Advice wanted - I'm an Alfa Romeo virgin! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 5 Old 28-05-07 Thread Starter
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Advice wanted - I'm an Alfa Romeo virgin!

Hi guys,

I'm thinking of buying a 156 Sportwagon 2.4JTD (probably the 136bhp). There are lots for sale at pretty decent prices although they tend to have mileages north of 100k. If I get a 6-7yr old one with about 120k on the clock (about 2.5-4k), obviously I could be taking a risk with costs of fixing stuff, but does anyone have any experience at running something like this? What is reliability like? What are the service intervals? Are there any decent independent service/repair places in the West Midlands? (or alternatively is the dealer in Knowle any good?) Are Fiat dealers able to service Alfas?

What's the best I can expect for mpg (I've currently got a SEAT Ibiza with a 1.9tdi 130bhp - chipped to 170bhp and I can get 55mpg on a long motorway run). Would you recommend chipping this engine?
What's the advantage of the 2.4 over the 1.9? Considering it's a bigger engine the bhp doesn't seem to be much different. It also seems like there are lots more 2.4s that 1.9s.

So many questions, many thanks in advance for your help everyone

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Re: Advice wanted - I'm an Alfa Romeo virgin!

If you are buying any car at that mileage then you need to see a complete service record and receipts, and you need time to go through them. If the car has been looked after then there is no reason why it should not continue to give good service.

Driven modestly we seem to be getting 45-50MPG out of our 2.4 (150), so you won't get much more.

The only real advantage of the 2.4 over the 1.9 is the sheer effortlessness of the performance. Its very seductive, and sounds better on the move. It is a lot heavier, but this is only relevent if you like throwing cars around a lot, otherwise you won't notice it hardly.

The 2.4 seems to have the best reliability record of any of the Alfa engines ( brera/159 excepted as their record is too short so far) but it does need the cam belt changing every 60,000m (official 72..but don't go there), turbos do fail from time to time, AFMs fail now and again, and the 156 suspension is not terribly robust so check the bushes are good..front and back..and listen for creaks and sqeaks from the suspension.

Something cropped up the other day on the forum from a guy in Oz..check the door hinge bolts are tight. Its stops rattles and improves the 'tightness' off the car.

As for chipping..well I'd run the car for a month or two before deciding. You might find it has all the power you can usefully use on todays roads..even a 136. On the other hand people say good things about Angel tuning and if you want the extra oomph then thats the place to go, but remember you will be adding stress to a mature engine so reliability might be compromised a little. They will happily answer questions on that score.

Its a great car by the way, and I'm pretty critical so it took me years to embrace the 156 at all. Except the rear wiper which is slow and pretty crap

Good luck in finding a nice one

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Re: Advice wanted - I'm an Alfa Romeo virgin!

There's no reason why the car won't be fine. Make sure it's been well looked after and regularly serviced.

You'll be much more pleased with it than a low mileage younger car that hasn't the pedigree.
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(Post Link) post #4 of 5 Old 28-05-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Advice wanted - I'm an Alfa Romeo virgin!

Cheers guys much appreciated.
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Re: Advice wanted - I'm an Alfa Romeo virgin!

I have owned 3 x 2.4`s (2 in fiats and 1 alfa) never owned a 1.9 and you mention you have a (VAG 1.9 TDI), fitted in a SEAT, my wife has the 150bhp TDI in a golf gti and I have driven this loads, well I would completely agree with Alfalancs, the 2.4 is like silk compaired to a gruff highly strung 1.9!
As everyone mentioned service history is the key.
Down side, well I posted a 2.4 v 1.9 a few months ago and a few people mentioned 2.4 front heavy and its is in the twistys, maybe a 1.9 would be better for this kind of driving?.
Must admit I like the 6 speed, but you will need to spend more money.

Hope that helps
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