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Alfa 147 help/opinions?

Hey guys, I'm fairly new to this forum, and I'm just looking for some help/hints and opinions.
I am currently looking to buy my first ever car and I'm thinking of getting an Alfa 147.
I'm not a hoon, I won't thrash the car.
The only criticism I've heard is about the performance when the car is thrashed.
Is selespeed as bad as everyone says it is?

Anything would be helpful.

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147 is not a bad car, just be prepared to pay a little more attention to it. It doesn't like to be neglected, you need to check the oil regularly, some do consume a lot, some dont. Also cambelt is very sensitive, needs to be changed every 3 years or 36k miles, make sure that the belt job was done recently on the car you are getting or push the price down and budget for it.

147 handles very well, just be prepared for some suspension noises and eventual change of arms and bushes.

Trashing the car is absolutely no problem if you make sure everything is properly warmed up before and car has regular service. You can drive it hard with no issues.

There are mixed reviews on selespeed. Its quite nice when it works, auto mode is poor but when you use the paddles it drives ok, considering its age and dated origin. The issue is that it brakes down sometimes and if it breaks down, its usually in gear and you cant move/push/tow your car at all... I wouldn't call it bad, but its sensitive and costly to repair. Personally I would like to drive selespeed every now and then but I wouldn't buy it as my daily driver.

Do a little search on the forum, you will find much more buying advice for 147.

And if you can afford, get a 2,0 instead of 1,6. Economy is almost the same and its much more fun.

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147 2.0 T-Spark

Just out of intrest, what is the criticism you have heard about it been thrashed? Mine has had a right good old thrash on motorways and most B roads in the peaks and 105,000 later she still pulls like the day I got her with 20k on it. Dont get me wrong, its serviced when its needed, everything is checked pretty much every weekend and anything that needs doing gets done.

I only ever tried the selespeed when I was looking to buy but after 10 mins I realised it wasnt for me, advice would be to try one of each and see which suits you better.

In fact the harder you drive it the more it rewards you unlike your typcial german yawn boxes.
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great car, but be aware you need to love the alfa's, They are very unique and far more advanced than other cars in many ways,. But they do love to drive, And it's very easy to become a hoon in one, A+ car but take attention and detail, be choosy when finding a service agent.
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I've had two 147s, for 9 years in total, and have never had a problem with them. Best advice is to read the forum here, but remember that people usually only post when they've got a problem, so don't take the number of "problem" posts as meaning that every car has problems. Personally, my 147s have been the best-behaved cars I've ever owned.

A few things I've noticed with my two 147s:
1. Timing belts! The interval is very short - don't risk going over it, and don't buy a car unless it's got official paperwork to show a new belt was fitted. Intervals are every 50,000 km. Also, be aware that part of the variable valve timing system (inlet cam variator) wears, and needs to be replaced with the timing belt. The symptom of a worn variator is a diesel-like engine sound at startup and loss of engine pick up. If this is needed, it'll increase the cost of the belt service.

2. Suspension. Depending on which revision you get, the stock suspension is a little to bouncy (pre-2004), or a little too firm (post-2004). On mine, I invested in a set of Koni FSD shocks, and while they make the overall ride a little firmer than I'd like, they absorb road imperfections far better than the stock setup. On the stock suspension, the bushes often wear early, particularly on the rear suspension.

3. Suspension, again. The front wishbones can wear out - cheap enough to fix, though; the symptom is a squeaking sound when you go over speed-bumps. (Note, a similar squeaking can also be due to dust collecting on the rubber parts, so try hosing down first).

4. Oil: These engines take a lot of oil. Check it regularly. My first 147 (2002) consumed quite a bit (I'd need to add a litre every 8-10 weeks), but the second (2007) has been much more frugal.

5. Cruise Control: The electronics for the cruise are all in place in every car, you just need the control stalk. There are posts here about how to find and fit it. I would definitely recommend cruise control, btw: it's too easy to lose your licence without it.

6. Rattles: when closed, the rear hatch rests on a pair of springloaded rubber stoppers. These can sometimes make cracking or rattling sounds. The fix is again easy (they have screw-heads inside them that allows you to lock them closed, and this removes any rattling), but it may be something you can talk down a price with

Apart from that, there's very little I'd say against the 147. I know three other people who had them, and none of them had any problems with their cars either. That's a small sample, but it's a hell of a lot better than my VW-owning friends could say.

Last edited by KrisW; 28-11-11 at 13:58.
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