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Discussion Starter #1
My philosophy with cars has always been to buy a decent car, look after it well, maintain it properly and, provided it performs well and is reliable over time, keep it until it pretty much dies thereby bypassing all the depreciation issues that blight new cars.
The last car I did this with was my trusty old Rover 414 which I retired as a twenty year old vehicle with a little more than 100,000 miles on the clock. As it was still performing ok I donated it to a friend for free, the actual value was peanuts in monetary terms although ther car was a consistent good performer and as reliable as the day was long. The car is still in daily use and the friend is still a friend.
Now the question arises. I have replaced the Rover with an almost new Stelvio Milano 2.0 petrol. The car is stuffed with electronics and is as gadgety as hell, everything is electric, electronic, or powered. My initial thoughts were to keep this car also for a long time and maintain it, but with just the amount of gadgets and gizmos on the vehicle is it realistic to try and keep the car, or is it more realistic to regard it as basically a throwaway item which will inevitably become excessively expensive and troublesome to maintain and run due to the sheer amount of gadgetry on the vehicle all of which has the potential to fail and compromise the car.
When someone told me that their car lacked a dipstick for the oil I laughed, though it was a joke, all cars have a dipstick. I now own a car that tells you the oil level not via a dipstickbut rather by one of the many menus on the dash. What happens when the sensor in the sump fails, I guess the answer is spend some money at the Alfa dealers.
So in essence the question is, are these modern cars a reasonable prospect for long term ownership, or is it best to resign yourself to trading them in after the years and miles start to add up and get a newer fresher car and just swallow the cost of the trade up.
 

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The idea of oil level depending on a sensor does chill the blood....

Is the answer to keep it until you start seeing electronics problems? Then act on the principle that once one sensor goes, the others are waiting to join in. It would be a shame to sell it after three years to someone who runs it trouble-free for another ten.
 

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Lease it for 2 or 3 years, give it back and get another.

Cars have become overcomplicated, and like modern domestic appliances it is often cheaper and easier to ditch and replace rather than repair.
And they wonder why we have environmental issues...
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
That’s why there’s a 5 years warranty on the Stelvio/Giulia and 3 years servicing.
Bit of a shame for the brand if the life expectancy of the car is viewed as the length of the warranty. I would have expected to keep a decent car a whole lot longer than that, but the exposure that comes with the end of the warranty is something to be wary of. I can imagine the interminable tinkering with the electronics of a troublesome vehicle would rather take the shine off the pleasure of ownership. When things were electrical and mechanical at least you had options. I guess only time will tell how robust the Alfa Electronics are when exposed to the passing of time.
 

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That’s not the life expectancy. A longer warranty could be a ploy to keep the car in the first owner’s hands perhaps? That would reduce the supply of used cars at 3 years and bolster used values or make the cars more saleable at that age. I’ve heard from an acquaintance who works in aftersales at a dealer for a Korean make with a 7 year warranty however that after that time you’d expect to throw the car away.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I suppose the thing is, because lets face it, every car has a warranty period that ends, the predictable reliability that you can expect from an older type car is based on known factors such as accrued mileage, gradually worsening faults through wear and tear. Measurable things with an odd electrical earth fault thrown in by corrosion. Newer cars still have the same issues with wearing out over time and distance, but also the impossible to see coming issues with the electronics. As I mentioned before, relying on a sensor to read the engine oil level. Dipsticks as a rule didn't need much maintainence but the oil level sensor needs lots of things like being well made, a power supply, a good earth contact, a computer to interpret their output, an operating screen to display that output etc. failure in any one of those systems compromises the ability to confirm the sump level. See how much your dependance on technology has risen just to achieve a simple answer to a simple question about the current oil level. Extrapolate from there to the entire car, how much reliance you now have on things working right. Made me laugh when a collegue at work told me when he bought a new battery for his BMW that the car had to be introduced to the chip in the battery before the car could recognise it or the battery would not work. Someone is being taken for a ride here and not in a nice way. I don't like absolute dependance on the dealership and if you are forced into it I don't like the off hand way dealers seem to treat their customers. Mainly I'm reluctant to have a car which mechanically operates perfectly, but in which you cannot engage the mechanical element of the vehicle because yet another electronic system is having expensive issues. So back to the original question for me at least. Keep it and hope,or chop it in and trade up to a newer one repeatedly, stand the cost of depreciation to avoid exposure to all the gremlins in the electronics.
Impossible to definitively answer but good to chew over in hopes of seeing things in a new light.
Perhaps your example of the Korean car with a throwaway life of seven years is the way to go.
 

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If it was me I would keep it, soon you will be driving some electric thing, and besides it would save changing your forum name, and any car you have there will be something that the warranty doesn't cover that will cost you money. I'm sure a good independent can service and maintain the Stelvio, whatever you don't lose trading up you can use to maintain it. But it's up to you,
 

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If the principle is to throw a car on the scrap heap after seven years then its value at that point is negligible. That means the annual depreciation gets unmanageable for anyone who is used to buying at three years old unless the value is virtually written off over the first four years which surely will play havoc with pcp deals.

The other issue must be the latest government pronouncement that no new petrol or diesel cars can be sold after 2035. Sounds along way off but it is only 15 years which is less than the life of the OPs previous car which he used as an example when starting this thread. Should we be thinking about looking at getting a new car in 2034 and work back from that?

My present Giulietta is 9 years old this summer having been bought at seven months old. Do I move it on this year for a new or almost new Giulietta run that for 7 years and then replace that in 2034 or keep the present car another 3 years and then run its replacement for a similar period and again get a final petrol car in 2034. What complicates the issue for me is that in 2035 I will, potentially, be 88 so the whole dilemma may not occur.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If it was me I would keep it, soon you will be driving some electric thing, and besides it would save changing your forum name, and any car you have there will be something that the warranty doesn't cover that will cost you money. I'm sure a good independent can service and maintain the Stelvio, whatever you don't lose trading up you can use to maintain it. But it's up to you,
There is a lot of merit in what you say. The losses at trade in can be diverted into maintaining the current vehicle provided things don't get silly. Definately worth serious consideration.
 

