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Looked at car yesterday at garage with view to buy.removed oil filled cap and there was a milky residue in cap salesman said it was because car was only moved in and out of showroom.On test drive temp gauge dropped from normal to 50 and there was a smell fumes.Aircon had also been regassed.Should I stay clear of this one
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Tough one. Regarding the white emulsion goo, he could be right. If left standing with short start-ups condensation does occur and may cause it.

However there could also be a headgasket failure.

Service history might help.
 

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If it is the headgasket it will show up well within the warranty period.

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Temp dropping from normal (around 90) to 50 during test drive points to faulty thermostat I believe?
My advice? Make a list of your concerns and get the garage to guarantee in writing that if they prove to be faulty they will replace FOC. You have a right to buy a car that is "fit for purpose" under your statutory consumer rights anyway. Alfas could be compared to the Forth Bridge - always something needing to be fixed! In the end, you might have to trust your gut feelings about the car and of course, the thickness of the service history folder ?
 

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If it is a V6 then the temperature dropping to 50 is quite normal if it rises to 90 in traffic. Mine has always done this even with a new thermostat. If a TS then it is probably the thermostat.

Have a look at the coolant - should be a clear colour (usually red) with no sign of any oil pollution - discolouration or small bubbles. Also have a smell of the coolant - any combustion smell indicates head gasket failure.
 
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