Alfa Romeo Forum banner

81 - 100 of 107 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
One of the most asked questions, so written this, (I'll will edit as needed, please comment on this for any major corrections or additions).

Need some Brera info if anyone can help, though much of the information below is relevant to both models


Trim Levels

Anyone looking to buy a 159 or Brera will first want to consider the different models available, with two basic 159 versions available the saloon and estate, along with the Brera
In 2008, the car was updated, essentially a 45kg weight loss, and a few small changes of trim (the Ti lost auto wipers, blue & me became standard), but apparently all were then fitted with the Q2 differential too. Easiest way to tell is after 2008, the boot badge became the boot release button (previously it was on the headlining!)
Then there are a range of Trim Levels, these have changed over the years, but are essentially:

159

Turismo: Basic model, flocked Cloth, 16” 415 alloys, painted dash trim ,

Turismo SportRare, Basic model, Sports Cloth seats, 17" 4WQ alloy wheels, Brushed Aluminium Trim, Ti type Sports leather steering wheel

Elegante: Pretty rare, but had 55E 17"alloys, stainless steel kick plates, Alfa Tex seats, parking sensor, blue&me

Lusso: Leather seats, 17” alloys, auto wipers/ rear view mirror/ lights), reverse sensors, metal dash trim, stainless steel kick plates

Ti: Red Brembo brake calipers, 19” wheels, Lowered suspension, Side Skirts, Heated Sports seats (electric till mid 08 with memory on seat and mirros, half leather, half alcantara on later ’10 on models), 60:40 Folding seats (saloon), Sports Steering wheel, Red stitched gear knob, Black Headlining, Auto lights/ wipers/ demist (till mid 08), Blue and Me (didnt became standard on Lusso till mid 08), Darkened dash materials, different dial colours, Aluminium pedals, Satin wing mirrors, Ti Sill plates in front, Badges under side repeaters.

Limited Edition (LE/SE): There were a couple of limited editions/ Special editions, including:

James Bond Limited Edition : 250 made, black Lusso (1.9 JTDM only) with Anthracite 10 spoke Ti wheels, brembo calipers, lowered suspension and Ti steering wheel/ dials, leather seats and a few other goodies, but no sports seats or side skirts. Some are labelled at Ti, so watch out (key points to look for are the Ti sports seats have the Alfa logo stitched in red, and the Ti side skirts)

For other parts of Europe they have the following, roughly equivalent levels to the above ( in order), but will depend on your market.

Impression
Sport
Distinctive
Selective
Ti

Brera

Brera (called 'SV' pre 08)
Standard trim (in the UK): aluminium interior trim, sky view roof (hence SV), rear parking sensors, folding mirrors, cruise control, dual zone climate control, and 17" alloys, leather extra
Cars post 08 had 4 pot brembos and slightly different seats, darker dashboard trim, often no sky view/or had a blind over.

Brera S (Prodrive)
Developed with prodrive for better looks and handling: Leather with red stitching, S limited edition badging (on rear quarters, head rest, etc),Leather dash with red stitching (option on the 2.2 standard on the 3.2), Prodrive mudflaps, Prodrive suspension, 19" 8C style alloys, S Style Tailpipes (D shaped) with additional expansion chamber on 2.2 for added noise appeal.

Brera Italia Independent
Standard trim, plus opaque-finish "titanium" paintwork, 18" "turbine" style alloy wheels and an aluminium fuel-filler cap

939 Spider

Standard trim
Cloth (leather on 2.4 jtdm and 32 jts)), folding mirrors, 17" alloys, Twin chrome exhaust, dual zone auto climate control, cruise control, split fold rear seats, rear parking sensors,


Italia Independent limited edition
matt finish paint, 18" Turbine alloys Leather seat trim, Lumbar support, Sat Nav

'Limited Edition'
Confusingly named limited edition, one of three colours (Carbonio Black, Alfa Red, Ghiaccio White) plus 19 inch Ti type alloy wheels, leather upholstery, electrically adjustable and heated memory front seats and door mirrors

Petrols
A range of engines was available, 2.2JTS, 1.9JTS and 1.8MPI (all removed 2010, the 2.2 was the most common, others a bit gutless), 3.2 v6 JTS Q4 the top of the range 4wd option, kept through the life, and 1.750 TBI (introduced in 2010 with good reviews). All the engines are pretty reliable, with all but the 1750TBi engine being GM based units.
  • The 2.2 can suffer from low speed hesitation (around 1,100 rpm), a remap can help
  • The timing chain can stretch, the engine management light should come on, should not cause damage, but can cost a bit (£300+)

Diesels:

1.9 (8v and more common 150bhp 16v version), and 2.4 (pre 2008 200bhp, post 210bhp (different turbo)). Later a 2.0 became available, which had less issues with DPF or EGR. If you are looking to re-map, the 2.4 and 2.0 are better options (stronger gearbox).

