I work part time for a lovely bloke Luigi Cioffi, at Auto Cioffi Ravello. He is a vehicle bodywork genius, he has been repairing cars and vans for the last 50 years circa and for the last 40 years in his amazing premises at Pontone, near Ravello, which was previously a paper manufacturing plant.
This man and his staff have been working in this premises for some 45 years and the workload has always been heavy, he had many employees in the past all working to repair and repaint cars, vans, motorbikes and almost everything else. Last week we saw a BMW motorbike plus 3 cars repainted and each job is unique but in general involves changing several parts as well as then repainting.
This means that we have a stock of wheels, tyres, headlights, car panels, etc etc etc as you can imagine and we are now trying to put things into some kind of order and then to sell some of these parts, just to clear some space!! As you can imagine alot of the bits are Fiat, but we have a selection from almost all of the European brands plus Japanese and almost everything.
If anyone is interested please contact me, we could surely fill a container and we are near to the port of Salerno so we could also export these parts.
Wow, things that would normally take a few days are now taking months, cos here in Italy we are under lockdown and we have been since early March. Here things are taken VERY seriously and if you do not have a valid reason to drive then the Police will stop you and send you home with a fine. Even more so anyone who has a vehicle with foreign plates, cos they are terrified that tourists may arrive and bring the dreaded lurgy.
So when I first bought the S4 all was good, but after only a week she started to run the engine fans all the time and they stayed on even when I parked the car before she was up to operating temperature!! That evening the fans must have run until the car battery was dead and when I charged and then changed the battery the problem continued. So I did some research and found A8parts in the UK and I asked their opinion about the part I needed to change to resolve this disaster.
Well, long story shortish they despatched the ECU (about 100 Quid for a used part) and finally I managed to get the car to my local INDI and onto his ramp. He removed the front bumper and guess what, we found TWO ECUs which appeared identical. So which one do we change?? We decided to change the easiest of the two, the one inside the front bumper, and then restarted the car and YESSSSS the fans did not start up!!!!!
A few pics below and yes, I am a happy bunny!!! So far so good.
So despite the lockdown I have been able to make some very limited progress with the S4. Firstly I replaced the car battery as I noticed that the one on the car was too small (physically it did not fill the battery space, which is on the front bulkhead, as well as charge wise it was only 75Ah whereas the orignal is 95Ah) so I ordered a new Varta. Coincidentally I then discovered that the battery is identical to the one on my Vito van which I had replaced recently, so I managed to get one trade for “only” 130 Euro.
Next problem, the car started to leave the fans running when I switched off the engine, which flattened the battery overnight. Hmmmm. I then discovered, having tried to removed various fuses, that this car has some side radiators as well as the usual front ones so no fuse would stop these fans, I had to disconnect the battery terminal every time I parked the car, hardly ideal.
I got into contact with the nice guys at a8parts in the UK and they agreed that this was likely a failed ECU thingy which, being located under the car, will often fail on these cars ‘cos they are exposed to all the worst of the weather and road grit. So one of those arrived and I hope to get it fitted this week so news to follow, I sure hope that this will sort this problem!!
Next, the wheels. The lovely Audi 18″ alloys were looking a bit tired, not suprising with almost 200k kms under her belt. So I took the 4 wheels up to a local place, they removed the old tyres and rubbed down and painted the wheels in a lovely grey, which is called Gun Metal Grey from the Fiat paint range. In the meantime I ordered 4 new Conti tyres, and this week I had the new tyres fitted onto the new-looking wheels and then refitted them to the car. Phew.
Well I finally managed to start the car up today and take her out of her 10 week garage/prison (covered in dust of course), up to my local car expert. Tomorrow he should fit the ECU to sort out the fans that won’t stop, and then I also gave him a full set of new Brembo discs and pads so I truly hope that I will soon have a great car!!
UPDATE today we managed to fit the ECU and YESSSSSSS the problem seems to be resolved and the fans no longer run all the time, at last!!