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Very Low Miles Used Car

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    Posted: May-10-2020 at 7:42am
I was looking at 2006 jeep with 28k miles on it. It is a family members car so the miles are legit. It is being driven now by another family member. Because of health problems the vehicle was not driven much.

I am concerned about lack of use. My question is if I bought it what should I expect to do to make it an everyday driver? I would anticipate new tires, cooling system hoses, flushing cooling system.   Also if I were to buy it, it is on the west coast, so I would like to prep it and drive it back cross country.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SNobsessed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-10-2020 at 7:50am
Flush the auto trans & brake fluid too.

Change belts & air filter.

Keep your cell phone charged. Tow truck is only an hour away if it does break down.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-10-2020 at 7:10pm
A few things to think about. 1st, I always look for a low miles car first. So many parts wear with use and with low miles they were not used yet. Everything from your bearings to the seats wear a little with each use of that car. Was this stored inside or outside?   Some parts and your paint wear much faster sitting out in the weather.

If stored inside the seats, dashboard and paint will still be like new in this old but lightly used car.

Belts and Hoses, we used to say if they are 4 years old they need to be replaced, that was back in the 80's.   Today, most belts and hoses are much better materials and can last 15 years.   

Tires, tires are not built as well today as they were 40 years ago. Today tire shops will not work on a tire, fix a flat etc if the tire is more that 6 years old. Age causes tire failure.
If you know guys with classic cars, they sometimes have tires on them that are 20 years old but have very low miles, the tread looks good but close inspection shows cracks in the sidewalls. These can blow out and leave you in trouble.

Other than that, Antifreeze, this product ages so after 5 years or so it needs to be changed in every car, parked or not.
Brake fluid, this product absorbs moisture from the air. It is supposed to be changed every 3 years, very important if you have anti lock brakes.   No body does this but if you have an anti lock brake system failure you are looking at $2,000 to fix it when a $10 brake fluid flush would have avoided the failure.

Engine and Transmission oil, no worries here, your oils should be just fine. Change them when due based on miles driven.   Personally I am not a fan of a tranny flush in any car. When due I will manually drain the tranny and install a new filter. When you do this in an automatic tranny you find a lot a material from normal transmission wear in the tranny oil pan.   If you do a flush they don't drop the pan at all and this material from wear ends up getting blasted into your valves that control tranny shifting and you may have tranny failure.    I had two cars flushed when this service first came out thinking it was going to be great for the transmission. A Yukon Denali with 59,000 miles, tranny went out 1,000 miles later.   Unfortunately I also did our Suburban at the same time, tranny went out 2 months later, it at least had 150,000 miles total on it. My buddy who owned the Transmission shop I used gave me the scoop on the tranny flushes, he sells transmissions and says they are great for business.   So I do it the old manual way, drop the pan, install new filter, clean the pan and re install.   Always works for me.   In my lifetime, those are my only transmission failures, both right after the flush.

I just helped my nephew buy a Toyota Corolla from a lady that can't drive anymore.   It is a 2007 but had only 32,000 miles total. He will have the same things to fix as your car. Nothing major but with some general maintenance you will have a nice car.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ultrarunner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-10-2020 at 8:22pm
Great thread, and I have some first-hand info....

Two years ago, I acquired a 2003 Volvo XC-70. When I picked it up, at that time, it at 40k original miles on it, from the original owner...a friend of mine that passed. And had been parked for the previous two years. So, 40k miles from 2003 to 2015, approx. The previous owner rarely ventured too far away from home.

So, in-as-much as the car was a gift, I didn't have any issues putting a few bucks into it. Timing belt, water pump, LH/RH front wheel bearing assemblies. 4x brake calipers and rotors. Upper engine mount bushing and lower control arm bushings, and a set of tires. It's been my daily driver ever since, and has 70k on the odometer....hasn't missed a beat! :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hollywood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-11-2020 at 10:33am
Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke, otherwise follow the service intervals in the manual I don’t get all parts changing here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-11-2020 at 10:05pm
Originally posted by ultrarunner ultrarunner wrote:

Great thread, and I have some first-hand info....
Two years ago, I acquired a 2003 Volvo XC-70.


I know I don't have to say remember to change your oil regularly. We had an 04- great car. Gave it to my sister in law back in '14. Mother in law had some health issues,sil got distracted oil didnt get changed last summer. Oil light came on she kept driving....... it's now back in my drive
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Orlando76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-11-2020 at 10:30pm
You guys worry too much about crap that don’t matterJust drive it. Modern day cars don’t need maintenance. keep gas in the tank, fresh sneakers under it, and and the tunes turned up. I don’t do sh1t for maintenance on my work truck and 365k miles and the damn thing still won’t die.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-11-2020 at 11:03pm
Originally posted by Orlando76 Orlando76 wrote:

Modern day cars don’t need maintenance.


I agree modern cars need much less maintenance. "Don't need maintenance" is a pretty strong statement, and I'll argue it. You have to take care of any machine, to a reasonable extent, to keep it running well.

