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Mileage - still relevant??

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by dry run, May 27, 2019.

  1. dry run

    dry run Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I was thinking that with the way the world and the motor industry has changed, (especially with the introduction of electric/hybrid models) is the “mileage” of a car really the best way of evaluating it’s worth and likely reliability and should adverts now contain other more relevant information?

    When looking for a car (say on Autotrader) there are many search criteria, but mileage and year are the only two that really relate to condition and reliability.

    Part of my work involves boat sales and these are not “graded” by “nautical-miles travelled”. The main criteria are age, engine hours and service history. Readouts from the ECU give accurate details of total engine hours and then a breakdown of those hours by rev-range, So a buyer can see if a boat has been used lightly (say for sailing-club safety boat work) or hard (towing ski/wakeboard, etc) along with it's service history.

    So I’m wondering if there are other useful search criteria when buying a car, that would be just as, or more useful than age and mileage?

    I’d be interested to know for instance how many times the stop/start has been activated?

    Regards

    Steve
     
  2. DSK

    DSK Senior Member

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    Its probably from olden days wheres mileage and age still stands (probably due to routine service intervals, rigorous component changes etc) but, its something that will always stick and form a general basis to on from.

    For me, I have to just stand infront of a car, get underneath, test drive etc to really understand what life its lead in addition to any supporting documentation. No 2 used cars are the same and modern stuff is designed and from the way I see them being thrashed about, to be nothing but a 4 wheeled white good. E.g when spent 3 years travelling up on down the country monthly looking for a Supra, I ended up buying one that had a 145,000 miles on it over cars I had seen with 40,000 miles! The gent owned it from 6 months old, had it serviced at Toyota religiously trusting them to do a good job always leaving it with an empty cheque, tyre receipts were always for Michelins of the same type, every spend was documented. It was clear, the chap loved and cared for the car and enjoyed using it, never skimping on anything and trusting work to what he considered were the experts to look after it.

    Or you can have someone that races the engines around (as most new stuff is), don't care about bumps, kerbs, pot holes, never checks the usual things to see if anything may need attention such as oil or coolant level etc), just lets things slides and may either use it daily or just blast it around a city all week. As the vast majority of modern stuff is leased/rented in some way, people don't treat the vehicle with any care or respect mechanically (just look at all the modern stuff being ragged around).
     
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  3. vtaylor78

    vtaylor78 Senior Member

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    Give me a higher mileage car with Good Service History and Spec any day .
     
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  4. umblecumbuz

    umblecumbuz Senior Member

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    With boats the criteria is a little different I think.
    Engine hours tell a story but only partly. Engines need servicing in boats just as car engines do. They have fuel and oil filters, and oil, which need changing - unless they're 2 strokes, sadly a rare breed nowdays - and they blow smoke if neglected. They do not rev high like car engines - unless a prop falls off or they are driven so fast that the stern gets airborne - but they do slog and get coked up!
    The ''bodywork' is probably more important than that of a car. Delamination, hidden rot, hull repairs, or through-hull fittings all tell their own story and need to be examined. i would never buy a boat unless I could get it out of the water first.

    With a modern car, rust is not such a gremlin as it once was. Engines driven hard often benefit from such treatment. Higher mileage cars are not an automatic no-no, but if servicing is neglected, I would walk away.
     
  5. AJD

    AJD Senior Member

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    Isn't that pretty much the same criteria for both a car and a boat though Steve ? :confused::)
     
  6. malcolm210

    malcolm210 Senior Member

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    I’m sure if motor retailers thought it would be an advantage to use such data to sell cars they would.

    When I bought my 212 estate it had 60k miles covered in 3.5 years which didn’t bother me too much as the car had obviously been used for commuting (it was still on the original discs and pads) and in all probability the engine had been used at low revs cruising on motorways/A roads, in fact most 40k mileage cars would have clocked as many engine hours and gear changes and this was my line of thought in making the purchase which is not too far removed from the criteria you use for boat sales.

    I don’t know how car manufacturers get away without logging engine hours in this day and age it’s not difficult to do but obviously not something that would aid sales
     
  7. Blobcat

    Blobcat Moderator

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    Along with service history, I find tyres a good indicator of how well a car has been looked after.

    If it still has top brand tyres all round in good condition then it shows the owner hasn’t skimped on maintenance.
     
