Lucky, or just underreported normality? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Lucky, or just underreported normality?


I joined these pages two years ago, when I bought my first Alfa. Everybody have heard about the struggles of being an Alfa owner, so I thought I should be prepared for future challenges.

I bought an Alfa 156 sportwagon 2004 model, with 130.000 km on the clock. Previous owner had taken good care of it, regulary (standard) services all followed. Nothing special in his 6 years ownership.

Today, the car is almost 9 old (feb. 2013). It has run 160.000 km, and still nothing is wrong.

-There has never been any electrical errors.
-The engine runs smoothly, always starts no-matter temperature outside (In Norway it has experienced below 30 degress celsius).
-It runs at 0.6 litre per 10 km on normal fine driving. (0,55 on the computer, found out to be approx. just below 10 % wrong.)
-It is damn pratical car for my use.
-In Norway it is very cheap to insure. Cost about just the same as my boring 1,6 litre Opel Ascona from 1986.

Things that has been necessary to something with.
-Two wheel bearings behind. Brake plates behind, and brake pads roundabout.
-Rear shock absorbers.
-And only once changed the suspension links (all 4), never the anti-roll bar bushes!
-The handbrake on these car are just weak in every sense of the word.

From my experience I have found that fully synthetic 5w-40 is the best oil. The engine runs most smoothly on this grade, and the use of oil (though much) is not really larger than thicker grades (Tried Mobil 1 5w-50 and other 5w-50 brands).

-So, I'm really impressed with the car, in any aspect. But, still waiting for the Alfa downside to come. Actually I think it won't.

-Am I lucky, or is my story more normal than most people would like to believe?



Last edited by Viesker; 15-12-12 at 00:47.
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A good reliability record indeed, shows what good maintenance will do.

Of course on forums like this people will only tend to post when they have a problem with their car. there are probably plenty of happy owners without problems running about!
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That sounds normal reliability to me.

As long as an Alfa is well serviced, all items that start to knock, squeak, rattle etc. are treated and rectified asap, then you have a really reliable car

Leaving things like drop links to rattle for a while causes the AR bushes to move and fail, same with wishbone bushes... If one item fails it inevitably puts undue pressure on other connected parts so they start to fail quickly

That's why we often see posts where a car has had a £1000 + bill in order to get it back in good condition, catching issues quickly pays for itself in the long run.

You also have to remember that when looking through this forum, 90% of posts are from people looking for answers, cures and help... yet another 90% of forum members don't need to post, they have perfectly healthy cars
So a 1 in 10 ratio is not a bad reliability factor in effect
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Very true Grahameo.
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Last edited by agent smith; 06-03-13 at 17:45.
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alfa gt jtdm

had mine 18 months its a gt jtdm apart from a service and belt/water pump change it has had a battery and repair to the climate control .Which i think is not to bad .Now we drive an Alfa, does every one not think every little knock funny noise or rattle means the something terminal is about to happen because its an Alfa .I know i do lol
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Have to side with the Op here, had our 147 for around 18 months now and only real problem we have had was a fan relay which threw up a MCSF error, but wasn't really a problem as was fixed in around 10 minutes and to be honest would rather fix it early than overheat at some point.
Have done a few other bits, droplinks wishbones etc but that was more because I was changing suspension than it was needed so was more me saving labour.
Have to say I have owned a lot of VW's in the past and I wish they had all been as much of a pleasure to work on than this car, and I don't think I'll be going back any time soon.
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And the 147 is MUCH prettier than a Golf
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Had our 156 for 11 years now. Pretty much flawless - routine servicing + fairly regular suspension replacement when something started knocking, but we live down a very bumpy track, so we are being pretty hard on it. Only "non service items" in the last year have been a driveshaft going grumbly and the thermostat.
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Originally Posted by AutobotVanguard View Post
And the 147 is MUCH prettier than a Golf
Oh yes, never used to look back at the Vw's (except maybe my Corrado) but do it all the time with the 147
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lucky , normality , underreported

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