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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Beware, this post is just a waffle and a moan so probably best ignored. (<edit> except for the next entry)

The lambda sensor needed changing as it was cycling very slowly (leaning off on long journeys and other shenanigans) so as an oil change was nearly due anyway I booked in to the local dealer to do an as-you-wait job. Knowing they only charge a half hour for an oil change and also wanting a genuine Alfa lambda as the NGK one I tried at MOT time was rubbish.

2.5 hours later I am informed that the sump plug 'won`t tighten up enough' and I need a helicoil. Terrific. Thanks. The reason given was that the car has had many oil changes in its life and must have worn the thread out. Rubbish, more like careless mechanics have over-tightened it or cross-threaded it over the years.

Anyway, they put the car back together, told me that it wouldn't leak but to get it done asap and not too drive too much (can it really be that loose?). They gave me the number of the local engineers who do helicoils and shoved me out the door minus a few hundred quid. I called the engineers who said the car needed to be on a ramp and why hadn't the dealer called them when they spotted the problem AS THEY WERE ALREADY ON_SITE AND DOING A JOB IN THE NEXT BAY!!!

Now I have to take a day of work which I can`t afford to get it fixed. Not happy :rant: Never mind that it will cost more too :mad:

To top it off the microswitch on my key disintegrated so I have to activate the lock/alarm by poking a stick in the key. Come home and get the spare key pout and the microswitch on that falls off too! Aaaaargh! I`m not paying hundreds for a new key so its time to butcher one of the keys and make a small lock/unlock box for my keyring from the parts.

The only good thing is the car finally has some poke back in it and isn't sluggish any more. Not that I can drive it of course in case the oil drops out :(
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Oh, it's just occurred to me - does anybody have a broken key I could have? I could solder the microswitch off that and onto mine :)

It needs to be one of the Red type, not the black, hinged type.
 

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That's really bad service mate. As far as I'm concerned, they knacked the sump so they should have it fixed. Who pays is for it, is up to you both to sort out between you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's really bad service mate. As far as I'm concerned, they knacked the sump so they should have it fixed. Who pays is for it, is up to you both to sort out between you.
Its bad service so I`m never going to go back.

AS to how the sump got knackered, they said it was an accumulation of wear over the years. As they have been the ones that have done 75% of the oil changes it was probably them anyway but I won`t get anywhere with arguing that so sod them and they'll not see my money again.
 

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I hope you told them as much.
 

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Chris, one reason why I am so inclined to do my own oil and filter changes. No warranty issues as the 147 is 4+ yres old. Nice young chap in the parts department, supplied me the later version sump plug, modified to accept a different keyed drive, and the new synthetic inserted seal. I tend to wrap just a smidgen of PTFE, at the lower end of the thread, just as an after measure, then just 'Nip' the plug up, not overtightening. So far this has been fine,not a speck of oil. There again,as I love all Alfas, I try to treat them with the respect I feel they deserve. Sorry to 'Bore On' so much!!
 

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I always use a new Dowty seal and torque the plug, it does not take much. I've also drilled the plug so that I can lock wire it too. Some say this is not needed, probably not, but it was standard practice when I raced motorbikes and on the aircraft I co own.

I think that some mechanics instead of using a torque wrench just tweak it up just a bit too much. Each time this is done it weakens the threads until what happened to yours occurs.
 

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I think that's the problem, the mechanics don't do the job, they let the ham-fisted young apprentices do it.
 

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Sorry to hear about it. I did the same to my wife's sump plug a few months ago. I have to say I don't think much of the sump design on the 156 - they machine a fair chunk out of the thread to try and get the last bit of oil out. It's very easy to accuse someone of being ham-fisted and stripping it but I didn't give it any more "pain" than my own 164 sump plug which, at nearly a quarter of a million miles, has been in and out rather more times than my wife's sump plug! Ah well, I guess that's progress for you! I do, however, agree that the garage needs to accept some liability. Maybe ask them what they torqued the plug up to and see what they say. I also agree that fitting a dowty-type washer is a good idea (once you've done the helicoil job)!
 
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