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Outlaw fleet update page 4 June 21 One in one out


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As you will be aware, I recently became the custodian of a very lovely Alfa 156JTD Estate/Sportwagon from Mr Stripped Fred.

 

After arriving back a Outlaw Towers, she was parked up at the bottom of the estate, awaiting some Vulgalourising that in the end, I haven't had time for. (But I will, and be sure to take photos to show you all what OCD does to the process).

 

Tax was applied for - cheaper than THAT SPANISH BASTARD - and insurance company alerted - MOAR expensive, but it drinks less, so, WOTEVAR.

 

Came home at lunchtime to play "musical cars" with Stepdaughters 306, and get the Alfa on the drive.

 

Except the battery had decided to become flat in the intervening period - not that surprised to be honest - so I hooked up my trusty RAC branded charger, then went for a fag, and perused the interweb for midget amputee watersports, emerging 90 minutes later to check on proceedings.

 

It would have helped if I had switched the charger on.......

 

back in, cooked tea, had a snooze, (flexitime rocks) and went back out, and tried to start her up.

 

On the button.

 

BUT WAIT!!!!

 

BFO red warning light saying that the oil sender was faulty and I must visit a dealer NAO!!

 

Bollocks.

 

I went and smoked it round the block for about 15 minutes, then it dawned on me that i'd had 2 .5 hours for lunch, and i really needed to stop farting about.

 

fast forward to 19.30 tonight; I've received a missive from SWMBO that we need stuff from Asda, so, I knock off and go, expecting to be punished by the car for ignoring the warning light by it spontaneously combusting or something.

 

But it didn't.

 

No warning light, everything is groovy.

 

A self-healing car!!

 

Who said Alfas are wrong 'uns?

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That warning message comes up now and again. I had the alfa specialist check it out when it first happened as it shocked me a bit too. They said the problem was with the sensor and I think they said it could be changed for £50 or I could ignore it. I chose the latter. It only happens now and again. I should have told you but it hadn't happened for a while so I forgot about it. It's written down on the spreadsheet i gave you.

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That warning message comes up now and again. I had the alfa specialist check it out when it first happened as it shocked me a bit too. They said the problem was with the sensor and I think they said it could be changed for £50 or I could ignore it. I chose the latter. It only happens now and again. I should have told you but it hadn't happened for a while so I forgot about it. It's written down on the spreadsheet i gave you.

 

That's the spirit, giving stuff a good, firm ignoring. I do this, often.

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  • 1 month later...

1000 mile update.......

 

Averaging 35mpg on some very mixed driving, no FTP's, no nasty noises.

 

Money spent (ex Dizzle) £3.99 for a new bonnet badge, 96p for a rear tail light bulb, £4.99 for a bottle of Colour magic with free* chipstik. So less that £10 so far.

 

Tasks undertaken: tail lamp bulb changed, badge put in glovebox to do tomorrow*, rear bumper and stonechips treated with chipstik and polish, most have now disappeared. Should have taken before and after pictures really, but i'd already scribbled all over the bumper before I'd realised. Doh!

 

Jobs to do: Priority: Main beam Passenger side bulb gone. It appears to be pretty tightly packed under there, so I may pay the £7 at Halfrauds and stand around and laugh. 

 

Lower priority: Unpack / sort through the bag of shite that I took out of THAT SPANISH BASTARD when I sold her. Tow rope, jump leads, travel sweets, McDonalds serviettes, Cds.....all need to be packed into the various gloveboxes, door pockets etc in teh Alfa of Much Lovliness. 

Source some decent tailored mats, the carpets are cream, along with the leather, and I'll be totally honest, they're not going to be that colour very long, due to grandkids, and road trips to banger racing meetings. Anyone got any suggestions?

 

Minor irritations: as warned by Mr Strippedfred, the steering lock really is a bag of wank. Obviously due to the size of the engine - an inline five, the donk takes up width that would have ordinarily been used for wheel articulation. It's no real biggie, and I'll get used to it, but it's very different to both the Volvo and TSB, who both had quite tight turning circles, as well as my van which can turn on a sixpence.

 

Also on the irritations, there's no cup holder. (#firstworldproblems) but I hadn't realised how useful these are until i haven't got one. 

 

Other than that, everything is as cool as a polar bear's bollocks.

 

Will keep you all updated, and take some photos if any of you are interested.

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Glad to hear it's going well.  I'd be interested in seeing some photos when you get chance.  A new bonnet badge and bumper touch up were on my list too but seems you're progressing things better than i did.  The side light bulbs were replaced shortly before you bought it so strange that one of them has gone.  They really are a pain to change, literally.  The steering lock is woeful as i mentioned before.  You do get used to it but it can prove fun when you're trying to negotiate a tight car park.  I also missed a cup holder and don't try to support a hot cup of coffee between your legs as i did.... :-o   On a positive note i hope you are enjoying the engine as it really makes the car.  I certainly miss the torque in my 90bhp 406!

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Have you considered that the faulty component readout is faulty? That's a bit more of an Alfa way of thinking.

 

When I had my 75, I noticed that they'd obviously thought of such an eventuality, as this was the bank of warning lights:

 

maxresdefault.jpg

 

Not only was there a warning light to tell you that the warning lights were not working correctly (2nd from right on bottom), the top button (marked ALFA ROMEO CONTROL) would turn off the master warning light if you believed it was spurious...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did 300 odd miles on Sunday 17th, up to that there Midlands - Cannock / Hednesford to be precise, carrying 4 passengers, and beating the twatnav by 44 minutes  :-D on the way there.....

 

Observations: There's not as much shoulder room in the back as THAT SPANISH BASTARD, however, there was reportedly moar legroom. I'm not fussed, I was in the front.....

Averaged 35.4mpg on the way up, in "mixed" driving....i saw an indicated 135 on a private bit of the M1.....

The heater works well, and quickly - from leaving it at 12.30ish, and going back at 17.30ish, in 1 degree temperature, it took no more than 5 minutes to provide warm air. that's pretty impressive. 

The stereo (Pie-In-Ear jobboie, running through the standard Bose speakers) sounds wicked - Peeping Tom album on a CD-R played mercilessly, demonstrated the woofers perfectly!

The brakes are a bit pants. This is the first fully loaded, high speed trip, and whilst the brakes work, they don't inspire the same levels of confidence as those in TSB. I have been looking at grooved and drilled stuff on ebay......

 

Took a bit longer to get home, although still managed a satnav beating time, and the mpg was a little better - an overall average of 36.4...which is a damn site better than TSB managed on an identical journey, 5 up, 2 years ago (30ish).

 

Got home at 8.45pm, and I honestly felt like I'd only driven to the shops....TSB would have had me reaching for a chiropractor's phone number, and / or my bed. 

 

In short, she earned herself a few brownie points with the chaps, and I'm well chuffed.

 

(Touch wood) Nothing's fallen off or broken, no expenses...although the rear wiper is FUBAR, that won't be dear.

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Minor irritations: as warned by Mr Strippedfred, the steering lock really is a bag of wank. Obviously due to the size of the engine - an inline five, the donk takes up width that would have ordinarily been used for wheel articulation. 

Mrs S's old 156 also had a crap turning circle, that was a 1.9 jtd (4 pot), but had 17" wheels. Her current 147 isn't much better, either. 2.0 pez but again, running on 17s.

 

You soon get used to it, and it's a small price to pay for a nice car.

 

*heads off to ebay......

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  • outlaw118 changed the title to Outlaw fleet update page 4 June 21 One in one out

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