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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

We've always been 4C curious since the release...for some reason or another we are now hunting for a car after it's discontinued, plus high demand, inventory shortage and at the time of record inflation happening, driving the values up to insane levels...silly us!!. In fact I didnt even know it's discontinued until I started the hunt again recently....
But anyways, wifey and I are ready to add a lightweight yet flamboyant-designed (not lotus lol) sports car to our stable, and it probably has to be a spider (unless it's a steal with perfect options and color which is probably impossible nowadays) because everything else we have is a coupe, and we are in sunny los angeles right next to miles of driving canyon roads, it's a missed opportunity not having one (plus the carbon tub provides no weight/rigidity penalty on a spider).
On the market, you either get lower mileage/ newer cars that's bare with options, or heavily loaded cars that's above 25k miles. Coming from ferraris and porsches, options are extremely important in the value of a car, and while i know highly optioned 4cs are more desirable no doubt, can most of these options (EXCEPT PAINT) be added after the fact at reasonable cost? Reasonable cost meaning less than 5% of the value of the car. Most other marques do not have reasonable costs for the options after the fact. Since we dont have a lot of options in the US market right now, we are wondering what's a must have for a spider? I imagine due to the visibility, convenience might be a must with the parking sensors? is the carbon windshield just a skin? We actually plan to use it quite a bit since the 4C appears to be rather mileage insensitive to its value (3-4k miles a year).

Secondly, taking maintenance items (alignment, timing belt, tub tightening, aux belts etc.) and wear and tear (leather bubble/shrinking, glass and headlight delamination, damaged leather and door pull etc.) out of the equation, are bumper to bumper extended warranties worth the money in your opinion? It's around $550/year for cars under 10k miles, $860/yr for cars 10-25k miles and $1100/yr for 25-35k miles for the next 5 years. From my search, it appears the 4C has relative high costs in maintenance items but is actually reliable (such as engine, turbo or transmission failures etc.)?

And lastly, it appears that the major service items are the timing belt/water pump/aux belts/pulleys every 5 years, and retorquing the tub every 2 years? oil change every year and brake flush every 2 years (dry southern cali)? Does anyone happen to know an experienced indy 4C mechanic in the LA area? I heard very few Alfa dealers here have 4C tech, and even more stories of dealer fokups from friends (which shouldnt be a surprise anymore it's across all makes).

Thanks for bearing with the questions if u made it this far lol...really appreciate it this seems like an awesome community of true enthusiasts. Cheers
 
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Congrats on re-starting your 4C search.

This isn't a Ferrari or similar - don't buy it for what that options might add to the value of the car. Buy the one with the options / colour closest to what YOU WANT. Make the best deal you can on it (realizing it is very much a seller's market for these, and that is not likely to change notwithstanding some colossal economic collapse). And then enjoy it until it has zero value left. YOLO, and who cares what value your heirs get out of the car. I like that you say your plan is to use the car. 4Cs are made to be driven!

The car is quite reliable actually. Dash de-lamination is probably the biggest known issue. A few have had real transmission issues, whereas many have had problems that incompetent service departments blamed on transmissions.

Warranty - that's up to you. So far, there haven't been a lot of issues that would make such a purchase worthwhile, but everyone's risk tolerance is different. Again, this is not a Ferrari, where most of the world would warn you not to turn the key without having a full warranty. An engine on a 458 probably costs the same as a used 4C did a few short months ago.

Scheduled maintenance is as you describe, with the possible exception of bolt tightening (again, your call, but the experiences here suggest Alfa's recommendation of bi-annually is excessive).

Good hunting!
 

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I did 22,000 miles on my 2015 Launch Edition before bolt service of sub 700 USD.

But, I did timing belt earlier than most at 18,500 miles and six years since car was registered. Book calls for five years, yes. I got that sub 700 dollars too, but real market on that now is 1400 bucks.

I have several Fiat-Alfa dealers to choose from. Note that Maserati-Alfa dealers will be 2.5 to 3x as expensive as Fiat-Alfa dealers.

Extended warranties are emotional purchases. No logic or math results in a justified purchase. What makes you sleep at night does.

