Author Topic: Intermittent failure of immobiliser  (Read 1891 times)

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Diamond Ric T

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Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« on: July 21, 2018, 08:15:00 PM »
Good day fellow "Alfistis"

My Alfa 147 has gone bung.
A week ago it displayed the dreaded "IMMOBILIZ FAILURE" on startup.
I removed and reinserted the key and the car started without a problem.
Several days later the problem recurred.
This time I got it after about four attempts.
Car worked fine for next few days.
Then got it again and the car went after about 2 retries.
Horror of horrors, I was in Wollongong - 51 km from my home and it went down big time.
It knew where to leave us stranded. What a pain!
Called NRMA who charged me because I was out of the 50km radius by 1 km and then waited 6 hours for a tow back to Sydney (yes - six hours).
Just wondering if anyone could hazard a guess as to what could be wrong. I have tried the usual stuff like disconnecting the battery for 2 hours and reconnecting etc. Battery is very strong - no problem there.
ALFA 166 3.0 V6 2001
ALFA 156 2.0 TS Manual wagon 2001
ALFA 156 2.0 TS Manual sedan 2002
ALFA 147 2.0 TS Manual 5 door hatch 2003

"My thirst for learning is only transcended by the joy of sharing the knowledge"

bonno

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2018, 08:31:42 PM »
Ric
Try the master or spare key and see if this fixes the problem.
now
83 Alfetta GTV
05 156 JTS manual
past
00 156 selespeed
72 1750 GTV

CitroŽnbender

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2018, 08:58:50 PM »
Shame it couldn't go 1km on the starter motor!  ;)

I get this fault reasonably often with either key (both are factory re-issues, not clones). It's my belief a flaky connection or the transponder aerial (ring) is damaged.

bazzbazz

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2018, 09:53:25 PM »
It will be one of two things.

1/ As CB mentioned, a faulty Immob Aerial. It is the plastic ring around the metal of the steering lock. This is easily replaced with a working item sourced from wreckers.

2/ The fault can also be in the Body Computer itself, the only way to determine would be by a diagnostic check with the correct Alfa Softwear.

I would of course suggest taking the easy route first and changing the antenna ring.
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pasey25

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2018, 07:39:55 AM »
It will be one of two things.

1/ As CB mentioned, a faulty Immob Aerial. It is the plastic ring around the metal of the steering lock. This is easily replaced with a working item sourced from wreckers.

2/ The fault can also be in the Body Computer itself, the only way to determine would be by a diagnostic check with the correct Alfa Softwear.

I would of course suggest taking the easy route first and changing the antenna ring.

Wouldnít the cheapest/easiest route be the diagnostic check first?
2005 147 GTA Monza Selespeed
2001 156 Monza Selespeed
1969 Lancia Fulvia 1.3s Coupe
2010 159 TI 2.4 Sportwagon

CitroŽnbender

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2018, 09:10:28 AM »
Good point, I think the economy probably depends on your prior resources.

If youíve a working diagnostic suite that can suitably distinguish between (say) a transponder aerial fault and dialogue error, then absolutely. But if all you have is a basic ďscan toolĒ result that says something like immobiliser error, then your best result may be suck-and-see with a substitute part.

Then again, some may choose to channel their inner LJK Setright/PG Wodehouse and not do much else. :)

Diamond Ric T

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2018, 11:32:51 PM »
Ric
Try the master or spare key and see if this fixes the problem.
Unfortunately it came with only 1 key -  and that was an aftermarket key.
ALFA 166 3.0 V6 2001
ALFA 156 2.0 TS Manual wagon 2001
ALFA 156 2.0 TS Manual sedan 2002
ALFA 147 2.0 TS Manual 5 door hatch 2003

"My thirst for learning is only transcended by the joy of sharing the knowledge"

bazzbazz

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2018, 11:35:31 PM »
Ahhhhh, just a light bulb moment, are you able to open the key to make sure the immobilizer chip is in the key?

Don't laugh, I ask for good reason. (And no, I am not saying the Chip fell out of the key, work with me here people)
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Diamond Ric T

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2018, 11:37:04 PM »
It will be one of two things.

1/ As CB mentioned, a faulty Immob Aerial. It is the plastic ring around the metal of the steering lock. This is easily replaced with a working item sourced from wreckers.

2/ The fault can also be in the Body Computer itself, the only way to determine would be by a diagnostic check with the correct Alfa Softwear.

I would of course suggest taking the easy route first and changing the antenna ring.

Wouldnít the cheapest/easiest route be the diagnostic check first?


Thank you all for your support and advice. I checked with my diagnostic program (ALFA OBD) today and it returned error B1003, which is a transponder error "Transponder not connected or faulty" I would like to remove the steering column cover but I have removed the three screws and it wont come loose. I am feared to force it lest I break the plastic.
ALFA 166 3.0 V6 2001
ALFA 156 2.0 TS Manual wagon 2001
ALFA 156 2.0 TS Manual sedan 2002
ALFA 147 2.0 TS Manual 5 door hatch 2003

"My thirst for learning is only transcended by the joy of sharing the knowledge"

Diamond Ric T

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2018, 11:42:53 PM »
It will be one of two things.

