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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This Jalopnik article is opposite of my opinion of buying low-mileage cars, but I have to admit some of his reasons for not buying a low-mileage cars do make sense.

Stop Buying Old Cars With Super Low Mileage If You Want To Actually Drive Them (pics) Taverish

You’ve saved up your nickels to buy the car you’ve been lusting after - a shiny, unmolested, perfect low-mileage example of your dream ride. Not so fast - here’s why buying a museum-grade car can be a colossal mistake if you enjoy driving.

Look, I get it - humans are genetically pre-programmed to enjoy things that are new and immaculate because it’s the easiest way of determining value at a glance. It’s also what separates us from the thumbless animals and their used, rusty appliances. But when this quirky trait is carried over into the realm of automobiles, it can get quite strange indeed. As I’m told humans are also visual animals, I’ve included a listing for an extremely low-mileage example of a 1998 Toyota Supra at a price that approaches monocle-droppingly offensive.

This 1998 Toyota Supra Turbo is the last of its kind, meaning it’s the final production year of the model that helped catapult the Fast And Furious franchise to new heights with car bros the world over. Its twin turbocharged 2JZ-GTE engine had the power potential to put a Mclaren 650S to shame in a straight line with a few off-the-shelf modifications and its six-speed transmission was borderline un-freaking-breakable.

You’d think that with all this overengineered heft in its powertrain, it would make sense as the perfect daily driver or road trip machine, but this car, almost literally left by the wayside, has less miles on its odometer than most early Chevy Cruze lease returns.

The 15,000 mile figure is an interesting one, if only for the fact that when looking at the car’s vehicle history report, you see that from its birth in 1998 to 2002, it was driven 12,000 miles - pretty typical for a car that’s taken out to humblebrag in the church parking lot, but between 2002 and 2015, only 3,000 miles were clocked. This means that it was essentially driven nonce for more than three quarters of its 17-year span, and a car that sits for extended periods of time is never a good thing, no matter what your dad’s insurance agent tells you.

A few key things can happen when a car is left idle - none of which are good for you, the owner. Glycol-based coolant degrades over time and can damage water pump seals, not to mention corrode the engine’s passages - a big deal considering the 2JZ-GTE has a cast iron block that’s particularly susceptible to rusting from the inside if that isn’t managed properly.

Conventional motor oil, which is most likely what was used on this car, can degrade via its additives separating with fluctuations in weather. The engine also becomes susceptible to water condensation buildup, where the moisture in the air sticks to the cylinder wall liners and all metal parts that aren’t coated in oil. This is a real issue with cars that aren’t driven up to operating temperature - and it’s the same reason that a car that hasn’t been started in a while can exhibit some white fog-like smoke from the tailpipe on startup. It’s condensation being evacuated from the combustion chamber and exhaust, and can only be remedied by running the car up to operating temperature and pressure for both oil and coolant - a process which can take up to 20 minutes, depending on climate.

Operating temperature is also integral to the gear oil in the differential and manual transmission, it must be brought up to temperature so it can adequately lubricate all relevant components. Otherwise, you’re just mashing gears together.

Oil also tends to fall into the pan, making startup after an extended period of sitting especially hazardous because you’d be starting the engine with its upper components like cams essentially dry. Cars that are constantly used don’t have this issue because there’s not enough time between starts of the engine to have all the oil make its way down to the pan.

Rubber suspension components absolutely go bad if left idle, and even if the car was driven sparingly, it’s likely that over time and short heat cycles, they’d perish and crack. The ball joints on the Toyota Supra aren’t serviceable, meaning that they don’t have grease fittings to lubricate the various ball joints, so the grease within ball joints and axles can harden and if you combine that with the very real likelihood of a cracked rubber boot, it introduces extra heat into a system, reducing the life of that part drastically, and that’s not even considering the most important rubber component of all - the tires.

Most people aren’t aware of this, but all tires have a use-by expiration date stamped on its side. This is because the compounds within the tire can dry out with exposure to sunlight and the heat cycles associated with use, no matter how long you drive. It’s called dry rot, and If you ever get the chance to compare the feel of an old tire versus a new one, it’s noticeably harder and more brittle, leading to handling that is not only unpredictable, but in the case of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas, actually tragic. This means that just like milk, when you buy a tire, you better use that sucker before it goes bad, otherwise you’ll probably ruin a perfectly good pair of pants.

