Hello - I am possibly about to buy a 146 junior (S98) from a garage for £3K. 47K on clock and appears to drive ok.....the clutch however is very stiff/ heavy and this was highlighted on the RAC report. I told them I would purchase if they fixed the prob. They have come back saying they can't find anything wrong and that a stiff clutch is common with Alfas?? I spoke to my local Alfa service dept and they reckoned it was a sign that the clutch is on its way out and as its hydraulic, won't be cheap (6-700 quid!). Faced with this the garage have said they'll do me a 12 month warranty repairing any clutch problems for free except the friction plate of which they would go 50/50 with me (as this would be normal wear and tear).
Is this a fair deal? Can anyone please help and advise what I should do. I wouldn't know a friction plate from a dinner plate to be honest - is it possible that if the clutch goes they could blame it on this anyway and so i'll still have to pay? Or am I just being a bit paranoid?
Also, the chap mentioned something about the key needing to be replaced soon - is this just a case of getting a new battery or am I right in suspecting its gonna be more grief than that?
The 145 (same mechanically as the 146) I owned had a perfectly normal pedal load for the clutch. I suspect there is something amiss...unless others have had a different experience. I know from driving a manual 166 their clutches can be very heavy..but the 145/146 should be ok IMO.
Welcome to AO.............just noticed it was also your first post here.
The keys ...... probably the same as mine two red keys that means you must have a brown "master" key that has the alarm and immobiliser coding to match the engine management module. If the brown master key is missing it will cost about £400 to replace it and the electronic bits. So dont buy without the set of three keys. If the battery needs replacing thats no problem, if it's something else ask why.
As I said welcome I hope you get the car you want ....even if you decide this isn't the car for you. If the garage has little experience of Alfas then you might want to look elsewhere.
'A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.' - Henry Ford.
400 quid! I reckon you've hit the nail on the head there - that would explain why the salesman was so blase about explaining it to me!!
I hate buying cars - it's always a minefield. I do love Alfas tho - I had a 147 as a coutesy car for a couple of weeks and fell in love with it which was why I was drawn to this one.
I checked all the paperwork at the garage and think the original owner was a car rental place which I don't suppose is really a good thing is it?!
I'm gonna head down and see them first thing for some serious chat methinks!!
That's fab help tho - many thanks
The rental car bit shouldn't necessarily put you off. Alfa used rental companies to pre register cars, so it was probably never used as a rental. How many Alfa rental cars have you seen? The wifes old Fiat Tempra was first registered to Hertz but was then bought from Fords of Winsford (once a favourite place to feed them into the market) with less than a hundred miles on the clock.
My 146 has no Master key. I'm hoping I'll never need it. There are other options to the £400 solution, but it isn't likely to be necessary. (Touches wood!)
Agree that the clutch could be a problem, but £6-700? If you get charged that, you're being robbed. I'm sure you can get the clutch sorted out (new lining material, and release bearing) for half that. I'd worry more about making sure that it hasn't been thrashed from cold every day of it's life, and that all the belts and tensioners have been recently replaced, as if they haven't yet, it needs them now, and that's about £400.
Thanks for all your help everyone - turns out garage only has one key and something tells me it ain't the master! Needless to say I have decided against purchase and am just trying to get my deposit back now if I can.
Shame really cos the car was rather nice but I just don't want any grief and my gut feeling is telling me I will. Garage have been really good tho (touch wood!)
It's probably the clutch pressure plate that's buggered. If they agree on doing the clutch, and the only thing they want you to pay is a 50/50 contribution to the friction plate, I wouldn't be too worried, as the friction plate, apart from the release bearing, is the cheapest part in a clutch assembly. I think a complete clutch kit from Valeo is 100 pounds. The missing Maroon key is another matter. Getting a lock set with a complete set of keys including the immobilzer box from a breakers could be a way out. Have the dealership agree on sourcing the original maroon master key or replace the locks/immobilizer. If they wont do that, walk away.