What to look out for:

  • Stone chipping to bonnet (soft paint),
  • Suspension bushes (any knocking over bumps),
  • Rear springs are known to snap (about 4cm from the bottom), this seems to be more common on the 159 Ti. This should have been sorted as easy to spot, Eibach pro kit are a very common replacement, same height as Ti, better quality, and great price.
  • Heavy front inside tyre wear (simple 4 wheel alignment to resolve, can be related to the bushes too).
  • Noises on full lock (earlier cars had the wrong power steering fluid (should be green, not red...check before buying)).
  • Wiper linkage can go (the drivers wiper will foul the bonnet when sweeping, & leaves a triangular mark on the screen, and takes paint off the lip of the bonnet where it contacts).
  • Front Subframe Rust is an emerging issue, some have known to have corroded, if you get the chance to get the car up on a lift, take a look, particularly at the front, which is disappointing. You're likely to see some surface rust spots but some have started to rust through, so have a look into the engine bay and around the suspension arm (lower) mountings in the wheel well
  • The rear door locks can fail, check all the doors open.


  • The cambelt AND waterpump should be changed every 50-60k or 4 years (the manual says longer). Factor this in if its not been done (~£450).
  • Small puff of smoke on start (cold, damp days) is acceptable, but much more than that could be an issue.
  • 1.9 Gearbox, any movement of the gear stick in gear (esp 5/6th), or whine in 6th gear should be avoided (bearings can go)
  • The 2.4 has plastic coolant valves, these can fail, loosing coolant, so recommended you replace with metal ones (pretty cheap job, £1-2)
  • Low power, especially below 2,000rpm, could be something as simple as the EGR valve (can be had for as little as £80 new, and diy job), or more serious, get the garage to sort it.
Now I've bought it, what now!?

So you've bought the car, other than starting to enjoy it, what should/ can you do that might improve your owning experience. (Other than the usual checking fluids, cam-belt change etc):

  • Have four wheel alignment, can help with the handling and reduce the front inner tyre wear. Alfa changed the official settings to reduce this (if it's never been done it'll probably be off now.
  • If you have a 1.9 or 2.4 JTDM, blank (or partially restrict) the EGR. 90% of engine problems are related to the EGR! This will also improve performance (including mpg), but mainly it will reduce engine issues with time (swirl flaps, gunked up manifold), clean the map sensor a the same time. Blanking the EGR will need an engine map also (Autolusso offer the service incluing blanking plate for £150), a partial blanking plate (help, but not exlcude issues), can be had for £4, and a simple DIY job. DPF can also be removed, but is a contentious issues (search for threads on the matter) due to the MOT.
  • 1.9JTDm? Replace the oil in the M32 gearbox, they are prone to failure (as mentioned aboe), oil overheats and thins out, replace with thicker (Redline MT90 or Fuchs Titan Sintofluid 75W-80 are popular options.
  • Powerflex bushings, the standard bushings allow some movement, and can contribute to inner edge tyre wear/ vague steering. Marginally more expensive than OEM bushing ( you re-use the wishbone, rather than replace the whole thing). Will also reduce suspension smoothness slightly (more transmitted to cabin). I did mine when the bushings died naturally (~6 years old)
  • Suspension, replace the snapping prone springs with Eibach pro kit, they are -30/35mm (~same as Ti,). Better quality (avoid snapped springs), improved ride. Also consider the dampers, will be getting old now, Bilstein B4 is considered OEM spec (ie not an upgrade for insurance purposes). Eibachs are ~£130 for full set, Bilsteins B4 ~£60 per corner.
  • Sat-Nav, very much optional! The standard CD player and OEM sat nav are a different size (crazy I know), so you cannot retrofit an OEM one, you will need a different adaptor if replacing the OEM SatNav (which is not great anyway)
  • Replace speakers, again optional, standard 6.5" components will fit with spacers (same as for the 147).
  • Replace dipped beams with HIDs (35/55w) for brighter lights.
Just bought a 2.4 Brera, 56 reg, but looks stunning and drives fantastically well. Just checking fluid levels and the power steering fluid was a tad low. Remembering this thread and the mention of the correct fluid colour being green not red. Mine is red. Just checked in Owners handbook and it specifies 'ATF Dexron III' which is red. Which is correct? I suspect a mistake in the otherwise very helpful thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,756 Posts
Just bought a 2.4 Brera, 56 reg, but looks stunning and drives fantastically well. Just checking fluid levels and the power steering fluid was a tad low. Remembering this thread and the mention of the correct fluid colour being red, not green. Mine is red. Just checked in Owners handbook and it specifies 'ATF Dexron III' which is red. Which is correct? I suspect a mistake in the otherwise very helpful thread.
Green is correct. But a lot left the factory with red - a mistake.
If it is red, leave it alone unless there's a problem with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Ar 159

Hi everyone.

