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I've found a local listing for a 2007 Honda Civic with 40,000 miles. It's a standard-shift.

I'm not looking for any recommendations, specifically, but I want to know - this is a very low number of miles for the age of the vehicle - well under the average number I'd expect; this car has been driven less than 5,000 miles per year (the US average is 12,000).

So, a few questions (which I hope will be relevant to a larger audience):

  1. What potential pitfalls should one be aware of when looking at a car of this age with such a low mile count (For instance, rubber gaskets and seals, engine sludge, etc.)?

  2. Are there ways to know whether the car has been sitting for a long time (via inspection, etc)? Are

  3. Are there any warning signs that I should look out for?

  • If the mileage is suspiciously low, try and get as much info about the car as possible. Why the low miles? Does it really look like a low mileage car (inside and out)? – JPhi1618 Oct 29 '15 at 14:57
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    You've lumped 4 questions into 1. I'd prefer it if you could break these out into questions of their own, – Zaid Oct 29 '15 at 15:22
  • I think this basic question has already been answered at least once. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Oct 29 '15 at 16:51
  • I have removed the last question, as it is too broad. For maintenance, if I were you, I would check the service history, and if there isn't any, have a full service done. This will keep the engine running well – George Oct 30 '15 at 20:10
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Re 2: One tell-tale sign that a car has been sitting for a while is a pad-shaped mark on the brake rotors (disks). This mark tends to last for quite a while even if the car has been driven again.

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Dont discount your nose. If the car smells musty there may have been a water issue keeping it off the road.

But it could just be that it wasnt driven all that much. In 2006 I bought a 2001 with 17K miles on it. We are now up to 180K and still going strong.

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One way to ensure the mileage is accurate is to check how worn the driver's seat is (compare it to the passenger's or back seats). If the car doesn't have a lot of miles, the seat shouldn't be too worn.

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