Which Of These Repairs is Most Urgent?

Hi Everyone,

So I just got a pre-purchase car inspection on a 1-Owner “2017 Mazda CX5 100k miles”, and here’s the list of issues and the estimated charges:

  1. Front Brake Service: $693
  2. Brake Fluid Service: $222
  3. Engine Oil Pan Replacement (rusted, slight leak of oil): $525
  4. Drive Belt and Tensioner (worn): $405
  5. Transmission Service: $321
  6. AC: $309
  7. Cooling System Service: $282

Car price is 20k.

Please let me know what you think,


That right there makes me question this inspection.



the price includes labor, but idk if that makes it any better?

What needs to be done with the AC system?

Does the AC work?


Seems odd that a 5-year-old vehicle needs an oil pan replacement for rust.


Numbers 1, 2 and 3. Stopping is more important that going so 1 and 2. 3 because unless you are very diligent about checking oil, this could stop you dead.

Next would be 4, then 5, then 7.

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This is a reasonable list of repairs…for a 20-year old car costing $3k or less. For a $20k car, GTFOH. At that price point, the seller needs to fix everything that is wrong–including cosmetic issues, or you should keep looking.

To be honest, I do not believe that 2017 CX5 with 100,000 miles is worth anywhere close to $20k, even in perfect condition, especially from a private party. This vehicle cost about $25-30k when new, and now after 5 years and 100,000 miles, I would not pay more than $15k for this (assuming decent overall condition).


Interest stuff! It’s from a Kia dealer. I do think it seems pretty high.

You want to pay 20000.00 and then another 2500.00 ? That is insane . 20000.00 should get you a vehicle that does not need work to start with . If this is a private sale tell them to fix the stuff then call you and then pay only 20000.00 . Which I would not pay in the first place.


Yes AC works fine.

I rest my case.


yeah i know but with the chip shortage, used car prices are unreasonably high because noone can find a new vehicle fast enough before it gets taken by someone else. this car is from a kia dealership

This may be only car OP can get due to shortages. Vs new.

Numbers 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are maintenance and upsells, not urgent. The fluids should be replaced @ 100,000 miles. You could drive the vehicle for 6 months as is or you could negotiate this maintenance as part of the sale.

The oil leak is for the perfectionist, likely not dripping or the dealer would have repaired this.

Front brake replacement is questionable. Minimum brake pad thickness is 1 mm, many of my co-workers recommend replacement of pads 4 and 5 mm just fishing for work.

Some of my co-workers typically find $5000 in repairs during a used car inspection on a vehicle like that. One must discriminate of what is reasonable and necessary. An oil stain on the oil pan and an A/C evacuate and recharge are not urgent and likely unnecessary.

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I guess I’d do the brakes, belts, and transmission and coolant, but I think the prices are way high. But then maybe prices have gone up. A good independent shop is all you need.

To me there is not enough info provided to even hazard a guess.
Brake service based on what? Pads down to the minimum, rotors gouged, or what?

AC service also based on why?

Rusty oil pan and slight oil leak means what? Leaking where there is rust or the pan has rust on it and the leak is coming from a missing or re-used drain plug gasket?
If an oil pan of all things is rusted bad enough to leak then I have to wonder what else is rusted bad enough to be a problem; if not now but soon after.


A rusted oil pan is not commonplace, and to–supposedly–find it on a 5 year old vehicle is extremely rare. I have to doubt either the honesty/integrity of the mechanic who inspected it, or I have to wonder about the overall condition of this vehicle.


I would not ask what to fix first on this used vehicle. I would just pass and find something else that does not leave the car lot and go straight to a shop.


I get the strong sense the list of items needing repair is heavily influenced by up-selling work.

If I were in you, I’d get a 2nd opinion on if those repairs are truly needed.


I would be surprised if the dealer lets this vehicle be taken for another inspection .

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