Dismiss Notice
Hi Guest, stickers are available from our online store.

Checklist for LCR/LC first-time buyers

Discussion in 'Mk1 Leon Guides (1M) 2000-2006' started by 6th.replicant, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. 6th.replicant

    6th.replicant Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    8
    Here's a checklist for LCR/LC (Mk1) newbies & first-time buyers, compiled from various posts on this site:

    LCR/LC/Leon specific:

    Uneven tick-over? Flat spots at 2,500-3,000rpm?

    Is the MAF clean?

    Engine code on a 225 should be BAM..., for 210s its AMK... Engine code can be found on front offside edge of the engine.

    Can you check under the car? Is the under-tray still in place (these often get damaged/torn-off - £100-ish to replace)? Is the splitter present (if not, it's a simple 'clip-on' fixing - £25-ish at SEAT stealers)? Check exhaust brackets are fully intact.

    Check bodywork for paint-fade on yellow, red & blue (non-metallic) LCs/LCRs.

    Boot lock work OK? (Simple/cheap fix.)

    Evidence of water ingress in interior - all footwells, front & rear, under floor mats - & in boot? (Simple/cheap fix.)

    Check the rear wiper washer works fine and is not leaking into the boot. (Might need a new wiper motor - £80-ish)

    Switch on the aircon and select 'low' for temperature. The radiator fans should come on but at a slow speed when using aircon. If the fans come on fast and loud then on/off then the fan motor resistors have gone.

    Let the engine run for a few minutes (+/- depending on ambient temp) when car is stationary. If the engine-cooling fan(s) does not activate, then a fuse located on top of the battery has blown or the thermostat is shot.

    Do the mirrors fold-in via the adjustment knob (turn to 6 o'clock position). Do they open OK when back to 12 o'clock?

    Does the horn work correctly? If its tone is merely a feeble 'peep', then it's a front-bumper-off job to clean, reconnect & reposition (facing rearward) horn.

    Does the car have a pukka FULL SERVICE HISTORY (aka FSH) - ie has it been serviced every year or 10k miles, whichever occurred first? If not, walk way!

    If the car has a retro-fit Audi S3 front, top strut-brace - Leon/LC/LCR & A3/S3 share same chassis - consider that if there isn't also a retro-fit rear strut-brace (a bar across the back seat, fixed to rear strut turrets), then the car will be prone to excessive on-the-limit understeer (because the front-end will be much stiffer than the rear).

    If, during cold weather, upon engine start-up there's a loud 'beep' & a flashing warning-light illuminates on the dash, then - assuming that the oil level is correct - let the engine warm for a few mins, then switch off & restart. If light has now gone out & there was no 'beep', then it's a simple/£0 fix (a sensor on the engine coolant bottle needs cleaning. See: http://www.seatcupra.net/forums/showthread.php?t=159227) However, if when restarting there's another beep & the light comes on again, then a diagnostic (VAG-COM) check is needed, because ...?

    If the alarm & remote locking (ie via key fob), interior lights, electric windows & mirrors are all not functioning, then Fuse-14 needs replacing or the owner has removed Fuse-14 because the car is having 'phantom' alarm & 'boot open light' problems - it can be a simple/low-cost fix, see thread: http://www.seatcupra.net/forums/showthread.php?t=199448

    Ask the owner to take you for a drive when the engine is cold; if he/she then thrashes it from cold - walk away! Similarly, if during the drive the engine/turbo is given a good workout, & the owner then switches off without letting the turbo cool-down (ie allowed to idle for approx 60 secs) - walk away!

    LCs/LCRs are generally robust & well-built, but can be pricey in the long-run if they've not been maintained or driven correctly.


    General used-car checks:

    If car is over 5 years old or accumulated 60k miles, it should have had/needs a cambelt change (also change water-pump to brass impeller on VAG 1.8Ts).

    Brake pads - much left on them? Discs ok? Does the service history/invoices show that the car's had several sets of replacement pads/discs during its life (say, every 8k-10k miles)? If so, this is an indicator of a car that's been driven hard.

