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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 150666 30-Jul-2014 05:28
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I've been in the market for a <$5000 first car and took one for a test drive yesterday.

The car is a Nissan Pulsar 1996 with only 35,000km on the clock.

However when I test drove it, the odometer didn't move at all  (the one you push to reset stayed on 00000 over half an hour).  The speedometer worked fine and the car dealer thought it was weird for one to work and not the other.

Does this sound dodgy?  Is it likely the car has done more than the 35,000km as advertised?


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1098295 30-Jul-2014 06:17
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Yeah definitely concerning. That it's very low ks for a 1996 car. If you have a look on carjam, it might give you a picture of how long it has been sitting on 35000ks

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  Reply # 1098298 30-Jul-2014 06:43
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are we talking trip meter or odometer?

trip meter is the one you reset odometer is the total kms the car has done

you first post is a little confusing

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  Reply # 1098305 30-Jul-2014 07:29
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I vote dodgy. I wouldn't touch it. There is a zillion cars available in your price range, keep looking.




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  Reply # 1098325 30-Jul-2014 08:06
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As it will have previous NZ owners, get a report from Carjam - where mileage at each WOF check is recorded.
If still keen after that, then get a pre-purchase inspection - preferably using a good local mechanic you trust.
35,000km is very low for a 1996 car - but some very low km jap imports do come in.  Converse to "common knowledge" the low km isn't because the cars spent years sludging-up in Tokyo traffic etc, but because the owners use public transport, and only use their cars for weekend activities etc.
We bought a year 2000 Pulsar (N15 1.5 4 door last year of the same model as the '96) for my elderly FIL a few months ago.  That had about 60,000km.  We paid about $4,000 from a dealer - which I considered to be quite a high price for that old model.  However if they check out ok, then that model Pulsar/Sentra with "GA" series engine are very reliable basic cars.  They don't typically have some of the "issues" which crop up in later model small Nissans (cam-chain stretch, rust).  They are also reasonably economical to run.  


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  Reply # 1098327 30-Jul-2014 08:08
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I would definitely class the odometer reading as dodgy, that does not mean the car is a lemon.  A reasonable mechanic should be able to give you an indication of the actual distance it has traveled, and take that into consideration in your choice of car.  If you don't have your heart and mind set on this car, and are not prepared to do more investigation, then I would walk away personally  




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  Reply # 1098337 30-Jul-2014 08:43
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Have a look at the wear on the brake and accelerator pedals. Look at the CV boots. What's the cushioning like in the drivers seat?
These are simple indicators of how 'used' a car may be. If it is the odometer and not just the trip meter that's not working how close is the vehicle really getting to things like can belt replacement?
If the car is something special some would take the risk, but for a '96 Pulsar I don't think so.




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  Reply # 1098344 30-Jul-2014 08:56
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Dingbatt: Have a look at the wear on the brake and accelerator pedals. Look at the CV boots. What's the cushioning like in the drivers seat?
These are simple indicators of how 'used' a car may be. If it is the odometer and not just the trip meter that's not working how close is the vehicle really getting to things like can belt replacement?
If the car is something special some would take the risk, but for a '96 Pulsar I don't think so.


35,000K sounds too low. As above, check wear - also on the steering wheel and gear stick - after 18 years they should be pretty polished from use, but if it has only done 35000K, they will look almost new.
A friend of mine has a 1998 Pulsar, and the Tachomater plays up (but AFAIK the Odometer is OK). Nice little car though, and good that it is chain driven rather than cam-belt.

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