Higher mileage vehicles. How high is too high when buying? Suggestions?

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As someone with a few Subarus, I'm partial to them.

Having said that, on any vehicle that age and mileage, I'd look for parts availability and pricing. 300k on a Subaru SOHC engine is not that much.

With a Subaru of that age and mileage, head gaskets would be last on my list to worry about as they probably have been done....big question is by whom.

I'd worry about axles, wheel bearings, cat converters including 02 sensors, brake calipers, drive shaft, bushings. All parts are cheap.

How knowledgeable are you doing basic maintenance on a vehicle is how cheap a Subaru is to fix.

10,12,14,17,32mm(axles), Phillips screw driver is all you need to work on a Subaru....

And LOTS OF PATIENCE.
 
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A word to the wise. If you live in a place with lots of snow, don't think awd is a replacement for snow tires or intelligent driving. Living in NH, I can tell you there's a huge difference between a Subaru and a Subaru with snow tires. I see tons of Subaru, jeep, audi, etc in the ditch in the winter related to lack of proper tires, dumb drivers, or the combination of a awd vehicle on winter tires driven beyond the limits by the dumbest drivers.

I been rocking a $400 outback in the winter in NH for the last 4 years. I got it at 180k miles, h/g, t/b, basic maintenance. It has 310k miles on it now and it's been ran on all kinds of oil mixes and cheap filters.
 
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Hard to say. If an exotic car I'd buy anything less than 150k, but just commodity commuters I'd probably get something below 90k myself (I can afford it). Back when I was dead broke I probably would buy something up to 120k. If it is someone I know well and the car is well taken care of probably up to 150k.
 

1 SX

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Maybe the 2012 Kia Forte doesn't cut it in the Woods of NY when the snow flies.
You called it!,

Also it doesn’t have any rust and the paints in fantastic condition so I’m trying to keep it that way.

I would buy dedicated snow tires because the vehicle would only be used in the snow or winter months.

I can replace and fix almost anything myself so things like brakes and tire rods or exhaust should not be a problem, might be a problem with rust 😂

Honestly I took on a new job, and the last mile or so of the trip is up a very steep incline I would go as far as to say a mountain 😛 second and third gear only type of incline goes from about 744 feet above sea level to 2640?

And I don’t wanna ruin the kia with the salt plus with it being manual it adds another layer of complexity in the snow.

I don’t think I should be using this car to learn how to drive a manual on a very steep incline as I’m sliding either up or down the mountain in the winter. I’ve never driven a manual vehicle in the winter and I don’t want to learn with this one.

So honestly it’s easier just to pick up a automatic awd winter beater throw some good snow tires on it and rock it out for the next couple winters

I know it’s “only” a forte, but to date it’s been the most fun driving car I have ever owned. Yes I’ve had faster straight line vehicles, but it’s so balanced out with the power to weight and even the traditional power steering that is razor-sharp…. that I literally plan on keeping it for the foreseeable long-term future. The perfectly matched 6 speed with the non DI sonata engine imho is a perfect match. It’s extremely agile and light on its feet, and you can swing it wherever you want and it just goes. Plus the engine sounds really nice above 5k rpm’s 😉

So I have a attachment to the Kia where I don’t wanna put it through unnecessary winters and would rather spend 2 to 3K on a Winter vehicle with snow tires then to risk the other alternatives like crashing the kia or causing rust because of the salt.

I didn’t hear from the seller about the Suzuki yet Will send another message because that seems like an interesting vehicle. I looked at the pictures again and it needs a headlight that’s if I can find one 😆
 

NO2

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An ideal high mileage vehicle would be single owner, not too old, mostly highway mileage, with good maintenance records. Age eventually kills everything. I've seen Honda Odyssey's go for 500K+. You want the salesman's car who covered hundreds of miles a day, or someone with an exceptionally long highway commute.

Back in the day, we'd get 2-3 yr old cars with just over 100K, and they looked nearly new.
 
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The Kizashi was the last of the Suzuki models imported to the US that were manufactured in Japan. It was a very good car, as were all of the Japanese built Suzukis. The reason that Suzuki fell in the US was because of the very poor quality of the Korean produced models from Daewoo, and the rebadged GM vehicles. Suzuki got a bad reputation because of these vehicles and nobody wanted to buy them.
Suzuki is still building and selling vehicles, a LOT of them, they have 46% of the India auto market. It is because of this that Toyota has recently gotten in bed with them.
 
