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Discussion Starter #1
alfa 156 1.8 ts veloce, 2001, 64k mileage

Over the weekend I was on the Motorway doing a respectable 90mph, then all of a sudden there was a pop, engine lights came on a single puff of smoke, then I had no power from the engine, power steering and brakes had gone!!! The lights and other electrics were fine though. pulled onto the hard shoulder, no smoke, no leaking fluids....nothing??

Took it to the garage (on the back of a recovery vehicle obviously) they think its the head gasket, but im not convinced at all. Ive heard of many engine seizures through lack of oil, but regularly top mine up and it is fine at the min!!!

any help with any ideas?? and if so the likely costs of repair?

HELP!!!:cool:
 

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Obvious question is when was the cambelt replaced???
 

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Yep, I'd be worried about the cambelt. Don't let the steering and brakes side-track you, the power-assist on both going is purely a symptom of the engine having died.
 

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I would have thought the garage would have spotted if the cambelt had snapped though...:confused:
 

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sounds like a cam belt failure to me. did you try starting the car again on the hard shoulder? If you did, did it just turn over and over without sounding like it would start?
 

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doesn't have to snap, could just jump a couple of teeth, or worse the tensioner could have collapsed although if you took the cam belt cover off you would see this or the remains will fall out of the bottom
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yeah, tried the engine again on the hard shoulder, got nothing but a slight clicking noise?!:confused:

whats the average cost of a cambelt replacement??
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was just on another alfa owners site, and a discussion about faulty cambelts, many people saying they should be replaced early and alfa know this??

My car recently had its 60k service yet nothing was mentioned to me, i know in the owners manual its says 72k for a cambelt replacement.

Surely if this is a known fault then this would have been suggested by my "Specialist" Alfa dealer??
 

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First of all 1st alfa dream there is no such thing as an average price for a cambelt change I know. I enquired 2 years ago with Alfa dealer in glasgow.I asked price of a cambelt change.Because the car was a 1999 and there schedules only covered 2001 on they would have to phone alfa for a price...I was bamboozled same parts same job no wonder their service is a shambles.I enquired the price of a service and the price of the 72000 service ..basically only difference is cambelt change..Difference £500 so roughly £500 for dealer change 2 years ago. NOW...If your belt has snapped then they all suffer different damage.I was lucky I just had a new belt and tensioner on mine.I was going really slow and I got away with it....NOW MAJOR DIFFERENCE.....V6 v TS............the belts on the V6 engines appear to last a lot longer than TS....The TS has I believe (very difficult to find exact date) has for several years been due for change at 36 thousand miles.The Jan 2007 edition of CAR MECHANICS has a feature on the 156 and is well worth aread.
RE "DEALER" I phoned the dealer who carried out the 72,000 service on my 166 (V6 engine) and asked him if the belt had been done.He couldn't even remember the car and said it would depend on whether the owner had requested the belt to be done.At time of service the DEALER was the owner.....But the book says BELT REQUIRED TO BE CHANGED...this means it NEEDS to be done.
Good luck with your car.Hope this after the event assists slightly.
Also find a good independent garage who knows their stuff....A volunterr is worth 10 pressed men.
 

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Belts should be changed every 36k.
Clicking doesn't sound like cambelt though. A single click each time you try to start, or repeated clicking?

Could it be that a passenger has knocked the fuel cut off switch?
 

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A click when trying to start probably means the starter motor isn't turning. My first thought would be a duff battery, but with the 'pop' sound and loss of power, this would mean something has snapped or broken and is probably jamming the engine, stopping it turning over.
 

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The "Pop" sound could have been the fuel cut-off tripping (it is a large ball bearing in a cup). As mentioned above, it is under the passenger seat.

If you are very lucky and it isn't a cambelt failure, then you really do need a new one now!
 

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Clicking when you turn the key to try and start can be a symptom of electrical failure - check the power feeds and earth return straps on the engine and chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nightmare..... just been informed by the garage that there has been a gaping hole blown in the side of the engine and the engine itself is a write-off!!!!

Heres my next question- help from anyone with experience in the matter, Is it worth buying a reconditioned engine and having it fitted?

i bought the car only last february paid 5k for it if an engine plus fitting will cost 2.5-3k is it worth doing on a car that is worth 3.5k now tops with no guarentee that it wont happen again?

Loved my alfa, but my back pocket is telling me thats a bad idea!!

any ideas?? it seems ridiculous to scrap a 51 plate car that is in otherwise good condition!!!:cry:
 

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1st-alfa-dream said:
Nightmare..... just been informed by the garage that there has been a gaping hole blown in the side of the engine and the engine itself is a write-off!!!!
I'm sure I speak for the rest of the guys when I say I feel for you mate.

1st-alfa-dream said:
Heres my next question- help from anyone with experience in the matter, Is it worth buying a reconditioned engine and having it fitted?
I would but then I'm a nutcase when it comes to Alfa's. I spent over £2800 having the top and bottom of my engine rebuilt (on two separate occasions) and the car's probably not worth that. I was lucky in that my engine was sound. You will have to pick up a new block.

One idea would be to buy a second hand engine and then get an indy to strip, recon, rebuild and fit. Don't just drop it in as you dont know the history and it could break again. Having someone strip and rebuild you get new parts and all the wear can be inspected, etc.

You could buy a recon but make sure you can get as a long warranty as possible.
 

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Surely not, must be plenty with modest mileage in breakers. Why 're-con'? You probably need a reliable tame local man (or stiff garage roof structure). Actually engine hoists are cheap to buy or rent.
Very sorry to hear about damage and sorry if I sound flippant, there but for the grace of the almighty go we all.
 

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Where are you based. A rebuilt engine will cost about £1200, and I would have though fitting would be about £300. You could of course always fit a 2.0 instead. Did you buy from a garage, if so did you get a warantee?
 

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If Wrexham isn't too far for you I'd give Allitalia a ring on 01978 757588 and get a quote from them :)
 

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Definately keep it.

You could call Lancsbreaker who specialises in used Alfa bits (there is a clue to the location in the name ;) ). Send a private message to rgwm. He should be able to help you out with a decent scrapper engine and will even fit it if he has the time - for an extra charge of course, but at least its only one trip on the back of a tow-truck.

Give the engine a full cam-belt and plugs service before you use it too much. It shouldn't work out as too much money compared with completely scrapping the car!

You may even get a few quid back for the old knackered engine if it has any usable parts on it. The head may be ok and thats worth a bit.

Good luck.
 
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