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Should I Buy This Car With This Many Miles?

I’m a big fan of your show. Please reply when you have time. I found a 2012 Toyota Highlander 2 wheel drive V6 with 92000 miles. For $12900. I’m worried about the high milage and the ratings for this Toyota Highlander. Can you please give me any suggestions? Does this sound like a good deal, with the high milage taken into consideration? At what number of milage should I start worrying about car trouble. This is my price range and I can’t afford very much more, Thanks again,
Detroit, MI

it only sounds like a good deal if you are comfortable with the price. You may want to search some online car sales websites to get some ideas how much this model year goes for in your area. To me it seems a fair price if the car is in real good condition. The Highlander has a very high user satisfaction rating and getting another 200K out of it should be doable with proper maintenance. I would make sure that the timing belt (unless it has a chain) has been changed, otherwise it’s something that probably needs to be done soon or maybe even overdue. If not, deduct the cost for that from the asking price.

Most important, be willing to spend around $100 to have an independent mechanic look over the car, inside and out to make sure it is in the condition you want it to be. Good luck.

I’m pretty sure this HIghlander has the 2GR-FE engine, which has a timing chain

Be sure to put $1,000 back for repairs, and start adding $100/month for future repairs.

Just in case you are not aware of it this is an open forum and not part of the show. The show is presently in reruns . Seriously if you are asking complete strangers on an internet forum if you should buy a used vehicle maybe you should have a friend with a little mechanical knowledge go with you. The suggestion to pay for an inspection is the best advice you will receive , it will not promise a trouble free vehicle but will put the odds in your favor.

If the mileage is a real concern entertain the thought of maybe buying new a vehicle with less than all the bells and whistles because new vehicle loans are much cheaper than used vehicle loans and you have a warranty.


To me 92,000 isn’t the end of the line for a V6 Highlander. But, don’t buy a car with 92K mile and expect it to be a new car. If you want and need perfection and a warranty then you buy a new car.

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A Toyota with 92,000? Barely broken-in at this point. Condition, condition, condition, it is all about condition! The state of Michigan is claimed to be in the Rust Belt for a reason, the truck has been exposed to salt… LOTS of salt!

Have a mechanic inspect it. It may cost $100 or so but it’s the cheapest insurance you will EVER buy! That said, there are no guarantees even with a good mechanic, but it is far better than assessing it on your own.

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Get an inspection done, could be time for brakes, tires, recommended maintenance, to know you might have to put well over a grand into it at time of purchase will be important to you.

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The mileage is not really that high. The main issues would maintenance and the state of Michigan with its rust problems. Checking for rust should be easy; figuring out maintenance habits not so much.

92K on a Highlander isn’t that bad provided it’s been maintained. My 02 Tundra has 185K and most of the work I do is normal wear and tear (i.e ball joints, tie rods, tires, timing belt & water pump, radiator, shocks, etc.), regular replacement of fluids (oil, tranny fluid, coolant, gear oil, brake fluid) and also treating for rust related damage (replacement of frozen LCAs, frame & under body maintenance). Although, now I have a slow AC leak and have to deal with diagnosing the failure come next spring.

Provided yours is in good shape, regular replacement of fluids would be the most you’d probably have to deal with regularly.

To me, mileage is not that too important anymore. Checking the maintenance and repair records are more vital.

I drive Toyotas for hundreds of thousands of miles without major engine work.
just make sure you get it checked thoroughly, test drive it well, and check the price out carefully. And negotiate, Hard. Always negotiate hard. :grin: