Big bargain banger or not? Would you

Soldato
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I was looking at a new car then redundancy hit me. A temp job to start so bargain banger needed.

Down the road I have found this.

166jr.jpg


This is not the actual car I just found one similar as I took no pictures on site.




Alfa 166 2.5 V6 Sportronic 2001

Basically it has 2 owners, the present has had it for 10 years and acquired it when it had 7k on it. The car has now covered just 56000 miles with full history. The history is main dealer and specialist with two minor services done by just and independent non-specialist garage. The belts have been done less than a year and 3k ago.

The car itself is fairly remarkable inside and out. I would describe the condition as more like a 3 year old car with the only blemishes a few stone chips and tiny car park door scuffs.

The 166 was marketed against the 5 series and Merc which it fell short of in quality and performance. However it is not an awful drive and well equipped. The leather interior is smart, comfortable and in immaculate condition.

The downside is it is only the 2.5 litre which has the running costs of the 3.0 without the performance. Being hooned it will only achieve 16-17mpg with an average about 25-28mpg.

The price offered to me is £900 and will cost approximately £260 to insure.
 
Man of Honour
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Looks like a potential pain in the neck to me. Why would you want a millstone around your neck when you've just been made redundant?
 
Soldato
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If I was temping, my first consideration (other than road-worthiness) would be mileage / running costs.
 
Caporegime
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2.5 v6 old Alfa, while temping? Personally I'd not go near it. Something much cheaper to fix should it go wrong would be main option surely, as you don't war to not be able to get to work for a significant time because the car is being fixed.
 
Associate
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Get yourself a MkIII Petrol Mondeo loads about, reliable & cheap to fix mostly :)
 
Soldato
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Running cost isnt important, it is just for my other half to pick the kids up occasionally (ie when raining hard) and going to the shops. We have a 4 year old diesel so this is just a second car.

The money has come from my other halves insurance payout for her car which is another story entirely. To be honest we didn't think we would get anything for it.

At the price it is to be honest if something went wrong and cost a couple of hundred quid I would fix it, or if more I would just dump it.

This missus is fed up with Mondeo's, she has always been lumbered with the family size cars. She fancies something a bit more sporty like a coupe (we are both in late 30's). We could pay more I just was amazed at the condition of this car. The owner is older with a great barn of a place. You know the type with electric gates etc.

Maybe I will give it a miss. I was just impressed how much car for the money, it has 4 months tax, 12 months MOt and virtually a tank of petrol that must be worth nearly £100 nowadays.

I wouldn't touch it if I wanted a commuter, however the other half has very bad RA so the autobox is a bonus in that way although not essential.
 
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Associate
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To be honest, it looks like a good one and they're not as bad as everyone makes out. The running costs are obviously ones that come with a big car, of course and not just the mpg. The cost of getting things done on Alfas isn't actually that bad so long as you go to places that don't just hear "alfa" and think "£££".

The thing with Alfas of this era is that there's basically 2 aspects to it - 1. is it a good one or a bad one and 2. they chew through wear and tear items.
The autobox isn't meant to be the toughest thing but its not the selespeed one which is meant to be a guaranteed nightmare.

Having said that, it doesn't quite sound like the tool for the job if its a second car for just pootling about in.
 

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Soldato
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cheap alfa eh?


I went through this last year with my wife who fell in love with a 03 156 2l JTS

ours came with full alfa history well loved and maintained and was a complete PITA it was chopped in 3 months later and I took a heavy hit on it

unless you want to spend your weekends fixing cars then don't buy it. for the love of god go buy her a sensible focus and remain attached to your wallet
 
Soldato
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cheap alfa eh?


I went through this last year with my wife who fell in love with a 03 156 2l JTS

ours came with full alfa history well loved and maintained and was a complete PITA it was chopped in 3 months later and I took a heavy hit on it

unless you want to spend your weekends fixing cars then don't buy it. for the love of god go buy her a sensible focus and remain attached to your wallet


I have had 3 x 156's, one turned out to have a hidden past and was a nightmare but the other two were brilliant.

I was a mechanic back in the early 90's so a few jobs I could do myself but more complex things I would have to pay for.

I probably wont get it, but in my thinking even the scrap value of the engine with that mileage on is quite high.

If the gearbox blew up I would just scrap it. Everything works in it and it has been maintained to a very high standard.

Just after looking at cars 3 times the price this beats them in condition hands down.
 
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It sounds nice from your description, £900 is cheap. You could spend £900 on a dull 1.8 mondeo for it to go wrong.

My £1k 156 JTS is fine, and I like the fact that they have a undeserved bad reputation as it keeps them cheap for those who can maintain them :)
 
Soldato
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It sounds nice from your description, £900 is cheap. You could spend £900 on a dull 1.8 mondeo for it to go wrong.

My £1k 156 JTS is fine, and I like the fact that they have a undeserved bad reputation as it keeps them cheap for those who can maintain them :)

The JTS is quite a nice engine. As long as you change the belts every 40k and check the oil regularly. If you find oil use is quite high you can use Selina racing oil 10w60 which cures it.

My heart rules my head with cars. If I drive a dull boring car I just can't be bothered to look after it. I drive a diesel all week so it is nice to get into something a bit more pokky.
 
Soldato
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It looks a nice car but tbh if you've only got temp work you'd be better off picking something up that will be easy to move on again
 
Associate
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Mine had specialist dealer f/s/h but I changed the oil/filter + air filter as soon as I got it - the air filter was a bitch as the screws were nearly rusted away on the airbox so I had to drill them out. It was nice to see genuine service parts too which I replaced like for like. The belts and water pump had been done on the last service.
AFAIK it's always had selina 10-60 oil, I've done 3k since the oil change & the measure is 2/3 on the dipstick so appears fine so far.
I think the thermostat is on the way out though as the car only warms up properly in slow traffic now the winter is here, on the ringroad here it stays just above 75c :-/

There's a good Alfa specialist in Oxford, Palmer Phillips, which is about 10 min's from me.
 
Soldato
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It looks a nice car but tbh if you've only got temp work you'd be better off picking something up that will be easy to move on again


No, I wouldn't need it at all for work. We manage with one car and will be keeping it no matter what.

Like I said before it would be 'handy' to have another car and essentially wouldn't cost us a penny as it was insurance money we didn't expect.

To cut a long story short I got run over just under a year ago and injured quite badly. I was getting out of my partners car when it got hit (Citroen). The car was quite old and rubbish, it had been given to her by her father. She was going to use it till the MOT expired. The car was written off really but drive able. A couple of days later the Cam belt went destroying the engine. We didn't think the insurance would pay out due to it being mechanically knackered, but they did.

My claim for loss of earnings etc and my broken foot is going threw at the moment.

I didn't make this clear that the reliability of the car is not too much of a worry, only if your stranded at night in the middle of nowhere lol.
 
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