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Greetings Alfa Gurus,

Doing some reseach into buying and owning a 4 - 5 year old 147. You, as alfa owners should be able to give me an indication of the common faults and features of a 147.

Is Selespeed really to be avoided, and why?
How's the 2.0 engine for reliability and servicing?
Is it a fun car to drive through the twisties??
Any other things that gives this car personality? ie. indicators, electrics, faults etc....


Your help is HUGELY appreciated!





Note: I currently drive a 1976 MK1 GTI Golf, with a 1993 Audi 2.0l engine shoehornded in there (756kg). Swaybars, Koni Adj, it's a cheap fun toy!!!
 

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Hey Chat.

Generally a 147 is a reliable car.
Make sure the cam belts etc have been changed at 60,000 kms or 3 years.
Oil should be changed every 10,000 km and checked every 1000 kms.
The selespeed can give problems but generally reliable.
Being in Canberra,give Peter Dowling at Autotech in Fyshwick a call.He is an Alfa specialist and very helpfull. 0262805061.
The manuel version is probably more a drivers car as you can change the gears when you want without delay.


Robert
 

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Hi Chat Noir,

just been doing the same research myself, and a couple of days ago bought a 2002 147 2.0 TS Selespeed. I was worried about alfa reliability comments all over the web, but the car looked so good I had to get it anyway!

Comments after just a few days driving.... negative and positives....

Ride quality is not good, but it's a very honest interpretation of the road quality, smooth road = very smooth ride, but little bumps = hard bumps.

Selespeed is convenient around town, as I get sick of changing gear all the time when cruising in traffic. The gear changes aren't all that smooth, but I can see myself getting used to it and getting it smooth after a while (it's all in using the accelerator pedal). When you change to 'manual' mode, it's a lot of fun being able to use the paddles or the gear stick, and when the revs are high the gear changes are quite fast and it goes VERY nicely around corners at speed, good brakes and steering too. It's a real drivers car. Manual would be more sporty I expect, and a faulty Selespeed pump had just been replaced by the previous owner before I bought it at a cool $3500 for that repair! But I must say I'm pleased I got the SS, great to just put it in city mode and zoom around. Again with the SS in auto mode, at high revs the gear changes are quite sporty indeed.

I got the black leather interior, it feels and looks fantastic. The red lighting all over looks amazing at night. Bose stereo does sound very good, bit tiring for my ears, but then I'm an ex-audio engineer so have always found Bose a little bit artificial sounding. Certainly not bad though!

Very Highly Recommended, but do be prepared for some extra costs for regular maintenance and if it does go wrong, it won't be cheap. But that can be said for most European sporty cars I expect.

Overall, I love it totally. It feels like a car for those with taste (if I do say so myself :rolleyes:). Not too showoff, or snobby, just cool and quite rare on the roads.

Cheers
TiggerK

P.S Hey first post!! Good to be here!
 

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Hi Chat and Tigger,

Welcome to you both. I used to own a manual 147 and really liked it (but didn't love it). It is a modern mass produced car designed to appeal to the mass market and not the specialised driver's market but just leans a little in that direction.

Compared to your GTI it will be slow, soft, quiet and soul-less. Compared to a Toyota corolla it will sound great and be lots of fun to drive. Mine was reliable and I had no real problems. On the other hand it is a modern car that is well built and has lots of good comfort and safety features (you do feel really safe driving it), it's a very nice place to be (and as Tigger said to be seen to be in). If I was to buy another one I'd get a decent sounding exhaust first. Well not much after that. A stiffer suspension would be fun but not practical for a mostly city car anyway, it is pretty good all round for most things.

The very early selespeeds did have some problems that were sorted out quickly but you do still need to be careful. In the office a few weeks ago someone asked me about an Alfa automatic they drove and why they roll backwards on a hill. I had to explain that it wasn't an automatic but a manual with an automatic clutch. A lot of people drive them like automatics and so ride the clutch and wear it out.

If you service them by the book it is a long time between services and they seem reliable. I agree with Robert on the more frequent oil changes, I did my first at 5,000k - I just didn't trust the book.

Drive some and see how you like them. If you can, drive them for as long as possible to get a good feel for them.
 
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