Thought i'd share with everyone the story so far of my new car.
It started 12 days ago on the 31st November when i'd just sold my old Audi for £300. I was looking through Edinburgh Gumtree as you do, and I came across a brand new 5 minutes old listing for a 2000 V reg 156 for £250!
After reading through the advert it said something like this:-
Alfa Romeo 156 2.0L Twin Spark - 2000 on a V plate.
Great condition all round with Alpine head unit, 17" alloys and nearly new tyres. Bodywork and interior immaculate. 125k miles.
No MOT or tax
Failed MOT on the following:-
o/s/f wheel bearing
o/s track rod end
n/s/f anti-roll bar link
steering rack gaiter split
n/s/f top wishbone arm bush
Been quoted £300 for the MOT but bought another car now and need to get rid coz the tax has run out.
The first £250 drives it away.
So it was one of those ads where there was no phone number, only a Gumtree email form to contact the buyer. I promptly sent off an email asking the seller if they had an MOT failure sheet. This was at 12.30pm.
In the meantime i called my cousin (Calum) who happens to repair cars in his lockup at his house. I asked him how much he reckoned it would cost to get the car on the road. He came back with a guestimate of £200 including parts.
So i was starting to get kinda excited as this could actually turn out to be a bargain. Unfortunately i never heard anything all day, so at 6pm i emailed again just to say i'm definitely interested and to phone me. Still nothing
So without a contact number there wasn't much else to do other than to wait. I got in from work on Monday 1st Dec and checked my email.......nothing!
So i checked on Gumtree and there it was, still there. So as one last attempt i emailed again just to say i'd tried to get in touch twice before, and if they still had the 156 then please call. If they'd sold it then fine, no probs.
1 minute later my phone rings.....it was the seller!! Turns out he'd done a typo when putting in his email into Gumtree and just changed it 5 minutes ago!
So after a 10 minute grilling i'd basically bought the car over the phone, on the condition that it was "as described". An hour later i was £250 lighter and driving home in my new 156!!
I just drove it straight to Calum's house and parked it there.
Apart from the drone from the wheel bearing, it drove fantastic. Quite nippy for a 2 litre.
So the next night i get the phone call from Calum saying he'd checked it over, and it was a really nice car except for the things on the MOT failure sheet. HOWEVER, he did say the rear discs were pitted quite bad and would definitely be an advisory if not an MOT failure.
Armed with this info, and the fact i had £127 in my Paypal account, i proceeded to surf eBay for all my needs
Here is what i got.....
- A full set of discs and pads for £69.90
- A PAIR of front top wishbone arms complete for £28.90
- Steering rack gaiters for £14.99
- A pair of track rod ends for £16.99
- A pair of anti roll bar link arms for £15.99
- A complete front offside hub assembly (used) for £30.....to save changing the wheel bearing
So Calum's been working on the car since last Saturday, and its almost completed. However, a couple of small hiccups.
- There is a noise coming from the water pump so thats gonna need replaced.
- He couldn't find the locking wheel nut key to get the alloys off, so forced them off and promptly broke them.
- The bracket that the front brake caliper secures to was broken
SO (!), back on eBay and got a water pump (guaranteed) for £11, a set of genuine locking nuts for £11, and i couldn't find this front caliper bracket on eBay so had to use 1st Choice Spares. Finally got one though for £25
The thing now is, after reading some stuff in the forum, i really need to get the timing belt changed on this thing ASAP. Its done 125k and runs sweet as a nut, but there is zero history. Obviously you get what you pay for, so i'm not complaining.
Unfortunately once i've paid Calum for the work, all the money for parts, the MOT test fee and road tax, I'm totally skint now until after the year. I've been shopping around and got a quote from McLellans of Loanhead of £311 including VAT and parts, so i'm gonna go there.
I've just had a call from Calum 15 minutes ago to say he's done all the work on the rear and the front nearside, and plans to do the offside front wheel tomorrow. Fingers crossed the car is going for its MOT early next week.
I shall post some pictures when i get a chance.