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    1. Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 04:03 PM #1
      By way of background, I'm in the market for a second vehicle, probably a mid sized truck or SUV for winter duty (it snows a fair amount here and the roads in my county are like a third world country), homeowner stuff and hopefully some camping and fishing trips as my kids get a little older.

      I was initially looking for a 2007-09 4Runner Sport (to replace my 2005 Sport that popped a head gasket-I couldn't justify a $4,000-$6,000 repair on a $7,500 truck) when I came across a 2008 Tacoma TRD with 230,000 miles. In pictures, the truck looks like it has 1/3 of the actual miles (but no under body shots, and yes I know about the frame issues) and the carfax shows it spent the first 210,000 miles with the original owner in mid-Michigan (rural farm country), so I suspect those miles are virtually all highway. The carfax shows it was serviced by the same Toyota dealer pretty much every 5,000 miles. Aside from oil changes, brakes and tires, it got new leaf springs, intermediate steering shaft and a u-joint on the front driveshaft.

      It's for sale by a reputable Ford dealership near where the second owner lived (an very affluent suburb of Detroit) and the price seems reasonable. On paper, this sounds like an OK proposition, but I've never owned, much less bought any vehicle with that many miles. My 4Runner had 168,000 and before that, ~150,000 was the highest I'd owned, so I'm feeling just a little uneasy about the mileage.

      So, how many miles is too many for a new-to-you vehicle? Any other thoughts?
      Now this was a superior machine. Ten grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand.

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    3. Member Pnuu's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 04:10 PM #2
      I personally won't own a daily driver with over 200k miles. Even with a Toyota, you're getting into the territory where everything will eventually start failing. Suspension bushings, TREs, Ball Joints, even some drivetrain components depending on how hard they've been used.

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      07-11-2019 04:11 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      So, how many miles is too many for a new-to-you vehicle? Any other thoughts?
      Depends on the car and how it was cared for. There's cars with 10k miles I wouldn't buy (e.g., a beat Quadrifoglio with a branded title) and cars with 250k that I would (e.g., a cared-for late model Accord owned by someone that used it for outside sales).

      230k is a lot, but other than the frame issues, I think a well cared for Taco should have an better chance for success with high mileage than the average 230k car. Did you test drive it? If everything feels loose and unsettled, for example, I'd walk away.

    5. Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 04:18 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Pnuu View Post
      I personally won't own a daily driver with over 200k miles. Even with a Toyota, you're getting into the territory where everything will eventually start failing. Suspension bushings, TREs, Ball Joints, even some drivetrain components depending on how hard they've been used.
      This wouldn't be a daily driver, but good points.

      Quote Originally Posted by ghost03 View Post
      Depends on the car and how it was cared for. There's cars with 10k miles I wouldn't buy (e.g., a beat Quadrifoglio with a branded title) and cars with 250k that I would (e.g., a cared-for late model Accord owned by someone that used it for outside sales).

      230k is a lot, but other than the frame issues, I think a well cared for Taco should have an better chance for success with high mileage than the average 230k car. Did you test drive it? If everything feels loose and unsettled, for example, I'd walk away.
      I haven't driven it, was thinking of possibly going to look at it tomorrow after work, but am still undecided if I even want to go down this road.
      Now this was a superior machine. Ten grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand.

    6. Geriatric Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 04:20 PM #5
      It's variable. My sister gave me an old car a few years ago (things were tight, so that was good!) and it was a 2003 K24 Honda Accord automatic that she had bought new. She then let her son drove it through college where it was beaten as you'd expect.

      When I got it the odometer read 213,000 and it was a bit rough running from sitting for a while. I thought I'd clean it up, put some fuel system cleaner through it, put plugs and motor mounts in it and drive it for a while. Long story short, it started running better just by driving it home (30-40 miles), the motor mounts wound up being okay, (but the dirty injectors had made it shaky) and it didn't need plugs. I did the first unscheduled repair on it a year later because the turn signal relay died. It was $15. When we bought the wife's Buick Encore they took it as a trade. It had 243,000 miles on it and ran fine, though the front end was feeling a wee bit loose and I didn't want to stick money into a beaten old car with nearly a quarter million miles. It was so good I've considered another. They're old enough to be cheap and I could get a prettier one with a stick.

