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Alfa Mechanics?

Hi I live in S.W. Cork and have been having problems with my Alfa 156, I took it into a garage and was quoted 350 for a spark coil pack witch i managed to find on the net for 40. After fitting new part I still have the same problem, so was wondering if anyone could reccomend a garage that knows Alfas as i am sure my local mechanics are clueless
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Hello... what seems to be the problem with the car? ie is it misfiring or cutting out etc? Do you have an engine diagnostic light on? did you have any error code read back?

I found Grandons,Glanmire excellent to deal with in the past for my 156 & 159.

Cheers,
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I have no diagnostic light on but the car is misfiring and erratic accelaration (sometimes fine other times very sluggish) from the reseach i have been doing i was wondring if the lambda sensor needed cleaning or replacing when i asked my mechanic this he had no idea what the lambda sensor was! Thanks for reccomending Grandons,Glanmire I was hoping to find somewhere a little closer as i live right on the west coast but guess i would be willing to travel to avoid further misdiagnoses

Thanks
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I have no diagnostic light on but the car is misfiring and erratic accelaration (sometimes fine other times very sluggish) from the reseach i have been doing i was wondring if the lambda sensor needed cleaning or replacing when i asked my mechanic this he had no idea what the lambda sensor was! Thanks for reccomending Grandons,Glanmire I was hoping to find somewhere a little closer as i live right on the west coast but guess i would be willing to travel to avoid further misdiagnoses

Thanks
I think the general consensus is to avoid Grandons. Check out this thread https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/repub...f-ireland.html I'm sure you'll get what you are looking for. Sounds to me like it could be the MAF, but I'm no mechanic.

Oh and well come along to you both!!!

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Hello again Mrnice...

I hope you find somewhere close by... I personally found Grandons great with my dealing with them.. but if the majority of people on the forum didn't well that's that!

In your car there are a few components that could cause this... and yes a coil pack could be one problem..are you sure the one you replaced from the web was in fact working ok?. It could be an Oxygen (also called 02 or lambda) sensor or even the Air Mass Sensor... normally though if the problem is constant you would get a diagnostic light... if the problem is intermittent you may not get a light but codes will be stored in memory... it's a good idea to get a diagostic read of any stored codes from the car before replacing parts... of course it might just be a cracked hose on the air-intake or a clogged up fuel-filter too....

Best of luck & I hope it's a nice and cheap fix for you!

Cheers,
CHerb

Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, Guidare come se fosse un Italiano.

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Give Gerry Campbell a shout at T.I. Autos. He is in Dublin, but from my experience well worth the effort to get up to him. Light years better than Alfa dealers. Give him a call....if only for a bit of advice 01 8386567
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After more than 30 years selling Fiat , Alfa and Lancia parts, there are two things that really annoy me. One is being told what the initials F I A T are supposed to stand for, it was mildly funny the first time, but not any more. The next is being told that Dealers are rip off merchants. While our prices may be more expensive than others it is not by choice. We are under the constraints of what we buy parts at. The cost price being set by Fiat Ireland.
Just because a timing belt kit may cost 200Euro from a Dealer, and 100 from the UK does not mean we are buying the part at the same price. We dont sit down and discuss how we are going to rip off the customer at the start of each day, and then fall about laughing at how much money we made. If that was the case businesses in Ireland would not be closing down left right and centre. We are struggling to survive, and the market in Ireland for Italian cars is so small as to make it hardly worth our while.
I'll ask one simple question, where do you think Gerry in TI buys his parts ?
Rant over, I've got to get an order ready for a independent Alfa service garage....
 
