Is the 156 JTS 2002 2.0 a good car? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Help Is the 156 JTS 2002 2.0 a good car?

Hi!

I just brought my first Alfa Romeo, a 156 JTS 2.0 of 2002, i love the car but already received some negative comments from no alfa romeo owners, I think probably because ignorance, but they said that the engine of this cars crushes a lot, if is necessary to fix is expensive, they drink a lot of petrol and the italian cars are not good (what? the person gave the example of Fiats's, I gave the example of Ferraris, ).
The person who sold me the car is a mechanic, he gave the guarantee that the car is ok and of course if there is any problem I go back straight away to him, and he said he changed the oil, the filters and the cam-belt. I saw already in this forum that we should change every 35000Km the cambelt and check the oil every week.

So, is this car really a good car? Why the people say those things? And what do you recommend for his maintenance?

Kind regards,

Joana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoanaSaphira View Post
Hi!

I just brought my first Alfa Romeo, a 156 JTS 2.0 of 2002, i love the car but already received some negative comments from no alfa romeo owners, I think probably because ignorance, but they said that the engine of this cars crushes a lot, if is necessary to fix is expensive, they drink a lot of petrol and the italian cars are not good (what? the person gave the example of Fiats's, I gave the example of Ferraris, ).
The person who sold me the car is a mechanic, he gave the guarantee that the car is ok and of course if there is any problem I go back straight away to him, and he said he changed the oil, the filters and the cam-belt. I saw already in this forum that we should change every 35000Km the cambelt and check the oil every week.

So, is this car really a good car? Why the people say those things? And what do you recommend for his maintenance?

Kind regards,

Joana
I think they're great, I've had mine for 7 years and apart from a cam belt breaking, its never given me any problems..

The cam belts need doing every 60,000 kms by the way. (oh wait, did you mean 35,000 miles?)

All engines have their issues - I would say that the JTS can get coked up a lot, its best to use 98RON fuel and as you say, check the oil every week and make sure you run 10w60 full synth..

The other problem with them is that the crank is very soft, so never run the oil low.. never skip a service. Never yell at her.. she's sensitive.

Give it a good run every now and then to burn off any water and fuel in the oil if you do mainly short trips.. but when you do go on a long fast run - check the oil!! it will drop fast.

Otherwise, don't fang it when its cold - give that thick oil a chance to warm up and thin out before you put the foot down... should take about 15v mins and make sure you service it regularly...

I've upgraded my suspension and replaced anything that had a hint of being worn out and I have to say, she drives like new and she's lovely..

Oh - and the fuel consumption is excellent.. i get about 800kms to a tank. Compared to the GTA it's more like a prius! maybe not a good comparison...

Edit: reading my reply it sounds like its a full time job cuddling this car.. its not.. all you need to do is respect it, treat it kindly.... if you want to thrash it, warm it up first.. otherwise for me its been trouble and hassle free.

Last edited by Alfa156Melb; 05-01-14 at 13:23.
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The JTS 2.0 is a bit of a pig of an engine and in the early 156's it was very underpowered due to a few reasons.

However you have it now so if it drives ok and you are happy with it then that's all that matters!
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Thumbs Up Thanks!

Thanks Alfa156Melb , your post was very helpful!

Yes, I really wrote kilometers, because I thought it was written in kilometers in the post I took that, lol, it seemed a little weird, I think I saw a K somewhere and I confused.

I am using already the 98RON fuel because I have the experience from another cars that used to work better with this fuel.

I agree with you that the difference comparing to common cars is that these cars we need to take care with respect .

Kind regards,

Joana



Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfa156Melb View Post
I think they're great, I've had mine for 7 years and apart from a cam belt breaking, its never given me any problems..

The cam belts need doing every 60,000 kms by the way. (oh wait, did you mean 35,000 miles?)

All engines have their issues - I would say that the JTS can get coked up a lot, its best to use 98RON fuel and as you say, check the oil every week and make sure you run 10w60 full synth..

The other problem with them is that the crank is very soft, so never run the oil low.. never skip a service. Never yell at her.. she's sensitive.

Give it a good run every now and then to burn off any water and fuel in the oil if you do mainly short trips.. but when you do go on a long fast run - check the oil!! it will drop fast.

Otherwise, don't fang it when its cold - give that thick oil a chance to warm up and thin out before you put the foot down... should take about 15v mins and make sure you service it regularly...

