Dear Not sure Who, I am a proud owner of a 156 sportwagon purchased from new in 2000. My wife and I love the car’s style and we still adore driving it. Unfortunately, it recently became poorly with lumpy (felt like sever misfiring) running. The fault would come and go. This happened while on holiday in Cornwall. We decided to drive back to our home in Surrey but on the way the misfiring started to get worse, more frequent and the engine management light started to flash then stayed on. For the last 100 miles the fault cleared so I thought maybe it had mysteriously gone , then next day, it came back. I called Green Flag who interrogated the ECU and it displayed error code P3040. Apparently, this indicated failure of cylinder four coil pack. Great, tried to book car in to local garage only to find they were book for the next seven days. Check availability of new coil pack and received pricing from £139 to £189 pound (huge variance), Tried PartsGateway and had a secondhand unit the next day for £29.99. Fitted the part myself and the car ran like a dream – smooth idle, instant attack and it usual acceleration. For two days it ran just fine then the intermittent misfire came back but at a low level. I then decided to take the car to a well respected garage authorised to repair Alfas. They checked it out, found “down stream” Lambda sensor faulty (by diagnostic) replaced it, took all the coil packs out checked and cleaned the connections, replaced the battery (said it was on last legs), completed an extended road test and gave me a bill for £730 pound (including the VAT. Now I’m no mechanic but this seems a bit steep to me and to make it worse the car still runs slightly lumpy at idle. It has not misfired during drive but the attack is slow and car drive feels more like prior to it first 1500 miles (slightly sluggish). I’m sorry but this is just a whinge because I feel the bill is too high. I am convinced the garage has set out to do a good job as they are extremely polite, encourage clients to inspect their premises (workshops) and discuss matters direct with the technician. I plan to return the car for further investigation but I am concerned about being presented with another large bill for what comes across as a stab-in –the-dark try and fix it approach.
Anyway, in search for inspiration I came across this website and wondered if there are any other proud Alfa owners out there able to give me advice. If not, I have found it therapeutic to write this down.