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[.....]
The next is being told that Dealers are rip off merchants. While our prices may be more expensive than others it is not by choice. We are under the constraints of what we buy parts at. The cost price being set by Fiat Ireland.
[.....]
I dont think anyone is accusing you of intentionally choosing to rip people off, more just stating a fact that dealer prices are more expensive than other sources.
You shouldn't take it so personal, like you say the pricing structure is out of your hands, and peeps on here know that you have always made offers to help out members with parts.
In fact I'm due to get a bunch of parts soon and I will proably give you a go first before my usual beeline to the net
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Think someone replied to the wrong thread/post.

https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/3181594-post49.html

Without wanting to get into semantics, the word 'rip-off' implies dishonesty or misleading pricing and shouldn't be used to describe something that is 'expensive'. But, due to Eddie Hobbs etc. the term has slipped into everyday use when describing the high cost of doing business here on the Emerald Isle.
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Personally I found Grandons fine to deal with. What I dont like is going to garages with a problem though, I like to have the solution already sorted out. Saves you money and grief.

Check the resistances of each coil pack. Try maybe cleaning the MAF, kinda dangerous, but some electrical contact cleaner should work ok as this will evaporate away itself without having to be wiped.

Have you tried an ECU reset?
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Think someone replied to the wrong thread/post.

https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/3181594-post49.html

Without wanting to get into semantics, the word 'rip-off' implies dishonesty or misleading pricing and shouldn't be used to describe something that is 'expensive'. But, due to Eddie Hobbs etc. the term has slipped into everyday use when describing the high cost of doing business here on the Emerald Isle.
Thank you, at last, a voice of reason. I have absolutly no problem with someone telling me that some parts or products we sell may be more expensive than can be found with a bit of research. Its the implication that we are 'ripping them off' or 'stealing' (Dealers = Stealers, even Shakespeare would blanch at the rhyme).
The Irish market is so small as to make it almost insignificant in most other markets. There is an Alfa Dealer in the UK who, due to his location, has a 10 MILLION customer base within an area the size of Leitrim. We cannot even comprehend such business in the whole country.
 
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I don't know about rent and public liability insurance charges in the UK, but in Ireland these two alone can kill any business. I'm not surprised, that for parts (and for books, and for consumer products and basically for everything else) people use the internet to get the same items cheaper, either from the UK, or from Germany, or even from the US. You are right, Ireland is a small market. I came from Hungary, that's a small market too, and we don't even speak the same language as any of our neighbours (or in fact anybody else in the world). But there is a big difference.
Everywhere else in the world for any service I can choose two out of these three things: time, quality, price. In Ireland, I can choose one. If you cannot beat the price you should be able to beat the level of service you provide. Small things. If you promise to arrive at 10 am, then be there rather 5 minutes early than 1 minute late. If you promise to call back, do so. If you give the car back to the customer, make sure it's clean, and there are no leftover screws rolling under the front seat. Small, inexpensive things, only have to pay a little attention and being a little bit more considerate than the competition.
For me, trust is the base of every relationship (both personal and professional). If I trust you that you call me back because you promised to do so, and you don't, how can I expect to trust you my car, if you already fail in the small, inexpensive, little things.
("you" is general, not kmac or in fact anybody on this forum)
rant off.
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Originally Posted by Mrnice View Post
Hi I live in S.W. Cork and have been having problems with my Alfa 156, I took it into a garage and was quoted 350 for a spark coil pack witch i managed to find on the net for 40. After fitting new part I still have the same problem, so was wondering if anyone could reccomend a garage that knows Alfas as i am sure my local mechanics are clueless
Have you tried OldChapel Fiat in Bandon Old Chapel Car Dealers Ireland Old Chapel Bandon County Cork Ireland they've been working on Fiats/Alfa for years.




PS Hi & Welcome to AO MrNice & CHerb :WAVE: Good to have some more Cork members
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Might be worth doing a good ole fashioned tune-up first. Change the sparks & air filter if they haven't been done for a while.

And I would say the labour rates at main dealers are way too high, particularly if you have an older car (like me!). I got quoted 400 yoyos for a spark plug change last year at the main dealer. That's equates to around 20% of the value of my car (I'm probably being a bit optimistic!) so I did them myself instead..

Buy yourself a set of spanners and save 1000s.

