17th Jul 2014, 08:04

"The Eunos can be had for much less than any of these cars from the same era as well. $5,000 Australian should give you a good example."

$5,000 for car with astronomical mileage of 250,000... Gosh... Speechless... Someone... pass me a paper bag, please..

I have 4 Eunos 500s (not counting 800s):

1. 1996, 180K, bought with 3/12 rego left, paid $495.

2. 1997, 165K, rego expired when bought, paid $500.

3. 1998, 92K (yes, 92K), rego expired when bought, paid $750.

4. 1993, 210K, reconditioned engine, tidy, paid $200.

How, under the blue moon, did the author managed to pay $5000 for a car with 250,000km and lots of problems due to high mileage (a worn indicator switch is a good sign of a big mileage) - beats me.

Also - Mazdas have the shortest engine lifespan of all Japanese cars, beaten only by Mitsubishi (it always surprises me how Mitsi can build good truck, but never a good car) so 150-180K is an absolute top for a Mazda engine. If you see 200-250K - run away. No matter how cheap. At the end of the day it will cost you more in repairs and faults than a low mileage example.

A note on so called "service history": Service history IS NOTHING. MEANS NOTHING. Tells you nothing. All it means is that once in a while the long-eared owner drove into the workshop to be robbed by a bunch of happy mechanics who might or might not do anything to the car. It is only a dealer's gimmick to fork out more money from the poor customer when they sell it.

I worked for Volvo dealership in NZ as a mechanic for years, and I know what this "service" is worth. A quick oil change (cheapest bulk oil possible), done by a useless acne-covered apprentice with his hands growing out straight from his butt, 10% of the old dirty oil still left inside the engine (because the poor boy is in the hurry), MAYBE an oil filter change (if it is easy to get to), never a plug change (you're lucky enough if the oil plug thread is not cross-threaded), and topping up the coolant with the cheapest Chinese chemicals, all done in a rush. And I worked for Volvo! That's where the money is.

Volvo customers fork out $300-400 for this shameful display.

Owner history is more important. If you buy a car from a boy racer, you will regret it. If you buy from a lady, or even worse, from a girl - it all depends on her boyfriend. How useful he is. I saw a 240 Volvo brick (a potentially indestructible car) being ruined by a girl's useless BF (who was an apprentice mechanic!) He overfilled the car with oil so badly that oil got sucked into the engine crankcase ventilation system and throttle body, resulting in oil filling up the cylinders.

If you buy from an OLD LADY, then you might be a winner (provided she didn't have a boy racer grandson who stuck his busy little hands under the bonnet).

28th Nov 2014, 23:29

Almost a decade ago I retired from working as a mechanic for Volvo and moved to Sydney. A friend of mine, knowing that I was a mechanic for decades, asked me to do a service on his Volkswagen Golf that was 6 years old. He said, he regularly takes it to Volkswagen dealership in Sydney, where he bought it, for routine check up and service, exactly as a dealer encouraged him to do. He said, every time they did usual service - oils, filters, spark plugs - just following their routine maintenance schedule.

When I got the car, and started to work on it, I noticed that the oil filter and spark plugs were practically seized and never touched for years. When I got them out, oil filter was ORIGINAL, from the day one, all weathered and the ring rusted. Spark plugs were the same - electrodes eaten away by wear, corrosion outside. They were not touched for years. Every mechanic knows how to tell the difference between a recently changed spark plug and the old one, that seized because it was not taken out for years.

So, when I showed this to my friend, he was shocked. Dealership mechanics were charging him every year for new spark plugs and filters, but they never actually did the job. All they did - just changed the oil, so it looks fresh and clean on the dipstick, and stamped the book.

This is what your "service history" is worth - nothing.

Because it is a human nature to do less if given such possibility, and that's what dealers do.

No wonder they are at the very bottom of Australian Most Trusted Professions chart, followed only by politicians (and we all know, how TRUSTWORTHY they are).

And I repeat it - service history is worthless, it is nothing and means nothing.