I'm about to buy a 159 brought from Germany to Poland.
Could you please advise some history check services for stolen/collateral/...?
I have the vin, the car plate number and the registration date.
vin: ZAR93900007048290, it fails 9-digit-check but on-line services take it and show some info.

@rgwm, could you please share what your omnipotent DB says about this vin?
Could You contact with me by e-mail ([email protected])? I will talk about this car ZAR93900007048290. Thank You soo much. Are You from Poland?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
An excellent piece with worthwhile follow up posts (without the usual points scoring and smart arse comments that often plague forums). After four and a half enjoyable years with my Brera 2.4Jtdm I've been there and done that with big bills. We all know cam belt change's are essential, but along with tensioners and water pump also consider changing the aux belt drive pulley at the same time - it's a "damped" unit and the rubber bonding can deteriorate over time. Rattling clutch ? (with a coarseness through the pedal) It will more likely be the dual mass flywheel that's failing, get your cheque book out as even before the clutch starts slipping it's a good investment as it feels much smoother when done. I know EGR's are a nuisance, mines got through two, but they're there for a reason and blanking them off is NOT a manufacturer approved mod. Last but not least DPF deletes, yes a very contentions "upgrade" as to remove them is almost certainly illegal (for road use) as the car was designed around it to meet Euro emissions regulations and type approval - that's why it "should" fail it's next MOT without a DPF. Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,887 Posts
An excellent piece with worthwhile follow up posts (without the usual points scoring and smart arse comments that often plague forums). After four and a half enjoyable years with my Brera 2.4Jtdm I've been there and done that with big bills. We all know cam belt change's are essential, but along with tensioners and water pump also consider changing the aux belt drive pulley at the same time - it's a "damped" unit and the rubber bonding can deteriorate over time. Rattling clutch ? (with a coarseness through the pedal) It will more likely be the dual mass flywheel that's failing, get your cheque book out as even before the clutch starts slipping it's a good investment as it feels much smoother when done. I know EGR's are a nuisance, mines got through two, but they're there for a reason and blanking them off is NOT a manufacturer approved mod. Last but not least DPF deletes, yes a very contentions "upgrade" as to remove them is almost certainly illegal (for road use) as the car was designed around it to meet Euro emissions regulations and type approval - that's why it "should" fail it's next MOT without a DPF. Hope this helps.[/quote]
consider changing the aux belt drive pulley at the same time - it's a "damped" unit and the rubber bonding can deteriorate over time.

Booked mine in at the end of the month to get this job done, I was just changing the belts and tensioner but you suggest the pulley also?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I read somewhere earlier that if not used 159's batteries run down. I have a 2.4 Brera which is only used maybe once or twice a month but keep it unlocked in my garage so haven't had that problem. However I am thinking of keeping it off the road for the winter so are there any other electrical systems that require power, apart from the alarm, that would run the battery down and should I trickle charge it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,887 Posts
I read somewhere earlier that if not used 159's batteries run down. I have a 2.4 Brera which is only used maybe once or twice a month but keep it unlocked in my garage so haven't had that problem. However I am thinking of keeping it off the road for the winter so are there any other electrical systems that require power, apart from the alarm, that would run the battery down and should I trickle charge it?
Wouldn’t hurt just to spin her over once a week to keep everything lubricated and put some heat in the engine?
Are you putting her on stands?
Rear brakes could stick if the handbrake is on for long periods, especially if damp?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,887 Posts
If it's not gone yet, it will. Then it has to go to the garage on a truck. Part is about 150 quid.
So bigjim,
You recommend replacing the pulley as well as the belts & tensioner?
Mine has only done 60k so is there a drop off point for this pulley to fail or what are the symptoms?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,439 Posts
i think it's more to do with age. the middle is rubber so perishes over time. mine is a 56 plate and went this year, it's only done 80 odd thousand. if you're paying someone to do the belt they may as well do that too. think it's a wheel off and get at it through the wheel arch, job. the dmf my indy said usually last upto 100k miles, had that done two months ago. that ain't a cheap job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
A few thoughts from an Australian perspective.

