Hi guys. My beautiful Alfa 146 (Lots of fun to drive) 1.8 TS has failed its mot on rust around front suspension mounts and also around rear suspension mounts, both on the nearside or passenger side for english cars. The emmisions I can handle, as well as the front brakes, but rust came as a total surprise. The car looks really nice with its proteo red paintwork which gets cleaned and polished often.
I found out that the car shares its chassis with a Fiat, Punto or Bravo, I don't care.
I have always thought that Fiat cars rust and to find out that mine is a glorified Fiat is just the end.
I know that Alfas are like a stroppy girlfriend but to rot underneath is no good.
Crap Italian cars!
But I still love her......
If we can drift back into reality for a moment...
146 is now a 10-15 year old car and frankly any
teenage car has got a one-way ticket to Boot Hill already, just the precise departure time will vary.
You say the car is polished often as if that's all you need to do. Hint: It's not a new car! Get under the beast at least once a quarter and poke around looking for any problems. Remove the wheel arch liners occasionally and clean out all the nooks.. .and check anywhere where dirt and mud can get thrown up... inside the suspension mounts, floorpan, around the fuel filler and in that little nook in front of each rear wheel-arch.
The trouble with rust is it's like a leaking ship.. the more you get, the faster the process accelerates, since rust lifts and damages any of the underbody protection, allowing more water/salt to get inwhich speeds up the corrosion even more.
146 is not a glorified Fiat.
Even if it was, so what...? The beast has some architecture in common with the Fiat Tipo ... but if that makes it a "Fiat" then my car must be a Bentley because it has a wheel nut on it, the same as on a Continental GT.
You always thought Fiat cars rust.... 20-years out of date stereotype. Try to keep up dear.
Tipo onwards were largely galvanised... though the floorpan wasn't. The rest lasts about 15 years... when most cars are in the crusher anyway, rusty or not...
You need to stop crying about it an get on and fix it. Front suspension sounds odd.. since I've never seen anything remotely resembling rust on my 145 or (identical turrets) 155. Is it the body/turret that's rusted, or the top bearing mount that's part of the damper assembly (£35 on ebay)? Turret might have been damaged in an accident and repaired, which is never long-term good for corrosion resistance, since welding burns off any galvanising and flux leaves behind corrosive substances that need to be cleaned off properly (easier on a production line than in a body shop).
Rear damper is attached to a sub-frame, so it's unlikely to be a body problem... .though where the body and sub-frame meet is a contender
to have rust (though again, my own cars are pretty clean here). If it's the sub-frame that's rotten (not all that well protected, it has to be said but then it is made from girders so lasts long enough) then a new one from a breaker might be in better condition. You could shot-blast it and re-paint it with zinc-priner and Hammerite (not aerosol) before you fit it. It's quite a bit job though... suspension and petrol tank all have to come off... but otherwise no specialist knowledge or Fiat mechanics required..