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2017 Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio, trofeo white
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I'm not sure if this has happened to anybody else here, but I am a very concerned consumer, who purchased my care years ago, love my car, and was massively disappointed by Alfa Romeo/FCA's customer care and response to my concern. Maybe somebody here can offer advice.

Over a month ago, I was driving my car on a freeway, spirited driving but well within the advertised tolerances of the vehicle. My check engine light came on, so I pulled over and turned the car off. Got out of the car, and there were literally 2-3 foot flames coming out of the right side exhaust tips. Never seen anything like it. I carry a fire extinguisher (always be prepared), and put the fire out. Damage was to rear bumper, valence, plastics. Car was not a total loss or anything like that. I plugged in my OBD2 scanner and took a screen shot of the codes listed. (See attached pic).
I had the vehicle towed to nearest certified Alfa dealer. It took 2 weeks for Alfa to ultimately get an independent 3rd party engineer to come look at the car. They did their assessment, sent report on to Alfa/FCA, who advised that their "investigative unit" did not believe the fire came from failure of manufacture or assembly, and so they were not going to further diagnose or repair the problem that caused the fire, or the subsequent damages caused by the fire. After two weeks with my car, neither the dealership, nor Alfa/FCA could or would tell me the root cause of the fire, or why they didn't think they needed to solve and repair under warranty. I asked Alfa/FCA for a copy of the 3rd party report, and/or definitive proof/evidence of the cause, so as to release their responsibility under the Magnusson Moss Warranty Act. All I received was silence in return.

After a LOT of discussion, the service advisor told me that Alfa/FCA told him that because I had an X-pipe and a Forge recircuation kit on the car, that those mods must have caused fuel to run rich, cause fuel to dump into injectors, past the catalytic converter, and into the exhaust, and hence cause fire. And that stock components had to be put back on car, and then reassess afterwards.
Fast forward another two weeks. I've now filed an insurance claim in order to get cosmetic repairs going, dealer service advisor thinks i tuned the engine ECUs, which i never have, and i even advised that they can download files from ECU with Witech scanner, and that Alfa/FCA can look at file sizes and determine if I've done something to the ecu. I provided dealer with my stock recirc valves and stock midpipe, which they put back on the car.

Alfa/FCA is responsible, I would think, for identifying and fixing a problem that caused fuel to dump into the exhaust and fire to come out of the exhaust tips. Right? I mean, they never told me WHY its not their responsibility, or how the presence of an X-pipe and a recirc kit could cause a fire to happen. Shouldn't they want to figure out what happened and take care of their consumer and their product? And their reputation?

I have 3 young girls, ages 9,7,and 5. They are my life. I drive them in my car. My car is my daily driver. How can I trust that my babies are safe in my car when I have a dealer ignoring my concerns, and a major auto company in Alfa/FCA, that isn't taking the right steps, the responsibility, to identify and fix the problem, instead of blaming it on afternarket parts that couldn't have cause this fire to occur??
Please help me out if you can.
Thank you.
 

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The problem is your essentially in a grey area for Alfa/FCA. The burden of proof is essentially on you to prove that your aftermarket parts are not the reason for the fire. Many technicians barely have the know-how to assess normal, stock cars for problems. Once you add more variables I think they are going to struggle and it will be easier to point a finger at third party products even if this isn't the cause.
 

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Did you remove a piggyback before returning car? They can see the boost levels and fuel trims for a piggyback. Everything is present. The service center is most likely 100% on your side until you give them a reason not to be. I’ll use myself as an example so I don’t offend anyone. If I walk into a service center and act like a dick know it all I most likely won’t get anything resolved. If I walk in and have a pleasant attitude, tip the tech $100 I’m most likely going to get shit done. Maybe $300 tip if I really fucked up. The service center is ants your business to get paid.
 

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This is a real post.
The answer unfortunately is no. AR does not have to figure out why fire was shooting out of a car with modifications that impact fueling which im sure their opinion is the aftermarket exhaust and bpv did.

Its unfortunate and sure technically the manufacturer has to prove your aftermarket parts caused the issue but how hard do you think it will be for expert AR or FCA engineers to convince a judge your parts caused a change to engine operating parameters?

This is why I advocate hiding al mods
from Dealers and return to stock for warranty work
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for the feedback. It is much appreciated. There never was any tune of any kind, piggyback or otherwise. I errantly believed that a couple of minor aftermarket modifications that shouldn't be able cause serious problems, wouldn't cause such problems. Much less that there would be no support from a company interested in bringing back brand, brand reliability, and wanting to do the right thing.
Can a recirc kit and an X-pipe, thats literally all I did, cause fuel enrichment and alter air:fuel ratios? I can't see how it could, but I'm sure there's a lot I don't know. Does adding such parts to my car subsequently require it to be tuned?
I'm not out to get anybody... I deliberately have not named names, or the dealership where my car is at, etc. I just want the problem solved and to be able to safely trust that it won't happen again.
 