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As someone with a few Subarus, I'm partial to them.

Having said that, on any vehicle that age and mileage, I'd look for parts availability and pricing. 300k on a Subaru SOHC engine is not that much.

With a Subaru of that age and mileage, head gaskets would be last on my list to worry about as they probably have been done....big question is by whom.

I'd worry about axles, wheel bearings, cat converters including 02 sensors, brake calipers, drive shaft, bushings. All parts are cheap.

How knowledgeable are you doing basic maintenance on a vehicle is how cheap a Subaru is to fix.

10,12,14,17,32mm(axles), Phillips screw driver is all you need to work on a Subaru....

And LOTS OF PATIENCE.
Sorry for the partial thread jack, but how available are parts for older subaru's. Being its one of the smaller manufacturers I wonder about this, never owned one but thought about it a bunch.
 
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When I drove Hondas, I used to buy high mileage, around 150k miles, but newer cars. Selling them later was not an issue because of the brand. I'm not sure I would do that with cars that are not Honda, Toyota or their derivatives.
 
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Sorry for the partial thread jack, but how available are parts for older subaru's. Being its one of the smaller manufacturers I wonder about this, never owned one but thought about it a bunch.
There are plenty available. That's why I choose to get them. Never had any issues obtaining any driveline parts, gaskets, timing belts, etc. They call them LEGO cars.
 
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You called it!,

Also it doesn’t have any rust and the paints in fantastic condition so I’m trying to keep it that way.

I would buy dedicated snow tires because the vehicle would only be used in the snow or winter months.

I can replace and fix almost anything myself so things like brakes and tire rods or exhaust should not be a problem, might be a problem with rust 😂

Honestly I took on a new job, and the last mile or so of the trip is up a very steep incline I would go as far as to say a mountain 😛 second and third gear only type of incline goes from about 744 feet above sea level to 2640?

And I don’t wanna ruin the kia with the salt plus with it being manual it adds another layer of complexity in the snow.

I don’t think I should be using this car to learn how to drive a manual on a very steep incline as I’m sliding either up or down the mountain in the winter. I’ve never driven a manual vehicle in the winter and I don’t want to learn with this one.

So honestly it’s easier just to pick up a automatic awd winter beater throw some good snow tires on it and rock it out for the next couple winters

I know it’s “only” a forte, but to date it’s been the most fun driving car I have ever owned. Yes I’ve had faster straight line vehicles, but it’s so balanced out with the power to weight and even the traditional power steering that is razor-sharp…. that I literally plan on keeping it for the foreseeable long-term future. The perfectly matched 6 speed with the non DI sonata engine imho is a perfect match. It’s extremely agile and light on its feet, and you can swing it wherever you want and it just goes. Plus the engine sounds really nice above 5k rpm’s 😉

So I have a attachment to the Kia where I don’t wanna put it through unnecessary winters and would rather spend 2 to 3K on a Winter vehicle with snow tires then to risk the other alternatives like crashing the kia or causing rust because of the salt.

I didn’t hear from the seller about the Suzuki yet Will send another message because that seems like an interesting vehicle. I looked at the pictures again and it needs a headlight that’s if I can find one 😆
My personal experience is that manuals offer far better control in the snow, especially in hilly terrain. I grew up with manuals in East Tennessee, and lived on a long, steep street. Cars bent wheels ever year on that hill. And I bent a set, once. Having a solid connection that limits wheelspin and doesn’t shift around under you pays in spades to control the interface to the ground. I find an automatic in the snow like driving foot-blind, comparatively.
 
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When I bought my 2009 Camry, it had 226k miles on it. The only reason I even considered looking at it was that the body was in fantastic shape, and it had the piston ring recall done <100k miles prior.

I took the car home on the test drive and found newer parts all over it. Not freshly replaced, but newish enough to see the car had been very well maintained. I kept telling myself that someone was going to get a really good car, then decided it should be me.
 
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Too high is when there's no history of regular oil changes, transmission has never been serviced, and a misfire code.

More likely your best bet is to spend a little more and seek the Toyota 3.0/3.3 drive-train, preferably in a Highlander up to 2007, the other models like the Lexus RX300/330, Sienna are just up to 2006. Three repairs to plan on being timing belt, coolant plate reseal, and transmission service.

