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Buying Used Tata 4x4 in India: Things To Check Before Buying Used Tata Safari

Updated on January 7, 2012
Tata Dicor All Terrain SUV 4x4 in India
Tata Dicor All Terrain SUV 4x4 in India | Source

When searching for buying second hand car or used 4x4s, especially Tata Safari or Dicor, you should try to choose an owner-driven one, which is really difficult to find these days considering most owners of 4x4s are 50 plus businessmen. I have mentioned below some things to check before buying used Tata Safari or a second hand Dicor or any used 4x4 in India. Checking these things will give you an estimate of used car repair budget and will help in making a decision whether to buy a vehicle or not.

Check Engine Health

For engine health check, open the bonnet of 4x4 Safari and check if you see a lot of black oil on the engine block. If there is oil, it is a sign of bad/back compression.

Check AC Gas and Fans

Check the AC and if the cooling is not good, may be AC Gas (Freon) needs to be filled and if airflow is not good (irrespective of cooling), then AC fans may have accumulated a lot of dust and hence they are turning with low speed (because of weight). It will cost you around Rs. 4000 to 5000 to get it fixed because the entire dashboard has to be removed to fix it.

Check Grinding Noise In Rear

Sit in the rear seat and listen to the annoying grinding or rubbing noise when vehicle is being driven. If you get grinding noise, it means you need to service rear hubloid.

Tata Safari Dicor White SUV
Tata Safari Dicor White SUV | Source
Safari Dicor 4x4 SUV Rear View
Safari Dicor 4x4 SUV Rear View | Source
2011 Toyota Land Cruise Black - No match for this one.
2011 Toyota Land Cruise Black - No match for this one. | Source

Check Turning Radius

As it is 4X4 Safari, check the working of 4H and 4L. Also, please be noted that the turning radius of 4X4 is less.

Check Seat Adjustments

Now fold the rear seat and bring it to normal seating position again. Many times, in roughly used Safaris, the seats do not lock back to the original position. Check if front seat adjustments are working or not.

Check Power Steering

Put the vehicle in reverse and while vehicle is moving very slowly to reverse, try to turn the steering to max left or to max right. If you find it very difficult to turn the steering, then power-steering unit needs thorough service/checkup.

Check Trademark Glitches

Well, I am not sure about trademark glitches, but a standard comment that I hear from many Safari owners (and which is very much true) is Safari has very poor AC. I am not sure about AC in current Dicor but yes pre-Dicor Safaris have a very poor AC.

Check Rear Door Rattling

If the car has had even a slight shunt from the rear (it does happen at times as the Safari's brakes are pretty good for its size and weight), the rear door rattles and this is something, which is difficult to sort out for some reason. For this, you can screw on a piece of thick leather on the metal bush on the tailboard to prevent the sound.

Check Rubbing Sound

The sound sometimes resembles the sound of a tire that is rubbing against the wheel arch/mudguard.

Check Clutch Pedal

As far as the reports of a hard clutch pedal go, yes it is very hard, but for guys who have driven an Ambassador or a Mahindra jeep, this would be much softer. It is the guys who are used to driving Marutis and Hyundais who will feel that the resistance is a little bit more than what they are used to.

Check Electric Mirrors

Also look out for the electric mirrors. I have known a few Safaris whose electric mirrors have packed up for no reason.

So if you are doing a lot of driving in the mountains or uneven terrains and want to buy used 4x4 in India, you can buy Tata Safari or Dicor 4x4 and many other options. Even though I have had no problems with my 4x2 in the hills, I find its reverse gear has a very poor ratio and this does not allow you to reverse up steep inclines (35- to 40-degree gradients) from a standstill. You will get a baked clutch plate after a few attempts. Forward in first gear will pull through a much steeper hill, however.

Besides what has been listed above, get the muffler and radiator checked up. People sometimes tamper with the odometer and you could get a better understanding if you do that and also checkout the condition of tires before you buy Safari or any 4x4 in India. So you need to check the above things before you buy used Tata Safari. These tips and advice can also be utilized before buying any used 4x4 in India.

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