Looking for an MX-5 in Aberdeen

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Looking for an MX-5 in Aberdeen

Postby CatB » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:11 am

Hi Folks,

I've been daydreaming about an MX-5 for a while now (OK about 2 years!) and a friend of mine is about to sell his, which has tipped me over the edge! So I'm going to have a look at his car but it's got me thinking about what I actually want, what I can afford and where to look.

I'm hoping you can help :-)

The car my friend is selling is a 1999 1.8l Mk2 with about 46k on the clock, in black with leather interior and with hard top - he's asking £2850. I have a couple of concerns about it, it's only got 2 months on the MOT and although there were no advisories on the previous one that worries me, also it hasn't had a cambelt change, I know the miles aren't up but it's 12 years old so I am worried that it might be needed.

I posted describing this on the main MX-5 OC forum and on MX-5 Nutz (before I found this one!) and was told that it sounded expensive and for that money should be mint (not sure until I look) and have new MOT at least.

So I started looking around but if I put a 200 mile radius into e-bay, autotrader, pistonheads - I'm not finding anything similar (Mk 2, 1.8, low mileage preferably with hardtop) that looks like a better deal, which raises some questions....

Is Aberdeen / Scotland more expensive for MX-5s than the rest of the UK or am I looking in the wrong places (or being impatient!)? How important is mileage vs age and general bodywork condition? I can see examples of a 1999 ish MK 2 with double the mileage for less money but are they going to need more maintenance?

It looks like a private seller would be cheaper than a dealer but with a dealer there's often the option of a warranty - might that be worth it? Is it worth really pushing the boat out to get a Mazda approved one that even seems to come with a years warranty against rust (this might require some haggling or a finance deal as they seem to start a bit above my budget!) - rust does seem to be a major problem!

Finally, any dealers in the Aberdeen area that people would recommend or to be avoided (PMs welcome if it's not allowed to post this kind of info publicly)?

Wow - lots of questions - sorry! I have got a bit obsessed!

Thanks :-)
CatB
 
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Re: Looking for an MX-5 in Aberdeen

Postby drumtochty » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:51 am

Sorry to those who have read this before.

There is a Tax to pay to get a sports car that age. If you buy the MGF you have to pay circa £800 to £1,000 to fix the cylinderhead gasket. If you buy an MX5 from 1990 to 2005 you have to spend £800 to £1,000 to repair the rust damage to the sills and rear arches.

So you have to look at the sills get on your back on the pavement and if there is any paint bubbles, the metal needs cut out and replaced. More likely on that age of car the rear arches will have some discolouration or rust and in that case you will require a repair panel that replaces the rear part of the sill and the bottom half of the rear wing. £400 ish a side.

If one side is gone the other will follow. There are a very small number of cars that do not suffer this!

If the car is mint with that mileage and a hardtop, That money is towards top dollar and the owner has to provide a much longer MOT.

The problem your friend will have in Aberdeen is finding someone who will pay that money as people with not much money will think it is too expensive and most other people who are better off will spend £5.5k on a 2006 Mk3.

If you want to drive out to Drumtocht,y I will show you how to examine an MX5 to find the problem areas but from experiance most city types do not leave the city boundries.

eddie
99 Mk2 1.8 IS Silver
08 Mk3 2.0 RC Sport Copper Red
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Re: Looking for an MX-5 in Aberdeen

Postby CatB » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:06 am

Thanks very much Eddie.

That's useful to know, if I need to budget £800-1000 of rust repairs imminently then it probably takes my budget below what he is asking.

:-) don't worry, I'm not a city type, I just happen to live in a city at the moment! In fact one slight concern about an MX-5 is whether it will have the ground clearance to get into forestry car parks when I go walking. If you are happy to show me how to check for rust send me a PM and let me know when would suit you.

Thanks!
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Re: Looking for an MX-5 in Aberdeen

Postby IanH » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:30 am

A little further afield though not a huge distance is Goodwood Sports cars near Berwick.

http://www.goodwoodsportscars.co.uk/

It's worth giving Steve a ring and seeing what he has available, at this time of year stock tends to move quite quickly and as he has commented himself finding older rust free examples is getting harder. He does trade very much on his reputation so you could have a good degree of confidence in what he has, tend to be mostly MK1 though. Price range tends to be £1750 - £2300 ish roughly.

I'll echo what Eddie says, you need to walk away if you're the slightest bit concerned about rust on any example you look at, what can appear as minor surface rust is quite likely to be a whole heap of trouble bubbling from the inside out. I moved on a 4 1/2 year old MK 2.5 that was starting to go... :shock:

That said there are sound examples around, often with repairs already (though whether done properly can be a concern) you just need to spend the time looking or find a reputable source.

The MK3 is now around 6 years old since first introduced and seems sound so far apart from a few small areas, again as pointed out they are available from about £5.5K though prices will rise around this time of year.

Ground clearance on a standard non lowered car should not be an issue as long as you approach bumps or rocks with caution.

Don't let any of this put you off, there will be a car out there for you and they are fantastic fun when you get one! :D
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Re: Looking for an MX-5 in Aberdeen

Postby drumtochty » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:42 pm

Car Servicing

Most new cars are serviced by the dealer for about three years then they get done by a local garage.

Most local garages are working for people who want to save money and basically change the engine oil, oil filter, spark plugs and the air filter sometimes.

The car we are talking about here should also have had the cam belt and tensioners changed at six years old or 54,000 miles which ever come first plus the fuel filter replaced, the gearbox and back axle oil replaced, the antifreeze replaced every two years as the anticorrosion additive is less active after two years so can cause cylinder head joint problems and the brake fluid changed again every two years to prevent moisture absorption and corrosion in the braking system.

Most local garages do not do that, even when you give them the service schedule because they are trying to save you money. I had that experience with my Impreza recently as I was too busy to service it myself and there were a good few items missed by the local garage.

So the car you are talking about probably needs the 54,000 miles service done which with all the bits will cost in the region of £450 even at a local garage. It is likely that the previous owner may have had the antifreeze changed or the brake fluid changed but in my experience allow for a large service to keep the car up to spec and also allow say £200 to replace some brake parts in the next year.

12 year old cars are 12 years old, even if they have only done less than 50,000. There are cars around that have done over 100,000 miles without these parts being changed!!!

So maybe I'm over the top in following the manufacturers service schedule as my friends in the motor trade advise me.

eddie
99 Mk2 1.8 IS Silver
08 Mk3 2.0 RC Sport Copper Red
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