By on June 19, 2012
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My 1994 Toyota Camry managed to get 291,000 before it fell off the face of the Earth.

Did it become crusher fodder? Was it exported to a new and exciting life in the developing world? Or will Murilee someday find it among a junkyard menagerie of all too rare two door Camrys?

I wish I knew. I miss it. Neil Young’s, “Long May You Run” sometimes makes me yearn for that kinder, simpler machine.

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That car was a constant companion of mine for the majority of my driving years. The four-banger Camry du jour was nothing special as far as performance goes, and if you saw it today, you wouldn’t remember it. Old Camrys still blend in with the automotive scenery like long gray pavement and white Crown Vic taxis.

But as for longevity? It was the equivalent of a young Pamela Anderson with a big smile and a hot fudge sundae. The homely Camry was hotter on long-term companionship than anything short of a rear wheel drive Volvo or a Honda Accord. Precious few models from the early to mid 1990′s could ever lay near of a claim to such an outstanding reputation for durability and value.

Today’s world of cars may be a bit more capable of hitting the big 3 0 0; with engine technologies that go far and beyond dual over head cams, variable timing, and Nordic pushrods. Even so. 300,000 miles is a tall order. Even today.

So with that in mind, “Would you ever keep your daily driver for 300k?” If not, what would it take for a manufacturer to make you a long term keeper of their current wares?

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184 Comments on “Question Of The Day: Would You Ever Keep Your Daily Driver… For 300,000 Miles?...”


  • avatar
    rpol35

    “Question Of The Day: Would You Ever Keep Your Daily Driver… For 300,000 Miles?…”

    I am 18,000 miles from that goal, so for me, the answer is yes!

    • 0 avatar

      Got you beat. I’m only 14,000 from the big 300k. 2003 330i

      BMW is an extremely well built car, at least the e46. I’m on second PS pump, third alternator, second fuel pump. Suspension is tight, Blisteins and fresh bushings, an easy and inexpensive DIY (not the shocks). Orig clutch ! I change the trans oil every 80k, and diff oil every 50k. Manual, of course.

      You do have to have a car that you’ll like for a long time. The e46 is still a great handling car, quiet and 25 mpg. I’ve replaced window regulators, and various bits over time, but comparing this to an e90 or the F30, the new cars have better satnav, but the driving feel is the same. The design is still pretty and has aged extremely well. In some fantasy world I’d like to replace it with a four door debadged M3 in that eggplant color, but again the M3 is faster with better gadgets, but the feel in normal driving is the same. Indeed, I’d rather my sport package e46 than the “sales manager ordered” e90 328xi with leather premium and automatic that infests every BMW dealership.

      In contrast, in the same use, I used up a Ford Contour in 140k-everything sort of “sacked” at that number….I sold that car for a whopping 1k at the cash for cars guy. The front seats were worn and had a movement that could not be fixed.

      • 0 avatar
        texan01

        I’ve got you both beat, I’m 2,000 miles past that on my 1995 Explorer. It hit the 300k mark on a road trip from Dallas to Colorado, in Colorado. I’ve owned it 11 years and put 200k of its 302,000 miles.

        It’s had one transmission, a head job, 4 heater cores, 4 radiators, a starter and alternator at 248,000. It still looks like it did when it was new.

    • 0 avatar
      jla1776

      I have 365,000 miles on my 1997 Mazda protege LX

  • avatar
    PaulVincent

    We had a ’78 Z28 Camaro (soft cams version) that we sold at 220,000 miles. If it had held up better (engine was worn out as was pretty much everything else), we would have kept it for as long as it would have held up. Local mechanic told us, “It’s just a Camaro!” So we sold it to a kid in a neighboring town who fixed it all up.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      I am impressed! I had a ’77.5 Z28 which is basically the same car as a ’78. By 30,000 miles, mine was well on the way to falling apart. It was maintained and not abused and was responsible for the start of my disassociation with GM cars.

