Steering & Suspension
All models in the Alfa Romeo 159 range can be particularly prone to wear of their front upper suspension arms, the symptoms of which include a knocking or rattling noise from the front of the vehicle.
As well as causing a noisy, uncomfortable ride, a worn upper arm can also affect the vehicle’s handling, lead to premature wear of the front tyres and potentially to MOT failure.
Although failure of the upper arm is likely to be caused by worn bushes, the best solution is to replace the complete arm and as with all handed steering & suspension components, best practice is to replace both sides at the same time, as it is often the case that if the one side has suffered wear then the opposite will also have been subject to similar damage, which even though may not be evident at the time, may need replacing soon after. In any case, when one component is worn, it can have an adverse effect on the opposite hand.
The bearing in the water pumps on the diesel engines used in the 159 saloon, Sportwagon, Brera and Spider, is prone to seizing during operation, which can cause the timing belt to break. Generally the damage isn’t as bad as it could be as the camshafts do not run directly on top of the valves, instead there are small rockers which are more likely to break before any damage is done to the valves. These small rockers can be replaced without removing the cylinder head or replacing the valves, which minimises the time the car is in the workshop.
If the water pump seizes and the timing belt does not snap, it is still recommended technicians replace both the water pump and the belt at the same time to reduce labour costs. In addition, due to the high chance of water pump seizure, FLG also recommends they check the condition of both the belt and water pump every time the vehicle is in the workshop and advise replacing the water pump (and belt) every 60,000 miles, rather than waiting until 90,000 miles as the service schedule suggests.