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So, on Ferrari Chat they have their "Other Italian" section. Someone posted asking about buying a 164, and got this repsonse:

"As a former Alfa Romeo Service Manager I would advise you...Don't Do It. A weekend inside Guantanamo is probably more pleasureable! Leaky engines, leaky steering racks, noisy A/C "stepper" motors, inoperative "stepper" motors, woozy struts, automatic transmissions that are prone to failure, 5 speed transmissions that are prone to failure (especially on the hotshoe S / Verde version), mufflers that were most likely pressed from old Biscotti tins.

And all these faults happened in the mid-1990's when the cars were still relatively new. This was the car that ultimately torpedo'd Alfa in the States, quite an accomplishment.

Just imagine how these cars are now, 10-15 years later with minimal parts support, and I suspect most owners now do not want to pay to fix them, or else cannot afford to fix them.

When new they were very nice to drive on the highway, plus with the early 2V cars you got a Chrysler radio!

Least anyone here think I am anti-Alfa I am not...I've owned 14 over the years.

I am sure however, someone will post that they have owned a 164 for a quarter of a million miles and it has been painless! They're lucky."


Any comments? :mad:
 

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So, on Ferrari Chat they have their "Other Italian" section. Someone posted asking about buying a 164, and got this repsonse:

"As a former Alfa Romeo Service Manager I would advise you...Don't Do It. A weekend inside Guantanamo is probably more pleasureable! Leaky engines, leaky steering racks, noisy A/C "stepper" motors, inoperative "stepper" motors, woozy struts, automatic transmissions that are prone to failure, 5 speed transmissions that are prone to failure (especially on the hotshoe S / Verde version), mufflers that were most likely pressed from old Biscotti tins.

And all these faults happened in the mid-1990's when the cars were still relatively new. This was the car that ultimately torpedo'd Alfa in the States, quite an accomplishment.

Just imagine how these cars are now, 10-15 years later with minimal parts support, and I suspect most owners now do not want to pay to fix them, or else cannot afford to fix them.

When new they were very nice to drive on the highway, plus with the early 2V cars you got a Chrysler radio!

Least anyone here think I am anti-Alfa I am not...I've owned 14 over the years.

I am sure however, someone will post that they have owned a 164 for a quarter of a million miles and it has been painless! They're lucky."


Any comments? :mad:
Sure, thats true. But he may want to look around his own forum and realize that he likes ferrari's, talk about problems. Expensive parts and not to mention a bunch of yahoos that drive them, well It does not bother me. Obviously he has seen the action being a manager. I am sure the ferrari manger says the same thing about some models as well.

J
 

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As I mentioned the other day, I just turned 250,000 mileswith my 164S. 5 Speed tranny has never bend apart and enging has just had a valve jon at 147K. Terry
 

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...Any comments? :mad:
During the time that Alfa was in the U.S.A. Alfa owners had the misfortune to meet more incompetent (and Alfa ignorant) "service" managers that anyone would care to remember.... Unfortunately, these were the Alfa "experts" of the day, and their "maintenance guidance" did much more harm to torpedo the reputation of the marque than any design flaw. I could write a long book describing first hand anecdotes regarding ignorance and unbelievable service mistakes. It's a shame, but just as was the case back in the day, these "service experts" are still around, and they didn't acquire any additional knowledge after Alfa left these shores.

I've been a continuous Alfa owner for over three decades, and while there are known issues that need to be corrected (just as with any other marque), the 164s are decent cars in their own right.

Best regards,
 

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All true things for the most part, except for the parts availability, that is just not a problem. It hasn't stopped my car from racking up the miles or me enjoying the car, the cost vs. fun quotient has kept it on the road. If you were to pay someone to keep the car on the road, well that frankly may not be too practical. I pulled into a car repair place today to look at an old Saab that I may buy, and the mechanic almost had a panic attack thinking I wanted my 164 worked on, he was so relieved when I told him I was there too see the Saab, it was kind of funny. ;) Good point Jason on the Ferrari's, just think the troubles one might have, if one was to put the kind of mileage on a Ferrari that we have on our 164s and think of the impracticality of that! A '91 Mondial (or an F40!) with 150k to 200k on it! :eek: Most 164s haven't set in someones garage just looking pretty.
Charles
 

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As I mentioned the other day, I just turned 250,000 mileswith my 164S. 5 Speed tranny has never bend apart and enging has just had a valve jon at 147K. Terry
LOL! Terry, I don't think your car JUST had a valve job 103k ago...:D Unless you meant at 247k........