In-tank fuel components, if made with metal, can also rust from the inside out since unused gas can varnish quite quickly, especially with the added ethanol content that modern pump gas requires.

For reference, here’s a picture from my Mazda RX-7’s fuel pump - it had been sitting for a few years with no other contamination of the fuel tank. The tank was drained and cleaned and fuel pump was replaced in order for the system to work properly.

With such a long list of things to look for, it makes virtually no sense to buy a decades old car with extremely low mileage if you’re looking for a good driving example of the model. Sure, the paint and interior could be in great shape, but the engine may be one lucky start away from a spun bearing because entropy is one hell of a thing. In my opinion, I’d much rather have a car that was driven every day, with maintenance and repairs accounted for - even if it had higher than average mileage.

After all, especially in the case of this Toyota Supra, the drivetrain can handle six figure mileages with ease with low-to-no maintenance operation over years of ownership, so why keep the car as a garage ornament? There’s no downside to driving it, with an enormous upside. Find an older one with 120,000 miles on it, pay 20 percent of the asking price of this museum-quality example and never look back.

I did exactly this, and it’s been one of the most rewarding automotive experiences I’ve ever had. Remember - resale value only hurts if you’re not keeping it, and I ain’t skeered.
 

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interests points...
 

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Convinces me. All you guys that have low mileage Solstices, really low, as obviously they would be worse I am willing to take them off your hands for 1500.00. Of course you will have to pay for my plane flight to pick it up. Might have to spend a night or two with you getting that hunk of garbage going. But because I like you guys, I am willing to sacrifice.
 

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LOL
I volunteered first!

What BS. Buy a worn out car or one with low mileage. Next he will prove that all new cars from the factory should be run 10000 hours on the dyno before sale.

How about some used TP? Cheap
 

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Snagging a low mileage vehicle so I can start a good maintenance schedule is a bad thing?
 

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I think you guys missed his point by a mile, maybe more :lol:. I agree with a lot of what he wrote.

The point is a 20 year old, museum quality car with a few thousand miles is going to need just as much maintenance as a car with more miles. Buy the low mileage one if you plan on keeping it low mileage and museum quality, but buy the higher mileage one if you actually plan on driving and enjoying it. It's going to be much cheaper and less of a headache in the long run.

Solstices and Skys are bad examples because the oldest ones are only 9 years, going on 10 years, old. Let's say for example a 2006 Sol has only 5k miles on it. Those tires are most likely the originals and completely shot for driving on. How many times has the oil been changed? My guess is twice when it really should be 5+ because I doubt most people know that oil sludges over time and needs to be changed every year or every other year at the most. If it's a GXP, our turbos are oil and water cooled so if oil sledges up there, you can say goodbye to your turbo too. What about the gas in the tank, how old is that? I doubt people drain their tanks periodically if they aren't driving the car. People on this forum are already deathly afraid of the HPFP going out on them if they get below a 1/4 tank of gas (GXP only), now picture bad/watery gas going through it :lol:.

In the end not only are you going to pay top dollar for a car with extremely low miles, but you're going to have to pump more money into it if you expect to drive it semi-regularly.
 
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Snagging a low mileage vehicle so I can start a good maintenance schedule is a bad thing?
Yeah, that's the flaw in that story.

I have (too) many cars and they tend to sit a long time between uses - sometimes a couple of years. You definitely do have more chance of suffering issues from corroded electrical connections etc., but it is never anything serious and you always address it when you get the cars out of storage.

The best cars in terms of reliability get used at least 1,000 miles a year.

I've seen many owners ignoring regular maintenance issues like replacing coolant hoses every few years and tires every 5 years or so - do that with a car out of long term storage at your own risk!
 

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The key to owning any car whether it is a low mileage or high mileage car is proper maintenance and that's what I've always looked for when purchasing a used car . I keep a binder of my vehicles with the work I've done on them ,parts installed ,mileage recorded ,and receipts . And to add as Bill has said there are things I replace automatically because of age or if I am performing maintenance on an item I also replace the corresponding components ,such as the cooling system on my Chevelle I flushed and filled with fresh antifreeze ,replaced all hoses and the thermostat and have done the same for the Solstice .
 

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I do the same as sting . Keep records & do the required general maintenance.Always have on all my bikes & cars. Just picked up a dodge 1988 leisure travel camper van b250 with 220,000 km on it with all he recorded work to it.
 

