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Discussion Starter #1
Have any of you early owners been following the maintenance requirements published by Alfa Romeo?

While pursuing the ALFA ROMEO STELVIO Owner’s Manual (18GU-126-AC Third Edition Rev 1) a few months ago I ran across some things like ventilation control settings, heated seats coming on with remote start, that did not function as defined on my vehicle.... upon contacting Alfa Care 4 times I was informed that Alfa Romeo only publishes a single Owner's Manual for the world.... so the vehicles sold in the United States may (or in my case may not) include the features defined in the Owner's Manaul.... My lesson learned, DON'T TRUST THE MANUAL AS IT MAY (OR MAY NOT) BE CORRECT!

So now that I have 8,000 miles on my 2018 Stelvio Ti Lusso I thought it timely to check the website.... now for those of you who have registered your vehicles you will notice Alfa Romeo is piggy backing on the Mopar website.... this did not come as a surprise to me as my previous vehicle was a Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland (5.8 liter) and when our daughter turned 16 we gave her a new Fiat 500 Sport (both of those were registered on the same Mopar webisite..).

Having stated that, what DID COME AS A SURPRISE TO ME IS THE ABSOLUTE REDICULOUS MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE WHICH COMES UP ON THAT WEBSITE FOR MY 2018 ALFA ROMEO STELVIO TI LUSSO ... The maintenance intervals on the website https://www.mopar.com/fiat/en-us/care/maintenance-schedule.html

is in 10 mile (yes 10 MILE) increments.... but even if it were in increments of 10,000 miles it seems unbelievably absurd.... for example, the online maintenance requirements indicate that the Brake Fluid and Accessory Drive Belt need to be replaced at 10 miles.... like I stated, this is rediculous even at 10,000 miles.....

Soooo, back to Alfa Care..... spoke with several and they have directed me back to the Owner's Manual (Yes, the exact same document Alfa Romeo states may - or may not - be accurate for your vehicle. For my vehicle the owner's manual is (18GU-126-AC Third Edition Rev 1).

The Maintenance Requirements printed in the Owner's Manual spells out the following:

Accessory Drive Belt

(4) Areas that are not dusty: recommended maximum mileage 36,000 miles (60,000 km). Regardless of the mileage, the belt must be replaced every 4 years. Dusty areas and/or demanding use of the vehicle (cold climates, town use, long periods of idling): advised maximum mileage 18,000 miles (30,000 km). Regardless of the mileage, the belt must be replaced every 2 years.​


Brake Fluid

(6) The brake fluid replacement has to be done every two years, irrespective of the mileage.​


I have copied all of this on the attached file which you can review.....


Even the Owner's Manual SEEMS REDICULOUS... I have owned very high performance vehicles and have never had to change the Brake Fluid every 2 years.... nor have I ever owned a vehicle in which the Accessory Drive Belt must be replaced every 36,000 miles or 3 years (whichever comes first)....

So do you owner's think that maybe Alfa Romeo is just plain out incompetent, and neither Maintenance Schedule is correct...... I asked Alfa Care if I could speak directly with an engineer and my request was denied.... I've worked for the largest earthmoving machinery manufacturer in the world for 35 years and have lived on 5 continents with fairly technical roles..... our products also use auxiliary drive belts with much higher loads, and brakes stopping much larger mass......so Yes, I am more than qualified to have this conversation with the Alfa Romeo engineers on these subjects.


Just interested in what the rest of you owner's think......
 

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You seem particularly upset that Alfa Romeo hopes and suggests that you err on the side of caution in maintaining your vehicle.


Considering the potential consequences of a broken accessory drive belt or contaminated brake fluid. Brake Fluid Link



I would say that such a highly engineered performance vehicle deserves what they are asking you to do.


Personally, I changed my engine oil and filter at 4200 miles for the first service and never plan to exceed 5K on any other engine oil interval.


I would guess that 80% of the vehicles on the road contain neglected and contaminated brake fluid, rusted brake lines, wheel cylinders, calipers and antilock mechanisms.



I am a lifelong 54 Year Old /Young :) Mechanic / Tech too for what its worth.


As for the 10 mile increments, I saw Thousands of miles as the description of that Row.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Agree on the oil change. Oil Not only provides lubricity —- but, cleans and cools the engine as well. I changed my oil before the first 1,000 miles, then 4,500 miles later. And the next change will be at 4,500. Clean fresh oil is the best eay to keep ANY engine living a long time. I’ve placed a seaparatr post on this. Other than oil from the dealer, the only oil I have found in the US which currently meets Alga Romeo’s engine spec is Pennzoil Euro 0W30 Synthetic. Neither Mobil nor Castrol offer oils that comply with the spec. (i have written both snd have been collaborating with oil suppliers for over 25 years for the Oil sold by my employer). The Alfa engines are super tite tolerances and they need ultra low ash content.

And yes, I am more than aware brake fluid is hygroscopic (water absorbing). Having stated that, it is in a relatively tightly sealed system (the vent has a check valve). So your brake fluid shouldn’t really be picking up much water unless you are prone to opening the brake fluid reservoir cap often.

So, that leaves the issue of the accessory belt....it certainly would make sense to change a belt driving a blower. But that is not the situation with the 2 liter multi air from Alfa Romeo. A more reasonable recommendation would include inspecting the belt every 10,000 miles and a mandatory change at maybe 50,000 miles Which would still be significantly more often than recommendations from other manufacturers.