1/ As CB mentioned, a faulty Immob Aerial. It is the plastic ring around the metal of the steering lock. This is easily replaced with a working item sourced from wreckers.

2/ The fault can also be in the Body Computer itself, the only way to determine would be by a diagnostic check with the correct Alfa Softwear.




I would of course suggest taking the easy route first and changing the antenna ring.

Wouldnít the cheapest/easiest route be the diagnostic check first?


Thank you all for your support and advice. I checked with my diagnostic program (ALFA OBD) today and it returned error B1003, which is a transponder error "Transponder not connected or faulty" I would like to remove the steering column cover but I have removed the three screws and it wont come loose. I am feared to force it lest I break the plastic.

Unfortunately not able to get into the key. The plastic moulding appears to be completely solid. There is a coloured spot on the top of the key - a different colour plastic inside which lies the chip. You know, I really curse this technology. It causes much more trouble for the legitimate owner than the thief.
ALFA 166 3.0 V6 2001
ALFA 156 2.0 TS Manual wagon 2001
ALFA 156 2.0 TS Manual sedan 2002
ALFA 147 2.0 TS Manual 5 door hatch 2003

"My thirst for learning is only transcended by the joy of sharing the knowledge"

CitroŽnbender

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2018, 09:37:50 AM »
Unless you have absolute certainty the body computer, ECU and locks are original this would be my tack.

1. Photograph the key blade.
2. Get the programming codes per VIN (I used Andrew at Alfamotive last time, price was fair).
3. See if the transponder code works.
4. If yes, then order new dealer key, program it in.
4a. Get blades (flip shells) cut to match from Keys in the Post.
4b. Have official chip cloned locally and program in used transmitters ex Fleabay.
5. If no, buy full used set of ECU, key, immobiliser chip, body computer.
5a. Follow 4a and 4b.

NB The column jacket lower comes off first, itís lightly clipped in addition to the three fixings. There are two more concealed fixings for the top part of the jacket, close to the steering wheel hub. From memory a small Allen head screw with washer.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 05:22:13 PM by CitroŽnbender »

Diamond Ric T

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2018, 12:00:58 PM »
Thank you immensely for the leads and ideas. I am currently working through them at present. Being one of the most stubborn people on the planet, I will get a fix for this:)
ALFA 166 3.0 V6 2001
ALFA 156 2.0 TS Manual wagon 2001
ALFA 156 2.0 TS Manual sedan 2002
ALFA 147 2.0 TS Manual 5 door hatch 2003

"My thirst for learning is only transcended by the joy of sharing the knowledge"

bazzbazz

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2018, 12:31:31 PM »
Just one little suggestion, before you go delving any further, check all the fuses. If all the fuses are ok check the connection/lead going to the ring antenna and it connection to the Body ECU.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 12:36:53 PM by bazzbazz »
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sportiva

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2018, 04:02:51 PM »
I don't mean to hijack the thread but if we need to swap out all the  immobilizer components are these the parts we will need?
The key and ignition switch
The transponder and its ariel
The body computer
The engine ECU
The door handle and lock
The passenger side airbag key switch
Also, do the selespeed and manual cars share the same engine ECU?
Is the black box with the fuses the body computer?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 04:06:14 PM by sportiva »
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bazzbazz

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Re: Intermittent failure of immobiliser
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2018, 04:17:34 PM »
I don't mean to hijack the thread but if we need to swap out all the  immobilizer components are these the parts we will need
The key and ignition switch
The transponder and its ariel
The body computer
The engine ECU
The door handle and lock
The passenger side airbag key switch
Also, do the selespeed and manual cars share the same engine ECU

Ok, what you see there is for a 156, not a 147.

156 does not have a body computer, which where the immobilizer module is located within in a 147.

A/ For a 147 all you need is matching Engine ECU, Body Computer & Immobiliser Chip out of the key.

B/ All items MUST be from the same type of gearbox as the problem car, in other words if yours is a selespeed all items must be from a selespeed. If yours is a Manual your must get the set from a Manual.

C/ Also you must get a unit from a car with the same number of doors. If yours is a 4 door the set must be from a 4 door.

D/ last but least, you must get the set from a 147 with the same type of Instrument Cluster, pre-face lift or post-face lift. Otherwise it won't be able to do a full Proxi-Alignment and you'll be stuck with a flashing Odometer.

You do not need the actual key itself, just the chip, you do not need the Aerial, you do not need any locks, nor the passenger side airbag switch.

And the Manual & Selespeed cars do have slightly different Engine ECUs and are NOT interchangeable.
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2004 Alfa 156 2.0 JTS Sportwagon (Patty)
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(Eibach 2.5 Lowering Springs)
(Bilstein Sports Dampers )