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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my Giulia (base, sport packages) last September and just turned 9k miles yesterday. I just had it fail on me yesterday, again. The car has already been towed to the dealer two previous times for what I consider a safety issue. Intermittently my “service electronic throttle control” and “service engine” lights have come on. The car behaves differently each time, from warning lights and inoperable start/stop feature to last night (and twice before) leaving me dead in traffic with no response from the throttle pedal.

The dealer’s fixes ranged from reflashing the ECM to blaming my winter floor mats and saying that a bit of pressure on the throttle while simultaneously braking caused the car to stop responding.

I ditched those floor mats (though I didn’t really buy the explanation) and it was fine for a month or so. Last week the lights came on again but cleared themselves after a restart and the car kept driving. I called the dealer but since they are 2 hours from me the service manager suggested we not bring it in saying since the lights were gone any failure codes would have been cleared as well.

So yesterday I was driving with my son to his baseball tournament 4 hours away. After a long freeway stint we pulled off to get some dinner. After accelerating from a light the dashboard suddenly lit up like a Christmas tree with numerous warning lights. SES, throttle control, I think even the battery light, and others I don’t recall. I didn’t note them all because the throttle immediately stopped responding and I was dead in the middle of traffic on a 5-lane road with a semi about to rear end me. Fortunately he didn’t.

In the past, if I restarted the car it would allow me to drive. I put in in P, turned the car off but then it wouldn’t restart! When I pushed the start/stop button the car started shaking... the starter was engaging but the engine wouldn’t start. This happened three times. During a lull in traffic we got out of the car and walked over to the side of the road as Inwas worries we were going to get rear ended sitting there. Oh, I was also unable to put the car into neutral to even push it off the road! A service tech from a nearby GMC dealer on his way home had nicely pulled over to see if he could help but we were just stuck.

To make matters worse, it took nearly 20 minutes to get through to a live person at Alfa (Chrysler) roadside assistance and then, despite my previous tows through them, they didn’t recognize my VIN and didn’t even seem to know what an Alfa Romeo was. It took nearly another hour to even dispatch a tow because the agent couldn’t get approval to tow the car (the nearest Alfa dealer was 75 miles away now). I was literally on hold so long we had time to walk into a restaurant we stalled in front of, get seated, order, eat, and get the check before anyone came back in the phone!

Oh, I was able to restart the car after about ten minutes after it failed but I just limped it off the road and into the restaurant parking lot.

So, I was stuck in a small town 2 hours from home and 2 more from my destination. I had a tow truck coming but it was going to take another 90 minutes for it to arrive. The Alfa dealer and any Chrysler dealers closer tonus had already closed and the Alfa dealer it was getting towed to was a good hour from the baseball tournament. Alfa roadside basically said “good luck, there isn’t anything we can do.” I did find an open car rental place at an airport 45 minutes the opposite direction. So we got an Uber, went to get the rental and drove back and met the tow truck.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. But this is now the third tow on my Giulia and the problem has gotten more severe. The inconvenience is one thing, but I really feared for our safety last night.

I think I am done with this car. Has anyone else experienced issues like this and found a fix other than filing a lemon law complaint?
 

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There are some instances where people have suffered repeat electronic issues...Get them to replace the car !!! It should not behave like that...So sorry to hear this...
 

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Make them replace it as Dino said. Sometimes a fix is just not happening. I know of a Forum member that went through this and got a new car.
 

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that sucks, on every level, and I don't blame you for being done with it.

regarding you replacing the battery or the car - from your post it seems you would also have to replace the dealer who hasn't fixed it twice before, and arusa who are responsible for your tow fiasco - and at some level the dealer not being able to fix the car previously.
 

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that sucks, on every level, and I don't blame you for being done with it.

regarding you replacing the battery or the car - from your post it seems you would also have to replace the dealer who hasn't fixed it twice before, and arusa who are responsible for your tow fiasco - and at some level the dealer not being able to fix the car previously.
VERY good point
 

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Sorry to hear about all that torture....looks like you fell in that percentage group of lemons.....such weird behavior could be just battery or as complicated as a harness issue.....in either case dealer does not seem competent enough to get it fixed and it appears that you dont really have much choice of alternative good dealers.....if you have enough love and energy left to go the Lemon Law way this might be the time to do it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have to only assume that the dealer checked the batter voltage during at least one of the previous repair attempts. Wouldn’t this also likely register a diagnostic code? The odd thing is that this happened immediately after a two-hour straight freeway drive... the batter would have been at its maximum charge by then (assuming the alternator is working which I have reason to believe it isn’t). The issue is really intermittent.

Anyway, I will be speaking to the new dealer (where it was towed last night) later this morning when they open, so I am giving another service dept a shot by default of where we broke down.

