Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationBuying & Selling · 1 month ago

Is 143,000 miles too many for a used car?

I am looking for a car. The vehicle I have now has many problems so I am having to buy locally, which is making it very hard since I live in a small town. Everything in my price range has over 200,000 miles on it, while everything under the 100,000 mile mark is at least $15,000. Everything is so much cheaper in other towns, but I'm unable to leave without risking getting stranded or my life. I don't know a lot about cars, but my mechanic has volunteered to look at any vehicle I am interested in free of charge. Because of that, I'm only wanting to take one vehicle to him and not overstay my welcome, especially since he has the busiest auto place in town. 

I was able to find 2 vehicle so far. I've tried to stay away from sellers because my cousin helped me get me the vehicle I currently have from a seller. Lets just say that my mechanic has spent more time with it than I have driven it. It is a piece of junk and definitely not worth what I paid. I only have $6,000, $6,500 at the most. 

Here are the 2 vehicles. The second vehicle im not sure I can buy unless they accept monthly payments. I'm mainly wanting to know if the 1st one is a good option?

Option 1: 2011 Chevrolet Equinox LS with 143,000 miles for $6,000.

Option 2: 2010 Mercury Milan Premier Sedan with 91,000 miles for $7,500.

What does everyone think? Is Option 1 a good deal or should I pass? Whatever I decide on, I'm going to take it to my mechanic first to make certain their is no inner issues. 


A moped and a motorcycle is out of the question. This vehicle will be transporting both myself and my 72 year old mother. Neither of us will get on mopeds or motorcycles, we would rather walk.

The closest surrounding city to us is over 30 minutes away. We don't wanna take a chance of driving the vehicle. Our town also has no Uber, Lyft, bus station, taxi service, or any means of transportation. If you wanna get anywhere, you walk. We also have no one here that will take us anywhere. 

Update 2:

I'm also not sure if taking a car loan is possible. I have student loan debt and I don't think a bank will let me take a loan out with student loans on my head. And my mother has horrible credit because her 2 sisters took out credit cards in her name and didn't pay them back. So I wanted a car I could just pay out right. 

30 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    Make sure there's no rust, no engine light. Try to make sure they already took it through emissions so you don't have to worry about that. To me those prices are a grand or two too high. I got 2003 Ford focus with 200,000 miles for 400. I got a Ford sport explorer for 1,000 with 140,000 miles on craigslist. If those are your options I'd ask for a lower prize. The years are alright but they selling it a price where it's good to go, when it's probably not. Let them know what the fix would be and how much you'd rather pay based on that. 

  • 1 month ago

    It depends on the car.  If it's a Toyota 143,000 miles is nothing, if it's an American made car it's ready for the junk yard.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Get  maintenance history more the merrier otherwise do not buy it!

  • 1 month ago

    One general guideline to remember, particularly when seeing reports like Carfax or AutoCheck, is that 15,000 miles for every year is viewed as the business normal. Thusly, in case you're taking a gander at a vehicle that is ten years of age, it's not irrational for it to have 100,000 to 150,000 miles on it.

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    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    When well maintained with the records of the maintenance it probably is not to much especially when it is a Honda or Toyota. I have a Toyota Highlander hybrid with over 230000 miles and it runs very well. I would go with one of the 2 especially when it is for a woman as in some cases it might be a bit dangerous in case of a break down. Have you considered buying a high mileage car with some kind of extra warranty like car shield" (in case you can afford it) Finally in case you decide on one it might be a good idea to have a friend who knows about cars or a trusted garage check it out for obvious defects.

  • P
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    There's a reality that a 10+ year old car will have issues especially with over 140k miles.   With such cars you need to budget around $1500 in repairs a year on average.  A lot of it will be basic maintenance related as cars often need more expensive refurbishments as they go up in miles.  There's other ways to get out of town and I might suggest negotiating something online\phone and traveling to an area with better options. 

  • susan
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    With used vehicles, it depends very much on which owner kept up with the maintenance better. You should ask the seller to produce maintenance receipts showing what was done including oil changes. Consult with your mechanic about whichever vehicle had the most oil changes that you have evidence of. If they kept up with those, they are more likely to have kept up with other important things, and the oil changes alone will increase the useful years of a car.

    I have another idea to suggest. Look into buying a moped for transportation. Not forever, but just until you can afford a more dependable car. Find out if you need a motorcycle license for mopeds in your state, and factor in that cost. Generally speaking, the lower the cost of the vehicle, the lower the cost of the insurance and upkeep, so that is why I suggest this less expensive option. If you can't use it in bad weather, you'll need an alternate plan, such as maybe bus or Uber or a friend that you can pay for rides.

  • 1 month ago

    Noy sure what its called but have you thought about leasing one , then you could go brand new 

  • 1 month ago

    Neither one is a bargain.  I would offer 3500 for the Equinox if it has been maintained.   If it has been run too long between oil changes or has had the oil too low it could be very hard on the timing chain. Common 3,6 engine problem .   Have the used oil analyzed. 

  • 1 month ago

    The Equinox can develop hydraulic lifter problems if the oil was not changed on time or allowed to get too low. Not sure if I would buy a Mercury. A GM Impala or Malibu has a more dependable motor and transmission.

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