But, agree with much of what is said, certainly no worries about a low mileage vehicle, better than the alternative.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nautiquehunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-16-2020 at 6:50am
In 2014 Fiat bought out Chrysler . Not a good thing for Chrysler. If it has the 3.5L V6 I would walk away.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Orlando76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-16-2020 at 9:13am
Originally posted by Nautiquehunter Nautiquehunter wrote:

In 2014 Fiat bought out Chrysler . Not a good thing for Chrysler. If it has the 3.5L V6 I would walk away.

Couldn’t be as much of a disaster as their 4.7 v8 was.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-16-2020 at 1:44pm
Originally posted by Orlando76 Orlando76 wrote:

Originally posted by Nautiquehunter Nautiquehunter wrote:

In 2014 Fiat bought out Chrysler . Not a good thing for Chrysler. If it has the 3.5L V6 I would walk away.

Couldn’t be as much of a disaster as their 4.7 v8 was.

I had a 2001 Durango with 4.7, liked the engine and had no problems. That was before they increased power output, I think mine was 240 HP and later they made I think 300 HP.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Orlando76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-16-2020 at 2:28pm
Originally posted by 63 Skier 63 Skier wrote:

Originally posted by Orlando76 Orlando76 wrote:

Originally posted by Nautiquehunter Nautiquehunter wrote:

In 2014 Fiat bought out Chrysler . Not a good thing for Chrysler. If it has the 3.5L V6 I would walk away.

Couldn’t be as much of a disaster as their 4.7 v8 was.

I had a 2001 Durango with 4.7, liked the engine and had no problems. That was before they increased power output, I think mine was 240 HP and later they made I think 300 HP.

You’re lucky
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-16-2020 at 2:43pm
Well, to be more accurate .... I had the common idling problems, easily solved by a new throttle position sensor and cleaning the idle air solenoid. I had to replace the intake manifold gasket. But nothing major. Don't get me wrong, not saying it was a great engine, didn't have much torque, burned too much gas. But not a problem at least in my case.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-17-2020 at 2:54am
Three months ago I did a full engine overhaul on a Dodge 4.7L. The factory messed up and installed the valve seats with only .002 interference fit, when they age a valve seat can drop out and cause total engine failure.   The 4.7L is from when Mercedes owned Dodge and is a Mercedes designed engine, the smaller V6 is the exact same design and uses many of the same parts. After overhauling one I am very impressed with the design. It is a pretty well built engine.   There are several items inside them that need clean fresh oil.   The piston rings are very light tension for a passenger car and if you let your oil get old it can gum them up.   After being inside one of these and fixing the cylinder head issue with valve seats I like this engine.    I did a GM 5.3L overhaul after the Dodge and I really like the GM LS engines also but they too have issues.   The one I fixed had the AFM, which makes the engine run on 4,6 or 8 cylinders and when that goes out most shops tell you to buy a new engine.   So each manufacturer has their own issues.   Right now I am overhauling a Ford 5.4L one of the 3 valve per cylinder overhead cam engines.   Of the three so far I am thinking the Ford design is at the bottom of my list. It is the largest physical size, by a lot, while offering no more horsepower, torque, MPG or reliability in a very complex package to work on.   Took several hours to remove two valve covers for crying out loud.
Next up after the Ford is finished is an engine actually for me, an old school 406 small block Chevy.   That will be like a day off to build and well under 1/2 the time needed to do the work.    All this to say, the Jeep engine is from the Dodge family of engines and the 4.7L or the smaller V6 are both well designed engines, just change the oil often, like, 3,000 miles max and do not overheat them and they will treat you very well. It would not scare me to drive one if I knew the history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-17-2020 at 2:57pm
Originally posted by MrMcD MrMcD wrote:

     I did a GM 5.3L overhaul after the Dodge and I really like the GM LS engines also but they too have issues.   The one I fixed had the AFM, which makes the engine run on 4,6 or 8 cylinders and when that goes out most shops tell you to buy a new engine.   .


This has been a concern of mine as well, in my case why does an Avalanche need to run on 4 cylinders I spend alot of time running around 45 mph- it turns on and off constantly. I bought a Range Technology module that plugs into the obd2 port. It has helped with the surging hopefully it will help the engine live longer as well
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-17-2020 at 3:50pm
Gary, I didn't buy a Range module when I had my Tahoe but thought about it, also considered a Black Bear tune. I did change oil at 3000 intervals as this has been anecdotally shown to help avoid AFM failures.

Mark, I agree with your engine assessment. The Ford 5.4 just never did anything particularly impressively, besides rust out oil pans and exhaust manifolds.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-17-2020 at 7:31pm
The 5.4L Ford came to me with a timing guide that had broken allowing so much chain slap that it broke the valve cover dumping its oil and causing the cam to jump time. It can be fixed it just seems avoidable, this engine was at 140,000 miles so old but not ancient.

