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A year ago, I bought into the hype. I ignored my better judgement and bought a Stelvio - a pristine 2018 red on red TI Sport - for my college daughter. What a great looking car!

Within weeks, we had problems. Gauges went dark. Ran out of gas because the gas gauge was incorrect. Hmm. OK. Technical things. We will get this straight the next time we go to Albuquerque, the nearest dealer (about 270 miles). Done.

Then the battery dies and she's stranded. On a 25K miles car? Forgiven. New battery.

Then she calls me at 11:30pm one night in the spring. Car is disabled. Won't go into gear at all. Hmmm. I have it towed to a shop where she's at school, and inexplicably, the car goes into gear again and the shop can find no issues.

Then the dash goes dark yet again. New cluster.

Then a few weeks ago, she's downtown at a baseball game and the car won't go into gear again. I get to miss the game, wrangling with Alfacare on when they can get the thing and who is paying for it, blah blah blah. So they send a car hauler to get the car. Car is out on the street all night downtown. Not a good thing. Then the car hauler shows, but can't load the car because it won't go into gear. :oops:

Reboot. This time, Alfa calls a flatbed truck to get the car. Due to the traffic, etc., it takes the guy 2 hours to get the car loaded. Finally it's on it's way to ABQ. Seems like a ground wire came loose. So I fly to ABQ for the 270 mile drive back home. 50 miles outside of my hometown, the cruise control quits working. Warning light.

Then, two weeks later, it won't start again. 6 month old battery gone. New battery.

OK, I'm all done here. We traded the car today for a Lexus NX that's a year older with 20K more miles, and spent $4500 out of pocket to do it, as the dealer didn't want my Alfa.

Guys, as you will experience, these cars are junk. In the class of Land Rover quality. I am a Ferrari owner so I really wanted to get Alfa a chance. Ferrari quality is miles ahead of Alfa. When everyone figures out what these cars are, and what they aren't, Alfa is done in the U.S. Too many other viable, dependable options.

Of course, some of this is my fault for buying this car with no dealer in my town. With a car as unreliable as this, that is a bare minimum requirement, as you will need dealer support to keep the car running.

Take care guys. Last post.
 

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Really sorry to hear about all that and I wish you well. The Lexus will probably bring you that peace of mind. However, "as you will experience, these cars are junk" is not accurate---was for you, I get it, but not for many here, including me. Almost 3 yrs of reliable and fun as hell performance.
 

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54k miles in and so far have only needed a new battery and a door lock actuator (fixed under warranty). I consider myself pretty lucky, but I also get the feeling people's experiences with these cars is really boiled down to if they have a good dealer or not. It sounds like not only is your dealer an annoying distance away, but they also never truly fixed whatever was causing your problems. I knock on wood that my dealership has been great so far - if they weren't I'd probably be feeling a lot like you do right now.

We all know the stats and have had cars from other brands that also have issues - the difference is that when my BMW threw a hissy fit the dealership knew how to fix it the first time. And if they didn't, I just took it to another one in town. I definitely can't do that with my Alfa...
 

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Sounds to me like the ground cable has been loose and undiagnosed, caused intermittent power interruptions, surges etc, required the car to use the battery more then it should killing that... and likely causing many, many other issues with multiple functions in the car. Would guess half the electrical components in the vehicle have problems at this point. Would guess it was a problem for them previous owner. Probably why they sold it. Could have also been caused by the previous owner... Bad car audio installation or some other unprofessional modification. As good a chance of it being that as a problem from the factory.

That really sucks and I'm sorry it happened to you.

Hope you got the Lexus fully inspected. More then anything this story is an example of why you want a very thorough inspection performed before buying a used car. (Also why.... I don't buy used cars, my family the kids get hand-me-down Kia's that were bought new and maintained by us. Till they can get their own cars..because even the best inspections can miss stuff)


BTW....hope you didn't go into the negotiation with the dealer after having talked to the salesperson about all the problems with your Alfa. All that does is make them devalue your trade...and the dealer, doesn't actually care. The used car manager already assumes every single car he sees is there because it's a problem...confirming that doesn't help you, does give them a solid way to devalue the trade and increase their profit in it. (And regardless they will do the bare minimum then sell it).
 

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I remember we cautioned you about buying a car for your daughter with no dealer nearby. Your car does not mirror mine when it comes to reliability. All cars have lemons . Sorry you got one.See you down the road
well, this is the deal, I have a reliable car, but if it wasn't, I have three dealers near me, and an extended warranty, so I can sleep at night, even if I have the dreaded radiator leak, oil cooler blowout or the oil pump sensor fiasco, I expect to be able to take it in stride.

however, if I was 250 miles from my dealer, I probably wouldn't have considered Alfa to begin with just cause there's no local dealer. those that do, well, they get to make their own decisions, and the consequences that go along with them.
 

