New 156 owner with (hopefully) minor issues - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 4 Old 19-07-15 Thread Starter
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Hmmm New 156 owner with (hopefully) minor issues

Hi - I have recently become the owner of a 2004 156, and being a newbie to Alfas thought I would post a couple of queries in here that may be either common issues or things that people in the know can steer me right on.

First off, in the engine bay there is no cover over the cogs and belts to the left of the engine block. I notice on every image of the engine bay this appears to have a plastic cover over it, but I have no idea what the cover is called to be able to search for the part - is this part necessary, and is it easy to fit if I can get hold of one - and perhaps more importantly do I need to?

Secondly, when driving there is quite often a faint whiff of petrol. There are no obvious leaks anywhere, and fuel economy seems about right. I think there is probably a tiny hole in a pipe letting some vapour escape - again, is this a known issue, is it common, is it worth getting it looked at?

And thirdly there is an occasional knock on the nearside front tyre if at low speed and turning left. I can't see anything obviously awry behind the wheel - known issue, worth getting a mechanic to look at?

And last one (I promise) the on board computer keeps giving a loud beep and telling me oil pressure is low if I turn a sharp corner at low speed. As soon as wheel straightens, the warning goes. I've checked oil level and its right and doesn't seem to be dropping down. Is this just a tech glitch I should keep ignoring or do I need to get it to garage for diagnostics?

As you can probably tell I am not at all mechanically minded, but I have picked up bits and bobs through all the lemon cars I have had the misfortune to own in the past (this is my first ever Alfa though, so hoping my jinx has been broken)

Thanks in advance for any and all help
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Cambelt cover, really needs to be fitted. Could be one bit missing or several. Would help if you could post a pic, and also what engine?

If you're smelling petrol inside the car then it's likely leaking out the top of the tank under the back seat. Do a search on here.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 4 Old 20-07-15 Thread Starter
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thanks - this is inside the engine bay, you can see the lack of cover. Its a 1.8 petrol (is that all you needed?)
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Petrol Smell

I have the petrol smell as well, although only when I've filled her up to the top. I only noticed it when I got home. It is usually caused by the rubber seal around the top of the pump perishing or not being fitted properly in the first place but the pump itself could be cracked. Look for a little puddle of petrol on top.

My interim solution is not to fill the tank all the way up until I get around to investigating. (fuel pump leak fix?)

Looks an easy DIY job.

Timing Belt

As to the timing belt cover, you 100% need to get one put on. Find one at a breakers yard. If anything were to fall off and get into the timing belt, even a small stone thrown up when driving along it will be bye bye engine.

I'd also check when the timing belt was last changed. On the 4 cylinder engines they are every 36,000 miles or 36 months, whichever comes sooner. It is really important to get it done along with the tensioners, water pump and fixed rollers. (Alfa 156 Timing belt replacement)

Other issues

You'll find it all covered in the stickys on the 156 forum. Well worth a read I found it really helpful. (Known Issues 147/156/GT) (147/156/GT Owners Tech info - Fault Guides and more!)

I'm not sure about the oil pressure warning but I do know that these engines can suffer premature failure if run low on oil. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along to advise though

If it was my car I would stop driving it until all these questions have been adequately answered, if that is possible.

Hope you're not put off by all this. They are great cars but they do need to be treated with mechanical sympathy in my opinion
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156 , issues , minor , owner

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