Honestly, I would be happy to just get out of the lease and go get something else. I knew buying one of these with the nearest dealer so far away was a risk but I have been an Alfa but forever and wanted to give it a shot. This has become a serious inconvenience as well as a safety issue.

I am now 4 hours from home in a rental car. My Alfa is in a shop an hour from here. It likely won’t be ready for me today (short service hours on Saturday if they can even look at it). So this is turning into quite the adventure.

The worst part is going to be all the “I told you so” comments from my car friends. I really wanted to prove the stereotypes wrong. These are beautiful cars... but...
 

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Not a terribly uncommon set of issues, neither with the dealer nor ‘17 Giulias.

There have been a couple of successful buy-backs with folks on the forum, one I recall for similar failure issues. I’ll try to find those and post a link so you can ask them about the process. @Alwaysdutch, was that you?

I’d think getting out of a lease should be much easier than a buyback, especially if you are willing to sign on for a MY18 Giulia. I know you’re shy on them now, but really, they seem to be doing just fine, and without the serious issues and required updates of MY17 cars.

I’d think your dealer would be willing to work something like that out for you, and if they’d absorb signing fees while you covered early termination fees (or something like that), maybe it could happen very quickly and without the hassle of buyback. It’s not exactly justice for you, but it would end the nightmare while not totally screwing you.

Which was your selling dealer, wnd who is servicing now?

If you do press forward with full buyback, make sure the dealer checks for and performs all RRTs and TSBs now. It may be a software update is needed— not that you want to gamble on that— and getting it may save your butt while you’re negotiating buyback, I dunno.

Best luck.
 
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ugh, so sorry to hear. Hope it gets resolved OP
 

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Sorry to hear this. I posted this before, and this method has worked on several pre-Giulia Alfa cars (156, 147) as a layman test of the battery health. It may work on the Giulia as well and could be worth trying.

My old 156 battery would die suddenly without warning. This test was pretty spot on in letting me know if the battery was potentially going south (e.g. symptoms of voltage dropping excessively during delivery of the cranking amps). I would turn the key first to ACC (accessories) position, the ABS/Brake/ESC warning lights would come on the dash, then wait for it to clear itself after diagnostics (1-2 seconds). Then I would continue to turn the key to crank start the car. If the battery was in good condition and could hold it voltage during the crank, the ABS/Brake/ESC warning lights would remain OFF during the start. If the voltage dipped too much, you would see the ABS/Brake/ESC warning lights come back ON again, restart the diagnostic cycle and clear itself again. The theory behind this was the drop in voltage would cause that ECU to reset and start the diagnostic cycle again.

Not sure if this will be similarly visible on the Giulia but the theory is sound. What I do is:

1) Push the start/stop button without the foot on the brake.
2) Warning lights come on the dash. The ABS/Brake/ESC on the right dial comes on, and clears itself.
3) Foot on brake pedal and press the start/stop button to start the car
4) So far my ABS/Brake/ESC lights remain off during the crank - potentially indicating that the battery is healthy and holding its voltage under cranking stress.

Would be interesting to see if yours has the ABS/Brake/ESC lights come back on in step 4.
 

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I just had the battery replaced on our bmw - it's a 2008 fer chrisake, and it still worked.
I think they wife left something on while at work, needed a boost at the end of the day - and then it was fine again, but I replaced it anyway as it'd done it's job and done it well.

Should I expect less from a NEW Alfa than a ten year old bmw? we gave our 1995 to our grandson when we moved, and although some items have worn out, and the radiators are a 60,000 replace item, it still frigging works.

"The worst part is going to be the "I told you so" comments from my car friends". That's no big deal for you, you tried something, it didn't work out, you move on.

But it IS THE WORST PART FOR ALFA ROMEO USA. confirmation, to an audience forever, with the "yeah, I met a guy who had an Alfa - once". And that is how legends are created and brands are destroyed.
 

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Really sorry to hear OP, hopefully you can get it resolved as others have stated! If you have enough love left over for Alfa, definitely try to get out of your lease and into a late 2018 model. They are miles better than the 2017 models and don't have the slew of issues that seem to be happening on the 2017s. For this reason, I always recommend at least 2018 models to people looking at Giulias.
 

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I had the same thing happen to my car, died on me while driving three times and had to be towed. It turned out to be a bad fuel pump. (They originally thought it just needed software updates)

Not to be a negative person, but I’d push for either a new car or just completely get out of Alfa’s altogether. After my car was fixed for the fuel pump issues, I’ve still had it back in to the dealer four other times, with major HVAC issues. The car has 13,500 miles on it, so I’ve obviously been able to drive it, but I am so sick and tired of the issues that have plagued my early build.

