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Opinion on buying very low mileage used car - oil change related

Salami

Autocross Champion
Location
North Carolina
Car(s)
MK7.5R
Looking for a consensus about purchasing a very low mileage used car, specifically about oil changes or likely lack of.

My daughter is looking to purchase a used 2020 Audi A3 AWD. Car was put into service last day of 2020 but currently only has 5200 miles on it. It is under factory warranty until the last day of this year. Car is 700 miles away so I can't easily check out the car beforehand.

There is no documentation confirming that the oil has ever been changed.
How do you feel about buying a car with 5200 miles and potentially ran 3.5 years on the same engine oil?
 
Last edited:

avenali312

Autocross Champion
Location
Mableton, GA
Car(s)
2015 GTI
I'm not sure if this makes you feel better or not, but when I sent in for a Blackstone report, they told me to worry more about mileage than age of oil, but that's because I was asking about going longer than a year. Not sure what three and a half years would look like.

"Changing the oil based on calendar time is never a bad idea, but if you end up wanting more mileage out of a fill we'd be all for it. Oil won't break down just from sitting in the sump and only accumulates metal with use."
 

MonkeyMD

Autocross Champion
I don't think anyone has a definitive answer based on experience.

The general consensus is change if at least one a year if you don't reach the mileage requirement.

That being said, how much if any damage is done by not changing it? No idea and short of an engine teardown, it's all speculation.
 

Salami

Autocross Champion
Location
North Carolina
Car(s)
MK7.5R
I'm not sure if this makes you feel better or not, but when I sent in for a Blackstone report, they told me to worry more about mileage than age of oil, but that's because I was asking about going longer than a year. Not sure what three and a half years would look like.

"Changing the oil based on calendar time is never a bad idea, but if you end up wanting more mileage out of a fill we'd be all for it. Oil won't break down just from sitting in the sump and only accumulates metal with use."

I don't think anyone has a definitive answer based on experience.

The general consensus is change if at least one a year if you don't reach the mileage requirement.

That being said, how much if any damage is done by not changing it? No idea and short of an engine teardown, it's all speculation.
Added to OP. Car is 700 miles away so there is no easy way check out car before hand.

If the car checked all the other boxes would you consider buying it?
 

avenali312

Autocross Champion
Location
Mableton, GA
Car(s)
2015 GTI
Added to OP. Car is 700 miles away so there is no easy way check out car before hand.

If the car checked all the other boxes would you consider buying it?
I would consider it, but I would also probably look for a local indie to do a quick PDI on it if I can't get my eyes on it.
 

Salami

Autocross Champion
Location
North Carolina
Car(s)
MK7.5R
Completely forgot about fuel.

What kind of headaches does that present? Changing the fuel filters?
Is it likely to be an issue considering the 700 mile drive home?
 

avenali312

Autocross Champion
Location
Mableton, GA
Car(s)
2015 GTI
I would want to now why it was only driven 5200 miles in 4 years? A 2020 A3 isn't exactly a show car. Was it a rental/commercial vehicle?
My MK7 was like this, so it's not unheard of. You probably nailed it with something like a commercial vehicle. Mine was owned by a VW dealer employee. Bought it and soon after they were given a dealer loaner and really only drove the GTI on weekends. I bought it just shy of 2 years old with only 7k on it. Still smelled like a brand new car haha. So these weird things do happen. Mine did have a full service record on Carfax from the dealer the guy worked at though.
Completely forgot about fuel.

What kind of headaches does that present? Changing the fuel filters?
Is it likely to be an issue considering the 700 mile drive home?
Not sure how the Audi is setup exactly, but assuming it's similar. I think on MK7 and newer there isn't a dedicated fuel filter like previous generations. It's built into the LPFP inside the tank. @Diggs24 can correct me if I'm wrong. If you do buy it maybe bring a bottle of Jectron to put in on your road trip back home?
 

Diggs24

Autocross Champion
Location
de plains! de plains!
Car(s)
2015 GTI
My MK7 was like this, so it's not unheard of. You probably nailed it with something like a commercial vehicle. Mine was owned by a VW dealer employee. Bought it and soon after they were given a dealer loaner and really only drove the GTI on weekends. I bought it just shy of 2 years old with only 7k on it. Still smelled like a brand new car haha. So these weird things do happen. Mine did have a full service record on Carfax from the dealer the guy worked at though.

Not sure how the Audi is setup exactly, but assuming it's similar. I think on MK7 and newer there isn't a dedicated fuel filter like previous generations. It's built into the LPFP inside the tank. @Diggs24 can correct me if I'm wrong. If you do buy it maybe bring a bottle of Jectron to put in on your road trip back home?
2 and 7k isn't unreasonable. This has 2 more years on it and even less miles.

Yes, filter is inside the LPFP. Some injector cleaner couldn't hurt.
 

MonkeyMD

Autocross Champion
I mean @Navi only put 20 miles on his car in 1 year... so very possible that is not a commercial vehicle but they bought in 2020 & started WFH. I can't imagine there isn't another A3 closer with similar specs unless the price is just amazing
 

GolNat

Autocross Champion
Location
Delaware
Car(s)
13 GTI & 98 Prelude
Looking for a consensus about purchasing a very low mileage used car, specifically about oil changes or likely lack of.

My daughter is looking to purchase a used 2020 Audi A3 AWD. Car was put into service last day of 2020 but currently only has 5200 miles on it. It is under factory warranty until the last day of this year. Car is 700 miles away so I can't easily check out the car beforehand.

There is no documentation confirming that the oil has ever been changed.
How do you feel about buying a car with 5200 miles and potentially ran 3.5 years on the same engine oil?

Yeah I’d buy it. Modern oil, gas and cars can handle sitting better.

Is it 700 miles North? I can check it out if it’s close.
 

Charlotte.:R

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte
Car(s)
'18 Golf R 6MT
Things were still pretty locked down in 2020 with Covid. I can't say that is super low mileage, could be someone who never went back to work.
 
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