Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What things go wrong with 116 Alfas?

What doesn't go wrong with any mechanical device? Anyway, here are some tips on what I have found to be true for me... speaking only of Tipo 116 Alfettas, and especially 2.0 GTVs...
  1. Rust - all steel cars will rust, but especially check near the wheelwells, lifting plastic bits, mudguards and what-not to see inside, where water, mud and gunk will accumulate.
  2. Rust again - look under all plastic bits, especially under the doors, and along the firewall (pull off that long strip of plastic that protects the edge - yes, that bit, under the bonnet)
  3. Rust never sleeps - if your have aircon your battery is in the boot - so look for rust around the battery box as acid can spill given the way you drive...
  4. Rust in the tailgate - yes, it can happen here too
  5. Rust under the rubber seals around all windows
  6. And the floorpan, just in case, as a water leak can mean a rusty pan under the carpet
  7. Now that we have rust out of the way, check the oil level. Phew.
  8. Now all other fluids - those hydraulic brake and clutch seals can leak, so look for leaks, drips, stains, low levels in reservoirs...
  9. And the brakes themselves... look for wear and tear, warped rotors (especially the inboard rears) and - again - leaks
  10. And the "doughnuts" or "guibos". Chock it safely and get under and look for cracks in these rubber couplings in the drivetrain, or drive it and feel the vibration from an out-of-balance propshaft (it's turning at engine speed so vibration is a balance issue)
  11. And at the front we have the engine... nice... but keep watching for oil leaks
  12. And rattly chains in the 4 cylinder, or old belts and worn tensioners in the 6
  13. And frayed wires - I had one shorting out in the rev sensor in the distributor (which took a while to figure out)
  14. And blown fuses
  15. And worn switchgear - clean the contacts in the multi-purpose wand if your lights are misbehaving (like your parkers disappear or come and go on a whim)
  16. And of course the old "my hazard switch stuck on" trick - clean it or swap it for a new one, they just stick on and flatten the battery
  17. And the gearbox is up the back, so look for fluid leaks there too. Yes, 2nd gear always crunches, that's why we double declutch.
  18. And anything else that looks wrong, like ride height because someone has rotated the torsion bars too far...
  19. And if you are keen the endless winding window winders (if you have 'em) will one day stop winding and the window will drop into the door... take the inside door handle off, then the trim panel...