      Would I pay decent money for a car like that without knowing the history? Probably not, but I'd buy one with 140-150,000 miles in good shape if it were a car I thought would be dependable or one that I highly desired.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
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      07-11-2019 04:24 PM #6
      I'm almost at 230k in my daily driver Mirage and so far it's been holding up pretty well on original motor and transmission.

      As long as the suspension components have been replaced (something that is obviously overlooked by many owners of high-mileage vehicles) and the engine is running strong, there shouldn't be any issues with it.

    8. Member CostcoPizza's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 04:28 PM #7
      300k is the new 200k.

    9. Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 04:39 PM #8
      Someone’s “doesn’t make sense to dump X money into a car worth Y” is someone else’s “reasonable purchase”.

      Just got done fixing an Outback that I got for cheap, which is intended to be our daily driver and family car for the next 5 or so years. When I was going through it, I realized why the previous owner (the mother of my old boss) had decided to purchase a 2018 Outback. The head gaskets and valve cover gaskets were shot, the front inner CVs were shot, the rear wheel bearings were shot, the car needed brakes, TPMS system has a failure in it somewhere (still haven’t diagnosed that nor do I care), exhaust system had a leak in it, etc. Car only had 132K on it, so most of this is just wear stuff that happened to snowball st the same time - or maybe she deferred it. NA Subaru’s routinely crest 200K but it takes some TLC to get there.

      I fixed all those things for about $2K in parts, and now I have a solid daily driver for the next 5 years, *knock on wood.* But, this was all possible because she didn’t think it was worth it to put the money into the car.

      Remember OP, someone traded that Tacoma for a reason. Is $4-6k the best estimate you got for head gaskets on your current rig?
      FS in CT: 2013 Mazda3 iTouring 6-speed hatchback - 122k miles

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      07-11-2019 04:39 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      I haven't driven it, was thinking of possibly going to look at it tomorrow after work, but am still undecided if I even want to go down this road.
      I'm guessing you'd know if it's something you'd consider in about 2 minutes of driving. I've been in high mileage cars that felt nearly new, and high mileage cars that felt like I would need to get out and count the body panels upon arrival. Huge amount of variance, even for a particular model.

    11. Geriatric Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 04:45 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Stevo12 View Post
      Someone’s “doesn’t make sense to dump X money into a car worth Y” is someone else’s “reasonable purchase”.

      Just got done fixing an Outback that I got for cheap, which is intended to be our daily driver and family car for the next 5 or so years. When I was going through it, I realized why the previous owner (the mother of my old boss) had decided to purchase a 2018 Outback. The head gaskets and valve cover gaskets were shot, the front inner CVs were shot, the rear wheel bearings were shot, the car needed brakes, TPMS system has a failure in it somewhere (still haven’t diagnosed that nor do I care), exhaust system had a leak in it, etc. Car only had 132K on it, so most of this is just wear stuff that happened to snowball st the same time - or maybe she deferred it. NA Subaru’s routinely crest 200K but it takes some TLC to get there.

      I fixed all those things for about $2K in parts, and now I have a solid daily driver for the next 5 years, *knock on wood.* But, this was all possible because she didn’t think it was worth it to put the money into the car.

      Remember OP, someone traded that Tacoma for a reason. Is $4-6k the best estimate you got for head gaskets on your current rig?
      That's quite a bit and I agree with her. I'd trade it in too if I had to pay someone to do that kind of work. That makes it a gearhead/mechanic's bargain, though!
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    12. Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 04:53 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Stevo12 View Post
      Remember OP, someone traded that Tacoma for a reason. Is $4-6k the best estimate you got for head gaskets on your current rig?
      Yes. Flat rate time on the job is well over 20 hours (I was told both 22 and 26 hours for customer pay). Parts and machine work puts the job in the $4xxx range easily, if anyone even wants to do it. Three different shops flat out turned it down and several others were pushing to just get a used motor, but wouldn't warranty anything unless I sprung for a bunch of other stuff. I ended up selling the truck for $2K less than I paid for it-an expensive episode, but fixing it just didn't pencil financially.

