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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was going to post this here but figured I needed some specific GTA-owner advice...

So here's my query:
My newly purchased 147 GTA needs servicing, cambelt change and MoT next month but is it ridiculous to make a 200 mile round trip to Alfa Workshop to get this done? How far are other owners travelling to get their cars sorted...?

Alfa Workshop seem to get some good reviews on here and after speaking to them today, certainly sound knowledgeable and more importantly, waaaaaaaaaaaay cheaper than B&W just up the road from me. This is where I should be going, but for the price they quoted me I could get all of the above done plus a Q2 diff at Alfa Workshop.
:thumbs:

There's also a difference of opinion as to whether plugs, water pump and rocker gaskets should be changed during the service - should they?
:confused:

Going to call Autolusso and Alfa Aid tomorrow but would be interested to hear your thoughts on the distance/quality/price of servicing matrix!
 

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I use Alfa Workshop and would reccomend them. The good thign about Jamies business is you know its been there for ages, and hasnt just decided to 'pop up' (unlike some others..) now that alfas are a bit more popular.... they also service a number of SZ's and if they can get the upkeep of those mosters right, a GTA is a walk in the park! Jamie also owns a 147 gta :)
 

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There's also a difference of opinion as to whether plugs, water pump and rocker gaskets should be changed during the service - should they?
:confused:

!
I would say definitely for the water pump, and use the metal impellor one (ALfa workshop will know!) Not sure about the plugs, see what condition they are in
 

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147 GTA needs servicing, cambelt change and MoT next month but is it ridiculous to make a 200 mile round trip to Alfa Workshop to get this done? How far are other owners travelling to get their cars sorted...?
Not a GTA, but I take my 156 on a 300mile return trip.
I live in London and the work gets done at BLS in Lincoln.

For you in Hampshire, try AHM.
 

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I would say definitely for the water pump, and use the metal impellor one (ALfa workshop will know!) Not sure about the plugs, see what condition they are in
Agreed with the water pump. you want the metal one off the GTV 3.0
 
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I did a couple of 200 mile round trips to get a bunch of work done by the Alfa Workshop and now make 100 mile round trips to Auto Lusso. It's worth it to get expert servicing at very competitive prices. Your GTA is special, it's worth making the effort IMO.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

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Autolusso did Clare's GT with the PF pads, Q2 and a service. Will be going back in 2k for another service.
 

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Black and White Garage offer peace of mind in that they are one of the country's foremost Alfa specialists and they know GTA's very well - they service/upgrade many and always have some for sale.

I used them for a LOT of work recently, they are certainly not the cheapest (my biggest annoyance being that they charge RRP for parts I could have bought cheaper myself from EB Spares) but they do know the cars inside out (unlike many main dealers in the case of the GTA) and they are still cheaper than a main dealer by far. Mine drives superbly following the work. With the amount I had done I could have saved money by going further north to one of the outfits you mention (though it would have been a huge hassle I don't have time for), in your case I doubt the hassle/petrol cost would make much of a difference?

On the main dealer side, Meridian Milano in Portsmouth are also excellent - best by far of the five main dealers I've used for my alfas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Black and White Garage offer peace of mind in that they are one of the country's foremost Alfa specialists and they know GTA's very well
I'm not doubting B&Ws credentials. As I said, I feel as if I should be taking my car there, but they are nearly double the cost and since this is quite a hefty chunk of work (so soon after purchase) I think another independent is gonna be the answer. Next year (when I only need a reg service and maybe some new plugs) it'll be easier/quicker/cheaper to nip up the road to Newbury (I live in Alton and the A339 is a nice drive... When it aint busy).

In your case I doubt the hassle/petrol cost would make much of a difference?
There is the hassle factor to consider (especially when I'll need to use the busiest part of the M25 to get there) but I don't mind taking the morning off work to take the GTA out for a spin (even with the cost of petrol its still cheaper).

On the main dealer side, Meridian Milano in Portsmouth are also excellent
Meridian in Bournemouth have looked after the car for the last 3 years, so if I were worried about dealer stamps in the service book, this would certainly be an option for next year.
 

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I use B&W religiously but as it's know - they're costly. I love my Alfa to bits (as everyone here does) yet I'm sure my car's in excellent hands when I hand my keys over to them.

