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(Post Link) post #1 of 10 Old 07-09-13 Thread Starter
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First ***** Purchase Help

Hi there,

I am a 25 yo male looking to purchase my first car, have previous experience in a Seat Ibiza but really like the look of a 147 as opposed to a polo or micra. I will have the help of a mechanic when purchasing but have heard many good and bad things about owning a used Romeo. Have you any general guidelines for purchasing? My budget would be up to 1500 ish so probably looking at 2002 or so models.

Thanks.
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should get a good one at 1500 yoyo
Look for a service history , proof the timing belt and water pump are replaced on schedule .
Cold start it and make sure it comes up to temperature , 90 C on the instrument . Listen for a diesel rattle on startup = variator , a variable valve gizmo .
Check for warning light's , when the key is inserted they should all light up and go off after starting .
Here's to you finding a cracker
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(Post Link) post #3 of 10 Old 07-09-13 Thread Starter
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Thanks Brave,

What sort of mileage should I be looking for in a 2002? I really haven't a clue tbh when it comes to this sort of stuff! If it has been regularly serviced should it be reliable? Plenty of people I know have voiced concerns over their reliability!

Thanks again
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The average mileage is around 12 thousand miles a year , ideally you will be looking at something with 100 th miles at around ten years old .
Mine has 95 on a 2002 .
They are expensive to run maybe more than unreliable = suspension is an area of concern and can be costly to upkeep , the timing belt like I said already and water pump at the same time on a car that age .
comparing to the cars you listed
Tires more expensive , fuel , they can be juicy with all that electronics to lug around .
Some common faults but nearly guarantee that whoever told you they are unreliable has never owned one .

A service a bulb and a head thermostat at 70 euro for over a year's driving pleasure , for me .

I had a micra for couple of months before I got this and it's night and day , the micra a scabby tool the Alfa my pride and joy I park it like an ornament outside my window .
Will get you a link to a car I saw for sale in Galway earlier .
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ALFA ROMEO For Sale in Galway : €1,000 - DoneDeal.ie

I'd go for a three door with 17 inch , 16 on that ^ .
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(Post Link) post #6 of 10 Old 07-09-13 Thread Starter
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Thanks for that, seen that one and is quite nice indeed! 5 door would suit me best so I'll look into that! Just slightly apprehensive about the purchase but sure any ten year old car is prob a toss of the dice I suppose!

Thanks again,

Any further comments or suggestions are welcome
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Originally Posted by BigBear321 View Post
Thanks for that, seen that one and is quite nice indeed! 5 door would suit me best so I'll look into that! Just slightly apprehensive about the purchase but sure any ten year old car is prob a toss of the dice I suppose!

Thanks again,

Any further comments or suggestions are welcome
My first car was, and still is, my Alfa. I also like you waned a 5 door and got a 1.9 diesel in the end due to doing around 17k a year. There are many buying tips in what to look out for if Guido a search on here, I found them invaluable when looking for mine. First do you want a diesel or petrol? Also I have the 15" alloys on mine, they may not look as good but being a student it was much, much cheaper to get good quality rubber for 15s than it would have been for the same 17s. (it all adds up) main thing with them is 'squeaks and knocks' coming from the front suspension as mentioned, this will be anto roll bar bushes or upper wishbones. And then of course there are things to look out for with the petrol and diesel models respectively. If its a diesel you're looking for i can give you some pointers, afraid I don't know too much about petrol-specific niggles but someone else on here will do of course!
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Thanks , my comments were petrol , regarding variator & juicy .
Depending on you're mileage BB .
Road tax here in Ireland is a consideration also .
1600cc is 514 yoyo & 1900cc is 673
Irish Road Tax Rates
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Yer Alfa (dunno what an ***** is) is as reliable or unreliable as anything else... and costs the same to run as anything reasonably the same level of sportiness. It'll be dearer than a Vauxhall Corsa.. but no worse that a Golf or Megane etc.

You only need to check the usual car things.

Suspension (wishbones) can be a bit tempramental, so make sure it's all smooth there (springs and dampers usually moon-and-back-proof). The engine has the modern sensors and doodahs, so make sure the beast idles and revs okay. Airbag lights might stick "on" so make sure the light comes on (in case the bulb "fell out") and then goes off after a few seconds.

The mechanicals are fairly indestructible if they're a good one... but can be a bit weedy if neglected.

Check that the timing belt and tensioner was changed within 3 years and 36,000 miles. If the fella changed the water pump at the same time then that shows some attention to detail. If the variator was swapped too, even better.. but if yours is quiet, then no bother if it's not been changed recently.

Oil should be topped up to near Max and be clean. If the fella knows how much oil it uses, that's good (unless he tells you "1ltr every 1000 miles". My old 1.8 with 134,000 miles uses less than half a litre every 12,000 miles.. but that thing seems to be haunted and your beast might scoff a bit more than that. You'll have to judge it.

Rear brakes might get a bit weedy and usually needs a caliper overhaul/brake bias valve free-off/new discs to sort... but this isn't too dear.

The rest will all be regular 10-year-old car bits and pieces. Clonks, noises, gearbox, whines, bearings, clutch operation, straightness, interior falling apart, exhaust scraping on the floor or blowing... nothing that specifically affects the '47... but you need to make sure is "good".


Ralf S.

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Start it from cold. If it rattles like a diesel, it need a new inlet cam variator. The part's not expensive, but fitting it usually involves a belt change. It won't damage the engine, but you also won't get proper performance until it's fixed. €500 at a main dealers.

Check the oil. If it's black or low, walk away - these engines need to be looked after, and some do burn a bit of oil.

Timing belt interval is every 36,000 miles. If this hasn't been done, factor it into your price - it's expensive (€400 or so).

Suspension is the biggest problem with 147s. Drive the car over speed bumps at low speed. Listen for a squeaking (wishbones) or rattle (anti-roll bar) from the front end. Wishbones are about €150~200 to fix, the ARB is nearer €400 as it's a complete ***** to swap, by all accounts. Again, those are main-dealer prices. Bushes tend to crack, and may need to be replaced.

Other than that, they're sound cars. Engines are reliable, gearboxes good, but as usual ask your mechanic about the condition of the clutch. Electrics are generally very good on Alfas, with one exception: some models had a problem with the body control computer, which can cause just about everything to fail or go a bit mad, and it's an expensive fix.

Oh, and if the car you're looking at is black, registered 02-C-13382, say hi... that was my first Alfa
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