Honestly, who the f--k knows what reliability is. There's very few 4Cs out there and a bunch of clowns who don't rack up meaningful miles.

By all measures, data is scarce. But since we cling to anecdotes, my repair costs are less than 300 bucks, and that was for a trans control module reflash.

Greatest car I've ever owned. Driving it fends off most problems.
 

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Most options are aesthetic and most of those you can do aftermarket if you really want. Carbon roof and akrapovic exhaust are probably the hardest major options to find but there are some beautiful black roof wraps and lots of aftermarket exhaust options available. Leather interior is technically an option I think is very worth having (unless you want a track toy) but very few US cars didn’t come with it. Find a combination of exterior/interior color and well kept car, grab it and start enjoying driving it. As for maintenance find a good independent and costs should be pretty manageable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys! yeah so far the comments sound like the warranty is a waste of money, since most of the proven defects are cosmetics which arent covered by the warranty anyways...

The car is quite reliable actually. Dash de-lamination is probably the biggest known issue. A few have had real transmission issues, whereas many have had problems that incompetent service departments blamed on transmissions.
Warranty - that's up to you. So far, there haven't been a lot of issues that would make such a purchase worthwhile, but everyone's risk tolerance is different. Again, this is not a Ferrari, where most of the world would warn you not to turn the key without having a full warranty. An engine on a 458 probably costs the same as a used 4C did a few short months ago.
I am not a warranty fan boy, I only does it when it makes total sense. I owned my 458 for 4 years now and all I did is brake flush and oil change on my own, spark plugs etc. the simple stuff (gear oil and dct I left professionals to do it biannually), my biggest project was probably taking the entire dash apart and refinishing all the sticky buttons LOL.Knock on the wood, the 13k DCT didnt fail yet haha. In fact i dont have warranty on any cars except one coz it's kinda no brainer on that car. As I am very unfamiliar with Alfa, thus the warranty question. 4Canada, regarding the transmission issues or failures, do u know roughly what i am looking at if i need a replacement? is that a whole unit or is there used or refurb. ones available? or it's just a part of it that fails, like the harness or sensors and the rest can be retained etc. Would appreciate some insight into that as my worstcase

Most options are aesthetic and most of those you can do aftermarket if you really want. Carbon roof and akrapovic exhaust are probably the hardest major options to find but there are some beautiful black roof wraps and lots of aftermarket exhaust options available. Leather interior is technically an option I think is very worth having (unless you want a track toy) but very few US cars didn’t come with it. Find a combination of exterior/interior color and well kept car, grab it and start enjoying driving it. As for maintenance find a good independent and costs should be pretty manageable.
Ahh thanks man! I will keep a lookout for those options. Yeah it's a tough market out there, not many samples available even if you pay above sticker (as the real selling price which was usually heavily discounted below sticker, back then). I prob cant be too picky otherwise I will miss another chance to own one. My wife doesnt even mind taking it as a daily to downtown LA, which i thought was pretty crazy but she loves it enough to endure that
 

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Concerning options, I don't have much opinion to offer. I truly feel that the limited production number of the 4C keeps any individual 4C from being special; because they are all special. If you look at a well optioned 4C vs it's lightly optioned counterpart, you'll notice that options aren't as heavily weighted on the 4C as compared to other manufacturers and their vehicles. Youll also notice that the options on the 4C do not have an impact on on 4C in any way; all options are purely cosmetic. Now that option talk is out of the way, I'd search out a 4C that has undergone its major maintenance somewhat recently - the bolt tightening, timing belt, and waterpump. The maintenance of these items can be quite costly. The last thing you want is to take delivery of a 4C that needs such work. Concerning warranty, as an automobile enthusiast, you know that a warranty car provides much more peace of mind that a non-warranty car. The 4C is a performance vehicle; people tend to drive performance vehicles pretty hard. I found my 4C at 1500 miles with a good amount of factory warranty left. I extended the warranty for 4 years in addition to the factory warranty. I'd rather have the peace of mind. As other have stated, pick up the car YOU WANT. You are the one driving it. If you want a highly optioned car, get a highly optioned car. If you want a minimally optioned car, get a minimally optioned car. The choice is yours. In my personal experience, I chose the 4C for the experience. The 4C - regardless of options - are going to give you the same experience. I would encourage you to make your purchase based on the three cardinals that truly matter: mileage, price, warranty...alongside color. If you base your purchase off of those facets, you'll make a much safer purchase. The carbon mirror caps, carbon shift tunnel, etc is simply excess after that.
Love as always
-Mike
 

