hey i have the money to buy a 200vi now and have arranged the viewing of a coup0le in my local area. they are all around 50,000miles on 98 plates. what should i look for when buying. is there any common problems found when veiwing.
I know it's a cliche but check all signs of Head Gasket problems. Check coolant is as it should be, check oil is good with no mayo, check temp gauge sits at a steady level once warmed up, usually at very slightly below half way, and when you are driving the car the temperature gauge shouldn't move much if at all. If it does go up and down a lot then this could be a sign that something's up with the thermostat. Check the interior heaters blow at a constant temperature too once warmed up. I've seen a couple of VVC engined cars where the blowers only blow hot when you rev the engine, which was because the thermostat was removed or broken. A thermostat will only ever be removed to hide overheating problems, which is often a cause of HGF. When I went to pick up the VVC Coupe I bought recently I was very cautious to ensure that the cooling system was in tip top condition. Check coolant levels before and after a good test run.
Other than that there's just the usual things you would check anyway with any car purchase. The 200Vi is a great car if you can get a good one. It's so much fun, and practical too, alway a bonus!
Oh yeah, as the above post states, the cams do sound a bit alarming if you've never heard a VVC engine before, but a bit of rattle is normal, any knocking noise though is not. My last Vi had the dreaded knocking cam problem, it would show up as a very distinct rattle with engine speed at about 3000 rpm when driving at about half throttle, it may not always give this symptom though. Basically if you listened to both ends of the engine, one was the usually rattly noise, the other was a definite knocking noise.
As posts above, plus get underneath and check out the front subframes, as there have been cases of corrosion on the 200, usually around welded joints or at the front suspension or anti-roll bar mounts.....
Check the tyres first and also then move onto the bodywork, regect any car that has uneven shut lines or non matching paint. This is a performance model and could have seen the otherside of a hedge. The reason I say to check the tyres as if they are in a bad way you can see the car has been driven hard, plus if they are cheap tyres or of an unknown name then that would suggest cheap maintenance somthing you dont want on a car like the VI. Then do as above. Subframe rust is only on the early 200's, one as late as 97 onwards should be rust free. You need to be more concerned with wheel arch rust and the delicate VVC unit.
Nowt wrong with a Vi and they don't often go wrong. How many cases on here have you read of failed VVC mechs? Not many. Mine has done 103,000 miles and the mechs just make the normal rattle on tickover.
Provided the car has been maintained properly you will be very suprised at how good on petrol the VVC is too. I've just got back from a trip to Manchester through the hills and valleys of Wales, 350 miles in all, and averaged 42mpg, and that's with a lot of overtaking, and stopping for roundabouts, you wouldn't get too much more by having a smaller engined car, or even a diesel.
When you start the car keep an eye out for a brief plume of black smoke out of the exhaust, I believe this is a fuelling problem, one that my last Vi had, and I would only get about 27mpg from that car. It was a dog. My first Vi was perfect. And my Coupe VVC I have now is excellent too. I was nearly put off for life by my last Vi, so make very certain that you're buying a good car and you won't be disappointed.
Don't be too surprised to find a receipt for Head Gasket replacement in the paperwork somewhere, in fact it might be considered a good thing to have. At least you can be fairly confident that it has had a newer style gasket fitted with the metal dowels.
Best thing to have when purchasing a VVC engined car is as much history as possible.