Newish Owner. List of faults. Help Appreciated - Alfa Romeo Forum
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156 JTS

Newish Owner. List of faults. Help Appreciated

Hi All,
I've done some searches. Some of my questions have been answered. Some haven't.
Background. 2003 156 2.0 JTS. Bought 2 months ago at 86000 miles. Now on 89000. It's got some service history. Soon as I bought it I changed the oil for expensive 10w60 with a new filter. New air filter. New thermostat as was stuck open. Lots of injector cleaner and an "Autobahn" 2 hours to clean everything out. ECU reset to reset the throttle adaptations etc. Now I have a nice smooth idle and quite a happy engine.....most of the time.
So.... The list, I'd be great full for any input.
Biggest issues are the engine faults. There are no DTCs stored. If you drive between 2000 and 3000rpm the engine is perfect. When less then 2000 it sounds a bit ok when cruising (say on the flat at 30 in 5th) but as soon as you ask for a bit more acceleration there's often a gentle mis fire.
However in the last week it's taken a bit more of a bad turn. I've always felt its not as quick as it should be but I thought it might be just because of the cars I've had in the past and the cars I drive every day at work (500bhp plus) just making it feel a bit sluggish. But now when you ask for a decent amount of throttle over 3000 rpm the engine almost seems to cut and mis fire badly and refuses to accelerate. The MIL light comes on and the motor control fault go to dealer pops up but only while your asking for the accell. As soon as you back off or shift gear it is happy again. Within a couple of seconds the MIL light and message centre warning have gone and as I said earlier no DTCs. Scan tool tells when all the obd's have been completed and all pass. Suggesting that both cat and maf are ok. There's no piggybacking of Lamada sensors been done. I was hoping for at least a DTC to go on. But nothing!!! Help!!!
Noises from the front suspension. Previous owner had the upper wishbone done on he left hand side. However there seems to be a few rattles and squeaks from the front end. What's the most likely to be worn on the 156's? I thought at first it was track rod ends but they seem to be pretty solid....I think the squeak is the anti roll bar bushes are they a cheap easy change or a pain?
Sorry to make my first post a moan and plee for help......
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Performance sounds like it could be the timing belt, has it been changed recently?

Your suspension, along with everybody else's, will be knackered by age, wear and dire state of the roads. I would suspect you could easily make a case for changing most of the various bushes...
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Firstly, welcome to the Alfisti fold,

The petrol boys would be better suited to answer your first question but from post I have read previously it sounds like a worn variator issue.

As a general rule...
The upper wishbones squeak when worn
The lower wishbones knock when worn
The ARB bushes do both when wearing/worn

You can squirt silicon grease into the bushes with a syringe to prolong their life, there is a guide somewhere on here.

For quicker answers, try googling: alfaowner (insert your problem description)
It's much easier than the forum search as a first step and often yields the results you need.
Also, this page and this link is very informative: Alfa Romeo

What is your job and what do you drive if you will excuse my curiosity?


Alfa 156 M-Jet 16v Sport
Rhoddy Harvey Bailey revalved Bilsten B8 damping kit
Eibach Pro Kit
15mm wheel spacers
Wiechers strut brace
Air freshener
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(Post Link) post #4 of 4 Old 05-12-12 Thread Starter
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156 JTS

Hi Nick,
Thanks, ill try and search in that way it sounds a good idea.

The link about the variator was perfect and exactly why i posted thanks. The link for the bad variator sound is how my engine is sounding. However would the result of a broken variator be as extreme as im seeing??

Thinking about the conditions ive heard the different noises in i think ive got a combination of all the suspension points you put but thank you for confirming my thoughts its very useful to have the vehicle specific input.

I work in research and development for Jaguar Land Rover so drive and fix both current and future models for my job. F-Type is a beauty. As is the new Range Rover
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