroad was supposed to be coming through. Well those wheels never appeared, but the name remained. This all happened around 1870, the town is just now starting to blossom after all those years have passed, just don't expect to see skyscrapers!

Thanks to all for the advice. I'll get into it. So far I've pried the lid off the AFM, sprayed some contact cleaner in there, put it back together. Also did similar to the temp sensor, its' ground, wires, etc. The O2 looks new, BTW.

"The Denver of the East."
 

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If the lambda sensor is new, maybe it has been wired up incorrectly.
Most aftermarket 3 wire sensors have 1 black wire and two white wires. The white wires are for the heater and the black wire is the sensor output.The black wire of the sensor should be connected to the green wire in the wiring harness. The white wires should be at 12 volts and ground with the ignition on, but they will not affect things once the engine is warmed up.
Low output from the sensor is interpreted as a lean mixture by the ECU. So if the ECU is getting no signal, it will drive the injectors on to try to compensate. The voltage on the black wire will normally fluctuate between about 0.2 and 0.8 volts if it is functional and the ECU is doing it's job.
 

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do the L-jet tune up on Greg page as posted above.
also check the the vac line on the dizzy is working. and that the dizzy moves the timming when the vac is applied. if this it not working you will have very retared timming at cruze and crap MPG.
the Verdes seem the get the best MPG with the tall gears even with the bigger motor. I used to get close to the 35MPG mark. I have been driving the spider while I change the trany in my Verde and it seen like is gets about 1/2 the MPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll check these things out. I'm assuming that 'dizzy' is shorthand for distributor. The exhaust smells really clean, no overt signs that the mixture is off, just that the fuel mileage sucks gas.
 

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Yes there is a Denver in NC! The reason being that when Colorado was joining the union, the town of Dry Pond wanted a more exciting name, as the railroad was supposed to be coming through. Well those wheels never appeared, but the name remained. This all happened around 1870, the town is just now starting to blossom after all those years have passed, just don't expect to see skyscrapers!

Thanks to all for the advice. I'll get into it. So far I've pried the lid off the AFM, sprayed some contact cleaner in there, put it back together. Also did similar to the temp sensor, its' ground, wires, etc. The O2 looks new, BTW.

"The Denver of the East."
One of my sisters lives in Denver, NC, the other one lives in Denver CO. What are the chances of that! :)

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's great. About how many Milanos are on the registry? I could add mine and my sons.'
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've gotten a reading of 5.25k ohms from the f.i. temp sensor at around 40 degrees outside. The tailpipe is clean inside, no excess soot. Maybe this car just needs to be run, it's been sitting a lot.
 

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Hi romroc,

If the AFM were a problem you'd have serious drivability problems. Your signature lists 3 Alfa's in your stable, 2 of which are V6's. If you don't already have a shop manual, I recommend that you get one. There are a couple of sites with .pdf's available for download (Milano Shop Manual). can't remember the site, but if you can't find it, I'll be glad to burn to CD for you.

Anyway, the manual has troubleshooting matrix for several common running conditions. If you break it down, it's fairly simple. keep in mind it's wintertime which can affect whether you smell fumes readily. Anyhow, you're either burning the fuel or losing it. If burning excessive fuel, check:
1) Coolant temp sensor (mounted at thermostat assy - second from right).
Remove connector and measure resistance across both spades.
-10*C = 7 to 12 kOhm
+20*C = 2 to 3 kOhm
+80*C = 250 to 400kOhm
2) Check cold start injector - for leaking. The cold start injector (valve) is fitted at the rear of the plenum before the throttle body (behind the TPS). It's held on with two allen screws. Remove and place in a can or jar. When you turn the key to start (without starting - which should energize the fuel pump) see if it leaks.

If losing fuel, you have a leak somewhere - not totally improbable given the age of the vehicle and where it lives. Or, more remotely, you may have a faulty fuel level sender or gauge indicating low fuel when the condition does not exist.

Hope this helps,:eek:
ToonR
 

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Do you know the history of the car, and if it has ever been modified?

The Pandora's Box ECU modification from Alfa Heaven was very popular when these cars were new(er) - and was notorious for making the cars run quite rich.

If everything else checks out you might want to see if your ECU has been modified. There was usually a sticker placed on the outside of the ECU.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm going to look into that. The ECU is under a cover on the passenger interior sideI think. Also going to check out the cold start valve. The car runs very smoothly, no driveability issues at all.
 

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I think that warm starts would be difficult if the cold start valve was leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I checked one spark plug and it looked like it had a good burn on it, a light quantity of grayish deposits. Timing belt is WAY loose and ready to fall off, so that will be addressed. Air filter looks new, also O2 sensor. Can't drive the car now until timing belt situation is remedied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I finally seem to have figured out the bad fuel milleage dilemma: the fuel guage is a great writer of best seller fiction! With the guage showing nearly empty, it's about half a tank. I should get a CDrom for the car, that would come in handy. whatta ride. Truly a sensational handler, Love and Thunder in one unique package. My hat is NOT off to those critics who did nothing to promote this amazing and cheap for its' time automobile.

The Milano name needs to come back, it's that good.

Thanks to all for the great help.
 

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My hat is NOT off to those critics who did nothing to promote this amazing and cheap for its' time automobile.

The Milano name needs to come back, it's that good.
I know what you mean!

I was buying some magazines from the newsagent yesterday and spotted a book that basically gave a brief review of every car, whether it's worth buying, safety levels, reliability and so on. I of course instantly flicked to the Alfa section. EVERY single Alfa was given an 'Avoid' status, and they even had the nerve to claim that the new Brera was unreliable, despite the fact they've been available for a whole year. Not a single positive comment could be found for any of them, except for the 164 "because it was essentially a Fiat". The prices they listed for the 75/Milano was about 1/3 of what the average price is for any for sale in Australia. :rolleyes:

It really makes me wonder, but on the other hand, I'd never recommend them to a friend, simply so I can be selfish and greedy and keep all the fun :D

ROCK ON
R~R
 
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