I noticed yesterday that my motor was very noisy all of a sudden. Sounded like it was coming from the cams. So I took it past the Alfa dealer so they could take a listen, they told me it sounded like the timing belt tensioner. So I left the car there last night, this morning they phoned me to confirm that it was the tensioner and that the cambelt would have to be replaced as well. It isn't covered by the warranty because here in SA Alfa says you must change the cam belt etc. every 60 000km, and my car has 52000km now so it is a wear and tear issue. But it is in fact covered by the service plan, so it doesn't cost me anything.
What really surprises me is that these parts wear out so early on Alfa's. I mean my car is only a year old.
I asked the mechanic can't they just wait till the 60k service to replace the tensioner etc like the maintenance schedule suggests, because now I will have to replace it again at 112k and not at 120k. But he said that he doesn't think it'll make it to the next service without the belt snapping or something like that.
Alfa is going to have to sort these kind of things out on their new models cause it's stuff like this that make people weary about buying Alfa's. A friend of mine has a Daewoo Lanos 1.6 of all cars, and it is on 135k km now and the engine has never been opened, not for its cambelt or anything. Just oils and filters and spark plugs. And it also has cambelts, twin cams, tensioners etc... I know that the Lanos has a rebadged Opel 16V Ecotec engine, but still, it is a Daewoo!
The funny thing is that whether or not Alfa sort these things out, guess what my next car is going to be? An Alfa.
The bug has bitten...