These tips are for the older series 2 Land Rover Discovery which was produced from 1998 – 2004.
1.) Make sure the cam belt has been replaced on all TD5 models. This can cause long term damage if this area has been neglected.
2.) There is a slight flaw in the dashboard in earlier models- If you see peeling it can mount up to a few hundred pounds to fix.
3.) Leaky sunroofs are common in cars made from that period and the Discovery is no exception. Damp lining and stained inner roof hint towards this.
4.) Rust – is common on Discoverys, tap gently with a metal object all the way around the car for decayed areas. The owner may be unsettled about this buy if its a clean car and has nothing to hide he should have no qualms.
5.) Check and align body panels all the way around the vehicle. This should be checked on any used car, misalignment points towards a previous crash.
6.) Steering pumps and motors can wear, check for leakages underneath the vehicle.
7.) Use a bar or screwdriver to check bush wear in the suspension trailing links
8.) Another area that should be checked on any car – twisted or pitted brake discs can be expensive to replace.
9.) Test drive the vehicle engine under load ,like a steep embankment. Any over heating should be exposed. This hints that the radiator and pump may need replacing. That is a best case scenario, it could be a lot more expensive engine rebuilding that is required.
10.) Smoke coming from rear of vehicle could mean severe engine damage, if the owner has neglected this it could be reason for sale – you have been warned!
11.) Driving the prospect at speed on a motorway or highway will test for door seal damage and even crash damage. A noisy test journey will point to this.
12.) Engine and gearbox replacements are common Discoverys, however even replacement engines can have problems. Just because its replaced don’t look over thee key components.
13.) Has a tyre or set of tyres have wear on a single side? This would suggest that the alignment and tracking are out. Generally wheel balancing will be an inexpensive fix to this.
14.) A high pitched noise would suggest that the front wheel has come away from the main body of the car. This can cost many hundreds to have put right, this is a crucial area to check in earlier Discovery models.
15.) As with any second hand car purchase have the vehicle HPI checked for previous financial trouble and history of the car.
If you are unsure about the vehicle or owner, its always best to walk away from the deal. If sounds too good to be true it probably is. Still not sure? Get a second opinion from a friend. In the UK the AA, the Automobile Association, provide a car check service. While it costs around £130 it can be well worth the investment. The mechanic or car specialist sent to check over the vehicle will expose just about all potentials areas for concern. If you don’t have much experience in mechanics or cars a service like this is highly recommended.