Gav.
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Originally Posted by Mrnice View Post
Hi I live in S.W. Cork and have been having problems with my Alfa 156, I took it into a garage and was quoted 350 for a spark coil pack witch i managed to find on the net for 40. After fitting new part I still have the same problem, so was wondering if anyone could reccomend a garage that knows Alfas as i am sure my local mechanics are clueless
You could try disconnecting the MAF to see it that improves it.
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Just because a timing belt kit may cost 200Euro from a Dealer, and 100 from the UK does not mean we are buying the part at the same price. We dont sit down and discuss how we are going to rip off the customer at the start of each day, and then fall about laughing at how much money we made. If that was the case businesses in Ireland would not be closing down left right and centre. We are struggling to survive, and the market in Ireland for Italian cars is so small as to make it hardly worth our while.
I'll ask one simple question, where do you think Gerry in TI buys his parts ?
Rant over, I've got to get an order ready for a independent Alfa service garage....
Anyone in the car business at moment has my sympathy at moment to be honest. I've never used Gerry but he appears to have a universal 100% satisfaction rating. If he's charging the same price for parts then it's clearly the knowledge and service that makes people happy to pay and trust him with their Alfas. Something that others can clearly learn from. I left my car in last Sunday to a new dealer near by me while I went away on a 4 day business trip expecting it ready when I get back. I get my wife to call them yesterday and nothing done and not even a call to me to explain any delay. Ffs.

Just an innocent question on the Fiat Ireland price setting mechanism - how does that work? Is head office making strong margins while the dealers are struggling and being criticised? Or is the price set so dealers can fairly expect to cover their costs such as rent, rates, insurance, etc? Struggle to see why they can't buy these same cheap parts from abroad as a single individual can, add a fair margin, and both sides be happy. Supermarkets etc have done similar. Other businesses have restructured their supply chains. Excuse naviety, but as I said, just curious.
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Just an innocent question on the Fiat Ireland price setting mechanism - how does that work? Is head office making strong margins while the dealers are struggling and being criticised? Or is the price set so dealers can fairly expect to cover their costs such as rent, rates, insurance, etc? Struggle to see why they can't buy these same cheap parts from abroad as a single individual can, add a fair margin, and both sides be happy. Supermarkets etc have done similar. Other businesses have restructured their supply chains. Excuse naviety, but as I said, just curious.
Don't know exactly how it works but from what I've seen, the prices for parts appear to be set by the supply chain, which is run by a UK distribution network. Several times my local dealers have been genuinely apologetic about the high prices for parts, and have even given me discounts, which only erodes their own margins. I certainly wouldn't apportion blame on them for the parts prices.

Labour prices are another matter though, I've been charged 90 euro per hour in the recent past, but in fairness that seems to be the norm with main dealers. I guess the dealers have to cover the cost of purchasing a lot of equipment, training on new models etc. It's just a pity they don't give a discount if you have an old well known model, like a 156
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Ireland as a market, is simply an arm of the UK. All our parts come from the UK via Italy. If I check retail prices across the Eurozone, there is not that much difference. As an example we have an Italian Punto in our workshop at present. It needs an engine ECU. From Ireland its 385 Euro, from the UK its 275, from Italy its 550 Euro.
Obviously we get discounts from Fiat. These are based on codes for each item. Fast moving parts (filters have a higher discount than engines). These are also dependant on quantity purchased. A small dealer with a small customer base cannot be expected to stock everything. If parts are ordered overnight we get very little or no discount due to the cost of supply. (Remember all our parts come from the UK, 24 hour turnaround is not cheap)
Most if not all parts supplied by independant specialists in the Uk are non genuine, or non genuine in so far as they do not come through the Fiat network. The parts themselves may be original fitment parts, but supplied direct from the manufacturer. Again this is not possible by a Dealer as they would lose their franchise.
There are dozens of Italian manufacturers selling genuine parts which are priced way better than Fiat.
Back in the early eighties we had a subsiduary company which imported such parts direct from Italy. When currancy differences and excise/transport was taken into account while it was profitable to some degree, it could not be sustaiined. Fiat have done their homework well.
The simple fact of the matter, is our market is simply too small. we would have to stock thousands of filters (as an example) to get the kind of supply discounts to make it work.
Considering the amount of Alfas sold in Ireland in a year, this would be pointless.
 
