Re: Problems with 1.9 147 JTD
Thanks, Craig. I have to admit that, altough I wouldn't have expected such major engine damage (due to snapping cambelt/ seized water pump etc) on a 38,000 mile car, I was pretty (pleasantly) surprised that AR has agreed to pay for the entire cost of the repairs. I've just moved house so am spending quite a bit on doing things up, so this is a real bonus!
Presumably, and I guess this may seem a bit of a dense question, once I've had all valves cam/rockers etc etc repaired and the engine re-assembled by Thames Fiat (who are an Alfa and Citroen dealer also) in Tunbridge Wells (they did a great job liaising with Alfa, for which thanks to their Service team) the car will effectively have to be "run in" for about the first 500-1,000 miles as if it were brand new?
I guess this applies to a diesel as much as if the car were petrol-engined? Also, does anyone know how good Alfa are at getting parts to dealers?; I think we are talking about a fair number of different components to repair the damage my 1.9 147 JTD has suffered due to the water pump/cam belt failure.
Some interesting more general (non-Alfa-related) posts on the site recently too about the recently revised (I could think of less complimentary words!!) Subaru WRX. I owned a WRX with PPP uprgade for about a year and, although I agree the company seems to have taken a very odd stance on the latest design (and the decision to try to compete with Golfs etc by conceiving the new hatchback shape) the cars are fantastic to drive (or at least the last generation WRX was).
I know, however, that the latest WRX has had pretty lukewarm press reviews, but, if people can (try to!!!) forget the "quirky" looks, I reckon the WRX STI, available next year, will be a cracker to drive.
PS PS, I am not on commission from Subaru (I am a business journalist myself, so try to be objective about cars); I just think the company gets a lot of stupid, often unjustified press. Therrfore I'd (respectfully!) suggest that some of the negative posters on the site who may, in some cases, have never actually driven Subarus should be a little less narrow-minded and a bit more restrained about slagging them off!
After all, if I'd listened to several petrolhead friends who were going on Alfa's past reputation, I'd never have bought an Alfa; despite the recent problems I still think they are a fantsatic marque, and would buy another.
I just hope in Subaru's case, that the company hasn't alienated all its fans by having made the new WRX design so strange. I don't know why, when the existing WRX was such a tremendous car, they decided on such a radical new design/sales strategy. Although Subarus are never going to be in the same stratosphere design-wise/viuually as Alfa Romeos, the WRX did not build up a loyal following for nothing; the handling etc on the WRX was phenomenal and the 2 litre "boxer" engine was brilliant.
I now run a Focus ST as well as the 147, and, again, although it doesn't look as good as most Alfas (it's in "ASBO" electric orange), it is a great car to drive (the 5 cylinder Volvo-derived turbo is great, and the roadholding is fantastic)). I have also owned two Lotus Elises, an "old" style Civic Type R and Ford Puma in the past 5-6 years, so have reasonable experience of a variety of quickish cars.
Lotuses, in particular, are brilliant fun, but reliability is an issue, and they only have about enough room inside to keep a wallet! If practicality isn't an issue they're to be recommended, but don't count on 100% reliability, particularly if you buy one with aircon, as I did with my second one. Having the engine overheat to 116 degs when stuck in traffic is not a pleasant experience, and made even worse when a similar problem occurred again a week after having a new radiator fitted. All this on a 2006 model Elise mark 2 with about 12,000 on the clock.