I bought a second hand 147 at the local car auction last night. It's a Y reg 1.6i Lusso with 89k on the clock. The bodywork itself is in fantastic condition with the exception of some silver paint that has come off on the front bumper (about the size of a 10p). The interior is also immaculate. Having had a quick look under the car everything looks fine and it looks like the car has recently had the clutch cable replaced. The car has a fsh, although the last service should have been done 3000 miles ago.
So, we bidded, won and paid for the car. Drove the car about 50 metres from the exit of the auctions and a motor control system failure warning comes on, and proceeds to come on every few mins while driving home. Half way home while turning off a road the car stalls and an engine oil pressure warning comes on briefly but disappears when I lift the clutch (at which point the car comes back to life). It is quite possible that i stalled the car but I don't think so.
Anyway, its still doing it now. Switch the car on and the warning comes up straight away but then disappears for a bit but it always comes back.
I've had a quick search of this forum and it sems to be a fairly common problem and could be caused by a number of things. So, before embarking on either punting the car back to an auction or fixing the problem, could someone answer the following questions:-
1. There is a thread somewhere where someone suggests replacing the battery. Is this as straight forward as any other car or are there other things that I have to do prior/after changing the battery? Also, do you think this is worthwhile? The battery looks in good condition but I'm guessing that its not new as the terminals look like they haven't been touched for a long time.
2. Some other people reckoned this could be as a result of a faulty spark plug or another item that would be replaced as part of a service. Again, is it worthwhile doing the service prior to having a diagnostic test done? It seems to me to be a potentil catch 22 situation as if I do the diagnostic test (which will cost £???) it'll no doubt point to something that a service will fix and so I spent the cost of the diagnostic test for nothing. On the other hand, if I have a service carried out and it doesn't solve the problem, I'll then have to do the diagnostic test (costing £???) and then have to fix the problem.
3. Can most garages do the Service or would it be better to have Alfa do this?
4. If you were me, would you just punt the vehicle on or would you try to find out the problem?
5. Is it ok to drive the car with this error?
I do have money left over as I was anticipating spending about £2k on a car so I have about £600 to spend but obviously don't want to spend it if its not required. I'd probably lose about £300 in all if I was to sell the car on so I'm thinking along the lines of will it cost less than £300 to fix, although I know its impossible know for sure without a diagnostic check.