Originally Posted by atlaz
Some of you may have seen this on another Alfa forum but...
I'm looking to get a 156 in the coming weeks and wondered if other than cam and variator and the usual pitfalls (rust, leaks etc), if there's something I need to check out?
Ex water leakage: early models had water enter the interior floor. Check under floor carpet.
Front suspension upper wishbone ball joint. Both check for wear and if rubber seal is OK. General suspension: Take it for a ride and check for sounds from suspension, drive fast through longer curves and check if the car behaves ok. Do a panick brake on even and level ground and check if it has a tendency to move to l or r. Could be brakes, but also suspension If it lift the rear end and wiggles the tail it could be worn rear bushings.
Cambelt variator etc: check history and get written doc on whats been done. Not possible to check more then papers and start-up noise. Try to test it while cold not prestarted by the seller. OPen bonnet and listen carefully while idling for strange hard noises from cambelt side. Check oil to see if its old and dark. Not good sign. Skip an oil change on a tspark and all hell can brake loose in there.
A/C listen for pulley bearing, try to move the pulley and see if the bearing is worn.
Frontlights are prone to be misaligned from manufacturer. Frontlights have full and dipped in same casting and some are misaligned so that either the dipped or full is OK. Not both. Mine were all over. When dipped was ok, full was pointing at the sky.
Its not complete and could be relevant for any car really. Still the best drivers car IMO.