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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Newbie. Just got GTV2.0TS & servicing @ AUTOMEO. Big mistake?

Hi fellow Alfisti's. I was short sighted enough, unfortunately, to take my car to AUTOMEO for a service BEFORE joining this site and searching the forums to find out whether or not he is actually recommended. I must say now that I have joined and searched the forums I am more than worried about what people have been saying about shoddy work, over-priced and even conning people claiming new parts have been fitted when they haven't.

Moral of my story....shop around and do my research properly!

I am bracing myself for a huge bill now and I'm not experienced enough to verify his work afterward.
 

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Hello and welcome to AO. I like your choice of model, and wish I could say something to cheer you up. This forum is a great place for advice, but as you said, you looked too late. If they say they have replaced something, ask to see the old part, other than that I can't offer any other advice. I hope that someone else can, and hope that the bill doesn't stop you enjoying the GTV.........
 

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If it's only gone in for servicing then that's exactly what they should be doing, the service should be a fixed price and if additional work is "recommended" then they should call you for authorisation before going ahead.

My advice is to give them a call now and say to them that if they find anything over and above the service that needs / may need doing then please call you first for authorisation. It's your car and it's your hard earned money.......and remember that your car went to them running ok so it's not like any "recommended" work will required being done immediately, if you are not comfortable with what they may recommend then after the service take it elsewhere for a second opinion.

Regards
Jules.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Odyssey21 for the warm welcome...and yes the GTV is lovely! When I was 6 my two older brother's both had GTV6's (way back in 1984!) and it's taken me 26 years to have my own Alfa :)

Thanks Jules also for the sound advice....I will call him now to check on things and also make sure that he consults me first before any additional work is done.

If anyone is interested here is what I have noticed with the car since I have had it:

I. Engine sounds like diesel when starting from cold
II. Tapping noise from engine when travelling at or below 10mph
III. Scraping/grating noise from rear of the car when accelerating below 3000 rpm
IV. Third gear hard to engage when car is stationary
V. Brakes are spongy
VI. Steering pulls to the left. Also when braking hard
VII. Steering in general seems light -> is this normal for these cars?
VIII. Left front drain of sunroof blocked + seal around sunroof deteriorated
IX. Sunroof mechanism sticking on opening (currently needs a gentle push to help it)
X. Seatbelt warning lights not working
XI. Aerial/antenna takes a long time to extend after turning stereo on
XII. Stereo sometimes won’t turn on and security light flashes
XIII. Central locking/alarm does not work properly via the remote on the key ring (changed the battery but still the same)

I know some of these point to camshaft variator (sounding like diesel), brakes/wheel bearings etc and I gave him this list also. But primarily he is servicing it and then will let me know what of this list needs to be done and quoting me a price.
 

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Why on earth are you looking to pay money for some of that?

XI. Aerial/antenna takes a long time to extend after turning stereo on -
Seriously, how much is this worth to you to have working?

IV. Third gear hard to engage when car is stationary
How often do you find yourself doing this?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I know I am just being a dweeb but it's my first Alfa and I wanted it to be as perfect as can be :lol:
Silly I know.
 

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Hi Amalama,


I. Engine sounds like diesel when starting from cold

Variator worn, as you have already realised.

VII. Steering in general seems light -> is this normal for these cars?

I think so - mine is light too.

IX. Sunroof mechanism sticking on opening (currently needs a gentle push to help it)

A bit of white grease should help it along, coupled with more regular use.

X. Seatbelt warning lights not working

The light is only meant to display when the ignition is turned on and then it goes out. Don't know if it is part of the testing of the pretensioner circuit, or if it just acts a reminder to belt up. But it doesn't come on again after that, regardless of whether you have the belt buckled or not.

XI. Aerial/antenna takes a long time to extend after turning stereo on

Sounds like it is wearing out and will need changing soon. I would just wait until it fails before doing it. I bought a £25 one from Maplins, that with a bit of modification, fitted in fine and is still doing the job. Much cheaper than an Alfa part.

XIII. Central locking/alarm does not work properly via the remote on the key ring (changed the battery but still the same)

Might need a new remote. Do a search of Meta alarm on here - there is a guy that can supply you with a new remote.


Hope you enjoy her and enjoy bringing her up to scratch. They are very rewarding cars to own and drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the advice and insight Junior...very helpful.
I'm hoping that an initial investment of bringing her up to scratch will pay off in the long run if I put in the effort to look after the car properly.
 

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If the variator needs replacing then the cambelt needs to come off to do this. When was the cambelt last changed? Interval for change is now 3 years/36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. So if this is due then you may as well get the whole job done.

