Boards.ie uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more x
Post Reply  
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
12-06-2009, 14:13   #1
BrianpOkerBoru
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 19
156 ALFA

The alfa im intrested in acquiring is the alfa 156 1.8l it has 65k on the clock not sure about service history ither how will i know this.

Now i've had same car for 3 years running and alls well , service'd every 6 months or less at times and never a problem toyota you see , am i in for a nigthmare of sorts if i pursue my alfa dream

advise of any sort is gone to be thank'd a lot ie what problems to look for before buying the car what problems to expect if all looks fine and i go ahead and buy where to purchase repair's plus service's and last question how much money will i expect to shed out over one year with this bella
BrianpOkerBoru is offline  
Advertisement
12-06-2009, 14:31   #2
Saab Ed
Closed Account
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,293
Unless you are handy under the bonnet then stay away. Alfas are a wonderfull car ........when nothing is broken ....which is not often the case as they break alot. The fact that you are coming from a Toyota just makes matters worse. You cant have the faintest idea what you are in for. I love them but not to run everyday....Sorry all Alfa fans.
Saab Ed is offline  
12-06-2009, 14:46   #3
BrianpOkerBoru
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 19
Seems like fair advise thanks a lot ED. I still am intrested so what of the amount of money im gone to be likely shiping out because i went ahead and bought the car.
And i suppose i could always become handy under the hood.With a little bit of advise we all can i think.
BrianpOkerBoru is offline  
12-06-2009, 14:48   #4
Barr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Cork
Posts: 3,845
If the timing belt was done recently and the suspension sounds ok it mite be a good buy as their quite cheap.
Barr is offline  
12-06-2009, 14:49   #5
Saab Ed
Closed Account
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,293
With Alfas it can be endless. You really are gonna have to be prepared to learn quick. First thing is make sure the timing belt was done. Hopefully more of the Alfa lads on here will see this and advise you better how to prevent things going wrong.
Saab Ed is offline  
Advertisement
12-06-2009, 14:59   #6
BrianpOkerBoru
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 19
Well the car owner assures me or anyone intrested in the car that yes the t belt has been done.Any thing besides the t belt barr you think may be needed afther i buy it.cheap yes 2k mark.Yep note taking ed i understand a lot of what your saying.
BrianpOkerBoru is offline  
12-06-2009, 15:03   #7
voxpop
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,736
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianpOkerBoru View Post
Well the car owner assures me or anyone intrested in the car that yes the t belt has been done.Any thing besides the t belt barr you think may be needed afther i buy it.cheap yes 2k mark.Yep note taking ed i understand a lot of what your saying.

Just on the T-Belt. Dont take his word for it. If he got it done, then he should have a receipt, otherwise you will have to get it down yourself to be on the safe side. Dont you need to change the T-Belt at 30k miles or something low like that ??

Is the NCT due ? if it is then get him to put it through as a condition of sale

I think the droplinks are an issue, ie made of toffee and need to be replaced often.

If it sounds like a diesel then the variator is shot.


From HonestJohn

Quote:
What to Watch Out For
Worn front tyres on V6. Front suspension alignment, in particular toe-out is critical. V6 and JDT can eat front tyres on the inside edge (need realiging with less toe-out).

You have to laser-align the wheels on the 156. It needs to be set up exactly. All 4 wheels can be adjusted. Needs a '4 way laser alignment' by www.alignmycar.co.uk

Very useful site for tips and fault finding: www.alfa156.net

Air conditioning condensor vulnerable to stone damage. Bosch 'hot film' Mass Airflow Sensors seem to be failing regularly.

Check for Accident damage, kerbed alloys.

Make sure aircon works properly.

Feel the discs through the wheels for scoring or shouldering.

Paint problems with solid lacquered black.

Worrying number of 2.0 litre engine failures due to oil starvation when engines were full of oil points a finger at oil pump failure.

Timing belt failures of 4 cylinder twin sparks extremely common. Need new belts and tensoners every 35k - 40k miles or every 4 years whichever comes first. See TSB to change them at 36k. On 1.9JTDM and 2.4JTD timing belt drives waterpump and waterpump failure can fling it off in as little as 40k miles, wrecking the engine.

Problems with 156 Selaspeed gearbox actuator and long wait for replacement parts.

'Tappety' sounding engine sign that car has been run with low or dirty oil and variable valve timing has been damaged. Make sure engine has specified oil pressure.

Clonks from rear suspension mean that bolts through the aluminium suspension components have not been tightened periodically causing wear and replacement bushes take a long time to arrive.

