Author Topic: Selespeed and VDC warning message  (Read 245 times)

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Hughsie

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Selespeed and VDC warning message
« on: January 14, 2020, 12:03:51 PM »
My 147 5 door 2006 is displaying a warning about gearbox and VDC fail.
The car is running beautifully at 120,000 with no sign of any problems. However I live 400 km from the nearest ALFA service people in Sydney and 340 from Canberra. My local mechanics have no idea as they don't have the right diagnostic tools. They have consulted transmission specialists and they don't want to know about it.
My dilemma is of course do I risk the drive to either city and even then who do I take it to. I have read previous forum posts going back ten years and it is very scary reading. Even when these cars were worth something, members were looking to write them off. Has there been any improvement in the availability of replacement parts for these transmissions?
Has anyone got a recommendation as to a fair dinkum ALFA specialist who going to give me a fair shake?
2006 Alfa 147

warsch

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Re: Selespeed and VDC warning message
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 01:01:00 PM »
That could be brake pedal sensor and/or steering wheel sensor.

You can preventatively replace the former, it's cheap (20-40 bucks) and 5 minutes to install.

Craig_m67

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Re: Selespeed and VDC warning message
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 01:03:28 PM »
How old is the battery (they average 3-4 years max these days)?

Just the slightest of low voltages can cause crazy seemingly unrelated errors.

I remember pulling my hair out trying to figure out what was going on with my 156, it had every error under the sun at different times.  Turned out the battery was failing under load.. ie, it showed perfect voltage when running, or sitting.. but when the car pulled power from it (load), the battery voltage collapsed eg, when starting, high fan setting, etc.  An auto electrician was able to load test the battery for free (so he could sell me another)

As to Alfa mechanics in Parkes.. no idea, I grew up in Forbes when the Kingswood was king.
There was a gaggle of older Alfa’s in Orange (Suds), maybe somebody around there can help

The brake pedal sensor is also a good check (also had this).  It self adjusts as your brake pedal moves around a bit (pad thickness, etc).. mine had reached the length of its adjustability and was flicking the brakes on and off with every bump.   This would make the brake lights flash as you drive, not that I could see.. the symptom was cruise control would deactivate by itself (because it thought I’d touched the brakes).. eventually the cruise would refuse to operate and the VDC error would appear.  Would clear itself after 5 restarts.

Another cool one is the sensor in the steering column which determines steering angle.  I put mine back together once a few degrees out, so the car thought it was permanently going around a corner or skidding off the road.  It would drive for about five seconds, then brake the wheels opposite to the “indicated travel of direction), then freak out and turn everything off (hand back control to me).  That was my favourite, proved that the VDC actually does work :)

One good question to ask yourself is, what was the last thing that somebody(you) touched, fixed.. did they do it properly, did it affect something else.

What is the actual gearbox error...
post a pic, include the symptoms of when and how it occurs
There are people here that can help diagnose (a bit, most things require a scan for errors, which you can do)

Parts are readily available
These cars are not difficult to work on
People are just scared of them as they don’t know them.. id suggest a modern day hybrid Corolla is more complicated than a Selespeed GTA
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 01:14:22 PM by Craig_m67 »
'66 Duetto (lacework of doom)
'73 1600 GT Junior (ensconced)
'03 156 1.9JTD Sportwagon (daily driver)

Hughsie

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Re: Selespeed and VDC warning message
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2020, 08:11:58 AM »
No doubt about it. There sure is a wealth of knowledge out there. I will have the battery tested today and see what happens. Thanks guys.  8)
2006 Alfa 147

Hughsie

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Re: Selespeed and VDC warning message
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2020, 04:23:57 PM »
OK have new battery. Old one wasn't too bad. Sparkie said that it dropped down to 9.8 volts under load so it was still working within tolerances. But replaced it anyway. Has made no difference to the warnings.
It seems that the VDC and Gearbox warnings are triggered when I first hit the brakes firmly and they are not showing when braking in reverse.
The Sparkie reckons that his diagnostic gear will diagnose the problem but I am a bit skeptical. Nevertheless I have booked in in next week for them to have a look see.
2006 Alfa 147

Craig_m67

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Re: Selespeed and VDC warning message
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 04:47:02 PM »
9.8volts sounds very, very low.. whose tolerances are they within (Alfa’s?)

Sounds like it could very well be the brake pedal sensor/switch

It has a self adjusting ratchet system to take up any slack .. when it reaches its tops working
Remove it, pull out and reset the adjuster.. it’s obvious when you open it up.
Or replace it with another if you can find one

Quick easy
If it solves the problem, you’re away.
'66 Duetto (lacework of doom)
'73 1600 GT Junior (ensconced)
'03 156 1.9JTD Sportwagon (daily driver)

Hughsie

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Re: Selespeed and VDC warning message
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2020, 08:19:40 AM »
Thanks Craig, I am a bit too old (76) to be clambering under the dash looking for a brake pedal sensor. However it is going back to the auto electricians next week as they reckon that their equipment can analyse the problem. That remains to be seen but they have plenty of agile techs who can check the sensor. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again  8)
2006 Alfa 147

bonno

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Re: Selespeed and VDC warning message
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2020, 09:52:05 AM »
Hi Hughsie
I agree that the battery voltage of 9.8V under load is low and this may have triggered off the warning lights. Anyhow see how you go with your local Auto Electrician re diagnostic check and maybe is able to clear fault/s. In addition, find below is a link to AROCA NSW website and local convener who may put you onto repairers in the local area that specialize in Alfa’s
https://www.alfaclubnsw.org.au/contacts/nsw-chapters/
cheers
bonno
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 10:47:53 AM by bonno »
now
83 Alfetta GTV
05 156 JTS manual
past
00 156 selespeed
72 1750 GTV

Hughsie

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Re: Selespeed and VDC warning message
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2020, 02:50:07 PM »
GOOD NEWS! Wayne Osborne, my Auto Electrician has a number of diagnostic modules and one of them can read Alfa's. I showed him the various suggestions from you guys and he ran checks on both the Brake Pedal and Steering components and they are clear. Turns out it is the brake light switch giving these false alarms. He has cleared the faults and advised me to get a new switch.

So also following advice from this forum I called Vlad at aresespares.com.au and what a fountain of information resides in his brain. Anyway the brake light switch is about $24 (genuine) and on his advice I also bought a new radiator overflow tank as he advises that this is a common fail on Alfas.

Thanks everyone for your sage advice.
2006 Alfa 147