Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all :)

Only discovered this forum yesterday, what a brilliant resource for Alfa owners! :thumbs:

Anyway to get to the point, and I hope I'm posting in the right place...

I am currently driving a 2006 Saab 9-5 2.0l (petrol)Vector Sport which I adore but she is very thirsty and whilst reliable and great to drive and sit in, it's expensive to tax and to keep fuel in. I do between 10 and 15k a year so it's a lovely motorway cruising car, but I've always admired the Alfas but of course heard the old chestnut of potential reliability problems. (Plus with Saab's demise genuine parts might be harder to source in the long term)

I am putting the Saab up for sale shortly and I want to buy a 156 which I think are a striking looking car.
I want to buy a diesel version as I've read their mpg is quite decent and the JTD engine is quite reliable.

So I would really welcome any advice or tips/opinions on this model you might have.

------------------------------------------------------------------
My wishlist is....

*Budget is between £2000 and £3500 stg. (possibly go a bit higher for the right car.)
*A used Alfa Romeo 1.9 Diesel, no older than 2003. (pref 2004/2005 reg)
*In as good condition all round as possible
*Preferably from a reputable dealership or small trade garage, distance isn't a problem.
*Black/Silver/Grey/Dark Blue/Navy would be my preferential colours in that order
*Scheduled service done AND Cam belt recently changed is a must I feel
*Not too many previous owners if possible
*Full service history and hpi cleared.
*Well maintained inside and out.
*Extras: Leather seats and cruise control would be high on the list.




Questions for any of you reading who own or have owned them:
------------------------------------------------------------------

What exact models should I be looking out for?? - 1.9 JTD Veloce etc

Would I get upwards of 35mpg from a 156 diesel? (everyday steady driving)

Mileage wise: Would I be better off buying a used car with say 60-80k miles meaning less wear and tear, fresher car etc. or a car with say 100-120k on the clock which would have had to have had the cam belt change done and regular servicing to keep her maintained - this is something I'm torn over and need good advice.

Does the diesel version require much maintenance?

What are the most regular problems or concerns?

Are parts costly?

Power/Driveability wise:
Are they fun to drive? Is it a well balance powerful engine?
Easy to overtake with/Won't be left sitting etc?
----------------------------------------------------------

Here are some examples I've found online which I like the look of...

Used Alfa Romeo 156 1.9 JTD VELOCE 4DR A/C FULL LEATHER SH ONLY 71K for sale in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

ALFA ROMEO 156 156 1.9 JTD Veloce Saloon 2004, 71462 miles, £2989 - ExchangeandMart.co.uk

Alfa Romeo 156 1.9 JTD 16V Multijet 150 Lusso Full Leather 6 Spd Saloon 2005, 86000 miles, £3479 - ExchangeandMart.co.uk

ALFA ROMEO 156 1.9 JTD Turismo Saloon 2004, 107600 miles, £3350 - ExchangeandMart.co.uk


Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
Many thanks in advance.

Phil :thumbs:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
77,372 Posts
Howdy and welcome! Great first post - all the best in your sale and purchase, Phil. :thumbs:

You're right - the site is excellent and there is all sorts of advice in and around this place. You can search extensively and, as you'll find, if you post a query, people always come along to help and advise (and take the mickey). :) It's a great resource.

Alfa 147, 156 & GT - Alfa Romeo Forum - loads of great info (searchable) on 156's and their sister cars.

Republic of Ireland - Alfa Romeo Forum - a very active ROI section with some fantastically helpful and nice owners on hand (and Damien C).

In terms of your specific questions....I'm not fully qualified to answer since I've never owned a tractor.....but....I'm sure the derv owners on here will chip in with their advice, comments and experiences.

Here's my take....

Would I get upwards of 35mpg from a 156 diesel? (everyday steady driving) - definitely. I'm sure several people will attest to that.

Mileage wise: Would I be better off buying a used car with say 60-80k miles meaning less wear and tear, fresher car etc. or a car with say 100-120k on the clock which would have had to have had the cam belt change done and regular servicing to keep her maintained - this is something I'm torn over and need good advice. Others will advise, but I'd say that history is King - make sure it's had the regular work done, had the money spent - if it hasn't, chances are that it'll be you footing the big bills....and the neglect you can see is possibly less worrying than the neglect you can't see. Many people on here will say "don't be scared by miles - it's years of neglect that kills 'em".