      • 0 avatar
        PaulVincent

        Well, it was garaged, had frequent (2,000 miles) oil changes, driven 120 miles round trip daily to work by my wife, and generally not beat on at all so it had a good chance of lasting a long time (13 years before we sold it). We loved that car even though the power was never there, and I like its looks even today.
        Naturally, if we hadn’t had great luck with it, I would feel quite different about it. We even had a set of snow tires so it could be driven year around. Initially it a a few glitches that warranty took care of and otherwise simple maintenance was all that was necessary.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        @Steven Lang:

        Your 1994 Camry was probably one of the best cars in terms of quality, durability and value, ever to be built. I doubt that few, if any, new cars sold today can beat it on these 3 criteria, let alone top it.

        I remember reading about how Ford engineers (this was back in 1993, when Ford was in a death spiral) were amazed after buying a new V6 Camry and then disassembling the entire car, right down to the last washer, laying the parts out on the shop floor, and studying each piece of the car.

        They were trying to figure out how Toyota could build a vehicle that was as quiet, reliable and just plain amazing as Steve’s era Camry, and make any money, and they concluded that Toyota could not. The materials were simply too expensive, the fit and finish was too precise, and they ultimately collectively stated that it would be hard to match the quality of that Camry even if the cost of production was in excess of $30,000 (in 1993 dollars).

        So Ford did the oval theme, and tried to distinguish the Taurus by as many distinct visual cues as possible, instead.

  • avatar
    retrogrouch

    I have owned 3 of my daily drivers beyond 300k miles. I bought them with 180k or more miles then drove the snot out of them traveling for work and billing the mileage. Only one of them needed an engine before the 300k mark.

    They were all 80s BMWs. Two were E28s (528e and 535) and one was a E30 (1987 325i). I could usually fix them in the parking lot of a parts store with crappy hand tools, a jack, and a jack stand.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      80′s era BMWs and Mercedes were built to last – built like tanks.

      Sure, they suffered some problems in areas such as actuators and electrical components, and it was incredibly expensive to source parts and have the repairs made when they needed to be, but as far as body integrity, motors, transmissions, they were built for the long haul.

      Today, both marques are designed-for-obsolescence, engineered to a fine price point, rubbish, by comparison to their models of yore.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      @ retrogrouch

      What year was your 528e? My family had an ’82, and it was by several orders of magnitude the least reliable car we’ve owned of the fuel injection era. My parents joked that it had been built the Monday after Oktoberfest. In six years, it racked up over $7,000 in unscheduled repair costs, and that’s in early and mid-‘80s dollars. To BMW’s and the dealer’s credit, everything was covered under warranty. (This was an old-school dealership, and the BMW-yuppy gestalt, thankfully, wasn’t in place yet.) The problems were all over the map:
      - a sporadic hesitation issue when accelerating that never did get diagnosed
      - cruise control that accelerated on its own
      - numerous electrical problems, particularly affecting the windows and sunroof (though fuses were inexpensive and very easy to replace)
      - faulty power antenna (though that could be said on any car in the ’80s)
      - a broken left-front door handle/lock mechanism. We were on vacation at the time, and a dealership in Canada had to jury-rig a new mechanism from E23 parts.
      - a spring that popped through the upholstery of the rear seat. Word of that actually went up the chain of command to Munich. They were so mortified that they replaced the entire rear seat.
      - an oil leak that became increasingly severe over time. After the car was out of warranty, we reached a point where the car needed a quart of oil with every tank of gas.

      That’s when my parents cut their losses and decided to give American cars another chance. Every vehicle we’ve collectively owned since then (seven American and three Japanese) has been extremely reliable, with the Japanese cars holding an advantage in interior fit and finish but no advantage whatsoever in terms of reliability. (And I think Detroit has massively improved its interiors over the course of the past decade. The wide-ranging European>Japanese>American interior quality continuum that existed in the ‘80s has compressed massively.)

