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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

I've been looking for a replacement car recently (currently in a Mk3 Polo with 141k on the clock), got a new job, know by budget and requirements etc..

Seen an '05 1.9 JTD Alfa GT locally, well within my price range.. However there are a few things that are on my mind:

Pro's:
  • It's drop-dead gorgeous.
  • Seriously, this thing makes my crotch ache...
  • Hatchback - should fit the dog!
  • Well within budget.
  • Gets reasonable mileage from the fuel.
  • It's a fricking Alfa!!!!!
  • It's the right colour.
Cons:
  • I drive 35-40k per year - according to some sites the water pump/timing belt will fail and destroy the engine once a year..
  • Car is already at 110k
  • It's an Alfa - not really known for reliability...

So yea... Not sure really if the higher mileage I'm running (almost all motorway/highway) will help or hinder the known reliability issues with the 1.9 Diesel engine.. Also not sure if the GT will stand up to the high mileage I'll be doing in it...

I've not been to see the car yet, but have been in touch with the seller to try and arange an inspection.. I'll make sure the service history is up to date, check the advisories on old MOTs etc., and have a friend who does all his own servicing on bikes/cars give it a thorough inspection too... But is there anything else you Alfa-nuts could let me in on?

I'm trying to make an unbiased and informed decision on it, but the red leather interior is whispering dirty little secrets to me...
 

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Well, here's some of my experience with an '04 GT @ 90k miles.

Both drive shafts have needed replacing and I beleive the N/S shaft usually wears out quicker (not it my case it seems), so if it hasn't been done already then you may have to.

All the aluminium bits have corroded, I've had a door handle hinge break and somebody knocked my wing mirror, causing the corroded hinge inside that to break into three parts.

It's also riddled with little stone chips.

In my experience so far its no less reliable than any other 10 year old car, the only difference is the cost when you do need to have something repaired.

Also, the front sidelights are a nightmare to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmmm... So possibly no worse than my current car for upkeep..

How much did the drive shafts set you back? Also how much would you say your yearly maintenance bill is to keep it on the road?

The other option I was considering is a nice sensible 320d.. With none of the heart of the GT..
 

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every electrical sensor/actuator/ecu on that car has the word Bosch stamped on it, so its as reliable as every other card that uses that word - its a German word

with that mileage already on the car, and the prospect of 30k per year being added, then the running costs will be anything but cheap mainly because you wont be able to take it to any old garage down the road (although the beemer will be no better)

sorry you'd be better off in astra world
 

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Replacing the shafts (If I'd had them done at the same time) would have set me back about £100-150 + the cost of parts. Prices of parts vary quite a lot.

Yearly maintenance I can't really say as I've only just had it for a year.
 

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Replacing the shafts (If I'd had them done at the same time) would have set me back about £100-150 + the cost of parts. Prices of parts vary quite a lot.

Yearly maintenance I can't really say as I've only just had it for a year.
you paid someone 150 quid to swap the drive shafts ? blimey :eek:
 

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Would rather be broken down on the side of the road every week than drive an astra!!!
considering the engine in question is used in the astra , vectra , several fiats , vans etc , i dont think you should worry about reliability too much , its a very common unit and aslong as it gets serviced and belt kit + waterpump at the right time , its should be fine , the drive shaft thing is a bit of a pain , the stiff clutch would be my biggest concern thow , its a gearbox off to sort so if any car you veiw / drive has a stiff clutch , get a few hundred off the asking or walk away , alfa parts have come down an auwful lot over the years , back when i had a GT , i got the complete front suspension set up for £109 delivered , so not a big deal really
 

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A massive benefit for choosing the alfa is this usefulness of this forum. No idea what other car forums are like, but this one is exceptional for help when you need it.
 

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If you're doing that many miles a year you'll want a comfortable seat, get a GT one of the most comfortable out there!
 

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considering the engine in question is used in the astra , vectra , several fiats , vans etc , i dont think you should worry about reliability too much , its a very common unit and aslong as it gets serviced and belt kit + waterpump at the right time , its should be fine , the drive shaft thing is a bit of a pain , the stiff clutch would be my biggest concern thow , its a gearbox off to sort so if any car you veiw / drive has a stiff clutch , get a few hundred off the asking or walk away , alfa parts have come down an auwful lot over the years , back when i had a GT , i got the complete front suspension set up for £109 delivered , so not a big deal really
Yes this engine is fitted to a huge number of cars and is very robust and a lot better than VW units of the same age.

however in the alfa its fitted to driveshafts that do fail and suspension that is set up to provide a great driving experience at the expense of need to be replaced fairly often.

so if you going to be doing 30k miles a year, either you need to be very handy with spanners and fix it yourself, if not, then you have to pay someone to fix it and high performance turbo diesels like this are not cheap to (pay to) fix. I know this because ive being paying someone to fix mine for 4 years and i do 25k miles a year

there is a huge amount of help on this forum however and yes they are stunning looking cars and huge fun to drive
 

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... the stiff clutch would be my biggest concern thow , its a gearbox off to sort so if any car you veiw / drive has a stiff clutch , get a few hundred off the asking or walk away ...
i'm sorry but that's just not true. It's a common fault on the alfa JTD's that the actuator arm (inside the box) lacks some lube and needs greasing. Take the battery out, pop the arm off and drip mountain bike chain grease down there - job done.

[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #14
so if you going to be doing 30k miles a year, either you need to be very handy with spanners and fix it yourself, if not, then you have to pay someone to fix it and high performance turbo diesels like this are not cheap to (pay to) fix. I know this because ive being paying someone to fix mine for 4 years and i do 25k miles a year

there is a huge amount of help on this forum however and yes they are stunning looking cars and huge fun to drive
This is the perfect response for me!

I'm not shy of having a go with the spanners, never done it before but more than willing to have a go and learn...

How much would you estimate your yearly maintenance is? What things are you having to replace annually? Also, what sort of driving are you doing to rack up the 25k?

25k of A-roads and town driving will take a lot more out of a car than 25k of motorways...

I'm going to see it tomorrow afternoon, so long as he doesn't sell it today :-/
 

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yearly costs is difficult, i can change the oil every 6k and do the front brakes when they need it (every 2 years)

i do 25k on motorways , however at 90 k the clutch and DMF needed replacing (they do on all diesels at some point - anywhere from 50k to 180k, just depends how its been driven and when the luck runs out) this is a 5-700 quid job

ive had 2 nearside drive shafts and one offside drive shaft in my 70k miles with the car- but i wouldn't attempt a job like this as i dont have the time, tools or workspace to do it

ive gone through two sets of suspension arms, i dont think these are to tough for DIY, however again i dont have the time/tools/space - the suspension is the weak point on these cars, however they are great to drive so this is the price that must be paid

injectors- if you are going to buy one of this cars, get them to remove the plastic cover from the top of the engine and check theres no black sludge anywhere. people do sort this out on DIY but it can be a real task

a lot of these diesel problems are the same for all high performance turbo diesel cars - paying to fix them is expensive
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well I didn't get the '05 plate with 110k on the clock....

But I did just go out and pick up an '07 plate 1.9 JTDm Blackline with 32k on the clock! Perfect service history, just had the timing belt and waterpump done last week, and comes with a 6 month warranty..

If anything falls off over the course of the 15-20k I'll put it through in the 6 month warranty period then they'll pay to stick it back on!
 
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