Alfa Romeo 156 2.5 V6 Service Cost

One of the best cars to drive but worst to fix, or is it? I bought this good looking muscle car for a bargain. Yes, compared to what I could have bought it was a true bargain. Nothing looks quite like it. A car with sexy curves with leather interior and hidden door handles. The paint job is not the best but nothing else looks like it. You get air-conditioning, power steering, ABS, Fuel Injection, Central locking with built in alarm, Two air bags, and a lot of muscle. 2.5litre V6 quad cam 24 valve Alfa engine that push out 140KW and 190bhp. At 7.2 seconds 0 – 60Mph its fast.

The catch with the car is the service fees you will spend on it. My clear advice to you is to have the cam belt service done at an Alfa repair shop. It might seem as if the guy down the street will save you a dime, but can you really put a price on safety and comfort. Let’s talk about the price of a service. A cam belt service at an Alfa repair shop should cost you about R14 000.00 in South Africa or $2 400.00 in the States. But why you ask? This is the Alfa that saved Alfa Romeo from bankruptcy. From the wheels to the badge to the engine and the seats has all been made by Alfa for Alfa. The Alfa cam kit cost approximately R9 000.00 and the rest of the money is for labor and stuff. A normal oil filter spark plug service will cost you R3500.00. It is best you do the cam belt change before the belt break. To have 24 bent valves replaced will cost you much more than R20 000.00. In Cape Town South Africa there is at least three Alfa dealerships that will do a great job fixing your Alfa. You can also have the Alfa repaired by Bosh or Holandse Motors. Remember to keep the oils and waters checked weekly and top up as you inspect the car week after week. A great service will last a long way. After my service I can just get into the car and start her up and go.

I will tell you A little more about the V6 engine. Yes it is a V6 Alfa engine. The 156 came out with the 2.5 liter quad cam 24 Valve V6 engines that pushed out 141Kw into a six speed manual gearbox to the front wheels. The car is nose heavy and turning is a problem because the huge engine takes up lots of room under the bonnet. I have my car for just over a year now and it is still a pleasure to lift up the bonnet and view that marvel of an engine. The engine was over engineered in so many ways. The Alfa V6 engine can also be found in a 3l 3.2l 3.7l and even a 3.8l. The 2.5l engine lacks the pull away power found with the bigger bores, but in the 156 it simply put that smile on your face. There is really very little mechanically that can go wrong with these engines, but if something breaks, you have to spend all your money and lend some. The weaker point on the engine is all related to the timing parts. The factory water pump had plastic moving parts that could warn under the stress and heat of the engine and fuel leaving you with no cooling for this massive engine. The cam belt has a lower than average life span and should not be overlooked if you are considering purchasing one of these classic cars. The problem with my car was a broken or rather torn cam belt tensioner. I was standing on a bridge and I heard a big taping sound before my engine died. The cam belt came lose after the tensioner failed and I managed to bend 24 valves. It is good practice to have your timing belt and moving parts inspected at every service and please just please do not skip a service on this car.

I have taken the car on a few family trips and it handles fine. The only thing they could have improved on the car if I could mention this to you, is the air conditioner. It is as good as not having it in the car. The rest is all right on the money. From the stitching in the door panels to the exhaust system and that powerhouse engine in front I can truly agree that this car was made with passion and purpose. If this is what it took to save Alfa from bankruptcy, then it is good enough for me.

Is it worth the money? I have to say, a Big Phat Yes. This car and its engine were rated car of the year and engine of the year back in 1998. The engine note of Alfas V6 engines will leave your friends in awe. The day you pull away and leave the Mercs and VW’s and BMW’s behind, you will realize that you are close to perfection in this classic muscle car. The fuel usage is poor, but it’s no VW. With a 6 speed manual and an engine tone at high Rpm’s you’ll be smiling like a rich man in a poor man’s car. Remember, you are not a petrol head until you have driven an Alfa.

It is time to go and look at that Mercedes and BMW again and then look back at your Alfa. Service do cost a little extra, but what you get is the best Alfa had to give to our planet at a time when they had hit rock bottom. What you get is more than a car, it is a piece of history that tells a story of a time when fuel was cheap and power was plenty. It tells of a driver that can be enrolled under the great petrol heads of all time. This is not just an Alfa; this is the Alfa that began all the other Alfas after it in a race to be more than a car. This Alfa is a legend.

How to Use "Pops a Dent" Effectively

Alright, so you just bought the “As seen on TV Pops-a-dent” or the Ding King “Twist a dent” and have tried using it. You may have even removed the damage a little bit, but usually, the repair results are less than respectable. How can we achieve better results? Allow me to disclose some wonderful information about how to use a dent puller kit you purchased more effectively.

