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Hi all,

I've been looking for a used 03' and up RR for under $15K in good condition. So far, I've found quite a few that I like, but of course RR's under $15K normally around 100K miles on them. Is there anything thing I should be aware of before buying an '03 or '04 model with 100K plus miles? Are there common defects found around this mileage?

In other words, I want to buy one and not have to spend thousands of dollars a few months down the road for repairs.

And, yes, I know my budget is extremely low.

Thanks for any help.
 

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I don't know what the exchange rate is at the moment, but we bought an '03 a few years back and paid £11,500 for it, it now has 97,000 miles on it but in the intervening years we have spent at least £10,000 on it in repairs & servicing.

Off the top of my head:

£2000 first main service with dealer (it hadnt been serviced properly for 3 years before we bought it - although the book was 'stamped up'!)
£3500 gearbox rebuild
£1200 new radiator and trans oil cooler
£1000 new suspension air bags & compressor
The rest on usual services etc.

So my advice is don't spend $15k on an '03, save up and spend $25k on a later model! - oh and buy one from a genuine LR dealer and take out the warranty!
 

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I would hold off on the 03 and look for an 05,
the 06 and newer will cost more.
The 05 has most of the bugs worked out of them and has a better Nav/radio system and touch screen.
 

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FWIW, I just traded my 06 HSE in with 106k miles. Car was not in perfect condition but still in decent shape. Traded in for $15k up here in the Bay Area. An 06 looks a lot newer then an 05 and has the Jag V8 which I came to love. Great engine. So if you can stretch a little, you might get yourself into an 06. Good luck!
 

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Hold off for a 05 which is probably the most reliable out of the BMW units. the 03/04 just have major issues no matter how much service records there is, and at 100k your in that range where everything is going to start to need replacing. Or if possible try and get a 06+ which is the best choice.
 

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Watch for water leaking from the rear driver side window. That happened to me and i to replace the gps unit, the amplifer and the radio module
 

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Hi,

I've just bought an 03 with 130k miles on it and would definitely recommend it if it is good enough condition. An 05 is as likely to break as an 03 and the touch screen sat nav is not going to change your life!

Some things to watch are (from my findings, not a complete list) ;
- If you can get somone with a diagnostic computer to plug it in and check for errors it wouldn't be wasted money! I'm not talking about a standard OBD2 tester but one that can talk to the different computers such as Hawkeye or the expensive ones that garages have.
- Check the tyre age (four digit dot code) and condition and check they are the correct size (255/50/20) on front and rear and are matching.
- Check brake discs and pads
- Usual central locking, windows , mirrors etc work and also check the electric steering wheel adjustment goes up and down, back and forth.
- Check mirrors fold and unfold and adjust if that is fitted (on drivers door)
- Check the sat nav works and check the date of the disc as it may be out of date, or a copy!
- Missing pixels on the dash are not uncommon but are not cheap to fix either.
- Seat electrics and seat and steering wheel heaters.
- Place in neutral and check that the low range / high range works properly as the transfer box is expensive to fix.
- Check that the hill descent control engages and works. This is a good check for abs etc as any issues and it wont work.
- Petrol V8 is far better to drive than the V6 Diesel but is more thirsty regardless of what people say. However the petrol V8 has far fewer issues than the diesel. The 4.4l petrol V8 can however take LPG with no problem so is a good solution in the UK but I'm not sure that is avalialbe in the US!
- Air suspension, check it goes up and down reasonably quickly and make sure that it gets there. It will stop and restart when the doors are open and closed.
- Check the oil in cap and dipstick for water. If the car has not been used for a while, condensation from the dipstick is not a concern.
- Check the coolant , it should be nice and red although blue could be ok if the owner has changed it for the right grade.
- Check the car underneath for leaks or signs of leaks. Leaks are not uncommon on these cars but are various costs to remedy!
- Take the car for a good hard run and on return check again for leaks. Open the bonnet and if you can smell coolant then it is leaking somewhere. For the V8, remove the engine cover (allan key set) and the whole air pollen filter unit (two 13mm nuts then pulls forward) and check down the back of the engine to see what condition the water pipes are there. They should be dry. There are pipes back there that are prone to split and leak and are cheap to fix. However also shine a torch down passed the black plastic intake manifold and at the bottom is a coolant valley, if there is liquid on there then it will take 4 hours and a few parts costing a fair whack to fix.
- Under the car check the condition of the four air shocks when the car is fully raised. Ideally check the car when the owner does not expect you to see if it is sitting down on any of the corners as this is a leaking shock unit.
- When raising the airsuspension the compresor in the boot should not be too noisy or on too long. It costs a lot to replace.
- Check the gearbox pipes and geabox carefully for signs of leaks.
Lift boot floor and check for water aroundthe pare tyre ( remove the spare tyre to check properly as the water damages the air compressor that is in there).
- Ask the owner when the gearbox fluid and filter was last changed and check the gearbox filler and drain plugs for sign of abuse as they can be hard to remove if someone has damaged them. Its not unfeasible that at 100k the gearbox has been reconned if it was not maintained correctly. If you are unsure you may want to get the fluid check for burning or contamination as gearboxes are not cheap!

Basically make sure that what you are buying is what you think it is. If anything makes you feel uncomfortable then walk away!

Hope that helps
 

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My advice would be not to buy a 2003 period... Even low miles... By 70,000 miles my 04 had been through probably 20k worth of repairs... By 120,000 miles it needed trans work, a compressor, HID ballasts, etc etc etc etc leaking coolant, etc etc... Most of which I repaired once before to boot. I've got a 2007 now and based on service history and the way it drives it is zero trouble apparently. 2007+ is basically the cut off IMO... unless you enjoy wrenching on it.
 

