Wow - that is a lot in there
There was a slight oil leak from the engine on purchase, which I had noticed on the MOT as an advisory, and, being quite a fastidious owner ( although never getting round to actually fixing the issue ) I have been quite religious on checking the oil level daily, or every few days. 10 months later, now that I have a bit more cash at hand, I was wondering if anyone knew what could cause the leak in order to get it fixed- I've noticed it tends to trickle down the front of the exhaust manifold if left unattended for a while, and on the rare occasion the engine can sound diesel-like on start up, but evens out after warming up. It's a 1.6 T spark by the way. Is this a potential bank breaker?
The cam timing variator uses oil to change the inlet cam timing. It takes a few seconds to fill with oil at startup. As is ages it rattles a bit. You can change it or live with the rattle for a while, then change it later (or never) Your choice.
The cam cover rubber can easily be the cause of your leak as the engine is slanted slightly forward. It can also just be oil filling spills that work its way forward over time. To be honest, if you suspect the cam cover rubber gasket, refitting a new one you might end up nicking it and the resultant leak could even be worse than before. I'd put a rag to the spot every week I check the oil level...
The dreaded bush / suspension squeak!
I'm sure this is asked often, but my nearside bushes squeak incessantly over road humps and it drives me potty now. I was told I could polybush them as opposed to fitting the OEM rubber ones, but will that firm up the suspension even more? I think its stiff enough as it is, and the roads in the UK are horrendous for potholes. What I have noticed is that in very warm or wet weather, the squeaking disappears. So is it a case of simply old, deteriorated rubber that is, for what i know given older Alfas, a routine consumable.
The car can often just rumble and feel every jut in the road, even on seemingly smooth surfaces on motorways, picking up every undulation and vibration. Is it worth refreshing the suspension in its entirety, as on the last check up the Alfa specialist I took the car to told me a few components had a little extra play than usual.
What parts are worth changing? ARB and bushes, drop links?
Polybushes does help stiffen the handling, but they can squeak more than rubber later on. Just redo the lower control arms, upper wishbones and drop links and be done with it.
The indicator stalk is a little strange, I've noticed once I turn past a certain point round a roundabout, to then want to indicate the opposite way to exit, it seems almost like it would break if I forced the signal. It's almost as if unless the steering angle is at a certain point, I cannot change indicating without it feeling like the stalk may snap. Quite odd I feel, compared to a few German cars I've owned in the past.
The plastic stalk return clip in the steering column does interfere sometime in selecting a turn signal. Something to get used to the timing at what steering angle you can select the signal.