Author Topic: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.  (Read 16026 times)

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Mika

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2013, 06:47:04 AM »
Thanks Evan

pasey25

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2013, 12:06:35 PM »
If you're looking for an Alfa mechanic near you there's Northern Alfa. His Name is Vince and has been working on Alfa's and Fiat's since he started his apprenticeship 20 years ago. His number is 0417 105 102. He's a top bloke and a real genuine mechanic.

I've never heard of Northern Alfa. Where abouts are they?
Current:
1969 Lancia Fulvia 1.3s Coupe
1967 Lancia Fulvia Berlina GT 1216cc
2017 Abarth 595 Competizione
1991 Alfa SZ #440

Past:
1967 Lancia Fulvia Berlina GT 1231cc
2005 147 GTA Monza Selespeed 59/100
2001 156 Monza Selespeed Twin Spark
2010 159 TI 2.4 Sportwagon
1991 Alfa 75 Twin Spark

AR753.0ltr

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2013, 02:41:24 PM »
Northern Alfa is located in Thomastown, 18D Temple Drive.
Vince is his name, he's the guy that had the orange and blue Giulia Super Turbo the last few years at the show in Alfa Show. Many people within the club know of him.

Davidm1600

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2013, 10:50:09 PM »
Nice choice as your first car and as a 20 year old Tazor.   In respect of new parts locally, you generally will pay a premium price.  On the other hand if you shop around, especially overseas, from places like EB Spares in the UK, and/or ebay you will save yourself a bundle and that is even after you pay for shipping to Aus.  Parts generally only take around about 3-5 days to arrive from the UK.  It seriously is worth it.

The V6 is lovely, but you will pay more for servicing costs (belts change etc) in some respects over a twin spark or even a JTS.  Ditto fuel consumption is a little higher with this engine than the 4cyl cars.  But there is that V6 engine note, which is hard to go past.

In terms of other things, front suspension, both lower and top control arms, sway bar bushes and drop links should be factored in at some stage, ditto the shocks.  They all wear with age, and typically will need replacing on most cars with over 100,000km on the clock. I know as I have done these on mine. 

The other thing to replace is the thermostat as these typically fail, indication being that the engine is running cool.  To not replace it can do damage to the Catalytic converter and this is an expensive item to replace.

Oil consumption on the JTS from my experience and I have now had my car for nearly 6 1/2 years (34,000km) is not really all that significant a problem, but always best to play safe on keeping an eye on it.  With the Twin Spark and V6 this shouldn't be a problem.  The later model 156s (from 2003 onwards) generally have a better AC system than the earlier models, have 6 airbags, traction and stability control.  Some cars also came fitted with the Bose hi fi which is excellent.

The one other major servicing item, for the JTS cars is the lambda sensors (there are 4 of them, top and bottom).  These progressively fail with age/distance on the clock, are not overly expensive, but they are a hassle as it causes the engine to misfire, making driving unpleasant (jerky).  THey  need to be replaced and the computer re-set.  Having said that, the JTS is still a good engine, its economical better than the other models, and has almost as much power, though neither torque or that note of the V6.   

Personally, I would never go for a selespeed.  Manual the only choice as far as I am concerned but each of course to their own.

Goodluck, there are plenty of nice cars out there for relatively not a lot of entry price.
Current:
2003 JTS 156 sportwagon
1969 Giulia sedan (x2)
1969 AC Fiat 124 sport

Past: '76 Alfetta 1.8 GT 
        '76 Alfetta 1.8 Sedan
        ' 73 2L Berlina

Tazor

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2013, 10:42:51 AM »
Nice choice as your first car and as a 20 year old Tazor.   In respect of new parts locally, you generally will pay a premium price.  On the other hand if you shop around, especially overseas, from places like EB Spares in the UK, and/or ebay you will save yourself a bundle and that is even after you pay for shipping to Aus.  Parts generally only take around about 3-5 days to arrive from the UK.  It seriously is worth it.

The V6 is lovely, but you will pay more for servicing costs (belts change etc) in some respects over a twin spark or even a JTS.  Ditto fuel consumption is a little higher with this engine than the 4cyl cars.  But there is that V6 engine note, which is hard to go past.i

In terms of other things, front suspension, both lower and top control arms, sway bar bushes and drop links should be factored in at some stage, ditto the shocks.  They all wear with age, and typically will need replacing on most cars with over 100,000km on the clock. I know as I have done these on mine. 

