FAO SteveH or anyone who can help!

Chaps
SWMBO has a 2001 Alfa Spider. She is starting to hate it. Along with the airbag light now constantly lit, the roof leaking, and an uneven idle there
is something else wrong. These issues will hopefully get sorted under warranty, but this other problem is bothering us. The car needs to be used tomorrow for a 200 mile trip, and we're both a little anxious. Her more than me, I won't be in it :)
It's been squeeking, nay squeeling, nay screaming, from the offside (drivers?) rear wheel for some time now. When the car is cold, there is no problem, but drive it for 5 or 10 minutes and it starts. If you lightly apply the brakes, then the noise stops. And I mean lightly, as if the caliper is just brushing against the disc. If you turn the wheel slightly clockwise whilst driving, the noise stops. But, as soon as you straighten up again, the screeching starts. Oh, after a long drive that wheel is particularly hotter than the others. You could not touch it for more than half a second without pulling away, surely that is not right?
There doesn't seem to be any change in the feedback to the steering wheel, no wobbling or anything. Saying that, if it's the rear then there probably wouldn't be.
I thought it might be the brake on that wheel binding? So, I took the wheel off earlier to look at the disc/caliper. I don't know what I was looking for, so I took some pictures[1] for you helpful guys to look at :)
Now, I've put the wheel back on and been for a spin. The noise is still there, but a hell of a lot less than before. Also, the wheel was taken off about a month ago by a family member to see if he could sort this problem, and for a week or so afterwards the problem was gone. Only to return.
I hope someone can make sense of my post, and I would appreciate any pointers [2]
Thanks
Dan
[1]Wheel hub - http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic /28515204679.jpg&s=x10 Brake Disc Top Edge - http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic /28515212926.jpg&s=x10 Suspension - http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic /28515223384.jpg&s=x10 SWMBO's Next Car ;) - http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic=9/25113215552.jpg&s=x4
[2] Apart from the, 'You shouldn't have bought an Alfa' replies. :)
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Sticky caliper / slide / brake pad(s).
Dismantle- clean - coat non friction surfaces in copper grease, reassemble.
Oh, and ease the pistons in the caliper as well if they are sticking.
Not hugely complicated, maybe an hour if you take your time and do both sides. The brakes will feel better afterwards and the car may even go and handle better as well. (Depending on the severity of the problem)
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Ok, I have less than no experience with car maintenance. But, from reading your post and the ones below I'm fairly confident it's a brake problem. One that I'd be happier letting someone with training and experience sort out under warranty.
Problem is though, Mangoletsi are shit. I asked them to look at it a while back, and they couldn't get it to happen when they drove it. Bollocks they couldn't. I'll try either Caledonian in Warrington, or find a specialist somewhere that won't invalidate the warranty.
Thanks for your reply.
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In

Mate of mine is one of the top spanner monkeys at Caledonian in Warrington, and he knows his stuff. He's doing the cambelt, tensioner and variator on my 155 next week - as a foreigner, obviously....
Get in touch with me - remove the spamtrap, obviously, and I'll have a word in his ear about the Spider for you.
--
Pete M

Alfa 155
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Pete M wrote:

Excellent, thanks Pete. I'll drop you an email. :)
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Probably the wiring for seatbelt pre-tensioner / sensor in the seat (tells the ECU there's someone sat in the seat).
Look under the seat for a multiplug connector. Unplug, clean, plug back in.
You'll more than likely have to take the car to a dealer to get the ECU reset, though.

Probably just needs a few tweaks to the tensioners. I was quite good at doing that with my old Golf.

MAF sensor. Bog standard Bosch part, every car that uses it has the same problems with it. They're about 80 quid on an exchange basis, and 5 mins to fit.

Sticky caliper. Strip, clean, replace.
--
Steve H 'You're not a real petrolhead unless you've owned an Alfa Romeo'
http://www.italiancar.co.uk - Honda VFR800 - MZ ETZ300 - Alfa 75 TSpark
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wrote:

I believe so, I gave up looking for it when I read somewhere that I'd need to take it in to get the ECU reset anyway.

Hmmm, a dealer (shriek!) or specialist job methinks. Do you know any decent Alfa specialists in the NW? You heard of 'Wigan Paul'?

