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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure why I'm doing this, but I'm thinking about getting an S4. Well, I know why I'm doing it - I want something a little more modern that I can drive to work any day of the week, that I'm not going to be worried if it gets a door ding or even if someone steals it. It would be terrible if someone stole my 71, 73 or 74. My '80 and '83? It would be bad, but not too upsetting.

A friend of mine told me that I won't like how it drives, if I compare it to one of my early S2's. I understand that and I'm okay with it. I own a 2000 MR-2 Spyder and a 2003 986 Boxster - that rounds out my convertible lineup. I don't drive the Toyota too often - it's a very well balanced car, but it sits for very long periods of time. It's also very reliable and I should drive it more often, but I don't. My Boxster sits in the garage most of the time. I don't like bringing it to work, because people judge me - you know! And to be frank, I prefer to drive my 1973 Spider over the Boxster and MR-2. I'm just worried about having it sit in the parking lot all day - not good for the exterior and I feel that one day I'll get off for the day and she'll be gone.

So, my question for people who own or have owned an S4 - how do you like how the car drives? Can it be used as a daily driver? What about maintenance? Is there anything that you've had trouble with and if so what was the fix and how expensive was it? Do you worry about your car being stolen if you leave her in the parking lot at the store or at work? Do you feel the weight of the car, compared to an S1 or early S2? Responsiveness? Raw feeling or more gentlemanly? Upgrades you've done and has it helped?

Thanks for all your help. I may be looking at one tomorrow, so any advice is appreciated.

Greg
 

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I drive my 84 into into San Francisco every Friday and around town often. Not worried about accidents because parts are available From Alfa Part exchange. Here is an additional thought, my daily driver is a F150 Ford pick up very comfortable and very easy to drive even in San Francisco. I have to say there are times when I’m driving my 84 and I must have shifted 1000 times to get out of town. Ok may be a couple hundred times but you get my point. So I’ve seen a few S4 automatics that I thought might be a pretty darn good car to have in the city. Just a thought.


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I always worry about my s4 getting stolen. It’s the most modern of the group and runs and drives well. How many cars can you have that you don’t drive? Sometimes with three I think I should have my head examined, I drive all of mine, it’s work. I’d pick the one I want to drive and put in a kill switch and an alarm, just a thought. You will be happy with an s4 in good condition.

Good luck,

Kevin


1993 Spider Veloce
2016 4c Coupe
2018 4c Spider
 

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I bought a '91 S4 in 2003 and have put around 50,000 miles on it as a daily driver. The car has been very reliable and is now my summer time retirement cruiser. The biggest difference I found from the older Spiders was a lot of cowl shake and a chassis stiffener helped reduce this.
 

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I have had my S4 for 23 years now, and have done about 50,000 miles in it. It doesn't get as much use now as it should, as it is kept at a holiday house. When I drive it I don't worry about it too much, when I park it - it's not a Ferrari or similar cost car.
The drive is pretty good if all the suspension components are in good shape. The rubber bushes WILL need replacing if they haven't been done during the cars lifetime.
The fuel injection means it starts easily and reliably (famous last words, I know!), power steering and electric windows are nice to have. My wife and I did a great 800km tour in France last year, its a comfortable car. We could have done with A/C as it was during a 40 plus heatwave, but it was OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great advice from everyone. Many have used their car as a daily driver, which is music to my ears.
Kevin and Conedriver - your S4's look awesome! Beautiful cars!

Thanks for the info. Wish me luck! I'll let you know how it turns out.
 

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s4 is a good daily driver, very reliable and extreemly good fuel consumption (that is also a factor when you live here and petrol is way more expensive than you guys are used to)
(plus your other half will like the power steering;))

Anyway people don't steal alfas if there is a porsche in the garage.....they never know if the alfa will make it out the garage and down the drive...;)
 

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I just bought a '92 S4 last fall. The drive has taken some getting used to - a bit stiff but now that I've gotten the hang of it, it's a treat to drive. I hadn't driven a stick since my '67 Volvo 1800S but glad to get back into one.

I'm hardly an expert on these - many know a lot more but I would think that at the top of the things to watch out for would be electrical problems and minor oil leaks. I've had both since purchasing mine. Oil leaks in particular are standard.

92 S4.jpg
This website is a great resource and I'm sure you'll hear from many others.
 

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Well other than the power steering and Motronic injection an S4 is pretty much just like your other Spiders. Transmission, suspension, main mechanical unit, etc. are all either identical or extremely similar. So the same maintenance wise. I can't speak to the power steering, but the Motronic system is dead reliable.
 