Stoned glass headlight lenses cost £175 each to replace.

Take care to grease bonnet catch regularly as vulnerable to road spray and the safety catch can stick open. Bonnet may then fly open and wrap itself around the windscreem.

2.4 JTDs prone to cracking their alloy sumps on speed humps. Check for damage before buying, especially drain plug.

Seems to be a braking problem on diesels, which have a vacuum pump for the brake servo assistance: can feel like total failure of brakes, but only happens intermittently. Replacing master cylinder has cured it in some cases.

On 1.9 JTD if the engine smokes or the car suddenly loses power, the secondary butterflies of the swirl actuator valve may have sooted up and seized. Possible to clean but this does not guarantee it won't happen again. Really requires the inlet manifold to be changed as the part where the actuator connects to jams and does not let the butterflies open. Job can take six hours as the fuel pump and cam belt have to be removed to get at it. A coincedental fault is sooting up of the EGR valve.

Radiator, steering rack, and front wishbones all also commonly fail.

Clutch, clutch release bearing, and gearbox input shaft bearing also common failures.

Gonella Bros of Catford good 156 specialist.

Alfaman Services, 235 Imperial Drive, Rayners Lane, London HA2 7HE.

Alfa 156 steering rack issue: The bushes at each track rod end of the rack wear,
producing a knocking noise over bumps. (Often confused with worn drop links or
wishbone bearings.) Eventually, the steering reaction becomes sloppy. Fiat/Alfa
don't supply the bushes separately, so a garage will typically recommend a rack
replacement to solve the problem. Alfaman have a stock of steering rack bushes,
which I think have been made by a local engineering company. Alfaman Services, 235 Imperial Drive, Rayners Lane, London HA2 7HE. Owners should contact them for a quote, replacing the bushes rather than the whole rack should save quite a lot of money. Typical rack replacement £400 + VAT.

Last edited by voxpop; 12-06-2009 at 15:10. Reason: Added honestJohn
voxpop is offline  
12-06-2009, 15:10   #8
Eoin
Moderator
 
Eoin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 17,580
I just locked a similar Alfa thread, because it descended into the usual crap. Please keep this on topic folks.

BrianpOkerBoru - these are old threads taken from one of the previous stickies, but I doubt much new has been discussed here since them. Lots of relevant info there.

The Alfa Romeo Thread Collective
Are Alfas Any Good?
Alfa 156 thread
Alfa 156 buying advice thread
Alfa 147, any good?
Owner feelings towards Alfas
Positively the final Alfa Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saab Ed
With Alfas it can be endless. You really are gonna have to be prepared to learn quick. First thing is make sure the timing belt was done. Hopefully more of the Alfa lads on here will see this and advise you better how to prevent things going wrong.
Let's not exaggerate now.
Eoin is offline  
Thanks from:
12-06-2009, 15:12   #9
A-Trak
Hosted Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,140
Drive a 156 myself and haven't had a single problem since owning.
This thread gave me an unbelievable amount of help.

They do take more mainteance (both cost and time,) then any Jap car. But I still smile when I put the foot down in mine every day.
May advice, get one that has a full Alfa history, (Especially the timing belt done at recommended intervals,) preferably been babied by someone who looked after it, then get it checked by a competent mechanic and you could get a real gem.
Then learn how to keep the fluids topped up and how to preform oil and filter changes (which I learnt from scratch, not too hard.)