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I doubt your parts caused this but technically i guess its possible a sticking bpv or a bov could cause a misfire (after fire). In your case it looks like cyl 3 may have an issue. Id check everything on that cylinder from injector, injector seal, coilpack, plug, valve seats, and inspect cyl.

Mike
 

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Thank you for the feedback. It is much appreciated. There never was any tune of any kind, piggyback or otherwise. I errantly believed that a couple of minor aftermarket modifications that shouldn't be able cause serious problems, wouldn't cause such problems. Much less that there would be no support from a company interested in bringing back brand, brand reliability, and wanting to do the right thing.
Can a recirc kit and an X-pipe, thats literally all I did, cause fuel enrichment and alter air:fuel ratios? I can't see how it could, but I'm sure there's a lot I don't know. Does adding such parts to my car subsequently require it to be tuned?
I'm not out to get anybody... I deliberately have not named names, or the dealership where my car is at, etc. I just want the problem solved and to be able to safely trust that it won't happen again.
i guess why add a forge recirculating kit to a stock car if your staying within stock parameter? The forge is a heavier duty blow off with-different springs for engines that are producing more than normal power. So why add one part to a stock car if you didn’t add power is the question? I’ve never been a fan of x-pipes. So I won’t comment on the gimmicky nature of an x-pipe but to add a recirculating kit to a stock car doesn’t make too much sense unless you had many evap codes with stock diverter. If that’s the case then the dealer would of seen the codes from previous visits.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just added the forge recirc kit because it sounded like a hearty improvement over the stock component. Not other reason.
 

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Have you considered the possibility that the mods you have installed could have caused the issue(s)? Maybe check with those manufacturers?

FWIW and IMHO, i think it is unreasonable to expect Alfa or any manufacturer to cover mods that change the way a car operates and performs.
 

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I assume they ruled out the oblivious? Bad spark plug/coil pack, stuck fuel injector etc. I’m no expert, but if you’re shooting out fire you’re flooding it with gas like you said. Wouldn’t they start at the source and investigate cylinder 3 and make sure it is operating properly? I would think you’d have more than one cylinder misfiring if the car sensed you were running rich.

Similar thing happened on my GTI (twice actually) and both were a bad fuel injector. No fire unfortunately for the extra boost. Just a sad smelly limp mode.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah i asked them to look at cylinder #3, and one of the other codes was for multiple cylinder misfires. Don't want to leave to chance that they won't look at it. Again, they have been leaning on the idea that these mods caused it. And they said that even though I recorded those codes, that it was an aftermarket scanner and Alfa would only look at codes from their scanner. To which I asked if they got those codes when the car was brought in. And they said they did. But they were told by Alfa that they had to put the car back to stock, clear codes, and then they could see if the codes come back.
I am hopeful that they will identify and fix the problem.
 

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Sounds pretty obvious the injector in 3 is broken and just dumping fuel. When misfire is ~immediately detected and the ECM cuts fuel I can’t see any other way there could be that much fuel still running all the way through the exhaust system.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you all for your feedback. I appreciate it. Service guy said that once it was all put back together, they were going to drive it 50 or so miles to see if they could reproduce codes. If the injector is broken, I assume the codes will pop up again quickly.
 

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technically it is not at all impossible that a blocked rec valve induces a carburetion problem and consequent misfiring or misfuel. I see it very difficult for you to prove the opposite...
 

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I am trying understand how a Boost Dump valve (also called Diverter/Recirculating valve) failure or malfunction can cause over fuelling. So bear with me while I try and break this down. It is a bit long winded...!

The diverter valve is vacuum/pressure actuated piston valve that uses vacuum/pressure signals to tell the piston when to open and close. If the piston spring is adjusted/set from factory to keep the piston closed at idle (part open throttle), it will then also be closed at cruise (which essentially part open throttle and off boost).

When the engine is 'on boost' there is air pressure on both top and bottom of the piston, which counteract each other, so the piston remains closed under spring pressure. If the throttle is closed while under boost there is vacuum on the top of the piston and boost pressure on the bottom of the piston which results in quick opening of the piston to dump the pressure. When the pressure has been released, the piston closes under spring pressure.

