Re: The Mediterranean and back... In an Alfa?
I recall in 2002 taking my (just out of warranty) 99 plate 146 Ti on 33k from Northumberland to Granada... and back. A thoroughly amusing experience was had by all.
Rocky (a very trusty car to this point) was serviced the week before leaving... (including cambelt change). Got to Paris... motorway tunnel in rush hour... and power steering pump went.... liquid all over the engine. This was July... and Paris pretty much shuts for a month. After two days... managed to find an Alfa mechanic.... cool 1100 euro bill for power steering and (another) cambelt change... left Paris one week later... and arrived in Granada for three months.
On return journey (beautiful trip through French and Italian Rivieras)... I lost three gears: reverse, fourth and fifth. "No problem!" I thought.... "I'm approaching Turin!"... indeed... forty Alfa specialists. Went into a main dealer first.... was told I would need a new gearbox at a cool 3000 euros.... two independent specialists told me the same news.
Resorting to the AA, Rocky was shipped back to Northumberland on the back of a lorry and my (now very happy) girlfriend and I were flown home, vowing never to buy another Alfa ever again.
Two days later... my local village mechanic sat me down and we had a whisky. There was good news and bad news. He'd spent the best part of the day trying to resolve the problem and would have to charge me £100 labour. But the component was just a pin... all of a few pounds to replace.
The Alfa vow? It lasted.... all of about six months.... until Rocky was replaced by a GTV (and another one). And a 156. My twopence worth of European advice: ensure you have (very) good breakdown cover... and if your Alfa needs servicing, do it a month or so before you go....
Twenty or so trips later to southern Germany: I've never had a single problem using Alfas. The escapade to the Italian homeland however will always be remembered.
Last edited by wittyfrog; 31-07-08 at 22:35.