As jwyatt mentions, they add a discouraging margin to their parts - and that's why people feel ripped-off. My work-around is to buy parts from Jamie (or shop4parts) and have them fitted by B&W, win-win :cool:

Saying that, I'd go to Jamie if I lived closer :) although haven't tried Alfa Aid yet... :rolleyes:
 

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I do a 150mile round trip to alfa workshop, they are all enthusiasts and that is the clincher for me...(and the price!) Plus they have some beautiful cars to cream over while your there...
 

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I recently travelled 220 miles round trip to get my 156 serviced (and this was an official dealer, Chris Variava in Notts). If you feel your Alfa is special, then travelling such distances should be no problem at all. Jamie at Alfa Workshop, Ned at Autolusso, Adrian at Alfa Aid are all great specialists, if you can get the work done significantly cheaper and know that your car is well looked after, then why not?

Probably a stupid question, but for those who travel large distances, what do you actually do while you are waiting for the car to be finished ?
Make sure a courtesy car is supplied as part of the service deal. Just go off and take a look at the splendid countryside and historic cities around us. For Jamie at Royston, travel the short distance up the A10 and visit Cambridge for the day. For Ned at Autolusso take a look at Woburn next door. Just make a day of it!
 
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I get a courtesy car and either drive home or go to my work office (which is between Auto Lusso/Alfa Workshop and home. But don't expect a like for like courtesy car - that's where they save money ;)

Cheers,

Nigel
 

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Cars are all the same. No matter how special you think an Alfa is, its just a nicer looking Fiat, and the same as nearly every other car on the road! With this in mind, ask on the forum for a garage that comes recommended in your area. If this happens to be Joe Bloggs motors up the road then fine, use them! If an Alfa specialist is a few miles further and they come recommended, then its probably worth driving a few more miles to go to them instead.

Anyone who drives 00's of miles for non-specialist work doing really does need their bumps feeling!
 
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Cars are all the same. No matter how special you think an Alfa is, its just a nicer looking Fiat, and the same as nearly every other car on the road! With this in mind, ask on the forum for a garage that comes recommended in your area. If this happens to be Joe Bloggs motors up the road then fine, use them! If an Alfa specialist is a few miles further and they come recommended, then its probably worth driving a few more miles to go to them instead.

Anyone who drives 00's of miles for non-specialist work doing really does need their bumps feeling!
Can't agree with that. Cars aren't all the same, especially GTAs. I do use the garage down the road for oil changes and anything simple but I wouldn't put my GTA in the hands of anyone that doesn't know the GTA well for a service or anything major. I want them to look for things that might need doing soon or any problems that may be building, not just do what they read in a book for the first time. You need specialist knowledge for that IMO.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

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Hi Ferryman.

Cars are all the same! They just have different quirks!. You name me a single thing on a GTA which isn't on every other car.

My philosophy is that if its running fine and serviced in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations, then don't fiddle. If I hear a noise or something changes, i'll take it to a garage to be looked at.
 

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Hi Cloverleaf.

(I once made the mistake of taking my then 33 16v into Halfords for a new battery; the "mechanic" couldn't even work out how to open the bonnet and I had to do it for him - he obviously had never worked on one in his life. Then they fitted a dud anyway, wouldn't accept liabilty for it and I ended up having to go to the main stealers just to get a poxy battery !!!)

Thats why I said come on here and get a recommendation in your local area! If the local kwikfit comes recommended then take it there!

Its no wonder the prices of GTAs are plummeting. Anyone who researches buying one on here will be forced into rather incorrect reasoning that they will need to have the cambelt and water pump changed immediately, along with a Q2 diff fitted and most of the front suspension changed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Anyone who researches buying one on here will be forced into rather incorrect reasoning that they will need to have the cambelt and water pump changed immediately, along with a Q2 diff fitted...
Must admit, feels like that to me sometimes, but then I never expected GTA ownership to be exactly plain sailing. This isn't a Toyota Corolla we're discussing - its a rather fragile, high performance Italian hot hatch and I'd be happier knowing it was in the hands of a pro when it came to servicing (especially when it comes to cambelt changes, water pumps and fitting a Q2!).
 
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