Re: New Sportswagon
I also have a 156 Sportwagon 2001 - now in 3rd week of ownership and likewise, I'm generally very happy with it.
Now, with hot weather, I also have developed creaks. At first I was worried but seaching this forum I find that this is the norm for the 156 and others. The creaks only happen while the day temperature is high and dissappear when the day cools down. I had 2 weeks without a single creak but since the o/s temp went above 25 the creaks have appeared. Shouldn't really be a safety problem as the MOT is only a month old.
The first thing I did was to get the aircon regassed. Regassing annualy is recommended in any case for UK use. It cost £66 at a local Alfa specialist. KwikFit advertise that they do it for £45 with a money back guarantee if the temperature does not drop by 10%. However, they say that the service is currently only available in the London area.
It works fine now. Really cool air at current temperatures but possibly it might struggle if the temperature gets up to 35 or more. I find the fastest way to cool the cabin is using aircon with recirculated air only at first and directed to the top/face area only. Then, switch to feet/face and once fully cool switch off the recirculated air button and the incoming warm air will become cooled. It still works if you don't switch on the recirculated air button but it definately takes longer to notice the effect.
Hope that helps.