Used off road 4×4 buyers checks

I have spent several months researching into buying a used offroader. I wanted to buy either a Toyota Landcruiser 80 series or Nissan Patrol Y61. I wanted a used 4×4 for winter driving in the snow and also a future expedition across Africa.

I have put together a comprehensive check list for anyone going to view a used offroader.

  1. Check when the cambelt was last changed and invoice that details the work
  2. Check when the clutch was last changed and the biting point, hopefully mid clutch pedal travel.
  3. Check the gear change is clean and check the play in the gear stick is minimal.
  4. Check if the original owner manual is present.
  5. Check tow bar conditions and anchor points and if possible electric points for the trailer.
  6. Check engine oil level as well as all other fluid levels.
  7. Check for white residue build up under oil filler cap .
  8. Check the vehicle starts cleanly with minimal smoke from cold.
  9. Check the vehicle underside check for rust, damage and anything loose including the undertray.
  10. Check exhaust rubber mounts and rust/holes on joins of exhaust.
  11. Check wheel arch lining, springs and all other wheel components.
  12. Check tyre tread depth is even across each tyre to verify tracking geometry is ok and check condition alloy wheels for corrosion, cracking and kerbing.
  13. Check all electrics including headlamp washers.
  14. Check all gears for drive and smoothness including low range.
  15. Check that the diff locks engage correctly.
  16. Check axle seals and hubs for leaking oil and worn rubber.
  17. Check steering play.
  18. Check spare tyre pressure and tread depth.
  19. Check wheel jack condition for usage.
  20. Check interior and boot including pulling up carpets where possible to see if there is any evidence of water damage, corrosion or welding.
  21. Check engine bay for welding, rust and that all components fit with age of vehicle.
  22. Check battery age, voltage and charge from alternator when running.
  23. Check VIN numbers match up with the V5 document.
  24. Check headlights and wipers/washers.
  25. Check stereo, heater, aircon and all other electrics.
  26. Check condition of shocks and springs, also rock vehicle by standing on side sills to see if knocks or uneven re-levelling.

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