A friend of mine needs transportation for a new job but doesn’t have a whole lot of money to spend. His desire for an upscale clean car in his price range keeps leading him towards buying high mileage cars. We have gone to see several of his top picks and all of them have been well over 100,000 miles.
In this particular case I have been trying to push my friend into a different category of vehicles without any luck. At this point He has Audi Q7 tastes, but a 96 Ford Taurus budget. It is his money so I will go look at the vehicles he has picked out. So far I have noticed a trend that I wanted to bring to everybody’s attention.
When you’re buying high mileage used cars getting the vehicle thoroughly checked out by a professional mechanic is very important. No one can tell you if it’s a good deal or not unless a thorough inspection is performed and an accurate condition assigned to the vehicle.
Lots of high mile cars to choose from
The first thing I started to find odd about the vehicles that we went to look at was the mileage. They were if not exactly at 100,000 they were very close. When I performed a couple of inspections I noticed that all of the original equipment parts were on the vehicles. No major services or maintenance had been performed yet.
On many vehicles including my own there are 2 major maintenance services due at 50k and 100,000 miles. On the right is a picture from my owner’s manual of a few things that are due at that mileage.
The picture is low quality (sorry) but the point I was trying to make is every box is checked on three pages under the 100k column. I called the Cadillac dealer and asked them how much this service would be for my 2009 SRX. They said using the recommended motor oil and other synthetic fluids it would be $1000.
On some high-end German vehicles a 100,000 mile service can cost over $2500. So as we look at these vehicles I got the feeling that the original owners drove the vehicle until the expensive service was due. At that point they decided to take that money and apply it to a new vehicle instead of properly servicing the old one. This leaves an upscale shiny vehicle that has not had its 100,000 mile service on a used car lot or in somebody’s driveway for sale.
When we went to look at one car there was 120,000 miles on the vehicle and both the 100,000 mile and 50,000 mile service were skipped. Only oil changes had been done for 120,000 miles. The Owner told us the car was well maintained and in his mind it was. But in reality it was not! So if you are going to buy high mileage used cars be aware that a large expensive service might be past-due.
Proper used car maintenance
People have written entire books about this subject so I don’t want to go too deep but something else I wanted to mention was properly done maintenance. On the vehicle mentioned above only oil changes were done since the vehicle was new. Unfortunately each oil change was done poorly.
In most cases you would expect to receive chassis lubrication during an oil change service. Looking at the owner’s receipts he was supposed to get them as part of the service. But they were not done and there was no grease or very little in the different front end parts. Without proper chassis lubrication you could wind up having a bunch of worn out expensive to replace parts at the 100,000 mile mark, even if the cars not that old.
So far we haven’t found the right vehicle but our search continues. I asked my friend to stop by my other website and learn a little more about buying used cars. Until then if you are looking at buying high mileage used cars find a way to get it checked out by a professional mechanic. If you know someone that is looking at one of these cars share this article with them using the social buttons below. For more of the latest articles on the auto repair information blog this next link will take you back to the homepage from this article about buying high mileage cars.
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