I don’t believe in jinxes, except when it’s convenient, and I think I jinxed the Giulia. Back in Update 4, I bragged about how reliable the car’s been in the face of Italian car stereotypes. Now, we’ve had our first mechanical issue: a tiny coolant leak caused by a bad O-ring.
Finally getting our hands on the new BMW 3 Series, we had to see how it compares to the new performance benchmark Alfa has set. It wouldn’t be completely fair to throw a year-old car with 17,000 miles on it against a brand-new one, so we took the Giulia in for an unscheduled visit to the shop to make sure it was in tip-top shape for the competition. While there, a small coolant leak was discovered at the turbocharger. We hadn’t noticed any coolant drips under the car or warnings on the dash, nor any diminished performance, but the tech spotted it on the coolant inlet line.
The problem was traced to a bad O-ring at the connection between the coolant inlet line and the turbocharger. The tech drained the system, replaced the O-ring, and then replaced the O-ring on the coolant return line for good measure. The two O-rings, fresh coolant, and labor were covered by the four-year/50,000-mile basic limited warranty. The inspection otherwise found the car to be in perfect health.
That wasn’t the only trip to a shop recently, though. The Giulia also spent an hour in the tire shop to have a nail removed from the right front tire that was causing it to leak down to 29 psi and hold there, strangely. A patch and a bit of air, and it’s right back to the factory mandated 36 psi.
Neither a patched tire nor a bum O-ring was enough to keep the Giulia down, as it took on the new 3 Series—loaded up with performance parts, no less—and won. Yes, there are more luxurious vehicles in its class, but when it comes to driving performance, the Giulia still sets the standard, even with 17,337 miles on the clock.
Read more on our long-term Alfa Romeo Giulia here:
- Update 1: The Personal Connection
- Update 2: The Italian Scallion
- Update 3: Changes We’d Like
- Update 4: Pit Stop
- Update 5: The Winter-Weather Test
- How Alfa Romeo Can Improve the Giulia With 6 Simple Changes
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