The TI model lost electric seats compared to the earlier cars as part of the weight saving - this might be part of the UK Lusso spec.

Tyre wear isn't necessarily just a simple four wheel alignment fix. The lower suspension bush can fail readily, so a stiffer bush can be needed to improve the retention of the alignment. The front suspension lacks camber adjustment as standard, so the only way to adjust this is to release the subframe and laterally move it to get the best compromise for the two wheels.

The timing chain stretching might only cost 300 pounds on a 4 cylinder, but buying GM bits will cost at least 500 pounds for the V6, 1500 from Alfa, and at least three days to take the engine out, make the change and then reinstall with a re-gassed air conditioning system and a new wheel alignment.

I'd add that the in-tank fuel pump can go and give all sorts of weird symptoms. For cars on 19 inch wheels, the standard tyre size is unusual and relatively expensive. It is worth looking at what tyres are on the car as the tyres will influence car-to-car comparisons. TI models have been known to suffer from cracked rear springs.
When I did my 3.2JTS chains I took the AC compressor off the engine and wired it off to one side along with the cooler.
No re-gas required. Yay!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Diesels:

1.9 (8v and more common 150bhp 16v version), and 2.4 (pre 2008 200bhp, post 210bhp (different turbo)). Later a 2.0 became available, which had less issues with DPF or EGR. If you are looking to re-map, the 2.4 and 2.0 are better options (stronger gearbox).
Note that the later 2.0 JTDm is available with 136bhp or 170bhp power output. The 136bhp version may have a Fiat C635 gearbox instead of the GM F40 unit. Anyway, my 159 has it. The C635 is fine but gives minor torque limitations when the engine is tuned.

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
Hi,

I'm looking at buying a 159 Sportwagon - either a 2010 2.0 JTDM Ti with 81k miles and, or a 2011 1.75 TBi 200 Ti with 57k miles. Both cars have full Alfa service history.

The petrol is £2k more than the diesel.

Both cars are for sale at a local Alfa specialist.

Is there anything in particular that I should be looking out for?

Thanks

Sent from my LYA-L09 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,953 Posts
Pretty much everything you need to know is in this thread!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,507 Posts
As a TBi owner, I'd recommend the TBi, but the 2.0 JTDM was the alternative I was considering and may have gone for if I was doing more regular long journeys. Certainly not regretting my choice at all!

(not that I should be posting on this thread really... ho hum, bit late now!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
I went to see both cars today.. They're both identical in looks, apart from the exhausts.. It's the first time I've properly looked at one, and for an estate they're absolutely gorgeous! It helps that both have nice fat arches which are filled by the 19" wheels

My only real consideration now is the £... Can I justify the additional £2k for the TBi..?
As a TBi owner, I'd recommend the TBi, but the 2.0 JTDM was the alternative I was considering and may have gone for if I was doing more regular long journeys. Certainly not regretting my choice at all!

(not that I should be posting on this thread really... ho hum, bit late now!)
Sent from my LYA-L09 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
I've narrowed my choice down to a 159 Ti Sportwagon now (2.0 JTDm).

The car I'm looking at is a 2010, has 81k on the clock, full Alfa SH, one previous owner from new and the Cam belt / pump has just been done prior to the car going up for sale.

I'll get some photos up once I've got it. Thank you for all of the advice on this thread, it's very helpful to someone like me embarking on their first Alfa!!

Sent from my LYA-L09 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Hi @All,

I'm not part of the Alfa family yet but I pretend to do it soon :). Thank you for all information as is very helpful. I want to do make me self gift buying my favorite car of all time, a Spider.

I'm considering two models that I´ve found available in one garage in France (I live there). One is 2.2 JTS from 2007 (grey, blue-orange interior finish) with 34k miles (12,990€) and the other is a diesel 2.4JTDM (back, red interior) from the same year and 55k miles (11,990€). Of course it won't be my main car, it will be for short trips during weekends and for enjoying driving. My question is, which is more fun to drive? And in terms of finding parts and reliability, any suggestion?

Another minor question is that the diesel comes with the HI-FI pack with BOSE speakers, is it too difficult/expensive to put a system like that on the normal stock speakers in case that I decide to go for the gasoline one? The guide says that is easy to swap the 6.5" ones but I think that the hi-fi pack also includes subwoofer in the back "seats".

Both cars came with 3 months of guarantee and recent technical inspection.

Thanks and I hope to be soon part of the family!
Cheers,
Roberto
 
81 - 100 of 107 Posts
Top