The other thing to replace is the thermostat as these typically fail, indication being that the engine is running cool.  To not replace it can do damage to the Catalytic converter and this is an expensive item to replace.

Oil consumption on the JTS from my experience and I have now had my car for nearly 6 1/2 years (34,000km) is not really all that significant a problem, but always best to play safe on keeping an eye on it.  With the Twin Spark and V6 this shouldn't be a problem.  The later model 156s (from 2003 onwards) generally have a better AC system than the earlier models, have 6 airbags, traction and stability control.  Some cars also came fitted with the Bose hi fi which is excellent.

The one other major servicing item, for the JTS cars is the lambda sensors (there are 4 of them, top and bottom).  These progressively fail with age/distance on the clock, are not overly expensive, but they are a hassle as it causes the engine to misfire, making driving unpleasant (jerky).  THey  need to be replaced and the computer re-set.  Having said that, the JTS is still a good engine, its economical better than the other models, and has almost as much power, though neither torque or that note of the V6.   

Personally, I would never go for a selespeed.  Manual the only choice as far as I am concerned but each of course to their own.

Goodluck, there are plenty of nice cars out there for relatively not a lot of entry price.
Cheers David that helps heaps. Still got my eyes on an my2004 156 V6 auto for under 12g. The thing that's getting me is the pessimism of those around me. They've heard one bad thing about some Alpha owner who probably neglected their car and had it fail and just slander them having never even driven one! But I heard the other day things like the tyres cost $3,500 to replace. Is this true? I want one of these cars more than my next breath but I know that if they're costing me over a grand everytime i go to get it serviced or have a part replaced I won't be able to afford it. Am I being unrealistic wanting an Alpha for my first car? I'm earning between 400-600 per week while studying full time if that helps understand my situation currently.

Cheers

Tazor

Davidm1600

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2013, 11:36:38 AM »
I don't know who was quoting on tyre costs but such a figure is absurd. I put a new set of Pirelli P7 on my car about a year or two ago. Cost $900 fitted and balanced. I hear what u say re your income and all going well that should be fine. Normal services for my car have been around $200. Shouldn't really be much different for a V6. Remember also if you get a good car, with service history and as low km as possible you should be right. Too many ordinary car owners bag out Alfa's but they have no experience. I have only owned Alfa's and Fiats. From my experience I don't think they are Ny worse re costs or reliability than many other cars. There are plenty here on the forum who can provide helpful advice etc. cheers mate.
Current:
2003 JTS 156 sportwagon
1969 Giulia sedan (x2)
1969 AC Fiat 124 sport

Past: '76 Alfetta 1.8 GT 
        '76 Alfetta 1.8 Sedan
        ' 73 2L Berlina

colcol

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2013, 03:04:52 PM »
The 205 wide by 55 aspect ratio tyres on my 156 JTS are the same size as many Commodores, the last time i replaced them they were about $800 for 4, if you go for low profile tyres, say 35 aspect ratio from an exotic tyre maker with weird tyre sizes, then you may pay $3500, the brutal fact is that some people buy Alfa Romeo's cause of their low resale value, and can't and won't get them serviced correctly, then they break down, and then you get the comment "bloody Alfa's always breaking down", Colin.
1974 VW Passat [ist car] 1984 Alfa 33TI [daily driver] 2002 Alfa 156 JTS [daily driver]

Tazor

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2013, 04:13:30 PM »
Hahaha, thought it was a load of bullocks xD I've also looked at a few 147 my2005's. They're twin spark but they're also selespeed. If anyone's wondering why I'm only doing auto its because my partner can't drive manual and she might need it from time to time. Do the 147's have the same issues as the 156's? Gotta say the latest face lifts of both models are gorgeous, I'd be wrapped with either :P

colcol

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2013, 04:48:23 PM »
The Selespeeds need to be serviced every year, as the sensors and clutch rods get out of adjustment, and you will most likely have to overhall it at 80,000klms, try to get the latest Alfa model with Selespeed, as the newer ones are more simplified, there are Alfa Romeo specialists who have the Selespeed issues under control and its not a problem, take it to a normal Mechanic who has never heard of a Selespeed and you are asking for trouble, the 147 is a hatchback version of the 156 or the 156 is a sedan version of the 147 - take your pick,  the two share a lot of components, such as suspension, brakes engines, gearboxes, etc, Colin.
1974 VW Passat [ist car] 1984 Alfa 33TI [daily driver] 2002 Alfa 156 JTS [daily driver]

frangutz

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2013, 10:49:22 PM »
Hi,

if it is any value, I don't think the 156 is any different from many other cars on the second hand market. You are going to pick something up that is either hassle free or has some issues. Never going to know. Don't let your friends put you off if that is what you are after.