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Concerning options, I don't have much opinion to offer. I truly feel that the limited production number of the 4C keeps any individual 4C from being special; because they are all special. If you look at a well optioned 4C vs it's lightly optioned counterpart, you'll notice that options aren't as heavily weighted on the 4C as compared to other manufacturers and their vehicles. Youll also notice that the options on the 4C do not have an impact on on 4C in any way; all options are purely cosmetic. Now that option talk is out of the way, I'd search out a 4C that has undergone its major maintenance somewhat recently - the bolt tightening, timing belt, and waterpump. The maintenance of these items can be quite costly. The last thing you want is to take delivery of a 4C that needs such work. Concerning warranty, as an automobile enthusiast, you know that a warranty car provides much more peace of mind that a non-warranty car. The 4C is a performance vehicle; people tend to drive performance vehicles pretty hard. I found my 4C at 1500 miles with a good amount of factory warranty left. I extended the warranty for 4 years in addition to the factory warranty. I'd rather have the peace of mind. As other have stated, pick up the car YOU WANT. You are the one driving it. If you want a highly optioned car, get a highly optioned car. If you want a minimally optioned car, get a minimally optioned car. The choice is yours. In my personal experience, I chose the 4C for the experience. The 4C - regardless of options - are going to give you the same experience. I would encourage you to make your purchase based on the three cardinals that truly matter: mileage, price, warranty...alongside color. If you base your purchase off of those facets, you'll make a much safer purchase. The carbon mirror caps, carbon shift tunnel, etc is simply excess after that.
Love as always
-Mike
I'm not sure that all options are purely cosmetic. Race Suspension, Akro Exhaust, 18/19 Wheels to name a few will result in a different driving dynamic. Not better necesarily, but different. Plus all that Carbon Fiber will make you cooler - thats actually been scientifically proven.
 

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Avant-Garde Xotics - Mechanic, Auto Repair, Automotive, Exotic Cars (avantgardexotics.com) for service. I highly recommend buy the service manual for the car and give it to the shop that will be working on it.

I think any depreciation or appreciation on what you pay today is going to be negligible because its a niche car so miles really don't matter too much.

I would try and find a clean car that you know has been maintained and has ppf if you are going to be driving it because these cars have thin paint.

Take the money you have for the extended waranty and use it for maintenance, the odds of something really going wrong is very slim and not very expensive unless the dealer is doing it because the 4C is such a simple car.

Long topic but the transmission was used in a version of the dodge dart so we can buy the internals and actuator at dodge dart prices. If it puts you at ease I've been looking for a broken transmission taken from a 4C for the last 2+ years and have yet to find one anywhere.

High millage cars may need a clutch and as a buyer I would be willing to gamble and pay for a dealer to confirm clutch life because if you do buy some kind of waranty I don't think it covers a clutch and that's probably the most expensive service you could do on a a 4C.

The cost of ownership is actually quite low compared to other modern fun cars. I helped a friend replace just the front rotors, hardware and pads on his 911 and for the same cost you could replace all 4 rotors, dust shields, pads, hardware and the calipers for about the same money or less.

I was eyeing this one. 2017 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe Spider Spider - Boischatel (autotrader.ca) They will even send you pictures of the bottom of the car on a lift if you want.

Nice car. It has under 7000miles for 71k usd+shipping and it has every carbon option and full service history. I know this dealer and they sold lots of these cars and you could probably get the timing belt and bolt tightening included at the asking price for the car.

Good luck!
 

