My experience of buying a 159
Thought it might be of interest to a few people to tell you about my hunt for my 159 and the cars I looked at.
Decided I needed a new car after the engine in my Saab 900 Turbo seized, It was fixable but after owning it for 11 years I decided not to bother and it was the middle of winter and I didn't fancy doing the engine swap in the road outside my house, it was also starting to rust a bit and I think the suspension needs a full re-bushing plus shocks and new springs needed, er plus the engine.
Anyway. 159s where looking quite good value second hand and I had decided to spend between 7 - £12,000 on a car, looking for a 2.4 Diesel Saloon, either Red or Black. The hunt began, usual places autotrader, ebay.
First car to see was in Durham, only about 2 mines away from my house
Not looking bad, a 2.4 jtdm Lusso saloon, 07 plate, in red with black leather interior.
Mileage was 67,000, had a proper stamped up service history, but did have what I was later to find out was the usual heavy stone chipping on the front..
In the end decided could do better for the money and cam belt change should probably be done soon on it, thought I could get a lot lower mileage for the money.
2nd car was not far away in Newcastle. This 1 was Silver a saloon 2.4 jtdm Lusso. 57 plate. 33000 miles, just less than £10000.
Had a lot of toys but first problem, had a engine check light, dealer could not open boot, know now how to do this. Also had rust on bonnet and a dent in sill.
Service history was on print out, usually ex lease car.
Didn't really want a silver car, and the problems listed above.
3rd car at a main dealer in Newcastle, this time an Estate, 2.4 again 07 plate, in black with tan interior, 18 inch wheels to.
Anyway The dealer drove out for test drive and before getting onto the main road it stalled, odd we though, he started it and it stopped, same thing about 3 times, he got one of the garage mechanics to take a look. A few minutes later they had it going, I think it was the egr valve playing up, dealer said it would be replaced. Anyway felt good, but then a few miles later engine check light and into limp mode back to the dealers.
Hum, well it had 3 owners and I was assured a service history to.
Decided against it not helped by it breaking down. Decided I did want a saloon and was not keen on tan interior.
OK, further afield next, down to Kidderminster for the 4th car. A Red Saloon 57 with black leather interior. 34000 miles. Was also a 210 model which I don't think the dealer realised.
Dealer let me test drive it on my own, was nice car to drive.
Things I didn't like, claimed had just put new battery in as a door had been left open over night and drained battery. This did mean the alarm kept going off, suspetios.
Exterior had the usual mess of stone chips, plus every panel had some sort of scrap some big and even rust in places, dealer said could all be fixed, drivers door was also slightly bent of miss aligned or something. Interior look well worn for the mileage everywhere. On to the history, last service was 1000 miles ago but was last summer, so only 1000 miles in last 7 months.
The warranty was 3 months
Decided not to risk this one.
OK so same day drove over to Peterborough to see my 5th car. A saloon 2.4, black with black leather, for the price looked very good. Only 22,000 miles 57 plate(210) again don't thing dealer realised this. This also had a “Lifetime Warranty” which sounded good and this could be carried out locally to me as it was a big garage chain selling. All looked good externally, interior needed a few small bits fixing, dealer said would be done.
So set off on test drive, felt a bit rough to me, then a engine check light a few seconds later the engine cut out, it had run out of fuel, good job dealer with me. After the dealers colleague fetched fuel, test drive OK, interested but no history with it, asked them to fax me it when they got it, they still haven't found it to this day. I am suspecting that with such a low mileage maybe the owner just went over his 18000 miles and didn't bother getting it services or something.
OK so another trip the next week, first down to Nottingham to see my 6th car
Was at a Alfa main dealer, they had a number of suitable cars for me.
Was interested in a saloon 2.4, black with black leather interior 28000 miles 57 (210) again
Service history in print out, was at main dealer, mind 18,000 service done at over 20000, would come with 1 year extension to manufacturers warranty which was good. Was interested in this, test drive around Nottingham was not really suited to the car as no where to give it a bit of a fast drive.
Gave the dealer an offer on the car, but he declined.
So on to see my 7thcar in Doncaster. On the way the last dealer rang me, I was thinking Yes hes going for it, but he wasn't still could happen.
So the next car was Red, with black interior a 1.9 2008 reg. But 80,000 miles, but price to match.
Front end had had a respray presumably because of stone chips but you can never tell. Good test drive, this car also had full stamped up service history. I did mange to brake off bonnet release catch
I decided I was going to pay more for a 2.4 with lower mileage.
Anyway came to a deal on Car number 6. 57 reg 2.4 saloon, Black. Actually bit boring next to all the other Alfas, but you don't usually see many others so very happy, for first week at least.
Had it now for 4 weeks, but been back for 2 warranty repairs, First USB and Blue and me not working, Blue-me still dodgy as my phone is a Nokia X6 sometimes connects sometimes it doesn't.
Week later had an incident, with messages “Vehicle protection system is unavailable” followed shortly by “Hill holder unavailable”. Sounded worse than I think it was. Am glad I have the warranty for a year.
Still happy, car is the most powerful I have ever owned, nearly the most economical and one of the nicest looking, also the newest and lowest mileage. Hoping for no more dealer visits, for a long time.