Welcome to BigCarClub!

Not logged in!

Hey there, welcome to BigCarClub!
You don't need to be logged in to view the forum but the experience will be so much better if you are! Users can login or if you don't have an account already, you can create one for free by clicking the Register link in the top right corner of this page.


Buyer's Guide Checklist for a Seat Alhambra Mk2 and Tips to Avoid Common Scams:

Started by SirDavidAlhambra, June 18, 2023, 08:38:35 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Things to check when buying an Alhamb:

What other tips would you add guys?

1. Exterior Condition:
   - Conduct a thorough visual inspection of the bodywork for any signs of corrosion, including rust spots or bubbling paint, especially in areas prone to rust, such as wheel arches and door sills.
   - Inspect panel fitment and alignment, ensuring consistent gaps between panels, which can indicate previous repairs or accident damage.
   - Check the condition of the paintwork, looking for any unevenness, color discrepancies, or signs of repainting that may suggest past repairs.

2. Interior Condition:
   - Evaluate the overall condition of the interior, paying attention to the quality of materials, fit, and finish.
   - Check the functionality of all interior features, such as power windows, door locks, adjustable seats, and electronic components like the infotainment system and climate control.
   - Inspect the seats for wear, tears, or sagging, particularly in high-traffic areas. Examine the condition of upholstery, including leather or fabric, for any stains, fading, or discoloration.

3. Mechanical Components:
   - Review the service records and maintenance history to ensure regular servicing has been performed at recommended intervals.
   - Start the engine and listen for any abnormal noises, including rattles, knocks, or excessive vibrations that could indicate internal mechanical issues.
   - Inspect the engine bay for signs of leaks, including oil, coolant, or transmission fluid. Pay attention to the condition of belts and hoses for any signs of wear or cracking.
   - Evaluate the braking system for responsiveness, ensuring there is no excessive pedal travel, noise, or vibrations during braking. Check the condition of brake pads, discs, and calipers.
   - Assess the condition and tread depth of the tires, ensuring even wear across all four wheels. Look for any signs of uneven wear patterns, which may indicate alignment or suspension issues.
   - Test the suspension by driving over various road surfaces, paying attention to any unusual noises, excessive bouncing, or poor ride quality.

4. Electrical Systems:
   - Verify the functionality of all electrical systems, including lights (headlights, taillights, indicators), wipers, power windows, mirrors, central locking, and audio system.
   - Test the infotainment system, ensuring all features, such as radio, CD player, auxiliary inputs, and Bluetooth connectivity, are in working order.
   - Inspect the condition of wiring, connectors, and fuses in the fuse box, looking for any signs of damage or tampering.

5. Documentation and History:
   - Carefully examine the vehicle's logbook (V5C) to verify ownership details, ensuring they match the seller's claims and the vehicle identification number (VIN).
   - Review the complete service history, ideally with records from authorized dealerships or reputable service centers, to ensure regular maintenance and necessary repairs have been performed.
   - Cross-reference the recorded mileage with service records and physical wear to verify the accuracy and consistency.

6. Test Drive:
   - Take the vehicle for an extended test drive, evaluating its performance in various driving conditions.
   - Assess the engine's power delivery, responsiveness, and smoothness throughout the rev range.
   - Evaluate the gearbox for smooth and precise shifting, ensuring there are no grinding noises, gear slipping, or difficulties engaging gears.
   - Analyze the steering response, checking for any excessive play or vibration. Ensure the vehicle tracks straight and remains stable during driving.
   - Test the functionality of the parking brake, ensuring it engages and disengages smoothly without any signs of dragging or excessive play.

7. Tips to Avoid Common Scams:
   - Research the market value of the Seat Alhambra Mk2 to ensure

 you are paying a fair price. Beware of significantly low prices that seem too good to be true, as they could indicate a scam.
   - Be cautious of sellers who rush the transaction or pressure you into making a quick decision.
   - Request and review all relevant documentation, including ownership papers, service records, and MOT certificates. Verify their authenticity by contacting the relevant authorities if needed.
   - Avoid making payments through unconventional methods or to third-party accounts. Use secure payment methods, such as bank transfers or escrow services.
   - If possible, have a trusted mechanic or vehicle inspector perform a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection to identify any hidden issues or signs of fraud.
   - Be wary of sellers who are hesitant to provide detailed information, dodge questions, or avoid meeting in person for a test drive or inspection.
   - Trust your instincts. If something feels off or too good to be true, it's best to walk away and explore other options.

By following this checklist and being vigilant against common scams, you can increase your chances of finding a reliable Seat Alhambra Mk2 while avoiding potential fraudulent schemes.
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all. Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

My best tip is check what brand the tyres are! If they're premium tyres then you know the car was well looked after!
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all. Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

You do realise most of these MKIIs are basically old bangers by now David?
Yours is 17 years old, mine 19 years old.
All those exhaustive tests would be that, exhausting.