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If you look at a well optioned 4C vs it's lightly optioned counterpart, you'll notice that options aren't as heavily weighted on the 4C as compared to other manufacturers and their vehicles.
Aggressively disagree. There’s a large difference between asking price and sale price. As someone who has the actual transaction data of almost every 4C that sold to a end user in the past year, the options matter a ton. If anything, dealers don’t fully understand the market well enough yet to price the high option cars appropriately. That’s why, when you see a full option coupe listed for $75,000, it sells within a week - because there are so many people who want mega coupes. Alternatively, something like the black 2015 coupe on CarGurus for 57k w/23k miles Has been listed for 250 days.

If anything rising used car prices have actually made the 4C market extremely inefficient. People are paying too much for the lower spec cars because it looks like a good deal relative to the same 20-30 units that have been on the market 120+ days while the highest option cars are getting gobbled up like candy by people who realize how valuable they are. This isn’t actually new either. High spec cars really started to pull away after a couple notable sales in mid-2020.

Rant over, lol.

To answer the other questions:
Warranty really not needed

Full engines/transmissions can be found for under 5k if you’re looking in the right places, though dealer cost for a new replacement obviously higher. Transmission issues largely overblown and people are actually starting to fix them themselves with some success.

The desirable options CF roof/halo, Akra, flags, vents, cf interior can all be added but the cost is somewhat unreasonable (e.g. >5% of the cars value) for most of them.
 

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Only option I cared about was the performance package just because I like having to sportiest suspension option and the teledial wheels are beautiful. I do like the stock sport suspension. It doesn't immediately send me looking for upgrades like on my other cars.

I shot for the best deal for the money and found a 2015 full touring/sport package with 7k on the clock, first bolt tightening completed, ECv2 ECU, centerline catback, and other goodies for $43k.

I'm at 2 years in and 16k miles now. I've only spent $1400 between timing belt service, and annual oil changes (those I perform). I only drive about 3-4k a year but all my miles are fun miles on backroads. I'm proud to say my 4C has never been to a local Cars&Coffee, such a waste of a Saturday morning that I'd rather spend driving.

Warranty? I put that money towards maintenance and some Advan wheels for better tire options. My 4C has been most reliable of my fleet in the last 2 years in terms of reliable start-up and go. Among a Lotus Elise and 3 late generation Miatas, that's pretty good in my book.
 

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I recently bought a yellow 2016 with 6,700 miles from the original owner for $62k. MSRP was $80k. I paid more than I would’ve 18 months ago, but, well, that’s the market today. I was looking for a one owner car with low mileage, yellow was my second choice in color. Dave Smith in Coeur d’Alene, ID has a similar one owner 10,000 mile yellow spider for sale, was listed for 67k, price just dropped to $62k. I was looking at that one if I hadn’t got the one I did.
 

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You asked if the carbon windshield frame is a skin, it is not and all spiders are equipped with the carbon fiber frame from the factory for added stiffness. I'm not aware that you can add the factory carbon fiber halo after the fact (behind the seats) but Koshi makes aftermarket stick on pieces that have a different rear profile. It's also very difficult to add the Akrapovic exhaust after the fact because the valves are integrated into the DNA switch and all the parts are very expensive. Having tried all three factory exhausts I was determined to get an Akra car. I've never heard an aftermarket exhaust on these cars that sounds as good as the Akra in loud mode and it has a quiet mode when you want it. Good luck with your search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Long topic but the transmission was used in a version of the dodge dart so we can buy the internals and actuator at dodge dart prices. If it puts you at ease I've been looking for a broken transmission taken from a 4C for the last 2+ years and have yet to find one anywhere.

High millage cars may need a clutch and as a buyer I would be willing to gamble and pay for a dealer to confirm clutch life because if you do buy some kind of waranty I don't think it covers a clutch and that's probably the most expensive service you could do on a a 4C.

The cost of ownership is actually quite low compared to other modern fun cars. I helped a friend replace just the front rotors, hardware and pads on his 911 and for the same cost you could replace all 4 rotors, dust shields, pads, hardware and the calipers for about the same money or less.

I was eyeing this one. 2017 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe Spider Spider - Boischatel (autotrader.ca) They will even send you pictures of the bottom of the car on a lift if you want.

