Dead Stelvio, but dead battery? - Alfa Romeo Stelvio Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Dead Stelvio, but dead battery?

I've been trying to get caught up and have not seen a conclusive solution to my issue.

Background: 2018 Stelvio Ti - 4800 miles currently, owned for 9 mos (since Oct 2018)

First Issue: March of 2019. Stelvio had been sitting for about 10 days in garage. Wife tried to leave and there is lights, no electrical of any kind. The master mechanic in me thinks the newfangled machines with all their computers drained the battery in those last 10 days.

Being more handy than hansom luckily, I was able to connect my battery charger and get the Stelvio started the next day.

I verified charge status with my handy-dandy multi-meter and found charging to be indicated by a 13.9 V reading across the jumper-dealy under the hood and the ground pin. So far so go I thought.

Scheduled an appointment with the dealer JUST IN CASE. Few days later, took into dealer and got a clean bill of health. Dealer noted some software updates were required and did so.

Overall...I thought to's still a beautify vehicle. You still love driving it. This is just one of those hiccups that happen. NO WORRIES.

...and it's been love at first sight until July 24rd (of '19)...

Second Recurrence of First Issue: 7/23, all was well in Stelvio land. The wife had taken the grandson to the park. Came home, parked the Stelvio in the garage as is usual. Morning of the 24th, DEAD STELVIO. All the same characteristics of the first one. Absolutely zero electrical activity. Again, being handy as ever...10 AMP charge for 90 minutes and the Stelvio was able to start on it's own.

I left it running for 30 minutes to ensure full enough charge.

7/25 - no appointment made for Friday the 26th.

7/26 - Drove to work, Stelvio started up after sitting for 36 or so hours.

Dealer looked it over for two hours, said battery checked out fine. No log of any other issues.

SO...I do not think there is a charging issue...I think it would have indicated as such...and perhaps my lovely wife missed the message it should have been found in the logs.

I don't think it is a battery issue as with a partial charge, it was able to hold charge for 36 hours and not exhibit any issues when verified at dealer (from what I was told, battery was "load tested" with results well within specification.

As I was talking with my service adviser and the shop manager, I was told there are several Stelvio with the same challenges...and no one can find anything wrong. They have said that someone from AR is coming to the dealership next week (last week of July '19) to review these issues and help them resolve.

SO...Thank you for reading so far...

I know there are plenty of stories like this out there...has anyone been able to identify the root cause and solution?

I feel that there must be a few things going on...first, there must be some type of drain occurring? Maybe? ...and there some type of master cutoff that senses the drain and shuts down everything? My HUGE failure was verifying battery voltage PRIOR to charging...I don't know why I did not think of that. FOR SURE if it happens again I will do this.

Upon implementing the charging, all manner of relays and whatnot start activating and whatnot...there is plenty of "activity" occurring once 12V is supplied under the hood.

Thanks in advance for any additional input. I am hoping some here had the same problem and I can point my dealer HERE for the solution.

I know I should not even be considering this, but I feel like this wonderful vehicle is now sitting in the suspect box. The wife is worried about taking it on a weekender trip...what happens if it dies when we are in a hotel?

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 07:41 PM
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There are a few possibilities:

1) it is not a recall and technically not software, but there is a campaign to address this which involved a BCM fault which may cause battery discharge but turning on the turn signals while the ignition is off

2) proximity keys are handy. They are also in constant two way communication with the car when within range. If you keep the spare key close enough it can try to ready the car repeatedly because it’s in range and “helping”. That’s enough parasitic draw to give you issues.

3) the stock battery is known to be terrible and not fit for purpose. It’s possible the Varta battery does have an issue which isn’t showing when the dealer hooks it up. It’s possible an AGM battery replacement could fix this.

2018 Stelvio Ti Sport: Misano Blue with yellow calipers

Performance pack, leather dash, sunroof, CarPlay/AA, HK upgrade (-3 fade +7 bass -3 mid -4 treble)
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 10:37 PM
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The next time you discover that it is dead, measure the battery voltage before you do anything else.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 07:21 AM
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Seeing posts like these, I always think I an reading about, say, a restored '71 GTV, or maybe a '61 Chrysler 300G project, and not a contemporary factory vehicle. I have close to 2000 miles on my Stelvio QV, and the only problem so far is a fender flare popping out of its mount, but given these posts I am holding my breath for something more major, for instance, the vehicle going dead at some remote rest stop, or getting a flat at night in the snow on a deserted parkway, with no spare, no mini-spare, nothing but the stupid, insulting glue pot provided, and Alfa's embarrassing "roadside assistance." There are too few dealerships, and even fewer competent ones, to feel confidence.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 07:57 AM
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The keys could be a good guess since it has been on certain days. Were the keys possibly left closer to the car than normal? If the car is left unlocked I think the draw is more...

Also more than a few stories on here where the battery tested good but replacing it solved a similar problem.

Like Knight said...could still be the battery.

Could be more complex than that though, and your dealer having someone from Alfa come down to look at things and help resolve them without me that is a huge plus. Huge.

That is how "traditionally reliable" brands generally stay ahead of big issues...factory involvement at the dealer level..then issue a TSB. Maybe we'll get one for the stupid battery....

2018 Stelvio 2.0T AWD

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all

Thanks everyone for the feedback so far.

I'm 9 months into this, and less than half-way to the first recommended maintenance.

Being well into "middle-age" (I just turned 49...) I am from the school of more oil changes the better.

I took it in at 3 mos and asked for an oil change, they said nope, come back at a year or 10K miles...LOL

So, my year is coming soon, and I will discuss the battery, unless I have another issue sooner.

Speaking of the keys. I hate to even say this...but for the most part, they sit on the same counter in the kitchen that they always do. I have left the key in the cup holder a few times, but NOT when I have had a problem...go figure. ...and YES...after reading I know I should be practicing much better key management.

Thanks again. Fingers are crossed that this goes away and the wifey trusts the Stelvio. I love the vehicle.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 04:07 PM
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When my factory battery went south I charged it also and took it to the dealer. They said the battery was fine. I went home and waited or the battery to die again then had the stelvio towed to the dealer. IT was at that time they said the battery was bad and replaced it with a mopar battery. That happened when my car had 2k miles and 2 years ago. Since that change I have had not one problem with my stelvio.

2018 Stromboli Grey Stelvio named "Christine"
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 11:09 AM
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Bite the bullet.
Replace it with an Interstate AGM.
Your issues will disappear.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by tom1356 View Post
Bite the bullet.
Replace it with an Interstate AGM.
Your issues will disappear.
Following thread - Parked Stelvio last night, no issues. Came out this morning to a completely dead vehicle. Had to use the key to open, no indication of any power. Roadside is coming to try and jump me. We're stuck in a tiny temp apartment and all my tools, etc are in a POD.

Has anyone else with this issue found that it is just the shitty battery?
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 03:24 PM
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Roadside came and jumped me, battery was dead dead. Taking to the dealer tomorrow.
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