Well, my first year of alfa ownership is fast approaching. The MOT and service being due has served as a handy reminder of this! She is in the garage today so fingers crossed I don't have any other ailments to add to the list of problems I had early on. This time last year I was just about to go and look at the car for the first time and I picked her up in the first weekend in August so I thought it might be a good time to take stock of the experience and look back at that first year of ownership.
Upon picking her up I took her away for the weekend (to Swindon of all places
) and all was well, she was fantastic. The experience nearly went sour for me as the first few months turned out to be a lot of trouble and to be honest, I began to have doubts and consider alternative rides. After some sound advice from some of you guys on the forum I opted to stick with her despite the ever increasing list of problems, most of which though thankfully got sorted under warranty. Here's the list of the 1st year's troubles and any associated cost to me.
Passenger door alignment (realigned - warranty)
Exhaust (replaced - warranty)
Radiator (replaced - warranty)
Air bag light came on having been in for afforementioned work. (Pre-tensioner squib replaced - warranty)
Passenger window alignment (as a result of door realignment -realigned - warranty)
Drivers side door release (repaired - warranty)
Clutch (replaced - out of warranty by 1 week - cost £400)
Investigate knocking and scraping noises from front of car (1 hours labour, cost £45 - no resolution)
Alternative garage then found some play in the A.R.B Drop link arms (replaced - cost £105) knocking noise now gone but was unable to identify source of scraping noise
So all in all not bad really. £550... so far! The biggest problem throughtout the first three months of ownership was going back and forth to the dealer where I bought the car. I'm in Brighton and the dealer was in Croydon and she went back 5 times in three months if I remember correctly! Thankfully, I have an understanding MD who loves his cars and has also owned the same model himself previously. Anyhow, this is not to suggest that the car is a bad one or typical of the model because I do feel as though the dealer must have been aware of some of this particular cars problems when it was sold to me. These are problems I could have had on any car I'd have bought cos' I didn't really know what I was looking for. Nor is this to put off potential new comers to the marque, buy one and you'll love it!
In summing up, I love every minute in the car and with the car. When I park her up I can't stop looking over my shoulder to take another longing look at her. My previous car was a saab and whilst I could go a whole year between services having not spent a penny on her she was so booorrrriiing and underpowered by comparsion.
Now lets see what happens with the MOT; I might be back on to have a moan soon!