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To continue Joe's comments: Your Milano has an "Interference engine". If the valve timing gets too far out of spec, the pistons and valves interfere - with results that are usually catastrophic. That's why your dad changed the cam belt every year. The issue is further complicated by the fact that the belt wrap is marginal on the passenger side cam pulley. There are differing opinions regarding tensioners, but everyone agrees the belt must be maintained. I think someone on the BB talked about making Zat-type tensioners again; use the Search function to review. And, good luck with the car

That makes sense.

The original Alfa tensioner was hydraulic, and would leak. Alfa's replacement mechanical tensioner has a bad reputation for slipping. There was an aftermarket solution sold by Tom Zat of Alfa Heaven that replaced the Alfa tensioner with a static tensioner - that is probably what your father has installed. It uses the original bearing from the hydraulic tensioner. It works well, so it wouldn't be something I'd be concerned about, but you do have to check the belt more frequently than with a factory tensioner.
 
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