Should I buy a 156?? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Help Should I buy a 156??

Hi everyone!
I have been offered an Alfa 156 TS 2002 car with 60,000miles which looks in great condition and drives perfectly although we cant trace any history so far.
My question is that I want to use this as a every day car and have heard some horror storys about reliability and parts costs etc...can anyone tell me how strong and reliable these modeles really are and how they are to live with?
would be so grateful for your advice!
kind regards
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Welcome to AO.

I was exactly in the same position as you 4 months ago and decided to go for it.

Now, from what I already know, they ( as all alfas ) need looking after.

I have had to do some minor bits and bobs to mine, but then this would reflct on the price i brought it for. The most drastic was the thermostat packing up at the cost of 32. I fitted the new one so no extra cost there. A bulb went etc etc.

There are a few things that the guys on this forum have put together to help in buying an alfa and what to look for. The main things are Cam belt kit and suspension from what I have heard. There is a link on here somewhere for a check list.

However, despite the little bits and all the niggles, I love this car.

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As has been stated, any car after a certain age will have issues. I've just bought one (51 reg) and it needs thermostat change and some (very minor) cosmetic work. Depends how much the car is going to cost -- bought mine for peanuts, so can't really complain if I have to spend a bit.

I'd say go for it -- except for the fact you can't find any history. Is it a private purchase? How come there's no history? I'd be concerned about that, myself (when was cam belt changed last is biggest concern... no, wait, was it stolen/written off, is a bigger concern!).

That aside, great cars, no less reliable than anything else. Depends how well looked-after it's been, at the end of the day.

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In my opinion if it has no history you have to assume its never been serviced. You can't take anything for granted.

I'd have the cam belt, spark plugs, oil and filters replaced immediately at a cost of around 500. So make sure its cheap!

Otherwise, walk away.
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If it has no history I would advise to get the cambelt and tensioners done right away, along with the cam variator..

They need doing every 36,000 miles or 3 years, and they do often snap if left much longer.

Cost about 350-400 with the variator.

They are generally reliable if well looked after and serviced correctly.

edit: Roswell beat me to it.

Last edited by symon; 15-01-11 at 11:39. Reason: Roswell beat me to it.
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Is there a V5 & current MOT certificate with the car? If so, you can use VOSA's website to check the previous MOT mileages that have been recorded at MOT time. This will at least help you determine if the low mileage is genuine.
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