Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

Registered
Joined
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All!

I've joined this forum hoping to get an idea as to whether I should buy a Brera 3.2V6 from 06 with ~80k Miles / ~130Km, I love the styling and it would be my first Alfa and 1st car enthusiast car.

I've seen two so far, one with a lower mileage (65k miles) that had a ruined interior and made a knocking noise when shifting at red line quickly from 1st into 2nd. Had replaced, coil, radiator, suspension/ arm bushes all round, serviced at 6k mile intervals every year, so seemingly well looked after... But the interior and the noise did really worry me and put me off.

The other I saw had a higher mileage (78k miles) which had a broken coil (unknown to owner), serviced at 12k mile intervals (not every year), nothing like the above replaced in recent history. So the service history/ intervals with some years missing put me off.

I know I've only seen two and I do plan to go see another one or two, I do also expect that for a car of 15-20 years old you can only expect to be paying for things as they go wrong. Just really struggling get a good idea for whether these cars can just work well past 80/ 90/ 100k miles, or if they just start falling to bits.

Someone even messaged me on facebook to say, don't make this your first Alfa, they're not designed to go past 100k miles 馃槄 and that they spent upwards of 12k trying to keep theirs on the road... (this is after I asked someone breaking theirs, why it was being broken as I wanted to buy one)

I appreciate this must have come up so many many times in this forum before, so any advice much appreciated.
 

Registered
Brera TBi
Joined
203 Posts
My advice would be to keep patiently searching until you find the right one. I think any car can continue to go on for an almost unlimited amount of miles / age providing it has been properly looked after.

The issue is they are expensive cars to maintain, there's no doubt about that. There's lots available now for sub 拢5k but they're probably that price for a reason. I don't know what your budget is for one but you'd be best of buying the absolute best one you can afford, as the cheaper ones will likely have lots of hidden problems that will cost you down the line.

You've just proven that regular servicing alone isn't evidence enough that the car has been properly looked after, although on the V6 it is very important to have an oil change once a year as a minimum to prolong the cam chain.

I would try and find one that has been enthusiast owned, because then it will have (hopefully) had all the usual niggles sorted in addition to regular general servicing.

If your heart is set on a V6 a few specific things to look out for:

- Timing chains can stretch on higher mileage examples if not properly maintained but regular oil changes should prevent this.

- Oil temperature gauges can often not work and are a tricky job to replace.

- Subframes are different for the Q4 models and are slightly less common so check the condition of front and rear subframes and rear trailing arms as these are very prone to corrosion.

Other notable things to look out for in a Brera include:

- Dodgy window switches that doesn't always do what you want

- Inner tyre wear from poor alignment often caused by lower wishbone bushes being shot.

- Standard coil springs and shock absorbers seem inadequate for the car and often break (as you have noticed).

- Stone rash / peeling around the rear arches

- Clutch and dual mass flywheel is an expensive job to replace if it hasn't been done yet.


Remember that the Brera was pitched as a luxury coup茅 and therefore will have more expensive running costs than your typical run of the mill hatchback. In return, however, you will be rewarded with owning one of the best looking cars on the road!

Good luck searching, don't be put off.
 

Registered
Joined
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
My advice would be to keep patiently searching until you find the right one. I think any car can continue to go on for an almost unlimited amount of miles / age providing it has been properly looked after.

The issue is they are expensive cars to maintain, there's no doubt about that. There's lots available now for sub 拢5k but they're probably that price for a reason. I don't know what your budget is for one but you'd be best of buying the absolute best one you can afford, as the cheaper ones will likely have lots of hidden problems that will cost you down the line.

You've just proven that regular servicing alone isn't evidence enough that the car has been properly looked after, although on the V6 it is very important to have an oil change once a year as a minimum to prolong the cam chain.

I would try and find one that has been enthusiast owned, because then it will have (hopefully) had all the usual niggles sorted in addition to regular general servicing.

If your heart is set on a V6 a few specific things to look out for:

- Timing chains can stretch on higher mileage examples if not properly maintained but regular oil changes should prevent this.

- Oil temperature gauges can often not work and are a tricky job to replace.

- Subframes are different for the Q4 models and are slightly less common so check the condition of front and rear subframes and rear trailing arms as these are very prone to corrosion.

Other notable things to look out for in a Brera include:

- Dodgy window switches that doesn't always do what you want

- Inner tyre wear from poor alignment often caused by lower wishbone bushes being shot.

- Standard coil springs and shock absorbers seem inadequate for the car and often break (as you have noticed).

- Stone rash / peeling around the rear arches

- Clutch and dual mass flywheel is an expensive job to replace if it hasn't been done yet.


