I call my AR 156 Alfenia. She is my *Black Beauty*. I purchased her on Feb 5th 2005, so I now have her 3 months. Its been turbulent times.
She was Reg'd March 2000 to a Hair Shampoo Co, if you have seen/know me you'd understand the irony in that. Her 2nd owner was a private owner & had her for 2+ years. She is a Nero Black 2.0L T/S, with A/c, e/s/r, 4 elec windows, dark green Velour Seating, with 16" *Sportivo* alloys. 205/55 x 16" Firestones on the front & new ContiContactSport on the rear.
Prior to buying her I had taken 2 test drives. Both were on 2ndary roads, checking for squeaks & rattles, that ALL AR's are famous for. She didn't make a sound. I didn't drive or attempt to drive the crap out of her during any of these test drives as I firmly believe it is not necessary to do. In hind sight I had noticed that she was not a quick as I had imaged she should be but I put that down to been off the road for a while.
When I bought her she had 61,600 miles with a FULL SERVICE HISTORY
from a main AR dealer in Dublin City. I phoned them & they faxed my 16 pages of date, from her 1st to service to her last at 57K. Reading thro them showed mostly only oil/filter & plugs were replaced, thankfully I thought as these had cost almost €300. Her timing belt had been replaced at 36k after it had snapped. At that time a few valves had been bent. Total bill was €1500, but that was 30k miles ago with a 2 year owner in between so I reckoned the engine was fine.
Feb 5th, I collected her. My wife & I drove to collect her in our 1.6 Impreza. Giving her a quick start up & a short drive to confirm she was still the car we wanted, we came back & handed over the dosh. €6400. It was a private sale so I got no warranty !!!
Driving down the M7 towards SE Ireland I was grinning from ear to ear. A/c on, stereo on, she revved quite well up to 4500rpm. I was nervous about revving her too high in case the timing belt snapped. On the way home I called into the guy that was going to replace the t/belt to setup an appointment. The next weekend the t/b was replaced & the crank sensor too...total spent €570. The fella selling it had given me €300 of the selling price towards the cost of replacing the timing belt.... a bit of a scam really
Next stop was at my MIL's house where my kid were been minded by MIL & SIL. Everyone came out, seen the car, admired it & wanted to go for a drive in it. Grand, Hop in...... won't start
Finger problems I told myself & tried a few min's later, still the same. At this point all the rest were laughing at me for buying a crock 156
Then like magic, she fired up. Following 3-4 weeks were the same. Cold or hot starts were fine. *Warm* starts were problematic..... would she start or not...... most times not.
Having ordered a 2nd R/c for her at an AR dealer I had to collect it & get the key coded. During this she failed to start fro the AR mechanics. They plugged in the computer to find the Flywheel sensor defective. They coded the key & as she had cooled down, she started ok.... another €130 ...total spent €700
Going back to my t/belt man, I told him about my problem. He ordered a new flywheel sensor & had the car for a week. During that time he told me that the new sensor made no difference, that *other* sensors were defective, that the ECU was faulty & then eventually that he found a loose/broken wire going from the ECU to the engine. To this day I cannot find that wire that he *fixed*. In total he charged me €100 but been at the loss of the car for a week was more annoying than anything.
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=32585 (156: Flywheel Sensor...acting wierd)
So in 4 weeks I only drove her 2 weeks & she had cost me an extra €800.
So the starting issue was re-solved, next was the irritating wheerrrrr sound from the right rear wheel when travelling at slow speeds. This turned out to be a badly *flat-spotted* tyre. It was replaced at €125.... total spent is €925.
Lose of power/MAF issue
2 weeks later, when driving home in the rain, she would not rev past 4500rpm in any gear. I was furious with her at this point & wrote a thread titled "I hate Alfenia".
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=33307 (156: I hate my *Alfenia*)
This turned out to be a combination of broken air filter housing, dirty MAF, dirty throttle body & a leaking EGR air pipe. Took me 4 or 5 hours to fix this. I also discovered why only one rear wheel was dragging/working when I pulled the hand brake.
From *new* to me she always fogged up. whenever external air source was selected. I always had to drive with the A/C on in re-circulation mode.
So next I replaced a handbrake cable, a pollen filter & an air intake pipe. €115....total spent is €1040.
lack of power when cold
Last week I attempt to solve the lack of power, when cold issue. This was cured by correctly setting the spark plug gaps & correctly tighening the 8 spark plugs. The Larger plugs should be 0.9mm & the smaller to 0.8mm....this has made the car very very driveable.
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/showt...hlight=alfenia (Alfenia: Spark Plug's gap)
This weekend I replaced the engine oil & filter. Before hand I had put a 1/3 L of Bardahl engine cleaner into her. Since getting her I had noticed a *diesel* type sound upon start-up & for several seconds afterwards. After putting the Bardahl product in the longevity of this *diesel* noise has reduced to just a second long when started. When ticking over or idle revving I no longer can hear it, not like before. I replaced the oil with 10W/60 oil & a new filter too. €70 ...... €1110
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=34708 (156: 66k service)
Also I replaced the brake fluid in the clutch & brake systems. I used DOT 4.0. Seems to be fine.
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=34184 (Bleed the clutch .. how?)
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=34223 (Alfenia's brakes .... update)
Wash/ Tar remove/ Polish
Today I washed her, removed all the tar from all her panels & door sills, used colour restorer & then polished Alfenia. I washed & polished her alloys yesterday when I had all 4 wheels of when working on her brakes.