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Thumbs Up Hi everyone some advice would be great

Hi guys, Rob here from Dublin, Ireland. I'm looking at an Alfa 156 '99 to buy. It'll be my first Alfa and I'm really excited about the thought of it. Been driving safe boring company cars for the last few years Primeras, Meganes, Almeras. Yawn yawn. The Alfa is miles ahead i've wanted one for a while and now is the time. The info on this forum is fantastic i'm really greatful to everyone for all the tips on what to look for when buying and service intervals etc.
Would really appreciate anyones advice on the car I'm looking at. It's the '99 156 1.8 TS. Black. Beautiful. I'm buying it privately and took it for a drive today. I noticed a few minor issues namely

1. The passenger airbag warning light is permanently on even if you turn the airbag on or off.
2. The heater fan makes a lot of noise when it's up full and can feel it vibrating when you put your hand under the glovebox.
3. Glovebox door doesn't line up perfectly when it's closed.

These are pretty minor items but they're all on the passenger side and i'm just worried that the car might have got a bang from that side although there is no evidence from the paintwork or boby work. Has anyone else had issues with the airbag warning light ?
Does anyone know what kind of costs are associated with faulty airbags ?

4. Display dims a little when indicater is on. Very slight. He told me he put in a new battery the other day as it was slow starting don't know if there's any correlation.

5. There's also a little hole in the driver carpet and with 57,000 on the clock I guess this is ok. Steering wheel, upholstery and pedals have minimal wear.

6. Guy tells me fob battery is gone so alarm is switched off but i'm guessing the alarm isn't working. Budgeting for that anyway.

Any feedback would be greatfully appreciated. Looking forward to being an Alfa owner.

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Re: Hi everyone some advice would be great

Welcome to the forum You sure you want to buy an Alfa....you'll not want to drive anythin else for a long time

1. Airbag light is well known, you'll need to pop to a dealer and they will lprobably releive you of a couple of hundred for a new airbag ECU.
2. Fan: if its the same as 155 its very easy to replace.
3. They are sometimes offline but dunno if it means anything.

As for the alarm, I didn't know it could be switched off on a 156 but then I've not looked for instructions about it

In general make sure the car doesn't clunk or creak from the front/rear and has it got a diesel noise (=variator shot=4-500!) from the engine?

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Re: Hi everyone some advice would be great


Thanks a mill for the feedback had a look around the forum seems to be a lot of airbag lights going off alright.
Engine sounds really good. I'll porobably go for it
Definitely want an Alfa alright.
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Re: Hi everyone some advice would be great

Hi there Snowboy, welcome to the forum

I have a 2000 156, and the glovebox door is not a perfect fit on mine either. As long as it closes properly and doesn't catch I wouldn't worry about that. Also, I have found that the fan is very noisy (especially on the higher settings), so again I would say that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Ah, Italian electrics - this is something you will have to get used to. The headlights dim if I use the electric windows. The fan slows when I switch on the air-con. The dash dims if I so much as look at it. etc etc etc......

Not sure about the question with the alarm, but make sure that you get two keys. I don't think there is a master key on the '99 156 (there is a code instead, for the security system), but I'm sure someone here will correct me if I am wrong.

Most importantly, check the suspension and make sure it has a good history. The cambelt & tensioners should be changed every 36k/3yrs, so make sure this has been done if the mileage is at that stage (approx 400, as Wrinx said). If you are buying privately, make sure the owner has been keeping an eye on the oil. If they don't even know where the oil cap is, run away!!!

Good luck with your purchase, and don't forget to post some pics when you collect it
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Re: Hi everyone some advice would be great

Thanks for the welcome and info.
Since I was last on the forum I discovered the car was crashed on the passenger side and that may be why some issues are showing up there. Someone gave advice somewhere on the forum not to go with the first one you see so decided not to go with it.

Looking at another one tomorrow it sounds pretty good got the momo leather seats and just passed NCT our irish equivalent of your MOT. New rollbars & timing belt & tensioners. Can't wait to check it out. I'll keep ye posted.

I'll ask them about the oil

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