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If I appear to have, or did infact offend anyone with regard to my opinions regarding Alfa dealers in Ireland will you please accept my sincere apologies. That was not my intention. I have also had negative experiences with Citroen dealers in this country in the past. I was fortunate enough to come upon a Citroen indy in Greenhills, Dublin. That chap was like Gerry....excellent! So much so that he had customers come to him from the UK!

I do believe that if one has a car that is not mainstream in Ireland eg; Alfa Romeo, Citroen (CX, DS, BX16v etc), Lancia, etc etc... one has to do what ever it takes to keep costs reasonable. I am aware of such things as rent, rates, wage bills and other business costs however, I am a 'customer' and as such I have the right to seek out and get value for my hard earned shillings. Now if we all had Ford's, Toyota's, Opel/Vauxhall's etc? Well we would not be having these kind of discussions. Or would we?
To conclude, I again apologise for any offense caused, but I will continue to remain outside of the "mainstream".
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In the last 10 years my Focus was serviced in 9 different places (all Ford dealerships) until I found a great, reliable one in Dun Laoghaire. And now they closed, so the search goes on. Even if you own a "mainstream" car, you are not treated any better.
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Ireland as a market, is simply an arm of the UK. All our parts come from the UK via Italy. If I check retail prices across the Eurozone, there is not that much difference. As an example we have an Italian Punto in our workshop at present. It needs an engine ECU. From Ireland its 385 Euro, from the UK its 275, from Italy its 550 Euro.
Obviously we get discounts from Fiat. These are based on codes for each item. Fast moving parts (filters have a higher discount than engines). These are also dependant on quantity purchased. A small dealer with a small customer base cannot be expected to stock everything. If parts are ordered overnight we get very little or no discount due to the cost of supply. (Remember all our parts come from the UK, 24 hour turnaround is not cheap)
Most if not all parts supplied by independant specialists in the Uk are non genuine, or non genuine in so far as they do not come through the Fiat network. The parts themselves may be original fitment parts, but supplied direct from the manufacturer. Again this is not possible by a Dealer as they would lose their franchise.
There are dozens of Italian manufacturers selling genuine parts which are priced way better than Fiat.
Back in the early eighties we had a subsiduary company which imported such parts direct from Italy. When currancy differences and excise/transport was taken into account while it was profitable to some degree, it could not be sustaiined. Fiat have done their homework well.
The simple fact of the matter, is our market is simply too small. we would have to stock thousands of filters (as an example) to get the kind of supply discounts to make it work.
Considering the amount of Alfas sold in Ireland in a year, this would be pointless.
That is how every multi national company operates in Ireland to be honest. We are basically a small arm of England in the eyes of any massive company in their eyes we are too small really to care about and they will do testers on our market as it doesn't cost major money to launch and test new products due to our size that is incomparison to england. And as you say ecnomies of scale work too if you can become more efficent in getting deleries you will get more of a discount it happens in my business too. They want to do containers and pallet drops rather than have bitty orders here and there.
 
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Thanks for the info Kevin.
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Well thanks for all the information guys, Have got a couple more things to try myself then think i will try Old Chapel Car Dealers Bandon as these seem to be the closest to me.
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Hi Kevin which FIAT translation was the funniest Seriously though Kevin I have vouched for your garage on these forums as I've got parts off you for my 155, a thermostat was the most recent, however I have also said in general there is a poor service level from the main dealerships so unfortunately that means generally, main dealers have a bad rep. However being Alfa enthusiasts we do know who are good to deal with and will spread the word. And your garage on the Kylemore road in Dublin are very good to deal with.
Eddie Hobbs is, as Corkonians say a LANGER, ccovitch you're right about him.

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