The Alfa Romeo 147 GTA is a favourite here at Garage Dreams. It’s a car that offers a thrilling driving experience, fantastic Italian styling (in our opinion of course) and an engine note that makes many supercars jealous. However, one crucial aspect of maintaining a GTA’s exciting driving experience is the timely replacement of the timing belt (cambelt). This is because without it you aren’t going anywhere and if it breaks you could be in for a very ‘wallet emptying’ experience.
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Does the 147 GTA have a Timing Belt or Chain?
As we mentioned just above the Alfa 147 GTA features a timing belt, not a chain, so don’t let anybody convince you otherwise.
When Does the Timing Belt Need to Be Replaced on a 147 GTA?
When the 147 GTA first came out, Alfa Romeo recommended changing the timing belt every 116,000 kilometres (72,000 miles). However, it was later determined that a shorter interval of 60,000 kilometres (37,000 miles) was more appropriate for the 3.2-litre V6 engine inside the souped-up hatch.
If the GTA doesn’t get much use, the timing belt should be replaced every 36 months, regardless of mileage. In some markets an interval of every 48 months was recommended, but there have been a few GTA owners who have experienced timing belt failure in the fourth year, so we would ere on the side of caution and stick with the 36-monthly interval.
What Happens if the Timing Belt Breaks on a 147 GTA?
If the timing belt fails on a 147 GTA it can result in severe engine damage and total engine failure. The car won’t be driveable and unless you are extremely lucky, the repair bill will set you back a significant amount of money.
The most common cause of timing belt failure is a faulty tensioner, but any failure in this area can have dire consequences. To determine if the belt and tensioner are in good condition, listen for any unusual rubbing noises emanating from the timing belt area. If you hear such noises, it could indicate that the belt and tensioner have exceeded their service life.
What Else Should be Replaced with the Timing Belt?
In addition to the timing belt, idlers and tensioner, many GTA owners choose to replace the water pump simultaneously with every second timing belt replacement. This ensures that all critical components are in optimal condition, minimizing the risk of any future failures (of course they can still happen though).
Another thing to keep in mind is that it is popular to upgrade the water pump to a metal one with a more durable impeller on these cars. This is because a metal pump offers increased longevity compared to the original plastic variant.
It is generally recommended that you replace the accessory/auxiliary belt as well.
To Sum Up
Replace the timing belt (cambelt) every 60,000 kilometers (37,000 miles) or so. If that distance isn’t reached, the belt should be replaced every 36 months, along with the tensioner and idlers. Lastly, it is a good idea to replace the water pump with every change as well.