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Q: Is a high-mileage, preowned vehicle a good buy?

Posted October 03, 2012 in Advice Column, Urbandale

A: Of course! Don’t shy away from pre-owned vehicles with high miles. They can be a source of incredibly great deals. Cars these days are far more reliable than older cars used to be and can run for 200,000+ miles or more. Just be careful and make sure you do your homework. Watch for signs of any major problems, and make sure the vehicle was routinely cared for by the original owners. Consider these tips:

    • Service history. Some previous owners keep all their records.  Many company or fleet vehicles have maintenance schedules that are strictly adhered to. Another source of service history could be the Auto Check or Carfax, however, unless the previous owner(s) used a franchise service provider, those records may not be comprehensive.

   • Interior/exterior. By checking the interior and the exterior of the vehicle, this could be an indication of how the mechanical integrity has been maintained by the previous owner(s). We find that appearance and mechanical maintenance go hand in hand.

 • Test drive. Always take the vehicle for a test drive before deciding to purchase it. You should verify how it handles, rides and accelerates at varying driving conditions. No experience? Refer to a trained technician.

 • Warranties. Is the vehicle still covered under a manufacturer’s warranty? If not and you can’t sleep at night, consider an extended warranty through a dealer. (We’ll discuss warranty options next month.)

Information provided by Tab Miller and Mona Lillard, Preowned Solutions, 11010 Douglas Ave., Urbandale, 515-528-8100.





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