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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Bought a V reg Alfa 156 on the cheap off e-bay last year - it was one of those "too good to be true" chances to own a car I'd always wanted at a bargain price. Only £1,200, so didn't really expect it to be trouble-free driving.

All was fine until I spotted that it was guzzling oil at an alarming rate, took it to my local garage who said the head gasket is on the way out and the pistons are badly worn - not really repairable in his opinion.

So, I've had a quote of about £2k to replace the engine with a recon, bringing the grand total I will have spent on the car to £3,200 which is looking less like a bargain, and of course no guarantees that there won't then be something else wrong with it.

Anyone know of a decent garage in Surrey/South East that might be cheaper?

It's got about 80k miles on the clock, so at about 9 years old around average mileage. What is your experience of these cars at this age? Is it just one thing after another or is it worth investing the time and money to keep it on the road?

My wife and I both love the interior - wood panels and cream Momo leather - and it's a gorgeous looking car, with almost no external scratches, so I'm a bit torn as to what to do.
 

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How much oil is it using these things are know to like a good drink of oil Alfa quote 1L per 1000km, also what grade oil do you use, if its a 2.0 you should have 10w-60 and the difference is noticable if you put in say 10w-40:rolleyes:
 

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Autolusso will do a 2.0 TS for £1500, but look at their web-site to check their terms and give Ned a ring.
 

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Get a second opinion ;) Drive it until it dies, Alfa engines do eat oil. Watch out in classifieds etc. for a cheap but good engine from one of those being broken up. Check local independents for a better price for fitting an engine, £2k seems a bit over.
 

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Are you using the Oil?
If the piston rings / bores are so badly worn, you would see a lot of blue smoke behind the car. :eek:
This “smoke screen” would be there permanently.
If your head gasket is leaking, a Cylinder Head overhaul should be around £600 MAX all in.
Unless you have a piston ring broken or something unusual like that 80.000 miles is nothing for any modern engine.
I would;
1. Check for leaks, you might be losing oil somewhere.
2. Check the engine breather
3. Check your plugs, your spark plugs would be full of oil if you are burning it.
4. Due a compression test
5. Get a second opinion (like chrismanchr said)

Make sure you do not over fill your engine with oil.

I had a Volvo where someone put the wrong dipstick in, and I was over filling the engine every time I checked the oil level. :rant:

all the best

Mike
 

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Head gaskets can't be "on the way out", its either okay or its failed, no middle ground on that one!
Agreed. Get a second opinion, your garage sound like numpties. £2k is a bit steep for a recon engine, AutoLusso will do one for £1500 or so. Give them a ring, 01582 869650, ask for Ned, although I'm fairly confident you probably don't need a full engine recon, just a bit of TLC and use of proper oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks all for the useful responses.
Yes, I think my local garage are numpties as there definitely was no sign of blue smoke in the exhaust so the head gasket does not appear to be gone.
Anyone know of a reasonable Alfa garage closer to Kingston/Surbiton in Surrey? Alfa Lusso sounds highly recommended but is a bit of a stretch to get to.
Ken
 

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you have got Kinghams in Croydon who arnt too bad, bit overpriced tho, which is why i drive upto autolusso, even tho i live in south london, it worth it:thumbs:
 

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You haven't confirmed what use of oil you call ' alarming'? Remember that 1 ltr per 1000 miles is not unusual for these cars.
 

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im in worcester park but work in slough which means that AforAlfa in Aylesbury and L&M in high wycombe are my most local. worth the run out id say

paul
 
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