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Buying an import car

Started by Mirez, August 06, 2021, 01:59:17 AM

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Anyone ever bought a mainstream import? Been hunting for a VW Touareg for a while now but I have a VERY exacting spec that you just don't find in the UK. Been offered a low mileage Jap car which is fully loaded for reasonable money so going to test that at the weekend. It's a 2017 model, imported in 2019 and been on our roads since - I cant see it being a major issue tbh but any comments welcome!!
03 Ford Galaxy 1.9 TDI 115 Ghia in Spruce Green Metallic
With cream leather interior, Full Bodykit, Remapped at 145bhp, Lowered on 18's
13 Porsche Cayenne 3.0 V6 Diesel in Umber Metallic
262Bhp AWD and Factory fresh...for now!
58 Ford Transit 2.2 TDI 115 in Frozen White
With retrofitted everything except another slidey door! :)
LAUNCH X431 Pad PRO - Scanning & Coding for all makes and models done in Wiltshire in exchange for winegums! :)

Hi there Mirez, at one point I was looking at Jap imports too (for a Viano) but decided against it for several reasons. Apparently the radios don?t work properly over here (no big deal, I?d upgrade to DAB anyway) but the main thing I heard is that they don?t put under seal on the cars because cars don?t rust in Japan and so when they arrive here they look pristine but turn into rust buckets after a few years.

That said, they sell them cheap because of their strict environmental laws and apparently they get driven really carefully. Someone said they usually lose a few tens of thousands of miles on the ferry but I don?t think that?s really a real problem.

It?s the underseal thing that really made me think twice.

Also do they have fog lights? If already in the UK then I expect so.

I don?t see many older jap imports on the roads, maybe they all rusted away. It?s the rust that worries me. Is this concern well founded I wonder.
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 old scooby was a jdm import, as the one you are looking at was imported in 19 the relevant stuff would have been done. From memory rear fog light needs fitting although I suspect a Touareg probably had capability but just needed coding and possibly a switch. The appropriate tests to register over here.
Radios work on different frequency to ours but again that?s probably been resolved since 2019.

As for under seal my scooby was pretty much same as a UK supplied car except the gearbox ratios were different due to speeds in Japan. Later cars probably have software differences to reduce the top speed?  If so that?s easy to sort with a tweak to the mapping.

Only real concern I found was insurance as some companies didn?t want to cover an import,but as I modified it anyway I used a specialist broker.

Thanks gents, some good points there and food for thought!
Will go and have a look at it tomorrow, see what it looks like!
03 Ford Galaxy 1.9 TDI 115 Ghia in Spruce Green Metallic
With cream leather interior, Full Bodykit, Remapped at 145bhp, Lowered on 18's
13 Porsche Cayenne 3.0 V6 Diesel in Umber Metallic
262Bhp AWD and Factory fresh...for now!
58 Ford Transit 2.2 TDI 115 in Frozen White
With retrofitted everything except another slidey door! :)
LAUNCH X431 Pad PRO - Scanning & Coding for all makes and models done in Wiltshire in exchange for winegums! :)

As an aside, most cars are not fully undersealed these days.  Some stonechip in obvious areas and that's it.  Body design is much better and the water traps of old are mostly gone.  Paint systems and steel quality are also much improved.  You can see this is true by the number of ~20 year old cars around, even in places that are near the sea.  This was certainly not the case 30 or 40 years ago.  A little further back and I remember seeing cars on the showroom floor with rust bubbling under the paint and my headmaster's Vauxhall Victor dying from rust before its first MOT.

The highly populated parts of Japan are near the sea - the other bits are high and suffer very harsh winters, with much salt on the roads.

Phew, so we don't need to worry about Jap imports suffering from rust then...  :)
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.

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