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Mileage certainly isn't everything.

My brother bought a 1998 Renault Clio a couple of years back with 47,000 on it.

It was knackered, as it had done lots of short trips, it was rusty and had numerous faults.

Also back in 2012 my Grandfather passed away leaving a 24 year old, 50,000 mile Audi 100. Condition wise it looked almost new, but mechanically it was shot, for the same reason that it had done lots of short trips. It was quite strange that after the 150 mile trip to get it back from Norfolk to Witney it was gradually regaining some performance once I had got it back. The suspension was still baggy, hoses were perished etc still though...

IMO it is age which kills cars more so than mileage.
 

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Recently acquired a Mk5 Golf for my Father. I was dead against spending £2k for a decent example so I got a cheapie on 98k and spent half again on parts.

The 1.6 FSI engine is overall a pretty decent unit. Doesn't feel underpowered despite being way down on bhp than the 1.8 Civic I bought prior. The Mk5 Golf is insanely refined for a mundane family hatch too.


For 98k and consistent use (according to the MoT history) the engine is a little amiss shall we say. Needed a coil pack, although one out of the 4 was an original one AND not the one that needed replacing. However the throttle body was COMPLETELY caked in oil/carbon, I imagine the inlet manifold is the same too. I put some RedEx in it and went for a thrash which seems to have smoothed out the idle a little but will likely need a carbon cleaner job.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
The lowest mileage car I ever owned was, of all things, a Lada. It was my first car and it was very cheap. They were famous for rugged reliability being based on an ancient but proven Fiat. Mine was six years old, had done less than 30,000 miles, and was utterly hopeless.

I've had two Nissan Primeras. I bought a poverty spec one from a bloke I worked with. He bought it from his sister who bought it new. It had done 138,000 miles, came with ten years of Nissan service history, and drove perfectly. I then bought a GT from eBay blind. Similar mileage, no history whatsoever, loads of owners, and that was exactly the same.

Some cars just withstand it better. I also think 30,000 miles of short journeys where the car never gets warm will knacker it much more effectively than 100,000 motorway miles.
 

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On a similar theme, we recently had a thread here about cars that are utterly neglected that just seem to plod on and on and on. Yes, they may be mechanically worn, but somehow they just keep going.

it’s a strange example but... look at ‘Police! Camera! Action! Shut It!’ It’s always a knackered five-up Astra or Peugeot the Police chase for 45 miles at 120mph; the unloved euro box bounces off walls, mounts kerbs at 90mph, whacks into parked cars, launches off roundabouts and through hedges, hits speed humps with the sort of force that should snap wishbones, does 15 handbrake turns, hits a lorry and yet the damn things still run for a further nine miles even after bursting three tyres on the stinger. They only stop after 12 repeated attempts to ram their way out of a TPAC against three Police BMW X5s, one of which always comes off worse than the Astra or Peugeot.

I really don’t understand why Peugeot invests £5mill to prepare two cars for the Paris Dakar; it just needs to spend £700 on a couple of scrappers with a month’s MOT left to achieve exactly the same results :)
 
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