Technical aspects of automobiles

Determining mileage on a van

I’m considering buying a late 70s Dodge van which the seller indicates
has a little over 110,000 kms on it.  THat’s what the odometer reads.
However, this van has a 5 digit odometer, so I’m concerned that it may
have gone around more than once.  THe VIN of this van is not the modern
17 character version, so I can’t run a carfax on it to get an
indication of mileage.  There aren’t any service records that come with
the van.
So: how would you go about trying to determine if the mileage is indeed
what is being reported?  Some things I thought of:
 - check windshield pitting (will have a lot of small pits on high
mileage vehicles; I know because I own a couple of vehicles with over
200,000 miles)
 - check condition of brake and gas pedal rubber (again, will be more
worn if vehicle has a lot of miles on it)
 - I suppose engine compression and leakdown test would be an indicator
of engine wear
 - wear and tear on driver’s seat

ANy other tell-tale areas you can think of?
Thanks!

.
posted by admin in Без рубрики and have Comments (10)

10 Responses to “Determining mileage on a van”

  1. admin says:

    <rastlo…@rogers.com> wrote in message

    news:1155832322.930849.242920@74g2000cwt.googlegroups.com…

    > I’m considering buying a late 70s Dodge van which the seller indicates
    > has a little over 110,000 kms on it.  THat’s what the odometer reads.

    So you think the van might actually have 1,110,000 kms? Seems unlikely. That
    is almost 700,000 miles. I know those old Dodge vans were reliable, but
    almost a million miles???????????

    > However, this van has a 5 digit odometer, so I’m concerned that it may
    > have gone around more than once.  THe VIN of this van is not the modern
    > 17 character version, so I can’t run a carfax on it to get an
    > indication of mileage.  There aren’t any service records that come with
    > the van.
    > So: how would you go about trying to determine if the mileage is indeed
    > what is being reported?  Some things I thought of:
    >  - check windshield pitting (will have a lot of small pits on high
    > mileage vehicles; I know because I own a couple of vehicles with over
    > 200,000 miles)

    Vehicles with upright windshields get pitted very quickly. The amount of
    pitting is highly dependent on where the van is driven, the typical speeds,
    etc. My pick-up truck had lots of small pits in less than 25,000 miles.

    >  - check condition of brake and gas pedal rubber (again, will be more
    > worn if vehicle has a lot of miles on it)
    >  - I suppose engine compression and leakdown test would be an indicator
    > of engine wear
    >  - wear and tear on driver’s seat

    Ed

  2. admin says:

    Sorry, my message was unclear.  The odometer reads 10,000 kms.  I’m
    told it’s really 110,000, but would like a way to get a sense whether
    that could be 220,000 of even 320,000 (not unlikely on a vehicle that
    old…)

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    > So you think the van might actually have 1,110,000 kms? Seems unlikely. That
    > is almost 700,000 miles. I know those old Dodge vans were reliable, but
    > almost a million miles???????????

  3. admin says:

    rastlo…@rogers.com wrote:
    > Sorry, my message was unclear.  The odometer reads 10,000 kms.  I’m
    > told it’s really 110,000, but would like a way to get a sense whether
    > that could be 220,000 of even 320,000 (not unlikely on a vehicle that
    > old…)

    >> So you think the van might actually have 1,110,000 kms? Seems unlikely. That
    >> is almost 700,000 miles. I know those old Dodge vans were reliable, but
    >> almost a million miles???????????

    my 2 cents… on a 20+ year old vehicle, the odometer reading is the
    least of your concerns.  By now, either the vehicle is 20km away from
    the junkyard, or it’s been already rebuilt twice over…

    If you’re not mechanically inclined, I’d get someone who is to evaluate
    the vehicle for you.  If you are, assume it has 310,000 km and look for
    things that will make you "run away…"

    Ray

  4. admin says:

    Very good advice, thanks Ray.  It’s a relief in a way to realize that I
    don’t need to be fixated on the actual mileage on the van.  If it
    indeed has only 110,000 kms, great.  If it doesn’t, then it’s more
    important to assess the present state of the various mechanical
    components, as you suggest.
    Thanks!

