When buying a second hand Subaru Liberty it is important to make sure the vehicle you are looking at has been well looked after. Some common tips and pointers are listed here to help you when looking at a used Subaru Liberty for purchase.
Buying a car is a big decision, to help you evaluate a car it would be a great idea to get a professional inspection of the car, services such as those that are offered by many mechanics as well as automotive organisations such as NRMA, RACV and RACT. The charge by NRMA to conduct a vehicle inspection is currently $239 or $199 for members.
Below are some things to look for when assessing a car for purchase, this is not intended to be a comprehensive list and you should have the car checked by a knowledgeable person. That in mind, here are some areas to keep in mind:
- Dates on car - Check the compliance date on the car, what dates are listed in the service history book and on rego papers. Keep an eye out for anything that seems suspicious or doesn't quite add up. Remember to check that the date is the same as they are advertising it as.
- Worn out clutch - In a car driven hard or just high mileage the clutch may be quite worn, due to the all-wheel-drive system the clutch has to absorb all of the slippage difference on hard launches. A clutch that shudders or does not feel right might be in need of replacement. Make sure the clutch does not slip when driving.
- Worn out CV joints - When turning the car slowly at low speed listen for any clicking noises, this noise can indicate work CV joints. These are relatively expensive to have replaced to check them out. Also make sure the boots on the CV's are not creacked or worn.
- Timing belt - The timing belts are usually meant to be changed every 100,000 k's or five years. Failure to do this can results in the belt snapping and causing major engine damage.
- Service history - A dodgy service history can mean that the car may not have been treated how its makers intended. Subaru's like to have their services done on-time.
- General appearance - Check the condition of the paint work, how it has been looked after both outside, inside and underneath the bonnet.
- Brake problems - When applying the brakes the car should smoothly slow down, it should not pull the car to the left or right and the steering wheel should not vibrate. Check the feel of the pedal, it should be smooth and progressive, you should not be able to put your foot all the way to the floor.
- Steering - The cars steering wheel should progressively steer the car. When letting go of the wheel in a straight line, it should not pull the car strongly in any direction.
- Gearbox - Gear changes in both manual and auto vehicles should be smooth, any harsh jerks or clunks should be further investigated.
- Look for oil - Check under the car for any oil leaks that the car might have, there may also be other fluids leaking such as powersteering fluid. If there are any fluids leaking it could mean costly repairs.
- Engine oil - Check the engines oil, make sure there are no build-ups or irregular colours in the oil.
- Blue Smoke out exhaust - If the car is blowing blue some it means that it is burning oil, there can be several reasons for this, the rings in the engine may be worn or a gasket could be leaking. Further investigation should be undertaken or look at a different car.
- Check all features - Check the operation of airconditioning, electric windows, central locking and any other additional features the car has.
- Lights - Check that the lights on the car are functioning. Also note the lights on the dash to indicate any problems.
- Seat belts - Make sure all belts are in good condition (not frayed or worn-out). Check that they can be clipped in and out normally.
- General feel of car - Listen to the car with the stereo turned off as you drive around. Listen for any noises that sound unusual. When going over bumps listen to see what rattle noises can be heard.
- Remember if buying privately to have a REVS check undertaken. This will check if there is anything owing on the car or if it is stolen.
- Many of these areas are covered in a professional inspection, so it may well prove worth getting one. If you are unsure of any areas on the car then have it looked at professionally.