      Part of the problem is that for whatever reason, auto repair labor is fairly expensive around here-probably because everyone has a car and there's no public transportation.
      Now this was a superior machine. Ten grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand.

    13. Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 05:07 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      That's quite a bit and I agree with her. I'd trade it in too if I had to pay someone to do that kind of work. That makes it a gearhead/mechanic's bargain, though!
      I don’t blame her either. Unfortunately she had since passed and it had been sitting at my boss’ house for almost a year before I got it, so I never got the back story as to why she got the 2018 - which my boss was making payments on/trying to sell as well.

      My point was though that at some point people reach a point where they don’t want to deal with a particular car. A lot of times, with high mileage cars that have a reputation for being reliable, it’s because there’s a timebomb lurking or a lot of deferred maintenance. People who change vehicles for the sake of change are in the minority of car owners. I feel that a good amount of the time, there’s a practical reason driving the change, and with higher mileage cars it’s because there’s an underlying cause with the car.

      That said, I did buy my first M3 at 200k because the owner was moving onto another project and was only using the car as a shop loaner. There are other reasons why people get rid of cars, but with appliances typically the odds are not in your favor.
      FS in CT: 2013 Mazda3 iTouring 6-speed hatchback - 122k miles

    14. Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 05:16 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      Yes. Flat rate time on the job is well over 20 hours (I was told both 22 and 26 hours for customer pay). Parts and machine work puts the job in the $4xxx range easily, if anyone even wants to do it. Three different shops flat out turned it down and several others were pushing to just get a used motor, but wouldn't warranty anything unless I sprung for a bunch of other stuff. I ended up selling the truck for $2K less than I paid for it-an expensive episode, but fixing it just didn't pencil financially.

      Part of the problem is that for whatever reason, auto repair labor is fairly expensive around here-probably because everyone has a car and there's no public transportation.
      Dang, didn’t realize it was a 20 hour job. Both the aforementioned Subaru and M3 needed head gaskets but neither was a 20 hour job. I wonder why it’s so much time on a Toyota 4.0?

      What if that Tacoma in question needed head gaskets in the near future? Would you want to get into bed with the same situation?
      FS in CT: 2013 Mazda3 iTouring 6-speed hatchback - 122k miles

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      07-11-2019 05:32 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Pnuu View Post
      I personally won't own a daily driver with over 200k miles. Even with a Toyota, you're getting into the territory where everything will eventually start failing. Suspension bushings, TREs, Ball Joints, even some drivetrain components depending on how hard they've been used.
      Agreed. We have a 2004 Lexus RX330 with around 210k on the clock. Got it with around 192K on the clock and within the first 10k miles ended up having to replace the entire suspension (minus the springs), new lower controls arms (front), rebuilt all four brake calipers, timing belt and water pump (granted this is a general maintenance item) and I'm sure some stuff I am forgetting. The car goes down the road now, but had some weird clunking in the front end and the trans is forever being stupid with certain upshifts and downshifts.

      Still relatively happy with the car, but if I could do it over again, I would have found another $2-4k and gotten something with under 150k miles.

    16. Planters (fasciitis) peanuts. Dang dogg Sold Over Sticker's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 05:33 PM #15
      Depends on what I'm using the car for. I used to DD a '91 XJ 4.0L with 270k. Short commute, didn't care, and it left my E39 for weekend duties. I'd do something like that again.
      Driving While Awesome Podcast. Give it a listen.
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      07-11-2019 05:47 PM #16
      3 million miles is not too many for some.

      https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2018/1...lion-mile-man/


    18. Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 06:56 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Stevo12 View Post
      Dang, didn’t realize it was a 20 hour job. Both the aforementioned Subaru and M3 needed head gaskets but neither was a 20 hour job. I wonder why it’s so much time on a Toyota 4.0?