Does the diesel version require much maintenance? tractor boys need to chip in here - but generally I would say that the 156 needs no more fuss than other motors, but there are things to look out for.....

What are the most regular problems or concerns? Alfa Romeo 156 Buyer's Guide

Things to watch out for?

squeaky wishbones - the suspension components are made out of chocolate, so try and few speedbumps out on a test drive.....and if you hear a dramatic scraping it'll be the plaggy undertray hanging off or held on by cable ties.....I've removed mine.

That leads onto sumps.....look out for any leaks......I've heard about the bigger engined cars (2.4 smoker and the GTA getting walloped and cracking sumps).

You know about cambelt changes - needs to have some history really and a recent change is helpful.


Some dieseleers have reported split hoses or blocked egr (lots of black sooty muck out the back) - tractor boys can advise (and if it's feeling sluggish then that might be a symptom also).

Vibration at high speed and under hard acceration between 1500 rpm -2500 rpm (dual mass flywheel)

Split Cv boot. (ends up knackering the driveshaft) - knocking at full lock?


Annoyances?

airbag light often (always) lit up - some suggestions that this is an MOT fail next year/this year......previously most people have just left it be...

Check for rust on the floors too - believe it or not, but even in the 90's and 00's - Alfa were slapdash with the underseal.


Are parts costly? shop around - get used to checking out BuyPartsBy, Alfa Workshop, EuroCarParts, etc. Deffo find a good local independent mechanic.

Power/Driveability wise: Are they fun to drive? Is it a well balance powerful engine? "yes":thumbs: and many on here have remaps etc.......which really does answer your last quessie. (Easy to overtake with/Won't be left sitting etc?)

I'm sure others will chip in also, with more experienced and rounded advice.

All the best.

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,448 Posts
more because we're forced to overtake to avoid being covered in black smoke:)

(and because the only proper use for a diesel engine is in agriculture, industry or goods transport :p )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
I've had my 156 1.9 JTD 140 for nearly 4 years now, and I'm very happy with it indeed. I have to say its one of the best car's i've owned. It has been very reliable only needing routine maintenance and wear and tear parts replacing.
My 156 has now done 130K, and in the 40k+ miles I have done in it, I have had a new clutch at 100k, new radiator at 105K, the usual suspension arms, and had an oil cooler pipe go at 125K. I do need to replace the thermostat as that seems to have now failed. Other than these things it just been regular servicing, tyres and brake pads and discs. It doesn't even use any oil between services.
The one piece of advice I do have is check, or have checked,the oil cooler pipes fo corosion as if they let go whilst driving you'll loose all the oil out the engine. Fortunately I discovered mine were leeking before they got to bad. the tell tail sign of this will be drops of oil on the ground infront of O/S/F wheel and possibly oil coated in the O/S/F wheel arch.

Hope this info is of some use, and hope you find a suitable car that you will enjoy for many years, as I have, and still enjoying on a daily basis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,178 Posts
more because we're forced to overtake to avoid being covered in black smoke:)

(and because the only proper use for a diesel engine is in agriculture, industry or goods transport :p )
Havn't had a petrol car overtake me yet!But thats because they are broken down in a layby:lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I've had my 156 1.9 JTD 140 for nearly 4 years now, and I'm very happy with it indeed. I have to say its one of the best car's i've owned. It has been very reliable only needing routine maintenance and wear and tear parts replacing.
My 156 has now done 130K, and in the 40k+ miles I have done in it, I have had a new clutch at 100k, new radiator at 105K, the usual suspension arms, and had an oil cooler pipe go at 125K. I do need to replace the thermostat as that seems to have now failed. Other than these things it just been regular servicing, tyres and brake pads and discs. It doesn't even use any oil between services.
The one piece of advice I do have is check, or have checked,the oil cooler pipes fo corosion as if they let go whilst driving you'll loose all the oil out the engine. Fortunately I discovered mine were leeking before they got to bad. the tell tail sign of this will be drops of oil on the ground infront of O/S/F wheel and possibly oil coated in the O/S/F wheel arch.

