159 2.4 20007 plate
19,500 DPF/EGR by
AO Silver Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
£1700 is a lot of money for an 01 plate 1.6 147. Even in good condition with low miles.
Check when the cambelt was last changed as it is due every 36,000 miles or every 3 years which ever comes soonest. That is a £280 job minimum, or replacement head and big end bearings if the belt breaks - as so many have when age or mileage are exceeded!
Also listen carefully for variator rattle on start up (sound like a diesel engine), it might last just one or two seconds but that adds £100 to the above cambelt price.
Have you driven on bumpy roads and listened for squeaks and knocks from the front suspension. Not a deal breaker but another price reduction required - a £100 per side for a squeak and £150 per side for a clunk add the two together if you have both noises. Most people recommend that if one side has a component changed then the other side should be done as well so the above is doubled. Then add £60 for a four wheel alignment if suspension components are changed.
If the suspension clunk can be felt under your feet that is probably the antiroll bar mountings rather than top or bottom wishbones and that is about £300.
It is also worth having a very good look underneath, the under seal does peel on some of these cars; it can be fixed relatively cheaply if the rust hasn't taken hold - I think Autolusso give a price for the work on their website.
Also have a very close look at the sills as these can corrode from the inside out so is seen as bubbling in the paint / underseal.
Does it have two keys and do both work the remote central locking correctly and start the car. A replacement key is about £350 fully coded to the car. And forget the ebay offers of keys for sale and recoding cheap - it doesn't work with these keys.
Do all the windows work. Don't be fobbed off that it is just a switch if one doesn't work. The switches rarely fail it is usually the mechanism siezed. Available second hand and not difficult to fit.
Look very closely at the tyres front and rear across their full width. These cars can trash the inside edge of the front tyres while the rest and easily visible remainder looks fine. It is the manufacturers alignment settings that causes this but that can be changed to reduce wear. If the rear tyres are wearing unevenly that could be rear suspension arms that need replacement or adjustment - yes the rear is adjustable on these cars.
All the above can be dealt with but have a good search on here and you will quickly find the common faults with these cars.
Finally, some engines use oil - some don't. If you do buy the car start by checking the oil level with EVERY fuel refill then reduce the checks as you learn how much yours is using. My son's doesn't use any (well maybe a pint every 4,000 miles) but other people report quite high levels of oil use and there isn't an oil level warning light on the dash board so the first you know is the oil pressure light is staying on and possible serious engine damage as a result.
Don't get me wrong, me and my family have driven Alfas for the last 35 years and they are great cars but it is not a Ford Focus cart horse it is a thoroughbred (fragile) and must be treated as one. If it is good with a decent service history and recent cambelt change then they are very reliable and fun to drive cars.
Last edited by kandlbarrett; 20-08-12 at 23:23.