Il cuore ha sempre
Join Date: Mar 2008
156 TI 1.6 - What's going on with my engine?
Apologies for the long post:
I own a 2004 156 TI which I bought in March @ about 93,500kms. It now has 97,600kms on the clock. When I was viewing the car I noticed that the engine oil was honey coloured and looked like the oil in a car that was serviced regularly. However, I noticed some creamy stains on the inside of the oil filler cap so I queried the condition of the head gasket. The garage disclaimed any knowledge of a problem but conducted a dye test on the engine for my peace of mind. They said the outcome was that all was well.
However, I checked the oil recently and it was an odd colour. Not so much black as a very dark colour tinged with a reddish hue. I do not remember if it was this colour after the dye test when I eventually picked up the car. Does anyone know if this is an after effect of a dye test or what? While I am a bit of an Alfa fanatic I must confess my knowledge of engines is not what it could be - as this thread proves.
I feel that the engine in the TI idles smoothly and quietly enough but does not either pull or rev as strongly or as smoothly as the engine in my old 156 1.6 Sportivo. It doesn't sound very Alfa-ish until well into the rev range. I've also just bought another 156 1.6 (a Sportwagon) and that too has a far keener, more sporting sound. (Both Sportivos I mention are 2002 models) The engine in my TI sounds somehow muffled and strangled. Would a head gasket issue cause this? Could it be that I need new spark plugs? MAF Sensor? Something even more sinister? I'm a bit lost here as you can tell.
So what's the verdict from the experts? Is the TI a lemon? Or were there some changes made to the engines between 2002 and 2004 that might result in a different sound and feel?
Has anyone got any advice, experience or ideas?