This is supplemental information to be used while following the steps provided in the kit.

1. Plug in the glue gun and put a stick of glue in it.

2. Identify the impact area of the dent.

3. Look for high ridges, or “frowns”.

4. If there are any frowns or high ridges you need to gently tap them down by moving around the higher area, tapping consistently.

5. Once you have reduced the high areas, then you can address the low area (dent).

6. Use the solution provided along with a soft cloth (diaper rag, retailer’s towel) rub the damaged area you plan to glue until you feel the rag “grab” a little. The wax should be gone now.

7. Apply glue to the tab (careful hot!) and apply to damage (start in the impact area).

8. Set up dent puller.

9. Check whether the glue has set by touching the exposed glue that has squished out the side of the tab. If it is no longer sticking to your finger, but is just tacky it is ready.

10. Use the dent puller.

11. Use solution to remove excess glue.

12. Tap down any high areas you may have caused.

13. Continue this process until dent has been removed.

This is pretty much the same process I use with an industry specific kit I use on a daily basis. I would guesstimate I use my glue dent puller on a third of the cars I work on daily.

Good luck!

Tire Pressure is Crucial For Auto Safety and Saving Gasoline

Perhaps you have heard the great debate about tire pressure and how that alone could help Americans save 100s millions of gallons of fuel? In fact, it became part of the Presidential Campaign in 2008 when Senator Obama told Americans if you want to save fuel the first thing you ought to be doing is keeping your tires fully inflated. As funny as this might sound, he does make a good point, it is about the easiest and simplest thing you can do to save fuel.

So, you ask, how far along has tire pressure monitoring come recently? Well it is making significant strides in the transportation industries for a variety of reasons; reducing fuel costs, safety and insurance savings, regulations stemming from the Firestone Affair several years ago with regards to the Ford Explorer roll-over accidents. Now in the SUV market we see it has made significant headway into the operations manuals of all vehicles, mostly thanks to the lobbying from consumer groups.

The DOT has looked into these issues for passenger cars as well and the Tire Industry has had mixed emotions for several reasons, such as the need to decrease lawsuits and restore confidence in auto safety regulations. The DOT has often stating that the best thing to do is to educate consumers about tire pressure. Perhaps, Obama’s comments could be an extension of all these issues?

Is simply filling your tires going to solve the gasoline crisis?

No, but it is a start in improving auto safety and it will indeed, save fuel for those who realize they are wasting many gallons of gas each week on under inflated tires. On an average car the 4-tires are 12 lbs of pressure under inflated; maybe 6 on one time, 4 on another and 2 on another. Every tire that is under inflated increases the chance of an accident and it is a lot like flushing money down the toilet. Think on this.

Your Vehicle’s Sensors – How to Test Some of Them

After you retrieve the trouble codes from your vehicle’s on-board computer, you can now check the sensors. Always refer to your service manual for specifications on your make and model vehicle.

The first trouble code to check is the throttle position sensor (TPS). The TPS is located either on the side of the carburetor or the side of the fuel injected models. It is attached to the throttle body. Visually inspect the sensor for worn insulation on the wires and a loose or cracked connection. Disconnect the sensor.

With the digital volt ohm meter or DVOM in the 20K ohm position, connect the positive DVOM lead to the sensor’s center terminal. Connect the negative DVOM lead to one of the other sensors’ terminals. Slowly move the throttle lever until it is at the wide-open position. Depending upon which terminal you connected the negative DVOM lead to, the DVOM reading should either increase or decrease steadily. Release the throttle lever slowly. If the DVOM reading is not gradual and steady, but moves instead at an irregular pace, the sensor is defective and should be replaced. Re-connect the sensor. Clear the trouble codes from the ECM memory by disconnecting the negative battery cable for at least ten seconds.

Your next trouble code indicates a mass air flow (MAF). The MAF sensor is located between the air cleaner and engine throttle body. To test, start the engine. Take a screwdriver handle and tap the MAF lightly several times on the plugin side. DO NOT STRIKE THE SENSOR WITH FORCE, IT MAY CRACK. If the engine staggers, misfires, or stops running, the sensor is defective and should be replaced. Clear the trouble codes from the ECM memory by disconnecting the negative battery cable for at least ten seconds.

