1 Year in: Progress Report
Yesterday was the first anniversary of my picking up the 2.4 JTD 159. I posted a six-month update on the "159 Poll" thread, and at that time voted "no problems".
So, after a year, how is it going?
Still "no problems". The odometer is showing a bit over 31,000 km (a bit over 19,200 miles in old money). The engine is going as well as it ever has. No, better. The endless power on acceleration is wonderful and the car feels more powerful (for all practical purposes) than my previous car which was a 4-litre petrol engined Ford. My drive to work and back each day is a fairly fast 40 kilometres (24 miles) or so and every other month or so I do a 1500 km round trip from Canberra to Melbourne. So it appears to respond well to that sort of treatment.
One thing that has definitely improved since the six-month mark is the gear change from 2nd to 3rd. When new it was very notchy. At six months it was still a bit agricultural. Now it is smooth enough for fast changes. I have to admit that after 30 years of driving petrol cars it took me a while to adapt to a turbo diesel - these days I shift up much earlier and give it a real squirt at around 2000 revs, and I get much better acceleration as a result.
Any issues? Very minor. At about eight months I got a small amount of windscreen creak which was fixed by the silicon spray treatment as documented on this forum.
When the car was quite new the gear knob started to come loose. I tightened it. After another few months it started to rattle again - I applied a drop of Loctite when tightening it and it has been fine since.
The diesel rattle is quite obtrusive when the engine is cold. After 5-10 minutes it reduces to acceptable levels.
Power loss during DPF regen is noticeable. I generally drop to a lower gear when I notice it happening. Once every couple of months I have added a dose of Redex diesel treatment. Of course, with no control in the experiment I have no way of knowing whether it was worth doing!
The random auto-sensing wiper speed is mildly irritating, but I once had a Peugeot which did the same so I will put it down to the state of the technology rather than anything to do with Alfa.
I am still on the original Pzero Neros, and they are not yet down to the wear indicators on the inside, however I did get a wheel alignment at the first service (15000 km) and swopped the tyres front to back at about 26000 km. I don't think it will be all that long before the tyres need replacing though. I will post when I do it. Interestingly, the steering did have a slight drift to the left which the alignment did not fix, but the front-to-back swop did!
I still enjoy getting admiring and/or jealous looks from other drivers.
In summary - I have had more problems in the first year of ownership of Fords, Holdens, Hondas and Nissans. (Fewer problems with the only new Toyota I have owned but it was otherwise a very boring experience). if the car were to be written off tomorrow, I would buy another, exactly the same. Except with red leather.
Alfa Romeo 159 2.4 JTD in Pinot Grigio