HOW TO GET ONE IN YOUR GARAGE

Autocar - - USED CARS -

An ex­pert’s view TONY HOOPER, WORK­SHOP MAN­AGER, HERE­FORD 4X4

“I’m a for­mer Land Rover master tech­ni­cian and have owned 16 Range Rovers. My favourite was an L322 3.6 TD. I bought it be­cause the owner had spent £28,000 over 10 years hav­ing it ser­viced! I thought I couldn’t go wrong and I was right – it was a peach. The L322 is the best Range Rover. It’s a ‘proper’ one – a full-blown off-road ve­hi­cle but with lux­u­ri­ous on-road man­ners. It’s a bulky, solid thing where later ones feel pla­s­ticky. The best one was the West­min­ster. How­ever, some of them would let rain water in at the roof seams. It would run into the boot on the left hand side and wreck the au­dio con­trol sys­tem. If you’re buying a West­min­ster, check there first.”

Buyer be­ware… EN­GINE

Be­ware whin­ing tur­bos and in­jec­tor mis­fires on the 3.0 TD. The 3.6 TD can suf­fer turbo ac­tu­a­tor is­sues. Check the water pump was re­placed at the cam­belt change. On the 4.2, lis­ten for a rat­tle at idle from the su­per­charger. In­spect for ex­haust wear and check the cat­alytic con­verter isn’t break­ing up.

COOL­ING SYS­TEM

Check the coolant ex­pan­sion tank. The 4.4 petrol suf­fers failed O-ring seals at the water jacket hous­ing be­hind the en­gine, caus­ing over­heat­ing and coolant leaks into the gear­box.

GEAR­BOX

Big trou­ble is pos­si­ble. Warn­ing signs are stub­born changes ac­com­pa­nied by dash­board lights. Dis­re­gard­ing the ‘sealed for life’ sticker and reg­u­lar fluid and fil­ter changes will help. On early cars, check it was re­called for fit­ment of a CV joint on the front prop­shaft.

SUS­PEN­SION AND BRAKES

Check the air sus­pen­sion scrolls the three height set­tings noise­lessly, and that the bel­lows aren’t leak­ing (park the car and see if it sinks). Scru­ti­nise work­shop bills to see when the air com­pres­sor was checked or re­placed. Lis­ten for the front wish­bones knock­ing un­der brak­ing. Lis­ten for the rear hub bushes clonk­ing over bumps. Check brake disc and pad life.

BODY

In­spect the un­der­side for off-road dam­age and the tail­gate for rust – and dam­age from peo­ple sit­ting on it.

IN­TE­RIOR

Test all the switches and but­tons.

Also worth know­ing

Have a tech­ni­cian run a di­ag­nos­tic check on the one you’re con­sid­er­ing. Get it done be­fore and af­ter the test drive. Google the codes to find out what they mean. It’s worth it – some faults can be fixed, only to re­turn later.

How much to spend £2500-£4995

Early 4.4s and 3.0 TDS to the first high-mileage 3.6 TDS (2007-reg).

£5000-£9995

Still early cars but mileages closer to 120k. Many more 2007 3.6 TDS from around £7950 with around 100k miles.

£10,000-£14,995

More 2008-on 3.6 TDS and the first 2010 4.4 TDS from £12,250.

£15,000-£19,995

The last 2009/10-reg 3.6 TDS plus the first 2009-reg 5.0 V8s. More 2011/12reg 4.4 TDS with 90k miles at £17,995.

£20,000-£29,995

A choice of 2012 West­min­ster 4.4 TDS.

One we found RANGE ROVER 4.2 V8 SU­PER­CHARGED VOGUE SE, 2006, 106K MILES, £6000

Yes, it’s the su­per-thirsty one (around 13mpg) but the Jaguar-sourced en­gine puts a se­ri­ous spring in its step. Has full Land Rover ser­vice his­tory and, cru­cially, a re­cently re­fur­bished su­per­charger and gear­box.

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