Coupe Buyers Guide
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• General paintwork and lacquer condition, dents, dings, evidence of respray etc.
• Check for rust (1) inside door shuts (2) door sills (3) bottom of B pillar and along dogleg seam (4) bonnet front lip (5) boot lid lip
• Look for stress cracks in the doors under the mirror mountings.
• Stone chips on front end - if none, has it been repaired/re-painted, possibly following nn accident - look carefully around bumper joins and number plate?
• Condition of wing mirror casing – cracked? loose? matching colours each side?
• Check black sills around jacking points for damage
• Panel gaps all correct particularly bonnet to front wings, doors to chassis, boot to body and bumpers to body
• Condition of wiper arms - faded or flaking?
• Petrol flap condition and filler cap present
• Bumpers condition/cracks. Front bumper is expensive to replace
• Front black splitter present and securely attached to bumper
• headlight washer jet covers present
• Alloy wheel condition [including spare wheel in the boot]
• Tyre condition. Matching tread pattern on same axle. Check tyre manufacture date code on the sidewall
• Wheel centre nut covers - all present?
• LightsCondition of all light lenses, including moisture intrusion. Front fog lights especially can mist up.
• Check presence of bonnet badge, boot badges and Pininfarina side badges
• Boot badge condition
• presence of and secure fitting of door rub strips
• Towing eye covers present, front and rear
Interior - Cabin
• Test the door check straps which weaken/loosen over time - listen for creaks or cracks when moving the doors. Straps are replaceable.
• Wiggle door cards around the edges – if loose, it has been removed. Clips are easily replaced.
• Leather condition particularly wear on the driver's seat bolster
• Lumbar support operation
• Test rear-access seat tilt releases work
• Headrest adjustment
• Check for damp in footwells - water ingress can be from the wings, bulkhead, blocked aircon drain in the centre tunnel or via door seals.
• Floor mats present - front and rear
• Check condition including signs of poor alignment around A pillar
• Check if the rear has dropped down - due to failure of a glued bracket – difficult to repair
• Trim can lift above central vents - heat melts the glue. Easy to re-fix
• Condition of steering wheel leather
• Test steering wheel reach/rake adjust operation
• Door puddle lights (both sides)
• Map light working
• Vanity mirror lights working?
• Front + rear cabin light works when doors open
• Quarterlight windows - operation and seal
• Rear headrests present
• Coat hooks present
• Armrest and ski hatch - condition and operation
• Operation of the rear seat release – both sides
• Check the plugs under the rear armrests – has there been work inside the panel?
• Check storage spaces and glovebox condition
• Test petrol flap release mechanism operation
Interior - Boot
• Boot lid operation and effectiveness of boot struts – easy to replace if defective
• Check for damage to the black power cable running into the boot (top left corner) - it bends and cracks over time and can get trapped in the boot closure, but not difficult to replace
• Look for missing boot liner and/or carpet fasteners - a sign of them having been removed
• Condition of rubber seal around boot
• Presence of boot lid interior panel
• Boot light working
• Check for evidence of water leaks (1) spare wheel well (2) inside side panels (3) near CD changer. Can be due to failing seals on rear light clusters.
Wheel and tools
• Condition of spare wheel alloy
• Condition of spare wheel tyre
• Are all wheel jack and tools present, including T-shaped wheel nut cover removal tool
• Remove wheel nut covers – if locking wheel nuts are fitted, is a locking wheel nut adaptor present?
Audio / ICE
• CD changer present in the left compartment
• Seat memory working (both seats) and linked wing mirror settings for driver seat [1, 2 & M]
• Electric seats - check auto-seat slide when you tilt the seat forwards
• Heated seats working on both sides - wires in the seat pad often break
• Electric wing mirrors – check folding operation (6 o'clock switch position) and adjustment. Power cable can become damaged over time
• Auto-dim rear view mirror can fail (cover front sensor on mirror to test dimming)
• Electric windows working (both sides)
• Auto-dip of windows when opening/closing doors (both sides)
• Sunroof operation
Dashboard, lights and controls
• Error messages/warning light. Ensure the airbag light goes off on the ignition, and there is no flicker on the brake light due to pads being on way out). Other common warning lights/meesages are for ABS (often the reluctor rings) and Antipollution fault (many causes but often O2 sensors or aging cats)
• Test all lights including front and rear foglights, hazard, reversing light and rear license plate light
• Test headlight beam adjust
• Test heating controls and fan level setting
• Test the aircon. Does it blow cold? Does the engine fan kick-in once aircon is switched on?
