Hi there, just returned to alfa ownership after years of german marques (still a fan) am I allowed to say that on this forum?!
I say returning, as I have owned 2 alfasuds and 2 Alfetta GTV's, the rare rear wheel drive cars made by alfa romeo (I guess those of you in the know will have worked out I'm not quite a 20 something youngster).
Always found them to be gorgeous looking cars. Beauty and style are things the italians do so well. However, having been a previous owner I knew from bitter experience what alfa ownership was like: 1 week of driving nirvana followed by weeks off road waiting for some part to arrive from italy. Most of the mileage was racked up driving to and from the garage, that's if it hadn't disintegrated with rust before I got there!!
So reliabilty and build quality abounded in years of German car ownership. However, as I have lived with my italian ducati bike for the last 6+ years and loved every minute of it, I thought I would give Alfa another go.
Bought an Alfa 147, 1.6 TS with 73,000 on the clock in November, lovely gadgets spec.
Service history a little sketchy so had service and cam belt changed. Quoted £760 by dealer, got a mechanic friend to do it for a lot less. Key alarm/central locking/boot not working dealer tells me key won't re-program and new key needed. £200 later (yes that is just for newly programmed key) I can now open boot with hands full of shopping (ladies, don't we just love to go shopping with them!!)
Then couple of weeks ago, returning from funeral, engine warning light stays on and water temperature guage not registering anything. On my way to the dealer warning light not on and temp guage fluctuating up and down. Dealer does plug in test etc then 1.5 hours later comes and tells me new head gasket, cam belt and associated jobs, coolant etc. needed. That will be £790 sir. Found a specialist that says I'm looking at between £500-£600, but that's still quite a whack of money required in less than 4 months and 1000 miles of ownership. I was hoping that Alfa had upped their game.
Am I at risk of spending more time with my mechanic than my partner? Am i just unlucky or is this a taste of things to come?
Still deciding whether I made a mistake and should I just go back to german cars