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Hi all, long time lurker here.

I have an '03 that's been giving me trouble since I picked it up in 2014, at ~112k miles.

In November 2015, the transmission was replaced (~127k miles). At that point I also had the PCV valve replaced, and it stopped hemorrhaging oil.

In April 2016, the radiator blew and had to get a new one (~130k).

Also in April, my brakes were whining at me so I replaced those (~132k).

I got my power steering pump replaced this past Friday (May 2016, ~132k miles), but then the next day I saw smoke coming out of my hood (an increasingly familiar scene for me...) and I had to abandon it in a parking lot until Tuesday, when I can get a tow to the mechanic who replaced the pump. (~132k)

My question is, what other maintenance could I possibly be in for, if I want to keep this car? Should I get 'er fixed up then sell? Or just sell as-is? It's been a frustrating 6 months for both me and my bank account, but I'm relatively optimistic for the future.

I want to believe that this is the last thing this car will need for a long time, but I found out soon after buying the car that the only maintenance the previous owner got done was oil changes................................

I've had one mechanic say it won't last another month, and another tell me there isn't much on the horizon and that it should last forever with minimal maintenance.

What's your honest opinion? Grin and bear it, or sell for something that won't drain my energy or bank account?
 

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@Byakuya; was in a similar situation a while ago, I think he might be able to give you some good ideas.

I would suggest that at this age (mileage) many things are wearing and will be in need of what we fondly refer to as "Old Age Maintenance"- suspension, bushings, fluids front to back etc. They can be done a little at a time, but will all need to be done to keep it safe to drive.

Are you able to do your own work? Things are much less expensive if you do the work...
 

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Based on how this car has treated you so far, I'd ditch it. If it were me, it would get sold ASAP.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about all the issues you've been having with your car :(

Like TiGray said, it comes down to your ability to do your own repairs, and the amount of "old age maintenance" that he calls it that the car will need.

My biggest concern with your car is from the sound of how the previous owner did not care for it as they should have. This leads me to believe that you might be in for a pre-cat clogging and V6 self-destruction. The V6 models are notorious for slowly eating themselves away, and 150k is when many of them see their last drive. My V6 was at about 142k miles when I got rid of it, and I had a handful of things breaking on me like you've had. I decided to not dance with the devil since I have very limited knowledge of cars and replacing engines, so I sold it before it got worse.

That being said; I spotted my car about 8 months later being used as by a college individual. No idea how many miles they had put on it, but it was still going strong from the looks of it. I knew every chip and scratch on that car, so I am positive it was mine.

Both of those mechanics are correct. The car could die on you tomorrow, or it could last another 5+ years without any problems. Unfortunately, that can be said about just about any 10+ year old car that's been used regularly.

All said and done, if your budget allows for it, I'd look into getting a pre-owned 2nd or 3rd generation 6 and sell this one while it's still going strong for you. You can probably get about $4k for it, and that's a nice chunk to put down on a new car. Don't buy new, it's not worth it unless you plan to keep the car 10+ years like I hope to do so :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice guys.

Got 'er back today, turns out an o-ring was split and let all the fluid run out.

I had my mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection, and he gave me the following:

front brakes 95% (because I just replaced them)
back brakes 40% (recommended replacing in ~15k miles)
hi side AC hose leaking (but not a concern, currently looking up if I can do this)
brake fluid dirty (from what I hear this is ~$100 in my area. ooorrrr DIY)
right axle boot leaking (not a concern now, but I think DIY?)


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My engineering lead at work used to work at Mazda and has ~10 cars, and I have a permanent open invite to go to his place to work on stuff, but he also lives ~50 miles away.

When he and I did a compression test in the Marchish timeframe, my engine was looking about 25% compression loss, and when we ran the test again with oil the compression was way higher, so it looks like I would be in for boring larger holes or a new engine block when that time comes (a while down the road).

I'm not particularly loyal to any car maker, or car, and I would love to keep this car if it is lower $$$/month than a newer used car would be. It's real fun to drive but does fun have to equal expensive??? On the other hand these fixes don't look too expensive above what normal maintenance would cost. I feel like I'm in the clear for abnormal fixes until

I bought this car because it had 40 carfax maintenance records in 12 years. That's not the only reason but I had thought it would be a fair assumption that it had been taken care of... whoops!

I'll have to check into the pre-cat clogging issue, as this is the first I'd heard of it.

Thanks for the advice everyone.

If you have more to contribute, I'll keep checking the thread. Otherwise yeah thanks a lot.
 

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Buying a high mileage car can be a real crap shoot, as you never know how the previous owner treated it.I side with Byakuya in that the previous owner probably neglected preventative maintenance. Maybe not so much oil changes, but all the other things like... brake and power steering fluids. However, I question $100 for the brake fluid flush. Should be able do get it for half that. It's a fairly simple DIY, but you need 2 people to do it. One to bleed and one to work the brake pedal.

I'd get that CV boot replaced ASAP before it becomes a CV joint issue. MUCH cheaper to fix the boot before contaminants get in and seize the joint. The AC hose isn't a DIY job unless you have reclamation equipment to evac the AC OR if you have someone evac it before you attempt it. Back brakes still sound like they have decent life left. Wouldn't hurt to check them again in 15K but I wouldn't be surprised if they lasted longer than that.
 

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Buying a high mileage car can be a real crap shoot, as you never know how the previous owner treated it.I side with Byakuya in that the previous owner probably neglected preventative maintenance. Maybe not so much oil changes, but all the other things like... brake and power steering fluids. However, I question $100 for the brake fluid flush. Should be able do get it for half that. It's a fairly simple DIY, but you need 2 people to do it. One to bleed and one to work the brake pedal.

I'd get that CV boot replaced ASAP before it becomes a CV joint issue. MUCH cheaper to fix the boot before contaminants get in and seize the joint. The AC hose isn't a DIY job unless you have reclamation equipment to evac the AC OR if you have someone evac it before you attempt it. Back brakes still sound like they have decent life left. Wouldn't hurt to check them again in 15K but I wouldn't be surprised if they lasted longer than that.
That's an average shop price for brake fluid flush. Everything is cheaper when you DIY.
 

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I'm spoiled then. I have a mechanic do it for me, but he gives me a great rate since I also send him our fleet repairs.
 

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I'm in this boat right now. But I'd be donating her to my nephew if I let her go. I bought my 05 v6 GT with 2500 miles in 06. I now have 260,000 miles.

Recently I've replaced Spark plug Heli coil, battery, driver lower control arm, pass upper control arm, brakes, inner and outer tie rods. Still needs a new rear exhaust manifold($500 CA + 150 install) and tires ($500). I've sunk $1000 + over the last month and still need to spend another $1000. BUT, I know my engine and tranny are still strong.

Last 4 fill ups with ac running 50% of time:
Mileage / fill = mpg
314.7 / 11. 885 = 26.456 mpg
322.0 / 12.187 = 26.241 mpg
325.9 / 12.178 = 25.940 mpg
345.5 / 12.440 = 27.770 mpg

Hard to let her go.... Probably going to give it to my nephew and have him fix the manifold and replace the tires.

I'd rate my outside as a strong 8 due to some minor scratches on the front bumper. The interior is still extremely good shape, and give it a strong 8 as well due to drivers seat not being as supportive, little worn due to all the mileage... But rest of interior is immaculate.
 
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