A long way to go and
a sort time to get
Join Date: Jun 2005
I was going to post this thread when I had my previous 156, but I wasnt 100% sure. Now on my second 156 I can confirm powerless steering is the way to go.
My first 156 was bought with a power steering pump on its way out, she would have little or no power steering when idle but once I got the revs up it would return, eventually the pump failed completly.
The cost of a fix was 600+ euro, I didnt find the lack of PS a problem, I could easly park mine in a tight shopping centre spot in half the the time Yummy Mummy took to park her Audi Q7 bus.
The real plus was the feedback through the steering wheel, I could feel every millimeter the tyres would splay while cornering, you could make a single 5 degree turn of the wheel with 1 hand while approaching a corner and hold it there varying the amount of throttle to get you around the corner as fast a possible without suffering from over/understeer, and accelerate out with confidence. In fact I didnt know what understeer was until I drove the dads Saab while waiting for my present 156 (an Audi I drove was also no fun).
Now I have a Sportivo model with all the bells and whisles, though when taking my usual routes to work, friends etc I find myself having to readjust the steering 2 or 3 times on roundabouts which was never the case with 'sarah'.
I noted that some Lotus Elise models come without PS, which is understandable in such a light car, and I suspect that besides the engine note etc.. of Alfa Suds the lack of PS is another reason Alfa enthusiasts love them. Maybe I'll go oldschool with my next 1.