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(Post Link) post #1 of 41 Old 23-07-12 Thread Starter
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Need to get back into the Alfa family

I owned 2 Alfas in my past life and really want to be the proud owner of another.

When it comes to things mechanical unfortunately I wasn't blessed with that talent so you can imagine that I am a little nervous in "dipping my toe" back in the water without some really good advice.

I am planning to go and have a look at this:

2003 Alfa Romeo 166 Alfa 166 3.0 V6, Price: €3,750 3.0 Petrol for sale in Kildare on CarsIreland.ie
(sorry for the cut and paste but obviously the link isn't working wither).

I would appreciate any thoughts, advice information you can give me before I go to view.

Many thanks
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Welcome to AO Daidy hopefully you find yourself back in an Alfa soon

I'm sure some of the 166 owners will be along to give some advice & opinions shortly.
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Firstly, according to the revenue website, the open market selling price of the car is around €2100, and in my opinion that's all it's worth, esp with the current market situation regarding bigger engines and high road tax. Also no mention of timing belt being done and looking at the mileage there's a good possibility that it was never done, not a cheap job by any means on V6 and from my experience very few mechanics out there that can do it properly. Suspension components often wear out around that mileage so would need checking. I currently own 2 166's so feel free to ask me anything or PM me.
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Heya if you want I can go and have a look at it with you. I own a 166 also V6 too. As Eddie said, there are very few people who can work on the V6 engine properly for me it would be either Don Baker or Gerry Campbell who I would reccommend to do any work on there. Be careful of some people who claim they can work on them but in reality can't.
 
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suspension and timing belt are good negotiating points. also ask about thermostat, heater matrix, radiator, waterpump, and air con. If you pop over with Damien to have a look at the car over the weekend, let me know
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suspension and timing belt are good negotiating points. also ask about thermostat, heater matrix, radiator, waterpump, and air con. If you pop over with Damien to have a look at the car over the weekend, let me know
No bother I can collect you bud no problem. True, they are all good ways to get the car cheaper and the peace of mind to know that it was done right too.
 
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have you an ideain your head whatexactly you want or are you open to whatever is out there?
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(Post Link) post #8 of 41 Old 24-07-12 Thread Starter
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Thank you all for you comments, advice and help.

I went to look at it yesterday, let me give you a vey "untrained" eye's perspective.

Exterior wise the car looks perfect - no rust, no dings, no panels out of shape, no spurious paintwork (it is pearlescent (spelling?) paint).

Took it for a short test drive (about 10 miles), road holding seems fine (I threw it into a few corners), plenty of power and kicks down through the gears properly when you floor it. Suspension "seemed" good, it rode over uneven surfaces with ease. No rattle in the steering wheel, no play in the steering wheel. Good braking, fairly stuck to the road when applied.

Interior wise it is very clean though the driver's seat is a little worn (which makes me question the mileage a little bit), Rubbers on the pedals do not have excess wear which might contradict what I have just said above.

All the electrics work, lights, spots, cruise, windshield wipers etc....

A couple of things that I found:

There is a "squeek" in the front passenger wheel that goes away when the brake is applied.

The two reversing light lenses are discoloured and are not clear.

On board info system, radio, sat nav etc needs to be recoded.

There is only 1 key available for the car, the code key is missing.

The service manual was not available for inspection, told that it was in a "sister" garage in Rathcoole. I was told that it had a full service history (though not with Alfa) but they could not tell me if the timing belt had been done - I got "it needs to be done every 40k miles so as it is running it must have been done and will need to be done again within the next 15k miles".

Best price he said he could do was € 3,500.

Damien_C, thank you so much for the offer to come and see it with me I would like to take you up on your offer. Since I am new to this board not sure how to use the pm facility but my number is 087 120-7644, perhaps you might call me and we can arrange something.

@Alfa 155 TS - I am pretty open to be honest. My last chariot was a Mercedes S320 CDi which unfortunately I had to scrap as the heater matrix went in it and destroyed the EMS and the wiring coils - it would have been way to expensive to repair with no guarantee of success. I have been on "shanks mare" for the last 4 months, hence the reason I am in the market.

I do not do a lot of driving so big engines do not put me off (except for the road tax!!!!). I also do not want to spend big money as a car is a luxury not a necessity. I work from home when I am not travelling and I travel 3 weeks out of 4 for my job. I like my creature comforts, toys (especially cruise control) and performance - I would consider any Alfa that would tick those boxes.

OH BTW, (and this is also going to contradict what I have just said in the previous paragraph), I looked at a 00 Alfa Sprint with 61K miles, I absolutely loved the car but had to let my head rule my heart as it just wasn't practical.

