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Discussion Starter #1
My car is a money pit. Has been from day one and continues to let me down ,uch to the amusement of the others who drive german and scoff. IVe spent hundreds in the last year, with over 17 failures.

With the 147 due an mot and cambelt, and the 156 radiator leaking, 'motor control failure' error on the dash, MAF gone, radio not working and upper wishbone, clutch needing to be done and also a cambelt in 7k i could really do without it all before christmas the practicality is rulling the heart for once.

Thing is the car is worth about 1500 tops, if working, not in the current state, and the finance is a year left to pay

Any advice how to get out of the finance?

First option im over the 50% mark so i could give the car back, but it has to be in reasonable condition (bar the clutch, which is not noticeable the rest is obvious) - the dash beeps every time i fire it up

second is i ride it out pour more money on it

Third i pay off the finance early using a credit card, pay off the credit card with the sale of the car once ive had more work done., and go get a new loan for a new reliable car.

Anyone have any legal input to assist? or been in the same dilema?
Ive had to give up the opportunity to drive abroad this year as i just cannot trust the 156 anymore, i EXPECT it to fail each week.
 

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I still can't really understand this. You've broken down 17 times?

Start at the beginning. What is wrong with it, and what have you spent?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1) Intercooled EGR return pipe blown (£300 part £220 labour)
2) starter motor (bouncing around in engine bay! £500)
3) Alternator (a week after the starter... hmm. £500... wait.. change of mechanic.. £150+ £50 labour)
4) Battery x 3 (first one too small, second was sh*t, 3rd most expensive one, finally working)
5) Alarm going off when it felt like it! in early hours of the morning - had to take wheel arch off and disconnect it.
6) rapid battery drain (i think alarm was doing this) - had to disconnect the batterye every journey to and from work.
7) diesel fuel junction box (top of engine bay) blew on the m1, towed home
8) brake discs and pads (w&t) (service item)
9) Rear trailing arm failed MOT
10) Upper front wishbone (nearside
11) Rear door handle broken - door cards off and replaced
12) Rear air vent broken (kicked off by kids feet)
13) Motor control unit failure - not resolved, possible ecu reflash
14) 3 punctures - on new tyres
- not the cars fault
15) shorted rear fog light (due to frayed boot electrics.. those years of opening and closing rubbing together)
16) smashed fog lamp (motorway, cheers.)
17) Exhaust bracket re-weld as it was cracked
18) EGR blocked open with soot - got a blanking plate, but had to be RAC'd because not power
19) Radiator emptied itself the other night, rust.
20) Ariel replaced with a shark fin one as no breakers had spares, it doesnt work (roof lining out)
21) Wing mirror paint has flaked away completely, need to hammerite it or something, its white with corrosion.

Rear brake pads are low, clutch slipping at high speed or hills, getting steering wheel wobble at hight speed (hopefully just upper wishbone) , MAF is disconnected and im driving round with it like that as I cant get the other one off and with it connected performance is dangerous.


Just seems an AWFUL lot of effort to run a car
 

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Fourth option. Do what most people do - bodge it and chop it in for something else on finance using the new loan to settle the old one:D
 

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When I was in a similar position I used the credit card to pay off the finance and then sold it.

The finance company have you by the short and curlies due to the fact you can sell it until the finance is done with.

Having said that, if the cost of payments over the remaining year are more than the car is worth you may as well just give it back to them now.

I will never ever buy another car on finance after my experience.

Personal loans are cheaper and more flexible as the car is legally yours from the outset.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
When I was in a similar position I used the credit card to pay off the finance and then sold it.

The finance company have you by the short and curlies due to the fact you can sell it until the finance is done with.

Having said that, if the cost of payments over the remaining year are more than the car is worth you may as well just give it back to them now.

I will never ever buy another car on finance after my experience.

