Cylinder haed in short supply
For those who've been following my (see 147 technical "lounge") problems with my 1.9 JTD 147 Lusso (16 valve, March 2004 model with just 38,000 miles on the clock and FSH) following the water pump overheating and the cambelt brealking (causing around £1800-£2000 worth of estimated damage to engine) about two weeks ago, the latest twist in the story is that Alfa apparently now say they do not have a single exchange or brand new cylinder head available to ship to my dealer in Kent in the whole of Italy currently. My dealership, Thames Fiat in Tun Wells (who are doing their utmost to help; their attitide has been great), has been dealing with the top parts lady at Alfa's Warrington, UK Parts Depot, and I believe they are very embrarrasssed about this.
I had thought (obviously erroneously) that this particular car was a very popular variant within the Alfa range. It seems absolutely unbelievable to me (I have also owned Lotus Elises, Fords, Honda Civic Type Rs and Subarus - all these manufacturers would have been ashamed to have such a parts supply problem, I reckon) that Alfa Romeo cannot locate a single cylinder head unit for my 147, which is currently languishing (two weeks and two days after it broke down) in the dealership in numerous pieces awaiting the new head.
Alfa has agreed to fund the repairs as a goodwill gesture (which I think is only fair, given the car's pretty low mileage) but what sort of supply chain/parts opertaion are they running? I love Alfas (although this is the first one I've owned; I currently also have a Focus ST, which has been 100% reliable and is brilliant to drive) but I'm not too sure I'd buy another Alfa of any sort after this debacle (despite them being brilliant to drive and looking amazing). I really hope AR locate a head unit somewhere; (otherwise my Alfa 147 might well enjoy Christmas at the dealership at this rate?) Do you think they'll give it Christmas cake and mince pies if its' still there at Christmas? Has anyone else had similar experience with difficulty getting major engine parts? One very disillusioned Alfa owner. Other prospective purchasers of 147 diesels beware!