I know I’m new to the site but I did some looking and didn’t see any real write-ups on what to look for when it comes to inspecting the car before purchase, especially things that are known to wear quicker on these cars. Some of this is from a friend of mine who if very into Z/G cars and has owned and maintained his G35 for a long time. Since these vehicles are starting to climb in age, some items that might not need to be looked at on a newer car may need more attention on one with higher mileage. I’ve listed some of these below and hope others will have input to make this more comprehensive to help those looking or even those who are not as mechanically skilled what to look for.
Some of the items I can think of on the top of my head.
1) Control arm Bushings – When these fail they don’t necessarily look damaged or cause shuttering sounds like other cars, they can cause the lower control arm to slide to a forward position and start rubbing on the mount. (see picture)
2) Wheel Bearings – sometimes you can try to wiggle the wheel but required it to be off the ground in most cases, you’ll start to hear howling sounds from one that are failing or have failed.
3) Timing chain guides – after running the motor runs for a little bit shut it off and have someone else start it while standing near the motor and listen for noise from the timing chain, if audible the guides may need to be replaced soon.
Some more common/obvious things to check but should be checked none the less.
1) Oil leaks – especially from the main seals
2) Blue Smoke – especially during a cold start
3) Oil level – helps identify how much if any it is burning
4) Oil thickness – hard to tell if you don’t see them often but if it looks like a much thicker oil is in the motor it could indicate that they are trying to mask something wrong with the engine
5) Exercise all of the electronics, also check that the auto function of the windows, this is important because it can affect the slight open and close the windows make with the door opens and closes.
6) Ask the seller what has been replaced in on the vehicle, only trust receipts and Carfax reports or replacements, unless you can see and tell it’s been replaced. Items below are typically replaced.
7) I’ve also found it helpful to bring a standard checklist to keep track of what is found (google "vehicle inspection sheet")
Hopefully some many find this useful and for those who have owned and maintained for a long time please by all means add to or correct anything I’ve said above and maybe this could help as a sticky in this Buying/Leasing sub-thread.