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New potential owner - just some advice

Hi everyone,

I just thought I would post on her for some friendly advice and guidance. I am close to
Completing a purchase of a 03 156 1.6 T spark silver. The price is 3k which I think is a
good deal provided everything checks out. The mileage is 78 and the model has the upgrade
interior.

There are a couple of things to be done on it before i check it out - the timing belt , an
issue with one of the door locks and a small problem with the front passenger electric
windows. The bushes were done on it this week.

I am far from a petrol head so apologies to those who are but the 156 is probably the only
car I have ever craved after if you understand what I mean.

I just really want some guidance on what else I should look out for before I purchase. The
garage (not Alfa garage) is giving me a 3 month warranty on engine and gearbox and the
exterior is mint as far as i can gather.

Also it has the 15 inch 8 hole teledial alloys. Ideally I would love the 16 inch 5 hole and
also the side skirts. How easy would it be to pick up some side skirts and add to the car. I
think personally this adds greatly to the aesthetics. The tires are brand new so I might
just leave the existing wheels on for now.

So just basically any advice on what to look out for and hopefully I am making the right
decision in buying one. I donít drive a huge amount but I just love the car and everything
about it.

Cheers!
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My advice is to bring a competent mechanic to view the car before buying it. If you go on a test drive pay attention to the following:

1. Suspension rattles: if you drive over an uneven surface and the suspension starts to squeak, that might be the wishbones that need replacing (mine do on both sides )

2. 78k mileage and the timing belt to be done. It seems to me that the previous owner was trying his luck. The timing belts need replacing every 36k or 3 years, whichever comes first. That could bring the price down if you try your luck.

3. Mine's a 1.6 as well, be prepared to go quite often to the petrol station. Even tough the 1.6 is nimble enough (for me), it really drinks, having to carry that heavy body around.

4. Also when test driving it, if it feel slugish it may be the Air Flow Meter (MAF), that needs to be replaced, and ONLY buy a genuine Bosch ones. The ones on ebay are ****, and as Dave (theredx) told me, you'll soon want to put the old non-working one again.

5. Oh and check the oil, some drink oil and some don't. But if you don't take care of it, she`ll make your life a misery

6. You can find the skirts and the rims fairly easy I'd say, sometimes there's loads of them for breaking, just have to look. The usual ones go on donedeal and gumtree.


Thanks
Rob

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I see you're in Dublin. Get the car checked by Gerry at TI autos (call ahead well in advance), he knows more about the Alfas than Luigi and Francesco who built them
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1. Suspension rattles: if you drive over an uneven surface and the suspension starts to squeak, that might be the wishbones that need replacing (mine do on both sides )

i dont know bout that I had my wishbones changed and it still squeks if its a cold morning etc.! Good ol alfa's
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Well if its a good one you will soon discover you have indeed made the right choice.
Squeaking could also be the bushes but if they have been done should really be ok, if the previous owners didnt drive over too many bumps and holes the suspension should be fine. If its a 03 156 its probably the mkII facelift and from my experience the engine and gearbox are fine, just rthe onboard computer can go a bit mad sometimes. Post a thread in the 156 forum aswell as those lads will know a lot more than we would given its a general forum here.
Is the car online on any of tha car websites? Also be patient because there are shed loads of 156s and if it doesnt have a few of the things you want one will soon enough appear that ticks all the boxes. The timing belt really shoulf be done becase it can be an expensive job. Id advise you ring Ti Autos first and price how much th aftersales stuff is going to cost you before buying any car

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Squeaks from the wishbones as said can come from brand new ones .. its not really a big deal if they were done . Just try and make sure the car is cold when you go to view it . If it starts like a diesal then it possible Variator which will and shoude be replaced with the Timing belt. I've had a few Alfa's and they did squeak from time to time but never had any issues when they did and it was mostly in cold weather . But as said try and get someone to look at it as suggested above . Good luck and as said there are quite a few around to pick from .

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