Nice car. It has under 7000miles for 71k usd+shipping and it has every carbon option and full service history. I know this dealer and they sold lots of these cars and you could probably get the timing belt and bolt tightening included at the asking price for the car.

Good luck!
appreciate the insight on the transmission! I didnt even know there's a clutch to service, gosh i gotta read more into this. Is the clutch similar to other single clutch/ manual systems? those typically require engine out isnt it...had my share of that on the fcars. Hmmm I am not familiar with importing cars from Canada...never thought of that, wondering what other custom fees are involved
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I shot for the best deal for the money and found a 2015 full touring/sport package with 7k on the clock, first bolt tightening completed, ECv2 ECU, centerline catback, and other goodies for $43k.

I'm at 2 years in and 16k miles now. I've only spent $1400 between timing belt service, and annual oil changes (those I perform). I only drive about 3-4k a year but all my miles are fun miles on backroads. I'm proud to say my 4C has never been to a local Cars&Coffee, such a waste of a Saturday morning that I'd rather spend driving.

Warranty? I put that money towards maintenance and some Advan wheels for better tire options. My 4C has been most reliable of my fleet in the last 2 years in terms of reliable start-up and go. Among a Lotus Elise and 3 late generation Miatas, that's pretty good in my book.
wow u scored an amazing deal! That kinda price is fantasyland these days haha.
Very confidence inspiring hearing your data on maintenance costs and reliability! Thanks for sharing!
 
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Alternatively, something like the black 2015 coupe on CarGurus for 57k w/23k miles Has been listed for 250 days.
Maybe that's because the sticker provided in the ad shows MSRP of 48k and a wrong car :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I recently bought a yellow 2016 with 6,700 miles from the original owner for $62k. MSRP was $80k. I paid more than I would’ve 18 months ago, but, well, that’s the market today. I was looking for a one owner car with low mileage, yellow was my second choice in color. Dave Smith in Coeur d’Alene, ID has a similar one owner 10,000 mile yellow spider for sale, was listed for 67k, price just dropped to $62k. I was looking at that one if I hadn’t got the one I did.
Yeah very interesting. I saw that one as well but appears light on options but it has low miles. And that's kinda what made ask the questions on forum. I certainly dont mind a yellow, because I dont have a yellow car (we love the tricoats)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You asked if the carbon windshield frame is a skin, it is not and all spiders are equipped with the carbon fiber frame from the factory for added stiffness. I'm not aware that you can add the factory carbon fiber halo after the fact (behind the seats) but Koshi makes aftermarket stick on pieces that have a different rear profile. It's also very difficult to add the Akrapovic exhaust after the fact because the valves are integrated into the DNA switch and all the parts are very expensive. Having tried all three factory exhausts I was determined to get an Akra car. I've never heard an aftermarket exhaust on these cars that sounds as good as the Akra in loud mode and it has a quiet mode when you want it. Good luck with your search.
Was Akra an option that was offered only in later cars after 2016? I dont seem to come across that option much.....sigh...sounds really tempting especially it's difficult to do. I would imagine it's kinda like the porsche's PSE which many liked as the best balance
 

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Maybe that's because the sticker provided in the ad shows MSRP of 48k and a wrong car :).
There are about 20 that are the same situation. Pick one. They typically sell when the dealer gets desperate and either trades it to another dealer or sells it for well below the “list price”. 8 of the 33 are over 100 days. Some dealers are smart and take them down to reset that clock. The real number is closer to half are the same cars that were for sale in august.

The good ones sell in hours, days max. The rest sit. It’s just the reality of the market right now.
 

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I think late build 2016's were the first Akra cars but John4C would know better than me. Imho the factory standard exhaust (muffled) is way too quiet and makes the car sound like any turbo 4. The factory race exhaust (no muffler) has ugly tips and is too drony and unrefined generally although some seem to really like it. The Akra in loud mode is one of the best sounding exhausts I've heard on any turbo 4 car and it's properly quiet in muffled mode. The twin center tips in a carbon surround really look the business too. The cherry on top is the titanium construction for a weight of ~11 lbs - it's a nifty bit of kit!

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