Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Northern Ireland
146 1.7 16v Boxer Problems
Hi fellow Alfa heads.
A bit of history first:
I own a 1996 146 1.7 16v Boxer which has 62k on the clock and it had the engine head and belts replaced about 2k miles ago after my head gasket went and the 'mechanic' wrecked the engine after 3 rebuilds. I am not sure if the cam variator was replaced at the time though, but i doubt it. It has no service history at all but it had a basic service and passed its MOT on November 2006 just before i bought it for £500. Below is a list of current problems with this car.
All ideas, help and suggestions will be very much apreciated.
Air Bag Light -
I have had two diagnostics carried out and neither garage have been able to correct it?
Electric Windows -
Only the sunroof and front passenger's windows work. Both rear windows worked on the odd occassion and now not all all? Any ideas on how to test same and get them going again? The driver's side just needs refitted as it falls out of its 'lifting cradle' when i operate it. Taking the door panel off breaks the speaker covers and the panels never fit quite the same. Any tips?
129bhp? My car does not accelerate very well at all and the 0-60mph time is a very slow steady climb. I thought these cars were meant to be fast. Am i wrong? I also have problems when starting from cold and when i accelerate the engine the engine nearly stalls and splutters, the revs drop and the car slows dramatically. It runs really rough for a few seconds then everything kicks in and it takes off and all is well from then on. It also sounds like a tractor when you start it and the engine squeals and squeaks on idle which sounds akin to a loose alternator belt type sound on other cars for example. The whole car rocks from side to side when idling which makes me feel sick when sitting in the car - it this just an aspect of a flat four engine? Fuel consumption appears to be pretty dire, although i do drive it hard when i can. I seem to be forever sticking £20 in it every few days after 100 miles or so. Is this normal?
Wheels and Brakes -
I can hear a high pitched squeal from one of the wheels, it hard to tell
which one. This happens when just cruisin around and is not a braking problem, although sometimes the squeal ceases when i apply the brakes. Could it be a wheel bearing or the brake calipers not working correctly and applying the brake shoes to the discs without my input?
I have driven vans with better gearboxes! By the time you switch gear you lose some revs as its never a smooth transition. The clutch is quite heavy and the gearstick travel is the ultimate reverse of short-shift! lol. Again, is this just the norm for a 1996 146 Boxer?
Stereo & speakers -
The stereo works sometimes if you switch it on and apply pressure to the the front of it - i suppose there is loose connection at the rear of same buti dont know to fix it. The rear speakers dont work at all - how can i check the wiring?
Bodywork and interior -
Can anyone recommend what products and methods to use to bring my Alfa up to some sort of decent standard. The car is a dark burgandy wine colour and is in quite good nick for its age. The headcloth is a bit knackered but i dont think there is much i can do about that.
Thanks for the help as i really need it to keep this car on the road. i dont have much money to spend on it as i have another car and motorcycle on the go already, but i would like it sorted as i enjoy the car and it isnt worth selling on.
P.S. If there are any Northern Ireland owners that can get in touch please let me know.