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Used Cars/Value of 96 subaru over 247K miles


QUESTION: Can you tell me the life expectancy of this car after the following repairs have been made: timing belt & all other belts replaced 6000 miles ago, engine resealed, new valve cover gaskets, tires, brakes & all fluids. Love/totally trust the mechanic we're buying it from but the mileage concerns me. Thanks!

ANSWER: Hello Chris thanks for the question. Without seeing the car it is hard for me to give you much info however i am more concerned with the age of a vehicle than I am the miles. I would rather have a 2005 with 200k than a 1995 with 100k. Every year manufactures are making cars safer, more dependable and more efficient. It sounds like this car has been taken care of but the age is still a concern for me. I couldn't advise you not to buy it without seeing it but a 17 year old car is still a risk no matter how good the maintenance has been. Dont let the miles stop you, If you trust the seller than it might be ok.   
Good luck  Shane  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thanks for the advice.  I'd like to give specifics so that you can give me a general, "Buy or Don't Buy" opinion.  As stated, it is a 96 Subaru Legacy.  I've driven the car and it "feels" solid and sounds very good.  The only reason I'm considering it is that it's a Subaru Legacy, the seller is a trusted mechanic and friend.  They want $2,700 for it  The Blue Book shows it at $1,900 but he has put the above work into it.  Do the items above help increase the expected "life" of the engine?  If so, by an estimate of how long?  I've heard anywhere from 100K to 200K.

Thanks in advance for your time!

Most of what you have mentioned are considered "normal" maintenance items. The timing belt is recommended every 100k so if it has been replaced 6000 miles ago thats good. The other things (tires, brakes, valve cover gaskets and fluids) are not really going to lengthen the life of the car but are good to have done.  If you trust that the seller has taken good care of it than don't be afraid to buy it. The price is "ok" for a car of that year and miles. Somewhere closer to $2000 would be good for you. Keep in mind that a Subaru is going to be more $ to repair and maintain at this point of its life than an American made car. Just something to consider.   Thanks again,  Shane  

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Understanding how your credit report is used when purchasing a vehicle. Understanding the "Simple Interest Contract". When to put money down and why. I can give you some basic questions to ask the dealer befor signing your papers. I can answer about any question you have about buying a used car from a dealer. I am in Michigan and laws do vary from state to state. I will always try to help with any question regarding used cars.


I have been a Sales Manager as well as doing Finance for dealers for 19 years, Sub Prime or Special Finance as it is referred to in the buisness. I also have sold cars at Chevy and Ford dealerships for the last 16 years

General Store Manager since 2009 and 19 total years of on the job experience.

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