Remember that the Brera was pitched as a luxury coup茅 and therefore will have more expensive running costs than your typical run of the mill hatchback. In return, however, you will be rewarded with owning one of the best looking cars on the road!

Good luck searching, don't be put off.
So can I get your advice on one here I've booked travel to go and see.

Service history
14K Sep 08
18K Mar 10
20K Feb 11
28K Feb 12
45K Aug 13
62K Jun 15
68K Feb 17
72K Feb 19
77K Feb 20

So there is one large gap early on between 2013 & 2015, with 17K miles. Previous owner apparently was sticking to Alfa's service interval of 18k. And some years it has missed a service but very low mileage in between it's later years from 15 onwards to 2020.

It's had 2 springs replaced in its history, and no bushes which I'm anticipating will require changing soon.

Clutch has not been done.

It's been undersealed so subframe should not be an issue.

Oil gauge never worked for the most recent owner.

Window and all other switches include parking sensors work.

I've had a look at those other 2 and they weren't for me, so I'm travelling a long, long way to see this one. Owned by a man who has 3 or 4 other classic cars and says he has cared for it rather meticulously including having some road rash re-sprayed in areas.

So plan is to complete a purchase mid-next week.
 

Registered
Joined
5,822 Posts
If that is MY 08 it is a better spec than earlier cars. It sounds on paper like a possible.
 

Registered
Joined
16 Posts
Mines a 2.4 so running gear I can鈥檛 comment on. However it鈥檚 on 112k and is spot on. Interior is almost mint,no squeaks rattles etc. Very good underneath. I鈥檓 expecting it to last a lot longer yet!
 

Registered
Brera TBi
Joined
203 Posts
So can I get your advice on one here I've booked travel to go and see.

Service history
14K Sep 08
18K Mar 10
20K Feb 11
28K Feb 12
45K Aug 13
62K Jun 15
68K Feb 17
72K Feb 19
77K Feb 20

So there is one large gap early on between 2013 & 2015, with 17K miles. Previous owner apparently was sticking to Alfa's service interval of 18k. And some years it has missed a service but very low mileage in between it's later years from 15 onwards to 2020.

It's had 2 springs replaced in its history, and no bushes which I'm anticipating will require changing soon.

Clutch has not been done.

It's been undersealed so subframe should not be an issue.

Oil gauge never worked for the most recent owner.

Window and all other switches include parking sensors work.

I've had a look at those other 2 and they weren't for me, so I'm travelling a long, long way to see this one. Owned by a man who has 3 or 4 other classic cars and says he has cared for it rather meticulously including having some road rash re-sprayed in areas.

So plan is to complete a purchase mid-next week.
The fact it has a slightly longer gap between services in 2013/15 I wouldn't worry about too much providing all else seems okay. Generally speaking it has had a service at least once every 10k miles, which is what you want to look for in these cars.

The cynic in me says if the previous owner didn't bother fixing the oil temperature gauge, what else did they not bother fixing?

How many owners has it had?

Just because it has been under sealed I would not assume the sub frame is okay. In fact, an original sub frame from an 08 car I would assume quite the opposite and unfortunately budget for potentially having to replace this in your ownership. These are an expensive job to replace, but all the Alfa specialists will be well versed in doing it. For some reason Alfa used monkey metal for the front / rear sub frames and rear trailing arms on these cars, whereas everything else is pretty well galvanized and doesn't rust easily in comparison. As mentioned Q4 (all wheel drive) subframes a bit rarer / more expensive than the 2wd variant.

If you can, get photos from underneath, get it up on a jack, if the owner has a ramp even better. If the car has an undertray fitted to the front ask the owner to remove it and take some photos, as this can conceal a lot of rust on the front subframe.

For real piece of mind you can pay companies like the AA to carry out a pretty thorough inspection for c. 拢100 or so. A seller should have no issues with you doing this as it shows you are a genuine buyer.

If it's not got any history of the bushes being replaced (or the whole wishbones themselves) then again you will probably want to budget for replacing them asap. Have a test drive and see if the steering feels vague and sloppy, also check the front tyres for uneven wear at all, particularly on the inner edge.

Just a comment on spec of the car - in the UK market all pre-facelift cars (MY06) came with the skyview roof blind, this wasn't an optional extra. It is only on the facelift cars (MY58) that it became an option. So don't let a seller convince you that this is a rare option. The Bose system certainly is a lot less common and actually isn't too bad and can be adapted for future head units easily enough. The factory Nav system isn't very good by modern standards and in all honesty makes life a bit trickier when you do eventually get fed up and want to replace it with Apple carplay/ Android Auto - so again, I personally wouldn't pay a penny extra for a car with factory Nav.

Hope that helps.
 