Personal loans are cheaper and more flexible as the car is legally yours from the outset.
Yeah problem i have is that, yes the payments are more than the car but it has to be in reasonable condition otherwise they have their garage list everything and add it to my outstanding balance. Most of its fixable, its the blooming ecu one thats killing me, i dont have a resolution
 

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Finance agreement should underpin the car being of merchantable quality. It helped me get my errant Stilo fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh, garage i got it from is 200 miles away
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thinking logically it needs money if i want to sell it, hand it back or keep it.

Sell it, and i risk a loss
Keep it and its still my problem (cambelt and clutch)
Hand it back, no longer my problem.

So, I guess the best thing, get whatever's not working fixed so it looks good to go, maybe leaving out the clutch work, hand it back (legally as per contract) then go buy something else.

Im SO taking out the extended warranty next time, esp now my cheap mechanic has gone awol.
 

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I feel for you, that's a shocking list of stuff gone wrong, I'm dreading having to drive anything from this millenium. I've had my 145 6 years and have only replaced minimal service stuff. Not including a bit of welding to cure the tin worm.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I feel for you, that's a shocking list of stuff gone wrong, I'm dreading having to drive anything from this millenium. I've had my 145 6 years and have only replaced minimal service stuff. Not including a bit of welding to cure the tin worm.
My Dads 1982 audi 80 lasted 18 years and 360,000 miles which gave him the confidence to go get the new A4 in 1999.

His A4 is half the car the 80 was, its falling to bits at 160,000 and hes had thousands done. Cost £36k new too.

Even the germans arent fault-less, so many limp mode stories, theyr enot tp of the reliability index either.

I think, ive been unlucky, but its lived up to its heritage, im sure someone with an old rover could list the same or worse, however, this was supposed to be my chance to drive an alfa, 58k on the clock, £3k facelift model, from a garage on finance, should have been a pleasant experience.
 

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[21 problems and the car is all of them]
I can only go on what you've said, but my assessment would be that you have one main reason why you're running into trouble: you only discover or sort things wrong with the car when they fail. Yeah, OK, I wouldn't expect some of the stuff you've had - but an empty radiator because it's rusted through? You could have seen that coming.

Add to that there is some indication that your fixes (e.g. battery, aerial) haven't worked first time, which is more hassle and money.

Get the car looked over by an Alfa specialist to tell you what state it's in, what's coming up, and work out whether it's worth your trouble. If it turns out it isn't, then cut your losses. However, I feel it's important to point out that the 156 is not an unreliable car - it's more expensive than many others to keep running, but it's not unreliable.

I've spent a small fortune on mine, much of it preventative and some of that I probably could have delayed or even avoided completely. Every six months I get Autolusso to have a look over it and tell me what I'll need to do in the next year. Touch wood, it's never broken down, never had anything on its MOT beyond a quickly fixed headlight alignment.
 
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This is not ideal for suggestions but I have been in this position before, and it drove me into absolute worry and hell. It even cost a relationship, that is how much the car swallowed my life up with failures and a constant money pit at a time when I did not need it (2 years in total).

It absorbed the life and soul from family members too, I was on my backside and struggling with cash too, at the time of buying the car I was doing well with training and with the job I had, everything was great till I lost my job as the business went under. Repair bills totalled near £4000.

I understand the situation you are in, I sympathise and that the last thing you need right now is the "should have seen that, should not have bought it" blah blah blah, isn't hindsight a biatch but like you we are living in the NOW and not the THEN.

I suggest you get most of the bits sorted so it is in reasonable condition to drive and pass an MOT even if it is just passing, safe enough not to endanger anybody or anything. Take out a loan, get it all paid and sorted and be sure to constantly check the settlement figure.

You may have to take a hit on the loss of some cash as I had to do, I could have sold the car for £2200 but I had to cut it ASAP and sold the car for £1700, I wanted it gone so I had to make an offer nobody could refuse.

You have family I presume, they are the best people to ask for help and 9/10 times they will, you are not the first and certainly not the last to be in this situation. It is a horrid position to be in as a car will absorb so much cash and funds it is unbelievable.

Please do keep us posted on your decision, any advice please get it on here and even look at the Money Saving Expert site, the help is out there as is the support.

Good Luck and God Speed.