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1 1/2 years ago I purchased an '04 with 98k for ~$14k. I also purchased a 100k major component warranty. It now has 132k.

I've had minor, minor issues with it, and most of the issues I could deal with myself. It stranded me once - water pump failure. The warranty paid for the pump and labor. I also have had problems with the expansion tank. It leaked, so I purchased one from the local RR indy. This one also leaked. Ended up swapping out four before I paid them $65 in labor to replace it and since it was the fifth one they sourced it from RR. So far (3k miles) so good - but now the issue is the indy shops.

I've done the regualr maintenance. I have not and will not change the trans fluid. Since it is recommended to never change I suspected it had never been changed. After receiving opinions on the forum, I decided not to change it and when it fails my warranty will cover it.

I'm sure I'll have other failures over time, but right now I'm very happy with the purchase. I did look for almost a year before I bought it (my second RR). I checked everything on it to be sure it was all good.
 

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LE Boyd you would be smart to swap out the trans fluid,
especially with the miles you drive,
i posted a good fluid swap procedure.
Not changing the fluid can cause the trains to fail sooner rather than later
 

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LE Boyd you would be smart to swap out the trans fluid,
especially with the miles you drive,
i posted a good fluid swap procedure.
Not changing the fluid can cause the trains to fail sooner rather than later
It seems to be one of the items that have many on both sides. It's definitely not the difficulty or cost involved, it's simply a question of which one actually will make it fail sooner. I can definitely see both sides of the issue. Since mine had so many miles on it already I felt more exposed to the "changing it" argument than to the "don't change it" (+130k miles is a lot of miles and time to build up crud in the unit). If I change it will you warranty it :) (oh, yeah, I already have a warranty for it) My biggest worry is which choice has the highest probability of stranding me on the side of the road 200 miles from home.

Always open to input on this. Any input from The Master on my specific mileage? Phil, would you recommend changing it?
 

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It seems to be one of the items that have many on both sides. It's definitely not the difficulty or cost involved, it's simply a question of which one actually will make it fail sooner. I can definitely see both sides of the issue. Since mine had so many miles on it already I felt more exposed to the "changing it" argument than to the "don't change it" (+130k miles is a lot of miles and time to build up crud in the unit). If I change it will you warranty it :) (oh, yeah, I already have a warranty for it) My biggest worry is which choice has the highest probability of stranding me on the side of the road 200 miles from home.

Always open to input on this. Any input from The Master on my specific mileage? Phil, would you recommend changing it?
Sealed for life doesn't mean sealed for life. It needs to be changed... The only reason you wouldn't change it is because you're worried some loose debris is going to clog something up... I recommend letting a professional flush the trans and do it the right way. Also somewhere in either the owners manual or rav it clearly states it needs a fluid/filter service. I can't remember the mileage it mentions (80,000?!?!) but regardless it should be done.
 

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The only reason you wouldn't change it is because you're worried some loose debris is going to clog something up... I recommend letting a professional flush the trans and do it the right way. Also somewhere in either the owners manual or rav it clearly states it needs a fluid/filter service. I can't remember the mileage it mentions (80,000?!?!) but regardless it should be done.
Correct - I am worried tha tloose debris is going to clog something up. I searched the owners manual, service procedure manual and the work shop manual. Neither has any information (flush, don't flush) that I could find.
 

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Correct - I am worried tha tloose debris is going to clog something up. I searched the owners manual, service procedure manual and the work shop manual. Neither has any information (flush, don't flush) that I could find.
It is in there somewhere! :)
 

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I've flushed and refilled/changed filter and gasket twice so far... (50k intervals for me). It remains to be seen what if any difference it will make in the life of the transmission, but at 104k right now I'm already past where many who never changed the fluid/filter have had failures around 80k miles... I've also done a significant amount of towing with mine.

I look at it as a relatively inexpensive risk though, as a DIY job it doesn't cost too much, although that fluid is like liquid gold... I am sure an expensive fluid exchanger would get more of the old fluid out than just disconnecting the return line from the cooler until it runs clean, but I'm sure I get enough fresh fluid in there each time to make a major difference, plus I replace the filter and the gasket and clean out the pan and such.
 

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I did Trans fluid and filter at 60 and 100, did just fluid at 70 and 90. The last time at 100, the fluid came out clear. I'll start doing fluid every 25K and filter every 50. I have 116K on it now, and up until just recently I have had zero problems with truck. Right now I have a bad potentiometer in the Transfercase (throwing transfer neutral messages), and the typical BLower Motor Resistor going bad. Other than these two, this truck has been 100% perfect for the last 116,000 miles, just regular maint (fluids/filters/plugs/belts/hoses). I do the oil every 5-7K, and coolant, belts, hoses, plugs every 60K.
 

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And here's the issue I'm more than twice those numbers already. I would have done it in a heartbeat at 50 or 60, and probably would have done it at 70 or 80. At 90 and 100, now it seems to be a different issue. At 132k, it's definitely a different issue.

As with the Tahoe transmissions (at least the ones in the 95-2000 models), you know there's a high probability that a failure will occur - you just don't know when. I had four these tahoes - one total failure at @85k, one partical failure @90k and two with no failures (got rid of the last one last month, it was the partial failure truck and had 212k).

With my 04 I expect to have a problem, I just don't know which method (flush/don't flush) will extend the life.
 
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