Pre-sale inspection on a high mileage 1997 Honda CRV

I am looking for a low cost used car and a broker called me with a 1997 Honda CRV that is coming in on a trade in. The area of concern is the mileage-it has 195,000. Will a presale inspection at Firestone be able to determine/estimate the condition of the engine and transmission? Is 195k too many miles to hope that the car would be drive able for a few more years? For a price of $4,500 I have no problem buying a car and expecting to drive it for only 2-3 years.

I wouldn’t trust the lube monkeys at Firestone to catch a missing steering wheel. Take it to a real mechanic.

$4500 sounds kinda high for that vehicle. I’m seeing CRVs of that era at that price with nearly 50,000 fewer miles on them.

Broker? What on earth is a broker? Is that what they call a swindler trying to sell you a $1000 car for $4500 these days?

You don’t want to buy ANY vehicle with 195,000 miles on it.

If you get one free, that’s different.

Edmunds says that a loaded 1997 CRV should sell for $3200 from a dealer. That’s with the $590 discount for high mileage. There are also regional adjustments in price. The premium in my zip code is -$170; it doesn’t affect the price much. If you want it, offer $2500 and see what happens.

Too much money for a 14 year old car with almost 200k miles on it. I wouldn’t even consider it for that price and I sure wouldn’t rely on Firestone for an inspection.

Unless the car has been meticulously maintained to the hilt (odds of that are close to zero) a thorough inspection will more than likely reveal some problems. There are also areas that may be problematic and cannot be inspected.
(A lurking transmission problem, current or looming problem due to incorrect valve lash on the engine, worn halfshafts, worn ball joints or tie rod ends on the suspension, etc, etc. Sometimes halfshafts and suspension components may have to be physically diassembled and checked by hand to find any faults.)

You can do a lot better for 4500 big ones. If, you forget about awd. There is too much to go wrong (and maybe rust) to ever invest that much in a car like this. CRVs can be great little used car buys…but not that used, that old and never for that much.