Local Alfa garage experience
I took my 147 selespeed to a local Alfa garage to see to a whining noise coming from the aux belt area. He thought it was the idler and I left it with him to change. I also mentioned to him that the selespeed has occasionally failed recently - won't select gear at all. He said it was probably a failing pump and he'd have a look. I told him I knew the pump worked as I could hear it firing, and that when using the ecuscan I couldn't see any problems with the pressure (drops to ~ 43 bar, pump fires up to 55bar, takes a good few minutes or 2 gear changes to get the pressure back to ~ 43).
Anyway, I got a call from him a couple of hours later. He said the selespeed wouldn't select when he tried to move it into the workshop and he had to get it pushed in. He said he'd looked at it and it was definitely the pump. Well, I wasn't happy as I couldn't afford to replace the pump and I had a nagging doubt about his diagnosis. I went down to the garage and we had a chat about how much it would cost to if I could find a pump - he was quoting numbers in the £200- £300 range just for labour.
While we were looking at the car I asked if he'd tried connecting the pump directly to the to the battery. He hadn't. We did. It worked. I wasn't too impressed. Anyway, rather relieved I asked him to see if he could isolate the problem and left him to it. I'm rather regretting that now.
In the end it proved to be the relay. Once replaced (£15) it worked fine. He also replaced the idler, though not the idler cap (which was missing, and the lack of one has probably caused the problem in the first place) as he didn't have one in stock, but he didn't tell me about it until the job was done
Anyway, the punchline to all of this is the bill. £315. £15 for the relay, £60 for the idler and 4 hours labour at £60 an hour.
I'd be interested in your views.