Not sure why but I am buying a 147..... - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Not sure why but I am buying a 147.....

I do not know exactly why but I have decided to, out of the blue, buy an Alfa Romeo 147. While that sounds really daft, I do understand it to some degree. After looking around for weeks and of all the cars that are on offer in my corner of the world, the Alfa 147 has caught my undivided attention. It doesn't matter what car I look at now, all I see is the 147. I have never actually sat in or driven one. It sounds like a silly obsession, right?

In the next few weeks, I am not only buying my first Alfa, but my first car and I have found this little silver beauty about 200 clicks from where I live and wondering how to best protect myself from potentially buying a bad car. I know more about cars than the average person and I have been driving on and off for 20 years (other peoples cars, hire cars) so I'm not totally in the dark. I have scoured the internet for two days now researching and still not found a good guide on avoiding the following and potentially most costly repairs (for at least a year or two):

-How to immediately know that the timing belt has issues and will need replacing soon in this car
-How to immediately know that the clutch or transmission has issues and will need replacing soon
-What best to do in the short time (about 45 minutes) I have looking at the car to minimise the risk of paying for a bad car
-Should I cool off and wait a while / be less impulsive about buying this car all together?
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Alfa 147, 156 & GT - Alfa Romeo Forum

There are two threads for buying guides and typical faults.

Check for rust on the underside.
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It's very similar to any other car , with the addition of possible suspension bushes which will be noisy over a sufficiently bumpy test route. Timing belts will not tell you they're about to fail but invoices will tell you how recently they were replaced and therefore how many miles are left on them. Rust can be trapped in the rear of the floor pan as indicated by recent threads on here as Keithy says. Read the guide and look at the car prepared to walk away! You may not need to though.
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Thank you, Gents!
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Regarding the timing belt, only an invoice will tell you when it's been done. Don't take anybody's word for it. If in doubt, either walk away or haggle a discount! and make sure that the water pump has also been changed! (problems with the impellers)
In terms of checking the clutch, test drive it and see what the biting point is. A high biting point (near the top of the clutch pedal's travel) will most likely indicate a worn clutch. Another sign of a worn clutch is that it will feel quite stiff, specially in comparison with a new one but it seems to be common in these cars, even if the clutch is still fine. Another grandpa type of clutch check you can do is to put 3rd gear while stationary and depress the clutch pedal as if you were on 1st: a car with a fairly healthy clutch should stall. Also when driving, check the clutch doesn't slip at some point when accelerating (revs increase but speed does not change)
I would say, test drive as many as you possibly can. Finding a good car is a matter of luck and doing previous research to know about common issues. Try to find one with lots of service history and invoices that has been serviced regularly. Personally speaking I would walk away from any car with no or partial service history. Although sometimes it's just down to luck but at least you are reducing the chances to getting a lemon as much as you can.

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Last edited by TheVarix; 5 Days Ago at 21:56.
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