Registered
Joined
317 Posts
Your doing the right thing in expanding your search, I have always believed in be prepared to travel for the right car / right deal.
The car you have mentioned sounds promising and the fact the oil gauge doesn鈥檛 work doesn鈥檛 mean he hasn鈥檛 been a caring owner.
There鈥檚 no one more fussy than me and when my gauge stopped working I went down to the guy I use to get it done he said the labour involved if it was his car he wouldn鈥檛 bother as it鈥檚 not a pressure gauge it鈥檚 temperature, but after I had an engine flush it started working again and has done ever since don鈥檛 know weather it had any bearing on this but I do have the oil changed every year despite my very low usage happy hunting 馃憤
 

Registered
Joined
317 Posts
Another tip when travelling a fair way to buy, speak to the seller and ask him what his bottom line is ? as your coming a long way then when you get there you can chip him a bit more when finding the odd thing Hopefully
 

Registered
Joined
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Another tip when travelling a fair way to buy, speak to the seller and ask him what his bottom line is ? as your coming a long way then when you get there you can chip him a bit more when finding the odd thing Hopefully
Thanks for the advice! I agreed a price around 10% off asking to say if everything was as described. I think it makes it a reasonable deal, with the expectation of things I could have coming at me on top of regular servicing over the next 2-3 years.

The fact it has a slightly longer gap between services in 2013/15 I wouldn't worry about too much providing all else seems okay. Generally speaking it has had a service at least once every 10k miles, which is what you want to look for in these cars.

The cynic in me says if the previous owner didn't bother fixing the oil temperature gauge, what else did they not bother fixing?

How many owners has it had?

Just because it has been under sealed I would not assume the sub frame is okay. In fact, an original sub frame from an 08 car I would assume quite the opposite and unfortunately budget for potentially having to replace this in your ownership. These are an expensive job to replace, but all the Alfa specialists will be well versed in doing it. For some reason Alfa used monkey metal for the front / rear sub frames and rear trailing arms on these cars, whereas everything else is pretty well galvanized and doesn't rust easily in comparison. As mentioned Q4 (all wheel drive) subframes a bit rarer / more expensive than the 2wd variant.

If you can, get photos from underneath, get it up on a jack, if the owner has a ramp even better. If the car has an undertray fitted to the front ask the owner to remove it and take some photos, as this can conceal a lot of rust on the front subframe.

For real piece of mind you can pay companies like the AA to carry out a pretty thorough inspection for c. 拢100 or so. A seller should have no issues with you doing this as it shows you are a genuine buyer.

If it's not got any history of the bushes being replaced (or the whole wishbones themselves) then again you will probably want to budget for replacing them asap. Have a test drive and see if the steering feels vague and sloppy, also check the front tyres for uneven wear at all, particularly on the inner edge.

Just a comment on spec of the car - in the UK market all pre-facelift cars (MY06) came with the skyview roof blind, this wasn't an optional extra. It is only on the facelift cars (MY58) that it became an option. So don't let a seller convince you that this is a rare option. The Bose system certainly is a lot less common and actually isn't too bad and can be adapted for future head units easily enough. The factory Nav system isn't very good by modern standards and in all honesty makes life a bit trickier when you do eventually get fed up and want to replace it with Apple carplay/ Android Auto - so again, I personally wouldn't pay a penny extra for a car with factory Nav.

Hope that helps.
It helps massively thanks Richard!

It has had 5 owners I would be the 6th however the last 2 owners have owned the car around 9 years in total, so it was passed around then and I have no idea when the sensor would have been out of action, it was before both of these longer term owners. Do you think a potential engine flush now could bring one back to life? I also want to get it fixed if I can, but have read it's a 2 day job with sump off the engine, removed subframe and other components. The one I went to see at 64k miles had a working oil gauge, however as I mentioned there was a mechanical clunk between fast shifting gears 1 & 2, with a battered interior.

Based on the seller having 5 cars, I'm sure I can get underneath to have a look at the subframe, as far as I'm aware as with the other 2 I've seen there is no undertray as it broken off at some point, which is when the previous owner had it undersealed.

With respect to the bushes as I said I'm aware they will need changing asap and believe that is shown fairly in the price. I don't think I'm paying any extra for those extra's in reality and it's not the main reason I'm buying it, mainly for what I think is purchasing from someone who has kept up servicing.
 

Registered
Joined
628 Posts
The oil sensor isn鈥檛 the end of the world, I had mine replaced when it failed but it was huge job and for the sake of knowing the temp it just isn鈥檛 worth fixing for most people. Doesn鈥檛 necessarily mean they skimped anywhere else. Sounds like a good car otherwise, but obviously you won鈥檛 know for sure until you see it!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top