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I could certainly understand the frustration when the cars break down. even the best of the best do break down and distance to the dealer matters very little:
My mother's 2020 Toyota Camry broke down at 11pm on saturday night on a turnpike. The engine simply died. A new ECU and car came back to us in 2 weeks. I had to pick her up and drive her around for 2 weeks.

Had my buddy's Acura MDX battery died in front of his daycare while dropping his kid off. Of course they have our trans or something similar so it wouldn't go it to gear. Left it in the loading zone for 2 days until someone finally figured it out.

My Audi q7 lost power in Canada and drove in limp mode to a local garage. My BMW x5 went into limp mode in NYC as the battery was fading. bottom line? **** happens at the worst time. chances are your car will never break down within 2 miles of your dealer. Can't believe Ferrari owner would complain about any car cuz Ferrari never breaks down? Give that to your kid and see what happens?
 

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Just to be clear, the Acura MDX uses a ZF 9 speed transmission. Which is nothing like the 8 speed in the Stelvio.

Or it uses a 7 speed dual clutch....also nothing like our tranny.

Both cases, (also applies to the tranny used in Lexus') the transmission are considered inferior to the ZH 8 speed transmission we use.
 

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On 2019 MDX, park release is accessible from the top whereas ours is from under the car. Yes different key and different latching on method but very similar in that the car is immobile when battery dies and has to use the key like ours. You can have a flat bed simply tow it with tires screeching or use the release tool to put it in neutral. That's what I meant
 

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And yet again, seems like everything comes from not competent dealership and service shop. All of this sounds like some electrical issues,loose terminals and again, maybe new battery but not AGM.Not to speak about how exactly the previous owner maintained the car.??? Everybody here drives mostly German cars ,second hand and most if not all ,including me had a lot of problems with them. The most unreliable cars I had were the BMW and Audi, both second hand at about 3-6 years and with numerous problems.For 3 years of usage I both them twice if I calculate the repairs...... If you really have Ferrari ,which I doubt, try to drive it as your daily car to put some 10 000 to 15 000 miles every year and than you should talk about reliability. Yes the Lexus will likely be more reliable as it will be more reliable than any European or American car, but calling this car a "junk" is too much and not deserved at all for me. After 20 or more years of absence at the American market it is very hard to get experienced mechanics and diagnostics for Alfa, because experience is just that , going through hundreds of cars and knowing all the casual reasons for different faults and breakage and how to quickly fix them. Sorry for your experience, but it is not the experience of the most here.
 

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A regular tow truck with a set of dolley wheels is better than a flat bed.
More maneuverable, more available, and a straight lift with no dragging involved. Although tow truck drivers should know about trans release methods anyways.
 

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Really sorry to hear about all that and I wish you well. The Lexus will probably bring you that peace of mind. However, "as you will experience, these cars are junk" is not accurate---was for you, I get it, but not for many here, including me. Almost 3 yrs of reliable and fun as hell performance.
UNtil she drives off the road bored to tears.............
 
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‘18 Stelvio Ti Sport fully loaded It’s a DRIVER!
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It is interesting (and can be scary) to read about the trials and tribulations from other owners. If I was buying again (bought my used) I would want the following advise:

1. Immediately Change the EFB battery for an AGM - do not wait to try and get a replacement under warranty. Top Priority. (battery float charger is not a bad idea either)
2. Change oil at 5k max intervals - This car wants clean oil and 10k in my experience is too long an interval. Actually this is probably the top priority to do. I think that the cost of the oil changes are driving owners to the higher recommended 10k and that is just not a good idea IMHO.
3. Get all the firmware upgrades for the car. This is the first car that I have been adamant on getting any and all TSBs performed under warranty and not just assume that whatever is going on it is a quirk and no big deal. Takes more research and perseverance but I feel better that I am at the latest release for software in the Alfa that I could get. I ended up with a new infotainment system as well by always working with the dealer on issues that came up.
4. stay informed by being an active member on the Alfa Stelvio and Giulia forums. Good reading on both sites and I have learned about cars in general and Alfa in particular.
5. I do my own maintenance and I have found that the Alfa is easy to work on. So Far: Brakes, air filters and spark plugs. I plan on changing my aux belt as well but have not (68.5k miles). I have checked on the belt stretch and condition and the belt looks fine (dealer checks as well). Oil changes: I use the dealer and a Mopar oil maintenance plan. average $65/oil and filter change. I also have the dealer change my inside cabin filter - worth the cost since I am not a contortionist.
 
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