New 147 1.6 owner, niggling issues and questions - Alfa Romeo Forum
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147 TS 1.6

New 147 1.6 owner, niggling issues and questions

Hi all, this forum has so far been extremely helpful with regards to information. But I have a few little sounds with my car that are worrying me.

The 147 is a 2001 TS 1.6, and it has done 38k miles so far.

I purchased the car recently, and I made sure it had both the FSH and had also had its cambelt changed.

The previous owner changed the cambelt at 35k miles, and in the receipts it's listed by the garage that carried out the work as 'Cambelt Kit'.

My first question is regarding that change and whether this means the cambelt and tensioner's were done. The garage I purchased the car off said such a thing written as 'cambelt kit' would mean the whole lot, so I now don't have to worry about this until the 65k-70k mark, right?

Another issue I have on start-up is a horrible engine retching sound. The only sort of sound I can compare this to is when changing gear and it doesn't quite happen when at high revs.

This sound lasts for all of 1-2 seconds on immediate start-up. After a little searching on these forums all I can think of it being is the variator. But now I'm wondering whether this should have been changed on the first cambelt change, or is it something that needs doing at the 65k mark cambelt change?

A friend has commented that the car sounds like a diesel on start-up, and me then feeling a little embarrassed could only comment and say it's a more powerful engine than his 1.3 Fiesta. Yes, he annoyed me with his comment, but he may have a point I admit.

When driving the car I can also hear a screeching/whistling sound when the vehicles speed is lowering in the region of 10-25 mph. No idea if this is at all related. The sound is very faint, and you can only really hear it if the window is down slightly, but it remains constant at the lower speeds.

And finally, a question on oil. From a little research on here a lot of people suggest to put 10-40w semi-synthetic oil in such a car. Is this fine for a 1.6 TS, as these suggestions for this oil came mostly for the 2.0l engines.

If I were to add this oil to the car currently without draining out the current oil in it, would this be an issue also? With me obviously not knowing what has previously been used in it.

For some reason I'm starting to think this is going to be an expensive car to own, but I'd rather be on top of it all and know exactly what to expect from it with repairs.

Many thanks for being a community with some priceless information so far, as it has helped wonders so far.

Merry xmas all.

Last edited by ColR; 24-12-10 at 23:21.
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well first off all 2.ltr t spark use 5w 40 full syn oil ? and yes it be wise to drain all the oil out and refill it with fresh oil how ever i have mix oil before and had no issue but its worth drainin it all out and puttin fresh oil. also about the car runing like diesel hmmmmmmm check the oil cos i remember on one off my alfa i drained the oil out due to a oil sump leak .and then i had a guy came around to buy the car from me and i said to him there no oil due to leak and then he brought some around anyway so he oil put one ltr off oil in and started it and it daaaam sounded like diesel >so he walk away anyway i dont no why he only put one ltr in in the first place . so check the oil or try to topp it up and then see how it sounds like or do a oil change try that also thease cars can be expensive if you dont maintain them well so remeber won thing all ways keep an eye on you water oil etc etc etc quite reg ????????? and the noise sound i cant tell you about other untill i hear the car myself other wise i can give you 20 diff answer witch is some thing you dont want to her
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My old 1.6 sounded like a diesel on startup aswell, not everytime but it seemed to do it more when i hadnt used it for a while or it was cold. It was the variator and i was told it was nothing to worry about so once i knew that i didnt worry about it. Cant say what the other noise could be but have you checked the power steering fluid level? Its common for the p s pipes to leak and mine was the same age as yours and i heard a similar noise and it was because of this. I cant remember exactly but i think if you look down the left hand side of the engine between the washer bottle etc and the cambelt cover they are right down at the bottom. 2 silver pipes held on with a bracket and that is where they tend to leak from so may be worth checkimg that. After i had mine changed the noise i could hear was gone
Edit: if its been looked after theres no reason why it should be any more expemsive to own than any other car. As long as you keep on top of things and check the obvious things what can go wrong you should be fine, mine was a Y reg and never let me down hope you enjoy your car

Driving fast got me into trouble, driving faster got me out of it

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I have a 2001 156, my first Alfa, and I have found my niggles, but I love it. Only 2 days ago I had to change the thermostat, but hey, I love it. Mine too sounds like a diesel on start up, I have been told thats totally normal by my local alfa dealer ?? !!

I have or had a really quite loud high pitched squealing coming from one of the drivers side wheels. A bit of a strip down and found it to be the rear brake backing plates for the brakes making slight contact with the wheel !!!!! looked a bit bent probably from a wheel change or something. 10W40 oil is the right choice, I have been told where convenient to always change the oil and then do a re-fill, however, a few top-ups wont harm. I have owned Italian motorbikes and a couple of fiats and from knowledge, they do command a little more TLC than the average " ford " like what was previously mentioned, check the fluids, say like on a weekly basis, and aside from that all should be a pleasant Alfa experience.
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put 10/60 in, that will shut the variator up

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The diesel noise is the Variator. Had exactly same on mine and changed it when i changed the timing belt. Noise completely gone now! The noise has no effect on the car but recommend that it is changed when timing belt is done. The part is an alfa only part and costs 100. Once you are doing the timing belt it is not that much of an additional procedure to change the variator.

Drain the oil completely, change the oil filter and fill up with Valvoline 10W 40 or Selenia.

Timing belt kit should include belt, tensioner and idler pulley.

The screeching noise could be numerous things but sounds to be gearbox related...maybe the diff but hard to say. Mileage would suggest it should not be.

Alfas require a lot of TLC. Check oil regularly and when u come across faults/suspicions try to deal with them sooner rather than later.
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