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CorollaMan1

Buying 55 Plate Avensis 2.2 D-4D T4

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I'm looking for some advice on buying the car in the title as I plan to purchase it tomorrow. 

What should I look for when viewing is there any glaring issues with this car that I should know about or look out for. 

I needed a bigger car as I have just started a new career as a private hire taxi driver and am currently paying £200 per week to rent a 2003 Ford Focus C-Max with about 250k miles on the clock. It drives like an absolute pig. 

I'm relatively skint at the moment being only a month in to this new endeavour but I've managed to squirrel away a grand that I am using to take a punt on a car that will hopefully last longer than the 5 weeks it will take to pay for itself. 

I have come across the car in the title, it has 137k miles on it but looks clean, has a full service history up to 90k then nothing after that. It is 1k exactly. I'm really really tempted but don't want to buy a lemon.

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They also have a 2004 1.8 VVT-i T3-X  for £900 that has 109k on the clock, and a 2005 petrol for 1k. I have been reading just now about head gasket issues with the diesel model. Is it the same with the petrol? and how common is the fault? 

The alternative is a Volvo S40 1.6D. All these are from the same dealer he has good reviews for his cheap cars. Almost every Taxi of this age is a Diesal Avensis in my home town, I thought there must be a reason but the head gasket thing is putting me off as I may not be able to tell on a test drive. 

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In my opinion an Avensis will be much more suitable as a taxi than a Volvo S40.  I am not aware of head gasket issues with the petrol versions.  The 1.8 petrol is good to drive, comfortable and surprisingly economical on petrol.  (I won't attempt to predict your mpg; that will depend on how the car is used).  If you can make it last 18+ months then there will be a lot of good, cheap diesel cars coming onto the market in the south east due to the expansion of the ULEZ emissions zone.

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3 hours ago, CorollaMan1 said:

I have come across the car in the title, it has 137k miles on it but looks clean, has a full service history up to 90k then nothing after that. It is 1k exactly. I'm really really tempted but don't want to buy a lemon.

So, it hasn't been serviced for 47k or merely no record? Have you checked it's MOT record to see if it has had advisories etc. (you may no longer be able to do this though?).

At that sort of mileage you are running into the point where things (injectors, clutch/DMF etc) may start to need to be replaced & on a modern common-rail turbodiesel you are probably looking at £1k+ for these if they do go ... Check condition of braked discs & pads etc etc.

As far as the petrols pre-facelift 1.8 VVTis could develop an Oil-drinking problem - check if they have had the Toyota remedial action or buy a facelift (2006>).

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Avensis makes a good taxi but a 2004 diesel could get expensive on repairs. I would try to find a 2006-on 1.8 VVT (petrol) they are just about bulletproof and fairly cheap to repair .

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The only answer when a question about buying a diesel pops up: don't. Just don't.

Injectors and Clutch + DMF are things that will cost you 1k+ each. No such issues on petrols.

Things like driveshafts like to get damaged on diesels and of course they're much more expensive and difficult to replace than on petrols.

Not to mention regular cleaning of EGR valve. If it decides to crap out, which is not uncommon, it also costs a fortune. Then you'll be losing power because while EGR can be cleaned, intake manifold is a lot more expensive to clean and intake valves even more so. So everything craps up with soot. Especially if used on short journeys while striving for maximum mpg (so lugging around in 5th gear when doing 30mph).

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Thanks for all the advice. I've held off on making the purchase and am now looking for a newer than 2006 petrol. I'll save a few more hundred quid to get it. 

Feels like I've dodged a bullet so very greatful! 

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I have a 2008 2.2d. I’ve had no trouble with it.  It goes like $h/t off a shovel and pulls like a train at the sort of engine speeds that petrol engines idle at.  I’ve cleaned out the EGR valve, it’s a piece of cake to do and takes no time at all. I couldn’t go back to stirring porridge all day with a petrol engine.  I have no reason not to recommend the car.

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20 hours ago, Stivino said:

I have a 2008 2.2d. I’ve had no trouble with it.  It goes like $h/t off a shovel and pulls like a train at the sort of engine speeds that petrol engines idle at.  I’ve cleaned out the EGR valve, it’s a piece of cake to do and takes no time at all. I couldn’t go back to stirring porridge all day with a petrol engine.  I have no reason not to recommend the car.

They're very good cars while they last.

There are no issues yet buying a diesel while it's new, perfectly if under warranty. Low mileage will also do.

But once you cross the mileage at which you have to replace things, diesels are ridiculously expensive. And some of that stuff is simply unavoidable.

The same replacement items are a lot cheaper on petrols. Diesels are simply very expensive to maintain for a long time and it only pays off economically if the person driving it is doing very high yearly mileage.

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My diesel car is 11 years old, I've had to replace nothing except a water pump and brakes. Both of which would be the same price regardless of the type of fuel.

Not everything comes down to money, personally, it doesn't bother me as any difference isn't worth bothering about.  As I said, I like the power and torque of the diesel engine. Unless I had a big V8 petrol, I just wouldn't get that.

Buying second hand, there isn't a great deal of price difference. 

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    1. 1. If you were to consider buying a Hybrid model over 5 years old, would you be worried about the reliability of the Hybrid system?


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