Hello - New guy here...
I've been stealing little tips and bits of advice from this site for a few months so thought i'd actually sign up!
I've got an Alfa 147 2.0L Selespeed. 2004. Decent spec with all leather, bose speakers, supersport alloys, etc... Service kept up-to-date.
It's awesome to drive, but costs me an arm and leg to keep running! I bought it in May 2007, so just over 9 months ago.
Since i've had it i've had a 60,000 mile service which included a new timming belt. (I gather this needs changing every 20,000 miles or so to be safe??)
Right now it's in the Alfa garage having a new clutch kit... £800 all in.
It started off with a "grinding" noise that sounded like metal on metal. It could be heard when driving along but got much worse when changing up/down a gear. The guy at Alfa took a look and did a general health check on the car. Come back and said it needs a replacement clutch release bearing (£50 plus 5.5 hours labour) and while he's got it in bits he's recommended that i go for a whole new clutch kit. (£150 plus 5.5 hours labour) So, with a selespeed fluid top-up, a few seals replacing, VAT etc... it's come out at £800.
The rest of the healthcheck found one concerning thing...
Aparantly theres some "gunk" in the head gasket. I'm not entirely sure what this means, as i'm far from a car expert, but i'm guessing it's not good. The guy at Alfa didnt seem to concerned but i was under the impression that if someone mentioned a head gasket, it's time to go and see the bank manager!
Anyway, brilliant car, great/fun to drive, nice to look at, pretty quick... It just costs a bloody fortune because a) It's an Alfa and b) it's a selespeed!