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I too started having this ETC warning yesterday. 2018 Stelvio QV @ 13,500 miles. Looks to be the original Varta battery. Hooked up a multimeter to it and I'm getting ~12.54 volts with the car off after warming up the battery with the headlights. Seems a bit low, but then I realized - I was cleaning my seats this weekend, leaving the doors open and stereo playing for maybe 30 minutes? It was long enough for the car to shut itself off. So that battery drain is likely what caused it for me. The ETC warning and check engine light have both cleared as of today.
 

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My wife was driving home in our 2018 Ti Sport yesterday, which has about 35,000 miles on it. She had just exited a highway and was turning left onto a busy 3-lane road when the dreaded ETC and Stop/Start Unavailable warnings came on and the car died - literally in the middle of her turn. She frantically shut it off and tried restarting it, and it turned over the second time. In limp mode she pulled over to the side of the road and called me. Fortunately she was able to limp home from there.

She spoke to the dealership this morning who advised her (as I've seen on other threads here) to warm up the car and turn it off and on 10 times to "reset" the software. The reset seems to have worked for now. We still have the original battery but the dealer is going to check it next week. I had her leave the car running for 45 minutes afterward to make sure the battery is fully charged, and am going to push the dealership hard to replace the battery with a Mopar when it goes in next week.

Of course this occurred when we are on the verge of purchasing the car off lease since we have not had any issues for quite a while. I cannot believe that - between the known battery and software issues - this is not the subject of a recall! I hate to think what could have happened if this occurred just a few minutes earlier when she was driving on an Interstate. The experience leaves me uncertain about going forward with the purchase.
 

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My wife was driving home in our 2018 Ti Sport yesterday, which has about 35,000 miles on it. She had just exited a highway and was turning left onto a busy 3-lane road when the dreaded ETC and Stop/Start Unavailable warnings came on and the car died - literally in the middle of her turn. She frantically shut it off and tried restarting it, and it turned over the second time. In limp mode she pulled over to the side of the road and called me. Fortunately she was able to limp home from there.

She spoke to the dealership this morning who advised her (as I've seen on other threads here) to warm up the car and turn it off and on 10 times to "reset" the software. The reset seems to have worked for now. We still have the original battery but the dealer is going to check it next week. I had her leave the car running for 45 minutes afterward to make sure the battery is fully charged, and am going to push the dealership hard to replace the battery with a Mopar when it goes in next week.

Of course this occurred when we are on the verge of purchasing the car off lease since we have not had any issues for quite a while. I cannot believe that - between the known battery and software issues - this is not the subject of a recall! I hate to think what could have happened if this occurred just a few minutes earlier when she was driving on an Interstate. The experience leaves me uncertain about going forward with the purchase.
Hello,
We're disappointed to hear you're experiencing this concern. After your dealer service, if you feel you need additional support, don't hesitate to send us a private message. We'd be happy to help.

Sarah
Alfa Romeo Cares
 

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I purchased my 2020 Stelvio Quad in Feb of this year - 5000 miles on the car and its been at the dealership 4 times for the same issue. Although my dealer is more than helpful and accommodating - and so is Alfa Premium Care (towing to the dealer of my choice) - this has become very frustrating. At least Mercedes gave us loaners when things like this happened.

I picked it up this morning, only to have to take it back again for the same issue.... lets see if the Alfa techs can fix it this time.

As a loyal Fiat / Alfa owner for 30+ year, Im used to quirky Italy rolling stock, but Ive never been afraid of getting to my destination because of an "electrical issue".

Shame on FCA for allowing this to exist. Build your $90,000 cars like everyone else does! So they dont break!
 

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What is the issue?
The code is for the electronic throttle control.
But this issue is the inability for factory training to resolve what should be a simple issue.

I live in a metropolitan area of 7M ppl and it's 30+ min to a dealership. Not a big deal unless you're making that trip 8 - 10 times for the same issue.

Most recently, the solution they floater is the fuel pump. But at this, after a fuel pressure sensor and a battery... I'm dubious.
 

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Are there any symptoms?

Or just the light?

If there are no symptoms, it can be any one of maybe 10 things. Becomes a game of going down a list till something works.

The problem isn't a lack of training, the problem is a lack of cars on the road, leading to a lack of experience as to what exactly is failing. This is why car makers like Toyota rarely make drastic changes to thier models, or create all new models in brand-new factories. They prefer instead a gradual evolution of engine, electronics, platform s and other components, almost never altering more than one in any given year. After 10+ years of using the same stuff you know all the problem areas and repairs are fast because you've seen them a million times. Alfa..hasn't. everything is new and they are learning. Doesn't make it ok, and they could do it faster for sure, regardless is what it is.
 

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Are there any symptoms?
Yes there have been other symptoms - but thats really their job to determine not mine. Prior to my initial service visit 2 months ago, I pulled codes using Multiecuscan. As I recall it indicated coil(s) fault)s) on one side of the motor. I took the car in the next day and the dealer amazingly found no codes stored. Because of an ISO incompatibility issue, I was not able to erase any codes and they dont "just go away".

