Although the van never officially imported to the United Kingdom, the Mazda Bongo Camper Van arrived in the UK beginning at the turn of the new millennium. Several British companies acquired the vans and placed the Bongo for sale on the pre-owned market. The Mazda Bongo provides exceptional value that drives high demand, which means UK consumers should learn how to buy a Mazda Bongo Camper Van.
Examine the Head Gasket
Mazda Bongo buyers should first examine the condition of the head gasket, which is the most common maintenance issue for the camper van. Bongo buyers access the head gasket by lifting the bonnet and searching within the header tank located on the nearest side. Oil in the tank indicates a head gasket failure. A low level of oil can also indicate a head gasket leak, which causes the engine to overheat. Bongo buyers should look under the driver's seat to find the oil filler cap. Any milky-appearing liquid found in the cap indicates that the head gasket is no longer performing its function. Head gasket failure on the Bongo often starts with a crack in the coolant hose.
Check the Brakes
Camper van brakes, including those on the Bongo, typically undergo considerable stress, as owners drive the vans hundreds of kilometres per holiday. Bongo buyers should examine the disc brakes to ensure the brakes do not stick. Although sticking disc brakes do not require a professional mechanic's care, the problem may indicate more serious underlying brake maintenance issues. Mazda Bongo buyers must check the state of the brake flexi-hoses to ensure the disc brakes receive maximum fluid. Search for fluid leaks on the rear brakes, which receive the brunt of force during hard stops. Rear brake fluid leaks also contaminate handbrake shoes.
Inspect the Suspension
Many Mazda Bongo camper van owners drive the vehicles over rough terrain to reach remote camping spots. The toil on the suspension systems means Bongo buyers should examine the suspension system to check for signs of disrepair. Anti-rollbars typically cause the knocking sounds that confirm problems with the suspension. The drop links located near the front of the van wear and require repairs that can preclude buyers from making a Bongo purchase. Bongo buyers should also analyse the suspension system's lower ball for wear and tear. Problematic Bongo suspension systems can cause the wheel arches to bubble and eventually crumble.
Consider the Mileage
Since Mazda Bongo buyers purchase a used vehicle, they must consider the mileage of the camper van under consideration. Mileage is the best indication of condition, outside of closely examining the components most likely to fail on a Bongo. Buyers of the Mazda camper van should consider Bongos that the previous owners drove no more than 20,000 kilometres per year. Mazda Bongo camper van buyers can expect to pay more for low mileage Bongos to compensate owners for selling a longer lasting camper van.