Once again guys thank you so much for your input and advice - I really appreciate it and hopefully I will be a genuine part of the Alfa family in the not too distant future.

Vincent
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(Post Link) post #9 of 41 Old 24-07-12 Thread Starter
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One other question I meant to ask - is the steering wheel in the 166 adjustable with/without rake? Could not find a way to do it yesterday??
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One other question I meant to ask - is the steering wheel in the 166 adjustable with/without rake? Could not find a way to do it yesterday??
Yes there's a 'lever' underneath it where you can adjust height and rake.
I found it quite good. Thinking about it now it's nearly more like a 'flap' that comes out towards you....
I thought the TB interval on V6s is longer than 40K but I would not be convinced by the answer you got. The squeak could be anything - if it squeaks over bumps/speed bumps you're looking at wishbones I think. It could be squeaky brake pads (just apply copper grease to the back of them).

I'm still not convinced it's worth that kind of money... I would have thought 2ish tops?
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(Post Link) post #11 of 41 Old 24-07-12 Thread Starter
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Mufasa - thank you for your advice, I'm sure it is there I just couldn't locate it.

As for the price, beginning to come to that conclusion myself based on what everyone has said so far.

One other thing that I thought of (and it may have absolutely no bearing on anything) I noticed that it did not have the "166" or "T-Spark" decals on the back of the car, only the "3.0". May not mean anything but thought it odd at the time.

Thanks again.
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Originally Posted by Daidy2012 View Post
Mufasa - thank you for your advice, I'm sure it is there I just couldn't locate it.

As for the price, beginning to come to that conclusion myself based on what everyone has said so far.

One other thing that I thought of (and it may have absolutely no bearing on anything) I noticed that it did not have the "166" or "T-Spark" decals on the back of the car, only the "3.0". May not mean anything but thought it odd at the time.

Thanks again.
I wouldn't think that's a big deal.
It should have 166 on the passenger side and 3.0 V6 on the other.
They can come off easily enough....
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if you have a look again check 2 small things:
1.) I'm pretty sure the rear light clusters are not discoloured, they are not the same as the 156. Have a look at a few pics on the net, just to confirm it's ok
2.) If you are worried about the missing letters, don't, a lot of people removed it to have a cleaner look. I - on the other hand - like to shout into the face of the Prius owners what I drive. Pathetic, but extremely satisfying If still not convinced, then check for colour differences between the boot and the wheelarches (on both side), you'll spot the differences, this colour is very very hard to match. If you have CDO* like me, you can check if the two bumpstops of the boot are the same, and if the little sticker with the colour code is still on the inside of the bootlid.

The code for the ICS will set you back about ~100 euros, so try to get those as part of the deal. But before you do check for the card either in the manual/service history book, or in the boot above the battery, mine was in a plastic bag taped to the top of the SatNav.

The 166 is very comfortable to drive, the memory seats (with 3 programmable slots) making a 1000+ km run across the continent a pleasure.

You can also do an ECU reset, so the gearbox ecu learns your driving style.

Unfortunately the Heater matrix is the weak point of the Sportronic box. Open the padded cover at the passenger footwell, and check for moisture. The gearbox ecu is right under the heater matrix, and a leak can destroy it. A lot of us wrapped the ecu in a plastic bag to avoid this.

Check if the CD changer is working, and if you have a new disc for the satnav. Also, check if you have an extra black box over the CD changer in the boot, that's the DSP amp, a nice addition to the car.

good luck! it's a very nice colour, you'll like it

*CDO is OCD, but the letters in the correct order
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(Post Link) post #14 of 41 Old 24-07-12 Thread Starter
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Klapanciusz - thank you very much for the detail in your post, I will check it when I go over to have a look. Question for you, given that you a 166 owner do you think the price they are asking, € 3,500, a bit steep??

I have been looking on the net this morning and while there are very few 166 on the market (and whatever there is appears to be in Cork) they are considerably less money, albeit they do have higher mileage and are the 2.0 version.

I also came across this Alfa Romeo 156 1.6 Sportivo 2004 for sale in Dublin : €2,999 - DoneDeal.ie I owned a 156 before and loved it dearly so I wouldn't be adverse to looking at another - thoughts/comments appreciated.
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(Post Link) post #15 of 41 Old 24-07-12 Thread Starter
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2 examples of the 166's I saw on the net an '01 and an '04 (though the '04 seems pricey enough given 93K miles)

Alfa romeo 166 for sale in Cork : €4,000 - DoneDeal.ie

ALFA ROMEO 166 for sale in Cork : €1,999 - DoneDeal.ie

Another 156 example here in Dublin, though a "DL" plate always puts me off a bit, they tend to drive their cars just a little harder up there (no insult intended to any Donegal AOs).