Heheh, you read like the FAQ on www.alfaowner.com ;) The idling is usually ok, but this problem has now come back. I'll get that sorted on it's trip to the garage.

I'm glad it sounds like something simple. As I said to Bob though, I'm not nearly enough qualified/experienced/skilled to try and fettle with something as vital as brakes on a car.
Thanks for your reply Steve
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It's nearly 16 years since I moved from the north west, PeteM probably knows better. The specialist I knew up there (Alberto's) has closed, although I've heard good things about Alfatune in St. Helens and Peak Alfa in Hope.
Have a look at the handle(s) / clamp(s) that latch the roof to the windscreen, these often cause problems. Other than that, some rubber lubricant to liven up the seals around the doors might help.

Thost Bosch MAF units are a heap of junk - everyone seems to use them, they've been responsible for rough running Alfas and VWs in particular.
--
Steve H 'You're not a real petrolhead unless you've owned an Alfa Romeo'
http://www.italiancar.co.uk - Honda VFR800 - MZ ETZ300 - Alfa 75 TSpark
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wrote:

St Helens would be great, that's only ten minutes from us. I'll look them up.

Righto.
I knew that everyone with a GTV/Spider has basically had trouble with them, didn't know about VW.
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In wrote:

Gus who owns AlfaTune is a top fella, really nice bloke, but appears snotty as fuck until he knows you.
He's a Greek chap, very, very strange, but he's also brilliant.
More expensive than my mate in Caledonia though, or I'd be using him more often. He's very talented with the old 75's.. very talented indeed.
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Alfa 155
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wrote:

Peak Alfa in Hope come highly recommended. If you can find it :D
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Delgardo wrote:

Thanks for the recommendation Delgardo. The only reason I've not thought about using them is because I didn't know where they were! I now see that they are kind of halfway over Snakes Pass, which is about 40 miles each way from me. I'll try Alfa Aid in St Helens first I think.
Thanks
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-=D@n=- wrote:

Correction: Alfa Tune in St Helens :)
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Alfa Tech, you mean.
Alfa Aid are a slightly questionable specialist in Maidenhead - great for parts but I'd never let them near my car or buy one from them.
--
Steve H 'You're not a real petrolhead unless you've owned an Alfa Romeo'
http://www.italiancar.co.uk - Honda VFR800 - MZ ETZ300 - Alfa 75 TSpark
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SteveH wrote:

Alfa Tune, you said earlier. And there's an Alfatune in St Helens, but no Alfa Tech according to www.yell.com

I'd heard of them, that's where my confusion came from.
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Fuck, aye, that's what I meant.

--
Steve H 'You're not a real petrolhead unless you've owned an Alfa Romeo'
http://www.italiancar.co.uk - Honda VFR800 - MZ ETZ300 - Alfa 75 TSpark
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way
Heh, finding hope is the easy bit, it's hidden away on a dingy industrial estate down the back of some fields. No signs as such, although the collection of Italian cars outside gives it away a bit. Still, it's worth the hunt to find someone who knows what they're doing.
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[Snipped Text]

Not on these, it'll be the Idle Valve. They use Magneti Marrelli anyway.

Yup, very common.
--
Andy Hewitt ** FAF#1, (Ex-OSOS#5) - FJ1200 ABS
Honda Civic: Windows free zone (Mac G5 Dual Processor)
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I stand corrected..... why the difference to a 156 TSpark, then, which uses the Bosch part?
--
Steve H 'You're not a real petrolhead unless you've owned an Alfa Romeo'
http://www.italiancar.co.uk - Honda VFR800 - MZ ETZ300 - Alfa 75 TSpark
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I could be wrong of course, and it could explain why they don't work so well, the system is essentially Magnetti, but if they decided to use other parts in the system, it explains a lot. However, IIRC we never replaced a MAF sensor in the 6 years I worked at Coupers.
OTOH it doesn't really surprise me, Fiat, as the parent company, purchase components from whoever can manufacture them to the price they want to pay, rather than to meet a specification (and I do know this for a fact) - as do quite a lot of other struggling (and deceased) marques.
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Honda Civic: Windows free zone (Mac G5 Dual Processor)
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