First Alfa, a 147 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 3 Old 22-01-09 Thread Starter
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First Alfa, a 147

Hi all.

I'm possibly about to buy my first Alfa, and just have a couple of questions about the car that I'm looking at that someone on here might be able to help me with!

I test drove it yesterday. It's a five year old 1.9 JTD Lusso 8v, with a touch over 88,000 on the clock. The guy at the garage was with me on the test drive, and I enjoyed myself so much that I may have worried him a little - they certainly have some pull, these cars!

There's a bit of scuffing to the rear bumper, but looking around it seems I can get a replacement one (if it's not just fixable, which it may be) for under £100, and I can't imagine it being too expensive to paint it. Aside from some minor kerbing on the alloys, and a small dent on the rim of one of them, there car is in good condition.

Here begins the questions... heh.

First, I suppose I should ask about the alloy. If it has a dent in it on the rim, about an inch or so maybe long, is that going to be of any concern? I don't mind getting around to replacing the wheel when money allows, but I certainly don't want to have to find that cash as soon as I've bought the car!

On the test drive, the car felt responsive - first coupla thousand revs, seems like nothing much is happening, then suddenly it hits you in the ass. I've not driven an engine like this before, I assume thats how diesels behave? I'm given to understand that the turbo doesn't kick in straight away?

Also on the test drive, the clutch... now, I hate buying cars. I'm not very good at it, clearly! As I've bought some lemons in the past. So I'm probably just worrying more than I need to, I hope - because I know what it's like, I have driven enough cars and had to drive work vehicles when used to driving my own, and I know cars feel weird when you first get into them. But the clutch just felt weird under my foot, kinda different to what I'm used to... I don't wanna say that it felt "heavy" because, I don't think it did... It elt like there was a different kind of affair going on under my foot, and I admit I'm used to the quite smooth clutch of a Mondeo and a Corsa, but my old MX-5, I think, used to feel very weird too til I got used to it. So, even though that's not really very well worded as a question, I'd just like to know other peoples thoughts? If it shouldn't feel weird for any reason, then I'm going to wonder if the clutch is indeed at fault or failing... can anyone advise the best way that I could test that? When buying petrol cars in the past, I've been recommended to test the clutch/mesh by trying to pull away in a gear other than 1st. When I tried this in the Alfa I pretty much stalled it in 3rd I think it was, but it managed it in 2nd (I say it, I clearly mean me, I hate driving when someone is watching, especially a car dealer). Is that test still valid for the 147? Or for a diesel, even?

Lastly (yay, it's ending!) I would appreciate any other suggestions on things to look out for when buying an Alfa. With a car normally, I know you can check the tyres and look for rust and check the exhaust is falling off, that kinda thing and I'm taking along a checklist and a girlfriend with a much better head on her shoulders when it comes to parting with money than me (who may well have to stop me entirely if we find something wrong, as I don't know if I'll be able to make my head take control of my heart!) but is there anything specific that is worth looking at on the 147? It's a Lusso so I've read on here how the CC works, so will be having a look at that. Any input is *greatly* appreciated!

Oh, and if anyone lives locally who would like to come and help me, feel free to offer! Sorry, only joking. I do hate buying cars though, really annoys me that I love driving so much but am so inept with application of any and all mechanical principles!

Thanks in advance, sorry for the wall of text.

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Re: First Alfa, a 147

Hi Salvor, when driving listen for a rubber type squeeking from what sounds like the top of the dash as this is likely to be knackered upper arms, knocking from low down in the footwell could be anti roll bar and knocking/feeling sloppy at the rear is likely to be rear track control arms.

Check if power steering pipes from the resevoir to the pump and have been replaced if not likely to be leaking as they corrode with age. Also cam belt should have been changed at at the most 72000 miles.

Don't worry too much if the front tyres are worn an the inside edge as this is normal and I have not been able to stop this in 5 years.

I don't mean to put you off but if all this work needs doing it will set you back about £1500 at a good indie.

If all is good then enjoy, have had my JTD 8v played with and is now running 168 BHP and is great.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 3 Old 23-01-09 Thread Starter
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Re: First Alfa, a 147

Excellent, cheers Bigdog73, all valuable information. I look forward to seeing the car again tmw... and maybe even buying it...
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