The GM AFM when it works does a good job on MPG, I rented a full size GM 4x4 with 4 doors and the 5.3L with AFM while visiting Seattle and Portland.   About a 200 mile drive between them.   That darn thing gave me nearly 23 MPG for the trip. Flew into Portland, drove around Portland then drove to and from Seattle.   You could tell when it dropped down to 4 cylinders but for the most part it worked well and a truck that size getting that MPG was impressive to me.   Trying to find parking in Seattle with that tuna boat was not fun. They have no full size parking up there.   
The AFM can be deleted completely, I did it in a 2007 Suburban, 5.3L. They do feel better with the AFM deleted but you will give up maybe 1 MPG average.   The Suburban would still pull 18-19 MPG highway with the AFM deleted but no better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-18-2020 at 10:21am
Agree on the 1 mpg with AFM in a 5.3. People who claim more are IMO kidding themselves. I think if you do a lot of 40-60 mph driving it can save a useful amount, but for me, tending to drive it a bit harder, and doing 74 almost all the time on the highway, it just didn't kick in enough to matter, and in truth I didn't want it to.

A massive amount of engineering and complexity, significant additional engine cost, all for 1 mpg. If you run 100,000 miles and go from 17 mpg average to 18 mpg average by having AFM, depending on fuel price you save maybe $700-900 total. Not worth it, really a foolish feature in my opinion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-18-2020 at 10:36am
Could not have said it better.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-18-2020 at 10:47am
Originally posted by Gary S Gary S wrote:

Could not have said it better.....

Gary, then just shut up and let me do the talking!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ultrarunner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-18-2020 at 11:14am
This thread brought back some great memories, so indulge me ;-)

My grandfather was a propulsion engineer on Project Mercury beginning in the 50's and worked in that capacity following that project for 25 years or so before he retired. He was a pretty smart guy...

He was also a gear-head...always lots of cars, planes and such kicking around when we were kids. and when my mom was growing up...For example, SHE drove a Porsche Speedster, among others, when she was in high school. Would love to have that car today....

Anyway...one summer, during the 70's, grandpa had this massive Ford station wagon, think Clark Griswald. So, just for grins, and during the gas crunch, he converted that damn thing to run on 4 cylinders, full time. Don't know how he did it, and it would take some digging through his notes...but it worked. I can remember him telling his buddies that once it got up to speed on the interstate, it was just fine, but don't plan to do alot of passing! This was likely close to 8 years or so before the V8-6-4 was introduced!

Anyway, thanks for the thread! Those were fun times.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gary S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-18-2020 at 3:03pm
Originally posted by 63 Skier 63 Skier wrote:

Originally posted by Gary S Gary S wrote:

Could not have said it better.....

Gary, then just shut up and let me do the talking!


But... but
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-18-2020 at 4:31pm
The AFM delete for the 5.3L improves the engine for the owner. When the AFM acts up and needs repair you are looking at $3,000+ to fix it because all the lifters in that engine are under the heads. When an AFM lifter goes out you need to pull the heads for repair. Many shops tell the owner they need an entire new engine when it has AFM issues.
Due to all the labor involved it may be decent advice to the owner.
If your AFM acts up and you are over 100,000 miles I would just delete it and not have to deal with it again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote td_in_nc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-23-2020 at 8:58am
Just a little confused on the discussion the jeep engines. This is a 2006 6 cylinder, are there issues with that engine?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 63 Skier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-23-2020 at 9:32am
Tom, that should be the 3.7 V6. Very reliable engine, modest power and not very good mileage, but you should be fine. I would have said timing chain based on age but then re-read and saw that there's only 28k miles on it, no need.

Based on the low miles for a 14 year old vehicle, I'm guessing it hasn't had many oil changes. If you go for it I'd do an oil change, put 1000 or so miles on it, and do another one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ultrarunner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-23-2020 at 9:35am
Originally posted by 63 Skier 63 Skier wrote:

Tom, that should be the 3.7 V6. Very reliable engine, modest power and not very good mileage, but you should be fine. I would have said timing chain based on age but then re-read and saw that there's only 28k miles on it, no need.

Based on the low miles for a 14 year old vehicle, I'm guessing it hasn't had many oil changes. If you go for it I'd do an oil change, put 1000 or so miles on it, and do another one.


Timing chains typically don't need to be replaced for the life of the vehicle. Timing chain tensioners do however. Now, if it is a timing BELT, then regardless of mileage, a 14 year old belt needs to be replaced based on age.

Ultra...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote td_in_nc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-23-2020 at 1:46pm
Thanks everyone, I appreciate the advice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 3:59am
The only issues I am aware of with the Jeep 3.7L is the need for frequent oil changes, 3,000 miles or less will make that engine last a long time.   The light tension piston rings used in that engine are great for less friction and better MPG but they will gum up if run in dirty oil.
Other cars may be fine with 7,500 mile oil changes but this design is not.
The other issue is do not overheat this engine. In overheat they have a tendency to drop a valve seat right out of the head which means you need to tear down the engine to repair it.
These two issues are avoidable and controllable.   Buy the car and enjoy it for a long time.
Parts are cheap for the most part since the 4.7 and 3.7 share many components. A water pump is only $30.
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