I'm looking to buy an Alfa 147 1.6 or 2.0.
They seem to be a reasonable price and are a beautiful car.
What I would like to know is:
What are the common faults?
What to look out for when viewing them and test driving?
Also most of the cars I have seen are on the 60-70k miles, what sort of major work needs to be done at this point?
Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated.
I've never driven a 1.6 but have experienced the 2.0 and it's a nice unit, keep maintenance tip-top and it will look after you. Here's a few tips:
1. All Twin Spark engines should have their timing belts changed every 36k or 3 years whichever is sooner. I'd change the water pump too. (£350 ish at a good indie)
2. If the car sounds like a diesel this will be the cam variator and that's a cambelt off job, as a general rule it can be changed with every other timing belt.
3. Oil - TS engines are designed to use some oil and need regular top-ups, if it's low or shows signs of neglect walk away, there will be another example out there.
4. Suspension - The 147 uses a double wishbone setup, the upper wishbone bushes can wear quickly and start to creak and squeak. Budget £90 per side inc labour. The lower wishbones generally last longer, I had to have mine replaced at 75k give or take a few miles. The latter requires dropping the subframe so it'll cost around £150 per side inc labour at a rough guess. The rear-hub bushes need regular replacement, this should cost about £50 all-in per side. The rear arms are a little more expensive at £35 each for the two shorter arms and £50 each for the two longer ones plus labour. You'll also need an alignment after any suspension work so the car doesn't decide to eat the tyres.
5. Bodywork/floor - The body is galvanised so rust is unlikey, check it for dings and any collision damage. The floorpans are known to rust on older cars as some received very poor, if any, undersealant at the factory. For £80 a specialist will solve this problem for you with the Waxoyl undersealant.
6. Clutches - These will bite high if worn and at 60-70k I'd be looking for a receipt, otherwise it's a £500 bill for the to-do list.
Here's a guide with a more info:
Alfa Romeo 147 Buyer's Guide
Hope this helps.
Best of luck with your search.
147 Sport Q2: Autolusso Remap + Swirl Flap & EGR Delete, Mocal Oil Cooler Kit, JTD Performance FMIC Kit + High Flow Elbow, Wizard Downpipe, PF Pads + 5.1 Fluid, Autolusso Braided Brake Lines, MTech Short-Shifter, Autolusso Silicone Turbo-to-MAF Hose, Refurbed Q2's + Some to add later.