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Discussion Starter #1
Hello
Firstly i have had to reboot my alfa owner account due to computer problems so show up as a newboy again.
You may remember a few weeks ago that my 166 2.0 twinspark facelift decided to make a foul rattling noise and was hauled off by the AA for repair .
The garage gave me the diagnosis of catastrophic variator failure ,After some tussle my AA breakdown repair cover agreed to pay up to £500 towards replacement.
That was nearly 3 weeks ago and got a call tonight to say car is ready,and in between first i got a phone call about 2 weeks ago saying that they believed that the crank had gone! So after telling him i did not agree as the oil is kept changed and topped up religously i told him to look elsewhere and so he eventually discovered that the head gasket had gone and the noise was down to cross firing between cylinders after a compression test. So head off and skimmed
then rebuild
Then a wait of a week to rebuild then at last the call to say shes ready then the SHOCK:wow:
The bill £1370 inc vat !!!!!!!!!! for what is basicaly a replacement head gasket.
There were a lot of parts inc variator 1xcoil pack 8 spark plugs ,thermostat,head gasket etc,
head skim ,cam belt etc ,oil and so on
But ffs thats nearly what the bloody things worth !!Its only a 16v 4 cylinder engine ffs!
I suppose at least i am getting £500 or therabouts from the AA but even so that is nearly £900 extra plus i have to pay in full and wait for the AA to reimburse me
So i have to pay up and look happy but i bl**dy well am not
I hate garages and i hate alfas!
 

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Its heart braking isnt it. When my Headgasket went I was GUTTED! I was lucky to do the job myself, so I went deep and did bearing and a full scrub etc etc.

Forget how much the cars are worth, all cars lose money, all cars need maintenance. Audi average service bill is £400 from what im hearing same with BMW and Mercs.

I HATE garages too. I paid £200 for someone to check timing and sort my idle out.........he said timing was out.........picked the car up and it was still the same....in the end i decided to hunt for the issue myself, lose inlet bolt!

The cars done, nothing you can do, we are all in the same boat so time to enjoy the car!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
think the thing that really annoys me is the time scale ,lack of updates ,and the totally rubbish diagnosis ,as well as the huge bill ,Left to the garage they condemned the crank and wanted to strip that down first ! talk about doing the most expensive thing first. Then when presented with the bill i get the old mantra "well its an Alfa romeo y,know" .Yes its an alfa but a four cylinder one , my friend has a 1999 Astra estate 1.4 with a 16v engine so its not a Bugatti veyron.
Diagnosis is tricky i know sometimes but i was suprised when the variator was blamed as it was loud and although my variator had indeed started to be a tiny bit rattley for a few seconds i had my doubts and said so .
I am going to the garage today and see what the state of play is and see if we can agree something on the hours spent on it .
But not holding my breath.
It better not have oily footprints and a greasy steering wheel and the radio tuned to radio one!
Mot is due end of the month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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and garages wonder why we hate them? I guess the way to look at it is that you've got a full 60k service + cambelt done as part of it which would probably have cost you about 500ish....probably doesn't help though :(
 

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Without wishing to defend the rip off merchants that are out there, a lot of the time is spent removing stuff for access even on the most simple jobs,it pays to find a garage that has experiance with alfa`s as they will know shortcuts and have tools adapted for certain jobs

Having said that its certainly a bit steep for as you say a head gasket, best bet is find out how much was spent on parts/ head work, and then argue about the labour charges on the basis they got it wrong and spent extra time chasing up the wrong tree
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well the 166 is back and after a reasonable chat we agreed on a little discount on labour so although hardly happy car is back.
Although many new parts have been fitted they have now been done and wont need replacing for a while, i guess i will now have to keep her a bit longer.
Good news is that it goes more smoothly and revs sweeter than i can remember for a while and having had in the last month a new radiatior as well as the new work on the head she should (touch wood ) be good untill at least mot time next month.:D
Strange thing but i saw the head gasket that was removed and in between cylinders 1+2 was a 1/2 gap blown through and thus the rattling noise ,so loss of water and water and oil mixtures and back pressure in the cooling system obviously arent allways the symptoms of a blown gasket.I feel that the initial cause was probably the poor condition of the radiator that must have made the cooling less adequte than it should have been even though it lost no water.
So keep an eye on your cooling and radiators guys.
But 3 weeks without driving a 166 is what you probably need to appreciate how nice they are and how special they feel to drive in ,I have been using the wifes Grande punto when not walking and nice car that it is just to get back in the 166 and clunk the door shut smell the leather and listen to the engine purr again made me temporarily forget having no money now.
 

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Hello
Firstly i have had to reboot my alfa owner account due to computer problems so show up as a newboy again.
You don;t need a new account because you had computer problems, the account is not intrinsically connected. Just login with your username and password you used to log in with.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You don;t need a new account because you had computer problems, the account is not intrinsically connected. Just login with your username and password you used to log in with.
I dont know what happened but for some reason i deleted myself or something like that ,i hate computers as well as garages:cheese:
It must be an age thing
 

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Lmao......age haha!

My friend had a new BMW 320d, turbo went on it. £1000 bill!

Your Alfa will have other faults, do whys right and keep on top of it. Not many cars that can make you smile like an Alfa Romeo! Things could be worse, moneys not all that - just remember that!

I wanted a diesel to save money so i could afford a v6!
 

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Bad luck chap, but hey you're back on the road and your 166 is now even more desirable with it's recent cambelt.

Think about depreciation of you bought a brand new shopping car.
 
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