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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I am an huge fan of Alfa and for me the Brera is one of those affordable "dreams" for me: stunning, unique and exclusive. No question that if I had no restrictions and issues to take into account when buying a car, I would by a Brera immediately.

My intention is to go for a brand new car and in a petrol version. However, I am a Portuguese guy living in Finland where the winters are extremely severe. Here I have to take into consideration the 6 months of snow and ice and specially the temperatures below 0ºc. I am specially concern with the very low temperatures. To give an example this year we had almost 2 months below -20ºc and many times reaching -30ºc in the south of the country.

I wouldn't think anything related to reliability if I was living in Portugal, but here I am putting that question on top of the table. I got a bit more scared since I have my Portuguese car with me here this year, an Audi A6 from 2000, and I am having nothing but problems - engine freezing while running, electrical problems, mechanical problems and I know that cars bought in Finland also struggle a bit in the winter.

So, I would like to have your opinions as Alfa's everyday users. How do you think the car can manage in such conditions? Shall I be worried with reliability issues in this environment? This gets also important since where I live there is no Alfa dealer, car costs are high and I need the car everyday to go to work.


Another issue has to do with the interior size. One requisite for me is the possibility to transport my bike inside the car. I do mountain bike and I use a transportation bag to carry it. It is a bag with 1280 x 750 x 200mm. Could this fit in a Brera with the rear seats folded down? I guess so and I should try it but again, the Alfa dealer is 150km's from where I leave.

I am looking forward for your help. I just want to know if I can forget about the Brera or shall I try the Giulietta, more recent and bigger inside, or maybe consider be better off and try to get some other car.

Thank you.

Cheers,
Frederico
 

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Frederico,

The thing I dread most with my Brera in freezing conditions is that the windows need to drop by about 10mm to allow the doors to open. When the temperature drops below zero, they freeze to the door seals. I use luke-warm water to overcome this, but I doubt if this would help in minus 30C temperatures.
Would you be keeping the car indoors?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Alipet,

That is an important issue. I was not seeing that issue yet. I will not keep the car indoors. However, there is this parking heating system they use a lot here in Scandinavia called "webastos" that heats up the engine and the interior of the car before you need it. It works with a remote control and 20-30 minutes before you needed the car, you turn it on (up to 1 km of distance) and it starts heating. This system uses very small amount of fuel from the tank. This defrosts the ice on the windows. So, I believe that's not a big issue. Plus, here it doesn't snow all the time and when it's -20C there is no humidity, therefore it doesn't freeze.

You can also look for webastos systems for you. It will definitely improve your situation.

And in your case, after having that problem solved, do you feel any problem?

Thank you!
 

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Hi Frederico!

I'm a new Alfa owner and would probably suggest looking somewhere else as you've discovered at -20 to -30 cars tend not to be too happy. Although you can combat some stuff like freezing engines with a much higher concentration of coolant and a 5W or 0W winter oil, your still asking a lot of the engine and the ECU.

Might i suggest if reliability is key, looking at some sort of Japanese 4wd of some sort? Although i can't think of any that aren't diesel..and diesel definately won't work at those temperatures..Why not look at a Subaru Legacy or something, Ok it's not the most inspired cabin..but it's not as bad as jap cars of old. Petrol boxer engines, with 4WD.

ooh alipet have you tried giving your rubber seals the once over with vasaline in these cold times...worked a treat on my mx-5.
 

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I've put some of the Gummi Pflege stuff on the door seals and had no issues with the windows since:D

If you can get 4WD it's excellent in the snow, even on non-winter tyres.

Ref storage, the rear seats drop you you'll easily get a bike in:thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Moel,

I am actually a bit afraid of an Alfa here, I have to be honest. Cars here are prepared differently and you can find all kinds of cars here. The diesels also work here quite fine, specially the more recent engines and the diesel has a special mixture that can support as low as -32C without freeze.

Alfa's are very rare here and that's not a good sign, specially when Finns love driving and cars in general. Plus the winter is severe on cars. But anyway, I don't feel like getting something boring, I want something special and I love the Brera.

And how about the Giulietta? Can it be better solution?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've put some of the Gummi Pflege stuff on the door seals and had no issues with the windows since:D

If you can get 4WD it's excellent in the snow, even on non-winter tyres.

Ref storage, the rear seats drop you you'll easily get a bike in:thumbs:
In Finland there is no brand new Brera with 4wd, but that's ok: here we use spike tires :D

Regarding the space, those are good news. Thanks for the help
 
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You'd just better be quick to decide or there will be no new Breras left in the system as the last car rolled off the line in September 2010.
I know they never sold that well, but every Brera to be built already has been built - and the stocks are going down
 

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I´ve just driven my Brera TBI through a quite rough winter close to you. No problems ever at temperatures down to -15, sometimes -20. The windows don´t drop, but one can open the door anyway. No visible scarring ;-) Engine running as well it as ever did in +20.

Have actually never had any winter problems through 156/147/GT/159 JTD/Brera TBI. Wasn´t that the case in the 70ies?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I didn't know Alfa has stopped production. That put a bit more pressure on me.

And Steffoo, from your experience with the Brera on rough winter, there is no issues at all? Something that bother you? Anything?

Thank you guys
 

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Actually: Nothing.

Our winter in south Sweden has taken us to -20, never down to -30, but I think the difference is negligeabel in this aspect.

Mine is a little bitter lowered (1 cm) and it is evident in snow. Maybe there is a little rattle from dash that disappeared when car got warm. Great handeling in snow/icy surfaces, even though my tyres aren´t the very best.
 

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Window problem aside I'd say go for it. Looking up through the glass roof towards the sun on a winter's day in the Artic must be a truly great sight!
Had my Brera for 2 really cold UK winters - frequently down to -15C which for us in England is cold. The windows failing to drop was a problem but it sounds from the posts above that it can be fixed. Mechanically the rest of the car was no less (or more!) reliable in the cold than the heat.
Buy one, buy one, buy one. It is a stunning car and you will not regret it. Good luck.
 

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... oh yes and when it's really cold I closed the blind on the SV as it seemed to keep the interior a little bit warmer overnight.
 

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My impression of the window drop failure was more that the mechanism in the door got a cold and failed, not that the glass froze to the seal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Guys,

Thank you for the help but I went this weekend to an Alfa dealer in Finland and they told that it's no longer possible to get a Brera... I was late :(

I am turning my attention now to a Giulietta... but I am still not that sure about it. I haven't really realize that I cannot get my Brera ...

Thank you for the help!

Cheers,
F
 
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