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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently shopping for an Elise and have come across a few super low mile cars. One in particular is a 2007 with 14k miles, but it has done only 1500 in the past 7 years.

Is there any concern with buying an Elise that has been driven so infrequently? Anything in particular to double check on infrequently driven cars?

I intend to put miles on the car, drive it on the street, autocross it occasionally and maybe the occasional track day/time trial in the future.

The motivation behind finding a lower mile car was along the lines of "buy the best condition car you can afford." That, and I'd prefer to add any imperfections from my use myself!
 

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2011 Exige S260 Sport
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In my mind there are two ways to look at a car with very low miles: 1) typical concerns about seals, soft bits, etc. 2) Look! someone preserved this car to be like new just for me to enjoy!

The reality is most likely somewhere in the middle. The good news is these are very simple cars for the most part. Read here for typical updates people make (radiator, oil line recall), and like you have stated, buy the best condition car you can afford, then drive it.

Remember this is a 15 year old car. Don't expect it to be new, even with low miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I should mention I have many years dealing with 20 year old Miatas with 100k+ miles so I'm not afraid to get dirty with hoses, radiators, brakes, etc.

Just looking for the main/big things that may be the problem areas with an Elise to look out for.

Understand they're approaching voting age and age-related issues may exist.
 

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2011 Evora S, 2017 BRZ Yellow, 2019 Ranger Lariat FX4
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Where was it stored Is the best question. On the coast some where you will need to look for corrosion and worry about internal engine/fuel tank corrosion. Stored in AZ you will need to worry about the rubber degrading from the high temperatures. If it has been in a climate controlled or mild climate area then you will have little to worry about.
 

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I would not be afraid of it. Low mile cars can have issues that can be fixed. Assuming the car has no chassis damage and a clean title, you will have a car that will increase in value. I would budget $5-10k for fixes (like tires, belts, fluids).
 

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2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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  1. Expect to change all the fluids. Afterward, exercise the systems (ABS, for instance) to verify they work.
  2. Expect to find things that aren't right. The AC likely won't work. There may be corrosion or rust on parts (like pulleys) from sitting so much. Some of these things are self-resolving if you're patient and gentle. For the pulleys example, just buy a new belt, drive it enough to buff the pulleys with the old belt, then change to the new belt.
  3. Expect things to work for 1000-5000 miles and then break. Mine (bought with 19000 miles on it) ate a lighting relay module and required a relay replacement for the CDL module in the first couple of years. Not tragic, but could be disheartening if you expected your low mileage creampuff to just work for 50k miles. A lot of this stuff ages according to heat/cold cycles or just years, which means that miles are not the determining factor.
 
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