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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I was going to become the owner of a 2002, V6 Spider tonight, but when I checked the oil level it was about 5mm below minimum on the stick. Current mileage: 69649. Last serviced at 64122, March 2012. A fully documented service history is present. Needs Cambelt, bonnet and under respray, and top of door; F/Wishbones, plugs, bump stops, re-gas, one R/Shock. Interior is very nice and should look lovely after some TLC. Actually, whole car needs TLC, but keep thinking she’s so beautiful! Price: £2000. Should I forget about it or not; what do you think?
 

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I would probably avoid it...

The last car I bought with low oil ended up going bang 4 days after I bought it.

OK it was a TS (145 QV), but the oil wasn't actually below the minimum.


This might be controversial but one way I judge whether a car has been looked after is to check the brand of the tyres.

If it has cheap tyres then the owner has probably scrimped elsewhere too and used the cheapest parts. After all if they are prepared to scrimp on a safety related item...
 

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Walk
 

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If it has cheap tyres then the owner has probably scrimped elsewhere too and used the cheapest parts. After all if they are prepared to scrimp on a safety related item...
Agree on this. I would go on the overall condition: if the hood works and the engine sounds good, it is probably OK. You have a list of issues, but this is a 12 year old car, so you have to expect issues. If you have a mixture of Linglang, Pirelli and Sunfull tyres on it....then it has been seriously unloved.

The last service was 4000 miles ago, the owner might well simply not have any real enthusiasm for getting under the bonnet and checking stuff. The servicing garage might have slightly underfilled it, and it has never been checked. Or it is burning oil like a supertanker, and the owner just hasn't refilled it this week - but you'd see that from the way it drove. Having seen the inside of a V6 sump, the pickup is at the bottom of a deep well, you'd have to be catastrophically low to cause trouble
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The tyres were renewed with Goodyear Eagles in 2007, mileage 34295. The same tyres are still fitted, with the exception of N/S/F (now unbranded) which failed the MOT last year due to insufficient tread. You’re right about the current owner not caring. The original purchaser kept the car until October 2011, and was certainly not afraid of servicing bills. The cambelt and water pump was renewed at the same time as the tyres, and a new clutch followed one year after. The garage concerned (Ramponi in London) even collected and delivered the car. From the service receipts it can be seen that over £8000 has been spent in total. The V6 sump mentioned is an interesting point. I forgot to mention there are no warning lights on, the powered hood works perfectly, but poor canvas condition. HPI clear, MOT due this September. Do you think £2000 is a reasonable price to pay? My last Spider caused me so many heartaches, which is why I’m being extra cautious this time. Thanks for your input, it is much appreciated.
 

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That sounds like a fair price , don't agree if you buy budget tyres you don't care about the car , I buy budget tyres for mine and shes well cared for.
 

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Don't really know if £2k is reasonable, I don't follow the Spider market.
If the belt was done in 2007, it needs a new belt (£400 or so).
The worry is that the owner has run the oil dry, got a warning light and decided to sell the car. However, two things suggest that this is not the case:

1) It sounds like he would have driven it until it seized .... ooooh, pretty light....
2) If I was selling it for that reason, I would make damn sure the oil was at the max to avoid suspicion.

I would negotiate on cam belts and get the current owner to put it in for a MOT, September is not long. He should have no qualms about doing so if the condition is good.

That sounds like a fair price , don't agree if you buy budget tyres you don't care about the car , I buy budget tyres for mine and shes well cared for.
A complete set of budget tyres - fine. Random stuff on each corner - not fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The reference to not caring was about his general attitude towards the car, not about the purchase of one unbranded tyre.:)
 

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5mm is not a lot on a V6 dipstick and given its location in London I would expect it to cover more short journey's in traffic which would use more oil than nice long ones. My expereince is that London cars have a harder life and suspension and clutches are the biggest issues (not to mention parking scrapes and dings). Garaging is rare and for a soft top it's going to suffer if left out in the weather, pollution, pigeons. Sounds like the car could be getting lucky and going to a good home. £2k - I would go for it. But give it a run in traffic to see how warm it runs and if the AC is still working.
 
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