10th Sep 2005, 09:30
Yes, there are known issues with 156's such as suspension noises (some silicon based spray should do the trick, unless the bushes are totally worn), or high oil consumption (this is also relative to the oil used and your driving style, higher rpms=higher oil consumption).
Browse this site and start counting A4/A6/Passat's with worn front suspension links, oil sludge (the 1.8T engine) and faulty coils. As the second comment points out, if you want hassle free motoring buy Japanese...
11th Sep 2005, 06:04
Ditch your VW in favour of a VW? No, no, no.
I've done the opposite. Over the past 13 years, I've driven nothing, but Golf VR6's (3 to be exact), and before this Beetles. An accident took my last Golf from me and so I started to look for a replacement, naturally another VR6, but then I noticed the 156 v6, so I took one for a test drive and never looked back.
Everything you read about this car - both the good and the bad - is true. My experience has shown me there are only ever two types of Alfa - a very bad one and a very good one, with no other flavours in between.
My current alfa is a 1998, 156 2.5 having covered 60K. The car has never let me down, despite having a plethora of electrical niggles, has a serious drink problem and each service leaves me considering whether or not to approach the IMF.
All is forgiven however, when the car is driven. Again, believe all you read - the good and the bad. Yes, the car is a tad nose heavy leading to a bit more understeer than you would like, you do have to be careful with speed bumps (coming off them, not the mounting part), the brakes could be a bit more powerful (see the nose heavy ref) - BUT without doubt, that engine is superb.
With all the windows down, 2nd gear, 30 mph and stamp on the go faster pedal. The noise acts as such an anti-depressant, it should be available on prescription from the NHS. It makes the VR6 seem lifeless and to 60 it is actually quicker although after this the VR6 will be a dot on the horizon.
Recently, I've considered buying the 3.2. The only reason why I haven't done so far is the point I made earlier - there are only good and bad alfas. I've got a good one and don't want to gamble on being landed with a bad one.
To sum up, don't give up on Alfas just because you've had one bad experience. There are good ones about, and when they're good they are fantastic.
29th Sep 2005, 19:06
I've never taken the plunge into Alfa ownership because I cannot afford to have an unreliable car. Now here's the thing, some Alfas are as reliable as clockwork, but others are utter dogs. There seems to be nothing in between, and that's a heck of a risk when you're buying one.
Two friends have 156's, both 2001 cars, both 2.0 Twin Spark models, and both manual. They're both serviced "on the dot" at the same dealership by the same technician, and both are well cared for.
One has done 75,000 miles with pretty much routine servicing only. It's a fabulous car. The other has done 50,000 miles and is on its second engine (cambelt snapped at 11,000 miles!!!), as well as numerous failures in the engine's electronics, poorly fitted trim, water leaks, idle problems, several driveshaft failures and severe starting problems whenever it rains.
The 156 is a corker to drive, and has a sense of occasion that BMW drivers wouldn't understand, but can you honestly imagine being stuck with something that unreliable as your everyday transport? How can you risk it?
23rd Oct 2005, 08:55
I have recently bought the Alfa 156 Veloce and am finding it to be a wonderful car. Although the front suspension does creak a little and the car eats petrol, this all adds to the Alfa experience and it means the car is everything I expected it to be truly fantastic.
15th Nov 2005, 15:58
I have a 2004 156 2.5 V6 sedan (the Giugiaro update) ; and I love the car, however, it has taken to developing noises in the suspension. Not the squeaks mentioned in earlier comments, but a thumping that happens over light bumps. The dealer here in New Zealand has spanner-checked the suspension all round, and replaced the shocks front and rear (the car has only done 40,000 km and is still under warranty), but the noise is still there. Anyone struck this? Any ideas what it could be?
16th Nov 2005, 01:27
Check the front wishbones and also the sway bar bushings which are notoriously under engineered.
21st Feb 2007, 09:48
I have a Veloce 156 2.0 JTS, beautiful, its one of those cars you just look back at after parking... you know what I mean.
I am experiencing a number of problems:
1) Squeak over light bumps - it may be a coincidence, but I have just had the upper front wishbones replaced.
2) Thump noise - sounds like its coming from the front, but unable to recreate the noise... it only happens very occasionally, but what an awful noise, I first thought it was the backbox on the exhaust, but I have been told by the dealer that its not the exhaust, but couldn’t shine any light on it since I can't recreate it.
3) Speak from the centre console... so annoying.
Can anyone please advise on my 3 point above.
Still a great car though.
3rd Jul 2007, 06:33
Just bought a 1999 156 TSpark 2.0 16v to go with my Citroen C5 comfy bus and much modified 1969 MGB GT.
The Alfa has done 65k miles and has full service history at a main dealer. Power delivery is right up the top end and a joy, handling is go cart (for a big car) and viceless.
I hear the horror stories, but I guess I got a good 'un (for now). I have no squeaks, rattles or bangs and the car has been good so far, using very little oil, although I am going to replace the radiator, which looks only slightly corroded, but is the original and due for renewal!
I have lovely blue leather seats, white dials and wood wheel and the car always feels special - but the best bit is the price. I can afford to throw it away at the end of the year or if it blows up!
20th Jul 2007, 03:22
I have a 2002 V6 6 speed manual in black.
I can say I bought the car in perfect condition, but problems arose after taking it for the dreaded cambelt service.
The mechanics, who are actually in Sydney Australia.. have messed up something in the car and won't admit to it. Seems like the bearings whine from 1-3k and then disappears.
The performance isn't lost though that is for sure... Like everyone says, once you hear that thunderous roar, you will forget these little issues.
I also suffer from very squeaky brakes, which could be very embarrassing, but still, I have to get original discs and not replicas I guess... Believe me, when it comes to this car, you really do get what you pay for. Always use a reputable Alfa dealer. No 3rd party mechanics, unless you're doing simple jobs like brakes.
It is by far the best car I have owned and I love it to bits..:)
Woman seem to love it, which is a bonus.. :)
Remember, once you drive an ALFA... you will be hooked for life.