Am I crazy? Bought a 113k Giulia Quadrifoglio!!

Am I crazy? Bought a 113k Giulia Quadrifoglio!!

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Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Wednesday 23rd November 2022
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Hi there

A gamble, an car which now makes me a true petrol head, as according to Clarkson your not a true petrol head until you’ve owned an Alfa.

Quadrifoglio 2.9l with 500HP ZF8, one owner example but with 113,000 miles with full Alfa service history upto 96,000 miles.







I’m brave because it is sitting on 113,000 miles but one owner from new who traded it against a brand new identical spec one.

Picked it up last weekend down south so made the long trip back up north without issue and returned 37mpg in the process.
Only half a tank consumed driving from Bournemouth about 230 miles with an average of 37mpg, quite happy with that as it’s only got a 58l fuel tank.

Of course I was in A mode so cylinder de-activation was present, did the last bit in dynamic using shifters and of course did a full bore launch out of the toll booths in race mode.

The car does not feel quick until your in higher gears seems to very much have some Ferrari boost by gear nonsense going on so it feels pretty flat in 1st gear and 2nd gear is ok but 3rd gear onwards it is relentless. Now I guess this making 0-60 quite rapid as zero wheelspin but if I’m honest I’d rather I was controlling the boost with my right foot and not fancy electronics or is the car doing something wrong but I’d like to be able to do epic wheel spins and big slides out of junctions if I wished but be hard to do that with this boost by gear stuff, witnessed same on Portofino I drove it felt almost slow in 1st and 2nd just made a racket and then 3rd onwards turned into rocket ship.

It’s due a major service which I’m gonna attempt to do myself and will document and keep thread updated with running cost etc.

Only mod is valves are on a remote switch so can always open without using race mode.

Last picture of a little morning sun showing the Competizione paint starting to sparkle, easily best colour!




Ordered the following:

- 7l Selenia Digitek 0w40 oil (correct grade for an earlier QF)
- spark plugs
- air filter
- oil filter
- pollen filter
- sump washer
- drive belt
- aux pulley and idler pulley as recommend to change
- touch up paint

Cost £370 for the above, is £1400 for major service at Alfa, so will do the work myself, saves £1000 in labour.
Will also check and look into changing the gearbox and diff oil too. smile

Edited by Gibbo205 on Wednesday 23 November 12:15

Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Wednesday 23rd November 2022
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Serviced items arrived. smile




So some might think this as way of cheating, but it is what plenty of dealerships do and I was not in the mood for putting car on ramps, crawling underneath and removing the under-trays, a job for the future absolutely as the front undertray might be damage as a bit is hanging down so will look at that once weather is dry and I can do so outside.

Still this process seemed to get the oil out as the hose hits the bottom of the pan and 6l of oil was extracted, the manual seems to call for around 6 quartz of oil, I have 7l on hand.





The oil extracted was pretty dark, as per what I was seeing on the dip stick, the cars last recorded service was at 96k miles, the car is now on 113,400 miles so 17,000 miles since the last service which should be carried out every 9000 miles and it is fair to say this oil is past its best, refilled with 5.5l of fresh oil and it is golden on dip stick, using the correct 0w40 digitek selenia oil.

This process was effortless using the dipstick extractor, it too around 10-15 minutes during which time I removed the air intakes:





This should not have been so easy, but it turns out the front lower intakes were not tightened at all and were just loosely sitting on, upon removing I found evidence of a snapped jubilee clip which had them been repaired instead of just replacing, some very cowboy work going on and pure laziness, remember this is a car that has ONLY ever had servicing done by an Alfa/Jeep dealership, SHOCKING! This is why I do what I can myself as I spent a long time searching my parts bins for a suitable new jubilee clip, pure luck I had one which was a perfect fit.

Anyway all covers off and no signs of any oil or coolant leaks anywhere, good result. The old air filter was pretty grubby, new vs old:




With everything out of the way it was time to tackle the spark plugs, thankfully on RHD cars the coolant tanks are not blocking access like on LHD models, as long as you have a good collection of jubilee clips that is.
The spark plugs on the drivers (RHD) side removed OK, a little tight but nothing too alarming, you need a thin walled 14mm spark plug socket by the way.

