fiat marea 2.0 elx 20v

i have the chance of buying a 1999 fiat marea 20v at a very reasonaable price,is ther anything i should know,e.g which bits fall off first,running costs reliability etc,its done 38,000 with service history
thanx adam
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adnjill wrote:

Km's or Miles ??
Be aware that changing the cambelt is at least twice the cost of other (normal) cars... :-)
--
Regards
Sren C. Fischer
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Edited copy of my post from 23.4.2004:
I bought my 2.0/20 HLX in Aug. 99 at auction for 7500, 10 months old, 10000 miles on the clock. No complaints about it overall, its interestingly designed, like the dropdown tail gate, versatile, spacious for its external size, fast! However, its let down by the quality of some of its parts.
At 15000 miles the clutch pedal return spring broke, not a problem though, works perfectly without so never bothered replacing it.
At 30000 miles the exhaust simply fell off at speed on the motorway. It wasn't corroded, just broke at the weld joints, poor workmanship and quality control at Fiat.
45000 miles: the seat height mechanism broke, drilled a couple of holes and screwed the frame to the runners. The tailgate wiper failed due to corrosion. Water got inside its sleeve bearing. Shortly after the tailgate release handle also failed due to corrosion. Had a real job releasing the locks and opening the tailgate in order to fix it.
60000 miles: the seat frame broke, just cleanly snapped on the side. Did a temporary fix using a steel tube and few screws. Clearly poor quality steel used here. I'm now looking for a replacement seat.
Currently due for a cam belt change for which Fiat quote over 1000 but independents can do for under 200.
Front tyres last 16000 miles, rear at least twice that. The 5 cylinder engine is an absolute gem. Never missed a beat or failed to start on the first turn of a key (Bosch EFI). Fuel economy is normal (for my style of driving anyway) 24mpg in London, 35 mpg on motorways.
I've always done my own servicing so my running costs are very low. Replacement parts are frequently cheaper at Fiat than 3rd party places like Halfords.
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