Iíve decided with the help of an upcoming bonus from work to buy my first Alfa. Iíve previously owned a couple of Subaruís and much more sane Nissan Primera (say what you want itís been the most reliable car Iíve ever owned
). Iíve been doing some lurking and running some searches to try and gain as much info about things to look out for when buying an Alfa as possible. Iíve really set my heart on a fully face lifted 156 Veloce, either a 1.8, 2.0 or one of the diesels. Iíve compiled a mini-list of things Iíve found so far which has kind of been mixed up with some questions, would really appreciate some input from those in the know. (Also I should add that Iíve possibly read a little too much so may sound slightly hysterical about some things).
1) - Cambelts, cambelts, cambelts Ė I picked that much up
On petrols itís worth checking that the variator, balance belt and all tensioners have been done every 36K or 3 years. There seems to be some animosity towards main dealers with regards to this, do they not do all of the above on a cambelt service? Also do water pumps need doing at the same time on a petrol or is that a diesel thing? Are there any side effects of leaving a cambelt not done for a while? Say for example someone bought their 156 in 2004, didnít get the cambelt done until 2009 are there side effects to the rest of the engine not having had it changed or do they just need doing as the risk of them breaking is too great?
2) - Check for knocks/scrapes unusual sounds when driving as there may be suspension issues. Is there much else to check here Iíve heard that the drive shafts are pretty crappy on the 2.4 diesel was this still the case on the face lifted models and whats to look out for when test driving?
3) - Crashy gear changes at high revs also check for clutch slippage.
4) - Checking for flat spots when revving, may be a knackered MAF sensor, is that the only symptoms?
5) - Diesel sound at start up on a petrol Ė Dodgy variator Ė I take it this will induce (or may as well induce) another cam belt change as it all has to come off to get at it am I correct in thinking and also make sure it was changed with the cambelt.
6) - Check for excessive smoke or bugging down which indicates an EGR valve on diesels Ė is this something that is relatively straight forward to fix?
7) - Engine Temps should be at or around 90degrees on a petrol and about 80 on a diesel, lower seems to indicate a buggered thermomstats, are my running temps correct?
8) - Also did all veloceís come with leather interiors? Iíve seen quite a few (mostly from car dealers) that state they are Veloceís but donít have leather and I could have swore I read that they came with leather as standard.
Finally there are a lot of 2.0 JTSís out there for sale and Iíve read some bad things about them but that seems to be on the pre-face lift models. Is the JTS engine worth avoiding on a face lift can you even get a face lifted TS I havenít seen any for sale at all.
Also if anyone has a face lifted veloce that is coming up for sale with decent mileage and full service history around the end of July and lives around the Surrey/Berks/Hants/Kent area please let me know