1st Dec 2003, 05:56

I purchased a fully imported (from Italy) Alfa Romeo 147 Selespeed in February 2002. After 4000 km’s the central locking system seized to work, which was fixed under warranty. Upon receiving the car I was told that the mechanic merely temporarily disconnected the computer to solve the problem.

At 40 000 km’s the central locking seized to work again, and I asked for it to be look at with the service. Upon receiving the car I noticed that half the light on the consoles no longer worked and that my air conditioner no longer switches off together with the ignition. This was luckily fixed upon request.

One week after the service, my car was kind of sluggish, and while on a long distance trip – the engine just stopped. I took the car the Alfa workshop and I was notified that the engine had seized and that they had to rebuild the entire engine. Luckily this was done under warranty. I have not had problems with the engine since.

The catalytic converter went after 55 000 km’s, even after faithfully and exclusively making use of Shell Unleaded fuel all throughout the life of the car.

I have had the computer complain about ‘Selespeed Failure’, yet I’ve not had problems with gear changing itself.

The car has been using oil since day one, even after faithfully making use of Selenia oil throughout the car’s life, as advised in the service booklet.

The car is an incredible drive, but certainly not very reliable. I often get the feeling that the drivers of German cars enjoy a little chuckle when looking at us.

24th Feb 2005, 05:40

I've had a very similar experience with a Selespeed: They are now virtually impossible to sell. I had to spend £1800 to replace the Selespeed unit after only 30000 miles - the car was out of warranty and Alfa didn't want to know.

Trying to sell the car was a nightmare: It took 4 months to sell it privately - an Alfa specialist even refused it as a trade-in, saying he wouldn't touch the Selespeed model at any price. I eventually sold the car at £2000 under the 'book' price for its age and condition - despite it being in immaculate condition - which, added to the £1800 for the selespeed, put me nearly £4k out of pocket, on top of the already high depreciation.

A complete nightmare.

I've now had a Spider for over a year: absolutely no problems, because it is a relatively simple car.

15th Oct 2006, 23:22

The general consensus would seem to be "avoid the Selespeed model" then. Never understood the attraction of a flappy-paddle gearbox anyway :-)

29th Oct 2006, 16:51

Are you sure you're you not just Alfa bashing, I have owned my 2002 2.0 Selespeed since new and have never had a problem with it except having to replace the exhaust. My two brothers each have had VW Golfs each from new and both have had more problems than me.

15th Nov 2006, 02:45

I own a 2001 Alfa 147 Selespeed and love it. I have had it 6 months now and the only problem I have had is it was flaring between 2-3 & 3-4 gears. Have since had the transmission gear oil flushed twice and refilled. It appears the previous owner/s?? may have put water in the transmission thinking it was the window washer?? (Note the drawing on the lid). It appears to be going good now. I'm hoping it continues. The only problem I have now, is I hate the beep it makes when I put it in reverse. Otherwise, all good.

27th Nov 2006, 15:01

I bought a used selespeed 147 a couple of months ago.I've done about 2000 miles totally trouble free, touch wood. I think it is awesome, by far the best car I've ever had. My only slight niggle is the aircon, i don't seem to be able to get cool air in my face.

3rd Jan 2007, 02:19

Just got my 147 2.0 selespeed one week ago. Brand new, but a overstocked 2005 with a good discount.

Have learned a lot from all your comments, but as I am keen to get the most from it, I wonder if there is any tricks in terms of shifting, faster acceleration, how to make the a small burnout and so on.

Thanks a lot.

16th Apr 2007, 02:00

I purchased a 2000 156 Selespeed Monza a little over a year ago and have had intermittent problems with the gearbox since. The service guys say they cannot locate the problem. When driving in CITY mode it occasionally switched over to manual which I only notice when the engine begins to rev loudly because it hasn't changed gear. It can then take a lot of fiddling, turning off and on etc to get it to commence changing gears/going into CITY again. I thought I would get around the problem by staying in manual all the time. This morning while in manual and in 1st gear waiting at lights it put itself into N by itself - immediately that is, not even waiting for the timing out when it is meant to do it - then refused to get out of neutral or even go into CITY. After turning the car off 3 times it eventually went into gear, but then refused to get out of 2nd. I headed straight to the mechanic where it will stay until they can fix it! Then I am putting it up for sale and never buying another Alfa. Too unsafe! Does anyone out there know what this problem could be so I can get the thing fixed?

29th Aug 2007, 05:46

I have owned my 147 selespeed since new in 2001. It has been a fantastic car up until now, 2007 73000 miles. It first started to jump from 2nd gear to 5th completely missing 3rd and 4th. I had the car connected to the Alfa diagnostic laptop and no problems could be found as it was an intermittent fault. Then it started to jump into to neutral when I came to a junction. I had to switch the car off for a few minutes then restart it. The car then decided to stay in neutral for good. I towed it to an Alfa specialist who replaced the actuator at a cost of £1500. Two weeks after the repair it started happening again. The mechanic had the car for 2 weeks reset the system and said he could find nothing wrong with it. I now have an unreliable car that stops when it feels like it at a cost of £1500. If I ever buy another Alfa it will most definitely be a manual.

12th Sep 2007, 20:46

Hello everyone!

I am writing from Mexico just to share some points of view regarding the Selespeed. I have a 2003 147 and had most of the problems herein stated. Firstly, I had an oil leak in the Selespeed body; then the car eventually switched into neutral mode without allowing the possibility for entering any gear until it cools down.

In my country, the brand is well known, but there are not too many Alfa dealers at all, so the problem magnifies. Howevever, I think I have found a very good garage in Mexico City. Given his advise, I would suggest the following: as for i) oil leaking, you would need to change the entire Selespeed, or fix it (it is possible indeed, but obviously it is not the official position of Fiat, also some skills are needed since the seals are made of a very special material aimed to support the extraordinary pressure of the system) ; ii) as for gears suddenly entering into Neutral, the most usual problem is the pump that lubricates the entire system. This is specially true when there has been a prior oil leak before. iii) As for gears suddenly changing from 2nd to 4th or 5th and so on, check for termistors. The system has three of them.

The entire nightmare when an Alfa Selespeed could be avoided if EVERYTHING is in perfect condition, that is, no oil leaks, perfect calibration, a new pump every 30,000 kms. or so on.

I share the view that it is, as some of you have stated, a labour of love! so you should try to keep everything fixed and working properly, otherwise the system is very sensitive, even to minor problems.

Hope this will serve to all Alfaholics there in the UK!