Low Mileage Isn't Always A Good Thing

Low Mileage Isn't Always A Good Thing

Updated on June 10 2024

Many drivers think that having low mileage means that their car is in good condition and roadworthy. However, this isn’t always a good thing. They have the perception that a low mileage car is almost as good as a brand new car. But this is not the case all the time.  For these drivers, low mileage will make their car look and feel fresher and save them money on maintenance and servicing costs and will increase its value. In this article, we break down the reason why low mileage isn’t always a sign of good running condition.

What Is Low Mileage?

Before we state the reasons, let us first define low mileage. It simply means that the car has not reached the average driven miles it should have in relation to its age. A car that is ten years or older with low mileage can be a cause of concern especially if you are planning to buy such a car.

The problem with low mileage is that it is possible that the mileage isn’t genuine. While the current models of cars come with electronic mileage displays compared to the old analog clocks, they are much easier to tamper with than their analog counterparts. However, this does not mean that all low mileage cars have been “clocked.” But even genuine low mileage cars have their own problems as well-- deterioration.

Problems With Low Mileage

Low mileage on your cars could result to potential problems in the future. Let us take a look at some of the issues associated with low mileage.


So how do you know if the car you plan to buy can become problematic? The answer is by looking at its service record. Let us say that a 13-year old car only has logged 48,000 miles. The problem is that the components and consumables have not been used enough hence subject to deterioration.

You may not know it but leaving your car parked in your garage and rarely using it, in time it will deteriorate even if you don’t use it that much and not wearing stuff out. For example, there are some rubber components that can perish over time if not being used frequently. Also, the tread of your tires can experience severe cracks in the bottom and may eventually need replacement. Another rubber component that can deteriorate due to being rarely used is your cambelts.

The brake is another component that can deteriorate from not being used frequently. The brake discs can accumulate rust and the pads and calipers can seize up. Also, the doors and windows can also deteriorate causing water to leak in. Finally, the alloy wheels can get corroded over time if not used frequently. The seal between the tire and wheel can fail and the tires can deflate.

Transmission Failure

Low mileage may also result in engine and transmission failure. You are likely to see leaks from these components. A manual transmission may require clutch replacement eventually. The gasket may eventually develop a leak once the car is used again. Yes wear and tear can be less with low mileage, but you may need to replace the gasket to reduce fluid loss.

Flat Spots On Tires

While the treads of your tire may still look good, there could be traces of flat spots due to be kept in storage for a long time. Another possible problem is that it could develop dry rots on the inside. You can check the date codes to help you determine whether you already need to replace your tires.

Other Issues

While low mileage can be attractive, it can also lead to huge repair and maintenance costs. For diesel engines, for example, not using them frequently can create problems with the exhaust system. It can also lead to battery drain or engine trouble due to the lack of oil running through it.

In addition, low mileage could mean that components that require lubrication when running may not be receiving enough fluids. Furthermore, the brake fluid lines and gas tanks can become contaminated because you have not filled it up with gas for a long time. Cars need a full tank to eliminate condensation issues. Ideally, your engine should be running for at least 30 minutes at a time every month.

As you see, low mileage does not always translate to road worthiness and good condition. Don’t expect your car to be in good condition after being stuck for a few months in your garage. Unless it is still well-maintained, your car will eventually have some issues which could be costly on your part.

If you are planning to do low mileage on your car, you might be better off selling your car to get your initial investment back. On the other hand, if you are planning to buy a used car with low mileage, take the necessary precautions and ask the owner the reason for the low mileage.

And if you're looking for a used car, you can always check out our stock at out website, Automart.PH. From second-hand sedans, pick-ups, and SUVs, you have a wide selection to choose from and apply the tips we have given you.