also does anyone elses turbo whistle more so when its cold? or just mine?
Mine does, although it's not exactly a whistle, more of a whine.
Local Alfa Romeo dealer said a turbocharger failure was "imminent" and that I should have it replaced "immediately" or I'm risking a "catastrophic" incident. One year and 20.000 km later, the catastrophe didn't hit (yet).
In 1.5 years of ownership (m.y. 10/2003, 141k km when acquired, 166k km now) I went through:
- two sets of upper front wishbones
- one set of lower front wishbones
- one flywheel (used "reconditioned" one on advice of local indie - 400 euros)
- auxiliary pulley and belt (1 mm from breaking)
- one round of xenon bulbs
- one upper turbo hose
- one EGR
- three of the four parking sensors
- two hand brake cables
- countless other items
Overall maintenance cost (including both 'incidents' and regular/preventive maintenance) is above 4000 euros (including also all belts and tensioners plus water pump, a set of used 15" alloys + winter tires etc). And that's not counting the new 17" summer tires it will need in the spring, nor fixing an odd creak from the rear suspension and some knocking from the front one, nor... whatever will strike next.
However, not counting yesterday's visit (for replacing the xenon bulbs), I hadn't seen the mechanic for nearly four months, which was excellent for my finances. Moreover, after winter vacation (nearly one month sitting outside in -5 / -10 / -20 C weather), the car started on the first attempt... Overall, it could've been worse.