    When warmed up, put in 6th at 30mph and put your foot down to check for clutch wear. (A vital check for re-mapped cars.)

    Gears engage correctly when driving in a spirited fashion - 1st and 2nd especially? (A vital check for re-mapped cars.)

    Check for play in steering. Car brakes in straight line/drives in straight line? NOTE: some LCs/LCRs can very slightly pull to the left, this is because the alignment setup is for LHD cars, which therefore compensates for driving on the right-side of the road (camber).

    Is tyre-wear even? Tyre condition? Are all 4 tyres of the same manufacturer/type? If not, the car's handling will feel unbalanced (especially LCRs).

    Body alignment, dents, scratches etc. Crouch at rear & front of car & look along sides.

    If the bodywork needs a wash, consider that the owner might be trying to conceal paint blemishes or fading (see ref to yellow, red & blue LCs/LCRs, above).

    Any rattles (interior & exterior)?

    Check all electrics, windows, fog lights (front & rear) etc, etc.

    Fully open and close all the windows and check for any nasty cracking/twanging noises - the cables can snap and unravel inside resulting in the glass falling inside the door. Check that central locking works on all doors. Neither are massively expensive to fix but require stripping down the door and are a bit of a PITA.

    Front light adjustment etc.

    Scroll through trip computer, you may be able to see how its been driven... (mpg etc)

    Check the CD changer & radio works. Check all the speakers work.

    Check engine temp doesn't go over 90C.

    Ask owner to show you where the engine oil dipstick is located; if they don't know, then walk away 'cos it means they've never checked, or care about, the oil level...

    Engine bay: fluid levels; 'mayo' on inside of oil cap; check dip-stick - is oil level low; is the engine oil old (ie black & treacle-like)?
     
    #1 6th.replicant, Oct 29, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
    JayFR150 and scarface like this.
  2. PHIL LCR

    PHIL LCR Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is good advice. It should be made a sticky.
     
  3. 6th.replicant

    6th.replicant Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    8
    Thanks. Let's hope so ... :whistle:
     
  4. Mark300zx

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    0
    WHats the loud beep cold start all about, I think I may have been getting that?
     
  5. 6th.replicant

    6th.replicant Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    8
  6. ZBOYD

    ZBOYD Looking up at the stars!
    Site Owner

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    9,498
    Likes Received:
    5
    Stuck and moved into the Mk1 FAQ with a permanent redirect from Leon Mk1.
     
  7. 6th.replicant

    6th.replicant Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    8
    Thanks :)
     
  8. clifford

    clifford Guest

    Iv had the loud beeb on a cold start. Nice to no its an easy fix and doesnt need to go into the garage, i'll get on that at the weekend :)
     
  9. Pants007

    Pants007 Guest

    Hi all,

    I have been looking on this forum for a couple of days and I'm very impressed by the knowledge of the posts and the friendly nature....brilliant.

    I'm looking to buy an LCR, testing driving an LC next week but pretty sure I've already made up my mind on an LCR, plus after doing a little research (mainly on here) it's over priced, main dealer so I'd expect that!!

    Armed with my new found knowledge I'm out hunting....6th.replicant - I wish you could come with me on any test drive, they wouldn't stand a chance :)

    As a sanity check this is what I aiming for, does it sound reasonable?
    Cupra R 225
    04/05
    low to average mileage
    7-8K
    FSH (without question)

    Thanks again, not only am I getting more excited by the day to owning an LCR but have really enjoyed reading all the posts.
     
  10. 6th.replicant

    6th.replicant Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    8
    FWIW, when I bought my LCR I used this thread's checklist for an initial 'once over', & then had an AA inspection.

    However, with regard to the latter, be aware that AA/RAC reports are littered with plenty of 'ifs, buts & maybes' because the AA/RAC obviously covers its butt against any possible litigation. So, it's worth being present when the AA/RAC engineer does the test, then you can quiz him/her re queries & ask for 'off the record' opinions etc.