It will sort its self out. If I can sort things out anybody can, I am a complete drip when it comes to money and finance.

Much wiser nower days
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the sympathy Prop, I do know how having a money pit when you're skint can tip you over the edge! Have to keep remembering "it's just a car". Based on that, the 'heart and soul' thing wears thin when its just being a bloody pain! I dont doubt 1 or two issues could have been made smoother, like not risking a none standard ariel, but you at least expect it to cease failing elsewhere- this is 1.5 years of ownership dont forget not the life of the car! Im actually struggling to get on with my life AND catch up with repairs. My job is super stressful, this week Im not playing games, Ill cut it out of my life if i have to I really dont care.
Some of these are niggles which i can deal with but others - the clogged egr (bad design), blown intercooler pipe, fuel junction box, starter motor and alternator - you cant predict these, I ask the garage, how is the car?? "Fine.." then a week later warning lights on the dash and yet another RAC call. The missus rolling her eyes "your car again!" its not right for 1994, let alone 2004 when it was made, its ridiculous.

Dramatics aside, there isnt much stopping me carrying on.. its not blown a belt or has valves all over the tarmac, it does run and potentially could give me months free of grief... potentially. As the car will have to be up to spec to get rid of it anyway, my problems would kinda be solved, I figure having a think, why not just get the bits done on credit, and see how it goes. If it pops its spleen early, I can safely write it off as being an unreliable car, lemon, one off, whatever, but how can I have any confidence based on my experience, and ive had over 18 cars in my life... none have been like this... then again they weren't without the odd fault, but not this many. Its not like im driving a 1974 citroen 2CV rust bucket with dodgey electrics, im running a modern vehicle, its facelift, power steering, air con, the lot... ive had french cars that havent given me any grief (106!), some that did (xantia) and japanese cars that never missed a beat. Its not on.

So, credit cards out is probably the cheapest option in the long run... I have paid out money already that would go to waste if it disappeared, I do like the look of it everytime I walk up to it, no other car feels the same. Its just exhausting, every other week, something new and now on my wobbly wheel thread it could be driveshafts... swear its cursed. And thats before catching up ont he rest. All I do is drive 'A' roads to work...like an old man!
 

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I ask the garage, how is the car?? "Fine.." then a week later warning lights on the dash and yet another RAC call.
You need a better garage then, IMO - or at least a better relationship with one. Use a specialist, talk to them about the grief you've had to date, and ask them openly to go over the car with you, with the aim of finding out what's coming up.
 
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Give up. I'd suggest park it up somewhere off road, remove the tax disc, keep paying the finance.

Take out a personal loan to cover the cost of a different car. I'd suggest a smaller, newer car.

Then, when your existing car comes to the end of its finance agreement, sell it as a non-runner. That way, although you get less back for it, the finance company can't add fees, you haven't had to pay a penny more to fix it, and you don't have to fuss with reselling it as a running car.


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Give up. I'd suggest park it up somewhere off road, remove the tax disc, keep paying the finance.

Take out a personal loan to cover the cost of a different car. I'd suggest a smaller, newer car.

Then, when your existing car comes to the end of its finance agreement, sell it as a non-runner. That way, although you get less back for it, the finance company can't add fees, you haven't had to pay a penny more to fix it, and you don't have to fuss with reselling it as a running car.


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Morning Pete,

Not sure if you need your car daily but as above that would be the best solution, and in the mean time find another garage or if possible a specialist.

Me and my brother were talking the other night (mechanic), and the general feel to repairing or general maintenance on Alfa's is not favourable, He could not say why but it was probable that the stigma attached to many Alfa Romeo's is the possible cause and general mindset.

I have many other friends in the car industry, and many look at my car as a gift from the devil him self... Why? it has never gone wrong.

The reason I have mentioned the above is because I can see that going place to place will unearth many grumble & moan scenarios.

Can you list what is wrong with the car right now, just list the current issues. And hopefully some of us can troll the net and see what is out there to help you. And in the meantime I shall use your location to see if there are any specialists around and possibly see if my brother can pull some strings, I cannot promise anything.
 
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