I'm a complete newbie regarding ALFAS and mechanics in general...
I'm about to buy a 2001; 147 1.6TS distinctive (120HP) --- 65.000kms (40.000miles) for about 5000€ (£4500) --- here in Portugal.
I was shown the maintenance logbook, and receipts for it all.
The car had all maintenance done at an ALFA local dealer, except for the last one - 60.000kms (37.000miles) - which was done, supposedly by a ex-official ALFA dealer mechanic, now working on his own - You know how this all works out, right?
Might end up being a great mechanic, or a smart ***!!
One of the first receipts was for changing the entire "suspension’s stabilizing bar" (sorry for the Portuguese to English literal translation) to prevent the "tump"/"clacking" sound when turning the wheels during parking. The guy selling me the car confessed the sound had come back.
The "phase variance "thingy" (variable valve timing system) (again sorry for the translation) hasn't been changed yet. I hear something of a very faint diesel sound when starting the engine, which stopped some 10 seconds after.
The front bumper has a crack near to the ground, more to the driver’s side that needs fixing.
Looking for the after effects of what was claimed to be a simple parking accident, a friend of mine spotted - while looking downwards through the bonnet locker - that the radiator was slightly curved inwards. We couldn't quite figure out if it was simply designed that way, or if it was related to the slight smashing of the fender bumper.
But what is making us wonder is that the water in the radiator deposit was completely brown!!!
Is this a very bad thing?
Could the brown water be related with the curved radiator? or are they different issues?
Could the brown water (rust I guess) and therefore lack of anti-freezing liquid (blueish or reddish liquid I guess) have dire consequences to the engine?
What about the price?
The cheaper this cars get here seems to be 6500-7000€ (5.800£-6200£) sometimes with more miles/km, although perhaps with better exteriors.
The interiors of the car I'm thinking of buying for about 5000€ (£4500) are not bad at all. A few fingernail scratches on the door handles and several buttons, but that's about it! The driving Wheel doesn’t show signs of use. Although the drivers seat, does!! Slightly used driver's seat inner material on the left side, from entering and leaving the car; but cloth was quite all right everywhere!
Slight outside scratches, and a soft small dent on one door due to careless opening of the door.
One of the door's black plastic material was fading. By the way, how do you guys take care/prevent that? Is there a refurbishing product?
What do you guys think?
a) Just buy the damn car? It sounds a good opportunity!!!
b) It sounds like you are gone get in trouble if you buy it!!!
Help much appreciated!!!