Re: When does the spending stop . . .
I know your pain. I've just got a 156 JTDm and it has cost me a few quid in the first couple of months of ownership, some of it was expected and I bought it with open eyes knowing that the cam belt needed changing asap and that it would likely need the front upper wishbones changing I bit the bullet here got the parts from alternative autos and did them myself on a saturday morning, therefore saving 2hrs labour each side. I still have rear stub axle bushes on the to do list along with getting the clutch changed (not a job I'm doing myself!). By the time everything has been done I'll have probably spent more than I paid for my last car but hopefully then it shouldn't need anything major for some time. In my experience (the wife has had a 147 for 4yrs) alfas don't cost any more than other cars with maybe the exception of suspension components requiring changig more frequently. It is just unfortunate when it all comes at once. My last car was a vectra 2.0 and probably cost in the region of £100 a year for servicing + tyres. A big part in keeping the cost down is learing to do a few bits yourself and finding a good independant you can trust. With all car maintenance labour tends to be the expensive bit, the more you can do yourself the better.