Start the oxygen sensor performing test by removing the sensor from the vehicle. The oxygen sensor is located either in the exhaust manifold or the exhaust pipe. Visually inspect the sensor for worn insulation on the wire and a loose connection. Start the engine and let it run for about five minutes, then turn the engine off. Disconnect the sensor. Secure the sensor connector away from the exhaust manifold; tape the connector to the fender well, if possible. Turn the digital vote ohm meter to the millivolt setting, connect the positive DVOM lead into the sensor connector terminal, and ground the negative DVOM lead to an unpainted ground. Restart the engine. Observe the DVOM reading. It should fluctuate between 100 and 1,000 mv (0.1 and 1.0 volts). If the voltage does not fluctuate in the pattern indicated above, the oxygen sensor is faulty and should be replaced. Re-connect the sensor. Clear the trouble codes from the ECM memory by disconnecting the negative battery cable for at least ten seconds. Do not set the digital volt ohm meter on the ohm meter setting to do so will damage the oxygen sensor.

The next trouble code indicates manifold air pressure (MAP) sensor. The MAP sensor is usually located on the firewall or the fender well. Visually inspect the vacuum hose and sensor connector for deterioration or loose connections then disconnect the sensor. Connect a jumper wire from terminal A on the MAP sensor to terminal A on the connector. Using a second jumper wire, connect the terminal in the same way. Turn the ignition switch on. DO NOT START THE ENGINE. With the digital volt ohm meter (DVOM) in the 20-volt DC setting, connect the positive DVOM lead to terminal B on the MAP sensor. Ground the negative DVOM lead to an unpainted ground. Observe the reading; it should be between 4.5 and 5 volts. Start the engine, let it idle. Keep the engine at idle and repeat the previous step. If it does not change from the ordinal ones, the sensor is faulty and should be replaced. Reconnect the sensor. Clear the trouble codes from the ECM memory by disconnecting the negative battery cable for at least ten seconds.

This is how to test some of the sensors on a vehicle. There are many more sensors on a car. There are other ways to test them depending on the make and model of the vehicle. When you get ready to retrieve trouble codes or test your sensors, always check the service manual for specifications and how to test your sensors.

Helpful Tips for DIY Car Radiator Flushing

Once you turn the key, start your vehicle’s ignition and begin to drive, your internal combustion engine starts producing a substantial amount of heat. In order to remove this heat and prevent your engine from overheating, a functional radiator is needed. A car radiator uses thermal heat exchange to eliminate high temperatures and heat to keep a vehicle’s engine in working condition. This means that larger vehicles require larger radiators to facilitate the same effect.

For radiators to be effective and stay cool, they must be cleaned regularly by means of flushing. Solid deposits, residues, and other sediment buildup can cause a cooling system to clog or fail entirely. Flushing a car radiator is one of the most important routine maintenance jobs and must be done to keep vehicles operational over time. Fortunately, it can be done on your own. It’s also quick and inexpensive to do. Continue reading to learn some tips that can help you when it comes time to flush your car radiator.

Get Started With the Right Supplies

The first thing to do when it comes to flushing a car radiator is gather up all the necessary supplies and materials. It is never a fun situation to get halfway through your project, only to discover you are missing a key element. Going back to the store could pose a problem; especially if the radiator has already been drained. Ideal provisions for radiator flushing includes a funnel, cloth rag, coolant, radiator flush solution, Phillips screwdriver or wrench, separate container for old coolant, and extra rags for accidents and spills. When you have determined that all your supplies are in place, you can begin the process of flushing the radiator.

Here’s What To Do:

Before you remove the radiator cap, be sure the car engine is COMPLETELY cool; otherwise you run the risk of spilling hot coolant on yourself. And this really burns!

Next, flush the used coolant out of the radiator. Do this by locating the radiator drain plug. It is typically located at the bottom of the radiator. If you have trouble finding it, refer to your owners’ manual or look online for pictures and instructional videos. You can also contact a professional mechanic for over-the-phone assistance.

Once you find the drain plug, place the container for old coolant under the drain and open it up. Let the old coolant flow out for a few minutes; if it seems to be moving slow, check to see if the plug is all the way open.

When the radiator is empty, replace the drain plug and open the radiator cap.

Next, pour the flush cleaning solution inside. Fill the remaining space inside the radiator with room temperature water.

Now you are ready to replace the radiator cap; just be sure it is screwed on tight. It is possible for caps to fall off, which allows coolant to escape from the radiator.

Let the car engine run until it reaches its normal driving temperature. Then turn it off and let it cool completely.

Once the car engine is cool again, you are ready to flush the solution from the radiator and add fresh clean coolant. Use the same emptying process as before.

Use a 50/50 solution of coolant and water to get optimal and safe results. You can find pre-mixed coolants at your local auto store. This is sometimes more convenient.