Edmunds Answers



  • MrShift@Edmunds 03/11/09 8:02 pm PST

    There's no predicting this kind of thing. Best you can do is have the car thoroughly checked over, top to bottom. Being a VW you are going to have little things go wrong and that's just the nature of the beast. So if I were you I'd be more concerned with tires, shocks, CV joints, suspension, brakes & rotors and electrical devices than I would be with the engine.

    if this car has the 1.8 turbo motor, however, I would definitely recommend synthetic oil and would have your mechanic check the engine for signs of oil sludge.

    As a general rule, most modern engines can easily go to 175,000 to 225,000 miles, so figure your car's life is half over, or a bit more than that.

    Much of your question depends on the car's previous service record, if you know it.

  • morin2 03/13/09 12:59 pm PST

    A big ditto to Mr. Shiftright's answer. The power windows and sunroof are weak spots. Absolutely get it fully checked out - including compression test. Does this one have the auto trans that can be serviced or not? Spending $100 on a through mechanical check-out (include a check for accident damage - don't trust Carfax if there is no accident history - they miss a lot) will be some of the wisest $ you spend.

    opinions vary - but some of us prefer a high mileage late model to a low mileage older car - as its more likely that the miles were easier highway miles than local city miles - but its a big assumption, so try to learn how it was used (where did owner live and where was employer located, etc.). There will be a big deduction for the hi miles, but that works to your advantage when bargaining. Are there service records? Many still have these common irrational preferences for low miles - when those are sometimes the worst cars. I know of a 10 year+ Camry that has about 10k miles on it - nearly all driven to the end of the driveway to the mailbox or to the end of the road & almost never run to operating temp. That car would command a premium price on a dealer lot - but those miles are much harder on it than 104K honest highway miles.


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