240SX Buying Guide – Best Advice & Tips

Looking for advice on what to look for when purchasing a Nissan 240sx car? Probability you’ve viewed different article on some website discussing about buying or selling a 240sx. Let’s simplify the 240SX buying guide and make it a little bit more very intuitive.

We will provide the essential information you need to choose best Nissan 240SX car.

Nissan, one of the most trusted automobile manufacturers, graced the world with the 240SX (or, as some know it, the Nissan Silvia in Japan) from 1989 to 1998. This vehicle isn’t just another sports car. With its lightweight structure, rear-wheel drive, and unparalleled handling, it has earned the reputation of being a tuner’s dream.

Nissan Silvia

The 240SX has become an iconic choice for those looking to modify and fine-tune their ride. If you’re looking for a 240SX, this guide will serve as your roadmap.

240SX Engine Models & Options

The Nissan 240SX has seen various evolutionary phases, coming in three distinct generations:

  1. S13 (1989-1993): The genesis of the 240SX series, the S13 is the go-to for many, primarily because of its affordability. Being the oldest, it has garnered massive aftermarket support, making modifications easier and more varied.
  2. S14 (1994-1996): This generation witnessed a design overhaul, introducing a contemporary aesthetic. Performance enhancements also make the S14 a worthy contender for those seeking a balance between classic and modern.
  3. S15 (1997-1998): The last and arguably the most sophisticated of the series, the S15 is a rarity. As such, its price point is significantly higher, but for a good reason. This generation incorporates advanced features that make it stand out.

The 240SX wasn’t a one-size-fits-all model. Depending on the year and variant, potential buyers have a buffet of engine choices:

  • KA24E 2.4L 4-cylinder: Reliable and efficient, the KA24E may not offer a tremendous power output, but its durability is commendable.
  • KA24DE 2.4L DOHC 4-cylinder: A step up in the power hierarchy, the KA24DE has more oomph. However, with increased power can come increased issues.
  • KA24DET 2.4L DOHC Turbocharged 4-cylinder & SR20DET 2.0L DOHC Turbocharged 4-cylinder: These turbocharged variants are for those who desire raw power. However, this comes with the trade-off of higher maintenance and costs.
  • SR20DE 2.0L DOHC 4-cylinder: Sitting in the mid-range, the SR20DE offers a balanced experience, with power and reliability coexisting.

Is a used Nissan 240sx a good car?

The Nissan 240SX is a classic sports car that was popular in the 1990s and early 2000s, and it is still a sought-after car among enthusiasts today. However, whether a used Nissan 240SX is a good car or not depends on a number of factors, such as its condition, maintenance history, and modifications.

If the car has been well-maintained and has not been excessively modified, it can be a reliable and fun car to own and drive. The 240SX is known for its nimble handling and balanced chassis, which make it a popular choice for drifting and autocross events.

However, if the car has been heavily modified, it may have reliability issues or may not be street legal, depending on the modifications. Additionally, if the car has been poorly maintained or has a history of accidents, it may have hidden problems that could become expensive to fix.

Before purchasing a used Nissan 240SX, it is important to have it inspected by a qualified mechanic who is familiar with the car. This will help you to identify any potential problems or issues with the car and make an informed decision about whether it is a good purchase for you.

What to Look for When Buying Nissan 240SX

Before making the big purchase, keep an eye out for:

  • Rust: Areas such as the undercarriage, wheel wells, and hatch area are rust hotspots.
  • Engine Health: An engine’s sound can reveal a lot. Odd noises can be red flags. Also, a glance at the oil can hint at the engine’s condition.
  • Transmission Fluidity: As you shift gears, a smooth transition is a green light, whereas any stickiness or resistance can be concerning.
  • Suspension’s State: A car’s suspension is integral for a smooth ride. Any signs of degradation need attention.
  • Body Inspection: Visible damages or repairs should be scrutinized. They can indicate past accidents or mishandlings.
  • Maintenance Records: A well-maintained car can save future headaches. Always ask for its history.

Look under the Nissan 240SX car for symptoms of fluid leakage. Coolant is green, Oil is brown/black and brake/trans fluid is red. Inspect the engine bay and the underside of the engine/transmission for dampness or sludge, especially around the drain plug and seals.

Corrosion is common issue that comes up with many Nissan cars from this period. Common spots you can find rust lurking include the location under the spare tire in the hatch and/or trunk, the battery tray and strut towers in the engine bay.

All across the hatch and/or trunk especially under spoilers and make sure the car chassis is rust free as well by looking at the framerails and underbody. Rust can significantly endanger the structural condition of any cars, making it risky and unstable to ride in.

A test drive isn’t just about feeling the wind in your hair. Focus on:

  • Start-Up & Idling: The car should start seamlessly and idle without hiccups.
  • Acceleration & Gear Transition: Seamless gear shifts and consistent acceleration are vital.
  • Handling & Braking: The car should respond well to steering and brake smoothly.
  • Unusual Elements: Be it a noise or vibration; if it feels out of place, it probably is.

Start the Nissan 240SX car and listen closely for tones that signify how it’s performing. Your feelings should be used as you drive the car. Notice how the Nissan 240SX goes through gears, check out the temp guage, turn the steering wheel from lock to lock and listen for belt noise and more. Look behind the car for smoke while it is running.

Confirm the lights and signals work properly, listen and smell for exhaust leaks, note the tread on the tires and more.

Verify carfax and visually check out the Nissan 240SX for any signs of a previous accident. A body kit panels that have been completely restored with bondo are dead giveaways. Also check slightly miss-matched paint shades and panels and doors that don’t fit right, these will causing gaps to be wider or tighter than spec, and causing difficulty in latching the doors. Car collisions could potentially cause critical damage to the frame that have an effect on the car’s handling in a wrong way and lead to many major problems down the road.

Check for current inspection and registration paperwork. Consider just how much money will be needed to ensure it does, if the 240SX will not pass your local inspection and emissions test.

If your car has a sunroof, spray water over it and verify that its not leaking. On the 240SX hatchbacks, spray water over the rear and check that nothing is making its way into the hatch area.

The 240SX, given its popularity in the tuning community, often comes with modifications. A crucial note: if you’re considering a modified 240SX, always get it inspected. A trained mechanic can ensure that all tweaks, enhancements, and changes are safe and up to standard.

All these Nissan 240SX buying guide can be used by a smart buyer to bargain with the car seller. ALWAYS request a receipt/bill of sale with both yours and the buyers’ signatures.

In conclusion, the Nissan 240SX, a marvel of its time, continues to charm enthusiasts. Whether you’re an avid tuner or someone who appreciates a solid drive, this car can be a worthy addition to your garage. Use this guide as your trusty companion in your 240SX quest. Safe driving!