• Test cabin air recirculation control – there should be no continuous clicking due faulty/broken actuator behind the glovebox.
• Trip computer (operation - using right hand stalk end button)
• Wipers ok including auto mode
• Screen washers work and headlight washer if fitted
Audio / ICE
• CD changer operation - take some CDs!
• If satnav is fitted there should be a CD present in boot CD player, plus presence of a remote control
• Radio/cassette and stalk controls
• Speaker crackling/rumbling - oxidised connectors, speaker damage or interference from the headlining.
• Look for dead lines in the multi-function display - in some cases repairable
• Test lock and deadlock from key fob
• Total closure (see threads for varying operation)
• Alarm (lock using plip, unlock using key and get in the car to trigger the alarm)
• Follow me home function (if specified)
• Warning bleeps if keys left in ignition/lights on when door is opened
Under the bonnet
• Bonnet release mechanism - smooth operation?
• Bonnet struts can fail and the coupe bonnet is heavy! Once open the struts should hold it firmly. Not difficult/expensive to replace
• General engine condition - leaks anywhere they shouldn't be?
• Radiator - condition, signs of leaks, rusty or worn hoses
• Coolant/fuel pipes - not perished/split
• Power steering reservoir ok?
• Strut brace on V6 cars - is it present? Check the condition of paint and metal
• Wing mounting bolts ok? Accident damage?
• Wiring and ECU visual check
• Battery cover (right) and ECU cover (left) present
• Condition of airbox, airfilter and intake 'sock'. The intake 'sock' running down into the nearside deteriorates with age.
• Coolant and brake fluid levels - normal?
Under the car
• Oil leaks around sump gasket and nut. Reseal with O2-sensor friendly sealant. Replace sump nut and washer
• Oil leaks around oil filter and housing
• Exhaust condition
• Front wishbones
• Drop links
• Rear trailing arms
• 2 front ‘triangle’ plastic panels and 1x centre front undertray
Engine and drive
• Start-up ok? And from cold - check the car has not been warmed up beforehand.
• Idling smooth? Any mistiming or lumpiness at idle or under load could be a pencil coil or coil pack failing (depending on engine). Rear bank pencil coil replacement on V6s requires removing the manifold.
• Throttle: Check for slow throttle pick-up - the cable to TPS can be stretched and need simple adjustment, or even replacing
• Throttle: Check for ‘lumpy’ acceleration - often due to an ageing or dirty throttle position sensor (TPS). Not difficult to replace
• Power steering operation
• Suspension and engine mounts - listen for knocks or jerking on cornering and start/stop on accelerator in 1st gear (especially V6 engines)
• Front end noise - clonking noise is often anti-roll bar. Rumbling noise may be drop links
• Clutch operation ok?
• Gearchange ok?
• Auto transmission mode buttons working, selector lights on and not flashing
• Brakes noise and feel? Brembo brake squeal is notoriously loud and difficult to resolve
• ABS functional and stops in a straight line
• Handbrake operation good? Weak operation can be due to cable/shroud deterioration or stretching cable which can often can be tightened.
• Handbrake operation beep with "low brake fluid" warning message – faulty/oxidised handbrake switch – easy to replace
• Handbrake on warning works if trying to drive with it partially on
• Cruise control functional?
• ESP functional and on/off switch works
• Fan/s working when up to temp?
• Rapid misting of windows probably due to a faulty/broken cabin air intake flap actuator. Pushing the recirculation button might result in a clicking noise. It is replaceable with removal of the glovebox
General 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
• Owner's manual
• V5 logbook
• Road tax
• Current MOT - look up 'MOT status check' 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
• MOT history - look up 'MOT history request' on direct.gov.uk
• Cambelt changed? Due around 10 years or 80,000 miles - an expensive job on V6 engines
• Radiator replaced?
• Engine mounts changed?
• Coils / coil packs changed?
• Suspension components changed including top mounts?
• Oil used - semi/fully synthetic?
• Automatic transmission fluid changed?
• Exhaust replaced?
Thanks to member bluejon for this latest revision