I had many issues with my 156 Selespeed, thank god nothing as yet with my 147 Manual. An Alfa 156 or 147 are have been very desirable, since they became cheap to puchase around 2007 till now, many owners just fall in love with this luxury cheap car, but 80% of those owners have no idea that an Alfa is not your ordinary vehicle. It requires love and passion, and very thourough study of how to take care of them. It is more than just a car for me its a hobby to keep her shmick. If your car didnt have a good owner you will have issues!!
Here are some things new owner do's and donts:
-Oil check every week or after a long trip
-Correct grade of oil (not 0-30 Mobil crap etc)
-Geniune Oil filter
-Cluch rod adjustment every year (selespeed)
-Alfa specialist mechanic not your local or friend
-Premium fuel only not (ethanol or fuels below 95 octane)
-Good quality battery like Bosch
-Driving of selespeed properly like putting it in nuetral whilst sitting at lights for too long etc
-Failures of cambelts must also fix bottom ends not just top ends
-Proper coolant (red) not the green stuff, also never mix coolants if you have top up. Use Paraflu
- Using genuine parts (not ebay cheapies)
If everyone followed these guides and more which i cant think right now i am at work, our Alfas woudlnt have these issues. And owners who arent prepared to open the bonnet or pay a bit more for genuine parts should not drive Alfas.