Have I done the right thing?? Oil leak and long service intervals!! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 6 Old 04-08-09 Thread Starter
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Have I done the right thing?? Oil leak and long service intervals!!

Hi there,

I have loved Alfa Romeo cars since I saw a beautiful Spider in a carpark in Meltham, Huddersfield. I bought a 1996 spider then had to sell it due to losing my job. Now I'm back on my feet I have purchased a 2004 Alfa 156 1.6 Tspark. I saw it on ebay and it was really well priced. I instantly fell in love with it and bought it. When I got it home, my friends and I decided to go to Newquay in it (from Huddersfield) a 1000 mile round trip. The car had been serviced at 5000 miles in 2005 and hadn't had one since! Whilst on my way back from Newquay the oil pressure light came on when I braked heavily or went round a corner. I got it back home, topped up the oil and it seemed to run ok. I have had it serviced and it seems to run beautifully!! Lots of power for a 1.6 engine. The issues are, my sump seems to have a leak from around the sealant, the car has never had a cambelt service in it's life. It's done 21500 miles now but I'm sure it will need one and it didn't have a service for 4 years of it's life apparently due to low usage. Oh yeah and the aircon pipe leaks into the passenger footwell. I'm not sure whether to just send it back??

I love the car and the sump leak may be due to it bottoming out on a petrol station forecourt recently but I'm just worried now. My 9 year old Polo doesn't cause half as many issues as this beast has done in the last few weeks of new ownership.

It seems to be running well apart from the oil leak. Should I worry?? Any advice on the oil leak front?? there are no visible cracks in the sump. When the garage serviced it, he did say that there wasn't much oil in it at all.

I feel I may have bought a nightmare car!!

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It's just little niggles m8. All cars when you buy them have them no matter what marque they are.

A good Independant Alfa specialist or even a reputable garage can sort out a sump gasket replacement. It will need an oil change when they do it though.
I wouldn't worry too much about the sump bottoming out, they have two items attached that prevent this, a lower plastic engine bay cover (if fitted) and a further alloy bracket that protects the front pipe that would take the impact first before the sump.
It sounds like your sump gasket needs changing... May I suggest that you also invest in some 10w60 fully synthetic oil (45-50 for 5ltrs), it is expensive but also dramatically reduces excessive oil usage that many twin sparks suffer from... other than that, just keep an eye on the oil levels.
I check mine every 3 days even though I don't use any at all, but you never know! It's all the fun of owning an Alfa

Yessssss! Nero black, Black momo leather, sunroof and air con in a 156 2.0 twin spark..... = Heaven, pure heaven

Anyone can give advice on cars like "replace this part, replace that"... Start with the simplest solution and then work your way through it logically... Its a hell of a lot easier and cheaper!
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Who serviced it was he an Alfa Specialist ? I would take it to a good independent and ask him to give the car a full health check there will be plenty on here who will point you in the right direction locally.My wife has a 53 plate 1.6 only done bought four years ago with 23k on the clock has only done 36K now with no major problems but has been sreviced every year even though she only does around 3k a year.My last 1.6 did 45k in 18mths also with no problems but low mileage is no guarantee the cars been looked after properly, should at least have had one major service and an oil and filter change every year with proof,however dont despair these cars are not as fragile as some would have you think they are, but you need an opinon you can trust,oh,and a cambelt service will more than likely be recommended,good luck
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(Post Link) post #4 of 6 Old 04-08-09 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys,

That makes me feel better! :-)

The garage that serviced it isn't an Alfa specialist but he is well known in the area to be quite a perfectionist so I took it to them. They picked up on the slight oil leak but said to keep an eye on it. They said it looks like it's coming from the seal around the sump. I spoke to a local independent and they said that sumps quite often break when they are being removed. I was confused because I thought if you levered the sump off carefully there should be a problem resealing and re-fitting it again.

I love the car though, it's a beautiful metallic grey with a alacantara and sports cloth trim. Looks the business but just don't want to get too attached to it.
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If the last recorded service was in 2005 then it needs a cambelt, aux belt and all rollers/tensioner replaced as the service interval for this is every 3 years or 36k miles whichever comes first if the belts let go it usually leads to terminal engine damage....

What area are you in so someone can recommend a good Alfa indie to go to
(Post Link) post #6 of 6 Old 04-08-09 Thread Starter
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Hi roeburndale,

I'm in Huddersfield, West yorkshire. I've booked the car into a place called Alfatech, Bradley Mills, huddersfield. I don't know what they're like but I'm sure other people within the area of WEST YORKSHIRE use them to look after their alfas.

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intervals , leak , long , oil , service , thing

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