Ah the joy of Alfa ownership has been a total eye opener for me after over 40 years in the motor trade.
Not since i had an brainwave in the 70's and purchased a Humber Sceptor with twin webers have i been so gobsmacked at the so called honest sale of tat with fresh MOT.
I have just covered 2,000 miles since i bought the "company ****" which we mainly covered returning to the South of France from Scotland where we purchased it. (Never buy from an advert without seeing it in the flesh first i know).
At least i had the common sense to have the belt, pump and idlers changed before the pick up at Edinborough Airport.
After 1 hour of ownership the steering started to vibrate...o/s front,followed by the harmonic drone of a n/side rear wheel bearing.
Turned the radio up to cover the "tutting" noise from the passengers seat.Can't adjust the bass,treble etc.
Long uphill climb on the motorway prompted a foot down acceleration test in fifth only to be greeted by rising engine revs and little increase in speed.The clutch......no not the clutch.
We live in the Midi Pyrenees and the most used parts of the car are brakes and clutch.DMF springs to mind and lots of time and money exiting from the bank just before Christmas.
"Tutting" noise getting louder from the passengers seat!
Nothing for it but to book in a garage near Brighton where we were staying for the night at my brothers before catching a ferry.
Vibration getting worse!
Arrived in Seaford and took the car into the garage the following morning.Lots of thigh slapping and derisory comments with the occasional pointing of a greasy finger.
Change the oil and all the filters please at the same time,and give me a 70% anti-freeze mix whilst your at it.Clean the EGR valve and map sensor and de gunge the inlet manifold at the same time if you would be so kind.The car has just had an MOT and been serviced so expect new parts but change anyway....and the clutch please report on the DMF.
A day later and the phone call came...you want to have a look?
A disgruntled trudge round to the garage where i was met with a serious face and a hand on hip greeting.
What did you buy this for Kevin enquired.
Too much by the looks of it i said.
Well your DMF is still usable there is no slack and hardly any high spot shine on the surface so it's your choice.Er we noticed the slave cylinder is leaking and sticking...that may be the original cause of the clutch slip.OK no DMF then, just a clutch kit and cylinder.
(sssshhhhhhhhhhhh it gets better)
This n/s lower arm is how do you say........knackered,and the top one is'nt much better,coupled with the fact someone has changed the roll bar bushes to take the slack out.
O/s front ain't much better either oh and you have a buckled rim on the o/s/front wheel causing the vibration.It's letting air out of the tyre slowly (giggling from the other side of the workshop).
The rear wheel bearing has been packed with Copperslip to quieten it down and new handbrake cables have been fitted but are holding on due to the fact the rear calipers are siezed.And your hanbrake lever is not connecting with the ratchet so it drops and doesn't lock when on half way.
Oh and two brakes pipes front to back are not MOTable.Both rear discs have been cleaned up with a sander to look new,but the pads are "c" shaped instead of flat.Handbrake and footbrake efficiency are below MOT standard on the rear.
More laughter as my credit card tried to escape from the scene of the catastrophe!
Leave the bearings and suspension and the brakes just do the engine and clutch.The MOT is less than a week old.(I can wield a spanner or two so this will be my punishment for the mistake i am begining to think i have made).
(How many of you are rolling around on the floor now?)
Two days and a faulty clutch kit later (don't ask) The **** was ready.
Kevin....a really genuine garage man...smiled at me when i arrived.I've just taken this out for a roadtest and it is really quick.Infact it is a nice car to drive apart from the knocks and rattles,n drones.
I haven't bothered to do a bill yet so I'll send it to you by email and you can get your bro' to drop the money in after Christmas.(Gobsmacked)By the way we have de-siezed the calipers and the handbrake cables and the brake efficiency is up to MOT standard.(No extra charge!)
(£737 all in)
Once of the ferry the following early morning,we hit the autoroute and at a steady 70-80 mph continued with no clutch vibration or noises i might add,to Lozere where we live.800 miles plus on one and a quarter tank of diesel........................
The only problem is that the old **** is dragging her bum (like a dog doing hanbrake turns on the carpet) on the roads here,scraping the sump shield all the time,so it looks like more expense is due.
Having said all this; yesterday i went round some of the roads here in the Gorges du Tarn to air my lungs and clear her throat.
Boy when this lady is given the lead foot in the pants.....she lifts her skirt and parties!
But the "tutting" noise is getting really loud now!
Could this be love??????? I'll let you know!