Alfa Romeo Gi­u­lia Quadri­foglio

We know the car’s good, but what of Alfa’s in­fa­mous cus­tomer ser­vice?

Evo - - FAST FLEET - Stu­art Gal­lagher (@stu­artg917)

TTHERE IS A GI­U­LIA-SHAPED hole on my drive as I write. No, the Quadri­foglio hasn’t been dis­missed back to Alfa UK for un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour, rather it’s gone for a ser­vice. It’s re­fresh­ing that, in 2017, a car with 503bhp re­quires a once-over ev­ery 9000 miles, as the Alfa does. I’ve long been sus­pi­cious about ser­vice in­ter­vals that are more than dou­ble the UK av­er­age yearly mileage. Is this re­ally any good for a per­for­mance car? Or any car, for that mat­ter? I would much pre­fer – and wel­come – more fre­quent check-ups, es­pe­cially for a car with enough per­for­mance to cir­cu­late a cer­tain Ger­man race­track in un­der eight min­utes.

In a pre­vi­ous life, when I was work­ing for a Porsche-fo­cused publi­ca­tion, many of the spe­cial­ists put the re­li­a­bil­ity woes ex­pe­ri­enced with Boxsters, 996s and early 997s down to their ex­tended ser­vice in­ter­vals. It meant any prob­lems could worsen over time, rather than be­ing nipped in the bud. I never did see the ap­peal of run­ning a 911 for 20,000 miles with­out check­ing the con­di­tion of its flat-six’s oil. I won­der how many in­ter­me­di­ate shafts could have been saved if a ser­vice was re­quired ev­ery 10,000 miles?

Back to RJ66 KZB. For all the praise that has been be­stowed upon the Gi­u­lia since its launch, the com­men­ta­tors of this world – pre­dom­i­nately those on so­cial me­dia but also a few of us in good old-fashioned print – have added some­thing along the lines of ‘let’s hope the deal­ers don’t screw it up’ to any com­ment piece. Quite.

Hap­pily, my lo­cal Alfa em­po­rium, County Mo­tor Works in Chelms­ford, couldn’t have been more on the ball. A call on a Thurs­day was met with the of­fer of a ser­vice ap­point­ment the fol­low­ing Mon­day, al­though if I needed a cour­tesy car I’d have to wait an­other seven days. I could do with­out a set of wheels for the day, so went for the ear­lier slot. As well as the ser­vice, I asked them to in­ves­ti­gate a click­ing sound from the front sus­pen­sion when the car was on full lock at park­ing speeds. It had ma­te­ri­alised af­ter a re­place­ment set of tyres were fit­ted last month by Alfa UK.

It turns out that Gi­u­lias – and par­tic­u­larly Quadri­foglios – are rare in my neck of the woods. More so ex­am­ples with any is­sues to re­port, so a memo was sent to Italy with the di­ag­nos­tics of the prob­lem. They promptly told Alfa UK to dis­patch a tech­ni­cian to in­spect

our Gi­u­lia, al­though this meant I wouldn’t get it back the same day.

On Wed­nes­day I got a call to say I could col­lect KZB, the mes­sage ar­riv­ing a few hours af­ter Alfa UK had de­liv­ered a cour­tesy car on be­half of the dealer – a car I was ex­pect­ing a day ear­lier… Good job I had planned to work from home that week.

The prob­lem? When the car was with Alfa for new tyres, it also got a new set of ce­ramic brake discs, and one of the back­ing plates was catch­ing un­der full lock. Prob­lem solved, and this Alfa dealer passed the first test.

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