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Discussion Starter #1
The following is a draft email that I'm intending to send to Alfa Customer Relations. Thoughts anyone?


I refer to our conversations concerning my car which suffered a timing belt failure last Friday.

The incident occurred at 7.15am on the A63 near Sherburn in Elmet which fortunately was free of traffic and I was able to bring the car to a halt in a lay by. I would normally have been on the M62 at that time of day and the thought of the breakdown occurring there is truly alarming as I immediately lost all power.

My car was purchased from Piccadilly Motors in Knaresborough in August 2005 having been pre-registered by them on the 30th June. It has been fully serviced in accordance with Alfa schedules, services up to and including the 48000 mile service being carried out by Dews Garage in Brighouse. Since the car was bought, Alfa have reduced the dealer network and there has not been a dealer convenient for my home or work since I changed jobs in September 2006. Additionally, my experience with Dews was very poor in terms of the quality of workmanship and attitude to their customers and consequently I arranged for the 60000 mile service to be carried out in December 2009 by **************who I know and trust as they look after my wife’s car which is also an Alfa.

When I reported this matter to you, you asked for the car to be taken to Piccadilly Motors. This would mean a tow of 37 miles which would incur considerable cost. You advised me that Piccadilly would inspect the damage and if you were satisfied with their report, you might consider contributing 30% of the repair cost. In effect, it is likely that I would be financially worse off by doing what you suggest in view of the high charges of your franchised dealers.

I do not want to incur the cost of moving the car as this is of no benefit to me. I would also prefer the work to be carried out by a repairer of my choice on grounds of cost. You are perfectly at liberty to carry out your own inspection of the vehicle at its present location to satisfy yourselves about the nature of the damage and I request that you contact me as soon as possible to arrange this. ****** are investigating the extent of damage to the engine and I expect to receive their report by Monday next.

As you know, the recommended schedule for changing the timing belt is 72000 miles or 5 years so the belt on my car was not due for replacement for another 5 months. The car has completed under 63000 miles. Since the incident occurred, I have been carrying out research on the internet and it would seem that early timing belt failure on Alfas is not an unknown problem and consequently I have to ask why Alfa continue to specify changing the belt at 72000 miles when there is evidence that it needs to be done earlier. It now seems that I have been placed in a situation where my car has sustained significant damage which could have been avoided. I have relied upon your advice and suffered a financial loss as a consequence and it seems reasonable to me that Alfa should meet the repair cost in full. Obviously, if the work is not carried out by an Alfa dealer, any ensuing problems would not be Alfas responsibility.

I would add that my wife and I have owned Alfas for many years and would not willingly choose to own any other marque due to the unique driver experience. I do feel that your present suggestion for resolving the matter is disappointing and hope that you can agree to my own suggestion. I look forward to your response as soon as possible.
 

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The only comment I would make is that I don't think it totally unreasonable for ARUK to ask for the car to be inspected by one of their dealers.
 

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I feel your pain with the snapped timing belt. It is common Knowledge that the belts on the diesel does not last the 72,000 mile that is quoted by alfa with the adition that there is a fault with the waterpump which means they only last about 50 to 60,000 miles. The belts on alfas are also recommended for change every 3 years by non alfa sources. Your Indi should have been aware of these faults and advised you accordingly even though alfa don't recognise these problems.
I'm with DB on the fact that it should be checked at one of their dealers however if it is found to be the cambelt fault then they should foot the bill of the recovery. Not you. And they should pay for the full job of a rebuild. The only stumbling block I can see is that some of the work was done at your indi so ARUK will probably try and level the blame at them. Its a bit catch 22 if you ask me.
Anyway, good luck with you letter. keep us posted on how it goes.
 

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I don't think it is unreasonable either...but it is unreasonable to expect him to deliver it and pick it up from them all for a 'possible' measly 30% if that would ever materialise.
I would expect an engineer to travel and inspect the car, upon a report I would then expect Alfa to foot the cost of the repair assuming that the service Schedule could be proved to have been adhered to.
 

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I don't think it is unreasonable either...but it is unreasonable to expect him to deliver it and pick it up from them all for a 'possible' measly 30% if that would ever materialise.
I would expect an engineer to travel and inspect the car, upon a report I would then expect Alfa to foot the cost of the repair assuming that the service Schedule could be proved to have been adhered to.
i would put this to an independant indie in private so they could adjust grammer,if car has been serviced using alfa parts ,i see why not alfa recompense the whole job even tow charges
36k service includes an inspection of belt,so i imagine its been checked for condition as in the respect of serviceability to 72k or 5ys
good luck with this anyway,i hope it comes out in your favour
 

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Sorry to hear about the cambelt failure on your 156 JTD.

Unfortunately the days of ARUK paying out substantial cover for this sort of thing are long gone. The Fiat Group no longer have the funds and resources to meet the promised commitments of several years ago - the highly leveraged purchase of Chrysler saw to that. There's no harm in putting forward a case to ARUK, but I doubt whether you'll get anywhere. I would certainly be surprised if they accept the judgement of your independent specialsit in this incident, as others have indicated.

