Q: I would like your views on a diesel car, the 2005 1.7 CDTI Opel Corsa. - Mpho
A: Mpho, I would only buy it if the answer to all these questions is "yes":
- Have you seen an authentic service history which shows all services have been done to schedule?
- Has only the oil recommended by the manufacturer been used? If the owner can't tell you which oil the manufacturer recommends, record a "no".
- Has it had only one owner, and is there proof?
- Is the mileage less than 150000km?
- Are you sure no after-market modifications or installations have been done?
- Has it ever been in an accident?
- Have repairs other than regular maintenance work been done to the injection system (including the turbocharger), the engine management system or the gearbox?
- Has it been driven almost exclusively - at least 90% of the mileage - by its owner?
A seven-year-old turbodiesel car is inherently a risk . I am not in principle against a used diesel-engined car. It can be a good buy if the price is right, but it has to be vetted very carefully, especially if it has a turbocharged engine.
There are still a few vehicles fitted with unturbocharged diesel engines, and there were more of them seven years ago.
I would be less sceptical about buying such a car second-hand.
The turbocharger is the expensive, highly-stressed component. Any negative answers to these questions, or any suspect behaviour which may come to light during a test drive, should rule out the Corsa turbodiesel.