You have been on a search for a good-condition used car. You found the model you want, and the price is fantastic too. You have almost decided to buy it, and just then, one of your friends asks you a question: What is the mileage on this car? You daze out because you don’t know.
Automobile aficionados hold varying opinions when it comes to the mileage of used cars. A few of them argue that high mileage cars aren’t worth any investment. Meanwhile, others claim it is the condition of the used car which matters.
For starters, you should know what mileage means.
What is the mileage?
Mileage gives you a rough idea of how far the vehicle is in its life-span. The average annual mileage of a car is 12,000 miles. Anything close to that mark is good. If it’s over the mark, then the mileage is classified as high.
Mileage affects the price of the car because low mileage means less wear and tear in the parts while high mileage means that the car parts are stressed and are expectedly in bad condition. (If not maintained)
There is more to the story of mileage that we bother to care. We get over-excited by things like exterior finish, engine capacity, rubber components, and interior surfaces, but the mileage factor needs thorough consideration as well.
In this blog, we plan to focus on high mileage cars. We will carefully study the underlying factors of high mileage cars, how bad is it, and whether you should go for its purchase.
What impacts mileage?
The US Department of Transportation states that an average driver in the United States covers around 13,500 miles annually. If you spot a used car and find that it has traveled more than 40,000 or 50,000 miles in two years, that’s a red flag!
There are some other factors you must consider when analyzing the mileage. Climate, for instance, can change the impact of the average mileage figure. A car driven in cold weather of Michigan, showing 9000 miles on its odometer, tends to have more wear and tear (due to potholes and road salts).
On the contrary, a car that has traveled beyond 13,500 miles on warm, smooth streets of Texas has lesser deterioration.
Is high-mileage bad?
With all that said above, the most crucial element of determining the efficacy of a vehicle is not its mileage. You must address other important factors too. Like, the history of that vehicle, the accidents, and maintenance it has gone through.
According to some people, a high mileage newer car is better than buying an old car with less mileage. It is because the rubber components in a vehicle deteriorate over time, regardless of the miles it has covered.
A car with high mileage will last longer because it burns the carb accumulation and lubricates itself more often. Both of these are the signs of a long-lasting engine.
Repairs on high-mileage cars
Used cars are often in need of repair and maintenance. It is imperative to check the vehicle extensively before you buy it. Following is the list of essential maintenance for the car components you should check:
- Battery: The average life-span of a car battery is four years. It is not very much affected by the miles a car has covered.
- Tires: Given the car has been on the road for long, it is likely that the tires have worn out. Used tires can be a safety hazard because of their compromised condition.
However, the driving habits of the previous driver may have caused a substantial impact on its condition. Do not take the risk and get them replaced as soon as you can.
- Brake pads: The brake pads will instantly let you know with a sound that it needs fixing. The number of miles on odometer doesn’t predict when you will hear a loud screech from the brakes.
To be safe, you must get an examination of the brakes from your mechanic. It will result in less damage to the bearings or rotors in the upcoming days.
- Oil levels: Even though oil changing is a part of routine maintenance, you must switch to high-mileage oil when buying a used car. It will tighten up the engine and ensure there are no oil leaks.
Study the maintenance schedule
As pointed out earlier, you must examine the maintenance schedule of a car you are planning to buy. Most manufacturers use a 30-60-90,000-mile schedule in which they ask the buyers to get significant maintenance for the vehicle.
Therefore, before you purchase a car, get to know how far it is from its maintenance limit. If it is around the corner, discuss a quote with your mechanic. Then, factor it into the overall cost of the vehicle.
Expect a good resale value
According to the US Car Sales Statistics, the size of the used car market in the US is $117,942,000,000. The market is, indeed, enormous! You will find plenty of dealers who put on the used cars for sale. It is always wise to consider the value you would get when you put it up on sale.
There is not much difference in the resale value of a car that has traveled 80,000 miles and one that has covered 13,000 miles on the road. It is possible to sell the car at almost the same price at which you bought it.
The bottom line
Now that you know all that is there to be known about high-mileage cars, we believe you to make a well-informed choice. If you genuinely love a car and it has a high-mileage on it, there is no harm buying it. Yet, do not make any move unless you get a comprehensive examination of the car from your trusted mechanic.
Once you get the keys, the ball is in your court. Take the right care of the vehicle – fix problems, choose high-quality parts, drive gently, and keep it clean. By following all the ground rules, you can spin about flaunting those fancy wheels as long as you want!