Inspection List When Buying A Cefiro

Discussion in 'The Cefiro Club Malaysia' started by edgar_raphael, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Nov 18, 2003
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    Inspection Check List When Buying A Cefiro

    I may not have own the Cefiro/Maxima much longer than the rest of you, but the problems such as mechanical/electrical faults that occured to my Maxima is enough for me to share my experience with you when buying a Cefiro, especially the ever popular A32 Cefiro be it a 2litre, 2.5litre or 3litre V6; since they are generally quite old now, some age more than 10 years old and some are turning there soon.

    They are good cars, but to ensure that you are not buying a lemon (there are some out there, like mine), it will save you a lot of money from repairing and replacing the parts in the future. Factor in the tear and wear over the years, some defective parts are inevitable, but just for your general knowledge

    Here are the list of things to inspect when purchasing an used A32 Cefiro/Maxima:



    OEM Parts
    This is in regards to body parts such as fenders, doors, bonnet and boot. Please ensure that they are all genuine OEM Nissan items and not aftermarket brands as the latter tend to corrode away over the years if the paint job are not applied properly.

    Bumpers and sideskirts and other comestic items are acceptable according to personal taste.

    While opening the boot, always remember to lift up the carpet that covers the spare wheels and check the chassis condition of the vehicle, a car that has been badly rear ended before will spot crumbled spare wheel compartment being knocked out back to shape but is evident. The same applies to the front.

    You might also want to check if the car's chassis had been rejointed or welded from normal circumstances. Check below the carpets and under the body and watch out for any joint lines.


    Make sure all electricals and electronics are working properly on the dash. Make sure all lightings are working, such as the dash lights, air control panel lights and reading lights.

    If they are blown, the time and cost involved to get them fix can be time consuming and will keep you busy for quite a while, especially finding the right bulbs for the right applications.

    Read: Replacing Air Control Lights as a guide to show you how 'not easy' it is to replace those blown bulbs.

    If they have electrical seats, test all of them to make sure they all works perfectly, check power windows.



    This is the most critical and most important part of the checklist. As it could save you thousands of dollars in the future, and also, a reason to bargain down the price too.

    It is normal the V6 engine, at this stage of its life, do tend to produce some noise and not as quite as before. But not to worry, it is either the timing chain or the hydraulic lifters that is causing the noise during cold start, but after a couple of minutes, they should be fine, when the oil is being pump all around the engine.

    You might always want to check on the sparks, usually around the 150,000kms mark is the maximum the platinium sparks last. It should not matter if you do not change them, but for the sake of realibilty and the health of the engine, please do. Nissan only recommends NGK Platinium, they are not cheap, but they last and perform better than the cheap ones.

    The coilpacks would fail too, for the later model, especially those ones towards the 98-99 batch, and they are not cheap either, but please do check the spark plugs before you assume the coils are failing.

    Please check for oil leak, there are many reasons to oil leak, but upon my research and investigation and also my recent personal inspection I performed, the VQ30DE V6 engine could leak oil from the:

    1) Oil Sump Seal
    2) Timing Chain Cover
    3) Valve Cover
    4) Oil Pressure Switch

    These are the 4 major factors of oil leak that I have found.

    Read: Cylinder Block and Oil Pan for a complete guide to the possible oil leak problems. Mostly got to do with the silicon based sealant.

    Usually, at 150,000km, it is also recommended that you have the automatic transmission totally flushed and filled with new oil. You need to send the car to the workshop to have this professionally done. However, some has lasted to 200,000kms and even more without servicing, it all depends on how well the previous owner drives the car.

    Also check for slipping and any abnormal feelings when the gears shift.

    Suspension and Steering
    This is the common problems you should find on an old A32 Cefiro. Your best solution for your suspension's condition is this:

    Complete Suspension Safety Check, this services should be available at your local area. It is electronically tested to get the real life results, not based on your butt or 'feelings', they are dead accurate.

    Normal wear and tears on suspension parts are:

    1) Tie Rod Ends
    2) Ball Joints
    3) Shocks
    4) Sway Bar Bushes
    5) Upper and Lower Bushes
    6) Rear Lateral Arm Bushes

    If you experienced your steering making noises and shaking when driving on the road, these could be the possible causes:

    1) CV Joints
    2) Drive Shafts
    3) Steering rack and pinion
    4) Steering pump

    The suspension and steering components are inter-related, meaning, one failed would affect the other, so it is important to keep them in good condition and if they are not performing well enough, make sure you are ready to fork out a lot of money to replace them, or, move one and look for another Cefiro.

    Read: Power Steering Gears for a complete guide to the components involved. You might get an guesstimation of where the problems are coming from.

    Read: Front Suspension Parts for a complete guide to the components involved in the lower front suspension.


    Please feel free to add more information to this topic to help those who wishes to buy an used Cefiro. When I bought my Maxima, I did not have enough checklist that I could find on the net, everyone said they are reliable. As reliable as they are, they can still sometimes failed, just like the Maxima that I bought.

    #1 edgar_raphael, Jun 14, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2007
  2. weikee

    weikee Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Jul 16, 2006
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    wow Edgar,

    You write up are pretty good. But in Malaysia, the check list may have difference priority, cause

    01) We need to have to look at body condition, especially the main frame, and body structure. That its the main condition. Cause over here, labor are not too expensive, and basically they can just "repair" the car even the accident condition are bad.. not like in Au, or some country they will write it off after even minor accident.

    - I normally check if the car re cut and joint
    - Front impact with the same inspection of the rear to check the welding spot
    - Bottom of the car.

    As for engine, and suspension, its not ours main concern :) anything just send and repair loh...
  3. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Nov 18, 2003
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    Yeah, the purpose of this write up is like the topic says "Inspection Check List", something to prevent you from having to send the car for repairs or replacement. Well, at least, avoiding the scenarios, or a power to bargain on the sales price.

    Yes, please add to the checklist what do you think is necessary. I will add these in:

    - I normally check if the car re cut and joint
    - Front impact with the same inspection of the rear to check the welding spot
    - Bottom of the car.
  4. sansky

    sansky 15 Year | Platinum

    Jan 24, 2008
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    for me % the body join or serius damage can settle easily cos now a day if we want buy or sell car we should sent our car to puspokum endos.

    if fail the car will sita, so dont worry bout the body join or not. the encik puspakum will check 4 u. if the chasis have serius problem. the car is no safe on road. so puspakom will sent inform jpj they will sita the car.

    buy car sometime depend lucky also. got some kedai ketuk dan cat, their can fix the car like 90% new. u will no notice that the car hace eksiden b4.

    my friend also face this problem how to do, the payment have make. makan sendiri lor.

    just opinion no agree, just make sure the body of car, all part can fix by pomen. small matter but car body cant.

    halfcut for A32 about 3.5-4.5 k . the price is reasonableso dont worry
  5. MrRonin

    MrRonin Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Nov 7, 2006
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    How about check list for Cefiro A31???
    Any tips and list for check list before buying Cefiro A31 from 1989 to 1995 model.

    Thank you very much guys and welcome for feedback.
  6. Fat Yeop

    Fat Yeop Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2007
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    damn man...i just buy my cefiro last month...dunno here have some tips b4 buy. i just see the body line n curve still in good shape...engine can produce water its ok la...but i have luck so far bcoz i got a good a31 till today hu hu...who want to buy cefiro must take tips here first!!! hooraay CEFIRO!!! :biggrin:

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