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    > my 2 cents… on a 20+ year old vehicle, the odometer reading is the
    > least of your concerns.  By now, either the vehicle is 20km away from
    > the junkyard, or it’s been already rebuilt twice over…

    > If you’re not mechanically inclined, I’d get someone who is to evaluate
    > the vehicle for you.  If you are, assume it has 310,000 km and look for
    > things that will make you "run away…"

    > Ray

  5. admin says:

    > ANy other tell-tale areas you can think of?

    The driver-side door.  Nobody ever replaces hinge-pins.

    -A

  6. admin says:

    Andrew Crabtree wrote:
    >>ANy other tell-tale areas you can think of?

    > The driver-side door.  Nobody ever replaces hinge-pins.

    > -A

    I do.  But then, I seem to own the 310,000km vehicles.
    I’m not sure if that means I made good choices or failed to dispose of
    bad ones. ;)

    Ray

  7. admin says:

    Andrew Crabtree wrote:
    > > ANy other tell-tale areas you can think of?
    > The driver-side door.  Nobody ever replaces hinge-pins.

    > -A

    Except people who owned a GM F-body car with power windows…

  8. admin says:

    Don’t look for a worn brake pedal pad. Thats no indication of heavy use
    or more miles. I just replaced the brake pedal pad on a 2005 Buick that
    was coming apart.

    No real way to tell how many miles are on the van.

    Have a mechanic check it out. Maybe do a compression check too.

    If it runs good & you feel comfortable buying it, but it.

    Good Luck.

    harryface

    PS, a friend of mine had a 94 Dodge Ram Cargo van he put 620,000 miles
    on before a telephone phone hit it back in 2001.

  9. admin says:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    rastlo…@rogers.com wrote:
    > I’m considering buying a late 70s Dodge van which the seller indicates
    > has a little over 110,000 kms on it.  THat’s what the odometer reads.
    > However, this van has a 5 digit odometer, so I’m concerned that it may
    > have gone around more than once.  THe VIN of this van is not the modern
    > 17 character version, so I can’t run a carfax on it to get an
    > indication of mileage.  There aren’t any service records that come with
    > the van.
    > So: how would you go about trying to determine if the mileage is indeed
    > what is being reported?  Some things I thought of:
    >  - check windshield pitting (will have a lot of small pits on high
    > mileage vehicles; I know because I own a couple of vehicles with over
    > 200,000 miles)
    >  - check condition of brake and gas pedal rubber (again, will be more
    > worn if vehicle has a lot of miles on it)
    >  - I suppose engine compression and leakdown test would be an indicator
    > of engine wear
    >  - wear and tear on driver’s seat

    > ANy other tell-tale areas you can think of?
    > Thanks!

  10. admin says:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    rastlo…@rogers.com wrote:
    > I’m considering buying a late 70s Dodge van which the seller indicates
    > has a little over 110,000 kms on it.  THat’s what the odometer reads.
    > However, this van has a 5 digit odometer, so I’m concerned that it may
    > have gone around more than once.  THe VIN of this van is not the modern
    > 17 character version, so I can’t run a carfax on it to get an
    > indication of mileage.  There aren’t any service records that come with
    > the van.
    > So: how would you go about trying to determine if the mileage is indeed
    > what is being reported?  Some things I thought of:
    >  - check windshield pitting (will have a lot of small pits on high
    > mileage vehicles; I know because I own a couple of vehicles with over
    > 200,000 miles)
    >  - check condition of brake and gas pedal rubber (again, will be more
    > worn if vehicle has a lot of miles on it)
    >  - I suppose engine compression and leakdown test would be an indicator
    > of engine wear
    >  - wear and tear on driver’s seat

    > ANy other tell-tale areas you can think of?
    > Thanks!

    Well, check for general looseness when you drive the car.  The door
    hinges, locks, window cranks, etc., will probably exhibit a lot of
    looseness and rattling on a high use car.  Also look inside the valve
    cover for a buildup of sludge.  If the car was driven in snow areas I
    would be very very concerned about body and frame rusting.  Those old
    vans are notorious for rusting out at the slightest hint of moisture.
    But more important is that this is a 30 year old van with only 110,000
    km or 3,600 km driving per year.  Possible for a van I suppose, but
    unlikely.

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