Alfa Romeo 156 Ti 1.6 for sale in Dublin : €3,160 - DoneDeal.ie

Thanks again to everyone for their help. I am determined to get an Alfa (Italian cars are in the blood).

Vincent
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Huge difference between the build quality and the ride of the 156 and the 166, even the factory they were made are different. The 166 is more like a GT car, more comparable to the Merc you had.

About the price: you asked the wrong person, I paid full asking price for mine. You can look at it two ways: you buy a car to enjoy it, or you buy a car to get from A to B. Alfas are usually in the first category, but nothing is more heartbreaking (and expensive) than a neglected Alfa. If you treat her right, she'll make you happy. (Yes, I'm still talking about cars).
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(Post Link) post #17 of 41 Old 24-07-12 Thread Starter
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Klapanciusz thank you again for your comments and I agree with everything you said - including "treating her right and she'll make you happy" (that goes for partners too )
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I will give you a buzz tomorrow. This weekend is out for me but we can organise something soon.
 
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2 examples of the 166's I saw on the net an '01 and an '04 (though the '04 seems pricey enough given 93K miles)

Alfa romeo 166 for sale in Cork : €4,000 - DoneDeal.ie
Hi Vincent , I know the 1st 04 166 . Not a bad car but definately not as good as in the pictures . Was behind this car a while back and the paint is a bit scraped/scratched on the bumper . Would be worth a look alright but not 4k. It started at 5K and has been for sale for a while .

As to The 3litre V6 , I think way over priced to be honest , as Mine ( Now Damiens) would only be worth 1500 to 2k at the most and theres a thread on here of everything that was spent on it over the last 2 years of ownership (About 6k )

Anyway the 3litre is some nice motor

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I wouldn't think that's a big deal.
It should have 166 on the passenger side and 3.0 V6 on the other.
They can come off easily enough....
Nope. Some came from the factory as the OP describes. Like mine for instance...

Last edited by CCOVICH; 26-07-12 at 10:16.
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The original 166 you linked to (the V6) is certainly overpriced unless it was near perfect. If there's no proof the timing belt was done, you'd have to assume it isn't. The interval is either 4 years/60,000 miles or 5 years/72,000 miles depending on your appetite for risk! You'd also be more comfortable knowing if the water pump was replaced with the metal version.

In addition, the ICS code is a PITA if missing. It should be with the service book etc. If not, phone a dealer and ask what they would charge to replace and discount the price the seller quotes.

I'm in Maynooth myself, so would gladly take a look at it with you if you wanted.

I'm wondering is this V6 the same one that was for sale in Kilkenny not so long ago that one of the members on here went to see.....same colour, same wheels...I must have a look. Ok, I see now that the one in Kilkenny was a 2002 whereas this car looks like a 2003...

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(Post Link) post #22 of 41 Old 26-07-12 Thread Starter
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CCOVICH thank you for your reply, all the information in your post and your offer to come see the car with me - it is much appreciated. I am going to look at the following car this afternoon - Alfa Romeo 156 1.6 Sportivo 2004 for sale in Dublin : €2,999 - DoneDeal.ie - I know it is not a 166 but it looks like it is genuine and a decent deal if everything stacks up. I owned a 156 from new for 5 years and absolutely loved it so I wouldn't be advserse to another one.

If it doesn't stack up then I will look at the 166 again though I do think it is overpriced and they weren't very forthcoming with information on the timing belt, water pump etc which also concerned me.

I will let you guys know how I get on today.

Thanks again.

Vincent
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No problem. That's a fine looking 156 but can you live with the difference between a 1.6TS and a 3.0V6?
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No problem. That's a fine looking 156 but can you live with the difference between a 1.6TS and a 3.0V6?
The voice of temptation!!!
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(Post Link) post #25 of 41 Old 27-07-12 Thread Starter
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Well guys and girls I did it - I bought the 156 yesterday

It is a lovely car and am very pleased with it, it is just so good to have that famous Alfa "growl" under me again.

I need to get it serviced and there are a couple of supermarket car park "dings" that need to be repaired but otherwise she is pretty perfect.

Any suggestions on who I should contact for a really good Alfa service - I want this baby perfect .

I am now a fully fledged member of the Alfa family.

Thank you all for all your help, hopefully I will get to meet some, if not all of you, at a future Alfa meet.

Best wishes

Vincent
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