Considering a 159 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Considering a 159

Welcome all. I am considering a 159, often thought of owning an alfa but to be honest have shuddered at the thought due to cost, reliability etc. However I am now older, have more spare cash and want a beautiful car not a boring one!

The one im considering is a 159 JTDm Sportwagon on an 06 plate, 99k odd. What advice would you give to look at when viewing the car? Im thinking of getting a AA or RAC car inspection as the car is 250 miles away so for the hassle and risk its probably easier getting them to have a look than me drive up and waste my time. However I would rather see it myself and know the areas of concern.

Im not actually sure if that is the one for me, I dont want to spend more than £5k as I know it will depreciate quickly, want good MPG as i do 65 miles a day to work and back not counting any work mileage, want an estate as I often carry loads of stuff about, I do have a heavy right foot and like to be able to have a thrash if need be, love gadgets and like heated leather seats for the looming cold mornings!
Any sugestions to spec as Alfas trims levels are quite confusing to a newbie?
Likely (real world not manufacturers claims) mpg?
Servicing costs?
Road tax bands?

Any advice will be greatly received!
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(Post Link) post #2 of 8 Old 20-11-11 Thread Starter
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Also whats the bronze silver colour called? this colour...
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Hi mate, welcome to the forum!

Firstly, there are a load of related posts throughout the forum regarding what to look for etc. I suspect one or two seasoned regulars would point you towards doing a thread search

However, from my perspective, you may be along the right lines by plumping for a JTDm if you are doing that kind of mileage daily. MPG-wise, you'll be looking at roughly 30 around town and late-40's on a run. Certainly not what Alfa claim, but then again, it IS an Alfa!

The JTDm engine is very rugged in general, and correctly serviced will run to very high mileages. There are a few things to be aware of, as with any car, that will need checking before you buy:

1. Cambelt and Water Pump. Ensure the cambelt has been changed according to the recommended interval, it certainly should have been changed on a 99k mile example by now. If not, it needs doing pronto! In the case of the water pump, it is a good idea to get this changed every 3-4 years or so, sooner if you do very high mileages per year. It is known to fail prematurely on the JTDm engine and again at 99k should have been done by now. Very important to get these done as soon as possible if no history/record of it.

2.Steering Rack. This is another potential weak spot on the 159, need to check the steering is spot on, so any strange noises turning the wheel/grinding on full lock etc. could point to the rack on its way out. Be mindful that some issues with the steering can also be due to the incorrect fluid in the reservoir. A much cheaper and easier fix if the case!

3.Diesel Particulate Filter. The perennial bugbear of most modern diesels, this is a filter in the exhaust that traps soot etc and burns it off by injecting fuel directly into the exhaust. You'll get messages flash up on the dash when it needs to regenerate, and usually requires a damned good high speed blast for 15 miles or so to clear it. Will clog up much quicker if the car is used for a lot of short journeys as it relies on the exhaust being up to high temperatures to regenerate. If it gets clogged up and isn't able to regenerate, you'll get poor performance until the car goes into limp home mode.

4.EGR Valve. You should know pretty much whether this is functioning properly or not, if it starts sticking or failing completely there will be a noticeable power drop low down, and the engine will feel very sluggish until over 3k rpm. Fairly commonplace on modern diesels, not just the 159.

That covers most of the major issues with the 159, a few things to watch out for, but nothing major like some of the German brands I could mention! I'm sure a few experienced 159 owners would be able to clarify some points for you, but overall I would say a well-maintained example is definately worth it. 159's go for thousands less than their German counterparts, but from what I know, it is every bit as well-screwed together.

Happy hunting!
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one thing i realized is body work. when i bought mine, my brother luckily spotted a cowboy cover up on a rear wing wheel arch, smudged metalic paint and poorly filled. owner thought he'd got away with it. minor scratches on paint you may expect if its a family car so you can do this over time. check the air-con has been serviced every 2 yrs. any receipts should validate a proper parts and service.

159's are built solid. find a nice A or B road and show it some curvy bends and you'll fall in love instantly. my brother drove the 159 10 miles and said an eqv c class feels like a chelsea tractor. and if you want exclusivity forget the dull germans, feel special and unique with the 159, it puts a smile on me everyday.
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Space-wise the SW is fine; we've had a washing machine and three people in ours. On a different journey we managed a mobility scooter and three people too!

If you do reasonable miles the diesel has to be the sensible option. We went for the petrol turbo but have only done 13,000 miles in 18 months. Fundamentally the 159 is a fine car and prices seem to have dropped a bit recently so they are looking better value for money than ever. There is plenty of help on here too.
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I have had my 09 1.9 Saloon only for 2 months so take from this as you will but.

1.9 on a run if the traffic is good and you haven't got a heavy right foot will do about 50Mpg. With a bit of traffic and using the gaps in the traffic accordingly (Heavy right foot) approx 45Mpg.

The 1.9 in the saloon isn't a rocket ship and can't see the SW being any quicker so if you can afford it and want a bit of speed the 2.4 might be better but you will loose the fuel consumption. I am more than happy with the 1.9 as it is more than adequate just not quick the way a Alfa should/could be.

You won't be disappointed its a lovely car and feels more stable at motorway speeds in a cross wind than anything else I have driven.
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Having brought a 96k car i know were your coming from ... this is what i found ...

Garret G17 turbos arent good for much more than 100k .. i had mine done on 98 after it became noisy. EXPENSIVE ! ! ! luckily it was a warranty claim 3 days after i brought it as some crafty dealer pre-heated the car before i trest drove it .... you need to start the car cold and listen for the vaines scraping the housing. If you can pull the intake off and give the spindle a wiggle !

Badly lipped brake discs is a big one !

Cosmetic issues like the front of the bonnet and front bumper/valance being stone chipped, around the rear arch flares, de-coloured badges, Undertrays have be known to go astray, usual alloy kerbing. Damage to brake calipers were they have been hit to remove seized pins. GOOD VALETING CAN COVER ALOT OF IMPERFECTIONS TEMPORARILY !

Noisy window regulators ! (fail soon after)

Drivers seat leather wrinkles quickly if its previously belonged to a fat ba**ard !

DPF as mentioned, but if its not gone after 90k odd, then it should be ok as long as you get good regens !

Rear bushings ... creating slight squeaking on bumps.

Make sure the clutch is not heavy or sticky, clunking and slapping is usual between changes, especially 2nd and 3rd.

SERVICE HISTORY ! ! ! if its not full .. dont buy it, and check it fully ! phone every garage as its far to easy to get a book stamped fraudulently. Make sure the water pump was done with the cambelt .. this isnt a listed requirement of service by alfa but a reccomendation, so even if this isnt done it can still be listed as ful service history.

Check the mots and that advisory notices havent been removed.

Try and find one with good rubber on ... not an expense youll want immidiately !

Excessive noise from driveshafts ( almost sounds like bad wheel bearings) !!!

thats all was wrong with mine lolol ! ! ! ! !
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