In simple terms the diverter valve piston is closed all the time compressed air from the turbo is going to the intake manifold via the open throttle body while the engine RPM is high enough with a boost demand. When the accelerator pedal is lifted off, it closes the throttle body and there is no more boost demand, the piston is meant to open to 'dump' the compressed air back to compressor intake side. If the piston does not open, the turbo is trying to push air against a closed throttle and fails to do so, resulting in what is called "compressor surge" or "turbo flutter", continued occurrence of surge dramatically increases the load on the turbo bearings and can cause failure of the turbo.

On our cars, the air is metered and if it is drawn in through a leak from the line that is dumping back to the compressor intake (akin to an open vent-to-atmosphere BOV at idle) due to an open piston, this could confuse the ECM and potentially cause over-fuelling or engine stalling I suppose. It is a tenuous link though as I would think any boost/vacuum leaks would be indicated by a relevant error code which there aren't any in the OP's case unless something happened instantaneously and caused a sudden confusion of the ECM to over-fuel. Possibility is faulty Diverter valve on that bank, wrong spring in the piston, incorreclty installed.
As there is a separate throttle body and intake on each bank of 3 cylinders, I would think this scenario would result in misfiring of all 3 cylinders on that bank rather than just the P0303 code for cylinder 3. I would take the P0300 multiple cylinder code with a pinch of salt as I have seen (on other threads unrelated to this issue) this code set even when just one cylinder has misfired. I think this basically says a general misfire was detected and more specifically one cylinder is the cause as set by the other more specific code(s).

My attention then is piqued by the P0002 code- Fuel Quantity Regulator 1 Control Circuit Performance. This code appears to be related to the the Fuel Volume Regulator System (FVRS), specifically a electrical output that is outside a parameter threshold. This is common on high pressure rails on diesel engines and I would assume the Direct Injection systems on our cars would be similar. The FVRS solenoid is part of the high pressure fuel pump which generally have a low pressure side and high pressure side, FVRS controls the pressure. Normally this should cause a CEL and limp mode rather than a massive fuel dump. An issue with the fuel pump cannot be ruled out yet though, along with the injector leak on cylinder 3 specifically. One of the causes of P0002 appears to be an injector leak, see list below.

The other code of interest is
P00C6 - Fuel Rail Pressure Too Low.

I doubt the X pipe has anything to do with it. The Recirc valve a slim possibility combined with a co-incident fault perhaps but not the X pipe. Now that they have put the car back to stock, any injector leak or fuel pump issue or ECM fault should be self apparent in short order.

Alfa Romeo DTC P0002
Make:Alfa Romeo
Code 0002 Definition: Fuel Volume Regulator A Control Circuit PerformanceDescription:
The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) detects that the high pressure fuel system pressure is below 2000 kPa (290 psi) for more than 6.0 seconds.Cause:
  • HIGH PRESSURE FUEL SYSTEM LEAK AT THE SUPPLY TUBE OR INJECTORS
  • LOW PRESSURE FUEL SYSTEM LEAK / RESTRICTION / LOW PRESSURE ISSUE
  • HIGH RESISTANCE IN THE FUEL RAIL PRESSURE SENSOR 5-VOLT SUPPLY CIRCUIT
  • HIGH RESISTANCE IN THE FUEL RAIL PRESSURE SENSOR GROUND CIRCUIT
  • HIGH RESISTANCE IN THE FUEL RAIL PRESSURE SIGNAL 1 CIRCUIT
  • HIGH RESISTANCE IN THE FUEL RAIL PRESSURE SIGNAL 2 CIRCUIT
  • HIGH RESISTANCE IN THE FUEL QUANTITY SOLENOID 12 VOLT SUPPLY CIRCUIT
  • HIGH RESISTANCE IN THE FUEL QUANTITY SOLENOID CONTROL CIRCUIT
  • FUEL RAIL PRESSURE SENSOR
  • FAULTY FUEL PUMP MODULE IN THE LOW PRESSURE FUEL SYSTEM
  • FUEL HIGH PRESSURE PUMP
 

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Sounds pretty obvious the injector in 3 is broken and just dumping fuel. When misfire is ~immediately detected and the ECM cuts fuel I can’t see any other way there could be that much fuel still running all the way through the exhaust system.
This seems the most plausible scenario. It would explain the flames as well as seeing low fuel pressure in the high pressure fuel rail—the pressure is constantly being bled off by the open injector.

I would also be concerned about damage caused to the catalytic converter if the fuel injector was indeed stuck open.

If it turns out to be a stuck injector, there is no way that any modifications you listed could have lead to that.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I am grateful for the thoughtful and informed responses. Ultimately, I'm at the mercy of tech and service advisor. Will they be able to diagnose and identify these issues?
 
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