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:)Hi All,
Excuse the post if it has been covered before .
I am considering buying a late 156 or early 159 . I am used to the idisynchrosies of driving and fixing renaults.
But I want to try Alfa ownership for the first time and wanted to confirm some of the problems I have seen raised for 156/159.
Just to clarify I am specifically looking for petrol 1.6/1.8 (so diesel problems can be ignored)

I popped into a main alfa dealership today and had a chat with service.
He mentioned that later 156 had eliminated most of the bugs associated with that model.
:lol: What common faults would I expect to experience
Timing belt change must be done exactly on mileage (or three years whichever comes first)
:) any issues even if replacement time period followed
Hot wire issues due to not enough care / cleaning during air filter replacement.
:) can anyone confirm this
He confirmed Bushing issues require complete wishbone replacement but that NCT should be more leanient lately on failures of this part.
:) Can anyone in ireland replace these bushings ?

Is there any other regular issues I should be aware of, I am not concerned about minor electrical issues that I can resolve, major car stoppers or items that only a dealer can resolve.
While this will be a daily driver it wont be doing long milage so if there are gremlins I can deal with them.

with the 159 I need to confirm that its a significant step up from 156 in quality.
Thanks for any feedback to confirm or deny problems
 

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As you know, you must change the cambelt. Obviously it could break before but there aren't many reports of it. Check that the belt hasn't already broken and been repaired, because the big ends are likely to follow suite.

You must keep the oil topped up (i.e. check the level weekly). Again running it low on oil = big end failure.

You must keep the bonnet catch clean, and always drop the bonnet then pull to check it's closed. Otherwise it fails and destroys your windscreen/roof/life.

The climate controls can develop a mind of their own where they increase the temperature, and the dials have to be removed & re-soldered.

Tyre wear can be bad and you should probably get a four wheel alignment done.

Suspension parts wear out comparatively quickly, but mine haven't yet so I've no experience of this.

Otherwise, he's right. Not that many inherent faults by the end of the 156 run, and it's a very nice car. 1.6 is underpowered IMO, and the 2.0 JTS has some more issues that I am sadly familiar with ;) but still good.
 

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Both nice cars, but I still feel the right color 156 has the edge on looks, I say that now till I can no longer find a newer 156 than mine and move to a 159
 

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Suspension parts wear out comparatively quickly, but mine haven't yet so I've no experience of this.
Same here.
I've had my 156 over 12-years (from new) and in that time it has only needed one replacement set of upper wishbones.
It had new front dampers under warranty when it was about 2-years old and they were replaced again 18-months ago together with the rears.
All other wishbones/links/bushes are original and still fine.
 

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the 156 and 159's are completely different cars, if you want something light that you can "throw around" then go for the 156 ... if you enjoy trying to "park the moon" then go for the 159 :lol:
 

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with the 159 I need to confirm that its a significant step up from 156 in quality.
Well, it came out of the same factory with the same low standard of quality-control, so there are still "issues"...

Very different car though and significantly heavier so don't expect a 1.8MPI 159 to be quick!!
 

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I went through the same decision process last year and ended up with a late 156. There doesn't appear to be much improvement re room inside which was my major consideration. The 159 is better built and solid but as pointed out above they are heavier and less economical. For the diesels the decision is even easier as the 159's seem to have more expensive problems.

Keith
 

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I would add that you check the underside for rust if looking at a late 156. Quite a few cars (mine included) came with poor undersealing. Long standing leaks (check carpets are dry under mats) can also rot out the floor quickly.

Keith
 
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