This is from Honest johns website
Might be useful to anyone contemplating buying a 2nd hand 156.(Mac P?)Note the reccomendation on cambelts!!!!!!!!
Fabulous styling. Brilliant engines. 1.8 and 2.0 litre Twin-Sparks are great. 190 bhp 24v 2.5 V6 is a real hooligan. All have 'Quick-Rack' steering. Pure, unadulterated handling well up to the job with Sports packs; less good without. 3-year warranty. 2.0 litre Selaspeed with thumb operated gearchange buttons on steering wheel works very well on country roads, but less satisfactory in town. 'Q' system V6 is a full automatic. Gruff but grunty 136 bhp 2.4JTD arrived in Summer 1999, offering 224 lb. ft. torque. Sport 1 spec adds carbon fibre console, bodykit, 16in alloys with 205/55 tyres, sports suspension and 'Blitz' cloth trim. Sport 2 spec adds Recaro front seats. Sport 3 spec adds Momo leather. £13,495 120 bhp 1.6TS in UK from Spring 2000. All prices cut from same date with 1.8TS down to £15,405. No missing 'Red Key' problems as it has a different immobiliser system. In June 2002 Alfa Romeo announced 156s with its new 165bhp 2.0 litre JTS direct injection petrol engine. The 2.4 litre 156 JTD direct injection diesel got a power hike to 150bhp. And first imports of the blisteringly fast 250bhp 3.2 litre GTA started to arrive. JTS stands for Jet Thrust Stoichiometric. Alfa has abandoned twin spark plugs in favour of directly injecting the fuel air mixture to the combustion chamber, running at lean burn to 1,500rpm and a stoichiometric 14.7:1 air:fuel mixture thereafter. Compression ration is raised to 11.3:1, power is up 15bhp and torque up 18 lb ft. 156 JTSs start at £17,720 for the saloon and £18,820 for the Sportwagon. Revised mapping pulled the 5-cylinder JTD up from 140bhp to 150bhp at 4,000rpm and torque to 225lb ft at 1,800rpm. Fuel economy is slightly improved at 42.8 mpg on the combined cycle v/s 42.1 mpg from the 140bhp JTD. 156 JTDs start at £17,835 for the saloon and £18,930 for the Sportwagon. The awe inspiring 3,179cc GTA V6 pumps out a class leading 250bhp at 6,200rpm and 221 lb ft torque at 4,800rpm. GTA prices start at £26,900 for the saloon and £27,900 for the Sportwagon. VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) is fitted to all post June 2002 156s except the GTA. The new range is distinguished from the older cars by new central console switches for the climate control incorporating LED pictograms. Range prices start with the 1.6 Turismo at £14,610. Thankfully they havenít messed around with the stunning exterior styling of the car, so the picture shows the new console switches. One reader has reported 100% reliability from his Selaspeed box for 12,000 miles.
More at www.alfaromeo.co.uk
Police Alert' spoilers optional on Sport 2 and Sport 3 spec will attract plod. Sub-20 mpg fuel consumption of V6 if you boot it. Trim quality not up to BMW standards. 5-speed gearchange on 1.8 and 2.0 can feel a bit floppy. Turn-in not as sharp as Peugeot 306 GTi-6 or even 406 2.0 litre Coupe. Usual Alfa build-quality problems with electrics. Fuel enrichment device may stick, leading to poor starting. Dealers are a very mixed bag. Resale values fell heavily in early 2000 even before price cuts. V6 and JDT can eat front tyres on the inside edge (need realiging with less toe-out). Paint problems with solid lacquered black. FIAT/Alfa joint worst for breakdowns attended by German ADAC during 2001. 9th from Bottom of 100 models for reliability in Auto Express 2002 survey. 18th from Bottom in 144 car 2002 JD Power / What Car? Customer Satisfaction Survey of V and W reg cars. Alfa Romeo had joint highest average cost in warranty claims for cars up to 10 years old in 2002 Warranty Direct index www.performanceindex.co.uk
Joint fourth bottom in 2002 Which reliability survey of cars up to 2 years old; 74 cars surveyed. Alfa Romeo 2nd least reliable of 31 makes of car in 2002 'Which?' reliability survey cars 2000 - 2002; 3rd least reliable cars 1997 - 1999.
What to Watch Out For
Worn front tyres on V6. Front suspension alignment, in particular toe-out is critical. Accident damage. Kerbed alloys. Make sure aircon works properly. Feel the discs through the wheels for scoring or shouldering. 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. Clonks from rear suspension mean that bolts through he aluminium suspension components have not been tightened periodically causing wear and replacement bushes take a long time to arrive. Make sure a/c blows cold as can leak refrigerant. Stoned glass headlight lenses cost £175 each to replace.
June 1999: Safety recall No 4054: Modify rear hinge mounting on all four side doors to prevent hinges splitting from doors. 2000: 156, built Nov '97-Oct '98: Brake pipe connector may crack and leak. September 2002: TSB issued to change timing belts and tensioners at 36,000 miles rather than 72,000 miles.