Rust on the rear quarters above the rocker panel and/or above the wheel well lip on both sides.
Rust on the door jamb at the spot welds for the door striker.
Center console doors don't operate and/or parts are missing. (Radio door, ashtray door, cup holder door, rear console doors/lock)
Drivers seat outside bolsters broken down and/or badly worn depending on how a person gets in/out.
Door armrest vinyl has shrunk and pulled away or cracked where people arms naturally rest on the door panels. Both sides.
Roof panel and door seals/rubbers are often not maintained well. They will show cracks, chunks missing, etc...
Trunk water leaks due to the seals on the rear sail panels or tail lights going bad. Pull the trunk liner aside if you can and look for signs of water sitting or a musty smell. Similar issues can happen with the 3rd brake light trim panel and water can leak into the rear cabin. You'll notice a smell if this has been happening long. Check under the trunk spare tire cover for rust while you are in the trunk. Pull the cover all the way out if you can. Pay close attention to the most forward part of the trunk floor where the cab meets the trunk floor. Rust here can be a big issue if allowed to get bad.
Antennas broken off seem to be common and it's a bit of a bear to replace because it's in a tight spot in the body, although not expensive through DS Tuning. Power antenna was an accessory that seems to be rare. Power masts are available seperately from the motor drive and can usually be replaced seperately if your motor still clicks when the radio is powered up/down.
Paint faded on Red and Black seems to be common and obvious to see.
3rd gear grind especially when cold is somewhat common on 5 spd cars where the transmission is either old or mistreated. Shift forks get bent from abuse. It's an expensive fix due to the labor involved.
Door triangle window frames, the black painted parts, seem to rust out from the bottom up on some cars.
Door lock mechanisms can get stiff and in need of lubrication and possibly rebending some rods that have "stretched" over time. You'll see the door lock pivot doesn't move easily and/or gets stuck partially closed/open when operating the locks via the power switch.
Door and trunk lock rod clips can get brittle and break causing the trunk lock cylinder or door handle to not open the trunk/door. Clips are very inexpensive and not very difficult to replace.
Fuel door and trunk open cables stretch over time and may not work consistently. I know the trunk cable has adjustment notches than can be used to tighten up the cable just a little. There are 3 notches. Mine is on the last and next step is a replaced cable. Fuel door MIGHT have the same adjustment, but I have not confirmed this.
CV joints go bad eventually on all FWD cars. If you can drive in a tight circle very slowly in a parking lot first to the left then the right, making a couple circles each way with the steering wheel turned all the ay to lock, you want to listen for clicking coming from the front wheel area. If it clicks when doing this, then the CV joints are on their way out. Might last for many more months or might go the next day.
Instrument panel or switch bulbs being blown is also common. These are pretty old cars. But relacing them is cheap and fairly easy if you are mechanicallly inclined at all. Caution, some switch bulbs have been discontinued BUT your local dealer parts person should be able to match up a similar bulb from another application.
I will elaborate on this list as I get information including photos and part numbers/diagrams where applicable. If anyone has additional information, corrections, contributions, etc... Please post up. The goal is to build something worthy of Pinning to the top of this Forum for the Del Sol owner or perspective owner to use as reference. It's not intended as a slam in ANY way of our cars. I love my Del Sol. It is intended only to inform and assist.
Edited by MChester, 28 October 2009 - 10:30 PM.