Your best bet is to cover your losses and get it repaired at a good specialist who will charge a realistic price for the job. The best quoted on here I think is AutoLusso at £850. I think the general average for the job at a specialist is around the £1k mark.

In the meantime, all JTD owners need to change the belts/waterpump before the recommended interval. I was going to correspond with ARUK with regard to the JTD waterpump issue (with reference to the sticky thread on this subject which I started), but given their complete lack of interest from any correspondence with anything to do with their products (such as the 2.2 JTS hesitancy issue, which they refuse to believe exits), that's probably a waste of time.

So enjoy the marketing of these products everyone, and enjoy the Alfa Romeos. Enjoy the sales speak, the espresso coffee in the dealership showroom, the smiles, the handshake, the handover of keys. Just bear in mind that, once you're out of the 3 year warranty, you're very much on your own.
 

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Sorry to hear about the cambelt failure on your 156 JTD.

Unfortunately the days of ARUK paying out substantial cover for this sort of thing are long gone. The Fiat Group no longer have the funds and resources to meet the promised commitments of several years ago - the highly leveraged purchase of Chrysler saw to that. There's no harm in putting forward a case to ARUK, but I doubt whether you'll get anywhere. I would certainly be surprised if they accept the judgement of your independent specialsit in this incident, as others have indicated.

Your best bet is to cover your losses and get it repaired at a good specialist who will charge a realistic price for the job. The best quoted on here I think is AutoLusso at £850. I think the general average for the job at a specialist is around the £1k mark.

In the meantime, all JTD owners need to change the belts/waterpump before the recommended interval. I was going to correspond with ARUK with regard to the JTD waterpump issue (with reference to the sticky thread on this subject which I started), but given their complete lack of interest from any correspondence with anything to do with their products (such as the 2.2 JTS hesitancy issue, which they refuse to believe exits), that's probably a waste of time.

So enjoy the marketing of these products everyone, and enjoy the Alfa Romeos. Enjoy the sales speak, the espresso coffee in the dealership showroom, the smiles, the handshake, the handover of keys. Just bear in mind that, once you're out of the 3 year warranty, you're very much on your own.
im just wondering how many others have gone through all this,we only see the ones who come to this site,love to see alfa romeo worldwide files in warranty:wow:
 

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Interesting, what actualy goes on the JTD engine when the cam-belt snaps?

Ive heard that you just need to replace all the cam belt parts, (water pump, belt, tensioner), change the oil and filter and your off again.

Do the valves not get whacked by the pistons?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Alfa say that they have not heard of a timing belt failure that does not also involve damage to the valves.
 

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Interesting, what actualy goes on the JTD engine when the cam-belt snaps?

Ive heard that you just need to replace all the cam belt parts, (water pump, belt, tensioner), change the oil and filter and your off again.

Do the valves not get whacked by the pistons?
I originally thought that as I'd heard it was a non interference engine. But I can assure you now it is not so unfortunately it will be a full rebuild. :(
 

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Looking at older posts it seems to be the rockers that snap saving the valves from being bent. Full set of rockers are £100ish, id be tempted to fix it myself.
 

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I think that the 16v and 20v JTDs have sacrifical rockers which give way and therefore do not damage the valves but the JTSs do not.
 

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Having gone through a similar situation with our 147 just over a year ago (although ours went after dealer service & cambelt change due to water pump failure), I would expect some/all of the following:

a) ARUK will insist on it being assessed at a dealer workshop;
b) They will tell you the warranty is limited to parts only where these are shown to have failed prematurely, where work has been done by a non-franchise garage;
c) An independent engineer's report will be accepted, providing that engineer is of an appropriate expertise, qualification and standing;
d) If they agree to fund any of the work, they will insist it is carried out at a dealer workshop.

There are some positives, however:

e) Ultimately ARUK funded 90% of our repair cost, with the dealer covering the remaining 10%;
f) By having the rectification done by a dealer, any subsequent related problems are automatically fully covered (we had two oil leaks and various other issues).

All I can advise is keep plugging away and don't take 'no' for an answer!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Alfa haven't responded to my email - surprise, surprise.

My garage have reported that the rockers have all broken and seem to have done their job in protecting the valves. They need to make certain but it sounds like the news is not all bad.

Interestingly they tell me that there is an unusual amount of wear on a tensioner which has allowed the timing belt excessive play which may have contributed to its early failure.
 

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Alfa haven't responded to my email - surprise, surprise.

My garage have reported that the rockers have all broken and seem to have done their job in protecting the valves. They need to make certain but it sounds like the news is not all bad.

Interestingly they tell me that there is an unusual amount of wear on a tensioner which has allowed the timing belt excessive play which may have contributed to its early failure.
It might be better to print off the letter, then send it to them recorded delivery.

Emails are easy to loose.

Just keep plugging away at it. They won't take kindly to you contacting watchdog or similar if you are unsuccesful will they. ;)
 
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