Used car buying guide: Rover 75


How to get one in your garage

An expert’s point of view

Julian Anderson, JMA Cars

“The Rover 75 is just a more comfortable version of the 75-based MG ZT. The 75’s suspension and seats are softer, there’s more soundproofing and it sits a bit higher. It is a beautiful model, with a lot of chrome accents of good quality. Most parts are still available, but although nearly 250,000 cars have rolled off the production line, they are becoming scarce as breakers loot them for their catalytic converters, which make a lot of money. My favorite is a 2.5 V6 car. I have a buddy with a Bentley GT, a Jaguar S-Type and a 75. His favorite is the 75. It says everything you need to know.

Buyer beware

Motor: The 1.8 and V6 engines have timing belts, which must be changed at 60,000 and 90,000 miles respectively, but the diesels have a chain. The 1.8-liter engine is known for its head gasket problems. All motors have a plenum, the cover of which is liable to fill with water.

Cooling system: The 1.8 liter engine has a small capacity of coolant, so check to make sure the level is correct in the expansion tank. On all engines, make sure the cooling fan is running. On the V6, check the plastic thermostat housing for leaks.

Transmission: The V8’s Tremec manual is tough but agricultural. Its rear differential feeds on the right oil. Early examples of a five-speed automatic transmission may suffer from reverse piston failure (rpm increases without increasing speed) and solenoid problems, causing abrupt shifts. Automatic transmission fluid should be changed every 60,000 miles.

Suspensions and brakes: Check the accelerated wear of the inner walls of the rear tires, often caused by deterioration of the upper suspension arms.

Body: It has been protected by a form of galvanizing which has been shown to be durable, but inspect sills and lifting points for corrosion

Interior: Check for soggy carpets and a wet boot caused by sunroof leaks and clogged drain holes. The door rattles are probably a locking button rod and broken dashboard rattle clips.


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