Am I nuts for wanting a high mileage car?

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my parents bought my younger brother a Ford Ranger 4.0 liter with 192,000 miles on when he got his license years ago. with regular maintenance put on close to 40,000 more miles on it before they ended up selling it, it ran great, still had great power. just the wisconsin rust was getting to it, like the shackles etc rusting through and body etc. shame how a vehicle can run great but everything else goes to heck
 
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"I don't think that's necessarily true" that is a very good point. the white paper i read was researched in the late 60s. and we all know things are a lot different now days. engine oils are many times better now. but filtering to 2 microns still wont hurt.
 
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I imagine they will be a bit flexible on the price, but it is a Honda... Some one at work here sold a loaded atx V6 Accord of that era with a bit more mileage for something like $6k. Always undercoated though, so some honda fan-person bought it. If they have all the maintenance records and it looks like new, then probably its not a bad car. And if you want a manual accord, that is worth something as well to you.
 

ThirdeYe

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Accord400k_miles - Thanks for the testimonial! That's fascinating to hear. I'm especially surprised since the V6 ones were not known to have very solid transmissions. Welcome to BITOG, btw! dave87rs -- I thought the same thing. I'm assuming it's a Michigan car, but perhaps if the previous owner had enough foresight to wash it when driving it in the winter, it won't be too bad. They claim the only rust spot is on the hood... but I've had people tell me there was no rust on the quarter panels just to get there and find traces of it starting right where the lip is welded together. After having my Acura, I'm a pro at spotting rust. Hah! The biggest issues with my Integra so far have been rust/salt/Michigan related (gas tank, fuel lines, quarter panel, suspension bushings, etc.). I'm hoping that since the seller has had it for sale for a while now he might be flexible on the price, so we'll see how it goes. I just got the VIN from the seller, so I plan on looking up a Carfax for it shortly if I can find someone to run it for me.
 
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Hey thanks! It's great to contribute after reading so much from these forums. Try to negotiate with them! The guy I bought my car from had to be flexible. I mean who wants a car with 355,000 miles. Not many people! He was asking 3,500. I paid 3,000 - was that a lot, was that a little? For me it was a good deal. It'd always been garaged, which is important also living in a rust belt state - MA. The interior was in good shape, and I knew the service record. Even though it had a lot of miles, there weren't any overdue repairs. Now, over time I have had to replace parts, but I can live with that and it's still cheaper than a new or newer car. I think I've been lucky with this car but I really stay on top of my fluid changes. 5-7k on synthetic oil, and about 10k on factory transmission fluid. Last weekend I changed the transmission filter, under the air box. (the one the dealer always says doesn't exist - lol - ) I also opened it up. I do not know how many miles were on the filter but there were at least my 44k. The fluid color was a normal, and there were some metal particles. Like an oil change filter, I'll do it as regular service . It's cheap insurance to help this transmission last as long as possible.
 

ThirdeYe

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From what I understand, the best thing you can do is frequent transmission fluid changes on the more troublesome Honda ATs. Our '01 Civic has a trouble-prone transmission but luckily the car was well maintained and low mileage, so we caught it soon enough and we're going to be changing it once a year with Amsoil ATF (the stuff works great in my Integra -- no affiliation at all). Is yours a manual or an automatic? Here's to 400k! Derek
 
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I have an automatic transmission. After the fluid changes, and filter changes it runs really smooth. Each shift point is barely perceptible. The only work needed so far, was I replaced the 3rd and 4th gear sensors. My dash gear shift indicator was flashing, which is a common indicator that these sensors are worn. They were about $70 total on eBay. What I wasn't expecting was my fuel economy went up, by shifting into the higher years sooner, I was much more efficient. I also have a ScanGaugeE plugged into the OBDII port and sits on my dash. It reads out real time gas mileage, engine codes, temps, voltage, just about any sensor the computer reads. It's been very helpful to diagnose problems. It works as a scan tool also, so I have used it on friends cars to read/clear their codes.
 

ThirdeYe

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Very cool! Good for you. Glad it's working out. Do you know if the previous owner ever replaced or repaired it? I contacted the seller about the car and after I told him/her I wanted to take the car to a Honda dealership to have them inspect it to make sure everything's okay, they said the car is uninsured and has expired tabs/registration, so I can't really take it for a decent drive. They also said they wouldn't take $3,500. Should I just pass? I'm not sure if even $3,700 or $3,800 is worth it when I can't take it for a proper test drive or get it inspected by a mechanic.
 
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The right mechanic has a repairman's plate, similar to a dealer's demonstration plate. They can use that to pick the car up and bring it to their shop, but if you're not good friends they may charge for that. I love having an "R" plate at work smile People say I can't drive it due to insurance, I say I have an R plate and insurance, nobody's refused me yet!
 
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Originally Posted By: ThirdeYe
I contacted the seller about the car and after I told him/her I wanted to take the car to a Honda dealership to have them inspect it to make sure everything's okay, they said the car is uninsured and has expired tabs/registration, so I can't really take it for a decent drive. They also said they wouldn't take $3,500. Should I just pass?
That is a BIG red flag that they won't let you take it out to get inspected by a mechanic. Keeping the registration active is common sense, and it seems pretty convenient they let the registration expire and are using it as the reason for prospective buyers to not be able to take it for a decent test drive or get it checked out by a mechanic. RUN AWAY!
 
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Run away if you can get it inspected easily. Otherwise, in general, if you are willing to buy 10 year low mileage car then there is nothing wrong in considering similar 10 year high mileage car. Very few things on the car wear out solely based on the mileage. Clutch can last 100K, 200K, 300K etc. Similarly, engine can last 200K or 300K. You can expect to get another 5 year from that car.
 
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Originally Posted By: ThirdeYe
The owner claims it's very well maintained, 3k OCIs with Mobil 1 since new and has no quarter panel rust (big issue here in MI)... The timing chain and water pump were recently replaced...
The moment I read this, I thought something was fishy. I would accept the water pump at that mileage, but not the timing chain with 3k OCI using M1. No way would that happen if it were true, unless the oil level was run low on regular basis. Now, we find out the vehicle is sitting un-registered and unused. So much for good maintenance...
 
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ThirdeYe

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I decided to pass. It's a shame, because it's exactly what I want in terms of body style, options, etc. There is a 2004 4-door for sale with less miles for almost the same price that I'll be looking at later this week when the owner is back in town. He didn't seem as fishy to me when I talked to him on the phone. I do know that it's going to need a few things, but he's fine with me taking it to a nearby mechanic and disclosed the issues without hesitation or trying to cover it up. He said the driver's side rear wheel has a slight clunk coming from it recently, and he suspects it's a bushing. It also has some stone chips on the front of the hood that are starting to rust, but I think they could be lightly sanded down and covered up without them coming back, since it's surface rust rather than underside bubbling rust like there was on the 2-door's hood. Thanks for the advice everyone!
 
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ThirdeYe, Yes - this does not sound right. Move on. Unlike a low miles car, these high miles cars stay on the market so if you have time, take your time. Find the right one. Get it looked at. When I bought my 355k Accord, I brought it to a mechanic. I saw it for the first time and liked it. For my 2nd look, on the day of the sale we met at his shop, it helped to broker the deal and make me comfortable. It's your money!
 
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