Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In the last week or two I've noticed that my 164L feels like it briefly cuts out at hwy speeds. It happens so quick I really couldn't tell, but it seems to. Today on the way home it began cutting out at just about any speed. At idle it randomly dies. At speed, it bucks violently and comes back to life all in less than a second. When it happens, the tach drops to zero the the check engine light comes on, but never seems to set a code. It's almost exactly like I was shutting off the ignition for a split second. It finally left me sitting in a store parking lot and would not restart. It would fire, but never stay running. HOWEVER, after sitting for 5 mintues or so, it started up fine and ran for another few miles when it started all over again. I had to let it cool off a few times to get home, but it seems to me to be electrical/heat related. It was only about 45 and rainy today, but still..... if it was fuel, I would not think the tach and check engine light would be so quick to respond. it's almost like they are affected at the exact same instant that it dies/bucks.....

I checked the grounds on the intake and they are fine.

Any of you have an idea where to look ?

THANK YOU!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,300 Posts
I would suspect bad ignition switch so troubleshoot it by opening fuse panel door and locate 4-wire connector to switch located to right of steering column above your right knee area.

Jumper between red power wire and brown computer/coil wire and see if car will stay running. Pink wire is for instruments and lights so if they don't work you can also jumper to it at same time if needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Steve,
I wired a jumper for the ignition switch that included aswitch of it's own so I could switch the jumper on if/when it stalled. Well, I drove it for about an hour today and it did not miss a beat.

The only difference between today and yesterday was it is not raining......

I am now wondering if it has to do with something getting wet and shorting or loosing contact?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,300 Posts
Keep us posted of your testing results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,506 Posts
I recently had a non-start, no power issue (no power at all) from a running condition to door-nail dead. It wouldn't even jump-start, and no lights turned on when power was connected to the fire-wall terminal. Turned out it was the separate power line paralleling the starter cable from battery to G<some-number> panel on false firewall. After a tow home and some recommendations from the crowd here, my son cleaned up the connections at front and rear and the car runs great now. Ignition switch is a good candidate for the culprit, but don't ignore the switchable power routed by that smaller diameter red-jacketed lead connected at the battery (+) terminal.

Michael
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,765 Posts
Tach dropping to zero sometimes and engine bucking/cutting out at idle was caused by bad plug leads on a 164 I worked on recently. Motronic ECU appeared to be shutting down as a result of overload from the bad leads. Measuring the leads with a multimeter showed that three were very high (over 10k ohm each) and the distributor cap was also dubious (that should be 0.00 ohms between contacts and terminals; this one seemed to be about 1k ohm).

So I'd suggest a full check of all ignition system components, even though it may not seem to make much sense - the engine can be running seemingly OK but the ignition system parts can still be in bad shape.

I agree with you that it isn't a fuel problem.

-Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
874 Posts
Alex, so getting new plug wires, distributor cap and rotor solve the on/off problem?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,300 Posts
Don't ya just love getting feedback as to whether problem was solved or not?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
Remember the issues I had with mine not idling? The first guys working on it didn't notice the distributor cap was missing the carbon button. Now that you're there, check everything.

