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b4U buy an older hilux, please read this


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Applies to all 4cyl cars 13-15yo [230-270,000km] as generalities. petrol cars sooner.

# Utes particularly: often run into ground, and sold off in poor condition at hi prices. There are a few bargains, and a lot of lemons out there. By default assume the worst until proven otherwise.

About this age/mileage there exists a list of common defects that need attention. Your purchase price should reflect the real cost of you having this maintenance done unless there is PROOF it's been done. If Proof is offered, take it with you so it's not used twice. Otherwise do NOT buy.

If you want POWER, buy a Nissan-they have bigger motors, and their own troubles.

Typ mid life faults:

[rusty] brake and clutch master and slave culinders-replace

water pump/thermostat/housing & hoses replace

warped/cracked heads

worn valve seats

rings and bearings worn

eng and g'box seals worn/hard

clutch & bearing worn/warped

Alternator and starter motor worn

brakes f &r worn, warped


inlet system rubbers - hard, replace

steering box worn-adjust

check steering and suspension-partic left front, as it wears out first.

wheel bearings all round worn

driveshaft center bearings and universals/CV joints - worn

check diff wear- rock a wheel off ground to gauge diff backlash <15deg ok.

radiator and heater cores rotting or blocked; inside or outside

bad fuel pressure regulator, bad fuel pump, bad fuel filter on efi models

bad primer pump on diesels

Is service due? When is new cam belt required? remove airfilter and check it and box for clean and age. check motor blowby by removing oil filler cap and feeling the air coming out when idling, Should not be too much. Any evidence of front or rear impact--suspect motor.g'box mounts broken. Any evidence of mud/beach sand in car--mud =flood vehicle? beach sand =near salt water-corrosion problems? Get underneath, examine body seams under cabin, floor around tunnel, suspension parts for wear/sag, exhaust for rust/leaks Front and rear of gearbox for leaking oil. Inner side on rear wheels for brake fluid, handbrake-should begin working by 3rd click. Check coolant-not water, no oil, no scum. Check battery - is it correct size, reasonable age or date stamped in top/posts/valid warrantly sticker? Engine bay should be clean, ditto motor. weathering is not necessarily harmful, but indicate poor care level. If buying privately, make sure sellers home several km from hi speed roads-as the motor will be driven hard when too cold to keep up with traffic. Idle motor >15min-watch temp gauge-stalling/hi readings/strong hot oil smells indicate troubles. Check flat panel between interior and exterior of car in doorframes-differing colours indicate respray or paint fade. New paint?? Hides troubles, often poorly done to inflate profits. When there is no evidence of work done, or there is any doubt, it pays to replace the following by default:

all cooling system parts except known good heaters/radiators/blocks/heads. All oils, oil, air and fuel filters, cam belt.

We see too many come here having bought a car, only to find it has problems they would have known about had they done their research properly. Their disappointment and struggles are horrible to watch.

Please Moderator, make this a sticky.

Edited by Manxman
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I can't do what you want. My mind is unsound, and it makes sufficient sense to me, but I'm prepared to let others do the editing to bring it upto scratch, just use the same ideas pls.

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