Currently the only option is to buy a used Suzuki Samurai. This is due to Suzuki stopping production many years ago. You may be a little worried about buying used, because you are never certain of what you will get. To help you, here are some basic steps that you can take to increase your chances of getting a good Suzuki.
The first thing to do is research, check the prices for a used Suzuki Samurai in your area, also look over as many as possible getting familiar with its features.
If you know anyone who already owns one, asks to ride with them. Listen to the sounds it makes, feel how it rides, this will give you a base to start from.
As you go on your search for your own Samurai keep in mind that outward appearances may be deceiving and due to the off road abilities of the Samurai Suzuki there may be some hidden problems.
Don’t let all those added accessories that make it look so cool get in the way when in search of a good solid Zuki.
When you start your inspection begin underneath the vehicle, a flash light is a good helper.
If possible get the vehicle on a lift, you will see more and you won’t have to crawl.
Look for rust on parts and the underbody. Watch for large dents and hits from objects caused by possible off road driving, make note of these as they could have some effect internally.
Take your time and look it under, taking all parts into account (differential housings, transfer case, axle housing, frame, etc).
Never get in a rush and buy the first one you see. Take extra time to look for leaks from gaskets, seals, joints and hoses.
At this point if you have any hesitations about what you have seen then don’t waste any more time, split and wait for the next one. If you feel everything is good then move to the next step.
Now, let’s get to the engine. Crank her up and listen carefully for any odd sounds while also checking the exhaust for blue (burning oil) or black (running rich) smoke.
Pop the hood and look for owner neglect, are there any oil or water leaks, keep in mind to use your sense of smell under the hood as burning oil and radiator leaks can give themselves away by their scent.
Are there any signs of faulty or burnt wires? Let the engine warm up as it will reveal many truths when it gets to its normal operating temperature.
As the engine warms, do a walk around, look down the sides for any wavy panels revealing impact damage repair. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad Sammy it just may help when negotiating a price.
As a note light scratching on panels may indicate that the vehicle has been through some underbrush. Ask for the history of this used Suzuki Samurai, find out where it has spent it’s time whether off road or on the highways or beaches.
Use a good portion of time in search of rust, hey, if you have to shut the engine off do so. Look in every cranny of the Suzuki for rust, noting that older vehicles are more prone so cut a little slack if it’s not perfect.
Check all other exterior parts (headlights, turn signals, horn, wipers etc) as you confirm they are in good working order. Don’t forget to kick the tires and look the rims over as well.
Time to get inside and see what is hiding underneath that carpet! Most will have easy access to floor panels to look for any damage from underside hits or rust from water entering inside of the Samurai.
Check all moving parts are in working order from the roll down windows to locks, seat adjustments and more.
If you like what you have seen so far then maybe it’s time for a basic road test. While sitting in the captain’s chair confirm the gages are active. Remember to keep your ears tuned in and the radio and small talk turned off.
Move it to a flat surface if not already, step out and view the way it sits, is it level? There should be no odd leaning in any direct which could have been caused from rough four wheeling or changes made to the suspension that could pose a problem.
Looking good so far? Ok, let's take it for a spin. Remember modifications to suspensions can affect the way the Samurai handles so take note to be careful driving as you have not bought it just yet. Pay attention to the way the Suzuki drives and feels as no driver should feel that they are not in control, run it through all gears.
If everything is good you will certainly start to feel that fever of how much fun it is to drive a Sammy. You will be excited and ready to start the dealing process to buy a Suzuki Samurai. Before you do, give the four wheel drive a test, lock the hubs move it into low range and listen as you move forward hitting the accelerator a bit to confirm it doesn’t jump out of engagement.
Now stop and consider what you have seen, heard, smelt and felt. Is this the one for you? Only you can make that decision, if you are on the edge have a professional mechanic take a look for that extra comfort or just walk away and wait for the next one.
There is another option if you still do not feel comfortable buying a used Suzuki Samurai. Sign the petition requesting that Suzuki bring the Samurai back. There is no promise that it will ever be made again and no feeling like the one you get when driving a Suzuki Samurai. Good Luck in your search.
Please note: All information above is given as a guide to help in the purchase of a used vehicle and should not be considered a professional assessment of its quality.
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