10 year old car with very low miles

I am considering buying a 2011 mustang gt 5.0 with 25k miles from a dealer. Obviously it is a 10 almost 11 year old car so things like seals and gaskets wear out with time regardless of mileage. The carfax show all the oil changes were done on time which is pretty much the only maintenance a car with that mileage needs. I want to have a trouble free car for the next 100k miles at least. (Excluding basic fluid changes, brakes and tires) Is this feasible as long as I do maintenance on time?

Is buying a older car with low mileage generally ok given the info I provided or is looking for something 3-4 years newer or newer with 50-60k miles better?

It’s definitely possible for a car like that to provide 100K miles of future service without needing much beyond periodic routine servicing. Don’t presume everything you are being told about the car is true however. Hire your own mechanic to do a pre-purchase inspection. If the seller won’t agree to this, buy elsewhere. I think cars in the 2-4 year age range are the best bargains. But finding one like that is going to be very difficult while Covid remains active. A newer car w/a lot of miles on it doesn’t bother me b/c those miles are almost certainly freeway miles, very easy on the vehicle.

Not a car story, but as the pandemic was getting underway I bought a used bicycle for $5, non-working condition, but otherwise looked like the configuration I wanted, & in pretty good shape. I first inspected the bottom bracket bearing, looked nearly new. Many people buy new bikes only later to discover they don’t like to ride bikes, so they sit unused for years at a time. This one appeared to have maybe 50 miles on it, otherwise have been sitting outside, but under cover for at least 10 years. Took about 8 hours of my own labor and &75 in parts and tools, been working like new since.


Doesn’t everyone want that. Just either way ( older or later model ) can provide a decent vehicle . If the dealer will let you have it inspected by a shop of your choice then do that . It can’t be any worse than the last 2 you bought .


This car is from a dealer not a private seller and it has one owner with multiple dealership oil changes on the carfax. However there’s a gap in the maintenance history that shows 9000 miles in between one of the oil changes however it’s very likely the owner got the oil change done somewhere else and it just wasn’t registered with carfax since it’s non dealer work. All the other’s show 3000-4000 mile intervals done at ford

I wouldn’t worry about the mileage vs. time vs. gaskets so much as I’d be concerned with WHY it has such low mileage for the year. Has it been wrecked, how many owners have it had, etc. What’s the catch, and is it a problem child? If the backstory checks out, I think it’ll be fine.

Unfortunately I don’t think I could find out WHY it has such low miles for the year since it’s being sold by a dealer and there’s no way to ask the owner

The thing that worries me a little about this car, 25K miles, 10 years old. That means on average it has only been driven 2500 miles a year. Lack of use can be hard on mechanical components. I wouldn’t dissuade you at all, just make sure your mechanic checks for that sort of problem.

Is it really necessary to bring my own mechanic? If this was a private transaction then absolutely yes. But I don’t think I could get anyone to come with me for at least a week but probably longer with xmas coming up. And this car seems so clean so I just don’t want it gone by the time I can have someone come with me.

The dealer is giving a 60 day unlim mile warranty and there is a fee built into the cost of the car to account for their mechanics that have looked at it to ensure there are no issues before getting put up in their showroom/lot. It also comes with a passed MD inspection which is one of the strictest ones in the country so I should be fine as long as I look for the obvious when test driving (engine noises at all speeds, small subtle misfires, etc)

Well that is 200 miles average a month. I can put 50 miles on just driving around town on a Saturday. That low miles would indicate severe service so changing oil at 3000 miles would be 15 months, or not exactly on time.

I’m sure they are pricing it at a premium because they call it a cream puff. Personally I’d be more enthused if it had 50 or 60K which would mean at least it was driven a little. But a ten year old car is a ten year old car regardless of mileage. Has it been sitting in the sun for ten years or in a garage? Rubber parts, interior, headliner intact. I dunno. Can’t imagine having a new car and driving it only 200 miles a month.

You just answered your own question . You want it , it is your money , someone will buy it so just get it and hope for the best .

I’d want my own mechanic to put it on the lift, inspect the underside for signs of oil leaks, coolant leaks, leaks from other fluids, CV boots (if applicable) in good shape, wheels turn freely without weird noises. Then back on the ground, check the fluid levels and quality, remove a couple spark plugs, looking for coking, oil deposits, etc. Check for diagnostic codes and that readiness monitors are complete. Of course your mechanic will take it for a test drive, running at several speeds and through all the gears, listening for unusual sounds, making sure it stops quickly and straight ahead. If the spark plug visual inspection didn’t pass muster, I’d want the mechanic to see underneath the valve covers before I’d consider a purchase.

Check for body panel bolts with the paint knocked off of them by sockets and for overspray. If it’s present, it’s been wrecked (which isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but lowers the price I’d be willing to pay substantially).

As for if it’s a problem car, a looong test drive or two should give you some clue. If you drive it and “something just doesn’t feel right”, it would be a hard pass for me.

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If you had a Mustang GT would you drive it every Saturday? Or only weekends during summer months?

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Yeah good point. My nephew had one though and I think he had to replace the tires about every 5000 miles.

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I expect OP already knows a Corolla, Civic, Mazda 3 would be a safer purchase reliability wise. Not b/c there’s anything wrong w/Mustangs, if fact I think Mustangs get pretty good ratings in the car magazines, just that in general performance vehicles are more fussy.

Someone who has had 2 Mustangs and is looking at a Mustang GT is not interested in a Civic or the like.


I bought a low mile (9500 miles!) 2007 Mustang with a 5 speed off a dealers lot in 2011. So 4 years old, less than 10K on the clock. The owner liked OWNING the car more than driving it. Common with Mustangs, Corvettes, Vipers and such.

Modern seals and gaskets are FAR more resistant to drying out that they were decades ago.

I think you may have a winner there. But check for accident damage.


The 3 year lease on my wife’s Hyundai Elantra will expire on June 12th. Currently the car has 5700 miles. At this point, since her retirement, she is putting less than 2000 miles per year on the car. All trips are <= 3 miles of local driving. Oil changes are every 6 months. Cars like that are out there, but admittedly rare.

It sounds like you are assuming the car is fine because of the low miles, seller being a dealer offering a warranty, and the safety inspection.
That may or may not mean everything is fine.

When OK had a safety inspection program, a boss of mine took in trade a 3k miles Chevy that appeared as new and had just gone through 2 inspections. He sold it the next day…followed by electrical glitches every few days.

On the 3rd trip in within 2 weeks a co-worked called me over to see what he had found. With kick panel, sill plate, and carpet pulled up it was discovered the car was actually 2 cars that had been spliced around the firewall.
It was a death trap so he called the new owner and bought the car back. A wholesaler bought it in spite of the story and my boss lost beau coup money on that car.

Best to verify what you are getting while ignoring any sales talk fluff or making assumptions.


When a vehicle is driven very few miles per year, the number of months between oil changes can be more important than the number of miles between oil changes.

… which means that those 3k-4k mile oil changes were likely done after more than one year. No manufacturer recommends oil changes that infrequently.

If the OP buys this car without at least removing a valve cover to inspect for accumulated oil sludge, he could be buying himself a money pit.