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I've been shopping for a late 80's Ferrari 308 QV for about two years. One of the many tips I picked up from other Ferrari owners is to be cautious of low mile cars for sale. Many times the speedometer has been altered and more often the car was 'grey market', built from other wrecked cars and sent across the border from Canada. Other owners have always said, if the seller can't produce dealer or factory documents to back up the mileage, options and history, walk away. In nine out of ten cars I've been interested in, the seller has refused to ask Ferrari to provide the factory build sheet, or been able to provide accurate maintenance documents, especially for the engine-out 30,000 mile maintenance.
 

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I think you guys missed his point by a mile, maybe more :lol:. I agree with a lot of what he wrote.

The point is a 20 year old, museum quality car with a few thousand miles is going to need just as much maintenance as a car with more miles. Buy the low mileage one if you plan on keeping it low mileage and museum quality, but buy the higher mileage one if you actually plan on driving and enjoying it. It's going to be much cheaper and less of a headache in the long run.

Solstices and Skys are bad examples because the oldest ones are only 9 years, going on 10 years, old. Let's say for example a 2006 Sol has only 5k miles on it. Those tires are most likely the originals and completely shot for driving on. How many times has the oil been changed? My guess is twice when it really should be 5+ because I doubt most people know that oil sludges over time and needs to be changed every year or every other year at the most. If it's a GXP, our turbos are oil and water cooled so if oil sledges up there, you can say goodbye to your turbo too. What about the gas in the tank, how old is that? I doubt people drain their tanks periodically if they aren't driving the car. People on this forum are already deathly afraid of the HPFP going out on them if they get below a 1/4 tank of gas (GXP only), now picture bad/watery gas going through it :lol:.

In the end not only are you going to pay top dollar for a car with extremely low miles, but you're going to have to pump more money into it if you expect to drive it semi-regularly.
You have some good points. Personally I would rather have a low wear car that needs effort to put back into service than a high mileage car that is significantly consumed.

Modern oils dont create sludge like we used to experience back in the dark ages of the 60s and 70s. :willy: And since our cars use synthetic oils the deleterous affects of long term out of service storage are greatly reduced.
 

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I think you guys missed his point by a mile, maybe more :lol:. I agree with a lot of what he wrote.

The point is a 20 year old, museum quality car with a few thousand miles is going to need just as much maintenance as a car with more miles. Buy the low mileage one if you plan on keeping it low mileage and museum quality, but buy the higher mileage one if you actually plan on driving and enjoying it. It's going to be much cheaper and less of a headache in the long run.

Solstices and Skys are bad examples because the oldest ones are only 9 years, going on 10 years, old. Let's say for example a 2006 Sol has only 5k miles on it. Those tires are most likely the originals and completely shot for driving on. How many times has the oil been changed? My guess is twice when it really should be 5+ because I doubt most people know that oil sludges over time and needs to be changed every year or every other year at the most. If it's a GXP, our turbos are oil and water cooled so if oil sledges up there, you can say goodbye to your turbo too. What about the gas in the tank, how old is that? I doubt people drain their tanks periodically if they aren't driving the car. People on this forum are already deathly afraid of the HPFP going out on them if they get below a 1/4 tank of gas (GXP only), now picture bad/watery gas going through it :lol:.

In the end not only are you going to pay top dollar for a car with extremely low miles, but you're going to have to pump more money into it if you expect to drive it semi-regularly.
Don't forget to include the Fuel Evap system canister and components. When the canister solidifies for whatever reason your're looking at $2000 for repair if you're not a mechanic. While you're at it, you may as well include the fuel pump so that you don't have to drop the tank again. Now you're up to $2500.
 

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...plus...if you buy a museum quality car, be sure you have a place to keep it that condition. Just sticking it in a garage can make a 100K car worth 50k faster than you can say climate control.

One of my best decisions with old cars was to never care about numbers matching and instead focused on having fun.
 

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You know I hear this information and I have to believe that the majority of people make this comments do not really own such cars.
I have a 2007 GXP with less than 8250 miles and is in excellent condition and the reason is because it gets use every weekend, where it gets up to the proper engine heat levels and is driven for a few miles to get all it's components worked up. Also the fluids are change. So no my 8250 mile car is not like an 30K, 40K, 50K,80K mile car, because there is NOT that much wear on the components,
 
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