The mileage of a car typically becomes an issue when various aspects of a car are being determined either for resale, evaluation of its worth, to know when the different levels of service will be due and assessing the car’s rate and level of depreciation. In other words, it is used to find out how much longer the car will last before it starts demanding the replacement or reconditioning of major mechanical components or whether it is worth considering at all. Mileage can be a useful tool for measuring all these quantifiables but it is a yardstick that is often misread.
There are two types of mileage: city mileage and motorway mileage (town mileage and country mileage, if you prefer). This is sometimes mentioned when talking about vehicles although very few people outside of an experienced mobile mechanic will know what this means and how each affects a car.
Motorway miles are reported to be much better for cars than city miles. When a vehicle’s fuel consumption is being declared by the manufacturer, they give both city and country figures. This is a clear indication that these are two very different environments under which the vehicle operates. You find that fuel consumption is much higher in the city because the engine is under strain, is not at its optimal operating pressure and the battery is stressed more because of the electronics’ strain on it in the form of air conditioning blowing at maximum capacity, the navigation system, the entertainment system, bluetooth, telephone, seat adjusters, etc. Obviously not all vehicles have these facilities and, more often than not, they are not all used simultaneously but you get the idea. A city-driven car will be a strained car that will, sooner or later, start to fall apart from all directions, relative to its country-driven equivalent.
And, of course, the build quality of your vehicle plays a major role in determining just how long it will last after being abused. With some models, you will not have to replace anything for decades.
A motorway driven car, however, will be quite the opposite. All the running gear will have been operating in optimum conditions for the duration of its life up until that point, which means that it will be closer to new than its town counterpart which may have the same or even way fewer miles on it. Efficiency is everything with machines and an efficient machine is better than a little used machine that is used wrongly or one that is not used at all. Lack of use does not equal longevity, frequent and appropriate use does. This means that a very low mileage car that you purchase and finally stretch the legs on is likely going to experience mechanical or electrical failure at some point because of previous inactivity. Rust, carbon, choke, blockage, water damage, clogging, decay… These do not occur to a substantial extent on an optimally functioning vehicle; but they do in a parked one and, in a different way, in a city-driven one.
So, the bottom line is that many motorway miles are better than few city miles. In fact, it would be better for the car if it was lying behind a garage door than if it is steadily putting in town miles without being occasionally let loose on a good, long motorway. If you are intending to purchase a pre-owned vehicle, here’s what to look out for: brake pedal wear – the brakes are used way more in town than in the country, fraying on the seat belt (same principle), road rash – microchipping on the front end of the car from motorway debris – (this may have been cleaned or detailed off) and bugs in the radiator fins, which only get there when the car is going relatively fast.
Contact your local Mobile Mechanic Middlesbrough today!