And the “I told you” and the smirks every time I show up to work without my car gets really old. And embarrassing.

Sorry for your problems and I hope you’re satisfied with whichever outcome you decide.
 
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I just had the battery replaced on our bmw - it's a 2008 fer chrisake, and it still worked.
I think they wife left something on while at work, needed a boost at the end of the day - and then it was fine again, but I replaced it anyway as it'd done it's job and done it well.

Should I expect less from a NEW Alfa than a ten year old bmw?
Just like I expected the battery in my wife’s Honda to last, and it crapped out after 9 months. Honda’s are a gold standard for reliability, and that wasn’t the first battery the dealer had had to replace. The new model, with all electronics, was very finicky about voltage and battery condition...a lot like the Giulia.

I have a Jan ‘17 build a lot like yours and haven’t had those issues. Have the dealer confirm the RRT’s were done, preferably while you watch. Mine has been flawless since those updates got done, so RRT’s not applied or battery voltage is the leading candidate. Otherwise, it is possible you have a lemon, I’m sorry to say.
 
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There are some instances where people have suffered repeat electronic issues...Get them to replace the car !!! It should not behave like that...So sorry to hear this...
Yes, repeated unfixed problems like yours qualifies the car for Lemon Law replacement or refund. Every car has true lemons, but most people don't realize that most lemons become lemons because the mechanic trying to fix the car is incompetent.
 

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Glad you are unharmed and hope your son does well at his tournament (the one at EMU?). That is a nightmare, and I can't help but agree the dealer has made things worse.

For all of today's cars' complexity, I find it boggling that diagnostic tools have not kept pace. Cars should tell owners and mechanics what is wrong. Guessing or doing what worked on the last car they fixed (perhaps through shear luck) isn't the way to go.

Batteries do seem to be a weak link these days. I had one fail without warning on my 2009 Fusion. Maybe time to apply some EV battery technology to IC vehicles?

So where's AlfaCares?
 

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Like others have said, battery. Number one suspect based on the description of symptoms. The fact that it wouldn't start, then after sitting a bit you were able to get it started and off the road but it still had problems, is exactly what a bad battery would do. I'd get a new battery and have the dealer check the charging voltage; charging system might not be charging it properly.

With today's batteries, they don't seem to be up to the same quality control standards that they used to. I don't know what batteries Alfa uses or where they get them, but if they're from China, Chinese quality control is notoriously all over the map. In addition to build quality, even the materials they use can vary in quality. With today's cars using the batteries so much more than they used to, a good battery is now essential; the cars won't function properly (even if they start) if the battery isn't able to hold a reliable charge.

So sorry you're going through this. I'm wondering if a battery charger might do the trick to at least get you and your car home?
 

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Like others have said, battery. Number one suspect based on the description of symptoms. The fact that it wouldn't start, then after sitting a bit you were able to get it started and off the road but it still had problems, is exactly what a bad battery would do. I'd get a new battery and have the dealer check the charging voltage; charging system might not be charging it properly.

With today's batteries, they don't seem to be up to the same quality control standards that they used to. I don't know what batteries Alfa uses or where they get them, but if they're from China, Chinese quality control is notoriously all over the map. In addition to build quality, even the materials they use can vary in quality. With today's cars using the batteries so much more than they used to, a good battery is now essential; the cars won't function properly (even if they start) if the battery isn't able to hold a reliable charge.

So sorry you're going through this. I'm wondering if a battery charger might do the trick to at least get you and your car home?
If I recall @racerz had an issue with Alfa labeled batteries and said that was a common issue but the MOPAR ones were better?
 

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Yeh someone mentioned that about the battery and that was what I suspected with the auto stop restart not always coming on and remote start being very undependable. I had the battery tested and it turned out to be fine (VARTA I think) and yep my climate conditions exceed the limit for Auto stop/stop. But it did throw a code that fixed my remote start. There is a TB for that and now i can remote my car when I am standing right next to it, in the house or 50 feet away. Turned out to be a disconnected circuit or the ECU read it that way.

For the OP. I don’t know. I guess to go through the process you have to let them try and fix the problem. 30 days max before I would start the process but check your LL in your state for guidance. Sounds like you already have a case number and I would start documenting everything if you haven’t already done so. I have a mid year 2017 and it sat on a lot of 8 months and I have not had the issues a lot of folks have had YET that even have MY18’s. A lemon is a lemon regarless.

I don’t care about I told you so from what people say, the BMWs are not at the pillar of reliability so those folks would be best not to give you advice. Go with what you and your family are comfortable with. I hope they swap out the car for another Alfa. When you have a relatively trouble free car you will love it. I would not love being concerned every time I drove 4 hours out of town. What ever you do good luck with the car and keep everyone posted.
 
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