The LHD side however was a different story, they were all pretty seized in, a squirt of WD40 down each oil, and then a lot of loosening, tightening over and over and they eventually came out, the condition of the old spark plugs says it all:




Look at the tips, those are quite heavily worn, the service history suggest the last major service where plugs are changed was at 70,000 miles, they should be done every 30,000 miles, but these have done 45,000, but I'd hazard a guess maybe longer, potentially a main dealer claiming to do a job but not doing it or maybe just normal wear and tear?
New plugs all went in fine thankfully, no cross threading at least.


I also made the decision and risk to disconnect the battery a known issue on Alfa's as they won't relearn and will just throw lots of codes and potentially LIMP mode, but I did this as I wanted to connect charging leads to the battery to make trickle charging easy via boot access, car still appears to be on the original battery so will be interesting to see if stop/start now works and the heated windows/mirrors as they stop working when the car thinks the battery has a sub 65% charge, so got this connected up and the CTEK trickle charging, all went fine.





I then re-attached the air intake and with many extensions and bendy wobbly bits did the pain staking task of tightening the lower intake hoses so they are now actually attached to the car and not just resting in place, this is why I like to do cars myself because I have all the time in the world to do a job properly and if need be go and buy the correct parts:




I've circled the hard to reach but, basically they sit on top of the lower intakes, previously they just lifted off as jubilee clips were not tight, so I used extensions and wobbly joints to reach down into the lower depths and tighten those jubilee clips so now the upper intakes won't just lift off, done correctly.



MONEY SHOT!





All wiped down, including all the exposed carbon on the bonnet, looks good.


So as it was late last night I left the car on charge and did not fire up.
This morning fired car up, left it running two minutes, dash like a Christmas tree, shut the car down.
Checked oil five minutes later and oil just over minimum mark, so added half a litre to bring it between midway and max.

Drove to work, dash like a Christmas tree and two minutes into the drive check engine and limp mode, did not have my code reader with me but as the car was idling smooth and driving smooth, I carried on, basically no boost but kept revs under 3000rpm and light throttle inputs and car drove silky smooth, certainly a bit smoother. No ABS, no TCS, no shocks, no steering, broken engine, everything broke.

Pulled up at my mates garage at AWJ knowing he would have a snap-on code reader and ask him to read and clear all codes, no engine codes just lots of errors on body modules. All reset, car is driving spot on, silky smooth and boosting, continued to work without issue.

These cars are known for getting very upset about a battery disconnect so hopefully all shall now be fine.

Jobs left to do:
- Drive belt & pulleys (looks like a nightmare)
- Diff oil change (shall see if the diff has drain and fill plug with easy access, if so I shall do it)
- ZF8 gear oil change, think this might need special hardware so will get Alfa or Jaguar specialist AWJ to do it.
- Coolant change, simply because it is probably needs doing
- Brake fluid change, again probably not been done for two years, brakes are spot on though.


I think with the above done that is absolutely everything, other jobs will be fix or replace undertray, machine polish and touch in any stone chips. Re-fit front plate to get rid of the slight bow. Car should then only need oil changes for next 30k miles which I will do myself every 5k miles using the oil extractor I have as it makes the job quick and painless. smile

Also running the car on Vpower now as well, if I truly fall in the love with the car and I must admit I love driving it.

Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Wednesday 23rd November 2022
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Done a few little jobs on car today mainly just small cosmetic bits like new number plate tabs, securing undertray and gave car a good wash and touched up the stone chips.




Spent the whole evening machine polishing the Alfa, took several hours.

Used an Autobrite DA polisher with their medium cutting compound Enrich which gives a high gloss. I did not bother with a final polish as the results speak for themselves as such I then gave a coat of Si02 wax to seal in the hard work and protect the car for Winter, for its next wash I will also spray the car with Magiseal to add a further layer of protection.














The cars paint has so much more depth now after the polishing, the light scratches and swirls are 90-100% reduced and the bigger scratches have been reduced by 60-80% making them not really noticeable any more, I also touched up the larger stone chips before commencing polishing. Also new number plate tabs and the whole car just looks so much fresher. smile

I bought the car knowing the brakes were low, the front disc and pads are actually pretty decent, plenty of life in those but the service history shows it had front disc fitted around 70k miles, I see no bills for rear disc as such I think the rear disc are the original disc supplied with the car maybe, not bad if so means they done 113k miles. So I am going to get new rear pads and look at getting the rear disc replaced if skimming is not an option.