Of these the belt is simple to change. But draining and changing brake fluid on today’s antilock brake systems requires much more complex tooling than a simple ‘mity vac’ brake bleeder.
 

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My $0.02 ?



The "aggressive" maintenance schedule is for compensation to the dealers for taking on the reintroduction

of the Alfa brand. Add a some extra maintenance items under the guise of "to preserve your warranty"

to get a few more cars rolling through the dealership to generate a little revenue on the backend.
 

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Other than oil from the dealer, the only oil I have found in the US which currently meets Alga Romeo’s engine spec is Pennzoil Euro 0W30 Synthetic.

Not as far as I can tell on the Quads. In fact Pennzoils own web site / oil selector says the euro spec does not meet the requirements and thay are listing only as an alternative.


Oil Link



I used Petronas Selenia Oil



That's another story for another time but the short version is that I was told by a dealer that they would need to remove my unbelievably expensive Petronas Selenia and install their Pennzoil Euro spec.(Which does not meet the spec) in order to reset my oil change reminder.


Yes that happened but they finally saw the light.
 

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So we changed the oil today on my wife’s 2019 2.0 Stelvio TI. It has around 6k miles. I always do these types of service so I know it’s done with high quality products. I went to reset the oil life and none of the peddle pumping does anything. Am I to surmise that this has to go to the dealer to be reset? If so I am not going to accept that. I’m not down with being held hostage by the dealer. It has nothing to do with cost. I like to service it on my schedule and often can’t get to the dealer during working hours. Do I need a scan tool. How do I reset this? Thanks.
 

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So I did the serp belt at 30K but plan to defer the brake fluid until at least 50K. One dealer off record said 'recommended' and I assure you my Stelvio is not beaten hard. Theory is disk heat cooks and degrades the fluid... Not. May need rear brakes for Inspection but assumption is Brembos are softer than others and an easy job NO disk service as stopping action is perfect. Tire wear @ 37K is perfect too; rotation only. Cabin filter no go too.
 

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Any luxury sports car brand recommends brake fluid change every two years. or 20,000 miles Even my BMW in the iDrive there is a counter that shows brake fluid change in two years.
 

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So maybe our RR participant can weigh in on this for me...

My dealership in Sacramento closed and nearest dealer is now over 100 miles away. I have a Dodge/Jeep dealership 10 miles away...can they service my Stelvio?
 

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My dealership in Sacramento closed and nearest dealer is now over 100 miles away. I have a Dodge/Jeep dealership 10 miles away...can they service my Stelvio?
If it were me, I'd visit that dealership, explain the situation, and ask whether they have any Alfa factory-trained mechanics on staff, and (if so) confirm that they can provide warranty service even though there's no Alfa Romeo logo on the building. My guess, though, is that the answer to the first question is no, and the second is maybe but they'd prefer not to. And, if they don't have a trained mechanic on staff then you'd probably not want them providing the service even if they do cover the warranty.

The Alfa Romeo USA web site shows the nearest dealer in Walnut Creek, 55 miles from Sacramento.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Pennzoil Platinum Euro LX SAE 0W30 Meets Fiat 9.55535.GS1

The Pennzoil is the only oil I have found with wide availability within the United States which complies with the oil specifications for our Alfa Romeo 2.0 MultiAir engines.

It also exceeds requirements for ACEA C2/C3 which is the critical element.... as previously stated, these engines require an ultra low ash content....

Feel free to treat your engines with whatever you want to use... but, from 35 years experience working around the globe with VERY LARGE and VERY SMALL engines, and all sizes in between I will assure you that using the proper speced oil, and changing often, is the BEST way to make ANY engine have a long life.

Please check this link....

https://www.pennzoil.com/en_us/products/full-synthetic-motor-oils/pennzoil-platinum-euro/_jcr_content/par/productDetails.stream/1461698815640/73931d988c84e5894255306385fbec05fd17f02e/Platinum_Euro_LX_SAE_0W-30_Fully_Synthetic_Motor_Oil.pdf
 

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So I did the serp belt at 30K but plan to defer the brake fluid until at least 50K. One dealer off record said 'recommended' and I assure you my Stelvio is not beaten hard. Theory is disk heat cooks and degrades the fluid... Not. May need rear brakes for Inspection but assumption is Brembos are softer than others and an easy job NO disk service as stopping action is perfect. Tire wear @ 37K is perfect too; rotation only. Cabin filter no go too.

Scale, bleeding the brakes was more important than the belt. Pedal feel is ALWAYS improved with fresh fluid and its REALLY easy to DIY.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio brakes are controlled electronically. Changing the brake fluid WILL NOT (as in CAN’T) have any impact whatsoever on the sensory feedback at the brake pedal. Understand brake fluid can deteriorate with extreme thermal cycles. But that should not be an issue unless you are using your vehicle on the track or as a rally car. And please remember, these vehicles have antilock brakes. This requires special tooling to equalize the fluid Pressure from reservoir to ABS module and ABS module to the brakes. You can’t just bleed these like old brake systems with a “mity vac” or pumping the brakes like the good ole days. Therefore, changing the brake fluid without proper tooling is no longer a DIY project for the majority of owners.
 
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