Whoever thought that sedans could never look like a stealth fighter going Mach 2 while parked should take a look at the Alfa Romeo Giulia (especially the Quadrifoglio).
But even this purebred Italian saloon from Cassino is still quite rough around the edges, and you’d still be lucky to get one that only throws a warning light or two every now and then.
Thus, before you add one of these to your stable, let’s find out what kind of problems you could be dealing with when living with an Alfa Romeo Giulia!
What are the common problems of an Alfa Romeo Giulia?
Common Alfa Romeo Giulia problems include the 2.0L engine misfiring, electrical issues, brake issues, fuel leaks, a bad fuel gauge, and the cruise control not deactivating.
Some Alfa Romeo Giulia models have wrong tire load ratings, while earlier models do not have Apple Carplay or Android Auto.
1. 2.0L Engine Prone to Misfire
To start this list of common issues of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, it’s worth pointing out an issue concerning one of the most major components of the Italian saloon first, engine misfires.
To be specific, certain Alfa Romeo Giulia models equipped with the 2-liter 4-cylinder “GME-T4” engine are known to misfire without a clear reason, with some owners even reporting that they do not get any check engine light (CEL) as it happens.
You’re also more likely to experience misfiring and some hesitation from the engine while doing hard accelerations.
According to FCA’s (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) recall (18V636000) for the issue, which affected 2017 and 2018 models of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the engine misfire can potentially cause the catalytic converter to overheat.
As such, there’s also a risk of fire if the catalytic converter comes into contact with and damages nearby wirings and parts.
To rectify this and prevent the misfires from happening in the first place, the affected models have received updates for their engine control module (ECM) software at no cost to the owners.
2. Numerous Electrical Issues
Aside from engine misfires, one of the most common complaints of Alfa Romeo Giulia owners is that the car is riddled with electrical problems that all seem to pop out of nowhere.
Several electrical issues have plagued different trim levels of the Italian sedan. Whether you’re driving the base Giulia or the sportier Quadrifoglio trim, here are some commonly reported electrical issues you should look out for:
|Alfa Romeo Giulia Electrical Problems:
Faulty start-stop system
Exterior/Reverse lights don’t turn off
Car shuts off without any warning lights
Several warning lights turn on for no reason
Corrosion buildup on battery
All of the above-mentioned issues can occur without any warning, which makes it harder to pinpoint the exact cause within the electrical system of the Giulia.
However, such electrical “gremlins” have been commonly linked to an issue with the battery, as any battery-related fault (like corrosion or leaking) can cause the battery to lose charge and the wiring throughout the system to become faulty as well.
Thus, if you’re experiencing any electrical/electronic issues with your Alfa Romeo Giulia, then checking the battery’s condition is a good place to start.
Adding on to that, it’s also worth checking your car’s dynamo or “alternator”, as several owners have also complained that it’s unable to provide power to the battery properly. This can make it the real culprit in other cases rather than the battery.
In any case, we recommend having your vehicle diagnosed through an OBD2 scanner for any error codes stored in the ECM, as such codes can give you an idea of the nature of the problem.
Brake System Issues
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is known to develop issues with its braking system such as ABS failure during hard braking, brake fluid contamination, a broken brake fluid line/hose, and defective rear brake disc material.
3. ABS Failure During Hard Braking
One of the most dangerous problems that you could ever have on your car is the brakes suddenly not working properly, and this is sadly the case for the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s ABS (antilock braking system).
The Giulia’s ABS is known to fail during hard braking, which means that it can cause the wheels to lock up or the brakes to have reduced stopping power.
This has been observed to occur in the 2020 to 2021 model years of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, wherein hard braking can cause the ABS’ hydraulic control unit (HCU) rotor shaft to break apart, as described in the manufacturer’s recall (21V309000).
As a result, the affected models have been given new ABS hydraulic control units free of charge to prevent the ABS from failing when stepping hard on the brakes.
4. Brake Fluid Contamination
Another brake-related issue that’s common in the Alfa Romeo Giulia is that the brake fluid can get contaminated in certain 2018 models.
The manufacturer’s recall #17V823000 states that about 216 Alfa Romeo Giulia models for the 2018 model year may contain contaminated brake fluid within their braking system, which can damage different components and reduce braking performance.
In line with this, all affected models have had their braking systems inspected, and if deemed necessary, replaced at no cost.
5. Broken Brake Fluid Line/Hose
The brake problems don’t stop there for the Alfa Romeo Giulia, as both 2017 and, yet again, 2018 models with AWD and powered by the 280-horsepower “GME” engine have been reported to be equipped with brake fluid lines that potentially break.
In such models, the brake fluid line has a tendency to make contact with one of the coolant hose clamps, which can crack or break it open and cause the brake fluid to leak out.
The brake fluid leak can then come into contact with the exhaust system, and if ever it’s already hot, then a potential fire hazard can occur.
The solution to keep the brake fluid line from hitting the coolant hose clamp can be found in recall #18V828000, which states that a new bracket will be installed on the brake fluid line on affected Alfa Romeo Giulia models for free.
As part of the recall, if damage to the brake fluid line has also been found, then it will also be replaced at no cost.
6. Defective Rear Brake Disc Material
Yet another defective part of the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s braking system is the material used for the brake discs themselves.
Due to such material defects, the rear brake discs of certain Alfa Romeo Giulia models from 2020 can potentially fracture while driving, which can affect the performance of the braking system and even result in an accident.
Luckily, the rear brake discs of such models have already undergone a recall (20V714000) as of December 17, 2020, effectively replacing both the rear brake discs and brake pads of affected models for free.
