Adventure and off-roading are things that almost all vehicle enthusiasts cherish. But for any great adventure, a suitable partner is a must. When it comes to vehicles, any talk about adventure and off-roading is incomplete without mentioning the Mahindra Thar.
Popular as the off-roading bad boy, the Mahindra Thar is one of the most popular SUVs in India. Thanks to its capable 4×4 system, the Mahindra Thar is well equipped to tackle all kinds of terrains. Due to its sheer popularity, the Mahindra Thar is also easily available in the pre-owned market. With a vehicle that promises to be your adventure companion, it is important for you to bring home a Mahindra Thar that is free from any major defects. And to help you pick the right one we have compiled a list of common pointers to check whenever you go out to bring home a pre-owned Mahindra Thar
Leaking Soft Top
The Mahindra Thar is India’s only SUV that comes with both a hard as well as a soft top. The soft top on the Mahindra Thar not only makes it customizable but also comes handy when a user needs to convert the Thar into an open roof vehicle. While a soft top may be an attractive addition, with constant use as well as wear and tear, it is quite possible for the soft top material to develop holes, cracks and tears, from which rain water might leak into the car. This is especially true with older pre-owned Thars that have been through the test of time.
Therefore, the first and foremost thing to look out when you inspect a pre-owned Thar, is to thoroughly check the soft top on the car. If possible you can even take a bottle of water along to pour it on the soft top and check for major leaks and cuts. The soft top is easily replaceable as an aftermarket part or you may choose to convert it into a hard top.
Issues with the Air Conditioning Unit
A common problem for older Mahindra Thars is with its AC units. In the previous generation Thar, the AC units were not as reliable as they should have been and Thars are known to have problems in cooling, heating and even with the AC flow.
To make sure the AC unit works well on your desired Mahindra Thar, start the car, then turn the blower to the max, and change the temperature to the highest and lowest respectively. Attention must also be placed on unusual compressor noises that may signify a serious problem with the AC unit as a whole. This way you can be assured of a well-functioning AC unit that can save repair costs.
Rusting and Paint Bubbles
The Mahindra Thar is meant to tackle all kinds of terrains including shallow water bodies. However, due to its all-terrain nature, rusting is a common problem with the Mahindra Thar, especially in moist areas where it mostly rains round the year. Though any vehicle can catch rust, it is common for off-roading vehicles to easily catch rust if the owner isn’t careful enough. Once rusting begins, it slowly eats up the metal frame of the vehicle leading to a decrease in structural strength and permanent damage to crucial body parts.
Thus, a very crucial thing to inspect when buying a pre-owned Mahindra Thar is whether or not the vehicle is rusting. Attention must also be paid to paint bubbles forming on parts that are largely exposed to water during off-road runs. These include the running board, fenders, bumpers and under body. Many times, these paint bubbles also indicate that the seller has tried to hide the rusting part by repainting. If you come across any signs of rusting, make sure to avoid buying the vehicle.
Problems with 4×4 Operation
If you happen to opt for a pre-owned 4×4 variant of Thar, a thorough testing of the 4×4 system is a must. Since the Mahindra Thar is an on-demand 4×4 vehicle, it is made up of several key components such as locking hubs, differentials, transfer case etc. Any problem with one or more such components can lead to the Thar’s 4×4 system malfunctioning. Common issues of the Thar’s 4×4 system include non-engagement of front wheels, faster tyre burn in 4×4 modes, heavy expenditure of fuel, traction issues and much more.
Thus it is important to take any pre-owned Thar 4×4 on a subtle off-road run to thoroughly test the 4×4 system. It is evident that one cannot fully test out the 4×4 in one drive, but engaging all 4×4 modes during a test drive can surely rule out major problems that might be ignored in absence of such a test drive.
Lag in electronic operations
Being an off-roader, a lot of Thar owners have driven the Thar through muddy, dusty and snowy terrains. And while doing so, it is quite common for mud, dust and snow to enter the cabin. While this can easily be done away with quick cleaning, it also leads to electronic components being compromised due to water, dust, snow etc. Thus, it is important to check electronic operations, whenever buying a pre-owned Mahindra Thar. Attention must also be paid to wires hanging around. Other components such as power windows, AC knobs, indicators, lamps etc. must also be checked for potential damage or lag in operations.
As a 4×4 SUV, the Mahindra Thar features independent front suspension to tackle any terrain. A common issue with used Mahindra Thar cars are the worn suspension systems if the car has done extensive off-roading.
Therefore a crucial thing to note when you test drive a pre-owned Mahindra Thar is suspension performance. For this you can take on the Thar over a few bumps and uneven roads, which the vehicle should easily tackle. However, if you notice unwanted sounds when maneuvering over bumps and uneven roads, make sure to look for another Mahindra Thar, because suspension replacement can be a pretty expensive job.
Check for Accidental Cues
Probably one of the most important things to look out for in a pre-owned vehicle, cues that the vehicle you are inspecting is accidental can save you from losing money in a fraudulent transaction that can prove to be a burden in the near future. It is a common practice for dealers to lie about vehicles being non accidental, and with the Mahindra Thar being a capable off-roader, checking for cues that might indicate the vehicle being an accidental one is very important.
The Mahindra Thar’s reputation as an off-road adventurer also includes a few mishaps during those off-road runs. Thus, when you are out to inspect a pre-owned Mahindra Thar, make sure to check panel gaps, bumper condition, service history, chassis condition, paint quality, underbody engine bay and other creased surfaces that often show that a repair has been carried out. If you find a suspicious deformity, ask the owner about the same and make sure you buy the vehicle only after a thorough inspection.
When you’re looking to buy a used Mahindra Thar, there are many capable options to consider. With these 7 points, you will be able to buy a quality pre-owned Mahindra Thar to enjoy your own personal off-roading adventures.