Well, my Brera was in at the dealers today to have the check on the creaky steering noises. In their opinion, surprise surprise, it needs a new steering rack
The rack can't be ordered until it has been given the green light by an assessor on 9th October. They assured me that the car is safe to drive, as the rack hasn't actually broken yet, but that the noises are a sympton of the problem. My warranty runs out in November, so I'm just hoping the part will arrive in time, or if not, the dealer honours the repair. When I asked how much the cost of the new steering rack plus labour he said it would be close to £1000
I was due to visit Mango's to get the option 4 Induction Kit mod done (which I've been saving my hard-earned bonus for!), but I won't be doing that until the steering rack is fixed, if at all now.
I had the noises checked out about a year ago, and they replaced the PAS fluid, as this car was one of the early ones with the incorrect fluid. I was told this would solve the problem but it never did, and the noises have continued ever since!
I booked my car in for this check based on the symptoms described in this thread, so thank you very much to simon_no_pieman for the heads-up! If the steering rack had gone after my warrany was up, I'd have had to dust off the credit card for that kind of cost!
All I'd say to anybody with a Brera/Spider/159 who experiences the creaking/knocking noise when turning the wheel at low speeds, and when parking, is to get it into their dealers right away, as it seems like this issue is a re-occurring theme. I can't believe that steering racks are failing on cars 3 years old or less! Maybe the gremlins of the past haven't gone away yet
To be honest, I'm now seriously considering whether to change cars once my warranty is up, as I don't want to be spending silly money on repairs that I shouldn't have to! I ended up trading in my 156 on this basis. A year or so after the warranty was up, the repairs were becoming more regular and more costly so it had to go!
I was hoping the same thing wouldn't happen with the Brera. I guess only time will tell...