Q: This vehicle had 10 recalls. Is it a wise investment to buy used?

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I found a 2006 Dodge Durango and am considering purchasing it. The sale price is $2200 and it does need a new oxygen censor. The owner said there are no other issues with the car and the vehicle history supports this. Is this a worthwhile investment?

My car has 205000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If the recalls have not been addressed, it’s an easy decision. Don’t bother or offer $1,000 at most because you are going to have to go through the hassle of addressing each of the recalls that have not been taken care of. Visit safercar.gov and input the VIN number of the vehicle to determine if the recalls have been addressed by the owner of the vehicle or bring the VIN number to a Dodge dealer. Either way, the status of each of the ten recalls must be confirmed, with written documentation, too, prior to even considering purchasing the vehicle. If the owner is not willing to assist with that, or has no evidence, or you can’t get the confirmation from safercar.gov or the dealer, I would offer $500 max on account of the risk you would be taking.

The vehicle has high mileage and that means lots of wear on the transmission, engine and all the suspension components. In addition, this vehicle has a very poor EPA mileage rating and consequently is going to cost you a fortune in gas. It is unclear how authoritatively the oxygen sensor has been diagnosed. For all you know, that is somebody’s guess. Did the owner show you paperwork from a certified mechanic with a written diagnosis? If not, it "might" need an oxygen sensor or it might need that and other repairs as well. $2,200 is about "average" for a vehicle of this model, year, and mileage. I would think in terms of starting the bidding at $500 and maybe go as high as $1,500. This is not a rare or exceptional car and the World is overrun with used cars at the moment. If you want to get an idea of the condition of the vehicle and likely maintenance/repair costs you might face, you could request a pre-purchase vehicle inspection. Again, though, to answer your basic question, $2,200 is only an average deal on this car. The dealer trade-in value starts at $500 and I would start there and move up a little. If you have additional concerns or follow up questions, by all means please re-contact us.

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