I used to have a V6 156 and loved it. Had some funny electrical issues, but for the most part it was reliable and fun. I sold it but am in the market for another one as i miss it.

If you want some real fun - apparently the 156 V6 manual is real cool. almost 1 sec faster than the auto. I haven't driven one before so can't comment further but I do see that they are rare....

What ever you get, like the others have said - keep it serviced regularly, keep an eye on oils. Try to get something that looks like it is in reasonable condition...

Good luck in your choice.

=F.



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Former 156 V6 Owner.... now 147 Monza

Tazor

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2013, 10:15:09 PM »
I've started a new pursuit. A 147 GTA Selespeed. I plan on having my car serviced every 3 months anyway to be safe, meaning I shouldn't have any issues with the selespeed. I think th gta is close to the best car a p player can buy, and you can get them in excellent condition for 11,000! Guys, I think I'm in love... Again.

poohbah

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2013, 07:27:54 PM »
Tazor,

If you can drive a manual, that's what I'd recommend over the Selespeed - just a lot less hassle to maintain and/or fix.

As other folks have said, check out the service history and that it was maintained by an Alfa specialist - hopefully one you can continue to use. It really is a bonus if you can use a mechanic with personal knowledge of the car. 

As a guide on costs, I bought a 2.5L V6 6speed manual 156 last year with 115k on the clock for $7k. I've since driven another 10,000km and spent +$3k on various bits and pieces, including timing belt changeout, cooling system repairs, new CV joints, and two major services (6 month servicing interval).

Sounds like a lot, but I couldn't be happier with it. I priced in the maintenance/rpair costs into my budget when I bought it (I didn't want to spend more than $15k including any major upfront repairs - so I'm still well in front).  And its really not that much to pay for a great looking, great sounding and fantastic driving machine that cost ~$60k when it was new.

Fuel consumption isn't too bad for a 10yo six cylinder which loves to rev, given I drive mine to work every day in peak hour traffic (75km round trip), and use on average 11-12L per 100km. But you need to find an honest servo - some of the bigger chains are outright thieves when it comes to PULP. The three nearest big brand servos to me (that rhyme with TeeVee) typically charge 5-7c/L more for PULP than the rival servo I generally use.

Poohbah
Now:    2002 156 GTA
            1981 GTV
Before: 1999 156 V6 Q-auto
            2001 156 V6 (sadly cremated)

Msalfa

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2013, 04:32:30 PM »
hello Tazor, i had a 99 156 selespeed for my first car.
i had all sorts of problems blown engine,replaced computer twice,selespeed pump etc..., i would not recommend getting a selespeed,if i could do it again i would have defiantly gone manual.Make sure the car has been treated nicely.Even tho it gave me amounts of grief when it was finally running good it always put a grin on my face,that's why i have to have another one.
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Alfapride

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2013, 10:48:40 AM »
Hi Tazor, welcome to the forum, my advice would be if you like the 156 chassis go for a V6 2.5 - they are a little harder to find but this engine is the 'sweet spot' between the 2 Liter twin spark and 3.2 GTA, you get the power and torque of a V6 and more grunt than the Twin Spark or JTS. The JTS drives mighty fine as well but requires more maintenance - many owners report some oil consumption and a few other up keep requirements well reported on the forum. The V6 2.5 comes in auto q system which is automatic but has a 4 shift selector in a H style pattern (with no clutch) and is much more reliable than the selespeed design found on the twin spark or JTS models. Good luck in your search!
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Alfamania

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Re: New Alfa driver, opinions on first car.
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2013, 10:26:54 AM »
I am confident to say that I would only go to Vince @ Northern Alfa. Every other so called Alfa specialist just wants to take your money and are an absolute rip off!!! I am very lucky that I met Vince a year ago, I have had my fair share of dealing with some of the other Alfa specialists around town too...never again! Anyway here is his Vinces number 0417105102

Tell him Alex with the Grey Alfa 75 gave you the number


 :)
Alfa GT 3.2
Maserati Gransport
Alfa 75 V6 3.0
BMW 318i e36
Saab 9000cs
Mazda Rx7 13B Extend port -Turbo
Ford XE ESP 5.8
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