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A 7-year warranty is designed to fool the ignoranti that the said Korean Cortina is finely made, in order to overcome resistance about choosing Saigon over Genk. If it's knackered at 7 years old (having cost as much to buy as a Dagenham Dustbin) then that's God way of telling you you should have bought a Ford.

Alfa's 5-year warranty is designed to fool the second-hand buyers that the beast will not tank spectacularly in value after it gets to 3-years old. It works.. check out the second-hand prices for a Giulia compared to a Merc C-class or Jag XE.

Ignore the warranty.. buy the car.

As for the potential electrical woes in the Stelvi-old... it depends what your attitude is. First of all, the gadgetry will be built not in an Italian spaghetti factory but in some factory operated by Marelli or Denso, either in Italia or the People's Corona Outbreak of China. It will last 10 years without major issues, and to be fair, if the pieces are made in China, sooner or later there will be half-decent pattern parts (either official or not) to keep you going.

Longer term, stuff will fade away and it'll be prohibitive, or impossible or both, to find the parts and/or replace them. Then you'll be wafting around in a tatty old 12-year-old banger with a window that doesn't wind down, an interior light that doesn't talk to the CANBUS so doesn't ever come on or go out, on the rare occasion when you do get it to come on... and you'll have knocked off the inoperative self-dipping mirror for a regular glass from a Hyundai C'eed that didn't make it to year 8.

By then, the yoof will be spangling around in Nissan Spacebuds and Renault Annabelles etc. and your old beast, despite losing out in the first 20 yards away from the chip-shop traffic lights will mightily terrify them with it noise and power as it roars itself past, on the way to oblivion.

Keep the Stelvio... :D


Ralf S.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good, realistic and pragmatic take on things. You make some very persuasive arguaments. I Like your stelvi-old wordplay, not something I would ever have thought of so hats off you you.
I am sort of convinced by much of what you say. I will be interested too in the corrosion situation as time goes on. So far the car looks good, has an anti-perforation element in the warranty although I'm not much convinced by them because you have to attend to any issues highlighted by the dealers in order to maintain the cover. I would expect them to be pretty anal and picky about advisories therefore. The only possible claim is one for a fault which both escaped their attention and rusted through within a year. Unlikely. Not much steel on the body though. I bought a magnetic GB plate from Halfords and had to return it for exchange when I discovered that it wouldn't stick to and surface on the vehicle. Had to get a sticky one.
Thank you for your post.
 

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Not clear on what Stelvio-old refers to ?
My concern is about whether the opportunity to buy at the end of the PCP is going to be as attractive as hoped. Will I be able to drive my Euro6-whatever-Stelvio in Greater London? If not , then the resale value is reduced by hopefully finding somewhere it can be used. When I talked to the Toyota dealer about trading my wife’s diesel Kuga 10 months ago the market had already moved up a few hundred miles from here. Things are moving fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not clear on what Stelvio-old refers to ?
My concern is about whether the opportunity to buy at the end of the PCP is going to be as attractive as hoped. Will I be able to drive my Euro6-whatever-Stelvio in Greater London? If not , then the resale value is reduced by hopefully finding somewhere it can be used. When I talked to the Toyota dealer about trading my wife’s diesel Kuga 10 months ago the market had already moved up a few hundred miles from here. Things are moving fast.
I went a long way out of my way to avoid buying a diesel. I searched out a petrol Alfa for precisely that reason. And Stelvi-old I guess refers to an old Stelvio which is the basis of the discussion.
 

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Personally, I feel modern things are in fact designed to fail, car manufacturers make just as much money from maintenance as they do from sales, an example of this is an old ford transit, Mk 1, 2 and 3 clutches would go for up to 340k, with better technology, materials and engineers now, why do they fail at 70k? (A friend runs a bus company and has this with a fleet of transits.)

So on the face of it, I'd say that a PCP and renew after 3 years is the best option, however, you're only gonna be able to answer this question after running the car for a couple years and looking at maintenance cost.

Hopefully it works out for you 😊
 

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You’ll probably find it’s to do with banned materials like asbestos being replaced with safer ones. Brake pads and lead wheel balancing weights etc.
 

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I can confirm that Stelvi-old is indeed the theoretical (elderly, in 15 years time) Stelvio.. :)

I don't think you'll have any issues with body corrosion... I've got a 16 year old Stilo with just a spot of tin-worm on a repaired sill.. so if Stilo doesn't rust, I doubt Stelvio will.... although sub-frames might be more tricksy, since they're components, not covered by the "body perforation" warranty and because they live under the car.

Still... if your frame gets tatty by middle age whip it off, waxoyl and/or Bilt-Hamber the b'jeesus out of it and re-fit it... or replace it with a seconda-mano part from Italian eBay (you may have to drive there on holiday to collect it, so it's not all bad news).


Ralf S.
 

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Many of the bits are alloy, hopefully insulated from the steel next to them. The cast suspension turrets , pressed body panels etc
I wouldn’t be surprised to find the subframes were alloy too. It’s the electronics that are not tangible bits.
It probably says most of the answers here.
 

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You’ll probably find it’s to do with banned materials like asbestos being replaced with safer ones. Brake pads and lead wheel balancing weights etc.
As technology advances though so do substitutes, though I agree on banned substances. You just don't get as much bang for your buck these days.

Am only 33 n drone on like an old yin, further proof they don't make them like they used to 😂😂😂
 
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