Hi All. I am looking for a 155 TS 16V and have been looking at the tech room on this forum which has frightened me to death especially all the talk of snapping cam belts, failed tensioners and variators etc. Can anyone out there give me any reassurance about these cars and their overall reliability?
Dont worry Ian. Look for www.carsurvey.org and count happy faces from Alfa-Romeo 155 section. After all 155 owners like their cars.
I think alfistis are intersted about their cars and because of this they like to discuss these tehcnical issues. Other cars has problems too espesially with variator belts. It is just that 'normal' people just get their cars repaired and don't want to mention anyone that their car was broken.
I have owned a 155 2,0 16v S ’96 for 19 month without any trouble. I bought it from a company I know and have known of the car since new. It’s been service by the supplying dealer until I took over at 61k miles. At the 38k service the variator and belts was changed (on warranty), at the 50k service front lower swing arms, all brake discs and engine mountings was changed – that was all the extraordinary work done to it until then. I took over at 61k miles and did at service right away. At the 75k service I had the belts and tension wheels changed – that all the work I had done on it, jet. Now at 82k miles it runs beautifully with out any undue noises or quirks (well, the variator clatters for a few seconds after a hot start – this means nothing I’m assured by specialists). At 79k miles I had a Unichip fitted which involves remapping on a rolling road, before the fitting the engine power was measured at 163 HP / 192 Nm and after mapping of the chip to 186 HP / 212 Nm – this shows that the engine is “better than new”.
I bought my 155 from someone I know (a man in his 50’ties) and I am in my 50’ties myself. This is to show that you go out and find a car with a known history and that haven’t been trashed and you and the car will be all right.
Good luck hunting
I am on my second 155, a 97 standard 2.0 16v.
All I can say is that you get a hell of a lot of car for your money. They may creak and rattle a bit sometimes (yes they're Italian !!) but that's part of the character.
My local Alfa specialist Alfa Aid in Maidenhead sold me the car 18 months ago. The ONLY problem touch wood was a handbrake that freezes up causing the right rear wheel to lock up. Very easy cure ... when it's forecast for a cold night leave car in gear with handbrake off... works every time.
Other advice, have cambelt and tensioner replaced before the recommended 72k for peace of mind. I had it done at 50k ... I can forget about it until 100k.
Saw a 20k miles black 2.0 16v on an R advertised in Autotrader a few weeks ago. I was very tempted !!!
It's a practical, stylish and quick car for Escort money !! You know you want one reallY