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Old 12-14-2013, 07:12 PM   #1
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How many miles are too many???

So on a whim, I took my 2006 Nissan 250z to a Carmax today and got an offer. I was somewhat satisfied with the price and now I am thinking of selling it and picking up a used Dodge Ram 1500 or Ford F150. So my question is with today's vehicles running longer and longer with proper maintenance, how many miles is just too many?

For instance and a talking point, I am looking this as a possible choice but it has 156,000 miles...

2008 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab 4WD

Any advice or tips for making a smart purchase are welcome. Thanks!

Chris
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:24 PM   #2
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I have been told by a person working closely with automotive engineering departments that today's gasoline engines are engineered to go 150,000 miles without major repairs.

That's not to say they won't go more, because many do, but that is what they are engineered to do.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:28 PM   #3
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Buying used, especially high mileage, you have no idea how badly the previous owners thrashed that vehicle.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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I understand but, my options are:

A. Continue towing with my girlfriends 99 Jeep Grand Cherokee w. 156,000 miles

B. Sell my car and get something with the money. Do not want a payment of any sort.

So with those restrictions, I am hoping to get something under 100K. Preferably a Dodge Ram 1500. Hemi?
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:46 PM   #5
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I'm still driving my 92' Suburban (5.7 L) with 233,000 miles on it. At a stop light, you can hardly tell it is running. The engine is all original. I've rebuilt/replaced most everything else on the truck, but keep in mind it is a 1992. As much as I trust it, I wouldn't tow my 31' trailer across the country with it without some hesitancy.

I am constantly on the lookout for a newer tow vehicle. 2003 or newer, and I am comfortable with 125,000 - 150,000 miles... providing the previous owner has maintenance records. Without those, it is a total crap-shoot. If someone keeps records of their vehicles repairs, it is fairly easy to see what you are in for with a high mileage used truck. Most likely, they already did most of the work by the time it reaches that kind of mileage and you can get some good deals.

Just my opinion.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:50 PM   #6
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I agree with Ksherzi. I would jump in the car that I have maintained for the last 18 years and 350,000 miles and drive across the country. I would be reluctant to buy a vehicle with more than 70,000 miles that may or may not have seen any maintenance.
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Old 12-14-2013, 08:06 PM   #7
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This looks somewhat promising: Ford F150
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Old 12-14-2013, 08:17 PM   #8
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I bought my 2002 Sequoia with 104k on it almost six years ago and have 200k on it today. I lately have been a little worried about the milage for towing, but didn't think twice about taking it on a 9hr road to fl recently. This past summer I pulled the streamline 3000 miles total and all across the Colorado mountains. It is running great, but thinking about finding one with less miles. Curious to see the reactions to high mileage tvs.
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Old 12-14-2013, 08:26 PM   #9
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I would go with the Ford. The build quality of the Fords is pretty good. I have heard negative things about other stuff failing on the dodges long before the engine. Things like transmissions, electronics, window motors, door lock motors, etc. My 2000 Excursion has needed little things but nothing to break the bank. I remember my Dodge minivan and all the crap that went bad on that thing and it had a little over 100k on it. My Ford Ranger has 250k on it and it runs pretty good. All the pollution junk is causing problems now like the Cat and the EGR valve. I expect it will get retired to a farm truck in a few more years and I will get something newer to drive maybe only 10 yrs old. It is a 95. I don't believe in buying anything new and I fix everything myself. The two Fords I have, have been the lowest maintenance vehicles that I own and my wife's Subaru. The Dodge minivan and old VW bugs have been the worst vehicles. Anything with the engine mounted sideways is usually more of a maintenance pig than with the engine mounted forward facing with the drive wheels in the back. 4WD is going to be more maintenance intensive as well. If you can live without 4x4 your life just got easier.

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Old 12-14-2013, 08:30 PM   #10
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I could probably live without 4 wheel drive but I was thinking it would be good to have to ensure I can get in and out of any place I feel like camping... Beach, Snow, Mountains...
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Old 12-14-2013, 08:48 PM   #11
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Check the Consumer Reports "Auto Reliability Charts" for the TV make, model and years that have the fewest problems. The Annual Buying Guide (January 1st edition, paperback summary of most items reviewed in the previous year) should be available on magazine stands, now. Or, if you can afford to wait, April is the Annual Auto Edition.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:34 PM   #12
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I would try to stick with vehicles with less than 100K on the clock. Even if the engines can go to 150K without major issues, there are lots of other systems that degrade with that much mileage and can be just as expensive to fix.