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One of the great benefits of the S4 is having a very good AC system in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I did it. Today, I bought a 1992 S4 in Green with a Tan interior. Miles 81K.

I was thinking about the 1991 on BAT, but it's been bid up to a level above what I want to spend on an S4.

My new 1992 has a very nice repaint, 5 speed with a slightly grinding 2nd gear (like an Alfa, it gets better when it warms up), phone dials, Veloce model, AC (doesn't work), power mirrors (don't work) and front parking light don't work. Also the seat backs don't fold forward - I pulled the lever and it didn't work. The rear trunk spring bars are out and the trunk doesn't hold up - looking into fixing it right away. Stereo is aftermarket AM/FM/CD. Parking brake doesn't hold car. Front struts seem a little hard. Dash has a dashcap. I have three of the original keys, and one copy (door key). No rust - super clean. Seat good, carpeting good, runs good, brakes good.

My take on the S4. The motor sounds good and strong, but it doesn't rev like my 1974, 73 or 71. Those motors are ANGRY, while the S4 motor isn't. I also feel the weight difference. It feels like there's 200 lbs of extra stuff inside the car. There's also quite a bit of cowl shake. Power steering - helps when driving slow. Seats are much more comfortable!

The throttle doesn't snap like my 71 with dual Webers. The mechanical FI (SPICA) and no cat makes the engine feel more raw edge - the S4 feels more sophisticated. Carpeting on the floor is a nice touch and quiets the interior. The "tray" in front of the passenger and driver isn't necessary and adds more weight. Electric cooling fans are a very nice improvement.

Compared to my 1980 S2 - there is no comparison. The 1980 model has a single throttle body SPICA with a cat and air pump. That motor is so choked off, it doesn't feel anything like my early S2's.

I'm going to use my S4 for driving to work (on nice top down days), Coffee and Cars meets, dinner dates, trips to the beach, trips to the condo, drives up the coast, wine tasting, etc. I'm not going to use it to carve through canyon roads or fly down back roads. Much more civilized and gentlemanly than my S2 beasts!

I'll take some pics and add them to the post.

Thanks again to everyone for the advice. You helped me make my decision.

Thanks

Greg
 

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Well, I did it. Today, I bought a 1992 S4 in Green with a Tan interior. Miles 81K.

I was thinking about the 1991 on BAT, but it's been bid up to a level above what I want to spend on an S4.

My new 1992 has a very nice repaint, 5 speed with a slightly grinding 2nd gear (like an Alfa, it gets better when it warms up), phone dials, Veloce model, AC (doesn't work), power mirrors (don't work) and front parking light don't work. Also the seat backs don't fold forward - I pulled the lever and it didn't work. The rear trunk spring bars are out and the trunk doesn't hold up - looking into fixing it right away. Stereo is aftermarket AM/FM/CD. Parking brake doesn't hold car. Front struts seem a little hard. Dash has a dashcap. I have three of the original keys, and one copy (door key). No rust - super clean. Seat good, carpeting good, runs good, brakes good.

My take on the S4. The motor sounds good and strong, but it doesn't rev like my 1974, 73 or 71. Those motors are ANGRY, while the S4 motor isn't. I also feel the weight difference. It feels like there's 200 lbs of extra stuff inside the car. There's also quite a bit of cowl shake. Power steering - helps when driving slow. Seats are much more comfortable!

The throttle doesn't snap like my 71 with dual Webers. The mechanical FI (SPICA) and no cat makes the engine feel more raw edge - the S4 feels more sophisticated. Carpeting on the floor is a nice touch and quiets the interior. The "tray" in front of the passenger and driver isn't necessary and adds more weight. Electric cooling fans are a very nice improvement.

Compared to my 1980 S2 - there is no comparison. The 1980 model has a single throttle body SPICA with a cat and air pump. That motor is so choked off, it doesn't feel anything like my early S2's.

I'm going to use my S4 for driving to work (on nice top down days), Coffee and Cars meets, dinner dates, trips to the beach, trips to the condo, drives up the coast, wine tasting, etc. I'm not going to use it to carve through canyon roads or fly down back roads. Much more civilized and gentlemanly than my S2 beasts!

I'll take some pics and add them to the post.

Thanks again to everyone for the advice. You helped me make my decision.

Thanks

Greg
Nice :)


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