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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys! I did some research and came up with a list of what to look for before buying a P38 (sans the air suspension). Did I miss anything important?

I) MAKE SURE CAR IS COLD UPON ARRIVAL
II) Before starting
- Check engine oil
- Look inside oil reservoir with flashlight for black gunk
- Check coolant level (should be at the “full” line)
- Check brake and power steering fluid levels
- Knock on catalytic converters when cold, and if there is a shaking sound then they will need to be replaced soon
III) After starting
- Check windows, sunroof, power seats, heated seats, lights, locks, door latches, speakers, vents, buttons, etc. to make sure they work
- Check to see if dual climate control works on both sides (hot on one side, cold on the other side, then switch)
- Make sure “book” symbol isn't present on screens (indicates blend motor failure)
- Check front footwells for dampness/coolant leakage (if damp, the heater core O-rings may need to be replaced)
- Check for rust under plastic flap on tailgate
- Look in spare tire compartment for water
- Listen for any strange sounds in engine compartment
IV) While driving
- Drive in stop and go traffic, on windy roads, and on the highway
- Make sure there are no warning lights on the dash while the car is being driven
- Check for vibrations and pulling left or right at high and low speeds
- Check brake strength after accelerating and stopping quickly
- Listen for slight rattling under footwells (if there is a noise, catalytic converters will need to be replaced soon)
- Check every gear in low and high range (changes should be slick and silent)
V) After driving
- Check coolant level again (should be at the same level)
- Check oil again
 

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Premium Member
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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You won't be able to check the coolant after driving for a while as it will be hot....also best to recheck oil when cool....also check that you have a remote and it works at all functions.....and I strongly suggest air suspension....resale value will drop without it.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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The bottle may have been clear once in its life but I've yet to see one where you can see the level. When hot the level should have risen slightly as the coolant will have expanded and compressed the air above it.

Another thing I would add is to make sure after it has been run that the hoses are firm but not hard.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Your quite right in what you say but I have found that on mine and a couple I've seen the bottle is stained and is difficult to bbe accurate without taking off.....especially the red stuff.
 

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Mines a 2001, with the correct mix of coolant i can see the level just fine. The level in mine barely moves from hot to cold. Mind you i still wish they had carried over the level sensor from the classic.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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So do I but as Daf11e says both of mine have gone sort of opaque and the anti freeze has stained the plastic so you can't be 100% sure you are looking at the level or the stain.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I see from your other thread you are looking at a 2002 4.6 HSE. Other checks I would do are:-

Oil leaks : Check under the engine - if there are none then it is one of the very, very rare examples that doesn't at least drip some oil. Depending on where the leak is it can be an easy/cheap to fix or ...........

Water pump bearings : Grab the viscous fan at the top and 'jiggle' it front to back. If there is significant movement then the water pump bearings are probably on the way out.

Air con condenser fans : Check the two electric fans in front of the condenser operate - they have a habit of seizing. This is fairly straight forward if you are OK with a bit of electrickery! Remove the main fuse box cover from under the hood. Pull out relay 18 and connect across the switched 'pins' of the relay socket (3 & 5 - pins 30 and 87 of the relay) with a bit of wire. This connects both fans in series with a supply and so both should operate. The ignition doesn't need to be on for this.

Air con compressor : Check the compressor clutch engages - can be seen by just looking at it. One of the pipes to the compressor should get very cold and the other one quite warm.

HEVAC : You won't get hot on one side of the cabin and cold on the other simultaneously - the system only allows a few degrees difference for the passenger's side from the driver's side which acts as the 'master'. However, do check that the blend motors are working by putting the system through hot and cold cycles. Also check the distribution motors/flaps are working by switching the system from 'AUTO', manually switch fan speed to max and then use each of the buttons on the HEVAC unit to cycle the distribution of air from footwell to face vents to windscreen and back again and check the distribution is good on both sides of the cabin. Also check that the HEVAC unit display all works.
 

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what if the leak is in the front of the engine.? i have a 2008 RR HSE with 107k miles and at the mechanic today, some oil was noticed on the front of the engine... any comments on what this can be? easy fixes? major problems?
mechanic removed the topcover of the engine and said that from above he didn't see any leaks......
any thoughts?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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The bottle may have been clear once in its life but I've yet to see one where you can see the level. When hot the level should have risen slightly as the coolant will have expanded and compressed the air above it.

Another thing I would add is to make sure after it has been run that the hoses are firm but not hard.
I've learned that if you flash a flashlight through the reservoir, it makes the fluid level very visible.
 

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Premium Member
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Agree but in mine only with the cap off will a torch help....doesn't help withe the cap on when hot or cold.....as said it is stained at the required level.
 
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