You really have judge the vehicles condition vs. the asking price and decide if you are getting your moneys worth of potential miles. With 156k on the clock, how many more miles do you think it will go before you have to put some serious cash into it for a tranny or other major repair? Or it could nickle and dime you with small repairs. Your odds are better when it has less mileage so you have more potential miles to get out of it.
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Old 12-14-2013, 10:18 PM   #13
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I agree and thanks for the opinion.

I think that if I can get a solid vehicle with around 75K for around $8K or so, I will be getting my money's worth. If I can get another 75K or more miles out of it, I would be happy and then can move on to a new vehicle then...
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crabbey1 View Post
I could probably live without 4 wheel drive but I was thinking it would be good to have to ensure I can get in and out of any place I feel like camping... Beach, Snow, Mountains...
You will pay more for 4wd up front and in mpg, so really consider it carefully. IMO having 4wd will allow you to get stuck where a tow truck can't get to you but I know other 4wd owners will disagree. 75k on a newer truck isn't much and if you can buy one, like a GM with a 100k warranty on the powertrain, you will have a little peace of mind . I plan to sell mine at 90k to be able to offer that to new owners.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:27 AM   #15
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0 - 25,000: Feels, looks and smells like a new car. The glory miles.

25,000 - 50,000: Road noise increases, a few minor noises appear. The steering and suspension has lost a small increment of tightness from the new car days. Still reliable and nice though.

50,000 - 75,000: A nice reliable ride that satisfies, but when you see a new shiny model go buy, you begin to wonder. The car is really broken in now and feels looser in the suspension. Bumps are noticeable, noise is up. it smells a little funky inside if you aren't careful. Stains in the carpet won't come out. The windows don't have that crystal clarity any more. The rubber trims don't look as nice.

75,000 - 100,000: You experience the first major repair. Memory of the new car feel is gone. It's going to cost how much? You begin to calculate all your future maintenance. It still drives nice but has more noise, more road feel and the suspension, like arthritic bones, continues to loosen. You take your first test drive in a new car and are jolted by how quite and tight the new one is compared to yours.

100,000 - 150,000: Diehard territory. Car still runs good, but needs small repairs that are measured in hundreds of dollars unless you have an exotic car and then multiply by 10. But you like the car and are determined to drive the wheels off it.

150,000: The moment of truth. A major repair is needed.....
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:43 AM   #16
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Spend some time on model specific forums and find out what breaks on your particular make and model. You will quickly see what are the problem areas because that is why most folks go to a forum. If you can't fix stuff yourself buy a new truck with a warranty and sell it before the warranty runs out.

Perry
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:47 AM   #17
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So True!!!!! Well stated!
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:12 AM   #18
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Not to mention that towing a heavy load for long distances puts a lot of extra stress on the vehicle. I would think especially the engine, transmission, drivetrain, brakes, and suspension. This would certainly accelerate failure of some part of an older well worn tow vehicle. I'd hate to be stranded by the side of the road with a busted tow vehicle 100 miles from nowhere, and much further from a authorized repair facility. Cost to tow, repair, tow Airstream, wait, etc will add up real fast and uncontrollably.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:28 AM   #19
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A little common sense, knowledge of the specific vehicle (which is incredibly easy now) and some mechanical knowledge/tools go along way. There are some great deals from the "worn out after at 100k" crowd. I am in the airplane business where many airframes are in service 50 years later. Of course this is not a direct comparison, but a little know how and diagnostics when you buy will get a decent vehicle. If you want to only change the oil and drop it off at a dealer to get repaired,don't get a used vehicle. If you want a paid for "tool" to do the job you can get some incredible deals.

I run a 1996 F250 powerstroke with 159k miles. Paid 5200 for it. Put a carpet kit and leather seats in it, and along with a thorough look over/compression test/blow by it is a pretty strong rig. Changed the brake pads and front ball joints, but those are consumables, not show stoppers.

I have been stranded in a sailboat in the middle of nowhere South America and with my tools, known spare parts, and a little knowledge- always got home.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:07 AM   #20
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My 2004 Nissan Titan just clicked past 160k and it stills runs like a top. Did put $1800 into the exhaust system but that is the only major repair. The Titan brand never did catch on big time but it is very solid with a bulletproof V8. They are cheap on the used market and after 2006, all the little bugs were worked out (for example; my rear seat belts are poorly designed and lock up).

I'd buy another one and actually plan to next year when they put the 5 liter Cummins in it.

Mike
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