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Background - I went to view a 2001 alfa 156 1.6 t/s veloce today. It has had a new engine fitted about 23,000 miles ago

I would really appreciate if someone has the patience to read all of this and offer their advice. Please bear in mind I am not skilled or knowledgable about cars so any help would be great
. I do however take cars of cars I own and am keen to learn

I went to see the 156, all seemed well and i left a deposit. The interior and body work were in excellent condition and the tips from here and another site were a great help. The seller was an alfa enthusiast with 4 alfas of his own so all i was put at ease...BUT...

I've just found the following quotes regarding the new engine from the seller himself on another forum


"Just joined, really frustarted with my wifes, 156 1.6 Veloce 2001 156, only 13000 miles (new engine fitted last year), most probably teething problems, but car is pinking (like timing advanced too much), around 3500-4000 rpm under load, thought it was variator, but that looks and sounds fine, checked on WAD's computer, and they claim paprameters on both lambda sensors are out, but c'mon, I dont want to be ripped off, and car has had new engine fitted, any idea's or similar problems anybody???"...

..."This car is doing my nut in...I have been using shell optimax for 3 months, and also checked AFM and got one of those variable resistors to fool ECU to think car is still running cool, but pinking (pinging still there), I notice it more on every gearchange, and if you listen carefully with window open the noise is prominent at a constant 2500 rpm or less, but this car being a 1.6 is slightly underpowered and with the AC switched on (under load) can hear it a lot more louder. It is getting to a pout where I think the car engine will explode so I tend to drive this car with my fingers crossed on every long journey. repliable source seems to advise that the timing may have slipped a couple of teeth when the new engine was fitted hence the read out on the diagnostic computer being out of parameters for both lambda probes, I plugged in one of these cheap EOBD handheld jobbies and the read out was P1177 AND P1178 (open circuits on both sensors), but the cam belt timing fault still remains deep in my head and I will check this out in the next couple of days and will let you guys know the outcome, by the way, anyone interested in this car, as I will be selling it soon?"

The outcome was never shared. He does go on to ask where the MAF can be found though.

Now, at the risk of sounding stupid, I would like to know:

1) should i run a mile?
2) if it isn't a massive problem, how can i tell if its been solved with a satisfactory outcome
3) if not and i choose to go ahead with the buy, what problems are likely to happen and how much will it cost me

Sorry if my questions are naive, or if the post is too long

note to admin - I will post this as a seperate thread in case nobody is viewing this one anymore (as it's title was relevant yesterday)

thanks all
 

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Did you notice the pinking when you took the car for a test drive?

Also by new engine is this reconditioned engine, rebuilt engine or an engine from another car?
 

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The seller may be an enthusiast but he isn't all that mechanically minded. If he doesn't know where the MAF is he isn't best placed to be diagnosing the problem. If you know about how a car works you can find the MAF on any make or model.

So we are left with the codes that the car is telling him - lambda out of range. It sounds like the lambda sensors have failed or the MAF has failed. Why he is reluctant to accept lambda failure because the engine is 'new' makes no sense - the lambda sensors are in the exhaust and will not have been changed.

Take it for a drive, if it is ok ask him how he fixed it, if not it is up to you as to how much you can knock him down in price and how much it will cost to fix. Budget for say £300 to fix based on two sensors and fitting or a MAF or even both, and work that into what you want to pay.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the replies, I've been at work so couldn't reply until now

Just to update I called the seller and he re-assured me right away that he fixed it. It did turn out to be the lambda sensors.

Pascs - The engine was a brand new one if that helps. I have taken it for a drive upon viewing and didn't notice the pinking anymore. To be fair the post i found was dated last august.

Having said that I'm very not mechanically minded so I may have missed something hence my posting on here.

Chris - thanks you were spot on. Just a question, the seller is having it mot'd before i collect it (i've paid a deposit), will things like lambda sensors have to be checked?

Thanks for everyones help
 
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They don't directly check the lambda sensors on an MOT, but if they are faulty it may show up in the emissions test part of the MOT. Don't rely on it though, why not ask for the receipt for the new ones he had fitted? Then you'll know.
 
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