I've upgraded my suspension and replaced anything that had a hint of being worn out and I have to say, she drives like new and she's lovely..

Oh - and the fuel consumption is excellent.. i get about 800kms to a tank. Compared to the GTA it's more like a prius! maybe not a good comparison...

Edit: reading my reply it sounds like its a full time job cuddling this car.. its not.. all you need to do is respect it, treat it kindly.... if you want to thrash it, warm it up first.. otherwise for me its been trouble and hassle free.
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Thanks!

Thanks for your post!

Yes, I am happy for now but I just have him for some days.

So, that is why the comments of the people? What were that reasons?

Regards,

Joana

Quote:
Originally Posted by OperationAlfa View Post
The JTS 2.0 is a bit of a pig of an engine and in the early 156's it was very underpowered due to a few reasons.

However you have it now so if it drives ok and you are happy with it then that's all that matters!
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Totally agree use decent fuel and the right oil and thrash it easy 35mpg when you wnt it and easy 120 cruise if u want look after it and it will look after you dont cut corners and have fun.
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The negative comments often come from people who don't take the time to understand the car; they then get upset when there are problems. As with any car, there are common issues which need to be looked out for. I don't have a JTS, mine is the earlier twin spark, but there several threads on here about the potential issues. Do a bit of research, keep it serviced and don't be tempted to skip cambelt replacements every 36000 miles. Make sure you check the oil level every week and before/after a long run, as some engines do use more oil than you might expect. It's not a problem, just a fact of the engine design.

Otherwise they are great cars, and will always make you smile. Well, almost always.

There are many helpful people on the forum who will gladly give advice when you need it.

Enjoy!
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Coil packs, Lambdas, Cats, completely random codes just appearing (especially random diesel related codes), other than that it's better than a Twin spark in every way and cheaper to service.
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Think I'd rather have a 2.0 TS than a 2.0 JTS.

Jowever the JTS engine (Essentially the same as a twinspark bar the top end) is a more advanced engine and could have been very good. Unfortuantly it suffers with similar problems of the Twinspark with the added issues of a direct injection system.

Doesn't mean its unreliable or a poor performer. Its just if something does go wrong it can be a bit more of a pig to fix.
Keep on top of the maintenance and it should be a sweet little car.

All you need to worry about is the chocolate suspension that plagues GTs 156 and 147's.

Regards
Scott
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I'm now in my 4th year of JTS ownership and with the exception of a coil pack and an inherited faulty themostat it's been very reliable.

Oil consumption is getting pretty close to 1L/1000 km now which might be acceptable to Alfa Romeo but almost 1L of good 10W60 oil a week is getting a bit much! Alfa really did shoot themselves in the foot by reducing the thickness of the 2nd compression and oil control ring from 1.5 and 3.0mm to 1.2 and 2.0mm respectively. As it's approaching cam belt time I'm tempted to whip off the head and sump, replace the bearings and have the pistons machined to take a thicker ring.
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I'd have either. I think the issue with a twinspark is the bottom end torque. This was given a massive boost with the JTS essentially. Ok its noise isn't as great but better mpg and more torque means a more relaxed drive.

They are pretty cheap to buy these days too.
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Cats fail.
coil packs fail.
injectors fail.
camshafts fail.
very fuel sensitive causing them to not start.

The list goes on...
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I never had a fault with mine and I will be buying another (the reason I don't have it anymore is because the ex ended up with it in the divorce and refused to sell it back to me!).
My biggest tip is to add a bottle of injector cleaner every 3 tanks, it'll help stave off those injector problems people often mention. Other than that keep to the proper service schedule and check the oil every week and enjoy the car.
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Originally Posted by simple simon View Post
Cats fail.
coil packs fail.
injectors fail.
camshafts fail.
very fuel sensitive causing them to not start.

The list goes on...
My GT JTS has had none of these problems.
What is a 156 gda?
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Originally Posted by Willber G View Post
My GT JTS has had none of these problems.
What is a 156 gda?
They ironed out some of the issues with the JTS after 2004 when it was fitted to the GT.
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They ironed out some of the issues with the JTS after 2004 when it was fitted to the GT.
Were those improvements applied to later 156s or did they continue with the older engines?
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They ironed out some of the issues with the JTS after 2004 when it was fitted to the GT.
I have a 2003 156 JTS and I've had a cam belt fail ( My fault), A thermostat fail (no big deal) and two coil packs over 7 years - coming up to 8 years now.

