Is there a mileage limit on a second-hand car beyond which it's more likely things will go wrong?

Would you say there's a mileage limit on a second-hand car beyond which it's more likely things will go wrong? In the old days, we used to reckon that after 50,000 miles or so you'd almost certainly be in for trouble - a new alternator, starter motor maybe possibly a new battery etc. Are today's second-hand cars any different?

Asked on 2 April 2019 by Tony Craven

Answered by Honest John
Anything could fail at any time. We say for most cars replace the timing belt, tensioner, water pump and aux belt every five years or 60k miles, whichever comes first. Brake pads could be anything from 20k - 80k miles. DPFs last 80k - 120k miles before filling with ash. EGRs not as long. DMFs can last 20k miles to 200k miles.
Similar questions
Is it better to buy a used 2 year old car which has lost it's depreciation, or buy a new car within a 3 year car finance agreement to either buy at the end or release. Also should I now wait until after...
I've found a 2002 Subaru Impreza II WRX 2.0, 110,000 miles, fitted with the Prodrive Performance Pack (ECU reprogramming, downpipe, exhaust). Will this be a reliable engine? From the looks of it, it's...
I want to buy a three/four year old Volkswagen Golf VII for around £10,000-13,000, which has covered about 30,000 miles. Which engine and fuel type do you recommend? We cover around 10,000 miles a year...
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car