Hi there everyone, I'm both new to this forum, and to the erm... joys of Alfa Romeo ownership. I am having my first real problem with the car, I shall try to explain...
Primarily the gearlever tends to get stuck in 4th. It is also extremely bad at centering, and the change is vague as a result (all too easy to slip back into 3rd rather than 5th etc). When I purchased the car it had the latter problem, which was meant to have been remedied with a new spring somewhere in there. I was told that these springs often 'go' on the 147, as they do on a Ford Focus. It was slightly better after, but not great. I assumed that this was the way that it was meant to feel, and was a little disappointed with this.
The car (2002 147 1.6 TS) was purchased secondhand from a dealer. They sold me an 'AA Gold Warranty' with the car. I have to mention that I am not impressed with this warranty, their authorized repairer refused to do anything with the gearbox, as "it is an Alfa."
I took the car to the main dealer. They said that the quadrant needed replacing. This I kind of understand, although if anyone can clarify what this is I would be grateful. They also said that the selector rod AND the gearbox casing would also need replacing. Then they said that the best bet, as the entire gearbox would have to be stripped, would be to purchase an Alfa recon gearbox.
All of this sounds rather 'unnecessarily expensive,' especially when I found that other users on this forum are having similar symptoms and managed to get the job done with a couple of bushes and 1.5 hours of work.
Am I being over optimistic now in thinking that this is a cheap fix and doesn't warrant a new gearbox? The gearbox itself seems fine, i'm just having problems with the stick!!!
It sounds like a problem with the gear centring mechanism all right. It should be very easy to diagnose for a garage. If the problem is in the gearbox, then if the gear selector cables are disconnected, the gearbox should still stick. If the problem is at the stick end, it should be clunky even with them removed, right?
One way or the other, it sounds like you're being treated very shoddily by your dealer. You have a full warranty on this, you shouldn't take any kind of cr@p like "Oh I'm not touching that, it's an Alfa". What the ehll does that mean? I think the response from you should be "I'm not touching you, you're obvously a moron!"
Anyway, my advice is to take it up with the dealer that sold you the car and policy. If they sold you them, and they're not 'fit for purpose', then it's up to them to replace, repair or refund.
But try to get it fixed asap, and you'll soon discover the true
joys of Alfa ownership!