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(Post Link) post #1 of 11 Old 08-05-05 Thread Starter
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Alfenia

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.

History
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.

Test Drive
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.

FSH
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.

Collection Day
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 !!!

Timing belt
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

Starting issue
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.

AR dealer
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

Fly-wheel Sensor
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)

66k service
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.

Last edited by Black Beauty; 09-05-05 at 15:28.
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Re: Alfenia

And all this time, It was the "alfa bug" that kept you wanting to repair her ... if it would of been any other make than Alfa, you would of sold it already
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Re: Alfenia

She looks really nice BB. It's a real shame you've been so unlucky - hopefully after all your hard work she'll be good to you.
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Re: Alfenia

My Alfas have been very reliable over many miles but for a few problems...
My 33 'old banger' was good for a couple of years until it snapped a cambelt (as we know you cant believe the Alfa belt change mileage)... had the engine rebuilt. Then the gear change linkage came apart... drove 20 miles in 3rd. Then it failed an MOT due to rust, the underside needed lots of welding... had that done. Then it decided to BBQ itself, burnt the whole engine bay out before the Fire Engine got to it. RIP. Lovely car...sob.
My Blue 156 had a crap gearbox... lived with it. Also it developed a misfire, my fault, i hadnt had the sparkplugs changed. Had one side of the car resprayed cos someone had previously done it badly. Purchased it with highish mileage so i only kept it for a year. Did about 15,000 miles.
The Black 156 had a crap gearbox... lived with it. Also had an annoying dashboard rattle, apparently should have had a factory recall... sorted by Alfa dealer. Boot and Cabin leaked. Variator replaced at 70,000 miles. Apart from a few niggles i did 52,000 trouble free miles in it.
The Red 156 Selespeed... well, we dont talk about that! Drove it for a few days, havnt seen it for nearly 3 weeks.
 
(Post Link) post #5 of 11 Old 09-05-05 Thread Starter
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Re: Alfenia

Norton, If you search thro this site you will see many refernces to Selespeed gearboxes. Reading all them I am glad I'd didn't buy one.

Hope you get yours sorted soon.
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Re: Alfenia

Glad to see you're back on the up-side of your love-hate cycle
Hope she doesn't do anything to ruin it this time.
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Chilling Re: Alfenia

Quote:
Originally Posted by bazza
Glad to see you're back on the up-side of your love-hate cycle
Hope she doesn't do anything to ruin it this time.
Well if she contiues to go on, & i'm confident she will, as is she currently is I'll be lusting for a looooong time to come. This morning after dropping off my kids to schoool I was travelling on a 2ndry road. A car in front was doing 45mph, i dropped her to 3rd, floor it & swoooosh away she went to 80mph like a breeeeze

Man, when she goes well, I love her
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Re: Alfenia

Sometimes you get the lows so that you appreciate the highs all the more.....


....hope this "high" lasts for a long time
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Re: Alfenia

Its lookin great, hope she stays trouble free and you keep enjoying!
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Good grief...... You're clearly a lot more patient than me. I'd have spat my dummy out and flogged it, no question. I know no car's going to be completely reliable, and I am expecting to have to put a bit more effort into Alfa ownership than the other cars I've owned, but jeez, if that was mine I'd have clubbed it to death by now.

Having said that, she IS a beauty, and if you're willling to forgive her a shaky start, who's to say it wont be a long, beautiful affair
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(Post Link) post #11 of 11 Old 09-05-05 Thread Starter
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Re: Alfenia

When i servcie her at the weekend end I decided to *clear my own on-board computer*. As of 5/5/5 my *Alfenia good-will guage* is at 100% full.

Since her service she is going like a rocket, its amazing what a can of Bardahl engine cleaner [ this has ellimated the *diesel* sound & got the variator efficently working again ] & new 10w/60 oil & filter can make to a car.

Loooong may it last.

PS I apologise about the long post but it was thearaputic
{ spelling??? }
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