2002 Alfa Romeo 156 SW from Bulgaria - Comments

30th Sep 2010, 07:37

I want to update on my original review.

Now 2000 kilometers later, the front suspension all needed a change. Bushes weren't the only part. So, front suspension is not strong aspect of the car, and one should be prepared for costly repairs.

The air-conditioning compressor or pipe also gave up. When the cooling is turned on to lower temperatures with a high blow, a metal pipe at the front begins vibrating obnoxiously loudly and I am worrying if it will explode or something of the like.

The brakes aren't strong enough now, slowing and stopping from high speeds is a risky challenge and may cost a life if not cautious with speeds. And this car is all about speeds, anyways.

Also the engine seems to be having difficulties around the 3000 revs. It goes beyond 3000 revs, but the engine seems to be struggling. Mechanics have checked it, tried different repairs, but the problem couldn't be fixed.

Overall, I wouldn't have bought the car originally, if I knew what I know now.

1st Oct 2010, 03:56

"So, front suspension is not strong aspect of the car"

Be careful with the 156 especially on heavily rutted roads or potholed roads. The suspension etc is designed to be light and responsive (sporty!), but as a result is not as sturdy as some other cars. Maybe you would be better off with a Mercedes?

"the engine seems to be having difficulties around the 3000 revs. It goes beyond 3000 revs, but the engine seems to be struggling."

That's odd. I'd say it is probably one of two things: either your MAF sensor has a problem (sensor that monitors how much air is coming into the engine, and hence regulates how much petrol is injected) OR, more likely, you have a variator problem. The variator is a gadget on the engine that changes the valve intake timing for more power. Surprise surprise, the variator kicks in at 3000 rpm, so I'm guessing that this may be your problem. The Twinspark variators are prone to wearing out after much mileage, and I try and change mine every 60000km. There's a tell tale sign of a worn variator, and that is a diesel-like rattle when idling. At 3000rpm my 156 has a major kick in power, almost like a mini-turbo, so there's definitely something not right with yours. Are you sure that the folks who looked at your engine know what they are doing?

6th Oct 2010, 08:01

Roads in Bulgaria are all about pot holes, the only road smooth enough for light suspension ride are the major highways and capital city boulevards in the central part. Now I know that the Alfa 156 is not ideal for third class quality roads.

About the 3000 revs, mechanics replaced the MAF sensor with an original Bosch, but that didn't solve the problem. EGR valve was also checked. I'll look into variator investigation. Thank you!

However, my car remains an example of how fragile beauty can be if not treated by fine roads.

7th Oct 2010, 02:31

Again, sorry to hear your problems. If it makes you feel any better, one night I was traveling at some speed down a poorly lit road, and went straight over a huge speed bump. That incident messed up my lower control arms and (I suspect) wheel bearings too. Anyway, enjoy the highway driving! ;)

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