I am thoroughly enjoying driving this car, dry tonight and race mode on, the grip this car has on PS4S is tremendous especially considering it’s turbocharged but I guess the torque limiting in lower gears helps but with low ambient temperatures tonight the tyres were right on the limit in 2nd. Car is hugely quick with tremendous mid range. Does seem to certainly drive a bit smoother since I serviced it and feel a touch more potent, also Vpower could be helping unleash all the ponies if it was previous running 95.

It’s the front end that is such a surprise, has such quick steering and turns so quickly you don’t expect it to grip but it does.

It’s got the M5 beat for everything accept right at top end and noise as the M5 at full chat winding round was properly quick but more so pass three digits whereas the Alfa is massively quick to 100, but not exceeded that yet. Gearbox works a treat, not quite as sharp as same gearbox was on my SVR but it’s not annoyingly slow so Alfa did a good job but Jaguar did trump them slightly but AWD and instant supercharge torque no doubt plays a part too.

It’s hugely comfortable though, way more than expected and can certainly tell it was designed by same guy who did the 458, same quick steering, same tricks on gearbox and same bumpy road button. Really bonding with this car and cannot wait to push it harder in corners, and I like how on a motorway run it turns into a near 40mpg cruiser. All other times it’s 14-16mpg though! biggrin

Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Wednesday 23rd November 2022
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deggles said:
Great thread, thanks for sharing smile

I have been tempted by a higher mileage QV, they look good value. I share your concerns about the competence of main dealer servicing - I think I'd happily do fluids, filters, brakes etc. myself. Belts I'd probably be a bit scared of and use a local specialist biggrin

A code reader might be a worthwhile investment - I already have MultiECUScan and all the cables which might come in handy. Looks like these are equally sensitive to battery voltage, phantom CAN-bus faults, etc. 95% of the time you can probably clear the codes there's nothing actually wrong!
Yeah got the MultiECUScan and a dongle for it to work. smile

It is why I connected the trickle charger, after two days on charge the cars stop / start feature is now working as intended as are the heated mirrors and rear screen. These stop functioning if the sender detects the battery has less than 65% charge.

So far so good with the car. smile

I am also searching for a garage / specialist in Midlands / Northwest to do the belt service, pulleys, coolant and ZF gearbox oil change for me as have discovered the belt change is a big job and very involving so would rather find a specialist to do it who has done several previously. smile

Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Monday 28th November 2022
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ecsrobin said:
Just a thought (as you have a Yaris as well) the Yaris if you don’t press the esc button does weird things with boost low down, is the Alfa doing the same?
Had no boosting issues with the Yaris, but I rarely drive the car in the basic mode, generally always in track mode and ESC off been AWD, but even when driving it in normal mode it has never done any strange boosting, just drives how you would expect it.

The Alfa also has no boosting issues, just the ECU/TCU limits torque in lower gears due to how it was setup from factory.

Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Monday 28th November 2022
quotequote all
tscalfa said:
Good to see you've sorted out the dealers bodges! Do you carry out the servicing on your Ferrari as well?
It gets serviced annually every year by Ferrari, simply because its important to keep a fully stamped Ferrari service history on a car of such value. I do however also trust the two dealerships I use, I know Dick Lovett changed the spark plugs as they let me watch the technician do the job.

None service items however yes I do myself, for example I fitted steel brakes and uprated pads all round to the car myself, the 458 is a DIY friendly car. smile

I will tackle most jobs myself as I know I will do it correctly and take the time to do so, I am not in a rush and not been paid, so I will go above and beyond to do it 110% correct.

Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Monday 28th November 2022
quotequote all
ecsrobin said:
It’s been well documented on one of the forums the boost is not consistent and being controlled by the ECU when ESC is on, when pressing ESC button and putting into expert it removes the control/limits.

So just thought that removing traction control might stop the torque control on the Alfa.
Race mode in the Alfa does give the car more torque / boost but the actual 1st and 2nd gear are limits in the gearbox TCU tune, no doubt to protect the car and drivers from binning it.

Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Monday 28th November 2022
quotequote all
croyde said:
Nice one and an interesting thread.

I'd love one of these but sadly even a Veloce is beyond my pay grade these days.

I almost spent my retirement money on a dark grey Veloce with the red seats and the QF wheels but dithered and it was gone.

It's the only one I want now and I can't find the same anywhere.