I did once have a bad contact on the ignition switch of the ZX diesel. A little spray with contact cleaner right through the keyhole solved it. Corroded contacts are always to be expected in cars as old as ours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
I have been experiencing the same problem on the "L" and it seems to be mostly when starting from cold in the morning. It only wants to idle at around 2k but still dies although the higher RPM allow it to catch on again. After a complete warm up it runs like a champ. It has a new cap, rotor and wire set that was installed about 5.000 mi ago. I doubt it is those items but who knows. I will try the jumper in the fuse box and see if that corrects the problem. The car is a '93 and has 133k on it so I guess that it is due for some Alfa quirks. Will let you know how it works out. Conrad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Don't ya just love getting feedback as to whether problem was solved or not?
I for one would love to hear how it turned out.
My 91L started doing the exact same thing. She hiccuped once the other day then died at the first stop. Started right away but hiccuped a couple more timesvbefore getting home.
Then yesterday she wouldnt start at all after work. Cranked well but no start.
I'm very new to this car but remember reading about the alarm system being incorporated into the ECU. I checked the key in the trunk and it was very wobbly in the housing. After turning the alarm on and off dhe started right up.
This may have been a fluke how-ever as she bucked a few times on the way home.
Weird thing is that other than the hesitation she runs very smooth with very good power.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,300 Posts
I for one would love to hear how it turned out.
My 91L started doing the exact same thing. She hiccuped once the other day then died at the first stop. Started right away but hiccuped a couple more timesvbefore getting home.
Then yesterday she wouldnt start at all after work. Cranked well but no start.
I'm very new to this car but remember reading about the alarm system being incorporated into the ECU. I checked the key in the trunk and it was very wobbly in the housing. After turning the alarm on and off dhe started right up.
This may have been a fluke how-ever as she bucked a few times on the way home.
Weird thing is that other than the hesitation she runs very smooth with very good power.
Alarm on 91-93 models only disables the starter from working not the engine ECU. That added ECU disable is on 94-95 models for USA models.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,506 Posts
blade944: your issue sounds -just- like what happened with our '91L that cleaning the contacts on the secondary hot wire from the battery to the firewall terminal block cured. Don't ignore the issue or you may find yourself stranded like we were. See earlier for more description, but it was a sequence like:

starts OK,
oops - starter lugs down,
oops - starts when jumped,
oops - won't even turn over seconds after shut-down,
starts when jumped at battery (must have nudged secondary wire),
uhoh - shuts down en route home and can't even get hazard lights on.

Cleaning terminals fixed that and no problems since.

Michael
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,300 Posts
blade944: your issue sounds -just- like what happened with our '91L that cleaning the contacts on the secondary hot wire from the battery to the firewall terminal block cured. Don't ignore the issue or you may find yourself stranded like we were. See earlier for more description, but it was a sequence like:

starts OK,
oops - starter lugs down,
oops - starts when jumped,
oops - won't even turn over seconds after shut-down,
starts when jumped at battery (must have nudged secondary wire),
uhoh - shuts down en route home and can't even get hazard lights on.

Cleaning terminals fixed that and no problems since.

Michael
I guess you mean in addition to cleaning large battery cables terminals with terminal wire brush or plumbers copper tubing brush and cleaning battery posts you also clean and tighten secondary threaded post on postive battery cable terminal that has the small red wires bolted to it in the trunk.

I have found strange things happen when that small nut loosens on Postive +battery cable in the trunk and those small wires don't make good contact.

Same thing happens if battery and starter cable and various system wires bolted to G56 terminal board located both inside and outside of false firewall near brake fluid reservoir are loose or corroded. Fuel and ignition computer is powered from G56 terminsls as well as various system of the car. In original configuration the two 40A fuse bar holders for cooling fan motor and a/c heating blower motor are clipped over tops of G56 terminal board and get their power from G56 too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Well I got the wires, switch and clips, made a jumper. When I started it up the problem semed to have gone away. So now I don't know where the problem is or was. In any case I cleanes all the battery connections and the grounds as well as the connections at the fals firewall. They were a little dirty so maybe that is where the fault was. Two days of driving and all is well again.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
559 Posts
Similar problem on mine was down to a problem with the maf lead. Cleaned the contacts, no joy and for now I've hooked the lead up so it's not pulling/tight and the bucking has stopped. Don't you just love electrical issues on these cars!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
I can now recreate the problem at will. It always happens when making a faster right turn or when assending a slight rise.
Ive had issues similar to this with other vehicles. One car had debris in the tank that would plug the fuel pickup occasionally, and the other was a faulty oil pressure sensor that would shut down the motor when going around corners. Is this model susceptible to problems like those?
Generally if the problem can be repeated like this it usually means something is moving causing the problem.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top