If you are a new owner there are a few important (mainly safety) things you should check/do to your car within the first few weeks of ownership. These things are worth doing as you car is likely already 10 to 15 years old and had numerous owners who may (or may not) have done things correctly and may have driven the car very hard.
Existing owners, please feel free to add to the sections, ideally finding 1 or 2 guides and adding a links to them. Please try to only add important safety stuff, we don't want to overload new owners with a host of non-critical things to do
All Models Checks
1. Inspect/replace the 2 hub carrier bolts on each of the 4 corners of the car. These are a well know failure point on the car with potentially very serious consequences as the suspension can completely collapse whilst in motion! Guide here and here.
2. Inspect/replace the 2 rear tie rod ends, also a relatively cheap job. As above these are known to fail with potentially similar very serious consequences. Guide here.
3. The brake vacuum pipe that leads from the engine to the servo is known to split, the nett result can be severely reduced braking force. Also the 1-way valve is known to fail too. This constituted a recall + fix for all cars, check that your car has had this remedial work done. Info/guide here and here.
4. Some after market coil-overs have been known to have their spring retaining top/cap erode and crumble. It is worth taking 5 minutes to check yours, simply feel with a hand that they are firm and solid.
NA & Supercharged Model Specific Checks
1. The timing chain on the Z22SE engine (particularly early models) was prone to wear and if it fails has terrible consequences. If you hear any strange noises from the chain end of the engine then please investigate before its too late.
VX220 Turbo Model Specific Checks
1. The VX220 Turbo has 2 fuel hard-pipes fixed to the coolant tank bracket. In some cases it has been known for the fittings that hold these pipes to break thus causing a strain on the pipe connectors. Please visually check yours (takes just 1 minute). Guide/info here.
Edited by Nev, 05 May 2016 - 09:41 AM.