Hi Alfistas, your council please.
6 months ago I had a beautiful facelift 156 Sports Wagon 2.4jtdm 20v with full service history, regular services, in exceptional condition for age and drove beautifully.
Now it's languishing in the garage (where it's been for the last 3 months) and we're trying to work out whether to break it to recover parts, or fit a new engine.
6 months ago it started to give out MCU failures. Took it to the garage a couple of times. Usual turbo related kit all checked and replaced (and I mean all - these guys are experienced alfa/fiat independent specialists) before diagnosing faulty turbo. Get reconditioned turbo (from Essex turbos) and fit. New problem, large clouds of black smoke on light throttle but no ECU fault codes etc. and new turbo is operating within parameters. Turbo returned to Essex for confirmation it was operating properly, it was checked, confirmed ok and refitted.
Still black smoke.
Garage advise 'keep driving until we get error code or something changes'. Drive for a month, but no change. Goes into garage for extensive check 'until problem solved'. Garage suspects injectors - they get sent off and cleaned, all give clean bill of health.
Garage checks diesel tank and pump, pump full of gunk and replaces, tank cleaned out.
Revs better in higher ranges by still smokes.
Garage does in depth measurements of combustion cycle and finds 2 of the 5 injectors overfueling by approx x2.
ECU suspected as faulty, sent of to ECU doctor who holds on to it for 3 weeks before returning saying he can't find fault. Reconditioned ECU ordered from Bosch, who set a 4 week delivery period and then deliver 2 weeks after deadline.
New ECU fixes problem NO SMOKE! but car fails MOT on emissions!
Garage suspects big end or piston rings, eventually diagnosing piston rings.
Advise from garage - cheaper to get second hand engine rather than fix piston rings but also advised that due to milleage (108k) clutch and dual mass fly wheel likely to need replacing so should factor in as part of overall economics.
Current Bill -
Hours - millions £? - garage likely to drop these
Cost of parts unpaid to date £1700
Cost of second hand engine £700
Cost of fitting engine £900
Cost of new clutch and flywheel £700
i.e. £4,000 with no guarantee it will be smooth sailing once new engine and clutch fitted.
a) push on ahead - I've come this far and hey, what's a few pennies between me and the bank manager
b) walk away from alfa, give car to garage who will break to recover cost of parts and get another car (sorry now thinking german cars the way forward, this 156 will have cost me £10k over 3 years not including running costs).
This Alfa has broken me literally and figuratively. The most annoying thing is the smug 'well you shouldn't have got an alfa in the first place' if anyone gets wind of this.
Common alfistas, give me some comeback on this.....