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Check out the rest of our tips on buying a high-mileage used vehicle!Buying a used car is a lot more complicated than buying a new one. You can quickly judge a car’s life by looking at its odometer, however, there are numerous other things to look out for when buying a second hand vehicle; especially one with high mileage.
While most issues can be identified by a trusty mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection, they can take time and unless your mechanic is a friend, they’ll charge for the service too. Here are a few things you can do yourself to identify some big problems.
HOW DO YOU KNOW THE CAR’S REAL MILEAGE?
One of the biggest worries about a high-mileage vehicle is the odometer rollback. This is where the seller rolls back the odometer of the car indicating a lower mileage than the car really has. This is especially worrisome for cars that already have high-mileage because the vehicle in question could potentially have an incredibly high number of miles on it.
Some argue that digital odometers have helped reduce the risk of odometer rollback, but that’s not necessarily true.
“It still does happen but it is risky because Carfax and CarProof all record mileage now,” Said Lou Trottier, Technician and Owner of All About Imports. “The paper trail wins in this case because it keeps people honest by fear of getting caught.”
According to Trottier, the biggest asset when buying a high mileage vehicle is getting the right papers. Asking for a Carfax or service booklet and looking at the mileage of the vehicle during its maintenance intervals can be a great help.
“If a used car has all the service history and owner history, that’s a huge bonus,” said Trottier. If you have these, it should help put you at ease. Service history can help identify if oil change intervals were performed on time, and what type of oil was used. A properly cared for car should last longer than one which has a spotty service history, so make sure to look for gaps of time or mileage when servicing, or when oil changes were performed.