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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of weeks ago the check engine light came on in my Giulietta Veloce (same engine as the 4C) as mentioned in Philsters recent service thread. I didn’t necessarily believe it, but stopped, visually checked the engine bay, disconnected the battery, cleaned up the terminals, reconnected it after 40min and restarted. The check engine light disappeared but other warning lights appeared but then disappeared after a petrol stop. The check engine light reappeared last weekend but fortunately I had booked my G for it’s annual service this week. I had the Giulietta serviced yesterday and it was found, so I was told, the DNA switch programming had developed a glitch. After the reflash all appears well (Yes, another lower Putty Road run), so no mechanical or electrical hardware had failed. No switch was changed, just a reprogramming and no one could give me a reason for the glitch occurring in the first place so really am none the wiser. I’ll just keep the battery charged up and hope for the best.

I have to get myself a code reader.
 

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I grabbed OBDLink LX OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner (for Android and Windows) and AlfaOBD app (40 USD) as recommended somewhere by some Alfista. Not the thing for iPhone drones though. Gives tons of live data/gauges to supplement standard dash data.

@RYUK 's Foxwell NT510 was what I used to diagnose, and it can clear codes, etc, although I did not use it for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I grabbed OBDLink LX OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner (for Android and Windows) and AlfaOBD app (40 USD) as recommended somewhere by some Alfista. Not the thing for iPhone drones though. Gives tons of live data/gauges to supplement standard dash data.

@RYUK 's Foxwell NT510 was what I used to diagnose, and it can clear codes, etc, although I did not use it for that.
Question: How does a programming error suddenly arise in a car that has been running faultlessly for two years? I’m sceptical about the explanation I was given.

My routine now will be to:
1. Ensure the battery is fully charged before any drive. (fully charged for full and correct initial diagnosis checks)
2. Pause the ignition key for two/three seconds in the ignition on position before starting. (Ensuring all systems diagnosis checks are done....my old 147 gives all sorts of false warnings if I rush the start.)
3. Ensure no other accessory is turned on before engine start-up. (Again to ensure the battery has charge for all pre-start diagnostics)

This probably has nothing to do with the fault but if it does happen again at least I’ll have eliminated these items as a possible cause, if nothing else.

Based on the diagnosis I’m thinking it might actually be a failing DNA switch, but time will tell. Can someone please tell me how a programming error just occurs out of the blue?
 

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Hey, riddle me this: How did a TCM error (fixed with reflash) pop up in 2020 when my car ran fine since 2015 and for 17000 miles / 27000 km ?

Generally, it's voltage issues and spikes, possibly from moisture, bad or tenuous grounding, etc. Once per drive, a 'check stop lights' warning comes on (cleared by pressing the brakes. lol!), and unless I remove them all and clean and protect all connections, I don't expect it to go away.

There are more sensors on these cars than I care to count. I'm tempted to invest in companies that makes these things, because they will quadruple in number in the next gen of vehicles.

I take my time to power things up first before cranking the 4C, and I don't leave anything on in any vehicle when starting them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My thoughts too. I’ll be as vigilant as practicable with the battery charge and my start procedure from now on and see what eventuates. Mornings are becoming colder here too so a morning charge top-up might be the go too. I’ll be doing the same with Rosie.
 

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I grabbed OBDLink LX OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner (for Android and Windows) and AlfaOBD app (40 USD) as recommended somewhere by some Alfista. Not the thing for iPhone drones though. Gives tons of live data/gauges to supplement standard dash data.

@RYUK 's Foxwell NT510 was what I used to diagnose, and it can clear codes, etc, although I did not use it for that.
+1 for this device - I take it to the track with me. Small form factor means that it can stay in the "pouch" between the seats.

Only drawback (besides being non IOS, which didn't bother me) is that it is small and without a cable you might leave it plugged in accidentally. Not sure if it is a parasitic draw with the key off as I believe there is always power to the OBDII port (only not sure if this device draws on those pins). It does not communicate without key off, but that could be a consequence of the car side of the port, not the device side.
 

