I had my 159SW 3.2 Q4 at my local dealer/workshop today to investigate a recurring 'engine error light'. Using AlfaDiag software, I had determined a fault with one of the lambda sensors.
They showed me the problem. It dates back to February when I vividly recall the underside of the car 'crunching' along a driveway of people I was visiting (family friends of my wife's friends, so people I don't actually know). I think they must have had a metal tube buried into the ground where their gates latched down into, cos it crunched as I passed into their driveway.
Whatever I hit, it struck two things under the car:
1. an exhaust clamp (that secures the main cats to the centre pipe) which must have flicked the exhaust backwards an inch or two, meaning the rear cat lambda sensor
struck part of the chassis, killing it
; there's a dent in the side of the sensor
2. hit the driveshaft support bracket
which holds a big bushing and bearing (ie: the driveshaft spins in this bearing)
The bearing bracket is reasonably bent, meaning the bushing/bearing is not secured nice and square with the shaft. Ultimately, the bearing will wear prematurely. They have seen this problem before. Right now, there is no noticable vibration, but I can anticipate issues.
So they suggested I should have the bracket and bearing replaced. OK......except there's a catch. It's not a separate piece: it's pre-assembled around the whole centre drive shaft.
Oh yeah, no worries. Except the cost of the driveshaft unit is AUS$3300 + tax, plus fitment.
They were very helpful (eg: supplied a courtesy car for me today with no charge; hoisted the car to show me the damage) and explained my options. I've been going to this dealer for years, so I trust them and they do good work. Best option being: they will prepare a statement explaining the damage and repair cost, and asked me to claim it on insurance. They were confident it would be covered as 'accident damage'.
*fingers crossed* I will contact insurance when I have the statement in hand, and see what comes of it. They have taken photos. Otherwise, it will be a costly repair!
I'll keep you updated.