Im' going to look at one of these 2000 ALFA ROMEO 156 2.4 JTD 5dr Diesel Sportwagon. I haven't had a 156 before let alone a Diesel is there anything I should be looking out for?
There's a few things to watch out for, all of which have been well documented on here. Use the search function to find a host of threads with people asking the same as you.
The 2.4 engine is pretty bulletproof. Cambelt should have been changed at 70,000 odd. Look for a high clutch, as it may be a sign the friction plate is worn out (£400-£600 to replace the clutch in these things). Check all the CV joints on the drives, make sure there's no splits. Tyres should be evenly worn, suspension shouldn't creak or groan over bumps (find a sleeping policeman). Get on your knees & have a look at the underside of the engine; does it still ahve the undertray? Does the low-sitting sump look damaged? Warning lights - make sure there's none illuminated. Take it for a good long drive (esp in this weather) and make sure the car heats up nicely, with the temp gauge sitting vertically (the thermostats are such a weak design - and they're £70 on the JTD's).
Personally, I'd avoid an older car with the Nivomat self-levelling rear suspension. It was never standard (contrary to what some people may think) and replacement units cost a small fortune). Great when new...
Looking at the Vehicle Identification Plate on the front crossmember (when you open the bonnet): the first generation 2.4's with 136bhp start with the engine no. AR*****, the later 140 versions (which have low CO2 & are Euro 4 compliant) are the longer number with 6.000 in the middle of it.
Oh... on the SW, make sure the rear electric windows work
Just Sold: 2001 156 2.4 JTD (140) Sportwagon Veloce
Replaced by: 2004 (54) Saab 9-5 2.2TiD Linear Sport
Also own: 2007 (07) Vauxhall Astra Twintop 1.6