      What if that Tacoma in question needed head gaskets in the near future? Would you want to get into bed with the same situation?
      On a 4th gen 4Runner, it's a packaging issue. The oil pan has to come off to properly reseal the timing cover, but the oil pan can't come out unless you either drop the front differential, or pull the engine. There's also reports that milling the heads even a few thousandths can cause cam timing codes.

      As a 2008, that Tacoma theoretically shouldn't have HG issues. The 1GR-FE head gasket issue is mostly concentrated in the 2003-2005 models; there's competing theories but Toyota changed the head gasket and head bolt part numbers mid-2005, so 2006+ is generally considered "safe".
      Now this was a superior machine. Ten grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand.

    19. Member Pnuu's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 07:44 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      This wouldn't be a daily driver, but good points.



      I haven't driven it, was thinking of possibly going to look at it tomorrow after work, but am still undecided if I even want to go down this road.
      By "daily driver" I meant "something that must be dependable enough to start and run reliably every time" kind of rig as opposed to a "fun weekend play vehicle that can sit in the garage for weeks until I have time to fix it" kind of rig.

      It sounds like you need something to haul the family on trips, in bad weather, and off road. That needs to be 100% reliable IMO. I'd find something well kept but closer to 150k, run it until 200k, then repeat.

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      07-11-2019 08:02 PM #19
      I don't have a specific number, it depends on too many things. Generally, the closer to new that I've owned a car, the longer I'll trust driving it - because I know it's been properly maintained and I have learned its quirks. My wife's 2014 mazda3 that we bought new literally drives like new today at 110k miles and I don't see getting rid of it for any reason besides boredom unless the transmission goes... But we change the trans fluid every 50k instead of calling it a "lifetime" fluid so it will probably last a long time.

    21. Member burn_your_money's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 10:56 PM #20
      I try to base it off the quality of the parts installed. If they show that the owner wanted to keep the vehicle for a long time (higher quality parts) then I’m more willing to take a risk on miles. Buying someone’s beater that only got the cheapest parts possible is a never ending repair bill.

    22. Member compy222's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 11:31 PM #21
      depends on the vehicle. i had a mini cooper s i sold after a chunk of the sunroof mechanism fell of onto my head at 42k, i had an FJ cruiser with over 150k that if my wife didn't hate, i'd have kept for years...

      generally speaking, toyota trucks are by far the most reliable vehicles i've seen with high mileage. it simply comes down to maintenance, avoiding rust, and buying a good platform to start with!
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      07-11-2019 11:42 PM #22
      I won't daily anything with LESS than 130,000 miles.
      call it potatography

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      07-12-2019 07:18 AM #23
      I've been looking for something newer for my wife; there's no shortage of RAV4/CRV's with ~180k for around $8000 which seems ridiculous to me. I can find similarly priced xc90's with closer to 100k.

      Basically I usually buy something between 60-120k, drive for 3-5 years, then rinse and repeat

    25. 07-12-2019 07:27 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by CostcoPizza View Post
      300k is the new 200k.
      For sure

      I bought my Z with 160K miles and put another 35K on it. 1 owner car (critical). Only unscheduled repair was something with the clutch hydraulics (pedal randomly went to the floor). At 100K an old Honda/Toyota/non CVT Nissan is just getting started

    26. Member alex_bgnet's Avatar
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      07-12-2019 09:49 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by joedubbs View Post
      I've been looking for something newer for my wife; there's no shortage of RAV4/CRV's with ~180k for around $8000 which seems ridiculous to me. I can find similarly priced xc90's with closer to 100k.

      Basically I usually buy something between 60-120k, drive for 3-5 years, then rinse and repeat
      Friend of mine has 2004 T5 XC90 (worst year, least reliable tranny) with 360k on original tranny. 40k flushes and religious oil changes.
      Current: 2005 V70, 2006 E350, 2010 535i, 2013 Golf TDI
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