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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

Wow, had a test drive in a 2001 Alfa Spider Lusso 2.0 today, I'm now like a small child, rather excited, and really really want it. This is the 3rd one I've seen, and also the first that ticks the all boxes (mileage, colour, engine etc).

I've been browsing the incredibly Spider/GTV buying guide and made notes for my next inspection. However, there were a few things I'd like to get some advice on if anyone could be so kind.

Firstly, I felt a bit of damp under the rear of each seat. Not soaking or anything (despite the fact it's been tipping it down all day), but definately damp. Is this unusual? I'm guessing it's a bad sign cause worst case I'll need an expensive hood replacement? Garage owner gave some excuse about someone starting a valet on it thus getting the floor wet, which I think was absolute b*115h1t.

The car is selling for £6495, has 54K on the clock, which is almost reasonable for a non-franchised dealer according to Parkers. There are a few light scuff marks on the door panels and front wheel arch, but I could certainly live with those (it still looks beautiful). It's had one previous owner, and done about 3K in the last year. Had the V05 and MOT certificate from last year, all looks ok. Electrics work fine, as does AC, hood, etc.

The car is going in for it's MOT tomorrow, so I said I'll have it subject to MOT and an inspection (with small deposit). Obviously, the guy didn't like the idea of an inspection. I assume that's because it delays the sale, and potentially loses the sale ?

Hopefully these questions aren't too dumb, and any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

Tobes

Leeds, West Yorkhire
 
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hiya Tobes..

agree with the wet seats...will be expensive to put right if it needs a new hood..

check that it has had the cambelt and tensioners changed every 36k or 3 years, whichever is sooner.. 250-300 at a reputable indie upto and over 500 from a dealer..

check that it has all its keys, they are expensive to get cut and programmed..

check the oil level...should always be upto the top mark

all the best
 

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Welcome to AO mate. As far as I can see, you only have one question, should the rear carpets be damp? I would be inclined to believe his story if all the carpets were damp but if it's only one patch I would suspect he's telling porkies. If you are still tempted, I would suggest making a list of all the Gtv/Spider common problems and give it to the examiner for him to check. Good luck.
 

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hiya Tobes..

agree with the wet seats...will be expensive to put right if it needs a new hood..

check that it has had the cambelt and tensioners changed every 36k or 3 years, whichever is sooner.. 250-300 at a reputable indie upto and over 500 from a dealer..

check that it has all its keys, they are expensive to get cut and programmed..

check the oil level...should always be upto the top mark

all the best
I think I need to find your independent!!! I paid just shy of £500 for the belts including variator at a good indy.

OP - damp floor is never good, id be suspicious. Hoods are complicated and generally mega expensive to fix.

There are enough Spiders around at decent prices, so you can afford to be picky.
 

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Hi there. I myself have just gone through the same as you, and am about to pick my 3.0 V6 GTV up on Saturday. I too knew "jack" about cars, but I do know one thing:

Do you really want to buy from a man who won't let you have the car professionally inspected? If there's nothing to hide, what's he got to lose?

I have just used auteco.co.uk to inspect mine, they did a 166 point check with full HPI report and test drive for £180, when the RAC charge £340. Not much for more a bit more piece of mind.

You can also get a less thorough check done by an independent dealer for around £70. They will know what to look for on alfas however. Only trouble is getting the car to them.

Anyway, good luck with finding the right car. The excitement is only set to increase!
 

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I take it you've checked out the Spider buyers guide on the sticky thread above :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cheers for all the help folks, much appreciated! I did read the buyers guide. Sounds like I'm gonna need to have a good look at that damp.

Will be a shame, but yeah I guess there's quite a few spiders around so I can hang on a bit longer if necessary.

Will look at auteco.co.uk too.

Cheers!

Tobes
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just a little update...

Just found another 2001 Alfa Spider Lusso that's looking extremely promising. 1 lady owner (private sale), 24,500 miles, full Alfa service history, £7000. It's red, which is a shame cause the black looks ace, but I'm still looking forward to inspecting it when it comes back from MOT.

Being able to compare this one to the "damp" one will be a real eye opener I think.

The sellers are enthusiasts too, they're selling this one cause their a brand new 2007 model is arriving in March.

Tobes
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just in case this might help any future buyers...

On 2nd inspection we didn't find any sign of damp in the car. I was suspicious that the dealer had dried it out whilst I was away, but my mate did a few tricks to try and find the problem, which seemed to make sense.

1. Obviously feel under the seats for damp.

2. Get your nose as close to the carpet as possible, if it's been damp for a while there should be some residual smell of mould or whatever even if someones tried to mask it.

3. Feel up the insides of the carpet and under the carpet if possible, damp may have crept there even if the top-side of the carpet appears dry.

4. Test drive the car with the cabriolet hood up and put the air con on full power. Again, my mate reckoned the smell of mould could become more obvious by doing this. Also, if it's on hot you'll get the windows steaming up as the excess damp warms up!

5. Before driving, look for condensation on the inside of the ceiling of the hood.

6. Check if the cabriolet hood is taught, a loose one is more likely to leak. Also, check for any obviouse holes/cracks in the rear plastic window & hood.

Hopefully someone can verify that these are good ideas!?

For the car I bought, we didn't find any signs of damp, so perhaps the dealer was telling the truth when he said someone started to valeted it which made the carpet damp. I actually bought this car, so I guess I 'll find out soon enough...

Tobes
 
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