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Used car buying guide: Alfa Romeo SZ

Here’s how to get one in your garage

Buyers watch out …

Engine: Check the toothed belt and the toothed belt tensioner regularly and watch out for oil leaks. Overall, the reports are good with no apparent problems.

Transmission: There were problems with a worn external gear linkage. Second gear sync can go and you can get cardan shaft vibration.

Steering: There have been reports of leaks from the pump and the rack, but the system is for the most part reliable.

Suspension: This can make noises. Check the rear shock bushings and A-frame rose connection and make sure the Original Equipment Koni dampers are not leaking. They are unique to this car and expensive.

Brakes: The standard brakes are junk, but they can be upgraded with better brake pads or replaced with more powerful but custom-made and expensive (£ 5000) units. The brakes also have problems with sticking and seizing the rear calipers and compensator.

Body: The composite body can suffer from microbubbles. Check for rust on the underside of the C- and A-pillars, the underside of the windshield, the lower door hinges, the B-pillar in the closed door, the bulkhead, the inner fenders, and the inner sills. The exhaust and fuel tank can also rust. Corroded wheels are expensive to recondition. The doors can also fall down.

Electrics: All switches are wobbly. The kilometer trip can be canceled, as can the heater fan, the shock absorber height adjustment, the turn signal lever, the radiator fan, the heated rear window, the electric antenna and the windscreen washer system.

Inner: The backrests of the seats can come loose, the upholstery is often worn out and the plastic parts on the sides are often broken. The original stereo and speakers can be packed.

Also worth knowing: Make sure that your SZ is equipped with the book package (with three books), a certificate with the car number and a badge with the car number on the center console. It should also come with a car cover, spare pannier, and tool kit.

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