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Discussion Starter #1
Hiya, I've had a couple of £k burning a hole on the lookout for a 164. Recently I have decided that a 156 is "a bit more with it". I am due to view a 1998 'S' 156 2.5 tomorrow. The car has 68K and a full history including cambelts and water pump changed this summer. The car looks straight in the pictures with no dents or dinks. Apparently the A/C needs a re-gas. Don't know if a "re-gas" is a cover for a common Alfa A/C fault ? It also apparently has front end "rubber squeeks"......AR bar rubbers?
The guy is after £1900 which seems fair and is due to leave the country (relocating with airline).
Any buying advice on this car would be very very much appreciated. Its a toss up between this or a Ford Probe V6 !!!! I want the Alfa, but am nervous of stories. Please help me buy this car.
Again, many thanks in advance.
 

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hello and welcome, sounds like the upper wishbone will need replacing as you can't just replace the 'rubber' bit (if you will) the part usually costs under a £100 (lowers wishbone a little more expensive but still under £100) it is a common issue with 156's, also check all the bulbs are working in and out, and check that there is no lack of performace from the engine, as MAF's are also a bit common, make sure there is plenty of life on the clutch as usuall and make sure the gearbox is 100% other than that, sounds a good price, I have had two 156's, one was a 1.8 ts and currently got a 2.5 v6, I never regreted buying them, even with some minor niggles, I love them, they are not as bad as people think!!! check out this site for more info in the tech area's
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Many thanks for the info. As an experienced owner of 156's, you haven't given me much to worry about over and above other cars. After all, all cars have their traits. I look forward to my "examination" of the patient tomorrow and will let you know if I've taken the plunge. Again, many thanks.
 
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Sounds ok to me too and some good advice from Snokio above, I've had a '99 v6 alfa for 14 months now and the only issue that's developed has been cool running. Thermostat's have a habit of sticking open but are cheap and easy to replace and the radiators erm... disentegrate after 6-7 years. I had no leaks but decided to replace it anyway, it's a £100 part, mine had almost no fins in the bottom half but this wasn't visible until removed.

Plus... on that age car you can buy alfa-diag software and a cable for £70-80 all in and diagnose your own problems. Still waiting for mine to go wrong though so haven't used it much.

Best of luck
 
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Sounds OK. RE. the wishbones, uppers are about £40 per side and easy enough to change. Lowers are more like £90 per side, but again not too bad to change if you're a bit handy. Bear in mind you'll need the wheels aligning properly after doing it though.

Thermostats are about £30 and straightforward to change.

Just check that when the belts were done, they changed the tensioners/idlers as well and you can't go wrong.
 

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As per Snokio's advice, failing MAF and/or Lambda sensors are common on older 156's. When you test drive it, try to accelerate quickly (get the revs up to at least 4,500) and check for slight 'hesitation' (aka 'jerkiness') in the engine pick-up; that's usually a sign. You won't notice anything by just pumping the throttle whilst stationary.

The MAF's can be picked up for around 80 quid and are a doddle to replace, however the Lambda sensor is closer to 150 + VAT from an Alfa/Fiat dealer, exc. fitting.

If/when you get the A/C recharged, have them add a dye to more easily check for leaks. Again, the older hoses do start to leak and you could end-up having to get it recharged over and over again!

Good luck with your purchase!
 

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Hi Shortfuse, picked up my 156 only yesterday, great looks and the drive is superb. As for re-gassing of the air con system, all units will probably need re-gassing/topping up ever 2 to 3 years on all makes of car.

Toddwiss.
 

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Yeah mine needs re-gassing but I'm going to wait until march time to get it done.

Good luck viewing it hope its a good car as it will save you buying a probe! :eek:
 

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If its not already too late - check for at least two keys - and that they both work - you'll see plenty of threads on here about the cost of getting a spare key! Haggle at least £100 off if only one key.

HTH

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hiya fellas.

Many thanks for all the good advice, I arrived well armed. The front upper wishbone rubbers apparently only squeak when its really cold, so no noise today (totally honest Danish pilot). The car revved very very smoothly all the way to the red (so MAF & Lambda ok). No inside edge front tyre wear. The A/C compressor engages, so just needs gas. Itemised bill for cambelts, tensioners, idler & water pump from main dealer 2 months ago. All old MOT's. FASH. No body damage at all, not even a dink or pimple.
Literally the only faults I could find were the rear number plate lights not working (couple of bulbs at worst I think). Reference the last post, it only has ONE key.....a red one with remote. Told the guy I would text/call him later to let him know if I was going to have it (I always mull). What's the issue with getting a replacement key? Are they expensive?

Cheers

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hiya,

Still getting used to the site's info. Founf the issues regarding the replacement keys. £150-160 for a key ??? Giraffe !!

Have asked seller for a suitable reduction. Am absolutely gutted, this was the most enjoyable car i have ever driven. Will let you know how i get on.

Thanks for the warning.
 

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I'd give him the option to source the key and keep the original price. That way he'll understand that its not just a negotiating tactic.

However, I 'd always be very wary of someone selling a car these days with one missing imobiliser key. It is likely just paranioa, but there's always that little concern that some of the more unscrupulous types could wait a few weeks/months then just drive it away one evening right off of your drive. And its not like your house keys, where you can have the locks changed that easily (or cheaply).

Food for thought, anyway. :eek:
 

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Maybe its a good idea to do a HPI check on the car in that case, it will also inform you if there is any outstanding finance on the car, or if you want to be extra vigilant, contact RAC or AA to do a vehicle inspection before you buy?

Let us know how you get on! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Did an HPI before viewing. Totally clear. The guy like I said earlier seems totally honest and is a genuine Danish airline pilot (didn't get me going though!) so pretty safe on the car disappearing front. He said he was only given one key by the dealer. Can you still unlock & disarm the car using the key only or is the remote side of the system essential?

Key question (no punn). Is this car still worth £1900?. It also had a spanking new rad fitted!!
 

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unfortunately you need the remote (well I think so anyway) to enable and disable the alarm, the key only does the Central locking i believe, the price still seems fair, maybe try your luck and ask for £1800 with regards to the wishbone and lost key, as I'm sure you do get two keys from new (I always have had two keys) unless it is an import or something maybe? don't worry to much its just a simple generic battery inside if it ever dies (which you will find in most calculators:D ) just don't loose it as I have heard that the ecu will need to be reprogrammed when you get a new key which will cost quite a bit!
 
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