That opinion/advice said, I'm also a fan of FWD and snow tires and last year bought a 2012 Kia Sedona 210k @ $2500 for the winter beater. Price was right, and seemed it was serviced enough, though the tires were bad and a history code for cam/crank correlation that became a current code driving it home. Test drove it 3 times before that and researched the problems with Kia/Hyundai 3.5 v6's. In that FWD is likely simpler to work on for DIY, just to clarify.

Seems I got lucky in that the code is likely an electrical problem. Replaced the chain tensioner for the rear bank and being I didn't find any other problem, didn't replace anything else. Check engine light goes away in the cold weather, so I am luck so for, but the drips never end from the oil sending unit, think I have another replacement due...but the heater works great and it seems reliable as I put about 3k on it so far. All service updated and left front drive shaft replaced too. Snow tires on this van really exaggerate the torque steer, I'll go for a more narrow tire than spec next time.

I'd say your on the right track, plan ahead, look for something now and get the bugs worked out before winter. I drove the Kia to work every day and the time or two I did have problems I was able to work that out on the week-end, though I have the 2005 Camry with snow tires ready for back-up duty. The low price on the Kia made it a workable option, I enjoy a little wrenching...and one funny was the young fella at the Discount Tires curious about why I was buying snow tires in the summer...
 

ls1mike

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I have had 80's Turbo Dodges with 220,000 on them. 91 S-10 Blazer with 400,000, 3 different 3800 cars with over 200,000 on them.
It comes down to drivetrain, maintenance and parts availability. My kid is driving a 170,000 97 K1500 or the 131,000 mile Buick Lacrosse. The require very little and run excellent.
 
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$2k is complete roll of dice and something that moves and starts but has ton of issues underneath. The price for a trusty used vehicle now coupled to AWD is $5k and it won't be pretty in some aspect of condition, age, mileage or mechanically perfect.
 
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About a month ago my lady friend sold me her first owned 07 toyota matrix with 180k for 2500,my neighbor mechanic look it over .He did replaced the serpentine belt,cleaned and adjust rear drum brakes,drain and fill ATF with castrol ATF.He did removed the aftermarket alarm since it's acting up. I put in 900 miles so far good.I replaced air filter,cabin air filter,got another car key's for spare,oil change done.I drop ATF pan and put on new filter/gasket and use Toyota ATF t-IV.
In the next month or so,both radiator hose/coolant and spark plugs will be replaced then car winter ready.Tires still good,battery one year old.
 
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I've had pretty decent luck - meaning I was able to pile on a lot of additional miles without a ton of work - with cars bought at 125k, 140k, 175k, 185k miles.

But I think my 80's diesel Jetta might have been in that range, but it didn't go so well, lots of stuff breaking and wearing out. On the other hand, I've bought a couple of Rangers at 250k miles or so and they both gave me plenty of headaches. So I'd be leery of anything much past 175k, just based on my own experience.
 
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It is One Thing to deal with the devil you know, to buy a new, or low mileage used car, and keep it for hundreds of thousands of miles because you know how it ran and handled in good condition, know the maintenance down to the last detail, know how the miles where put on, etc.

It is Another Thing to buy something used that already has the better 2/3rds of its life gone and is now at the age of higher maintenance, higher and more frequent repairs, and you don't have a good sense for how it is running and handling compared to when it was newer.

I don't mind repairing what I have, but I don't like making a future commitment to that before I even buy a vehicle if it's just used as an *appliance* to get a job done rather than for enjoyment/adult-toy use. I wouldn't touch anything with over 150K mi on it for a winter beater, and not over 100K mi for daily year-round driver. There is no list of magic car brands that changes this. I'd simply spend more for lower mileage unless I had a very reasonable belief that these were highway miles, but even high highway miles within a few years time would not put the vehicle down into the price range that I suspect you're looking at.

I'm considering that the owner if not a flipper, noticed it is time to sell the vehicle and there may be some issues that will cost you money soon enough, and can be inexpensive if you DIY to save a lot on labor, but at the same time a little bit newer vehicle that gives you even 1-2 more years before the same work needs done, may be worth it. This may be overgeneralizing, obviously you have to pick from what you find and for most people that means in their area as only more expensive vehicles tend to be shipped a great distance.

In some respects, an older vehicle (if low rust) that was seldom driven to reach its mileage is a better candidate as it may be easier to work on and parts (that fail) less expensive. Look for something that someone's grandma only drive to the grocery store and bingo, except I would not get an old Kia/Hyundai anything.
 
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