It isn't just Alfa!
At least it isn't just Alfas that suffer!
Had a "new to us" ford fiesta delivered yesterday - 64 plate that's done 500 miles from a Ford main dealer. Done 20 miles in it and it came to an abrupt end being pushed into a petrol station after we noticed the coolant warning light come on. A couple of seconds later this was followed by a horrible noise, a plume of steam out the back and a complete stop on a roundabout.
Refilled the coolant - it all came out of the bottom (from the rough location of the water pump).
Called the AA out - the diagnosis - he didn't even attempt to fix it. He thinks the water pump has failed, and because the car didn't tell us about it until it was completely out of water (which seems stupid to me), this has caused the engine to get too hot, thus damaging the head gasket, and letting water in the cylinder. When he reversed it off the tow truck onto our drive he said there was a loss of compression and said it should be driven onto the back of Ford's tow truck and nowhere else!
He also noted that there was dried antifreeze staining all over the engine block, suggesting it'd had a previous failure and has obviously had a shoddy repair. There was also more corrosion than a 500 mile car should have.
Lesson learned: get the full history of a car, even on a low mileage main dealer one. Back it goes tomorrow I guess.