Bought an Alfa with issues, and *don't* regret it! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Bought an Alfa with issues, and *don't* regret it!

Hey, I'm new to the forum, thought I'd say hello!

I've just picked up an uber cheap 156 2.4 JTD - it was definately a case of heart over head.

It was sold cheap because it was 'running slow'... a quick test drive also revealed the front suspension to be in need of replacement. Having done my homework (not least of all on here) the slowness I had pegged as a MAF issue, and I was already on the lookout for the suspension to be suspect. At the price, I thought I might as well take a gamble, and went for it.

Well, driving it home along the motorway I became part of the stereotypical Alfa community - temperature warning light started screaming, car went into 'limp home' mode, and I ended up in a Sainsbury's carpark with the bonnet up - and to be honest, I was grinning. Strange as it may seem, the car had already won me over and I was determined that whatever it took to nurse this odd looking beauty back to health would be done. A cursory inspection revealed the coolant tank was *bone dry*! Not good... A temporary fix involving bottled water was enacted, and we were on our way again.

She was booked into Allitalia in Wrexham, who were superb, identifying the power loss as a split intercooler hose (40 part). They carried out a full service and cambelt change, and placed the hose on order.

The fun continues... I work in the North Sea (flying from Aberdeen) and live near Liverpool, so the car was bought for the long motorway cruise. Last trip I thought what the heck, I'll take the Alfa, stretch her legs. The journey up was great, so comfortable after my last car (a lowered Ford Puma with 17" wheels - great car, but not a comfy cruiser). Coming back, I started my shift as usual on the Friday at 6.30am, got off the chopper at 9.00pm, and limbered up for the 6 and a half hour drive home. I didn't even get out of Aberdeen before the temperature warning light went mental again. Great, just what I needed - this time I was a little less smiley! Once more, limped to a quiet spot, lifted that familiar bonnet, and lo and behold, after 5 days standing in airport parking the coolant system was dry as a bone. Luckily my previous experience had taught me to keep two bottles of water in the boot - they got me to the nearest filling station where I picked up anti-freeze and also some radweld to get me home. The rest of the trip was fine and dandy.

Current position is: Need to book her in to Allitalia for new suspension at the front, get the hose fitted and find out if that cures the problem, or whether more work is required, and track down that radiator leak if it reappears after the radweld has done its work.

So, having done the unthinkable and taken on an Alfa with problems, would I reccomend it to others? Possibly not... I'm a bit of a masochist, and anjoy nursing cars through problems. I realise others might not feel so cheerful about it. Would i do it again? Every single time! Bo)
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Re: Bought an Alfa with issues, and *don't* regret it!

Looks like you've bought yourself some fun but tbh ... they all look like are minor (ish) issues

Welcome to AO ... (I'm sure PG will be along soon pointing you to the tech secitions )
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Re: Bought an Alfa with issues, and *don't* regret it!

Nice one, Dan

I bought my spider with no MOT, front end exhaust blowing and other issues! Took the risk as the moment I saw her I knew I was buying her whatever.
Had four months now, got exhaust, new tyre and MOT'ed her. Since then I've had a drive shaft, set of wheels as two buckled, power steering hose, water leak (new hose) and a couple of other niggles.
Now either a battery or a relay causing my immobiliser to play up.
It cuts in and won't start for the second time in two days.
My mate was with me and after the trouble it's been and cost he told me I should get rid of it.He went on about how he would be taking a hammer to a car that had been that much grief.
While still going on, he looked at me and saw me smiling. "Why are you smiling?" he asks. "Why ain't you getting angry cause you cars fecked up again?
I don't exactly know why but I just smiled more and said "Cause there's only one thing wrong with her and thats the best she's been in a while."
Got a mate to pick us up and told them both she'll start first time when we went back later after the football, at which they laughed!
Went back, first turn and I'm away! I know my "Bella"

I know she has been trouble. I know she ain't worked out as cheap as I bought her. But, she makes me smile and look in disbelief, that I own such a beautiful car every time I see her!
I just feel lucky and the rest, just doesn't matter!
Anyway will be sorted out this weekend!
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Re: Bought an Alfa with issues, and *don't* regret it!

Hello and welcome
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Re: Bought an Alfa with issues, and *don't* regret it!

Hello and welcome to AO :wave:

There are a couple of other sections of the forum which might interest you:

Alfa Romeo Meets & Events - Alfa Romeo Forum

Technical & Vehicle Assistance - Alfa Romeo Forum

Any problems? Email me at
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Re: Bought an Alfa with issues, and *don't* regret it!

^^^^ told you
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Re: Bought an Alfa with issues, and *don't* regret it!

Hello and Welcome :wave:
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Re: Bought an Alfa with issues, and *don't* regret it!

Hi Dan congrats on your 156
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Re: Bought an Alfa with issues, and *don't* regret it!

hello Dan and welcome to AO... .... nice intro...
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Re: Bought an Alfa with issues, and *don't* regret it!

Welcome to AO and good luck with getting your bella back in great shape
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