Alfa GTV - rear subframe & airbag warning light - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 6 Old 03-04-07 Thread Starter
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Alfa GTV - rear subframe & airbag warning light

I have been having my car regularly serviced but not at the main dealer. Recently my airbag warning light (March 2007) came on so I rang my mechanic to have it fixed. As I am now doing more miles than I used to (approx 180 per week) I decided to have an extra service while this was being sorted. The last one was in August 2006.
My mechanic fixed the warning light (apparently a loose connection under the driver's seat) and carried out the service. I was delighted UNTIL he told me that the rear suspension was wearing away the subframe and that it would cost around 1.5k to fix it. Has anyone else had this problem? Shouldn't it have been spotted at the last service that something was wrong? Just to add to the worries, the airbag warning light has come back on.
Is it safe to drive around? My mechanic says I can keep doing the mileage until July when I have a week off (apparently it will take a week's work to fix the subframe). He also says the airbag won't go off while the warning light is on. However, today I spoke to a main dealer and they said that the airbag COULD go off as the warning light is on to warn that this might happen. Also, that the rear suspension could collapse and I shouldn't be driving around. Has anyone had experience of either of these faults and can you off me any advice please?
While my GTV is an S reg, it has only done 55,000 miles so I am particularly disappointed with the subframe issue.
I would be really grateful for any feedback.
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Re: Alfa GTV - rear subframe & airbag warning light

Air bag is well documented. Avoid moving the seats when the ignition is on. Light on, according to two dealers I've asked is to indicate air bag is inoperative with no chance of it 'firing'. Rear sub-frame is also well documented and you'll need to find the extent of the damage.

Do a search on this site for each of your problems, there will be plenty for you to read.
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Warning Re: Alfa GTV - rear subframe & airbag warning light

You need to find another garage ASAP.....

Subframes can sometimes be repaired and future damage limited by fitting powerflex bushes to the suspension components..........whatever is needed £1500 is an outrageous price,and saying it will be fine to drive until July will only cause more damage to the ali frame.(these can be had on eBay for £100 or so on a good day btw)
..The whole lot can be replaced in a day,maybe two at a push.......taking a week to do a simple nuts and bolts job is just not on!

Whereabouts are you,perhaps someone can recommend a decent specialist?
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Re: Alfa GTV - rear subframe & airbag warning light

Hi Caro and welcome.

The airbag light is a common problem and armoore's advice is spot on.

If the subframe wear is not too bad you can probably get away with having the bushes replaced - I would recommend powerflex bushes as they should last the life of your car. I had mine replaced at 47000 miles and saw the wear when it was done. There were circular wear marks about 1mm deep - much more than this and it may be necessary to replace the subframe (hence the horrendous price you have been quoted). The place I took it to said it is rarely bad enough to require subframe replacement.

It is madness to wait until July. Firstly, if it is not that badly worn now it can only get worse. Secondly you cannot be sure quite how bad it is until stripped down. If it were me I would book it in to an independent for replacement of all 14 bushes with powerflex items - they will soon be able to tell you how bad the subframe is. I would be quite optimistic if you GET THIS DONE NOW.

With a bit of luck it should cost "only" £4-500.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.


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Re: Alfa GTV - rear subframe & airbag warning light

Snap flo - we were posting at the same time.

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Re: Alfa GTV - rear subframe & airbag warning light

if your subframe is that bad and you can't get your hands on a second hand one, check out a good tig welder, i'm sure they could repair it for a lot less than the dealers new one.
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