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Hi
Just bought a 156TS selespeed and after 5 days, the temp gauge seemed to stop working. I promptly drove it down to the alfa dealer to get it looked at. While it was parked in the maintenance bay, I noticed oil pouring out of the bottom of the car. The dealer said he would sort the problem out and gave me a car to get home in. The next day he called me to tell me the gearbox was overfilled and the oil was coming from the overflow. He could not explain why this took 5 days to show itself though. He also replaced the thermostat and said it was stuck open.
My question is could the 2 issues be related in any way? They seemed to appear at the same time. Apparently the selespeed has an oil pump that pumps oil from somewhere to somewhere when the driver door opens. Not exactly sure. Any clues to the problem? My brain tells me the 2 problems are not related but my gut tells me they might be.
Temp gauge is working fine now and also no more oil leaks. I am worried though.:confused:
 

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My question is could the 2 issues be related in any way? They seemed to appear at the same time.
A thermostat can break down at any time after a few years, and the fact that it failed open (it happens) explains the apparent failure of the temp gauge. When the water circulates freely all the time, the engine takes ages to warm up. It would, eventually, have shown a few degrees.

Apparently the selespeed has an oil pump that pumps oil from somewhere to somewhere when the driver door opens. Not exactly sure.
When you open the driver's door after a long-ish standstill, a pump engages to prime/pressurize the Selespeed hydraulics. It should stop after roughly ten seconds. Subsequent door opens will not necessarily engage the pump.

Any clues to the problem? My brain tells me the 2 problems are not related but my gut tells me they might be.
Temp gauge is working fine now and also no more oil leaks. I am worried though.:confused:
I don't think they're related. But what exactly did the mechanic do to fix the Selespeed?

The Selespeed system is a strange beast. It's a normal, manual gearbox with a robotic clutch, and that's it. The actuator pump is known to fail or suddenly start behaving strange for no apparent reason, plus the selespeed gadgetry seems to be very sensitive to old batteries and bad grounding.

Tip: Selespeed has an emergency system wherein you can only use 1st, 2nd and reverse. This happened on our 156 SW because a wire under the dashboard had ... errr ... less than optimal routing and kept short-circuiting intermittently.

I actually paid extra for a manual gearshift on my 147 2.0 back in the day.

That said, Selespeeds from 2003 and upwards seems to be much less prone to freak failures.
 

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The mechanic replaced the thermostst and simply said the gearbox was overfilled and the oil was coming from the overflow. Problem seemed to be solved but this weekend I once again had a puddle of oil under the car. I can now see the oil is in fact coming from the selespeed oil tank overflow. I left the car to cool down and checked the oil level again and it is just over MAX. With the car warm (just after stopping), the oil level in the selespeed oil tank is very high, way past MAX. Could something be pressurizing the tank somehow forcing oil out of the overflow?
The selespeed works ok with no funny quirks and everything else on the car is fine.
 

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If I were you, I'd get a syringe from the drugstore and take the oil level back to MAX. Sounds like the PO have overfilled it or something else takes up the space where the oil should be. Is the oil actually "pouring" out or simply dripping? And is it coming from the reservoir cap or somewhere else?

There's not a lot of hyrdaulic oil in the selespeed system, so if it keeps leaking out it'll stop working sooner or later.
 
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