Buyer Beware

This page is a list of things that you should look out for if you're on the hunt for a used k11 micra. Micras are incredibly affordable thesedays, they have severely dropped in price on the used car market, so there are a few bargains to be found out there. This checklist has been compiled by people familiar with micras and may hopefully help you out a bit on your micra hunt. Thanks to site Editor Evade for providing much of this information.

As the latin term "caveat emptor" states - "let the buyer beware".

Make sure the car hasn't got any outstanding money owing on it..Check with REVS
Make sure all the VIN/engine block/build dates match up with the registration details.
Don't inspect a car in the rain or at night time. Rain will hide a lot of paint blemishes etc and night time makes it very difficult to properly inspect a vehicle.
Don't just rely on a paid for vehicle inspection, they are good as generalist checks, but aren't familiar with many of the model-specific things to be aware of. If any problems are discovered, make sure the dealer fixes the problem before you will settle and collect the vehicle: will save you a lot of trouble later on as many dealers don't want to know you once you've taken the car away.
Ensure that any oil leaks are fixed properly. Its not sufficient for an oil additive to be used or some bog/silicone isn't just smeared over the leak area to temporarily make it stop. Engine oil leaks can be a major job to repair properly, so make sure its not you having to get this done out of pocket 3 months after the sale when the user car warranty expires.
Don't settle for a car unless you are totally attached to'll save yourself regretting it later.
Have you thought about which model micra would suit you best? LX, SLX, Super S? Note sure what the differences are? Then check the specifications here.
Have a good look at the wheel arches for any damage. Lowered cars with big wheels might scrape out the inside plastic bits at the front. This may also give you some historical information about the car.
Sound can be an extremely useful diagnosis tool, make sure the engine sounds healthy. A minor rattle during startup due to the timing chain taking up tension is perfectly normal, however if this is excessive or continues after startup, then something is not right. Some squeeks and rubbing noises may occur due to incorrect accessory belt tension, this is very important as it means your coolant pump or power steering may be being underdriven or there could be excess load on the engine robbing you of some power and economy.
Check for traces of smoke or residue from the exhaust by looking around the bumper and rear of the car. Smoke and residue from the car being rich will usually leave black traces on the rear paintwork. Check to see if the car smokes when cold started, note the difference between the misty evaporation smoke from the car being cold and stenchy out of tune smoke. If the car is modified engine wise, it may be running richer and you may see some black residue coming out the exhaust, the car may actually be healthy and running well, it will just be burning some amount of excess petrol as the mixture isn't perfectly stoicheometric (perfectly mixed so that no excess petrol remains).
Take a close look at the headlight clusters. Sometimes when they have been damaged, the repairer may install a headlight from an auto wrecker. These can sometimes be much poorer quality than the factory Nissan items. Instead of having a glass face it may be plastic, so give them a tap and also look for human scribble/writing on them from inside the engine bay as wreckers usually scribble which car they are for like "95 Micra" etc. This applies to many car parts too, all kinds of re-used parts from wreckers may have this kind of scribble on them. Generally, replacement brand headlights may be wired slightly different to factory ones too. So if you're comparing multiple micras, take note between the cars to see if they are all wired the same as this may be a subtle clue to identifying the car that has had the front end collision!
Mangulated panhard links on lowered vehicles
This really only applies to micras that appear to have been lowered.

I was looking at a modified micra for sale once and when I bent down to have a look under the rear of the car I almost fell over to find that the "jabba" owner had severly beaten/bent the factory panhard rod making it a big bent arch shape to shorten the effective length of the rod as he had lowered the car so much by cutting the factory springs. It gets worse, he had bent it so much that the panhard rod was maybe 5cm off the ground, It must've hit so many bumps and lumps in the road - this is the dodgiest thing I've ever seen done to a micra.

The dodgy guy should have replace the entire panhard rod with an adjustable one, however he obviously doesn't mind having a dangerous piece of garbage for a car and trying to sell it to the public without telling anyone.

Look closely for dreaded bird droppings paint damage. Acidic features of the bird droppings eat into the paint.
Check along the rails underneath either side of the vehicle for chassis clamp marks. These are usually a good indication that the car wasn't straight at one stage: usually from a bad accident. Note: If the car has been repaired professionally then all is fine, however bad repair jobs where the car hasn't been aligned properly can leave your car with steering and wheel alignment issues. (SAI) Strut Axis Inclination can be warped which means your car may steer easier to one side than to the other, this can only be repaired by a chassis alignment jig and even the best wheel alignments cannot remove this bad characteristic.
Stone chip guards are meant to be for the good of your car right? To protect your paint? Well almost every car that I've seen which has had a stone chip guard in place for a while suffers terribly from a badly scratched bonnet. Right at the points where the guard clips on because it rubs and rubs the paint away over the years. Plus it costs you money to buy one of these stupid guards. Why pay money up front for something that will gradually chew your bonnet away!? They also make your car look uglier. Have a nicer looking car, spend less money and don't get your bonnet scratched: bonnet stone chip guards are terrible! Unless you live on a gravel road in the outback, but you might not have a micra then right? In the event that you do get a nasty stonechip or two, after a while I'd prefer to have my bonnet resprayed which doesn't cost much as opposed to having a scratched bonnet anyway from the guard!

Check the front and rear bumpers for any signs of repaired damage. Look into the front grille and see if theres any damage on the metal bar going across. Slight creases may indicate some previous crash damage where the bar has been bent back into place by the repair shop. Also have a look in the engine bay for any signs of repair. Particularly, check the seams where the strut tops poke out in the engine bay - All of the glued edges between the panels there should all be very smooth and reasonably symmetrical between both sides of the car. Check for finger smear trails in the glue edges which usually indicates repair by hand from a body shop(i.e. after an accident as opposed to the machines that mass produced them from the Nissan factory).
If the vehicle is lowered and the springs are black/unfinished and stocky looking, there is a high chance that they are the factory springs which have just been cut shorter. Ask to jack the car up, especially the rear end and see if you can jiggle the rear springs. If they feel loose and uncaptive the car is dangerous and the springs are not designed correctly for the car. This is illegal and additionally will cause premature wear to your shock absorbers. Your shock absorbers will be overworked and insufficient causing your car to oscillate/bounce more than it should and possibly making it handle dangerously. This can be a very good bargaining point for you to get some dollars off the car. There is still a chance that the shock absorbers might be fine, so if they reduce the price by $1000 because of this and don't fix it, its a great chance for you to fix the suspension however you like and save a lot of cash.

Also, check underneath your vehicle for a damaged splashguard and generally anywhere under the car. Vehicles that may have been abused or severely lowered will often carry hidden scars from this underneath!

Inside the hatch/boot there is a little panel which is held in by a series of plastic clips. Make sure all of the clips are there, as their absence creates a very rattly micra! They are very cheap for body shops to source and can simply be popped into place. Listen for any rattles when you are test driving your micra and keep this in mind as its a very common cause of rattles in the micra. The little hinges that hold the parcel tray in may be loose which can cause rattles as well.
Check the boot/fuel cap release to make sure its secure. They can slip off and may just need to be wedged back into the correct position.