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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys n gals,
I am looking to switch Alfa garages permanently due to some very shabby work recently. I have 'discovered' there is another garage in Cambridgeshire called Alfa-Sport which is a bit closer for me actually, but can anyone recommend them? Honest and friendly is top of the list, and if they are competent, that would be great too.
Kind regards, Hazel
 

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I'd rather not, based on my last experience.
There is a specialist in Bury St Edmunds. My experience with this one though is mixed. Unfortunately we don't seem to do very well for specialists in East Anglia and the Cambridge area. Predictably, you can forget the dealer in Bury as well. The service there is crap.

Did you resolve the issues with the recent cambelt change?
 

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I have a customer who comes up from Cambridge, usually drops the car off Thursday, takes a courtesy car and has a long weekend in the Lake District.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There is a specialist in Bury St Edmunds. My experience with this one though is mixed. Unfortunately we don't seem to do very well for specialists in East Anglia and the Cambridge area. Predictably, you can forget the dealer in Bury as well. The service there is crap.

Did you resolve the issues with the recent cambelt change?
Unresolved. I was unable to get a sensible reply as to why the #1 spark plug hole was filled with rusty water after a timing belt change. The engine was smooth as silk before the visit, not now. And to top it all off the car now intermittently looses power, and misfires, hot or cold. They are not the garage they used to be 20 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a customer who comes up from Cambridge, usually drops the car off Thursday, takes a courtesy car and has a long weekend in the Lake District.
That sounds nice, I think there will be a few more us in the future.
 

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Unresolved. I was unable to get a sensible reply as to why the #1 spark plug hole was filled with rusty water after a timing belt change. The engine was smooth as silk before the visit, not now. And to top it all off the car now intermittently looses power, and misfires, hot or cold. They are not the garage they used to be 20 years ago.
Doubtful then they removed the plugs and cam cover to lock the cams and do the job properly. Sounds like a bodged job and cam timing is out.

Bit closer to home is AforAlfa in Aylesbury. Not a huge distance from Cambridge. Highly recommended.
 

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Any decent "old school" independent can work on Alfa's, cambelt change isn't rocket science, the guy who does stuff on mine ( the stuff i cant do) is excellent and I'd trust him with any work i give him, he's not the cheapest but did repair (welding and turning) the damage on my half shaft that was causing it to leak oil, FOC
 

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Unresolved. I was unable to get a sensible reply as to why the #1 spark plug hole was filled with rusty water after a timing belt change. The engine was smooth as silk before the visit, not now. And to top it all off the car now intermittently looses power, and misfires, hot or cold. They are not the garage they used to be 20 years ago.
My meticulously maintained 156 GTA was lightly rear-ended a few years ago and needed a new rear valence. The bodywork place that did the work kindly (?) jet washed the engine bay and left all the plug wells full of water. The bloke that delivered the car back said "That needs a service, its misfiring." I explained that it hadn't been until his lot got their hands on it.

I dried out the coil packs and wells on the front bank and all was well, but when I had the spark plugs changed last year, the rear lot were all rusty as hell.

I'm sure your issues are not all just down to water in the plug wells, but I'd guess that was there because of a bit of over-enthusiastic engine-bay cleaning.
 

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Doubtful then they removed the plugs and cam cover to lock the cams and do the job properly. Sounds like a bodged job and cam timing is out.

Bit closer to home is AforAlfa in Aylesbury. Not a huge distance from Cambridge. Highly recommended.
I too will recommend Paul at A for Alfa. Nice guy, who knows his onions
 

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I know several owners who are happy with A for Alfa, never been myself, I use Sunnyside but he is in Basildon, is there anything in particular you need doing or just general servicing,
 

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I have recently had an excellent (first) experience (read more about it here) with Avanti Autos in Ipswich. 75 minutes from Cambridge.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I know several owners who are happy with A for Alfa, never been myself, I use Sunnyside but he is in Basildon, is there anything in particular you need doing or just general servicing,
I've used Sunnyside before, like about 20 years ago - they lent me a rather nice 3.0 Alfa 75 while my GTV6 was being worked on, well you can guess what car I got after that eh?
Mostly just for MOT check and any remedial work I might need while I'm between garages while we buy our new house. Then I will be free of the tyranny of dodgy local garages.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My meticulously maintained 156 GTA was lightly rear-ended a few years ago and needed a new rear valence. The bodywork place that did the work kindly (?) jet washed the engine bay and left all the plug wells full of water. The bloke that delivered the car back said "That needs a service, its misfiring." I explained that it hadn't been until his lot got their hands on it.

I dried out the coil packs and wells on the front bank and all was well, but when I had the spark plugs changed last year, the rear lot were all rusty as hell.

I'm sure your issues are not all just down to water in the plug wells, but I'd guess that was there because of a bit of over-enthusiastic engine-bay cleaning.
Yes, the PO either jet-washed the engine, or went through some water without the protection of the engine undertray. However the car was running superbly before it went to Royston.
 

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Royston is about 24 miles from me so is one of my closer specialists. I have had more bad experiences than good so wouldn't take a car there again.

As Martin has said
Any decent "old school" independent can work on Alfa's,
. If I don't do the work myself, that's the direction I'm going now.

There are some things that are a bit specialist, like setting up the steering geometry on the 105s/115s but the only two specialists I have found who know how to do that properly are Alfaman in Harrow, and Ian Ellis, near Brighton.
 
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