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Well-Travelled Budget Car

Asked by Andrew Nolen

I HAVE about $5000 to buy my first car, and I've found a 2000 Mazda 323 Astina 1.6-litre manual hatch, which is within my budget. It has 252,913km on the clock. What are the issues associated with buying a car with high ks?

Answered by CarsGuide

11 Sep 2009 Graham Smith

YOU'RE right to be concerned because the higher the mileage the greater the chances of major problems. Your car has done almost twice the average ks for a car of its age, so you need to be wary. The Mazda 323 is generally a robust and reliable car and I wouldn't be concerned if it had the average 150,000km or so. Make sure it has been serviced by the book, with regular oil and filter changes, and it should have had two cam belt changes by now. When you start the engine listen for any rattling, and watch for smoke from the exhaust. When you drive make sure the gears engage smoothly without any baulking, and that there are no noises from the gearbox. If you're not sure have a trusted mechanic check it, or the RACV if you don't have anyone you feel you can trust.

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