Are you happy to say what you paid?

Certainly shows Alfas in a different light concerning reliability seeing as all you have found wrong is down to the dealer.

Well done.
I paid 26k.

So far I've spent:
- £400 on all the service items and around 2-3 days of my own time servicing, machine polishing and little touch ups around the car
- £210 on a better condition steering wheel with the carbon inserts, not yet installed.


One sold last week on Collecting Cars for £29,500 plus fees, so was around £31,700 with fees, that had 51k miles, was in need of an MOT, Major service and was remapped, the latter might have hurt resale.

Car market is softening for sure, I knew the history of my car from speaking to its one and only owner the mileage did not scare me off as its essentially been a companies directors car and done mostly motorway miles and has full service history but judging by spark plugs when I removed I'd question if the official Alfa dealer in question even changed the plugs, though service history shows they clearly charged for it.

Car is still on its factory rear brake disc, now heavily worn but lasted 114k miles, proof of a relatively gently driven car. It had new front disc around 30k miles ago.

Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Wednesday 30th November 2022
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Hi there

I need to find a specialist reasonably local to me to do following:
- Belt, coolant and AC re-gas service
- ZF gearbox oil change
- Differential oil change.


Are there any Alfa specialist who have worked on the Quadrifoglios, namely done the belt service anyone can recommend in the Midlands / Northwest region please?

Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Monday 13th March 2023
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MikeGTi said:
Kuwahara said:
What’s the latest on the QV…
It has been fine apart from a door latch failing!



Don't mention the door... boxedin
Yep, absolute pig of a job to change with Alfa quoting £1000-£2000 to sort due to them admitting they'd destroy the door card to get access.

I manage to remove door card with the door not opening without damaging it, just took a lot of time and funky tools, then inner panel removal, window out and smash the old latch up until could gain access to operate the cam lobe manually to release from door striker. Once door open was easier to refit a new latch and other new parts due to items destroyed during getting to old latch.

Door now works, as it should, did it myself and total bill was under £200.

Other than that zero issues, gearbox and differential oils changed also. smile

Now just belt service left and trying to hunt a specialist down who can do that for me, most just want to do the entire service but I've done everything and more, just needs belt doing, new pulleys/tensioner and I shall change water pump too for good measure.



Martin-G said:
Gibbo, was TB’s car previously?
Not sure who TB is, can you eleborate more please. smile



Some pictures I grabbed at weekend of car, always makes me look back at it:









Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Wednesday 29th March 2023
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Car passed its MOT yesterday with no advisories. smile

Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Friday 12th May 2023
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A44RON said:
Epic thread

how does it compare to your E60 M5 you had?

I'm currently trying to source an tidy LCi E60 M5 as a 'preservation' project, ie update its weaknesses and make it as good as it can possibly be. But I'm wondering for the total outlay i would be better off just buying a used Giulia Quad and fitting an Akrapovic exhaust. Maybe I'll do the M5 thing for a couple of years and then get a Giulia
The Giulia has been far more reliable, the only issue has been the door latch, otherwise the car has been great.
I've never been able to get the serpentine belt changed, lack of specialist around me but a local garage had a look and came back saying the belt looks new, so I've left it. Not sure if I mentioned it but I've also as preventative maintenance done the ZF gearbox oil and filter/pan change plus changed the E-Diff oil too.

E60 M5 vs Giulia QF though, the latter is a far better car in pretty much every way, the Giulia even sounds decent, the M5 was just a money pit, big bills and around 11mpg average. The Giulia can return close to 40mpg on a run, but in race mode is quicker than the M5 was and handles better. smile

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Gibbo205

Original Poster:

3,572 posts

210 months

Friday 12th May 2023
quotequote all
croyde said:
Reading about your care and attention on the car makes it a very good buy in my opinion.

Everyone kept telling me to get the belt done on the 156 I had briefly but it looked as good as new and had only done a couple of thousand miles since last replaced 6 years previously.

If only I had the money.
Yeah like I say I started to pull the car apart somewhat, but the bumper looks a pig to remove, but I got a good view of the belt and got a decent LED on it and it looked absolutely fine. Also as no local specialist had done one before I did not fancy been guinea pig and Alfa in general won't do just the belt, they want to do the full major service of which I've done everything except the belt, they also wanted to charge like £1400 for it.

To make it perfect the seat bolster needs a repair and condition.

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