Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Tonight while driving back from SF, the wife called me to say that the car died on her and she was stranded on the road. I had detoured to Sacramento to pick up and drop some parts to 164Family (Lenard). The wife was a ways up the road and took me a while to get to her, right about dark. The car turned over and the lights and every thing works, but the engine. I checked all of the connectors I could find and reach as well as checking the fuses which were all good. Checked all of the ground wires and they all seemed to be tight. Everything looked good.

Now here are a couple of clues as to what is going on. When I turn the key on, the wipers go up and back to park. Never did that before! The check engine light does not come on.

Couldn't get the car started, so I called AAA to send the "hook" and take the car home. I kept messing and checking everything I could imagine including the fuel pump relay fuses. All of those seemed to check out ok. I don't know what I did but the check engine light came on and I could restart the car several times. I did pull off and put back on the temp sensor wires and that seemed to be the clue to why it didn't run. I checked to see if it kicked a code...nothing (4-4-4-4) So, I canceled the truck and drove on up the freeway. About 45 miles later the car quit again! No fixing the car now, it is dead...again all the other electrical is working. But...no check engine light. Engine turns over just fine. I pulled the temp sensor wires and put them back on, but that didn't work.

It is now very dark and getting cooler, so I once again called AAA and had the car dropped in the drive way. I even pulled several of the connectors off and put them back on thinking the connectors were not working. Still a no start condition.

There is another clue, but I won't give that out until I read what you think might be the problem.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
26,820 Posts
Do you get anything to light up on dash when you turn key on? Sounds like an ignition switch problem for brown wire for motronic systems, etc. If you don't get any icon lights then still have problem switch problem but affecting both pin and brown wire circuits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Here is two more clues...

The windshield was replaced on Friday. The shop did a beautiful job of installation. First rate shop in my opinion. The owner said that the glass was replaced once before and who ever did it, broke the wires that went to the heated glass connectors. Clue...he repaired those connectors and installed the glass.

Clue...I went out to take a picture of the indicator lights and the "check engine light" came on. I was able to restart the car.

Here is what I am thinking...there is something going haywire when the car gets hot, it shorts out and creates a dead engine. Everything works in the car but the engine. So it is isolated to that part of the car. It isn't a condition that readily happens because it took 45 miles for the 2nd "no start" to show up. What ever component is affected has to cool down to cold before allowing the circuit with the test engine light to come on.

What I don't get is why the wipers come on with the key and go back to park.

The car has been 100% reliable until last night. I can't even consider driving the car 8 miles to the store for fear it will stop running until we can resolve the issue. I think the glass repair to the connectors is the source of the problem.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
26,820 Posts
Well, pull off both L/R pillar interior trim pieces and check windshield heater wiring, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Project for this week to pull the covers and check the wiring. I am also calling the shop tomorrow to see what my next step is.

I did check one thing with the ohm meter and I am not sure if there is a problem or not. The thermoswitch on the thermostat housing I checked cold and it doesn't have any resistance at all even on my highest setting. Could this switch have gone bad?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
26,820 Posts
Project for this week to pull the covers and check the wiring. I am also calling the shop tomorrow to see what my next step is.

I did check one thing with the ohm meter and I am not sure if there is a problem or not. The thermoswitch on the thermostat housing I checked cold and it doesn't have any resistance at all even on my highest setting. Could this switch have gone bad?
This hidden Bosch sensor on thermostat housing under top hose facing out at 45 degrees towards washer tank and parking light is only a cold start feature. It has low resistance when cold maybe 200 ohms or less depending on how cold it is.

The car when warm will run with it disconnected.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,748 Posts
Is it possible the main brain has a problem?
Sure. I have sent out numerous ecu's for the 24V in the last year do to similar problems and the new ecu fixed. But I am in no way saying this is the problem.
Unplug the windshield and see if that cures the problem. Could be a ignition switch as well, seems more prevalent these days on this car as well.

Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Yes, I have been reading about main computer module problems of late. Must be that they are getting old enough to start having problems show up. There was something said a couple of years ago about other car manufacturers computers having the mother boards start to delaminate or turning to powder as they were not expensive boards to begin with. Not a cheap fix for some cars, and harder to find for others.

The other is the ignition switch, seems like there have been a couple of those going bad over the last month or so. Not a cheap fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,365 Posts
are we jumping the gun?

Chris I don;t think its the ECU and possibly not the ignition switch.

Lets pull the fuse out for the windsheild heater (I think there is one) and/or pull the trim off as Steve says and disco the wires.

If its a hard "NO START" right now, you are fortunate. Fuel, Air and Spark. Initial thought is fuel pump or ECU connectors
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Goats, here is what I did this afternoon. I called the shop and left a message for them to call me and tell me exactly what they did to the connectors that go to the windshield.

Then I checked the fuses...again to make sure I didn't miss one. They are all good. I found the fuse with the windshield wipers, or what appeared to be the right one, and pulled it. The wipers still activated when I turned the key on and the check engine light still didn't come on.

I do have a hard no start condition now. No check engine light...that has to be a main clue to the problem.

While I was under the dash checking fuses, I did find a black wire that was hanging loose. Here is a picture of it: appears to be a ground wire. It goes into a wiring bundle and disappears near the clutch master cylinder. I have no clue what or where this wire goes or does. Now if you look at it, it has a special shape. Any one know where this goes?

I can't touch the car to effect any repairs until I speak with the shop tomorrow to see what they suggest I do. The car has 5000 miles on it since it left Washington state. All 100% reliable miles.

I can check the main connector at the ECU and see what that is about. I don't think it is the fuel pump because the check engine light would come on even if the pump was not working. The fuel pump relay would be my first thought and swap that from the white 164 to see if that effects a start condition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,365 Posts
NO CEL witha bad fuel pump

Chris my intermittent no start was a bad fuel pump -- no CEL and as you know, the fule pump dies not engage until the crank sensor tell motronic to turn the fuel pump on. Its fuel, air or spark till you get the car started, right?

Does CEL turn on when the key is put into the run position from scratch? WHat hapend when you use the TEST button?

I will snoop around and see if I can find a similar looking wire-- wonlt be till late tonight though
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,748 Posts
Goats, here is what I did this afternoon. I called the shop and left a message for them to call me and tell me exactly what they did to the connectors that go to the windshield.

Then I checked the fuses...again to make sure I didn't miss one. They are all good. I found the fuse with the windshield wipers, or what appeared to be the right one, and pulled it. The wipers still activated when I turned the key on and the check engine light still didn't come on.

I do have a hard no start condition now. No check engine light...that has to be a main clue to the problem.

While I was under the dash checking fuses, I did find a black wire that was hanging loose. Here is a picture of it: appears to be a ground wire. It goes into a wiring bundle and disappears near the clutch master cylinder. I have no clue what or where this wire goes or does. Now if you look at it, it has a special shape. Any one know where this goes?

I can't touch the car to effect any repairs until I speak with the shop tomorrow to see what they suggest I do. The car has 5000 miles on it since it left Washington state. All 100% reliable miles.

I can check the main connector at the ECU and see what that is about. I don't think it is the fuel pump because the check engine light would come on even if the pump was not working. The fuel pump relay would be my first thought and swap that from the white 164 to see if that effects a start condition.

That is the ground that connects to the steering column. That may certainly be your problem and causing the ignition issues as mentioned earlier.

G174 (ground steering column)This is the ground for B1 ignition Switch!!!


Kind of fuzzy but you can see it between the clutch Master cover and the wire harnesses mounted to the steering column. Sorry for terrible shot but these dang digitals are not my cup of tea.
Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,765 Posts
That is the ground that connects to the steering column. That may certainly be your problem and causing the ignition issues as mentioned earlier.

G174 (ground steering column)This is the ground for B1 ignition Switch!!!


Kind of fuzzy but you can see it between the clutch Master cover and the wire harnesses mounted to the steering column. Sorry for terrible shot but these dang digitals are not my cup of tea.
Jason
Actually Jason, it's a fantastic shot - but perhaps focussed on something you weren't trying to focus on!