Alias No 9 gave probably the most definitve posts on buying & owning a 2nd hand 156 on these forums. Follow his advice and you won't go far wrong!
Quote:
Originally Posted by alias no.9 View Post
The 1.8 from 1998 to 2001 was 144bhp but from 2001 on that was reduced to 140bhp due to the addition of an extra catalytic converter and revised ignition system to meet emissions regulations. The 1.6 has 120bhp, the 2.0 twin spark has 155bhp and the 2.0jts has 165bhp.
Mechanically, they're not as scary as some people would have you think. I think mechanics sometimes play up their tempremental reputation to justify charging customers extra. The engine does burn oil at what might seem like an alarming rate coming from an almera but this is normal so you need to check it weekly and top it up as necessary. Oil and filter changes are a doddle. Timing belts are a weak spot, they need doing every 32k miles, costly at dealers but if you overlook it it will be €€€. I did mine myself, you need a few extra tools and plenty of time but not terribly difficult. If the engine sounds like a diesel, the cam variator will need to be replaced with the cambelt, this is the device that controls the variable valve timing.
The suspension takes a hammering on irish roads, thats the price you pay for the handling. The top wishbones at the front are a common problem and you'll hear a squeaking going over speedbumps as a symptom. Again I've replaced mine DIY without much difficulty. At the rear all bushings wear heavily. For the transverse arm bushings, you just replace the arm and it's only marginally more difficult than changing a wheel but the bushing at the bottom of the strut connected to the trailing arm is a complete b!tc#, only €8 for the part but a complete b!tc# to change.
I've never kept a car for as long as the 156 before, I got rid of all previous cars because I was bored with them. The 156 brought a smile to my face every time I drove it. I havent bought a new car yet but a 156 sportwagon could be on the cards, I've never even bought a second car from the same manufacturer, never mind the same model.
If you're looking to buy one, try and find one that has just had the cambelt (and variator if it's noisey) changed and has recently been through the NCT which will mean the suspension is in good nick. Check the temperature gauge goes up close to 90 and stays pretty steady on the open road, if it is down at 70, the thermostat is shot (they generally fail open rather than closed so overheating is not a problem), quick and easy to replace but make sure the dealer does it for you. The spark plugs are pricey but last for 60k miles, try and get the dealer to fit a new set before you buy. If all these things are sorted, you're routine maintenance will be just oil and filter changes for 35k miles until the cam belt is due again, and of course brakes and tyres as needed which will depend on how you drive it.
A-Trak is offline  
Thanks from:
Advertisement
12-06-2009, 15:16   #10
A-Trak
Hosted Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saab Ed View Post
Unless you are handy under the bonnet then stay away. Alfas are a wonderfull car ........when nothing is broken ....which is not often the case as they break alot. The fact that you are coming from a Toyota just makes matters worse. You cant have the faintest idea what you are in for. I love them but not to run everyday....Sorry all Alfa fans.
Do your homework OP and you will know what you are in for, (not the above by the way.)
A-Trak is offline  
12-06-2009, 15:18   #11
Saab Ed
Closed Account
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,293
Quote:
Originally Posted by eoin View Post



Let's not exaggerate now.

If you think I am then you've never had the pleasure of owning one
Saab Ed is offline  
12-06-2009, 15:19   #12
BrianpOkerBoru
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 19
Lad's all this advise is great im going off now to study in greater detail i'll be back l8tr hopefully cover a few things more all said thanks very much.

Okay im back from wandering through all that & am wondering is a alfa specialist needed if i go to check out the 156 or will my normal mechanic be fine.

And all the parts mentioned that wear out overtime are these easy to change diy and keep from really doin damage eg.steering track issue the bushes will inevitable give way and produce a knocking noise whenever over ramps.What time length do they last if i do 250km a week.

Last edited by BrianpOkerBoru; 12-06-2009 at 17:30.
BrianpOkerBoru is offline  
12-06-2009, 15:20   #13
Eoin
Moderator
 
Eoin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 17,580
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saab Ed View Post
If you think I am then you've never had the pleasure of owning one
Me: Two years of ownership
Problems: 0

My dad: 11 years of ownership
Problems: 0

Seriously, keep the hyperbole to a minimum, or it's going to be yet another one of those Alfa threads.
Eoin is offline  
Thanks from:
12-06-2009, 15:24   #14
Saab Ed
Closed Account
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,293
Quote:
Originally Posted by eoin View Post
Me: Two years of ownership
Problems: 0

My dad: 11 years of ownership
Problems: 0

Seriously, keep the hyperbole to a minimum, or it's going to be yet another one of those Alfa threads.
Okay then OP....All Alfas are the most reliable cars on the road and never break..So says eoin.

Just trying to help the guy without my rose tinted glasses on. I somehow doubt you'll find many to agree with you.
Saab Ed is offline  
12-06-2009, 15:33   #15
crótach
Registered User
 
crótach's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Luxembourg
Posts: 183
I know 3 guys who've had Alfa 156's and all of them were very happy with the car, the biggest problem for them was selling it. Two ended up giving it away to family members and one used it to trade up.

Alfa's reputation seems to be affecting the resale value and potential buyers more than anything. Which is fine when you're buying the car, but bad when you're selling it.

My last Alfa was a 1978 Giulietta, and for a car that age I've had surprisingly few problems, my pet hate was the clutch, which kept going no matter what I did to it. In the end I sold the car to the guy that I bought it from, and that tells you a lot about Alfas and the people who drive them
crótach is offline  
Post Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Remove Text Formatting
Bold
Italic
Underline

Insert Image
Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text
 
Decrease Size
Increase Size
Please sign up or log in to join the discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Share Tweet