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Coupe Buyers Guide

Revision 1.1

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Under the bonnet

• Bonnet release - smooth operation
• General engine condition - leaks anywhere they shouldn't be?
• Radiator - condition, signs of leaks, rust or worn hoses
• Coolant/fuel pipes - not perished/split
• Power steering reservoir ok?
• Wing mounting bolts ok? Accident damage?
• Oil leaks? - check around sump gasket and nut
• Coolant and brake fluid levels - normal?
• Screenwash bottle condition and level - it takes 9 litres!
• Strut brace on V6 cars - is it present? Check the condition of paint/metal
• Wiring and ECU visual check


• Seat memory and slide/tilt mechanism (both seats) 1, 2 & M
• Electric mirrors - folding (6 o'clock posn) and adjustment
• Heated seats working? (both sides)
• Windows working and auto dip of window when opening doors? (both sides)
• Auto dim mirror (cover front sensor on mirror nr windscreen) - it can fail
• Headlights (auto?), foglights F/R & indicators inc. hazards
• Wipers ok inc auto mode
• Screen washers work and headlight washers work if fitted
• CD Changer operation - take some CDs!
• Radio/cassette and stalk controls
• Any error messages/warning lights on dash? [ensure airbag light goes off, and no flicker on brake light - pads on way out!)
• Sunroof operation
• Lock/Deadlock from key plip
• Total closure (see threads for varying operation)
• Alarm (lock using plip, unlock using key and get in to set off!)
• Follow me home function (if specified)
• Keys in ignition/lights on warnings
• Fusebox (fuses correctly seated)
• Air conditioning and fan (hot/ice cold)
• Trip computer (operation - using right hand stalk end button)
• Remote headlight adjust mechanism (right and down from ignition)
• Fresh/recirculated air control works and with no continuous clicking sound - faulty/broken air intake flap actuator


• Starting ok? (from cold) check it's not been warmed up!
• Idle smooth? Any pinging or mistiming - a coil pack could be on way out
• Loud exhaust sound is because it's a sports exhaust and not a leaking exhaust!
• Drive Engine & power delivery smooth?
• Clonking from front end - anti roll bar
• Clutch operation ok?
• Gearchange ok?
• Auto transmission mode buttons working and selector lights on and not flashing
• Brakes squeal and feel?
• Suspension and engine mounts - listen for knocks or jerking on cornering and start/stop on accelerator in 1st gear
• Handbrake operation good?
• Check for "low brake fluid" warning message/beep when applying/releasing handbrake - faulty handbrake switch
• Handbrake on" warning works if trying to drive with it partially on
• ESP functional and off switch works
• ABS functional and stops in a straight line
• Cruise control functional? - setting varies depending on model
• Power steering - operation
• Fan/s working when up to temp?
• Rapid misting of windows - faulty/broken air intake flap actuator


• Check general paint and laquer condition
• Look for rust, particularly inside door shuts and sills
• Check door restraint straps incl. tight hinge pins - listen for creaks or cracks on door open/close
• Stone chips on front end - if none, has it been repaired/re-painted, possibly following an accident - look carefully around bumper joins and numberplate?
• Condition of all light lenses, including moisture intrusion (especially foglights)
• Condition of wing mirror casing
• Condition of wiper arms - faded or flaking?
• Condition of bodywork in general - look for dents, dings, scratches, peeling laquer
• Alloy wheel condition
• Tyres good quality brand and condition? Matching tread pattern on same axle
• Brembos or Lucas brake callipers?
• Wheel nut covers - all present?
• Headlight wash function
• Boot badge condition
• Bumpers condition/cracks? Expensive to replace
• Panel gaps all correct particularly bonnet to front wings, doors to chassis and boot to body
• Overspray/accident damage apparent?
• Check black sills around jacking points for damage
• Towing eye covers present?

Interior - Cabin

• Any sign of leaks? Particularly check all footwells for damp carpet
• Speaker crackling - damage or headlining interference? Speaker rumbling at bass end - damage or connectors oxidised
• Leather condition particularly driver's seat bolster
• Lumbar support operation
• Check headlining and A pillar (between the door and windscreen) for signs of poor alignment.
• Headlining condition
• Vanity mirror lights working?
• Map light working?
• Steering wheel reach/rake adjust operation
• Petrol flap release mechanism operation and filler cap missing warning if fitted
• Watch out for stress cracks in the doors under the mirror mountings.
• Floor mats present - front and rear?
• Wiggle the door card at the bottom near the door lights - if it rattles its been off
• Storage spaces and glovebox condition?
• Make sure the rear-access seat tilt releases work OK
• Check operation of all seat electrics - including auto seat forward slide when you tilt the back
• Headrest adjustment
• Rear quarterlight windows - operation and seal
• Rear headrests present
• Rear coat hooks present
• Rear seat ski hatch/armrest - condition and operation
• Check the plugs under the rear arm rests - have they been removed - work inside the panel?

Interior - Boot

• Bootlid operation and effectiveness of boot struts
• Check for damage to black power cable into boot (top left corner) - it can get trapped in the boot closure
• Look for missing bootliner/carpet fasteners - a sign of them having been removed
• Spare wheel alloy in good condition
• Spare wheel tyre in good condition
• Wheel jack and tools all present?
• Wheel nut cover removal tool (yellow) present?
• Locking wheel nut removal tool present?
• General condition of boot trim, lining and rubber seal
• Look for water leaks in the boot side panel, near the tail-light and CD Changer and/or evidence of water in the spare wheel well
• CD changer cassette present?

Vehicle history and documentation

• VIN number in 3 places (1) steel plate on engine bay front sill (2) engraved plate rear engine bay sill (3) engraved plastic plate inside base of windscreen
• Last service date, including full service history (FSH) and stamps
• Mileage on MOT and service records tally with display in car and car age (approx 10-12k/yr)?
• Owner's manual
• V5 logbook
• Tax
• Current MOT - look up 'MOT status check' on direct.gov.uk
• MOT history - look up 'MOT history request' on direct.gov.uk
• Spare key present. Also test its operation
• Sat Nav: CD present in boot Satnav CD player, plus presence of remote control
• Receipts for services and/or repair work carried out
• Cambelt changed? Due around 10 years or 80,000 miles - an expensive job on V6 engines
• Radiator replaced?
• Engine mounts changed?
• Coil packs changed?
• Suspension components changed?
• Oil used - semi/fully synth?
• Automatic transmission fluid changed?
• Exhaust replaced?

Thanks to member bluejon for the latest revision
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