I'm tempted to register on the ferrari chat and see how quickly I can get banned with some comments those ferrari owners probably don't want to hear about their cars and parts reliability... :D
 

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I've had more chances to buy Ferraris of many different models through the years (nice running short wheel Berlinetta (sp) for $5000, pristine Lusso for $6000, carshow quality 250 GTE 2+2 for $3000, etc) but since I knew the best mechanic around for them, and he was always fixing more than I can remember for more money that I cared to spend, I didn't want to get into that, thank you. LOL, not that I wouldn't pass up a good deal in a 78 308 mind you.

This guy who wrote that answer has no clue. I've driven Alfas for 40+ years as daily drivers, and I'm still alive, have enoyed many thousands of miles driving Alfas of all models from the mid 60's on, and still have three, two of which are still daily drivers, the 3rd, the 94LS is the big trip car, having just finished a 7000 mile trip in it with no car problems, but with many miles of great driving.

I agree, the dealer makes the car, and perhaps I've been very lucky to have one of the best living locally, but still, the cars just keep running as long as I keep then fairly stock, and keep to the scheduled maintenance, more or less. Yes, there have been some problems, but then I look at my friends with their cars, foreign and domestic, and guess what, they have problems as well. Gee, what a surprise.

Will I buy a new Alfa when they show up? Beats the hell out of me, depends on how they drive and if they make me grin. Or, maybe I'll look for a pristine 67 Giulia Super. That kinda tickles me, as it was a fun and flunky car, quite simple compared to the 164. I don't necessarily need a new car anymore.
 

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If we all had the money that alot of Ferrari owners have, then we wouldn't complain about the costs to have them fixed. That guy might have owned 14 Alfa's but who wrenched on them? Was he a check book mechanic? There isn't anyone but me that is ultimately responsible to work on my cars. I have owned more Alfa's than...well, just say a lot...and I have loved everyone of them. The more I drive my 164's the more I love them. I put 60 miles on Nero today and 60 miles on Bianca also. What a pleasure it was to drive both of them! All Alfa's have faults...I am sure Ferrari's have their share as well. So who is calling the kettle black? :)
 

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He is just pissed because he most likely got canned from Alfa and lost his 164 company car! He's jealous!!;)
 

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I think he had a bunch of mechanics that were used to working on a set of 6 webbers on a ferrari v12 and not anything like a bosch injected 164. I am coming up on 200K and hope to film the occasion, just to post the clip on the ferrari chat website!
 

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What a wanker! (The alternative term "tosser" comes to mind...) :mad:

My buddy's F355 - 10K miles (but the 30K mile service is now "due" because of the age - 15K USD!!! 2800 USD just for the water-pump!

John at Autosport doing a set of 355 heads the other day - smoker and uses more oil than gas he said - 26K miles or so on the odo!!!???

Screw that nut!
 

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The Alfa/Ferarri dealer where I live (now VW/Audi) had idiots working there when I bought my Milano. They would sit around and scratch their heads and thumb through the service manual... Bad hires+Bad traning=Bad mechanics. I wonder if that service mgr on the Ferarri site was the one I dealt with?
 

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My experience in Luxury car dealer repair shops

I read the "I was the Alfa Service manager" post on the Ferrari Chat site and I noticed his location was Whistler. This perhaps is Whistler, B.C. Canada which is just north of Vancouver which is all part of the 2010 Winter Olympics being held here. (Mini rant: I wish people would not be afraid to put where they are from.) If it is Whistler, B.C. than perhaps he was the service manager for Carter Luxury cars which was the last Alfa Dealer in Vancouver. From '93 to '95, I was the Used Car Sales Manager for Burrard Acura located across the street from Carter Luxury Cars which was also the Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Bentley, and I believe Aston Martin too. I remember having a used 164L in my inventory to sell in about '93. It was in mint condition with low kms, Red, and still under warranty. It was the car that lead me to my current Alfa because I liked it so much I said to myself someday this car will be cheap and I'd like to own one. I use to drive the used cars back and forth to home to get a good feel for what we needed to do to recondition them. I set the policy of only have quality reconditioned used cars on our lot because Burrard Street is Luxury car row in Vancouver. I remember this car with something like only 12,000 kms on it and it had an oil leak so I took it to Carter across the street for warranty repair. They said it was the main rear crank seal and they replaced it. Also, I complained about a sort of grinding noise when turning the steering wheel column which they said they looked after as well. Interesting, less than 2 weeks after getting the car back, both warranty items appeared again so I wasn't impressed with the quality of the work which they had to redo, if they did it at all. This was a rehash of the attitude in quality of repairs I have seen in this city before for high end cars. The Lotus dealer in Vancouver at one time had the attitude of when a service for the car called for 25 items to be inspected, the dealer would do 5 items. This was because they would want the car to break to get business for their service and parts departments later on. The attitude was if you can afford to buy these expensive cars, than you can afford to fix them. So this is just a little story of my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Rory. Interesting! Thanks for the insights.
 

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I just checked out that post and it was nice to see the 164 defended so eloquantly and thouroghly.
 

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