Car expert shares why low milage can sometimes be a bad thing when shopping for used car

Songwut Pinyo/Adobe Stock @puyallupnissan/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Why does it have such low miles for being a 4-year-old car?’: Car expert shares why low milage can sometimes be a bad thing when shopping for used car

‘A few things to pay attention to when you buy a car with super low miles.’


Jack Alban


There are some basic bits of knowledge car shoppers generally look for when purchasing a used vehicle. One of them is getting the least amount of mileage on a whip for the amount of money they want to spend, as long as the engine hasn’t been rebuilt or the car is a salvage title.

However, an employee of Puyallup Nissan (@puyallupnissan) explained in a viral TikTok video how low mileage on a car can sometimes be a bad thing. The video accrued over 87,000 views.

The dealership worker walks over to a Kia Soul in his video. “So a lot of people have inquired on this,” he says. He says prospective buys have questioned why the Kia Soul only has 3,900 miles on, despite it being four years old.

If a car sits too long, without being stored properly, problems can arise

“Now low mileage normally adds value,” he says. “But where people get wary is a car sitting too long, and all the things that can happen to it while it sits.”

He then opens up the rear passenger’s side door. Inside, viewers are met with clean, grey cloth interior. “I can assure you that this car is OK ’cause it was stored properly. If you look at the backseats, look how clean it is,” he says, rubbing his finger on the rear passenger seat. “You get up front, still has a lot of the tags that it was sold brand new with.”

He then enters through the car’s driver’s seat side and cracks open the glove box, showing off some of the things that are still inside of the vehicle, like the car’s window sticker and the fact that its manuals are in plastic bags. “Everything is still in its plastic, even has this cool little key case,” he says.

“But a few things to pay attention to when you buy a car with super low miles,” he adds.

He then pops the car’s hood.

“I wouldn’t normally think to look underneath the hood when it’s almost brand new, but the one thing about that, is rodents,” he says. “And you could tell this car has been well taken care of and stored properly. Because there’s no sign of that.”

Other problems that can arise if a car sits for too long

Tires that sit for too long can develop dry rot, according to Auto Action. And dry rotted-tires create dangerous driving conditions, like risking a chance of a blow out.

The outlet also notes that rubber needs to be put to use. Otherwise, it won’t age well. This means that there’s more potential for rubber seals and gaskets to dry out. And if those dry out and break apart, oil leaks can happen.

Lastly, if a car sits for too long, fluid problems can arise. “Oil and gasoline can attract moisture when they sit for prolonged periods of time, which could damage the engine. Transmission fluid and antifreeze can also leak out over time, as well,” Auto Action states.

In the TikTok, the dealership worker says the car averaged about 1,000 miles a year. “It goes through a safety inspection, a mechanical inspection. … You could almost buy a brand new car, four years later, about 25% less of what it was brand new,” he says.

In the end, “older” cars with low mileage, as long as they aren’t plagued with some of the aforementioned issues, are probably great vehicles to buy.

@puyallupnissan #lowmiles #kiasoul #redkia ♬ original sound – Puyallup Nissan

Why would a 4-year-old car have such low mileage?

Different people had their own ideas as to why the Kia Soul featured in Puyallup Nissan’s video didn’t have a lot of miles on it. And a lot of their theories were rooted in Kia slander.

“It’s a Kia so it was in the shop so much, they could not drive it,” one person wrote.

“I mean if I had a Kia I’d be afraid to drive it too,” another joked.

“I promise it’s not the miles on this car. it’s because it’s a Kia soul,” a third claimed.

But there was another person in the comments section who remarked that they, too, don’t put a lot of mileage on their vehicle, and it’s because they work from home. “I work from home and put maybe 4K- 5k miles a year on my car,” they said.

One commenter expressed a different concern regarding used cars with low miles, writing, “There also worried if the car was clocked (the mileage was rolled back) because it is so low for the age.” However, the car dealership worker said a Car Fax assessment would determine whether or not this occurred.

Someone else echoed the sentiments expressed in the video. “Sitting is worse for a car than going on a road trip every month sometimes,” they claimed.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Puyallup Nissan via email for further information.

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