Hello Aussie ! Where are you from exactly. Everytime i spell the 'al' word it comes up with all those symbols - cant understand. Anyway I have not bought the car yet but would like one and am asking what the common problems may be. I want petrol and manual no selespeed. So what do i need to know about the engines.
The Oz GT's are very well spec'd compared with most overseas/UK models. On the V6, things like rear parking sensors, tinted windows, xenon headlights, etc, are all standard.
The 3.2 V6 is a fantastic car, but not very fuel efficient, and most owners would say 'requires' the standard factory differential to be replaced by the much better 'Q2' version. This is far stronger, and makes the car far more civilised; it virtually eliminates 'torque steer', which is when the steering wheel can take on a disconcerting mind of its own when the wheels squabble for traction and make the car dart around. Plus the standard diff is well known to be at risk of breaking; and if it does, that will cost many thousands to replace/repair, and may not be covered by any warranty at all. So you 'must' budget for it, and have the upgrade done as soon as possible, which will cost about AUS$2000 (better than $3000~5000 on repairs). If the seller denies any knowledge of such a problem, they are either lying or plain ignorant. The xenon headlights in the V6 are excellent.
The 2.0JTS is apparently very civilised. Not really affected by torque steer, and doesn't require a diff upgrade. Not quite as well spec'd as the V6, and misses out on the xenon headlights.
There are no common issues with Oz spec versions, except the diff in the V6. You may find the suspension 'hard', but this isn't a problem as such. Overseas earlier versions can have a 'squeak' from the rear hatch area from the body panels flexing, but Oz versions seem to have been fixed in this regard (reinforced design).
As with any car, there are wear and tear parts, and regular maintenance. Again, these are not to be viewed as 'problems', just maintenance:
*suspension parts wear, in particular the bushings on the front parts as the kilometers go up
*cambelt in the engine: needs replacing every 3 years or 60,000 km, whichever is sooner; if the car you buy is overdue, then that is a risk; if the belt snaps, it is also often many, many thousands to repair; the cost for routine belt replacement as part of a major service is up around AUS$1500~2000
The Buyer's Guide above is quite good. But the advice about the V6 cambelt is incorrect for Australia. 3 years or 60,000km here.
Any other issues will be peculiar to the particular car you look at. So just the usual common sense things: ensure everything works, car has full service history, no accident damage that isn't repaired properly, etc
In Oz, there is very little specification-difference between early models cars compared with a brand new one. It is mostly cosmetic. Probably the main differences are:
*wheel size: earlier model 2.0 = 16" wheels, 3.2 = 17" wheels; later model = 17"/18" respectively
*exterior garnishes: latest models have silver trims along the front bumper lower edges and silver door mirror coverings; latest 2.0 has twin exhaust pipe tips but early models have single tip
Realise too that the Oz importer - ATECO - usually buy cars in big batches, and it can take YEARS to sell. This means, a car like mine which is first registered in 2006, was actually built and came to Australia in 2004 (meaning 2 years sitting around before time to sell). It doesn't really matter, but dont' be confused by 'Build Date' (which is stamped on a metal tag attached to the engine bay) and 'first registered'.
Best of luck finding the right car. I live in the Geelong area.