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Hello all.

I registered few weeks ago already, but didnít introduced myself yet. So here goes.

Iím 35 and never owned Alfa before. However I always admired their styling and what they represent, but was too scared of their supposed built quality issues. But as it happened, towards the end of January I had to buy a car. I couldnít really make my mind up if to go for something sensible and boring again, or for something more special, unusual and exciting for a change, at least for some time and will see how it goes. Since I didnít have much time and this one was for sale locally, for, what I assumed was, fair price, without too much thinking I went heart over head and now own, my very own, Alfa Romeo 147 1.6 TS Lusso 3dr(52 reg). (So as a fan of Top Gear, I can finally call myself a ďPetrolheadĒ!)

Shortly after that, I found this forum which helped a lot to establish what exactly I bought and what to expect.
At the moment the car is perfectly usable on day to day basis, but naturally, it has some issues. Some I was aware of when buying... i.e. far from perfect bodywork (no rust, but hail storm damage, mainly visible on the bonnet and some dents and scratches, to which I added some of my own already), but this didnít concern me too much, at time. Problems I identified so far:
-thermostat probably needs changing as I canít reach 90 degrees
-brake pads sound like in need of replacing (grinding noise)
-as a precaution cam belt change wouldnít be a bad idea, preferably with variator, as engine tends to sound diesel-ish (not at the start, but after some driving).
-driverís seat canít be lowered
-just recently speakers started to cut in and out randomly, which becomes annoying

Also fuel consumption is something I have to use to. (owning a diesel before) Itís averaging 30.4 at the moment. Obviously one of the factors is my commute, 10 miles to work and 10 miles back, which I know is not ideal for warming up the engine, also considering cold weather we had so far. But that freefalling fuel gauge and onboard computer really frustrate me.

So I found myself in a place, (not unfamiliar to many Alfa owners, I presume) to find the right balance between having good, working, reliable car, but not to overspend. As Iím pretty aware, that whatever I spend, with the bodywork beaten up as it is, it wonít be worth more than 50p again. Most of the jobs so far seems like could be done at home, with parts ordered from ebay and work done with help of some skilled friends, to keep the costs down.

Despite all this, Iím really falling in love with it. Every time I look at it I canít help but thinking how great it looks.. (at least from distance) and at no point so far I regretted buying it. Iím pretty sure I wonít keep it for too long, but when browsing for replacement I seriously consider another Alfa, 159 Sportwagon ( being my favourite at the moment, however there isnít too many around for sale in my price range.

Well, looks like I got the bug!
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