Hardly a troublesome experience..

I try to run 98RON as much as i can, but sometimes i can't - that doesn't cause any issues at all. And I love the fuel economy - it's excellent especially for a 10 year old car!

I use top quality, correctly spec'd oil and service it every 10,000kms- as with all cars it must be looked after and if it is, it will look after you.

I have spent money on the car, but that was to refresh it - it's been a project for the last few years.

My GTA on the other hand has been faultless. Nothing's gone wrong with it.. but I haven't had it all that long.. so touch wood i guess!
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Nothing wrong with the JTS but most of us that buy a second hand Alfa will always buy someone elses problem due to neglect. I mean if an Alfa has no issues i dont see why someone should get rid of it unless upgrading. Alfas are awesome to drive so for someone to get rid of it must be hiding something. Always buy private sale so you can meet the owner, ask them about sevrvice history and issues, if they say they never had any issues they are lying. every car has issues, some minor some large. Good to buy Alfa from someone that has 2 or more in their driveway which means they take care of them and they are just upgrading. Always check history, test drive with radio off to listen to noises and check oil level and colour which shows neglect.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simple simon View Post
Cats fail.
coil packs fail.
injectors fail.
camshafts fail.
very fuel sensitive causing them to not start.

The list goes on...
Bullsh!t.

In 3 years, I've had one coilpack go, and thats it. Those faults could be said of ANY car thats not cared for. And what's a 156 gda?
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Could be said about any care with a bosch ignition system.
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I had a 2002 52 plate 156 JTS that had no problems apart from a failed coil pack and that was nearing 70k (although original owner needed the lambda wiring fix from Alfa), same with the 2005 2.0 JTS but that was low miles and my 2004 GT JTS is currently on 80k with no problems.

I find the JTS torquey, responsive, bit weak on the top end but most people are surprised by how well it performs - there is a very turbo like surge in 5th gear going from say 60-70, or 70-80 and the gear ratios seem reasonably well placed below it. Certainly ticks my boxes, just wished it had more of the TS acoustic pleasure.

If I was you, I would run this through the injector system though http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I have only put it in the GT as a precaution as it apparently helps the injectors from getting gunked up.

Current Italian Cars:-
2004 Alfa Romeo GT 2.0 JTS
Previous Italian Cars :-
2003 Maserati 4200 Cambiocorsa
2006 Alfa Brera 2.2 SV JTS
1999 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4 JTD
2005 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 JTS Veloce
2004 Alfa Romeo GT 1.9 JTD
2001 Alfa Romeo GTV 3.0 V6 Lusso
2002 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 JTS
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I have the JTS spider a 2004 model its great I also have 2 twinspark spiders and neither are as good as the JTS its more economical and a much better drive I use 5 30 fully syn oil and dont seem to have oil consumption problems. Its a first time starter and such a pretty car. Whilst I know all engines have faults mine seems to be a nice one

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Had a 2002 156 JTS for seven years.

In that time a coil pack went on me. Rear door window jammed. Trip computer light failed. That's about it. There are some things I had to look out for though.

Oil. Check it regularly. Mine really burnt through it. I would check it every weekend.

Now for the good part. To this day, it was one of the most enjoyable cars to drive. Had a great raspy engine and wonderful on-road feel. Used to average 500km a tank. IMO, still think a clean 156 is one of the best designs on the road. Has aged very well.

Unlike some other cars, the cost of ownership is a touch more expensive. Likewise you need to stay on top of it. If you're not a car lover, I can see why people avoid them.

Watch out for the cam belt change at 60k, run it on premium fuel and service it annually and you should be just fine.

Last edited by Classico; 10-01-14 at 20:22.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sooty Si View Post
Bullsh!t.

In 3 years, I've had one coilpack go, and thats it. Those faults could be said of ANY car thats not cared for. And what's a 156 gda?
how is this bullsh!t ??

search these problems on here and you will see for yourself!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simple simon View Post
how is this bullsh!t ??

search these problems on here and you will see for yourself!
The problem is its a case of faults which may occur but maybe not at all but as five year owner myself i only had one coil pack failure and a new battery both i would say had there time.

If you drive a JTS daily then a better understanding that actually its a very good engine and might on the other hand think why why did i buy it until you owned one hard i think to give an opinion.

gda not heard of that?
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