Dealer service history will be long gone in most cases and asking for extensive road tests
will probably get some interesting, if not blunt, replies.

I'd want a recent MOT on an old banger preferably with no or minor advisories
and not fuss over tyres as long as they're legal and fit for purpose.
Receipts for parts bought or work done would be nice of course
and by all means give it good look/listen over to before haggling.

I'd agree on Buyer beware though if it doesn't feel right, walk away

This is a very good point... if it feels like the seller is hurrying you along, the car probably has a major fault that they are trying to cover up and they are probably hoping you will buy it before you find the fault.

Be cautious if you arrive and the engine is already warm, for instance. Or if the seller insists on doing the test drive themselves, this probably indicates they are driving it in a particular manner to accommodate some sort of engine fault.

As you say, it is important to recognise however that these are no longer brand new motor cars and a bit of wear and tear is very much to be expected!

Best cars you can get for the money though. So practical! I took 3 huge bags of conifer branches to the dump in mine last weekend, try doing that in a fancy modern car!

Also newer cars are so stressful, all this talk of APRs and balloon payments and deposits and excess mileage charges and so on. Most people did poorly at school and don't understand a word of it anyways. There's nothing quite like buying a quality motor car for £1500 and just getting on with enjoying life!
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all. Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

I paid £1600 for mine in 2016
It had belonged to a mechanic who did a lot of the
servicing himself and showed me reciepts for various parts he'd bought and fitted.
Even now it's only done 98 thousand and change.
I fitted a new cambelt and water pump at 89 thousand
just to be on the safe side and a new alternator overrun pulley a little later.
New filters and oil of course with fully synth oil changed well within service intervals.
It does show signs of corrosion underneath and I've had to have a few spots of welding done but that's par for the course on old cars and my local guy is a top bloke who is very reasonable.

If I was selling it a buyer might quibble over paintwork
and some untidyness like stained seats
(it was family car so kids/sweets/juice and I'm a bit messy at times) but the engine is sweet and it drives just fine.

The auxilliary heater has been removed but that's never been an issue for me.

For what I'd get for it, I doubt I'd get as good and reliable a car for the money so will keep it.
the 6 speed box makes motorway cruising at 70 ish very economical too, I get just over 50mpg
on long runs.

I think it is a great shame that fairly modern vehicles, with engines apparently capable of 250K+ miles, should now be thought of as old bangers, just because they do not have built-in touch-screen GPS systems and were not sold under the guise of being an SUV (whatever that might be!). There is a recent thread on this site drawing a comparison between buying habits in the UK and elsewhere across Europe. If we were to go now to northern France, I think we would be surprised at the number of older vehicles being kept on the road, particularly in rural areas, and if we were to go further on and visit places like Munich, I am sure we might still see many Euro 4 stickers on the screens of parked cars. Our German friends who live in Nurnburg run a Mercedes-Benz estate car which I am sure is almost 20 years old. He is a scientist working for Siemens, and he and his wife worked very hard to pay off their mortgage in less than 15 years because they do not wish to take on any more debt than is absolutely necessary. My wife and I were astonished when we first visited Nurnberg in 2006 and discovered that we could not use a credit card in the local supermarket. Compare that with the willingness of the British to embrace debt and use credit, particularly for the purchase of posh new cars (with personalised number plates), and I for one can clearly see how the perception of the 'old banger' comes about.

I wonder whether Regw could give us his thoughts on what is likely to terminate the life of his 19 year old vehicle? Is it likely to be availability of spare parts? My wife's car is a 2009 Citroen C1 with a 1.4 HDI engine and perfect bodywork, returning 68+ mpg and it only costs £20 pa to tax. That seems to me to be almost perfect 'old banger' economics (as long as we can continue to obtain service parts and spares, as and when).       

As I said previously, if I sold it any money I got would probably only be enough to buy a similar aged car with who knows what wrong with it and potential repair bills lurking ahead of me.
With this old thing, I know my way around it and what's good, what's not and what to keep an eye on.
I Like large cars and its a very practical load lugger at times

Only catastrophic engine failure or damage would get me searching for another car unless I win the lottery
so touch wood the thing just keeps going with no nasty expensive surprises.

On reflection over this recent MOT failure.
while I was initially surprised it could fail on headlamp adjusters
that and 2 split boots and 2 failed bulbs wasn't too bad at all really
so cant complain. 


I would have kept getting my old Galaxy 130 going with needed welding. It had 182000 on it, ran like a dream,fast, comfortable and 50mpg if kept under 70.
Sadly, beside welding, it failed its last mot with a leak from the high pressure diesel pump. Got a dangerous do not drive fail sheet,a 2nd hand pump would be £700. I was gutted.