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Technical (156)
 Alfa Romeo forum : Technical (156)
Subject Topic: Motor Control System Failure Post ReplyPost New Topic
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dannyboy28
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Posted: 25 July 2011 at 11:12 | IP Logged Quote dannyboy28

I've started getting the above message, and engine light, intermittently. It comes on about once every 2 weeks for 2-3 days, before clearing itself again.

No obvious problems as car is running fine (2.0 JTS, btw).

Have seen other threads mentioning a possible bad connection on one of the lambda sensor connectors, so I just wanted to check whereabouts these are (don't say under the bonnet ), and if they're easy to reach.

cheers


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ChrisO
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Posted: 25 July 2011 at 12:56 | IP Logged Quote ChrisO


You need to get the error messages (they are stored in the ECU) read and then we can advise based on these.
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GTVdan
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Posted: 25 July 2011 at 18:57 | IP Logged Quote GTVdan

Get some electrical contact cleaner spray out of your local electrical wholesaler, disconnect the two big plugs at the back of your engine bay and spray the plugs and sockets well. Let it dry which doesn't take long and reconnect. The problem I had on my JTS was linked to the throttle and disappeared after doing this.

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TazzyK
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Posted: 25 July 2011 at 20:43 | IP Logged Quote TazzyK

Front connectors normally... should one eiher side of the radiator (follow the front lambda probes back towards the connectors )

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Smaky
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Posted: 25 July 2011 at 21:42 | IP Logged Quote Smaky

A lot of conclusions being assumed here, the code needs to be read, on a JTS it's more liely to be a coil pack dieing anyway if it's intermitent.
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dannyboy28
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Posted: 25 July 2011 at 23:40 | IP Logged Quote dannyboy28

Cheers guys. I appreciate we're only guessing without any fault codes, but I just thought it was worth trying to clean these connectors as it sounds relatively simple now I know where to look . I guess the worst that can happen is it makes no difference...

Smaky, I had a faulty coil back in Feb and it was pretty obvious (bad misfires when engine was hot). This time it feels fine - wouldnt that rule out coil packs, or not necessarily?

Cheers



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Smaky
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Posted: 27 July 2011 at 01:16 | IP Logged Quote Smaky

Not necessarily, but the code needs to be read to save time and money.
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Chris155
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Posted: 27 July 2011 at 02:21 | IP Logged Quote Chris155

dannyboy28 wrote:
Cheers guys. I appreciate we're only guessing without any fault codes, but I just thought it was worth trying to clean these connectors as it sounds relatively simple now I know where to look . I guess the worst that can happen is it makes no difference...

Smaky, I had a faulty coil back in Feb and it was pretty obvious (bad misfires when engine was hot). This time it feels fine - wouldnt that rule out coil packs, or not necessarily?

Cheers



The connections to the lambda sensors on JTS engine are well known for causing problems. I'd pull them apart and look for any obvious signs of corrosion in the terminals before you take it for a diagnostic.

You may find that the connection blocks have been cut out and the wires soldered together. It's kind of a sanctioned "fix" but if you get a error code that points at lambdas, try resoldering the buggers. - Soldered connections break down with age.

Edit: quite how one solders the stainless steel wires found on lambdas is beyond me but apparently it's possible on the jts ones based on what I've seen and general forum chat. Maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick and they're crimped together. Either way the continuity of the connection is still worth checking.

Personally I'm still not keen at all on the whole chop the connectors off to fix the problem argument.

Edited by Chris155 on 27 July 2011 at 12:15
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DrChuff
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Posted: 01 August 2011 at 11:26 | IP Logged Quote DrChuff

I've had the MCSF message on and off on my JTS, but mostly on cold damp mornings. Pcodes only revealed old misfires, nothing recent. Check the battery voltage - a low voltage (less than 11.5V) causes all kinds of errors.

Good luck,
Dr C
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dannyboy28
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Posted: 01 August 2011 at 12:06 | IP Logged Quote dannyboy28

I had a look at this yesterday. Fiddled about with the two sets of connectors either side of the radiator, and it's definitely something to do with one of those. (incidentally I presume I should be looking at the rectangular connectors with the grey clips that hold them together - as opposed to the smaller oval 4-wire connectors next to them?).

Normally I only get the MCSF message every couple of weeks or so, and when it happens, the engine light is on but steady (i.e. not flashing). Also, after a few seconds of showing the MCSF message, the main part of the info display goes back to showing the time and date, with just the right-hand 1/4 of the screen showing the yellow engine symbol.

Yesterday though, after unplugging the connectors, cleaning them, and reconnecting them, I actually made the problem worse. Car still ran fine, but now the engine light was flashing, and the info display continuously displayed the MCSF message.

Just to be sure, I turned the ignition and engine off & on - same problem. So then I wiggled the wires where they go into the connectors again, started the engine, and it was back to how it was before I touched anything - steady engine light and info display message only appearing briefly.

With hindsight I suppose I should've tinkered with one connector at a time and then tested again, so I'll try and have another look during the week. I've got a multimeter somewhere so I'll try and do some continuity tests on the wiring.

In terms of actually fixing the problem, I don't fancy trying to solder these. I guess the only other option is to try and recrimp them?



Edited by dannyboy28 on 01 August 2011 at 12:11


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dannyboy28
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Posted: 01 August 2011 at 12:07 | IP Logged Quote dannyboy28

DrChuff wrote:
I've had the MCSF message on and off on my JTS, but mostly on cold damp mornings. Pcodes only revealed old misfires, nothing recent. Check the battery voltage - a low voltage (less than 11.5V) causes all kinds of errors.

Good luck,
Dr C


cheers, will check that too with the multimeter :)

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