To fix or sell; My alfa 156 story.
Hi alfa people.
So nearly two years ago I bought my first Alfa. A 99 model 156 2litre twin spark. Cream leather interior and wooden steering wheel, a million miles on the clock (134.000) and black with a couple of scratches. I love it. It was only £850. I couldn't believe anyone could buy this much joy for so little money. I guess by now you have an idea about me, and in part you're right - but I've leaned a lot about the car in this time - and shelled out probably three times that much in keeping it running. Alas it's time to probably say goodbye and not be sentimental. The car has developed another expensive sound in the engine dept.
Here's a potted history of the work my independant Alfa specialist has completed starting some months after purchasing the car in North Shields. I live in Middlesbrough and my mechanic is Stockton based.
An oil leak from the sump area which led to a new sump having to be fitted. The original plug was beyond any kind of fix - whilst diagnosing this extra work was required including spark plugs and timing belt. Big End Bearings.. This work was extensive and cost as much as the car. I wouldv'e hoped that was the end of the big bills but..
some months later the oil pump failed and was replaced. Along with the engine. And clutch. The engine was reconditioned with a 6 month warranty.
-- within the last year I got it through it's first MOT ( the one it came with must've been a work of fiction), It's had replacement Exhaust, suspension and front headlights and tyres. At least now I knew it was road legal and safe.
During the summer, the car stalled in town and wouldn't start because my alternator is not working at a hundred percent. (it had previously got wet going through a large flood and started whining). The pick up guy came out and confirmed what I'd suspected: there was a tapping/knocking sound that I 'd felt/ heard the minutes before the breakdown. So now I have more possible expensive engine work to add to the alternator. Reality had to kick in at some point and now I'm faced with selling the car i love because of credit card debt.
I was quoted £900 or so for replacement coils - the apparent source of the new engine noise tap. Heartbreaking. I'd love for this story to have been different from my initial fear two years back, when I was excited and scared of becoming an alfa cautionary tale. It has been the best car Iv'e owned however. I would do it again. Some lessons just have to be learned.
Does anyone have any recommendations for someone in my position? From what Iv'e read before dozens of times I'm expecting the only realistic response; to sell for parts/scrap. This would kill me but I'd welcome some free advice. I'm sure a lot of you have a similar story.
I wonder what my next car will be...?