Author Topic: Advice on buying an Alfa  (Read 389 times)

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Mihir92

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Advice on buying an Alfa
« on: September 12, 2019, 12:10:39 PM »
Hi All,

I'm looking at buying my first Alfa. Have always wanted one! I need a car for my daily commute (110km, mostly highway). So the car needs to be relatively reliable and reasonable to service.

I've been looking at 159s with the 2.4l 5cyl diesel or the 3.2 v6. Also looked at the 1750 TBi but there is only 1 on sale at the moment from what I can see. Ideally, I would love an Afla GT with the busso 3.2 V6 but I don't think that will be reliable enough for a daily commute.

I'm still generally concerned about Alfa reliability overall. Any tips or suggestions? Is the Alfa good for a daily commute of 110km or is it more of a weekend warrior.


TIA!

Mihir


CitroŽnbender

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Re: Advice on buying an Alfa
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2019, 10:20:17 PM »
If thatís 55km each way, itís barely enough to facilitate regular DPF burn-offs (regenerative burns). So diesel is out.

V AR 164

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Re: Advice on buying an Alfa
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2019, 12:47:28 AM »
Hey mate,

I bought my 2006 2.4 159 with a 6 speed manual a little over a year ago now. So far I have had no major issues  and love the car to bits. My commute is pretty short as well, to get to work its a small freeway trip of about 20km (15mins) and to get to uni it's about a 25km (30mins) drive and mostly main roads with 60km/h limits.

I have never had an issue with the dpf and it does do a regeneration every now to clean out the filter.

I would highly recommend a 159, particularly a 2.4. You will find they have a bit of turbo lag and sound a lot like a tractor but they are bulletproof engines and have a heap of torque. I travel probably 250-300km a week and I find $30 bucks of fuel gets me through no worries. I have heard the 3.2's, whilst an awesome engine, drink alot of fuel and the 1750's are quite a bit more expensive in general. I initially drove a 2.2 petrol and found it to be a tad sluggish.

Reliability wise, every car has it's problems. My car has so far clocked up 326,000kms and in my past year and a bit of ownership the only thing that has failed is the air conditioner compressor (pretty pricey if I do say so). Everything still feels tight and honestly it drives like a car with 100,000km on the clock.

In conclusion, buy a car with a good service history that has been well looked after. A 2.4 Ti would be my suggestion.

Andrew.
-2006 159 2.4 Ti (Daily Driver)
-1992 164Q (Weekend Cruiser)
-1993 Hilux Surf (4WD/Tow Rig)

Mihir92

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Re: Advice on buying an Alfa
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2019, 11:00:29 AM »
Thanks Andrew! Very helpful. 326k?! That's incredible.

Yeah I'm looking for a Ti but there are very few on the market. The tractor noise is a major con for me. I've never been interested in diesel cars but with the 159 the other engine options aren't great like you said.

If that’s 55km each way, it’s barely enough to facilitate regular DPF burn-offs (regenerative burns). So diesel is out.

Never owned anything diesel so I'm well out of my comfort zone here. Just did a bit of googling, but help me understand: is the dpf burn off something the ECU does or is that part of regular service and maintenance that I will have to learn?

Mihir92

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Re: Advice on buying an Alfa
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2019, 11:03:49 AM »
For the 159s is the difference between the regular and the Ti models just creature comforts like sunroof?

V AR 164

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Re: Advice on buying an Alfa
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2019, 01:28:45 PM »
No problem,

Yeah I was new to diesel cars as well but I know some basics.

Obviously a diesel engine produces black smoke, otherwise known as soot. To help reduce the amount coming out of the exhaust pipe, manufactures install Diesel Particulate Filters, otherwise known as a DPF. As the car runs, the DPF will eventually fill up with soot and other particles and will need to do a DPF regeneration. This is triggered automatically by the cars ECU when it senses that the flow through the DPF is being restricted by it being full. Now from what I understand, the car will dump heaps of fuel into the engine causing it to run hotter, in turn heating up the DPF which will begin the regeneration stage which essentially 'burns off' the excess particulate. When this happens you will notice excess black soot coming out the exhaust when driving and it will usually last 15 mins or so.

I find my car does it quite often, probably once every two weeks. You can actually hear the exhaust get slightly louder and the average fuel consumption will rise from let's say 7 litres per 100km to like 12 litres per 100km.

Yes, 326km and still going very strong, Ti's were the 'sport' option which included better seats, black headliner and trimmings, brushed aluminum dash facia panels, sportier looking gauges as well as a few external differences like 19' wheels, sport sideskirts, chrome mirror caps, lower suspension etc. There is no engine 'performance' differences.