I do hope this is an ALFA specialist by the way? You don't want non-specialists mucking about with the timing gear on these engines.
 

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Hi fellow Alfisti's. I was short sighted enough, unfortunately, to take my car to a certain small Bristol Alfa specialist for a service BEFORE joining this site and searching the forums to find out whether or not he is actually recommended. I must say now that I have joined and searched the forums I am more than worried about what people have been saying about shoddy work, over-priced and even conning people claiming new parts have been fitted when they haven't.

Moral of my story....shop around and do my research properly!

I am bracing myself for a huge bill now and I'm not experienced enough to verify his work afterward.
Hi, welcome aboard
if you are interested in some of the pecadillos of these cars you might find this thread of interest
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-gtv-and-916-spider/199188-they-all-do-that-sir.html
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Commanderfish...you have a beautiful and mean looking Alfa by the way.

Spider95 - Yes they are definitely Alfa specialist...you might even say fanatic!

ChristopherF - Thanks for the link...I will take a look.
 
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I know I am just being a dweeb but it's my first Alfa and I wanted it to be as perfect as can be :lol:
Silly I know.
sorry mate but alfa and perfect dont go, the idea of owning an alfa is because they aint perfect and every alfa is different to the next and that is what gives them character and soul.
 

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When you say steering is light, how light do you mean?

If it is very light then the pump is probably knackered.

Normally it is caused by driving the car with the PAS belt being broken. Turning the steering forces the fluid the wrong way through the pump which can damage the valves.

This had happned to my Fiat coupe.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My previous car was a fiat 1.1 Seicento and the GTV's steering feels lighter than that.
I had an Audi S3 3 years ago and that felt very solid and heavier in the sense that it only goes where you want it. With my Alfa it's like the slightest of touches and it's turning...I know you may say well it's very responsive but it almost seems too sensitive.

I am about to get the price back in 30 mins from the garage for the service and also a list of things that are wrong with it. Pray for me!!

Will let you guys know once I speak to the guy.

Drum roll please.........
 

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thats wat they are like, once you get used to it you'll appreciate the responsiveness, good luck with the bill!
 

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My previous car was a fiat 1.1 Seicento and the GTV's steering feels lighter than that.
I had an Audi S3 3 years ago and that felt very solid and heavier in the sense that it only goes where you want it. With my Alfa it's like the slightest of touches and it's turning...I know you may say well it's very responsive but it almost seems too sensitive.

I am about to get the price back in 30 mins from the garage for the service and also a list of things that are wrong with it. Pray for me!!

Will let you guys know once I speak to the guy.

Drum roll please.........
Do hope you got a quote prior to commencement of work........
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Hi all.

Well the full price including labour for the service is £269.24. Not too bad I guess, but I'm sure most of you guys and gals are able to service your own cars so probably wouldn't spend that much.

Actually I think it's about £80 more expenisve than I could have got it done at alfaworkshop.co.uk so he is a bit pricey. Depends what he has done though, but I'm guessing it's just a basic service (mileage on my GTV is 73K so was hoping he would do the belts).

He was with another customer at the time I called so could not give me a breakdown of the things he's found wrong with it and said to call him in the morning.

He is not doing any work (outside of the service) without my approval and a quote for the work. Realistically I will postpone any further work till next month when I can afford it and in the meantime I can take his list and try and get quotes from other Alfa specialists in the southwest to find the best price.
 

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Hi all.

Well the full price including labour for the service is £269.24. Not too bad I guess, but I'm sure most of you guys and gals are able to service your own cars so probably wouldn't spend that much.

Actually I think it's about £80 more expenisve than I could have got it done at alfaworkshop.co.uk so he is a bit pricey. Depends what he has done though, but I'm guessing it's just a basic service (mileage on my GTV is 73K so was hoping he would do the belts).

He was with another customer at the time I called so could not give me a breakdown of the things he's found wrong with it and said to call him in the morning.

He is not doing any work (outside of the service) without my approval and a quote for the work. Realistically I will postpone any further work till next month when I can afford it and in the meantime I can take his list and try and get quotes from other Alfa specialists in the southwest to find the best price.
Yes if that's a basic service then £269 is too high. Presumably this is the second belt change, and your GTV is 5/6 years old? If so then obviously you do need to get the belts done fairly soon, as the official change for the cambelt/tensioner/idler is now 36,000 miles or three years, whichever occurs first. Don't forget you need to do the balance belt/tensioner as well, and obviously with a noisy variator that need doing as well.

Good idea to shop around, plenty of specialists in Southern England will be cheaper than your well-known outfit in Bristol!

Hope that helps.
 
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