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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello guys, I recently test drove a 2015 4C spider on a whim and after the test drive I really fell in love with the car. I have driven much more expensive exotics like the Mclaren 570s spider and Lamborghini Huracan spider and I was shocked by how close the 4C was able to deliver in terms of the experience - for a fraction of the cost! The car I'm looking at is a 2-owner vehicle with about 22,000 miles on it and is currently listed for sale at $41k. I have two Alfa dealerships near me, one is 8 miles away (Alfa Romeo of Minneapolis) and the other is 28 miles away (Schemlz Countryside Alfa Romeo).

The first one quoted $275 and told me the PPI would take around 2 hours. The second one quoted $150 and said the PPI would be 1 hour (basically the cost of labor). After a quick google search, I figured out the second dealership had actually sold the 4C previously last year.

My question is, which dealership do you think I should take the car to? Mind you, I wouldn't mind the extra seat time with the 4C... Any comments would be appreciated!

 

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Name the dealers, ensure you are there for the inspection and that they lift it correctly and check it thoroughly.
 

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Welcome!

I’d suggest going to the dealership you get the best feeling from, unless you get specific feedback from this forum (which you might well do). Unfortunately, we’ve found huge inequities in the quality of dealer service (the overall experience as well as the quality of the service department). It shouldn’t be the case, but is. That isn’t to say that both of these guys might not be great.

Not sure how many twin cities active members that we have here. You might want to pose a slightly less detailed question (just “looking for recommendations on these two dealerships service departments”) on the Alfa Romeo Owners of North America facebook page for this one.

Best of luck!
 

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Joe Shmelz is a friend of mine and was my roommate in college. His dad started the Shmelz VW dealership up there. I would say he and his family are honest people, I would probably take it there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good to see some locals here. Most likely I will take it to Shmelz since they're significantly cheaper and the fact they actually sold this vehicle a year ago might be an advantage? I will report back next week after I get the PPI done.

For those that did PPI's, how long did yours take? The one dealer quoted me an hour while the other quoted me two hours - just seems like an odd discrepancy. Is longer necessarily better?
 

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Good to see some locals here. Most likely I will take it to Shmelz since they're significantly cheaper and the fact they actually sold this vehicle a year ago might be an advantage? I will report back next week after I get the PPI done.

For those that did PPI's, how long did yours take? The one dealer quoted me an hour while the other quoted me two hours - just seems like an odd discrepancy. Is longer necessarily better?
As long as they are in no way associated with the seller then I think you’d be OK with your choice.
 

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No, they're not. The current seller is a Lexus dealership. The previous owner bought it from the Alfa Romeo dealership.
Yes, but sometimes automotive groups own dealerships of a number of colours.
Likely not Toyota and Fiat Chrysler under the same umbrella, but wouldn't rule it out.
Sounds, from what was posted above, like this Alfa dealership is a privately owned franchise though. Not part of a large holding group.
 

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Good to see some locals here. Most likely I will take it to Shmelz since they're significantly cheaper and the fact they actually sold this vehicle a year ago might be an advantage? I will report back next week after I get the PPI done.

For those that did PPI's, how long did yours take? The one dealer quoted me an hour while the other quoted me two hours - just seems like an odd discrepancy. Is longer necessarily better?
PPI should take as long as it takes.
They can strip the car down to the tub and call in someone from Italy (well, maybe not right now) to inspect every inch. That'll only take a few weeks labour.
Doing what we up here call a "safety" inspection (government mandated checklist including brakes, e-brake, tires, suspension play, lights, rust, windshield and windshield wipers) is a regulated fee of less than an hour. I would think I'd like a more in-depth investigation than that. But not if they just take 2 hours to do the same job, plus down an espresso or two in the process.

It's an Alfa dealership, so they should have a certified 4C mechanic on staff who ought to know what to look for/at. I'd suggest having that conversation with him beforehand.

Anyone here care to chip in suggestions as to what to look for?
  • all of the above normal things.
  • definitely glass damage as the windshield is not cheap.
  • panel fit / leaks at the "trunk".
  • ensure all updates are done (software flashes).
  • Run the AC to be sure the drain line is not blocked
- look for leather de-lamination of the dashboard and door panels (bubbles). That's an expensive repair. I cannot recall if this car is still under warranty or not.

