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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Mikez on March 16, 2016, 12:15:47 PM

Title: Swapping car for lower milage used car
Post by: Mikez on March 16, 2016, 12:15:47 PM
I wanted to check my reasoning on a car swap Iím thinking about.

I have a í04 Mazda 3 with 131k miles.  Bought it used in '07 for $12.5k with 58k miles. While working good, Iím starting to foresee a lot of wear and tear maintenance items forthcoming (Maybe about a $1k) which I am not able to DIY. I figure itís worth $3,000 in current condition.

Someone I know is selling a í06 Honda Civic Hybrid for $5k with 82k miles in good shape. It just had itís Hybrid battery replaced with 2 left on the battery warrenty. Might need new tires soon. Of course I have no idea what the future of maintenance for this car holds, but I didnít have to do anything for my Mazda until it hit around 110k.

My math seems to be that this would be a good swap. For about $3k (taxes, title, etc) I get a car with 50k less miles. Just wanted to bounce this off everyone to see if I thinking about this correctly.
Title: Re: Swapping car for lower milage used car
Post by: neo von retorch on March 16, 2016, 01:23:28 PM
ItemCostMilesCost / MileTotal:0.206315
Fuel$2.3035.4$0.065    
Insurance$51610,000$0.052    
Purchase$9,40095,000$0.099    
Tires$40040,000$0.010       
Inspection$10015,000$0.007    
Oil Chg$405,000$0.008       
Brakes$15050,000$0.003    
Rotations$5010,000$0.005    
Resale($3,975)95000($0.042)
   

Here's my spreadsheet estimating cost per mile for my Honda Fit. Comes out to about $0.20/mile.

Assuming all else was equal, you'd be looking at spending just $0.06/mile. I think that's a good deal, but hopefully you/someone can check my math.
Title: Re: Swapping car for lower milage used car
Post by: otter on March 16, 2016, 01:29:56 PM
Remember that with any used car, you are in a sense buying the previous owner, their care level, and the car's maintenance history.

Remember also that lower mileage does not necessarily, by itself, indicate lower maintenance cost over the coming several years. It might in this case, or it might not. E.g. if you are looking at some arbitrary car that requires an expensive timing belt/water pump service and 100k miles, an example with 120k miles that has already had this work performed will, ceteris paribus, cost you less than a 90k mile example that hasn't.

In the context of your options, this is to say: find out as much as you can about the Civic's service requirements for the next 50k (or whatever) miles and what is either certain or likely to be needed on this particular car.

Also, what is the basis for the $$ you foresee spending on the Mazda? Is it based on the performance of the car itself (e.g. the suspension is worn out), or a sense that "well, this must be coming" ?
Title: Re: Swapping car for lower milage used car
Post by: Mikez on March 16, 2016, 01:47:22 PM
My neighbor who did my break job told me that I need to think about replacing the wheel bearings and a control arm bushing.  I'm also due for a new serpentine belt and battery.  I think I am starting to have issues my emissions control system as I am starting to get speratic CELs when I fill up on gas.