Pressing the shutter button halfway when pointed directly at what I want, then moving the camera sideways while still holding the button down, tends to give the result I'm looking for. Many cameras also have the ability to switch focus modes (i.e. multi-point or centre), usually witnessed by a small box appearing in the LCD for 'centre' mode.

-Alex
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,748 Posts
Actually Jason, it's a fantastic shot - but perhaps focussed on something you weren't trying to focus on!

Pressing the shutter button halfway when pointed directly at what I want, then moving the camera sideways while still holding the button down, tends to give the result I'm looking for. Many cameras also have the ability to switch focus modes (i.e. multi-point or centre), usually witnessed by a small box appearing in the LCD for 'centre' mode.

-Alex
Go figure your talking to a photography Major in college many years ago anand worked in a photo studio and advertising firm for awhile. Think I could get this dumb thing to work right. This is just a small point and shoot. If I have my 35mm I will have a nice clear shot but I am too old school and digital is too much for me. I like film and old cameras. Now I have to go read the manual...ugh. I had it on macro too. ;)
think your right alex it may be on multi-focus
thanks
Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Jason...let me share this with you after laying on my back for 20 min and referencing your photo...I can not find this connector on my 94Q. I followed the wires from the key and other wires from the back of the ignition column and came up empty handed. One would think that the wire would be obvious where it plugs in , but in my case, it isn't easy at all. I am pretty sure this has to be my source for the no start condition and giving feed back through the wipers.

I am also a photo major in college...Brooks Institute '78. :D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
26,820 Posts
Do you get anything to light up on dash when you turn key on? Sounds like an ignition switch problem for brown wire for motronic systems, etc. If you don't get any icon lights then still have problem switch problem but affecting both pin and brown wire circuits.
ANSWER MY QUESTIONS PLEASE!

Also did you check S46 3A Motonic Supply Flying fuse on top radiator support?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,748 Posts
Jason...let me share this with you after laying on my back for 20 min and referencing your photo...I can not find this connector on my 94Q. I followed the wires from the key and other wires from the back of the ignition column and came up empty handed. One would think that the wire would be obvious where it plugs in , but in my case, it isn't easy at all. I am pretty sure this has to be my source for the no start condition and giving feed back through the wipers.

I am also a photo major in college...Brooks Institute '78. :D
Whoa Brooks institute huh! Fancy my friend! ;)
Yeah my dream to work for Arizona Highways got detoured by Alfa's. Not sure how that happened, wasted $80K in college. **** it!:mad:

Ground it and see if it cures the starting issue regardless if you cannot find the tab for it.
Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
me three ALMOST

was admitted to SVA in new york in 78. Was deeply into art photography then my Dad convinced me to study something different. So I did-- girls, rock n roll, and assorted other items popular at the time! Recently got back into it and bought a Leica Digilux 2 to go with my old M3!

Steve, chill out my brother! Don;t holler at the man... he's working on it!

Chris you probably gotta take the lower shroud off to see anything---
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Steve, I tried to take a picture tonight of the cluster to show what I get, but the flash overrode the lights. I will endeavor to take a picture tomorrow. I will say these are the lights that come on with the key: air bag, anti-lock, yellow injector light, check engine light and all of the lights in the center. Now if the lights don't work, I do not get the yellow injector light or the check engine light.

Get this, yesterday the car wouldn't start, tonight the check engine light came on and it fired right up. I wonder if it is a key, but then how come the car just died on the freeway? Odd problem.

I am figuring that the lower shroud will have to come off to give me more access. I will take Jasons suggestion adn just ground the sucker and see what happens. I don't think that will work because it is providing a ground for something else.

A friend of mine from the AF back in the 70's shoots with a Leica and film only. He loves his Hasselblad. I want to upgrade my Nikon digital so bad it isn't funny. Time to get serious again about photography! My film relic is a Mamiya Press with all the lenses and a spare film back.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top