  • leaks around engine and transmission - there have been a few reported minor oil leaks but it's far from an epidemic.
  • investigate visible part of tub for damage.
  • be sure the "trunk" latch opens every time (some have been known to stick and need adjustment)
You might want to pay to have the fastener service done at the same time - unless you can identify that it was completed previously. That involves a fairly intensive regimen and will give the tech access to areas where he otherwise may not look (involves removal of belly pans, wheel skirts, hood). Of course, if he finds a deal-breaker, you're stuck paying for that and it is not cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
PPI should take as long as it takes.
They can strip the car down to the tub and call in someone from Italy (well, maybe not right now) to inspect every inch. That'll only take a few weeks labour.
Doing what we up here call a "safety" inspection (government mandated checklist including brakes, e-brake, tires, suspension play, lights, rust, windshield and windshield wipers) is a regulated fee of less than an hour. I would think I'd like a more in-depth investigation than that. But not if they just take 2 hours to do the same job, plus down an espresso or two in the process.

It's an Alfa dealership, so they should have a certified 4C mechanic on staff who ought to know what to look for/at. I'd suggest having that conversation with him beforehand.

Anyone here care to chip in suggestions as to what to look for?
  • all of the above normal things.
  • definitely glass damage as the windshield is not cheap.
  • panel fit / leaks at the "trunk".
  • ensure all updates are done (software flashes).
  • Run the AC to be sure the drain line is not blocked
- look for leather de-lamination of the dashboard and door panels (bubbles). That's an expensive repair. I cannot recall if this car is still under warranty or not.

  • leaks around engine and transmission - there have been a few reported minor oil leaks but it's far from an epidemic.
  • investigate visible part of tub for damage.
  • be sure the "trunk" latch opens every time (some have been known to stick and need adjustment)
You might want to pay to have the fastener service done at the same time - unless you can identify that it was completed previously. That involves a fairly intensive regimen and will give the tech access to areas where he otherwise may not look (involves removal of belly pans, wheel skirts, hood). Of course, if he finds a deal-breaker, you're stuck paying for that and it is not cheap.
Super informative - thank you very much.

The vehicle was purchased in 2015 so I doubt there is any warranty left. I did ask about a "4C certified tech" and the chap basically said everyone there was 4C certified. Sounds dubious, but I hope whoever looks at the car would be the real deal.

When you say fastener service, do you mean the vehicle fasteners, or the mechanical components fastener? I did some research on here, and I believe the former is done at 12k, 36k, 60k, etc miles intervals while the latter is annually. On the Carfax the only service records I saw were that of a PPF when the car was new and the "service" the current seller did before bringing it on the market. The current seller has no service records to provide, so I think it is unlikely the bolt service was ever done. I read on here that it could cost anywhere between $600-$1,200, so maybe I should haggle with the seller a little and get them to pay for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After some browsing on this forum, I learned that one can purchase an extended warranty on the 4C Spider while the original warranty is still in tact. In fact, the original warranty on this car expires in one week! I called around and it sounded like the best deal was the one for 2 years and 24,000 miles with a $200 deductible for two grand even (by comparison, the 5 years, 60k miles coverage was $6,200!)

For those that have owned your 4C's for a while now, is this extended warranty something you would advice to purchase? Furthermore, do you think $2,000 is a reasonable cost for the peace of mind? Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Can someone tell me if the carbon fiber "swoosh" on the sides of the car is something they've seen before? I can't recall ever seeing this feature.
105664
105665
 

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Looks like this:

 

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After some browsing on this forum, I learned that one can purchase an extended warranty on the 4C Spider while the original warranty is still in tact. In fact, the original warranty on this car expires in one week! I called around and it sounded like the best deal was the one for 2 years and 24,000 miles with a $200 deductible for two grand even (by comparison, the 5 years, 60k miles coverage was $6,200!)

For those that have owned your 4C's for a while now, is this extended warranty something you would advice to purchase? Furthermore, do you think $2,000 is a reasonable cost for the peace of mind? Thank you!
If it gives you peace of mind then purchase the extended warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Looks like this:

Ahh.... thank you for pointing that out. I'm not really a fan of side skirts but it doesn't look too shabby...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If it gives you peace of mind then purchase the extended warranty.
The reason I asked is because the general consensus seems to be that the 4C is a pretty well-built car, in spite of Alfa Romeo's reputation for reliability. I was wondering if any US owners can chime in if an extended warranty worked out in their favor or not.
 

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The reason I asked is because the general consensus seems to be that the 4C is a pretty well-built car, in spite of Alfa Romeo's reputation for reliability. I was wondering if any US owners can chime in if an extended warranty worked out in their favor or not.
I still consider myself a 4C noob, but here's my 2 cents.

Warranties only cover what fails before it's expected lifespan. With that, the manufacture has to agree with the failure for the warranty claim. Won't cover "wear items" or standard services. The two main instances I have seen on this forum for warranty work have been:

  • Leather dash delamination repair
  • Transmission repair
The transmission issues don't seem to be common. The leather dash issues seems to be specific to the 2015 cars. Given that, you can decide if the extended warranty is worth it for you or not. My personal opinion, if you have the option, go for it. As Alfanut mentioned, it can provide some peace of mind while it's active.
 
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