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Aside from the usual service history.

Ask if you can start it from cold. It should start well, first turn of the key in this heat. Clouds of smoke and a couple of failed starts are a bad sign (could be lots of things).

The 2.4 should pull like a train. Great lumps of torque between 1800 and 3500 rpm. If you are used to petrol, it will be less forgiving at low revs. Not pulling like a train could be a whole load of things ranging from fairly cheap (turbo hose) to hideously expensive (turbo)

Rust in the floorpan. At the very least stick a hand up behind the sills and have a poke.

If you have a 147, you will be familiar with all the potential suspension issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that, its had all the usual front suspension bits changed recently as well as cambelt.
Does anyone know the life expectancy of the clutch/dmf as this hasn't been changed? The car has done 80K
 

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Thanks for that, its had all the usual front suspension bits changed recently as well as cambelt.
Does anyone know the life expectancy of the clutch/dmf as this hasn't been changed? The car has done 80K
well mine was done at 56k, and need one now im on 99, so there you go.

likely the mechanic was crap, as ive had one of the most unreliable 156's (and alfas?!) of 2012. 99% of it was likely bad workmanship outside of the factory as i bought a 2004 like you.

should start sweet first time, with little to no pause in theis weather on the glows, expect creaky suspension, chekc out ofr road noise that could be bearings, and make sure the cambelts done.
Mines always been rubbish under 2k, stil lstrugglign to fix yet my missus 147 pulls like a train from 0 revs up so its just my engine.

my ecu is also knackered, if you want my full list of issues that occured check my thread for the most faults in 12 months, you'll ikely get at leas tone of them

Personally i think the 147 is a better built car!
 

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clutch will be fine i would think , they usually are

DMF - variable - mine needed replacing at 60k , but other people have had over 150k out of the original. Its a lottery but i think the DMF prices are coming down a bit now.

they are a total beast of a car
 

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My clutch/DMF are on 127,000 miles :). However, the clutch/DMF will not last as well if the car has done lots of town driving and its a big job so worth being careful. I would check the clutch engages at mid travel with no nasty noises/vibration. Also check for noises on turning and for any vibration at speed as drive shafts are weak. Some of the 20V (like mine) have notchy gearboxes which can feel pretty horrid and lumpy but don't (usually) indicate a fault. Lots of things to go wrong so if engine management light is on then probably easiest to walk away.

Check when cam belt/water pump last done and for squeeks on startup (aux belt tensioner). Aux belt and tensioners also really need changing when cam belt is done as they can be troublesome.

Cars of that year had really poor undersealing so +1 for checking underneath the floorpan.

Great cars but a bit of a pig to work on!

Keith
 

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agreed. all my mechanics hate it when i turn up.

"what now!?"
 

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Oh, and check for damp carpets under the mats. Wet mats are a common fault with lots of causes. Not all simple to fix and extending the air con drain (the fault with mine) was a particularly awkward job. Most jobs on the 20V seem to involve donating blood to the Alfa god. Don't get me started on changing the oil filter :)

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks

I've had a 147 for 12 years now and the only think that has gone wrong has been a corroded spade terminal in the bbob! The 156 sounds like a different animal altogether.

Owner of 156 only has 1 key. Should I be worried about this? Could I get a spare from anywhere? An idea of cost would be good as i can use this as a bargaining point.
 

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i have 1 key... and yeah a replacement is £190 hence i still have one.

Wet carpets can just be a blocked drain duct under the front wipers, was for me anyway. Dont let us scare you, its a different beast for sure, all niggles generally work aroundable, however I was told this too and since had something to do every other weekend (literally). Make sure you walk away feeling good lie we did with te 147, just days before he had taken the whole rear washer blade to bits because it MAY have been faulty at some point... and the turbo was reconned just out of possibility it could fail... thats the kind of thing I like to hear!
 

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p.s. I didnt trust the bloke i bought my 156 off... especially when he wouldnt give me a gaurantee, at least not to any garage but his own.. 200 miles away! he knew i was desperate and wasnt gonna knock on his door again. My egr pipe blew - £300 plus fitting (£500) but no way i could drive it back to blackburn! :/ Buy local, garage if poss and go for a warranty if poss.
 

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Thanks

I've had a 147 for 12 years now and the only think that has gone wrong has been a corroded spade terminal in the bbob! The 156 sounds like a different animal altogether.
QUOTE]

Not really, as there is a lot of car to car variation - particularly with the 20V it seems. I think the 156 came out as the most reliable Alfa on one recent survey. My 20V has actually been one off the most reliable cars I have ever had but but I've certainly had some niggles to fix and access made it hard. It sounds like you were lucky with the 147!!

Keith
 
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