147 bag of s@@T ! - Copy of email sent to alfaromeoowners@yahoo
Subject: [Alfa Romeo Owners] 147 Selespeed - What a royal pain in the ass !
I'm new to this list, but not new to the Alfa 147. I hope that this
posting does not offend anyone, but I think that Alfa have a long
way to go till they compare to a VW or Audi. It's not just the fact
that the cars are typically Italian in build quality, but their UK
dealer network (oh, and ALFA_GB/FIAT_AUTOLEASE) is not up to scratch
As a company car driver I have the pleasure of choosing a new car
every 2-3 years and my previous car had been an Audi A3 1.8T
Quattro. Very solid, fast & reliable car... 80k miles and the only
problem was the gearbox locked in first one time (when new) and a
new set of disks were needed at the 60k mile service! Excellent!
Anyhow, with the new company car tax laws coming in (Get the
salesrep tax!) I thought it best to get a slightly cheaper car, so
in came the 147. I loved the look of the car, real Italian flair.
So, November 2001 I swapped my A3 for a 2-month-old Black 147
Selespeed with super sport 17" alloys, momo leather and the CONECT
NAV+. LOOKED THE BUSINESS!
However... all was not as good as I'd hoped.
Here is a copy of the report I sent to the lease company and Alfa_GB
in August of this year:
Make/Model: Alfa Romeo 147 2.0TS Selespeed
Colour/Interior: Black/Tan Leather
Optional Extras: CONECT Satellite navigation/telephone
system, 17" Super sport alloy wheels,Leather Interior.
Owner/driver: Paul Wafer – iLight Limited
Servicing Dealer: Pipers Alfa, Maidstone, Kent
24/01/2002 - Car booked in with Pipers Alfa as CONECT telephone
system not working correctly. Telephone calls kept being cut off on
connection. Dealer couldn't find a fault that could be fixed, but
agreed to replaced unit when 12,000 mile service is carried out.
Reported unusually high use of engine oil. Called Alfa and was told
that the 2.0 litre Twin Spark engine not unknown to use 1 litre for
every 1,000 Kilometres, as it is a performance engine. Argued that
this is unnecessarily high and an oil level warning light should be
fitted if this was the case (aka Renault vehicles), but took their
word for it.
Engine used in excess of 4 litres of oil up until 12,000 service.
25/02/2002 - 12,000 mile service carried out. Future date to be
arranged for replacement. Repeated my concern of very high engine
oil usage and dealer to check. CONECT system not replaced, as parts
department had not ordered. Service carried out, told everything is
ok with car.
Less than 800 miles after car had been serviced, engine suffered
serious failure due to engine oil pressure loss. AA recovered car to
Pipers Alfa, 48 hour courtesy car provided by the AA. Dealer unable
to provide courtesy car as one was unavailable. Alfa GB would not
give authorisation for a hire car to be provided until blame for
engine failure was seen to be theirs. Had to be insured on
girlfriend's car so that I could attend urgent appointment in
Oxford. iLight technical director was over seas for 3 weeks so used
his car for nearly 4 weeks until Alfa repaired and ready for
collection (TOTAL engine replacement under warantee).
25/06/2002 - While driving in London, car suffered electrical system
failure. 11.50am reported breakdown to AA who got a patrol out to
fix (took 1.30 hours), unable to fix and recover so had to get
another vehicle to recover to Pipers Alfa. AA lost report on their
system and although numerous telephone calls to the AA centre,
didn't get the car on the recovery truck till 6pm !!! Another 48
hour courtesy car provided by the AA, as Pipers Alfa unable to get
authorisation from Alfa GB to provide one. Again the use of iLights
Technical Directors company car was required for over a week so that
I could remain on the road. A wiring loom fault blamed for fuel pump
23/07/2002 - While driving home from the office the electronic gear
shift started to perform strange things. 1st gear would shift
straight to 5th and one time was showing reverse while only being
able to select 1st gear. Managed to nurse car home and called Pipers
Alfa in the morning. Car recovered by AA in morning from my home
address. Pipers Alfa again unable to provide car and neither were
the AA as the car was recovered from my home address. Unable to
attend meetings the following day. Car off the road for over a week
and again had to use Technical Directors company car.
07/08/2002 - Driving into London on the M20, peak traffic flow and
travelling in the outside/fast lane the engine management warning
light came on and the engine cut out. Again had to call the AA to
have the car towed to Pipers Alfa. Currently have a courtesy car
provided by the AA for 48 hours.
After all of this, I asked to have the car replaced, as it
was 'unfit for purpose'. I told the lease company "get me anything
as long as it's not an Alfa"
Obviously Alfa (or FIAT AUTOLEASE) weren't keen on supplying me with
an other Audi A3, so.......I asked to have a 2.0TS GTV instead, but
even though the list prices were the same, apparently their sales
margins wouldn't allow for this swap (!!!). Nice...
Anyway, 8 weeks of arguing, not knowing what the hell was going on
and driving a 'nice and reliable' VW Bora 2.0 Sport, hire car... a
brand new 2.0TS Lusso arrived at my dealer. It was one of a few they
came up with that they could deliver immediately.
They threw in Black Sport Momo Leather and Metallic Black paint in
lue of the Selespeed box, which I'd asked to get rid of. They
wouldn't supply new 17" Super Sport Alloys... but refurbished my old
ones and put them on the new car. All of this was ok, as I'd got so
fed-up driving a hire car for 8 weeks... I'd passed caring.
So the new car is a H U G E improvement over the old one. I must
have had a Friday afternoon; the whole thing is much better. I've
noticed the CONECT NAV+ software has been improved (the CD changer
doesn't have to INITialise every time you turn off the ignition)
the speed at which the whole thing works is better. It still threw a
wobbler on the way back from Amsterdam at the weekend... A pop from
the speakers, blank screen and full reset! Oh, and the Phone SIM
card keeps coming up with 'SIM card removed... which is good when
talking to a customer!
The engine has not used much oil, it now 1/4 of the way down the
dipstick in 3,000 miles, however it did start with the oil about 1/4
above the max mark! That and Alfa now put a sticker on the
windscreen reminding people to check the oil every 300 miles, or
before a long journey.
Sorry to bore on about this, but I have summarised what I feel about
the Alfa's when compared to say an Audi.
The Alfa has all the toys, but they only work 95% as well as they
should, 85% of the time.
The Audi has few toys for your money, but they all work 100%, all of