The same FCA trained technicians confidently diagnosed the issue to a fuel pressure sensor which although common to many makes they had to order taking over a week.

Thankfully at that point, I had already lost confidence in the Stelvio's reliability and we rented a Ford for our family's summer road trip. Two weeks and 200 miles after returning from a 2500 mile vacation the Stelvio hiccuped again but this time was immobile. Would start but no accelerator response. All cards on the table, I know a little about cars - specifically Italian cars.... thinking it might be a battery issue, I disconnected the battery found some corrosion on the + side (What the heck - its a new car!) but w/o any luck. I had to have the car towed to the dealership.

This is the 2nd Alfa I had towed to the dealership in 2 weeks. My wife's 2019 Giulia had a battery failure the week prior. Thankfully that was replaced under warranty as well.

And in both cases, I had to plead for customer care to tow my Alfa's to the dealership which only services Alfas - 2 miles outside their "approved" tow radius.


The problem isn't a lack of training, the problem is a lack of cars on the road, leading to a lack of experience as to what exactly is failing.
I have a problem with that statement. This thread it self is 3 years (not months) old. The Quad was introduced nearly 5 years ago... and not built with all newly created technology. As I mentioned above, the fuel pressure sensor is common to other European makes (Ferrari's dating back to 2010 and Porsche's dating to 2015) and manufactured by Bosch. So neither Alfa nor FCA get a pass because they don't sell enough cars. The fuel management is off the shelf.

Im no stranger to Italian cars. I own a dozen of them dating back to 1939. Im used to some idiosyncrasies - what Im not used to is the fact that the folks who built the machine don't seem to know what is wrong with it. And now it's starting to cost me time and money - well above I paid for the machine.
 

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The fuel pressure sensor and many other electronic part certainly are off the shelf and used in many cars. Which plays to why I believe it is ridiculous to act like cars are any different based on country of origin anymore. But what could I know? I don't insult Alfa every 5 seconds so obviously I'm stupid.


The unavailability of Bosch parts is also common to many makes currently. Elon Musk has made quite a stink about it. Everybody is waiting for parts currently and for some time now.

It doesn't matter that the quad is 5 years old. What matters is in that 5 years it has sold very few cars so despite how major your problem seems to you, or how, a few other people with the exact same problem online (a few people over the course of yes, 3 YEARS, so yeah..not a common issue) might seem like a trend to you...in the scheme of things it's nothing. The factory techs are inexperienced because in reality....the great majority of cars don't have problem, which when combined with sales numbers lower than a Porsche racing edition 911, leaves the techs inexperienced, regardless of platform age. Toyota sells more of a model in one year then Alfa has in 5. That is what matters in terms of technical experience, not age of platform. Because while many parts and systems are common across vehicle makes, the way they are implemented and tuned is not. How they are implemented and tuned matters, creating unique situations that require time and/or experience to learn.

Lacking enough symptoms, like I said it's just going down a list and trying things..like replacing a fuel sensor. Which might work, and might not. Are there enough symptoms? I don't know, asked to try and help, but well....we see how that went.

As far as a coil pack problem and the code you said you got, that turns on the check engine light, not throttle light. Was the ISO error, error ISO9141? That means there was a communication problem, so any codes pulled are probably phantom codes. Not real in other words.

Since you obviously don't want help and simply want to complain, Go ahead...

Sorry, for trying to be productive.

Everything is because of being Italian....that uses German parts...but ignore that. Italian bad.
 

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Since you obviously don't want help and simply want to complain, Go ahead...

Sorry, for trying to be productive.

Everything is because of being Italian....that uses German parts...but ignore that. Italian bad.
A little offensive but OK. I grew up in Europe and my grandmother was Italian. And I have very strong ties and connections to the Italian automotive industry.

Yes Im complaining ... you bet. Certainly Im not going to justify mediocrity in the way FCA handles repairing a machine.

Guidance and direction is appreciated and if at anytime did I imply you were stupid - I apologize. Certainly not my intention.

However, I honestly expect the service technicians who get paid to do one thing (service FCA products) to do their jobs.
 

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Update.
The dealership returned the Stelvio 2 weeks ago. And so far no more issues.

Apparently the know issue is corrosion on the main power leads either at the battery or the ECU. A rather simple fix apparently but one which required the local service tech to escalate the problem internally for assistance.

On a side note, one of my dealer friends says contact corrosion is a common issue and not part of the PDI process. However at his dealership it now is. Since these issues are not common to variants sold in the EU, the thought is that exposure to salt air for 1000+ hours during transport may the cause.

When this all started, I did pull the covers off the battery and noticed some very minor "white" corrosion but did not think it could cause such a significant problem. Hopefully, FCA will consider adding protective grease to the vital connection and / or adding this to part of the PDI process.
 

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Sadly the problem is back...

The 7000mil Q was taken back to the dealership a week age and still no updates on a permanent fix.

