Spring report - fuel gauge, stero, lambda sensor, earth strap
Well it's the start of March, so it must be spring, right???
It was MoT time and the news was mixed. Mechanical stuff all fine aside from an issue with my handbrake I already knew about (missing return spring). But emissions failure? Not encouraging. Inspired by the posts here, I changed the lambda sensor - £30 off ebay - job done. Massive improvement, and she drives nicer too!
But in the middle of all of this I went almost to Lands End and back. No problems there, left in a snow storm and arrived to find the south west some 8C warmer. Not quite hood off weather, but not so bad! Got back, parked up and an hour later she wouldn't start. No turnover, wouldn't push start either. Dreaded "code" light was not on, although I read lots of tales of woe here about immobilisers and feared the worst. But it turns out my engine earth strap had decided to part company (intermittently) with my body. Another simple fix.
So this morning I decided to tackle the fuel gauge (warning light working, but gauge permanently at full. If only!!!). Got a replacement - £15 off guy from ebay - and figured I'd pop that new stereo in while I was at it. Instructions here for P.1 centre console removal were spot on, but it does take some nerve to force that ventilator out for what felt like the first time. Alfa sockets everywhere of course, but I have those now. Smug grin. A word of caution to anyone attempting this first time as I was - you don't take the vents out of the housing, you prise the whole assembly (both vents and housing) out of the dash. About 30mm in from the top on either side does the trick, or, if you have a stubby tool or two, from underneath is even better.
The upshot? MoT passed. Sounds working. Fuel gauge sadly now telling the truth! Ready for some warm weather. Guess I'd best head south asap. But first I have a driver's door to replace - seemed the simplest (and cheapest) option to deal with my peeling lacquer issue, which is by far the worst on that door. I suspect someone's resprayed the old one (badly) at some point.
The moral of the tale. Alfa ownership is never predictable, but need not cost a small fortune!