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I have purchased my 147 recently got it checked out at CM Garage etc Cambelt Variator etc but wondered how easy it is to service yourself ie air filter oil filter spark plugs just to save on cash. Nothing major just the usual stuff I would do on previous cars. Have noticed the Alfa has some strange mech geography in the engine bay ? Would like to get my Front Discs changed anything I should or shouldn't do ?? I am fairly competent
 

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All the basic stuff is fairly easy, you'll obviously be loosing skin from your knuckles and the first time you attack any bolts they will be rusted to hell and back (obviously copper grease them, so next time will be fine) ... personally I stay away from the cambelt as you do require specialist tools to get the timing right
 

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I serviced my last car all the time. Pros are that it's easy, cheaper, you know what is being done and you get to know the car. Cons are you don't get a stamp in your service history and people tend not to believe when told that the car was serviced well when it is just the seller's word.
On that note, what regulates who can stamp a service history book? I've always wondered that. I've seen where to get the stamps made but I'm guessing you have to be a registered business. If that's the case, I might register as self employed and stamp my own book (that's a joke by the way - just in case I sell the car through this forum in the future :thumbs:)
 
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No reason you shouldnt do the services yourself, particularly if the cars a keeper. Just retain all the receipts for service stuff.
Spark Plugs are 5yr/60k so shouldnt need doing too often. Air filter 2yr/24k; Oil and Pollen Filter every year/12k.
Front brakes are fairly straightforward, check out Car Parts and Car Accessories - Buy Parts By
Laser 1314 or similar wind back tool required for the rears ( or sticky backed plastic and washing up bottle if you're the Blue Peter type )

Pollen filter is located in the passenger footwell next to blower motor ( sort of ) - http://www.italiazakka.co.jp/factory/yourself/chap_33/chap_33.html

Service schedule here
Alfa Romeo 147/156/GT/GTV/Spider Service Schedule
 
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If you service it yourself, and there's no reason why you shouldn't, keep all the receipts for everything you buy.
 

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Thing is in my opinion a service is not just changing a few parts and some fluid, it is the reassurance that someone that knows what they are doing has gone over the car and changed everything that is required to give another trouble free year of motoring and advise on anything that may need doing in the near future

Also to put your name to a service you are taking responsibility for the safety of the car, if we service a car and we miss something and something happens we missed it is our responsibility

Ned
 

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responsibility for the safety of the car
Big +1.

I get parts at a decent price through a friend with a garage. I have started buying my own parts but have the service carried out by professionals. That's what I am paying for - professionalism - as well as all of the lovely facilities the place has.

I also pay for the insurance aspect; in the sense that, as Ned says, if something goes wrong, it is thrown back at the person who did the work - or, it is given to someone else and I get involved in litigation with the first place. If I were to sell my car, I would have a clear conscience "to the best of my knowledge everything has been done properly and professionally".

Now, if a garage wants to rip me off and then bodge it n scarper, then it's up to them and if anything goes wrong, they usually get found out and they are in a world of bother.
 

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Thing is in my opinion a service is not just changing a few parts and some fluid, it is the reassurance that someone that knows what they are doing has gone over the car and changed everything that is required to give another trouble free year of motoring and advise on anything that may need doing in the near future

Also to put your name to a service you are taking responsibility for the safety of the car, if we service a car and we miss something and something happens we missed it is our responsibility

Ned
Absolutely agree 100%. However, too many garages (and I'm certainly not including Autolusso here) do a shocking job. A competant and enthusiastic amateur can do as good a job as the specialists as long as they are prepared to do the research before they start with the spanners.

Keith
 
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Thing is in my opinion a service is not just changing a few parts and some fluid, it is the reassurance that someone that knows what they are doing has gone over the car and changed everything that is required to give another trouble free year of motoring and advise on anything that may need doing in the near future

Also to put your name to a service you are taking responsibility for the safety of the car, if we service a car and we miss something and something happens we missed it is our responsibility

Ned
I've got a ruddy great big list of things that need doing on the near future on mine and the only thing it has been to a professional for is tyres and geometry. ;)

Your view of the service that you provide is laudible. There is no substitute for having someone competent AND trustworthy to turn to for these things. Sadly there are far too garages (usually big high street names) ripping people off for work that doesn't need doing because they hang on every word they are told. Their aim being to take as much money off their customers as possible for as little work as possible.

