Some time back I posted my interest for a reliable Alfa service place here in Athens as I was moving back home...
Well, here I am, almost completely in the everyday routine now but it wasn't easy:
The story of my bella:
I left the UK no probs and reached Germany about 03:00 in the morning only to find out that I could not leave the petrol station cause the battery was flat...that cost me a visit by a French-German service guy to start me up (€110) plus another start up the next day to go to the service station plus a new battery (€250). Great start ah?
Anyway, been here in Greece for a few months now and I have had to do my major service (60.000 belt change) at a local garage. That cost me about €650 and all was reasonably ok until one day out of the blue the engine warning light turned on. I freaked out I must say but when I brought it to the garage they told it was only the fuel sensor(s) that were causing this - something to do with fuel quality?! - so they reset them and off I went.
At that point I booked the car for a clutch change as it was way too stiff and was starting to cause pain on my lower back. Needless to say that the warning light came back on, and for the last 2 months I have been going in and out of the garage basically resetting the sensors each time... bloody annoying to say the least. And I wish this was all...
The garage I did the belt change was in fact a different garage that I did the clutch change. The first is in Patras, my home town before I moved to Athens and the second is in Athens.
To continue the story, I put the car in on a Monday and I didn't get it back till Friday as they said "we needed to take the whole engine down to reach the clutch on this model!". Didn't really care as long as they did a good job. Clutch was fine all right but that was about all that was fine. You see every weekend I travel back to Patras which is a 2hour drive (250km) and that weekend when I reached the highway and opened her up I felt some sort of choking in the engine after 4K revs which seemed to fade away once I reached 5K and over. I tried not to think about it but the performance difference was significant. Anyway, reached Patras and the next day the car wouldn't start (plus the engine warning light came back on). Missed my ferry to an island which I was going for a long weekend. Pushed the car with no luck of startig it. Angry as hell I had to wait till Tuesday for a service station to open. That same night however, I gave it another try and it started fine ! - great -
When I mentioned this (and the choking) at the garage (Athens) they said they both probably had something to do with the sensors and flue feeding. They said they would re-check the sensors-clean them and things should be fine. The failure for the car to start was probably something to do with the 'temperature' sensors being stuck and not giving enough fuel till the temperature dropped that night?!
Btw, did I mention I payed €950 for the clutch change ?! (this also included a new protection mask under the engine as the old one was broke and kept on hitting)
This was about a month and a half ago. The engine choking is still with me till this day and the warning light off course !! I have been taking the car in at least twice a week... and I get always the same !!!! responses of "we don't know" or "we will check again". Now the story is along the lines of the air filter/flow they want to check. Christ!
If that wasn't enough on my way down to Patras (again) on another weekend I somehow managed to hit a large metalic pole that was left in the middle of the highway! This was 1.5 meters long and hit and tore my tire, bent my alloy, got under the car and damaged various parts including the sassi and finally bent and injected itself in my passenger's door !!!!!!!
This has now also caused other 'new' noices to come up, like a rattling noice when I reach 2K-3K revs and don't accelerate (in gear letting the gar deccelerate on its own), some sort of metallic noice when hitting bumps (and there are a lot of those in Greek roads) and an airconditioning unit that this weekend sounded that it was leaking?! (not sure on that)
Great luck ah?
On this last one it turns out that I will be making a claim for all the repairs to be refunded by the highways agency and the bonus is that at least I have the police report that states it wasn't my fault and the metallic bar was in fact part of the divider on the road.
The big problem? who is going to fix these?! Obviously the garage I have been talking to this far is useless. They are meant to be authorised dealers but they don't convince me they know what they are doing. Should I contact Alfa headquarters?
H E L P
IF ANYONE OUT THERE KNOWS OF A RELIABLE ALFA GARAGE IN ATHENS (BOREIA PROASTIA) .... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, LET ME KNOW.
My bella is diying...
I will post pictures in the future if you like.