Buying A Used TT

    
Which is more important when evaluating a used car, all else being equal. Age or mileage?

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Steve Daniels wrote:

Both, sort of. :)
I think it is widely accepted that deterioration occurs through both high use and time. The moveable components will obviously suffer wear and tear if used a lot; everything from the crankshaft to door hinges. Perishable components such as hoses, seals and bushes deteriorate in time. Plastics and rubber become hard and brittle, the effectiveness of lubricants can diminish and rust can set in, over time.
In terms of evaluating a used car, I suggest that one should first consider not only how many miles it has covered in relation to service intervals but also the way the car might have been driven (e.g. riding the clutch), in order to assess what is likely to need replacing. Then one should add to that the possible need to replace perishable parts, depending upon the environmental conditions.
One last factor if a car is more than a few years old, of course, is to consider the future availability of spare parts.
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wrote:

On that particular engine evaluating the condition of internal sludge buildup should be one of your top priorities.
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wrote:

    I'm also considering buying a MkI TT to replace my 325i (I think the Audi TT and BMW Z4 would make an interesting combo). Couple of questions: One, is there a good book on the TT people recommend? Two, I'm more interested in the 3.2L version - that doesn't have the above weakness correct? Since it's non-turbo, the attendant high-temperature issues aren't a problem.     epbrown
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Sludge was only a pervasive issue on longitudinally-mounted 1.8T's, like the A4 and VW Passat. This had something to do with oil capacity (the transverse had a bit more due to crankcase design) and turbo/ exhaust routing.
I think that if you were looking at a 4-year old car with, say, 10k miles on it, I'd be concerned about the 'lack of use' factor - i.e., were oil changes done based on the mileage or the time between changes? But generally, having just purchased a used car for my son, I would look for some balance between the two. We bought an 8-year-old car ('99 Subaru Impreza RS2.5) with nominally 150k miles on it, but with an engine with about 40k miles on it and all of the major components serviced/replaced.
Dan D '04 A4 1.8Tq MT-6 Central NJ USA
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