After 4 years of fantastic ownership and 60,0000 miles (total of 140k) my Alfa time is over. I'd made the decision with a heavy heart that the time had come were it no longer made much sense to MOT and tax her for another year. I bought the car (51 reg 1.6 TS) for £1200 as a stop gap motor when my Golf TDI was written off by a passing bus during the bad snow of 2010. I quickly grew to love it and ended up keeping it for 4 years, with a list of service and mot repairs mounting (front upper arms, power steering pipes, ARB bushes, tires and cambelt/plug time looming costs were starting to add up. Factor in £280 road tax and an average of 40MPG and it's starting make running an older car an expensive choice.
I have been hands on with maintenance changing oil and filter ever 6 months and replacing discs and pads as required, as such I believe the car has been excellent value, but I do sadly feel that in our consumer driven society taxation, fuel cost and insurance etc, that all too often it's the cheaper option to buy new than to do relatively minor repairs of a quality car.
This lead me to ordering a new Fiat Panda, I costed the savings in running costs and based on my 15,000 per year the monthly payment for the new car (£109) is written off by the savings in running cost over the Alfa.
Fast forward two weeks.......... 2 days before I'm collecting the Panda I'm driving to work and thump! I know instantly it's the cambelt letting go! So heed my warning: the cambelt was still in date 32 months and 30k miles since change, it was done my a well known and respected indie (QSP as used by many owners active on the North East forum). I noticed that the engine was a little noisy at the cam-cover when running as I was topping the screen-wash a week before the belt failed, I wasn't concerned as the new car was due to be delivered in a couple of days, so I would say to all TS engine owners keep you ears open and be on guard even if you belt is in date! I think I've just been unlucky, admittedly at a lucky time!
Fantastic forum that has been a godsend over the past few years, thanks guys, can I still visit here and call my Panda the base model Alfa?
Alfa Romeo, a f***ing pain but great with it