Anyone correct me if I'm wrong about anything it's just my understanding so far so take it with a grain of salt!

Hope this helps, Andrew.
-2006 159 2.4 Ti (Daily Driver)
-1992 164Q (Weekend Cruiser)
-1993 Hilux Surf (4WD/Tow Rig)

kaleuclint

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Re: Advice on buying an Alfa
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2019, 02:31:15 PM »
For the 159s is the difference between the regular and the Ti models just creature comforts like sunroof?
No -- and not all Ti cars have a sunroof.

There are two Ti specifications here: Australian and South African.  The latter has cloth seats and smaller wheels.  The AU version has leather heated sports seats and 19" wheels.  All Ti cars here differ from other 159s having Brembo brakes, lowered suspension, side skirts, metallic mirror caps and some red stitching on the interior upholstery.  Mechanically Ti cars don't differ from non-Ti cars.  I've owned Ti (1750TBi) and 'normal' (2.2 JTS) -- both have their pros and cons.

If you can find a 1750TBi they are regarded as "bulletproof" by an independent Alfa service specialist.  Having said that they are known to require water pump bearings, coolant header tanks and cambelt covers (refer to many threads on this forum) -- and turbochargers if abused.  Fundamentally though the core engine is tough and reliable.

Find yourself a nice, looked after example and you'll be rewarded.

2011 159 ti 1750TBi

Mihir92

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Re: Advice on buying an Alfa
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2019, 03:29:29 PM »
Thanks All

For the 159s is the difference between the regular and the Ti models just creature comforts like sunroof?
No -- and not all Ti cars have a sunroof.

There are two Ti specifications here: Australian and South African.  The latter has cloth seats and smaller wheels.  The AU version has leather heated sports seats and 19" wheels.  All Ti cars here differ from other 159s having Brembo brakes, lowered suspension, side skirts, metallic mirror caps and some red stitching on the interior upholstery.  Mechanically Ti cars don't differ from non-Ti cars.  I've owned Ti (1750TBi) and 'normal' (2.2 JTS) -- both have their pros and cons.

If you can find a 1750TBi they are regarded as "bulletproof" by an independent Alfa service specialist.  Having said that they are known to require water pump bearings, coolant header tanks and cambelt covers (refer to many threads on this forum) -- and turbochargers if abused.  Fundamentally though the core engine is tough and reliable.

Find yourself a nice, looked after example and you'll be rewarded.



There is one 1750 for sale in Victoria for quite cheap. 2012 with 156k km. I'm in Sydney so I've asked him to send over some service paperwork so I can try and check it out.

Domenic

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Re: Advice on buying an Alfa
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2019, 03:35:56 PM »

All Ti cars here differ from other 159s having Brembo brakes,


The standard 2.4TD and 3.2 V6 have Brembo brakes, they're just not painted RED like the Ti are.

GTV6SA

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Re: Advice on buying an Alfa
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2019, 06:55:34 AM »
If you're buying a 3.2 V6 ,best to try and buy a Ti  2009 or later as these are about 59kg lighter and earlier models 2006 to 2007 may have timing chain stretch problems,  important to make sure it has been regularly serviced and maintained using factory recommended libricants, preferably by Alfa specialists who know the product or else like all Alfa's ,if neglected you could be up for problems. Check all gauges are working as well as front wheel alignment, worn or uneven wear on inside tyres are a giveaway, best advice is before buying get it inspected by a Alfa specialist who know egat to look out for, worth the payment.

Craig_m67

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Re: Advice on buying an Alfa
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2019, 09:36:20 PM »
If you do large distances/commutes get the 2.4JTD as a Ti if you can find it..

Otherwise, buy the 1750TBI. Quite frankly after +30years of Alfa ownership (including a love affair with a JTD), itís probably the best engine theyíve ever made (apologies to the Busso worshippers, but thereís more to life than a soundtrack) ;)
'66 Duetto (lacework of doom)
'73 1600 GT Junior (ensconced)
'03 156 1.9JTD Sportwagon (daily driver)

CitroŽnbender

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Re: Advice on buying an Alfa
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2019, 07:55:58 AM »
I have one further question, simply: Why an Alfa, particularly?

As a simple commuter vehicle itís sort of under-utilised.

Mihir92

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Re: Advice on buying an Alfa
« Reply #12 on: Today at 12:11:51 PM »
I have one further question, simply: Why an Alfa, particularly?

As a simple commuter vehicle itís sort of under-utilised.

I'd rather commute in a car I actually enjoy looking at and driving than just some ordinary car. I'm all for weekend toys, I have a bunch of motorbikes, but I also strongly believe cars and bikes were made to be used.