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BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/1/21 7:48 a.m.

Guess what, the car is dead again. Tried to drive it yesterday, ended up having to take the BRZ because the Alfa decided to take the day off.

This time I called the dealer to ask if the battery was covered under the warranty (it is, but they have to test it to check that it is indeed done for). Apparently the cause of the problem is that the car wakes up every few hours and runs a bunch of self checks before going back to sleep, which tends to have interesting effects on the battery once it has some age to it.

During very pleasant conversation with the service manager, he also pointed out that they generally recommend hooking up a battery tender to these cars if they're parked for more than two days to prevent these issues. I'm not quite seeing this work well if I try to plug in at the airport (:/). Anyway, this house doesn't have enough Battery Tenders yet so I just bought another one.

I guess I'm looking at something a little less modern to replace it with early next year when the lease wraps up- even if I do get a new battery under warranty, there is still the issue that this battery is maybe 2 1/2 years old, possibly three, and that is a tad on the expensive side if the car needs batteries at that interval.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
7/1/21 7:54 a.m.

The issue is it's an Alfa, not that it's a modern car.  I can leave my 2019 Golf R sitting for weeks and it's fine.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/1/21 8:06 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

Yeah, one could get the impression that someone at FCA looked at VAG electronics and went "Check engine lights? Amateurs" .

Funnily enough a Golf R might be on the list of replacements - it depends a little on what diagnosis I get on my truck once I manage to get that to the shop. If I also have to replace the truck I'm probably going to look at a Dieselgate Touareg, if the truck is fixable again I'm probably going to go the route of slightly used hot hatch (Golf R, Civic Type R or Hyundai Veloster N).

Assuming that 996 turbo prices haven't come down from their stratospheric expedition at that point.

Sonic
Sonic UltraDork
7/1/21 8:29 a.m.
docwyte said:

The issue is it's an Alfa, not that it's a modern car.  I can leave my 2019 Golf R sitting for weeks and it's fine.

Agreed.  This winter I didn't touch our 2017 E400 for 3 months and it started up fine, but asked to run for a bit to charge.  Original battery.  

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/2/21 12:33 p.m.

Well, things got a little more weird. As mentioned, the car was playing dead on Wednesday morning, but when I tried to approach in on Thursday, it still had enough juice to pop the trunk. The various lights like the interior light still seemed to be weak, so I stuck it on a Battery Tender. The 3A Battery Tender reported after about 4h that the battery was fully charged and that it had switched to maintenance mode. Oh well. At least the car then promptly started as if nothing had happened. Not something that gives me the warms and fuzzies, though.

 

tremm
tremm Reader
7/2/21 1:19 p.m.

If you regularly need to leave it for longer periods of time, have you considered a, 'Top Post Battery Disconnect Switch'? I didn't quite understand the setup you have to access the battery when solo & out of juice.

Imo 2.5-3 years sounds like a small Alfa tax & I'd just shell out the money for the biggest agm & see if it lasts longer this time. I doubt you'll have the car >7 years from now anyway. A battery is like $75-180, that ain't bad to me, and not enough to live with dicking around trying to save $100 to wind up hating the car.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/2/21 1:35 p.m.
tremm said:

If you regularly need to leave it for longer periods of time, have you considered a, 'Top Post Battery Disconnect Switch'? I didn't quite understand the setup you have to access the battery when solo & out of juice.

Like a lot of modern cars it doesn't like having the battery disconnected for any length of time. It requires reinitialising a whole bunch of systems if you disconnect it without a battery saver and lights up the dash like a Christmas tree, for starters. Not mention that to the best of my knowledge, getting at the battery requires power to pop the trunk as the battery is in the trunk. In other words, I need power to disconnect, reconnect or charge the battery in the first place.

The usual dance to charge the battery is to hook up a jump starter box to open the trunk to connect a charger. That's something I can do at home, but not really willing to do when I'm at the airport on Friday night at 11pm, coming back from work.

Imo 2.5-3 years sounds like a small Alfa tax & I'd just shell out the money for the biggest agm & see if it lasts longer this time. I doubt you'll have the car >7 years from now anyway. A battery is like $75-180, that ain't bad to me, and not enough to live with dicking around trying to save $100 to wind up hating the car.

It's not about saving a hundred bucks. The car is still under warranty, after all. It's also got the biggest battery that fits into the space, otherwise as you suggested putting something bigger in would be likely an improvement.

In all likelihood I'll only have the car for another 10 months or so as that's how long the remainder of the lease is. Initially I was considering buying the car at the end of the lease as I quite like it, but it's not really special enough for me to deal with the distance to the nearest dealer and the time required to get there, so for all intents and purposes the car to replace it will either be something simple enough for me to fix it myself (but then, I don't really want another Miata) or that has a dealer that's much closer, which means "only" a 1.5h round trip instead of the 3h+ round trip the Alfa requires.

tremm
tremm Reader
7/2/21 1:37 p.m.

Did you say the rear seats fold down?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/2/21 1:55 p.m.

In reply to tremm :

They do.