Although Alfa engineers have advised the techs to check for corrosion and "wiggle" connections.... which sounds like a promising way to diagnose an electrical issue.
 

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So now these post are more to provide a public record than anything.

Yesterday both Alfa Customer Care and the dealer call to inform me that replace the grounding cable at the transmission had cured the problem and to come pick up my Quad. Less than 24 hours later, the dealership called to inform me that this repair did not help and the car is again showing fault codes.

Now for week 3.
 

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What problem is back?

You are throwing the same code?

Assuming you drove around with the contact bad for a while..through no fault of your own.....that would cause intermittent voltage issues.

Generally, no problem. Sometimes....problem.

When it is, the problem can be in anything connected to the electrical system. Which is everything. It can also be with everything...like one thing fails...then a week later another goes....then a month later...two weeks after that....

Modern cars have more electronics and computers than space shuttles did in the 80's. Electronics really hate intermittent voltage, but there is no way to tell untill they stop working...or stop working intermittently...which is so much harder to find....

As a 3rd generation tech, partial shop owner with lots of skilled friends and every tools made for diagnosis available to me, could throw a party with ten highly skilled and experienced people to find and electrical problem.......what is happening to you is a nightmare.

Literally. It has never happened to me but it scares the crap out of me and I live in constant fear it might (but ignore it cause nothing to do about it, just always in the back of my head)

Hope you get a good resolution....were it me, I'de be doing a countdown to lemoning that car. Take the money get a different Alfa, check for corrosion on the lot, find one with none and enjoy. (As a side comment...all these ships filled with cars stuck at sea unable to deliver...this type of thing is going to be an increasing issue across brands)

What is happening is not unique to or common in, Alfa's. It can happen in any car. When it does.....the tech that can easily and reliably diagnose this type of moving electrical problem doesn't exist. If it gets fixed, it's luck...otherwise..literally why there are lemon laws.

Sorry..but keep your expectations realistic. Look up the lemon laws in your state.
 

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I agree its not unique to Alfa's. However, Ive had 3 modern Alfa (not including this one) and 4 other models Fiats - none of which presented this many challenges to ownership. So the disappointment is very high right now.

... oh and dont mention Lemon Law to the dealerships, they flip out when you do.

Since this is a dead chassis and the next vehicles will be all electric, Im doubtful there are too many more Alfa's in my future....

As I mentioned, my main goal in posting here is to keep a public record of how the process was being handled by Alfa Customer Car and the dealership. I hope for a positive outcome but am not holding my breath.
 

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I have sued VW to lemon a vehicle, understand exactly how the dealers and manufacturers react. Don't care, not even the tiniest bit. They can go do things to themselves. Some people here think I'm some fanboi that forgives anything. Which I think is just hilarious considering the number of lawsuits against manufacturers and dealers I've been a part of. Really, belly laughs, love it. Keep that up.

My expectations are very low when it comes to dealers and car manufacturers. While I love what they sell and build...I think they are predominantly greedy scumbags more interested in the next coke bump or sex party then running a good company, and kinda hate 'em. (The execs not the employees) Genuinely believe you should be as nice as possible but don't trust em, and don't let what they think or want influence you. Like, at all...ok maybe do the opposite of what they want. Let them influence you like that.

With that said....what is happening here is exactly why lemon laws exist and how the dealer and Alfa Care are handling it seems to be pretty acceptable considering.....this type of phantom electronic issue is the hardest single thing to diagnose. Bar none. Again it could get solved and never repeat...maybe not too. That really truly is luck of the draw as far as: have there been secondary damages? How much? When and how will those damages manifest ? With electronics there is no way to tell if it is about to fail or even damaged. It just happens or doesn't if the damage is due to shorts or voltage problems..other things...

This is why old school techs are drinking themselves numb trying to figure out why people are ok with this computerization of all components, and really, are trying find a way to retire. Cause this sucks as much for us as you...maybe more cause we see 5 issues like this a month sometimes and it doesn't get easier.hearing frustrated people - who don't really know what they are saying - tell us all the things we should know and be able to do...and WANT TO DO...but can't.

As far as the dead chassis thing....ok. (it really isn't dead, the next one will be a re-engineering of this to make it cheaper to build, mostly they will get rid of the integrated frame, make it unibody only with way less aluminum, it won't be anything like a full redesign, but ok)...so what I am hearing is....you just want to give up and start getting used to driving boring appliances now....alright. Your choice. There is an alternative..get another Alfa on this chassis while you can. Drive it forever....chassis is shared with a Jeep..parts will be around, shoot man, parts are still around for Alfa's not sold in the US for 50 years. Really. Not just Alfa's....you can get parts for a Yugo...ain't like it was in 1970. Not even a little bit..even though those execs and marketers working for mainstream brands want you to think it is.



Just devil's advocating.
 

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Ive known John, the creator of these videos, for more than 20 years - and he is spot on. We've discussed my issues at length over the past several months. Have a look at some of his other videos they are filled w/ good info.
 
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