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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My heater fan stopped working. I checked the fuses and relay - all ok. At 130k it seemed likely it was worn out so I took it to my local reliable garage but they didn't have an electrician available.
It was still a bit cold and damp so I thought I needed to get it fixed - try the local dealer, Kinghams.

I got a great spiel from Keith Kingham about Auto-Italia (remember them on garages from hell) and how bad Alfa are at looking after their dealers and how he has been in busines for ever and knows them inside out. Bring it in and we'll stick it on the computer - minimum charge of £95 for an hour's labour. I fell for it!
After a while they told me that the fuses and relay were ok (!) so they would have to delve a little deeper - seems the computer no longer held the answer.

Eventually (2 hours labour) they told me the motor had failed. Would I like to sit down with a cup of coffee. The pollen filter was clogged (where had I had it serviced?!?) and that had overloaded the motor - it needed a new heater at £850 plus labour. After agonising over whether to scrap the car, I decided to go ahead and they placed the order.

That evening, a quick look on this forum showed that heater motors are available so I rang them the following morning, cancel the heater and order a motor please. Seems my local 'main dealer' was unable to get the the part number off his computer. I rang my helpful local garage who told me to avoid Kinghams - they don't know what day of the week it is! Steve recommended another Alfa supplier who gave me the part number and quoted £109 +VAT.

Keith Kingham ordered it without comment or politeness.

Easter intervened.

On the Tuesday he told me that they had fitted the new motor (and replaced the blown fuse - remember the one that hadn't failed?) but the new motor had also failed. Now I was either unlucky and the new motor was faulty or my car was faulty - they couldn't quite explain how that could be. I told him that I understood that the feed to the motor would simply be 12 volts. It should be easy to check and it shouldn't be possible for the car to blow a good motor. Keith raised his game to new heights of patronising crap. Cars nowadays are very complicated and need computers to understand them, you can't simply fix them with a meter and a screwdriver. With my degree in engineering, 10 years as a test engineer at Vauxhalls and over 20 years in computing, I'd had enough.

The choice was fit a replacement motor (which he had ordered) with no guarantee of success or let them put it back together and go away. I won't go into their amateur explanations of what moght be wrong, I simply took the later option. The cost - £720. Labour was actually £95 +VAT and the motors (2) were £125.82 each. Plus VAT of course.

I thought I'd continue to use the heater without the fan but the ICU now told me that things were not connected. I took a look. Most of the cover panels were no longer fastened down and the fixings were missing so it wasn't hard! I connected the fan and everything worked beautifully and has done ever since.

I rang to claim back the cost of the 2nd motor, only Keith could authorise such a thing so it took several calls over 3 working days plus a visit.

I haven't bothered about the various missing fixings largely, I don't want them to touch the car again.

Seems Croydon has another garage from hell.

Mike
 

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The more I read on this forum the less i'm inclined to keep my 166! Which is a shame as i've wanted an Alfa for years.
Why pete? because of crappy dealers? There are good ones as well out there and loads of excellent specialists. Alfa ownership means you do have to go the extra mile to source decent mechanics to work on your car but when you do find them, you will never find a more enthusiastic bunch.

There is lodsa of info on this forum about the heater fan issue. When a problem arises on your bella, it is worth doing a search to arm yourself with some "hands on" info first.

Hang in there, find your local specialist, and Alfa ownership can be a real joy.
 

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It was still a bit cold and damp so I thought I needed to get it fixed - try the local dealer, Kinghams.


Mike

Just a small point Mike, Kinghams are not an official Alfa dealer. They were once, but not now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree with Mitch.

What's so sad is that Kinghams actually fixed the problem and didn't even know they had done it.

If they had been polite and helpful and known what they were doing, I would have accepted their bills, I'd have been a bit upset at the cost but pleased that the car had been competently fixed.

But they were incompetent and their customer care was worthy of...... well insert your own views.

Mike
 

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Mike you really are not having much luck mate.

All your eggs are in the one basket.

I'm lucky I've got 2 baskets.

Pomeo (2.5) has the blown heater since around Oct last year still using it though.(Running great since puting laceys maf sensor in it.)Was going to use Lacey and fix the heater motor but Lacey had a tantrum and blew her oil pipe.

Lacey (3.0) has the blown oil pipes and now goosed battery BUT it has the new MAF unused due to blown oil cooler pipes.It went great with the new maf and I'm wondering if the extra power blew the pipes......No it wasn't it was good old fashioned rust,(corrosion)

Doing the oil pipes soon as Mot due in may.(Expecting a few items on fail list)

Puting off the heater as you have to strip out the air con to get at the fan. Did you get 2 fans or was 1 returned
Had you to source thro Alfa dealer or find a different supplier.?

Prior to stripping mine down i think i'll disconnect the old fan and plug in new one to make sure it is the fan.

NB Crossa did an excellent post on doing the fan.
Wow that was some bill you got.

Peterparker1968 AKA spidey .....Keep your 166 alive.They are a rarity..They are getting fewer and will soon be an even bigger rarity on the Britsh roads.

Pomeo
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mitch,
I'm sure you're right about Kinghams however they did call themselves a 'main dealer' at one stage.

Pomeo,
I'd certainly be confident to do the heater motor myself following Crossa's post - yes you do need to get the aircon degassed and recharged but apart from that it looks quite straighforward. I did get the money back on the 2nd motor so I don't have a spare. The delaer who gave me a quote for the motor was Wilson Purves in Crawley, they supply Steve at my local garage.

I'm going to get Steve to do the oil pipes, I think you really need a hoist - I'm too old now to do it by crawling under the car!

Peter,
The car is not really the problem here - it's done 130k and is 7 years old so I can fogive it. It's the dealers that are the issue (and there are some good ones - I used to use SGT in Taplow when I worked near there).

Although I got a big bill, my car is no longer depreciating so I can live with the occasional bill as long as it remains reliable.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
alfatara,
I got alfaworkshop to do my cambelt change. They were great but they are long way away. They are also busy and I needed the heater fixing. There's probably a reason why Kinghams could fit me in so quickly!
Mike
 

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when i replaced mine, i couldnd find aused one that would fit...but finally i found one off a maserati that would fit, actually exactly the same part. and the colant expansion reservoir is the same...

i is a pain to replace that motor as it is buried so deep, i think the engineer who designed that was laughing at the trap he was setting for whoever would buy an 166 haha
 

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when i replaced mine, i couldnd find aused one that would fit...but finally i found one off a maserati that would fit, actually exactly the same part. and the colant expansion reservoir is the same...

i is a pain to replace that motor as it is buried so deep, i think the engineer who designed that was laughing at the trap he was setting for whoever would buy an 166 haha
No Marco.....He just ate too much cheese pizza.:)

His dream is everyone else's nightmare at around 90k or above.

Pomeo
 

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I just moved into Streatham, I needed my 147 looking at so i used google and found Strand Motor Co. in Croydon. They were very polite, and invited me to inspect the car with them. Phil (i think) the mechanic, said he had 25 years experience with alfa, and used to work at a dealership but they were rubbish. He quickly saw the problem was not a bush as i suspected but the push rod on my steering rack. I was worried that this meant a new steering rack but he checked for me and was able to order a new rod for a little under £30. They also replaced the rear break pads, disks and 4 tyres for £519 inc vat. I also recieved a telling of for not using Selenia oil. :)

Going back next month for variator cambelt and engine flush.
 
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