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Question: How does a programming error suddenly arise in a car that has been running faultlessly for two years?
could be due to low battery during cranking memory got corrupted. could be bugs in program code like counters which got some out of range values.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
could be due to low battery during cranking memory got corrupted. could be bugs in program code like counters which got some out of range values.
Yes, colder mornings here recently and I used the car only once in that week. The morning I took it into the dealer I put her on the charger and it showed only three lights. Got full charge after 3 hours charging. At least it was nothing mechanical engine-wise and no huge deal if it is only a switch that might be on the way out. I was alternating between dynamic and natural on each journey which is why I’m thinking of the DNA switch. Been wrong before and will be wrong again. At least it keeps the brain working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That check engine light reappeared in my Giulietta. It’s now diagnosed as an intake side O2 sensor error. They cleared the light and sent me on my way because a sensor has to come up from Melbourne. No point in waiting around as it’ll take a day or two to come up. Just took her for a long enough drive to cause the check engine light to come back on again so they can reconfirm it actually is the O2 sensor and not anything random. The joys....
 

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Must have got spiders in the intake Alfanut - you need to blow the cobwebs out better, or risk the spiders getting into the new O2 sensor. This is a common fault with second cars that get jealous of sharing their bedroom with a supermodel 4C.

Cheers,

Alf.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Must have got spiders in the intake Alfanut - you need to blow the cobwebs out better, or risk the spiders getting into the new O2 sensor. This is a common fault with second cars that get jealous of sharing their bedroom with a supermodel 4C.

Cheers,

Alf.
Yeah, my fault for gloating about how reliable Rosie is. Something has to even things up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, my fault for gloating about how reliable Rosie is. Something has to even things up.
My mistake, it was the O2 sensor upstream of the catalyst. Now for the interesting news as it relates to parts availability via warranty for our 4Cs in Oz....at least for those of you who still have warranty. I was quoted a parts price of $2,000! That’s right, $2,000! After almost falling into the pool I told them that their price must be wrong. Jamie Porter has the part for £69 + whatever it cost to get it here. No matter to me as it’s a warranty job but any delay due to price needs verification. Of course there are none held by FCA in Melbourne so I have to wait 5-6 weeks for it to come from Italy even though I’m sure I could get one from Jamie sent DHL and have it arrive in 3 days. At least the Giulietta can still be used but what a situation. Something as common as a lambda sensor failure and there isn’t one in the country. It really sounds like a shoe-string operation. It’s almost better to be out of warranty if you need something done quickly down here. Am I being unreasonable?
 

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Try talking to AlfaRomeoCares (or whatever Australian counterpart is); they might be able to expedite delivery for the part you need. They were very helpful to me in a similar situation.

This kind of stuff is very frustrating; it was a major factor in my decision not to keep Stelvio Quad bought new (and eventually to get a used, out of warranty 4c, but that's beside the point :) ). Hope your Giulietta gets fixed soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Try talking to AlfaRomeoCares (or whatever Australian counterpart is); they might be able to expedite delivery for the part you need. They were very helpful to me in a similar situation.

This kind of stuff is very frustrating; it was a major factor in my decision not to keep Stelvio Quad bought new (and eventually to get a used, out of warranty 4c, but that's beside the point :) ). Hope your Giulietta gets fixed soon.
If only. No facility like Alfa Cares exists here. Given the lack of this spare part I can think what their organisation really cares for their customers. Action, not words, Alfa. Yes, just a little miffed at present. They should be doing a lot better than this. Third rate stuff. I bet this would never happen with a Toyota or Honda. A six effing week wait! acp, I feel your pain.
 

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What about contacting Alfa "directly" Contact Us | Alfa Romeo® Australia ? Worst thing is they simply won't reply...

In my case the Alfa dealer told me it would take them 2 months to get "special ordered" manifold bolts; after I contacted Alfa (granted, via AlfaRomeoCares, but still) they were delivered in less than a week.
 

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My mistake, it was the O2 sensor upstream of the catalyst....
Geez Alfanut,

you must have driven that little motor pretty hard to get that sensor from the inlet to the exhaust. That's a proper Italian tune-up for ya. Good job you haven't gone catless, or you would have lost that sensor completely.

Lucky you have other toys to pass the time while you are waiting.

Put that one on the Quickjack, pop on the charger and pretend you are having to wait for Spring to come around like a lot of our other friends on the Forum have to do every year.

First World problems.

Cheers,

Alf.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What about contacting Alfa "directly" Contact Us | Alfa Romeo® Australia ? Worst thing is they simply won't reply...

In my case the Alfa dealer told me it would take them 2 months to get "special ordered" manifold bolts; after I contacted Alfa (granted, via AlfaRomeoCares, but still) they were delivered in less than a week.
I might just do that...but they are going through Alfa (FCA/ Stellantis or whatever) HQ in Melbourne.
 
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