Man, the stuff I've been through to have this sorted.. First of all BIG kudos to Days MK
, David and his crew are simply the most fantastic, dedicated, professional and swift team of mechanics I have ever met in my life, and I am not just saying it, they will have my complete devotion from now on. If you're in the Milton Keynes area I cannot recommend a better mechanic for ANY brand.
Having said this, let me tell you the story:
It all started one morning when the car made a weird rattling noise when the clutch was pressed down, it seemed to disappear and after a couple of days it was back. I came here on the forum and asked for advice, and several people told me "it's likely to be the DMF". I read horror stories of insane bills to fix the part, fortunately I had started a warranty cover after my Alfa Romeo dealer one expired, so I thought "oh well, this will be fine". I was VERY far from right.
I take the car to the mechanic, and they confirm the suspects, it's the DMF, and the bill would be quite high, so we ring the warranty company and explain the issue: they reply that if
it's wear and tear related, they won't pay for it. The horror. Apparently some companies think of the DMF as a component that can be subjected to wear and tear (because of overheating mainly), but the diagnosis can't be complete and accurate unless the clutch/flywheel components don't get disassembled.
I receive a suggestion to try and ask the dealer for some help on the matter, so I take the car in, and they call me back saying "it's not just that, the car needs a new gearbox, we're looking at a £4.3k bill here, and your warranty, provided they pay, would only reach up to 3k".. I was gobsmacked, I mentioned the probable DMF issue and they blabbered something about not being able to disassemble the part and having to change the thing en-bloc. I receive a prompt offer to buy my car back though, at an obviously ridiculous price (7k!) and offering me an alluring Fiat Bravo 1.9 in electric blue..
They also suggested to call Alfa Romeo UK to see if they would contribute, since considering the amount of cars that had issues with the DMF, it's quite blatant it's something that should have been addressed by them.. all I got was an extremely unprofessional and rude girl that kept on saying "sorry, the car is more than 5 years old, we can't do anything, and that's our final decision, besides you bought the car used (from an Alfa Romeo dealer, guaranteed used cars), so we don't know what the previous owner did with the car"..
It was starting to feel like someone was taking the serious ****** there, so I went back, got my car, brought it to Days MK, they had it in yesterday, this morning it was ready, and the warranty paid for part of the labour and the new flywheel, probably quite happily, esp after the £4.3k scare they had (they won't pay for the clutch cos it's not a faulty component, but it needs to be changed, so we'll see about this now..)..
I've learned some useful lessons today: 1) if you go for a car warranty cover make sure that your logs are in order and above all that you get one that covers also wear and tear. 2) carefully choose your mechanic: as mentioned above, David earned my absolute trust, and I won't let anybody else but his team put their hands on my Brera.
If you are in a similar situation and have questions, PM me and I'll be glad to help.