A short tale of 6 months of "carbonio nero" magic, and recommendations. - Alfa Romeo Forum
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A short tale of 6 months of "carbonio nero" magic, and recommendations.

To recount, I had just had my GT fitted with comfort upgrades (Q2 and Koni FSDs). The car was going well until flaming June, 2nd week of Wimbledon. You will remember we had searing heat which saw mid 30s temperatures across U.K. I have just sprinted up the A40 hill on my way home from work, overtaking a train of cars and vans on the dual carriage section towards Stockenchurch. At the top of the hill I was met by a traffic jam - yet another M40 accident had caused road chaos. So I slip the gear into neutral, coast along and, and...the V6 dies. I try to restart... nothing. I am stranded in the middle of the road. A white van driver laughs as he creeps past at 5mph, the one I screamed past up the hill.

The AA diagnoses alternator failure and fits a temp battery. 2 weeks later and the vehicle is collected from the main dealer with a new alternator. All seems just fine. I book some time in France for hols and get the service booked in with AutoLusso. The service day arrives, I drop off the car, (loaned another interesting car!), and get a call at midday...it's Ned - er..."what \who has done this to your car?" he asks. I am back down at the workshop after work. A meeting with several Alfa reps\techs and Ned reveals absolutely appalling "procedures" have been inflicted on the GT. To fit the new alt requires the sub-frame and various components, including exhaust to be removed from underside of the car. Instead, the car's 3.2l engine block had been held and suspended by the exhaust system, bending the front and mid-pipe exhaust sections, stretching the power steering fluid pipe. Furthermore the brake pipes had been stuffed back in behind the suspension struts in the wrong location, leading to considerable chaffing to the point of failure in less than 1000 miles. I was driving a death trap. Sacre bleu. To add to the irony ( the real moral, btw if you havenít guessed, is to take your Alfa to a specialist who knows the car, especially when something uncommon goes wrong), the very company that underwrites my warranty and cleared work for the new alternator to be fitted by the main dealer does not accept claims through AutoLusso. I wrote a letter to said warranty co., pleading that they allow specialists like AutoLusso to carry out warranty work. Since, this time round, they did not approve the specialist work, I went to the main dealer's and...this is what you get! I still have not heard from the warranty company. Any recommendations there?

On top of the new exhaust system, cat converter, brake and power steering pipes, and because the car had to be stripped down for this work, and of course I had it booked in for 36,000 mile service, Autolusso considerately asked me if I would like extra things done, while the car lay stripped down. It would make sense I had a new anti-roll bar fitted at this time (it was mid-worn), paying for the part only, since all the reconstructive labour time was accounted for by the main dealer damage. Nice considerate, service.

So the GT is on the road again and enjoys breathing properly in Europe where the roads are paradise compared to ours here. I come back and then just a month ago I encounter on a small local B road a runaway wheel off a van. With nowhere to go, and no free position on the road, I had no choice but to run into it, cruising at 5mph - new front bumper. Here's my second recommendation, don't go with More Than insurance. Appalling customer service. The problem lies in that their CS is provided by people living in a culture far removed from ours, and located many miles away on the shores of Bangladesh. I had to repeat myself frequently (anything to do with numbers or letters in the alphabet); they got all the details wrong and made false promises. But enough about that. I called AutoLusso's star, Ned, and he suggested Herbie at Harris Coachworks based about 5 miles away near Whipsnade Zoo. The service I received from this independent company was amazing. They provided a courtesy car the next day (Saturday!), managed my entire claim against the negligent party, and completed the work efficiently, quickly and to an excellent finish, worthy of a classy body work renovation of a superior classic car.

So now it comes around to insurance renewal, and I gave Adrian Flux Ins. a call. Pleasant, no fuss service, and beat More Than's renewal quote. I can see why they are frequently recommended as well, especially if your car has modifications.

If you live in Beds, Bucks, Herts or around there, I consider us lucky. Just be careful with the choice of insurance and warranty co.s, and never go to a main dealer for fiddly work, particularly if the alternator packs up - it's a lot of hours work which would not appear to be accounted for in the official service guidelines (if they exist).

Harris Coachworks
Adrian Flux
More Than
Main (no name shame) dealer
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Sounds like you've had a rough ride and a bunch of bad luck with your GT, although it sounds like you've at least got it all sorted..

This is a lesson I've learned in the past year; always go to the guy who really knows what he is doing and don't waste time/money on generalists; my dealer (who to be fair, has given me good service thus far) does the services and warranty work and that's about it; for the suspension, autolusso, for the engine, Mango's..I've still got to sort my stereo & sat nav out properly, do you think that I'll bother with dealer again? no way jose..
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