My GT Tragedy! - Please read and comment!
Here is what has to be the most stressful and troublesome time I have ever had with any car in my whole life...and so the story begins.
I own a 2004 Alfa GT JTD. I bought it used with one previous owner with around 75,000 miles just over a year ago.
Until 3 months ago, I have had no problems with the vehicle and have to say I`ve had immense joy from driving it. I have owned quite a few cars over the years and had previously avoided Alfa`s due to the horror stories and reliability issues. Anyhow, as they say you are not a true car enthusiast until you have owned an Alfa.
So, around 3 months ago, I was driving back from a meeting in Birmingham when the engine suddenly died and I came to a halt. As I live in london, I arranged to be towed to the nearest Alfa Romeo dealer to investigate thinking it was simply an immobiliser problem. Unfortunately not, I was informed that the timing belt had snapped....to cut a long story short it would require over £2000 pounds of work, which I thought steep considering they said its the diesel so a timing belt snapping shouldnt damage too much of the internals. So as this was a Alfa Romeo main dealer and not a back street dodgy mechanic trying to fleece me, I bit the bullet and paid for the work to be done. After a week I collected the car.
After a few days, a strange blowing sound could be heard from the engine bay. I presumed it may be the exhaust blowing and took it to my local Kwik Fit. They said the exhaust was fine and the noise and some smoke was coming from a cracked injector. So, I contacted the Alfa dealer in Birmingham and reported this issue. They advised my to take the car to my local Alfa dealer in London, which I did.
I took it to my local dealership in Chadwell Heath in Essex. They investigated and reported that the injector needed replacing and the work will cost around £400. I showed them the receipt for over £2000 for the work I had done in Birmingham. They referred this to Alfa UK and they then agreed to pay 50%. So I paid £200 and collected the car. On the way home from the dealer, the Motor System Control failure warning appeared, so I turned back and returned to the dealer. After looking at it they informed me there seems to be a problem with the turbo and another injector!
Ok...my patience was wearing thin by this stage. They investigated and informed me that the turbo and 6th injector needed replacing, however Alfa will contribute 50% as a goodwill gesture. Still this means me forking out £950! Begrudgingly, I agreeded to this as now I had been without the car for 2 weeks. They said they have to wait for the turbo to come in so would only get the car back after the new year.
Christmas and New Year came and went and I was told he turbo had arrived and was being fitted. I phoned to see what time I could collect the car. I was informed that another fault had been found after fitting the new turbo and they had to investigate.....
I was about to throw a fit but still perservered. They investigated and I was told now I need a NEW ENGINE and there was a "foreign body" inside the engine with has caused damage!
Ok, enough was enough. I lodged my concerns with Alfa UK. To cut a long story short, they are agreeing to 40% of a new engine. However, this is a breakdown of my costs.
Timing belt break and fix in Alfa dealer in Birmingham - £2000
Replacing 1st injector - £200
New engine + new turbo + all labour(diagnosing and fitting inc discount) - £3800
So the grand total so far is....£6000
I am now only doing this so I can sell the car, which probably wouldnt be more than £7000. I have now been without the car for 6 weeks and I am waiting to hear if I can recover some costs from the work spent at the Birmingham dealer on top of Alfa UKs contribution.
Though the brief time I had trouble free motoring was enjoyable, this as Im you you all understand has sickened me so that I feel I could never look at another Alfa again. My GT will be up for sale soon.
I dont know if anyone else has had this kind of experience but this has definately given me a few sleepless nights!