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  8. AJD

    AJD Senior Member

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    Indeed, mis-matched tyres and budgets are a bit of a giveaway :rolleyes:
     
  9. OP
    dry run

    dry run Senior Member

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    Point taken, but as with cars, things have moved on. Most new boat engines (outboard/inboard) come with a 5-year warranty. As with cars, extended warranties are available (up to 10,000 hrs use). Also, options for storing/using boats are varied, in the water/ on a trailer / dry stacked, etc.

    So year of manufacture. engine hours are only part of the story.

    My point was only that maybe just looking at mileage and year on a car is a bit outdated?
     
  10. DSK

    DSK Senior Member

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    I was chatting with the Mrs about this on the way down the M1 tonight.

    With the number of people who know what to do when they pop the hood, understand what scored or suspect brake discs look, can read into the tales the condition of the underside and interior try to tell you dwindling to almost zero in this day and age I guess...... mileage/age seems to be only thing the majority can go on, despite the fact its close to meaningless to indicate whether a car has been looked after and is in a healthy state.
     
  11. EmilysDad

    EmilysDad Senior Member

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    Do we have a 'banging your head against a brick wall' smilie? :mad:
     
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  12. Yugguy

    Yugguy Senior Member

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    I think age is still a factor. Rubber wears out over time and bushes will need changing.
     
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  13. Flyinspanner

    Flyinspanner Senior Member

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    And mileage does have an impact on all the suspension/shocks/bushes/balljoints etc.

    Very true what’s noted above re less and less people are willing or able to ‘tinker’ with their vehicles (or any other appliance/diy than in days past) so sometimes all the little things get missed!
     
  14. Capra

    Capra Senior Member

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    When did everyday people work on their cars compared to now? I wonder how many people in the past would change their own timing belts or fix a fault, garages have been busy for a long time. The goal posts have moved with modern ECU but there are still a lot of mechanical things that can be worked on. No matter what, millage still causes wear and tear, it has to.
     
  15. Capra

    Capra Senior Member

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    Maybe in the past we had less money and so people gave it a go? I've known a few neighbours in the past that have had the bonnet up, but in reality if you've not got the correct tools, it's a non starter. I bought a timing strobe once as I fancied replacing the timing belt, I think I plugged it in once!!
     
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  16. DSK

    DSK Senior Member

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    Of course mileage causes wear and tear and always will. But, mileage is not the whole story... the way a vehicle is used and treated accounts for a lot.

    I do not blast my cars over speed bumps and drive around, slow down until there is room to avoid pot holes etc compared to many who just drive over them at speed. My cars fluids are always checked religiously weekly whether or not anything is needed. One time I noticed a sudden drop in coolant, gave myself a couple of weeks to trace the fault to a potential radiator and got it changed. Most people wouldn't have known until they broke down. My gearbox oils are changed at every 2 service intervals - how many owners are religious about that? Will a garage always do it even if its claimed to be done? I bet you could check most cars and they will be running a bit low on engine oil. I budget for a suspension overhaul approximately every 70,000 miles.....

    Comapre this with with you average motor being razzed around and seeing the way people drive just proves it.
     
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  17. MBDevotee

    MBDevotee Active Senior Members

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    kind of - but it's TYPE of miles as well ...

    100,000 miles up and down the M1 every day probably messes the shocks / bushes / balljoints a lot less than 50,000 miles on our potholed urban streets with sleeping policeman.... I'd rather have an ex-motorway car than a town car -
     
  18. Flyinspanner

    Flyinspanner Senior Member

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    ... and you cannot tell if that 100k was done on motorway or not - you just have to trust the seller...:rolleyes:
     
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  19. peternutkins

    peternutkins Senior Member

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    I bought my C220 Cdi at about 230k miles, after a bit of fettling it has now done a few thousand more. I had a couple of citroen XM's that had done nearly 300k and were still going well, compare that with the '50s when most cars were in the scrap yard by about 60k, that's why timing chains never failed - they never did enough miles.

    Peter
     
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  20. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    You do have a fair number of clues though.
    Pedal rubber on the brake pedal will be far more worn on a town car than a motorway car. Steering wheel leather will be worn in one spot on a motorway car but much more general on a town car, age vs mileage is a clue in many cases, rate at which mileage increases between MOTs, brake pad replacement intervals (if information available) and the way it drives (town car will often feel a little sloppy compared to a motorway car).
     
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