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Published on August 2nd, 2010 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Used Classic Range Rover Purchase_Is It Worth It?

If you can afford a new Range Rover buy one and stop reading this article! If you are like the rest of us looking for a bargain then please read on. Fortunately, used Range Rovers have become very affordable. The Range Rover was the world’s best luxury 4X4 until the Germans and Japanese entered the segment the last 10 years with success. However if you’re looking for the world’s best handling sports car or shopping mall transporter, or the lowest maintenance and repair costs, look elsewhere. To find out whether you really want one, read on. The basic frame, body, and drive train are very reliable and long lasting. Take a look
underneath a Range Rover and compare its solid engineering with the flimsy undersides of other sport utilities that are “off-road” vehicles in name only.

However, when it comes to the small, annoying things that can go wrong, the Range Rover cannot compete with the reliability record of 4X4 that come from Japan and Korea. Range Rovers of all ages are expensive vehicles to maintain. I keep hearing from owners of even brand new Range Rovers with problems ranging from air suspension failures to leaking head gaskets that had to be replaced. A Range Rover is well worth buying if you want to know you have the world’s best four wheel drive capabilities. Other buyers may be happier with a lesser but more maintenance free vehicle.

If you do buy one, allow a realistic large annual budget for scheduled maintenance and the usually minor but often expensive things that have a habit of needing to be fixed.

There has always been a market for Range Rovers that are upgraded and personalized beyond the normal exclusivity associated with the regular models like transplanted Toyota and Nissan engines and the removal of air suspension for hydraulic suspension. When buying a used Range Rover, many of the same considerations apply as when purchasing any other used vehicle. The overriding priority is to make sure the vehicle has had its scheduled maintenance performed where detailed service history will prove this and do all the usual checks underneath to see if there are any leaks.

What you need to check on a Classic Range Rover
On Classic models, the most notorious leaker is the steering box; if you don’t like topping it up periodically the replacement is expensive. Other good leakers are the swivel pin housings on the front wheels (the chromed spherical things on the inside of each front wheel) and the rear axle. While you’re under there, have a look for any signs of rust. A slightly sagging right rear corner is normal due to uneven stock spring lengths (designed to balance out when the driver is seated). More minor checks that can pay off are the operation of such items as the sunroof and air conditioning systems, and the electric door locks and seat adjustment switches. Check for rust where the tailgate is a notorious ruster, and it’s also a good idea to pull up a bit of interior carpet to see if the floor is rusted. Asking price varies from a low RM15,000 to as high as RM35,000 for a well looked after former company maintained or rich private individual. There are quite a number running around Penang island that go for a song. Mostly owned by European or Australian ex-planters ex-pats.

What you need to check on a 4.0/4.6 Range Rover The 4.0/4.6 models are just as subject to leaks as the Classic models. Coolant leaks are not uncommon, including thermostat housing, hose leaks. Head gasket leaks seem to be especially common on the later model years. Popular oil leak points include the crankcase pan and the pinion seals. Make sure all the electric door locks work. Check the function of the air suspension and climate control.

If all system are working fine then you are looking at a possible asking price of between RM45,000 to RM65,000. Best to buy is the rare 2.5 DSE which comes with its then owners, BMW diesel engine. This will be priced between RM55,000 to RM70,000 as they are cheaper to run (they have ‘green’ engine status) and maintain.

Many have been ex-public listed vehicles that have immaculately maintained with huge repair bills. However many have been abused by owners who have over the years failed to wait patiently for the air suspension to rise on start-up and slammed these cars over speed bumps when the suspension is on mid rise. So shop wisely and you could end up with the finest 4×4 vehicle or the biggest bank balance reducer.

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