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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 2 year old 159 sportwagon from a dealer a couple of weeks ago. All more or less ok since then. However, there is one thing that is causing minor niggles. The power steering is light (which I think is a feature of all 159s). However, I've noticed that when going over bumps in the road you can feel it in the steering. I'm talking about minor road bumps caused by surface changes (not potholes or speed bumps). The car doesn't pull to the left or the right and as far as I can see there isn't uneven tyre wear.

Should I be feeling all these things through the steering? Note the issue is quite subtle and the power steering is not making any noises. Most of my driving since I got the car has been at low speeds commuting in a town and I haven't had a chance to drive at speed or on motorways (mostly because of the recent weather) so I don't know if I can get the same feeling through the steering at higher speeds.

I'd appreciate any opinions before I go back to the dealer. This is my first Alfa and I thought they had a reputation for good handling but this issue of driving in town is making me wonder if there is a problem.

Many thanks.
 

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That may well just be good old fashioned steering feel and if so it is a good thing. It will let you know what your wheels are doing, when you are on the edge of losing traction etc.

Many modern cars have such lifeless steering you might as well be driving a video arcade game. So I would not worry about it at all. One of the main joys of older cars without power steering is the feel of connection to the road that has almost gone now. It is often talked about as one of the big pleasures when driving 60's Ferraris and Alfas
 

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I know I'm on 19" wheels but I'd never say my steering is light, in fact I'm surprised at how much feel there is ( and me coming from a 16" 147)
 

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My 159 moves around a lot more when the tyres are worn. I would get the tracking checked first, but I think that "lively" steering is a characteristic of the car.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My 159 moves around a lot more when the tyres are worn. I would get the tracking checked first, but I think that "lively" steering is a characteristic of the car.

Pete
Thanks to everyone for replies. I think I'll ask the dealer to check things out.
 

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Thanks to everyone for replies. I think I'll ask the dealer to check things out.
I found my 159 very light even a bit vague at motorway speeds it's easy to drift off line if not paying attention, that said it's lovely for the twisty stuff where it's happiest:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here is an update...
Went to the dealer and arranged an appointment to go for a test drive in my car with a mechanic. The mechanic thought that the car drove ok. He said that 159s were "sporty" (mine is just a 1.9JTDM SW!) and had their suspension set up quite hard. He also said that having 18 inch alloys would give a hard ride.

Back at the dealers this mechanic checked the tyres and tyre pressures. He said the pressures were a little low and he corrected those. He also said the tyres were starting to feather and so it would be worth getting the tracking done. Lastly he noticed that the power steering dipstick was missing (this seems very odd to me - any suggestions?)

Anyway the dealer has agreed to do the tracking and get a replacement dipstick.

Was the mechanic right? Is the ride in a 159 hard so that you feel the road surface changes in the car and also get lots of feedback from the steering wheel?

Anything else I might suggest the dealer to check or look out for. I feel somewhat irritated that the dealer didn't sort this all out before I got the car.
 

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Welcome to the quirky (but fun) world of 159 ownership!

The 159 does have a firm ride and communicates the road well back through the steering wheel. More so the bigger dia wheels/lower profile tyres you have. Would not be too concerned.

I don't think that the tracking would normally be checked by the dealer before sale. They have agreed to do it now which is good.

One word of caution on steering though - if you ever have deterioration in feel, it pulls to one side or groaning noises (still talking about steering here :) )from pump on full lock then get into dealer asap. Mine needed a new steering rack at 40k and others on here have seen same problem. Replaced under warranty in my case but can be a £500+ repair!
 

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I had all sorts of jumpy experiences when on back roads (tramlining on white lines etc) so I put a bit more air in the tyres and it seemed much more stable, esp after summer when cold weather creeps up and tyre pressures fall. (159 sportwagon 1.9 lusso)
 

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I find the steering on my 159 to be just perfect. a bit on the heavy side in fact compared to the German cars in the family. It's marvellous at any speed and you can really tell the kind of surface you are driving on through the steering wheel and the suspension (which is a bit on the hard side) .

In any case, the steering and suspension setup is what makes me feel so safe driving the car. it does exactly what and how i want it, without being hardcore :)

btw, try getting the tyres pumped with nitrogen at a tyre-shop, it is less affected by temperature changes :)
 
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