    Or you could get the car checked by a VAG specialist (ie a non-franchised independent - ask on the forum for a specialist near your/prospective car's locale) garage that does not also sell LCs/LCRs, only maintains 'em - but make sure you get a written report. First, you'll get a more expert view; second, it'll cost less - approx 1-hour labour max - than an AA/RAC check. Assuming the distance is reasonable, the dealer/seller should be willing to drive the car to the VAG specialist, if not, then you know they've something to hide...

    Ideally, try & find a car with one or two previous owners, with each having kept the car for a reasonable length of time. If, for example, the 2nd owner has had the car for less than a year, then there's a chance that the car is plagued with gremlins & he/she has 'had enough' - this rule-of-thumb does not only apply to LCs/LCRs. Similarly, if a car has had several owners, then a) there's a good chance it's a 'wrong 'un' & b) consider that each new owner will have given the car a 'thorough workout' as they 'explore' (ie thrash) their 'new toy'.

    Yes, a pukka FSH is essential but mileage is a bit of a conundrum. For example, a well-maintained 4-yr-old car with 60k of motorway miles is actually better than a 4-yr-old with 20k of short journeys & periods of inactivity. The former will have merely spent most of its life trundling along in 6th gear at optimum engine temp & moderate revs, with minimal wear 'n' tear to the clutch, gearbox, drive-shafts, brakes, exhaust, engine & turbo, & suspension. OK, so there will probably be some extra stone-chips on the front-end's paint, but it's no big deal to have the bumper/bonnet re-sprayed?

    Whereas the 20k car will have corrosion build-up in the exhaust (due to it not always getting fully up to temp), with carbon deposits in the engine & turbo (due to short stop/start journeys &, again, not always getting up to temp). Also, the brakes, clutch/gearbox/driveshafts might have only done 20k, but all might have been hammered hard during short thrashes?

    Of course, the downside of a 'motorway car' is that unless you're buying privately, you'll never know if the turbo was cooled when the owner pulled into rest-stops..? :shrug:

    In short, perhaps it's actually best to go for a car with a consistent 7,000-10,000 miles a year history? :think:

    And while a dealer's warranty, reputation & ability to take debit/credit cards are all desirable, there is a downside when buying from a dealer: you can't ask the previous owner to take you for a drive so you can ascertain how they've driven the car (ie correctly warming/cooling the turbo etc) or ask 'em to show you where the oil dipstick is located. :blink:

    Hope the above helps & hasn't actually created more grief/confusion. :)
     
    #10 6th.replicant, Apr 7, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  11. bigrick

    bigrick Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is good advice.
     
  12. h2old

    h2old Guest

    Flat spots at 2,500-3,000rpm?

    What does this mean?

    I am getting this occasionally depending how much I press the throttle.
     
  13. oldman

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    h2old,
    you'd get more help and assistance by posting in the mk1 main area.
    faq is that
     
  14. Pants007

    Pants007 Guest

    Hi all. Wanted to let you know that I've brought an LCR and I LOVE IT :)

    Thanks again for all posters as this gave me the confidence to shop around. I discarded a view cars based on posts I had read.
     
  15. CluneZ

    CluneZ Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Awesome thread will deffo have this thread up on my phone when I go to view an LCR lol
     
  16. Jambofuz

    Jambofuz Guest

    Great buying advice :)
     
  17. jammio

    jammio Guest

    Thanks for this!
     
  18. sd1987

    sd1987 Guest

    good thread thanks
     
  19. Mark300zx

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great post, not sure if it is worth mentioning about the top mounts being uneven, if they are may be another negotiating point?

    Also to fix the clutch properly is the best part of a grand once you have bought the clutch and flywheel?
     
  20. Tom Novy

    Tom Novy Guest

    thanks for the above points, im in the process of buying a 54 plate LCR and this checklist has been super helpful,

    Thanks Again

    Novy
     

Share This Page