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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been working through many minor issues on my 91 164S. I currently have been experiencing the light on the dash (looks like radiator with a fan and is colored red)(right of the anti-lock light on the dash) The indicator has been coming on since July of this year. I finally purchased a new sender at the resevoir from Jason just to try and isolate the sender. Apparently my thinking did not solve the issue.Today when the light illuminated there was a Max amount of water in the tank.Before going too nuts trying to debug the problem I wanted to be certain that I am zoned in on the correct idiot light.

Any ideas on wiring or grounds or any of my questionable assumptions?

Harv
 

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Remove float sender from coolant tank and raise float and see if red icon with fan blade will go out. If that won't work jumper between connectors and see if icon light goes out if not then maybe chassis wiring issue.

So also it seems you need to verify that the float will actually float in coolant if it passes the manual raising float test to make contacts and light goes out.
 

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Yes, correct light.

Connector at sensor sometimes has problems with backed-off terminals or corrosion. Instrument panel computer works on low voltages/currents so is sensitive to poor connections or grounding. Try making up a bridging plug and leaving in place for several days to see if problem is intermittent.

Is the replacement sender new? Check that float is actually floating by testing in a jar. I have seen the bizarre circumstance where the float will float in an antifreeze solution but not in plain water, which is just too clever for words.

Sometimes the sliding action of the float on the plastic centre is impaired by rusty sludge. Other times, the float simply stops floating (I have replaced the type on the thin metal rod by ramming a wine cork onto it.)

I know the frustration of tracing and solving these minor irritations. Just for what it's worth and for encouragement (not to infer anything from your fine post!) I wanted to say that I like this sensor and believe it IS worth the trouble to make it work. Mine actually came on for real on Friday when I had lost most of the coolant from the expansion tank through a leaky heater core, which only took a few minutes of driving. In another 164 I have had that light warn me of a catastrophically-split-apart expansion tank which I didn't otherwise notice at night, before the engine temp increased, and therefore saved me from cooking the engine.

Not so important but still rather nice is the warning when the washer fluid is low, before it actually runs out... no such refinement on my Alfa 156... just one of the endearing features of the old 164.

Incidentally I'm not quite so sure on the engine oil level sensor, which is very difficult to repair and which only measures before engine start-up, so not really as useful. But even that has helped me a couple of times on long trips when I restart. I saw the light, investigated, and found that towing a car trailer had caused the engine to use nearly a litre of oil in a few hundred kilometres - somewhat worrying but at least I was able to top-up in time and consumption returned to usual levels later.

These sensors are never a substitute for regular checks but I believe they can help to prevent a crisis...

-Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Alex,
I finally got in control of my water level sensor on for no reason issue. Your response that the float does not float was the key to my success. I ordered a new sender and installed it. (No change in the light on scenario) I TESTED THE NEW FLOAT 2 WAYS.
dry and submerged. My 24oz Hooters was filled up for the wet test.It did not float to the top of the sender.(this particular float was a hard white plastic and shorter than the old one on the vehicle) The old one did not pass the dry test at all. Final solution was to swap the floats between the old and new senders. The old sender float was considerably longer and solfter in consistency.(It's floating when it's supposed to.)

Thanks,
Harv
 
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