If people had a vague idea of what does what goes on under the bonnet, they might have a vague idea of whether that slight rattle is a sticky tappet because the oil hasn't been changed for two years or whether the whole top of the engine needs to come apart with corresponding huge bill. They might also be able to tell, when the garage tells them what they have done, if it has been done or if they have been stitched up. A bit of hands on experience might help them with that.
 

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Absolutely agree 100%. However, too many garages (and I'm certainly not including Autolusso here) do a shocking job. A competant and enthusiastic amateur can do as good a job as the specialists as long as they are prepared to do the research before they start with the spanners.

Keith
very true but how do we know who is competent who isnt by reading threads on here ......i for one point peeps in right direction of traders who by rights know what they are doing,well it is their bread and butter :thumbs:

i for one as a hobby used to build race engines cars bikes set suspension up etc ,but those days are gone and i keep to simple tasks brakes suspension usual stuff .as for engines i keep away from cam belts ,my confidence has gone and a little mistake can cost a huge amount of money...there was a thread on here not long ago where cambelt etc was done and owner of car ended up coughing for 900 quid to put it right so......
ps i get my oil changes done at national tyres ,crap-fit ,costs about 30 rips depending on oil ...i think its worth it as oil costs as much to buy, then oil filter then ya got to get rid of ya old oil :wow:
 

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very true but how do we know who is competent who isnt by reading threads on here ......i for one point peeps in right direction of traders who by rights know what they are doing,well it is their bread and butter :thumbs:

i for one as a hobby used to build race engines cars bikes set suspension up etc ,but those days are gone and i keep to simple tasks brakes suspension usual stuff .as for engines i keep away from cam belts ,my confidence has gone and a little mistake can cost a huge amount of money...there was a thread on here not long ago where cambelt etc was done and owner of car ended up coughing for 900 quid to put it right so......
ps i get my oil changes done at national tyres ,crap-fit ,costs about 30 rips depending on oil ...i think its worth it as oil costs as much to buy, then oil filter then ya got to get rid of ya old oil :wow:
A good point though people asking for help on here before they mess anything or start the job have the right attitude in my book. I've always looked after my own cars/motorbikes and in my view modern cars are a lot easier to service than they used to be. OK, you need diagnostics but thats not such a big issue any more. I've not done the belts on an Alfa petrol belt but the diesels are not so tricky and a lot easier than doing a Rover diesel (2 belts and tricky tensioning).
 

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@ the OP - start with the small jobs & work your way up :thumbs: I'd tackle anything on my 156 now apart from the cambelt. I'd like to have a go at this too, but while having a 'watchful' eye cast over what I was doing...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Guys

Very comprehensive answer from all of you guys. Seems to be a school of thought that to really get the enthusiast tag and get to know your car there is no reason why you cannot do the basic stuff. I also agree with taking it to get looked at at a specialist but at the end of the day its knowing your limits ie cambelt etc. Is there a manual which can show the geography of the car and how to find the appropriate place ie a Haynes Manual of Alfa ?
 

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Thing is in my opinion a service is not just changing a few parts and some fluid, it is the reassurance that someone that knows what they are doing has gone over the car and changed everything that is required to give another trouble free year of motoring and advise on anything that may need doing in the near future

Also to put your name to a service you are taking responsibility for the safety of the car, if we service a car and we miss something and something happens we missed it is our responsibility

Ned

Which is why I get my car serviced at AHM and service MrsChris's car myself :lol:
 
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Guys

Very comprehensive answer from all of you guys. Seems to be a school of thought that to really get the enthusiast tag and get to know your car there is no reason why you cannot do the basic stuff. I also agree with taking it to get looked at at a specialist but at the end of the day its knowing your limits ie cambelt etc. Is there a manual which can show the geography of the car and how to find the appropriate place ie a Haynes Manual of Alfa ?
Alfa Romeo "How To..." Workshop Guides

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/general-alfa-discussion/154629-all-ar-workshop-manuals.html
 

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If you are competent then do it yourself. There is no other better option. I will not list who my experiences have been with here (one of the bigger Alfa independent specialists) as it will enter into a flaming match. Do it yourself.

NOTE: However, I am a trained mechanic and my car is really my wife's and I don't want her dead - someone needs to look after the kids.
 
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