The art of buying high mileage cars as a daily driver. 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’ve seen several of his top picks and all of them pushed past the 100,000 miles barrier.
In this particular case I’m trying to push my friend into a different category of vehicles without any luck. At this point he’s got Audi Q7 tastes, but a 96 Ford Taurus budget. It’s his money so I will go look at the target vehicles. So far I’ve 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. If you know a little about cars try filling out this used car inspection form. Nevertheless, no one can tell you if it’s a good deal or not until we perform a thorough inspection. When completed, we’ll have 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 automobiles we looked at was the mileage. They were if not exactly at 100,000 then very close. When I performed a couple of inspections I noticed that all of the original equipment parts remained on the vehicles. No major services or high mileage maintenance items had been performed yet.
On many vehicles including my own there’s 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, but the point I’m trying to make, all the boxes have dots 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.
High Mileage Maintenance on German Cars
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 it showed 120,000 miles on the odometer and they skipped both the 100,000 mile and 50,000 mile service. 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 Maintenance on High Mileage Cars
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 showed regular maintenance. You get lubrication as part of these services. However, it didn’t happen and no grease or very little lubricated 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, regardless of age.
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. When buying high mileage used cars find a way to have a professional mechanic look at it. If you know someone that’s looking at one of these cars share this article with them. For more of the latest articles on the auto repair information blog this next link will take you back to the CertifiedmasterTech.com Homepage.