Fuel System issues
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is prone to run into leaking issues with its fuel system, particularly in the fuel line sensor housing.
The fuel gauge on the Alfa Romeo Giulia can also become faulty due to a faulty body control module, leading to incorrect fuel readings.
7. Fuel Leaks (Cracked Fuel Line Sensor Housing)
As with many other vehicle makes and models we’ve written about, the Alfa Romeo Giulia also has its own fair share of leaks, particularly from the fuel system.
Fuel leaks on the Alfa Romeo Giulia have been observed to mostly occur in the 2020 and 2021 model years, and a recall (21V878000) has since been issued for these affected years of the Italian sports sedan.
The recall reports that the fuel leak can occur because of a crack in the fuel line sensor housing, which also raises concerns about a potential fire hazard if the leak touches any nearby heat source.
In addition, there’s also a chance that the fuel leak can cause stalling issues due to the flow of fuel being disrupted and not being able to reach the engine.
Hence, the recall combats these risks by inspecting and, if needed, replacing the fuel line sensor housing of about 11,419 affected units of the 2020 to 2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia free of charge.
8. Incorrect Fuel Gauge Reading (Faulty Body Control Module)
One other fuel system-ish problem of the Alfa Romeo Giulia happens to be the fuel gauge becoming faulty, or in other words, displaying incorrect readings than what the fuel level actually is.
However, this is more of an electric issue by nature, as a recall (19V551000) by the manufacturer traces the culprit to be the car’s body control module or “BCM”.
The BCM is a type of control unit tasked to monitor a vehicle’s electronics, which can include the fuel gauge display.
In the case of the 2018 to 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia, their BCMs are prone to malfunction and cause the fuel gauge to display a higher level than what’s physically in the tank.
As you may have guessed, there have already been instances of owners running out of fuel earlier than expected as a result of this incorrect reading.
Thus, the manufacturer issued the recall to update the BCM software of all affected models to resolve the inaccurate fuel gauge issue.
9. Wrong Tire Load Rating
The tires are your car’s main point of contact with the ground, so for a sporty sedan like the Alfa Romeo Giulia to have a known issue with its tires’ load rating is a concern you definitely should be aware of.
More specifically, recall #21V848000 states that 185 units of the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia may have been fitted with tires with incorrect load ratings, which are lower than what is rendered safe for the model.
Driving on tires with a lower load rating than what’s specified for your car can put excess stress on the tires and compromise their performance as well as your vehicle’s safety.
Because of this, such units of the Giulia fail to conform to the safety requirements for tire selection and rims as included in FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) #110.
Through the recall, the wrong tires on affected units are simply replaced by ones with the correct load rating to ensure that the safety standards are met for the vehicle.
10. Cruise Control Doesn’t Deactivate
Like many other modern vehicles, the Alfa Romeo Giulia also comes with its own cruise control feature. However, even this feature isn’t exempted from the list of electronics that can go wrong on the car.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia’s adaptive cruise control (ACC) is known to get stuck on continuously in earlier 2017 and 2018 models, leading to owners being unable to deactivate or disable it as needed.
Due to the obvious safety hazard that this problem presents, a recall (19V148000) was carried out to tackle the issue. Once again, the culprit is a familiar one in that it actually involves another brake-related component, the brake system module (BSM).
The BSM’s software is responsible for allowing the adaptive cruise control to be turned off once the traction control detects one of the wheels slipping, though this unfortunately isn’t the case sometimes for the affected models.
A simple update to the BSM software is all that it takes to resolve the issue and gain control over the adaptive cruise control again, which is given to owners of the covered Giulia models at no expense.
11. Lack of Android Auto/Apple CarPlay Support (Early Models)
While this entry is more of a case of lacking “nice-to-have” features rather than an actual factory defect, it’s still worth pointing out that your nice Alfa Romeo Giulia sports sedan will not come with any Android Auto or Apple Car Play support for early models.
In particular, 2017 models of the Giulia were released with neither of the two popular car applications much to the dismay of people who opted for that year of the vehicle.
But of course, if you haven’t bought one yet, the simplest way around this would be to just opt for the 2018 and newer model years that already come equipped with them.
Otherwise, 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia owners can also choose to have a third-party conversion to get a unit from a newer model year to fit in their 2017 dashboard.
Just keep in mind that this can be a pretty expensive and complicated route to take due to the sheer number of parts you need to replace, which can include the radio itself.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is the Alfa Romeo Giulia reliable?
Throughout the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s (952) production run, it has been plagued with different issues mostly concerning its electrical system, brakes, and engine. However, it’s still considered more reliable compared to other European cars in its class.
Opting for the newer model years of the Giulia, such as the 2020 to 2022 models, will give you the best reliability out of the car due to exhibiting the fewest issues previously described.
Is it expensive to maintain an Alfa Romeo Giulia?
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is known to be expensive to maintain due to the rarity and pricing of parts as well as the numerous known reliability issues it tends to develop.
Oil changes for the Alfa Romeo Giulia can already cost you an average of $144 per change, with each change needing to be performed every 12 months or 10,000 miles.
What is the best and worst model year of the Alfa Romeo Giulia?
The Alfa Romeo Giulia’s best model years are considered to be between 2020 and 2022 since these years had the fewest reported issues that the Giulia is known for, making them the most reliable years of the Italian sedan as well.
The worst model years, on the other hand, are the 2017, 2018, and 2019 model years. These earlier model years have received the most complaints regarding reliability issues as compared to the newer ones after them.