As a lifelong petrol head and pushing 44 I only got my first Alfa a couple of weeks back...and I gotta say I'm very pleased. I only went for a 156 Sportwagen 2.0 TS so it's a little tame compared to my mates 156 3.2 GTA, but none-the-less I still like it. I'm not completely convinced the guy who I got it off was totally honest with me, but hey, even though it's a while since I did it as a job, I am a mechanic by trade, so I should have read up more on 'common faults'. I found out the crank sensor was playing up after a few days, common fault on many cars so not 'Alfa' specific. Cutting out when warm, starting when cooled down, could only be one thing. After digging round on here I found out where it was and various ways to tackle it. I normally have access to a ramp but didn't on the occasion, not a complete nightmare but tight to get to. Took the air intake off, battery out and battery tray, moved the two hoses to the side and managed to get down without removing the starter and throttle body. It's one of those jobs that once you've done one, the next one would be fairly easy. The first one is a bit of a learning curve with what tools to use to get in etc. Anyway, job done, no more cutting out, runs smooth as.
I may have done some damage to the starter on one of the times it cut out. It was at a roundabout (FFS) and not one person got out and offered to push. Me being the decent person I am, I decided to jog the car across the roundabout with the starter and the car in second. I know it's not wise by any means but I really was stuck. In hindsight I should have just got out and said I aint moving unless someone helps. We live and learn. No decent folk left in the world is there?!? The starter now starts fine still but it doesn't sound like the pinion is returning smoothly. So I'll be whipping that off to check it as soon as I can.
The only other issue is one of the tensioners is squealing, the small one under the large plastic one. I definitely know it's this one as when it's noisy, lock the steering over to the right, switch it off and then I can just drop a little oil down behind the tensioner, no squeal. So it must be that. Waterpump's working fine, alternator is fine, 99.9% the noise is coming from that one. Are they a big job to do?? It doesn't look too much of a job but I'm obviously an Alfa newbie so I could be wrong. If I can do an auxillary belt on a Passat TDi with taking all the front end off I reckon I can tackle this - lol. I hope I'm wrong.
Sorry for a long first post and thanks for all the info I've pinched already, very useful.