So there I was, with a tired, clocked, Spanish 155 Sport. At least the aircon worked.
A painful holiday saw a new 1/2 rear section of exhaust replaced and new tyres. I tried to cure the rough running with new spark plugs and air filter. Some of plugs were closed. The result was a much improved performance although a lag or hesitancy was still present.
But it kept going, throught the log hot summers when my Spanish wife and kids stayed out there all summer, ferrying them over the rough roads of Zamora through the villages, then longer runs to the fantastic fresh water lake in Sanabria.
Failing the MOT twice a number of years later was useful, believe it or not...the tyres had always been oversize for the model, ouch for a full set of correct ones and then the lambda sensor was found to be faulty. I finally managed with a bit of bravery to free the seized throttle cable adjuster - was it a welded solid piece I pondered or adjustable as the whole assembly plate twisted and moved as though it would snap! That's my third attempt over a number of years! Ah, it gave, so I could at last take a yard of slack out the throttle cable!
Well the car starting to run like a car. The smell of petrol? No idea, I replied to my wife, I couldn't find a leak. No I don't know why the battery light flickers, must be the dam dashboard, the oil pressure gauge is u/s so I don't trust the electrics.
Now in Spain if your alternator goes you don't go to a garage and say can you sort this out? The mechanic will tell you it's a perished fuel pipe that goes into the fuel rail, dripping on to the alternator which he will fix, the pipe not the alternator. He will remove the alternator. I will then have to take this unit to an electrican up the road to fix. I could put a new unit in but it would silly money part alone would hunderds of euro. At least he willl collect the fixed unit it and fit it. Ouch bill. So when another year later we smell petrol...I prop the bonnet open with a brush handle (struts have gone) and check, really get to know the engine in detail. It was the pipe on the other side leaking. Instead of a bill for a good hundred euro. I bought a length of fuel pipe and new hose clips from a motor factor and did the job myself.
I was ashamed of myself when the car failed another MOT. The inside of one of the front tyres was worn down to the metal...plenty of tread on the remainder of the tyre. I felt really bad, I hadn't checked the tyres properly and as a car enthusiast I should have known better. New fronts and a tracking were done. At the same time I was in the UK, my wife called...it's the car...nothing happens when the clutch pedal is pushed...at last the noisy release bearing had heralded the end of the clutch? Not yet, the seals had gone on the clutch slave cylinder. Oh well, one of those things.
You know the 155 goes really well...of course you have to use the revs...blimey it can go round corners...feels good at 75 plus on the motorway...can't see any blue smoke on hard acceleration or deacceleration...burns a bit of oil but nothing too bad...150k km on the clock.
This is a great car! OK It's worth looking after. I like this car. If you discount the rust protection...it's perfect for dry countries, it's a really well put together quality car. It was registered in 1996 and coming into classic status soon.
This summer's jobs completed: air filter, pollen filter (oh that's where it is, I know it says in the manuals and in the posts here, but it just doesn't look as though it should be there...it disintergrated on removal, looks as though it was 10 years old), new oil pressure sensor (hey the gauge works!), new thermostat (now the engine doesn't over cool, it's done that for years...).
To do: discs and pads all round, fuel filter, windscreen wiper. Probably worth cleaning the MAF sensor and throttle body, oh and bonnet struts - it's a heavy bonnet.
I get the parts from the UK and ship them abroad or take them. Cars plus service/parts in Spain are expensive. I do as much as I can.
I love my Alfa!