Hope this info is of some use, and hope you find a suitable car that you will enjoy for many years, as I have, and still enjoying on a daily basis.

Good to hear mate thanks for the reply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,620 Posts
ive had a 156 1.9 Mjet for a year now, and while it is a great car, fast, quiet and looks stunning, the build quality is dreadful and the cost of running it is frankly laughable.

However as i bought it with 60 k miles on the clock, in effect im paying for everything thats worn out, driveshaft tripods, inner cups, clutch and the dreaded injector leaks.

it does do 45 to the gallon and goes like stink, but frankly it needs fixing so often that its not great value for money... so to be on such a downer, another 600 quid bill last week has left me smarting
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
ive had a 156 1.9 Mjet for a year now, and while it is a great car, fast, quiet and looks stunning, the build quality is dreadful and the cost of running it is frankly laughable.

However as i bought it with 60 k miles on the clock, in effect im paying for everything thats worn out, driveshaft tripods, inner cups, clutch and the dreaded injector leaks.

it does do 45 to the gallon and goes like stink, but frankly it needs fixing so often that its not great value for money... so to be on such a downer, another 600 quid bill last week has left me smarting
Hmmm what a disappointing post to read. :(

When you say the build quality is "dreadful" do you mean engine wise or overall?
Because as far as I can see they're well built solid cars on the road with a very wel put together interior.

Also you didn't mention how old the car is mate??

For what it's worth, the general consensus I've read online on other forums and from searches has been quite positive about the 1.9 diesel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,620 Posts
its a 54 plate face lift veloce sportwagen 1.9 16v Mjet, one of the last 156's

Ive been driving alfas for 15 years, mainly 155's and 166, but this car is also the first diesel, to be fair to it, ive bought it exactly at the wrong time - the previous owner must have know he was facing a load of work with injectors, drive shafts and the clutch and traded it in. Im the monkey that bought it with 60 k on the clock

the 156 first came on the UK roads in 1998-7 and since then they did nothing to updated it save bits of the interior and the facelift, its an old car design, and i was very dissapointed to find that all the faults from the 155 are there in the 156 with added computers and more issues to go wrong, they even managed to make the suspension weaker !

Anyway it does look great and it goes really well, but if you really want to go from a saab 95, you want a better car, i dont think any 156 is that, more fun, better looking, has passion - yes, but better, no.... you should at least aim at a 159 2.4 - they have many issues as well but im sure it would be a much better bet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
Hello, welcome.
1. Don't worry if the fuse box falls off. They all do that sir. (Though later models may not?)

2. I know you're after a diesel but just in case you're tempted by a petrol selespeed, don't. It's perhaps a controversial opinion on these forums, and I do love mine, but I'd never recommend one. The cost to replace a gearbox is £1,500 in cars that aren't worth much more than that in the majority of cases. Mine's on its third (my second) gearbox. Just look at the selespeed issues thread in the 147/156/GT subforum...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Hello, welcome.
1. Don't worry if the fuse box falls off. They all do that sir. (Though later models may not?)

2. I know you're after a diesel but just in case you're tempted by a petrol selespeed, don't. It's perhaps a controversial opinion on these forums, and I do love mine, but I'd never recommend one. The cost to replace a gearbox is £1,500 in cars that aren't worth much more than that in the majority of cases. Mine's on its third (my second) gearbox. Just look at the selespeed issues thread in the 147/156/GT subforum...

Wow well going by the number of problem threads in the 156 forum here and going by the quotes above it looks as if I might be best to steer clear of the 156 and perhaps stick with a more reliable marque if I'm changing car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,620 Posts
You would be better off looking at a 159, much stronger i believe and still look far better than any other sallon car on the roads
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
You would be better off looking at a 159, much stronger i believe and still look far better than any other sallon car on the roads

Thanks they look fantastic but unfortunately even used ones are out of my price range.
Plus tax on anything over 2 litre here is robbery.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
77,372 Posts
Wow well going by the number of problem threads in the 156 forum here and going by the quotes above it looks as if I might be best to steer clear of the 156 and perhaps stick with a more reliable marque if I'm changing car.
depends what you want - suggest you test drive a few...............careful though, you might fall in :inlove:
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top