The release for that is in the trunk, too. They're really putting a lot of faith into the solenoid that unlocks the trunk .

tremm
tremm Reader
7/2/21 3:30 p.m.

My thought was to leave the rear seats down/cracked open, manually open the trunk, reconnect battery, motor on. I could imagine the trunk may not latch after the battery is disconnected

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
7/2/21 4:07 p.m.

I think this is my least favorite thread on the forum.

Every time I see it on the front page, I hesitate to click on it, for fear of learning that the car has inevitably slapped you in the face.sad

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
7/2/21 5:15 p.m.

Isn't the middle rear seat back lowered from pulling a loop next to the headrest? Can this be performed independently, with the left and right seat backs still locked in place?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/2/21 5:34 p.m.

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

It's more like death by a thousand tiramisus . The battery issues really are my only real/reoccuring issue with the car, everything else so far has been behaving OK.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/2/21 5:35 p.m.
Driven5 said:

Isn't the middle rear seat back lowered from pulling a loop next to the headrest? Can this be performed independently, with the left and right seat backs still locked in place?

You can pull down the armrest and it has a ski pass-through behind it, but that hole isn't big enough for enough of me to get through to unlock the rear seats. The rear seats themselves are the usual 1/3, 2/3 split.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/2/21 5:43 p.m.
tremm said:

My thought was to leave the rear seats down/cracked open, manually open the trunk, reconnect battery, motor on. I could imagine the trunk may not latch after the battery is disconnected

I think the trunk actually does latch with the battery disconnected (it does latch with a dead battery as I found out...).

The main issue really is the relearn cycle you have to go through after each dead or disconnected battery - relearn the steering, drive it around the block so all the other sensor calibrate themselves, pull over, turn it off and on again and hope the Christmas tree extinguishes itself. Plus  think it needs to relearn the sunroof and sunshade...

If this was an older Alfa it would be a case of "hook up battery and drive off" - certainly have done that a couple of times - but in this case the various relearn cycles are a tad too annoying for me to want to deal with them more often than absolutely necessary.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
7/2/21 5:55 p.m.

Well, I'll most likely be selling the Golf R in about ten months, so if you're interested, lmk.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/2/21 6:02 p.m.
docwyte said:

Well, I'll most likely be selling the Golf R in about ten months, so if you're interested, lmk.

Definitely interested, especially if we're talking around May next year. Do they salt the roads where you are?

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle SuperDork
7/2/21 6:20 p.m.

A great car to lease and then turn in and kiss goodbye. 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/2/21 6:25 p.m.
OHSCrifle said:

A great car to lease and then turn in and kiss goodbye. 

Which is exactly why I leased it and didn't buy it. 

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
7/2/21 6:41 p.m.
BoxheadTim said:
Driven5 said:

Isn't the middle rear seat back lowered from pulling a loop next to the headrest? Can this be performed independently, with the left and right seat backs still locked in place?

You can pull down the armrest and it has a ski pass-through behind it, but that hole isn't big enough for enough of me to get through to unlock the rear seats. The rear seats themselves are the usual 1/3, 2/3 split.

Tie a string to the emergency pull on one end, and the pass through (or something near it) on the other.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
7/3/21 8:54 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

They throw down Mag Chloride.  It's not as corrosive as salt, I haven't had rust issues with any of my cars here.  It's just too dry and I have a garage and a pressure washer.  It's a '19 so has the 6 year/72k mile bumper to bumper warranty.  In ten months it'll be about half way through the warranty, although the only warranty claim I've made is to have the front passenger Oh Shizz handle replaced.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
9/11/21 5:03 p.m.

Giulia is supposed to go in for a service on Monday. Which is already a bit iffy as I'm supposed to be on the road for a longer trip on Tuesday.

It's also been very well behaved (plus I've been driving it a couple of days a week), so of course it's playing possum again right now.

I'm not even convinced it's the battery anymore, because the last time it took a couple of hours on a three amp charger to restore it to working order.

Heck, there was at least one occasion when it miraculously revived itself the next day.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
9/12/21 10:48 a.m.

And of course, after playing dead yesterday even after I manually unlocked the car, this morning I had to still manually unlock the car and it sprang to life immediately. Including firing up as if nothing had happened.

I'll go take it for a spin and pick up another set of new batteries for the keyfobs in case those are a contributing issue. Although none of the myriad of warning lights indicate that there are issues with the fobs, but hey, it's only money.

tester (Forum Supporter)
tester (Forum Supporter) Reader
9/12/21 11:39 a.m.

Why do the really pretty ones have to be such basket cases?  
 

This seems to be an eternal truth in so many different arenas. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
9/12/21 1:44 p.m.

I recently test drove the Alfa SUV and I must say, I was absolutely blown away.  Every aspect of the vehicle was just about perfect.  Reading about the reliability though brings me back to reality.  If I made about twice as much as I currently I'd probably lease one for the wife (every time she sees one you'll hear a loud "ALFAAAAAAA!")

Even with the reliability, they're just so damn gorgeous.

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