      Still, the 528e had its good points:
      - Seat issue notwithstanding, the overall build quality was outstanding with, I’d guess, only Mercedes (which was even better) and Volvo in the same ballpark among contemporary, mass-produced cars.
      - The steering feel was better than any car I’ve driven subsequently. I was really disappointed when I drove an E90; it was really numb compared to the (although it was AWD, and I’m guessing the RWDs steer better).
      - Even though it was one of the slowest BMWs of the past 35 years, it handled terrifically at speed. It seemed happiest at 85 mph or so, which was not necessarily a great thing in the days of the 55 limit. And, when not experiencing its hesitation issue, the torque-tuned Eta engine made it quicker in around-town driving than the vast majority of contemporary sedans.
      - BMW hadn’t yet figured out how to bilk people with options. Literally the only options available were leather seats, automatic transmission, and limited slip differential.
      - Simplicity. E.g., I love that parts of the roof pillars on the E28 actually had uncovered, painted metal on the interior of the car. It wasn’t a touch point. Why cover something in plastic that might squeak or rattle when it doesn’t need to be? (Yes, I realize fabric and plastic often cover airbags in today’s cars.)

      Anyway, I’m glad you had better luck with your E28s. Consider us your beta testers.

  • avatar
    jjklongisland

    I personally have never owned a vehicle with more than a 140k miles cause fankly it makes me nervous about becoming stranded. As I have gotten older I am less nervous about higher mileage vehicles. I guess this stems from the large amount of early motor and tranny replacements of the vehicles that I grew up with in the 80′s and early 90′s. Last year I bought my bro’s loaded 1997 4runner for him from the original owner who was 90 and had 214k miles on it. Garaged since new with meticulous maintenance records and a $1500 price tag I figured I couldnt lose. So far it has made numerous +10 hour road trips and accumulated another 20k trouble free miles. My brother will give it back to me when he can afford a new car which hopefully is soon. I have also driven our offices spare company car which we use when our company car is in for service. My company employs its own mechanics and does strict maintenance every 3000 miles. The spare vehicle is an 04 Expedition with 250k miles on it. It drives like it has 25k miles on it. I was blown away on how the truck still looks and drives. My confidence in higher mileage vehicles has definitely risen.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      “I personally have never owned a vehicle with more than a 140k miles cause fankly it makes me nervous about becoming stranded”

      Yeah, I had a Subaru Outback wagon that I owned until 214k miles that never stranded me. Good maintenance and replacing parts that I knew were going to fail – like coolant hoses that were cracking – was key.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      @jjklongisland

      I’m with you, there.

      I think the reason why is, because whenever I think of driving a vehicle with more than 100,000 miles, I think of a Domestic car from the mid 90′s (probably because the only high mileage vehicles I’ve ever driven have been THOSE vehicles) and they always felt like a) they were falling apart, and b) they seemed like they had to try REALLY had to do simple, every day tasks.

      I test drove a couple Lexus ES350′s (current gen), an ’06 with 80k, an ’08 with 60k and an ’09 with 50k, after driving a new one (’12). The used ones felt as good as the new one, which gives me hope. I’m not a fan of the new 350′s styling (specifically, that gross chrome bar on the back reminds me too much of the ugly, new Camry), so when I do pick one up it will be a current gen, and it very well may be a used one.

    • 0 avatar
      wcpfour

      I inherited a ’97 4Runner a few years back. My aunt bought it new as a leftover in ’98, but it eventually became my uncle’s daily driver. His daily driving included regular drives from central Florida to Louisiana for work. I got it with 241k on the clock, and it turned 288k the other day. Aside from some basic repairs and maintenance, it hasn’t needed a thing. I’ve developed a great respect for this machine, and have vowed not to give it up until it has breathed its last. It’s not fast, it handles like the truck it is, and it’s not particularly nice looking, but it gets me to work, has made lots of DFW-HOU runs, and the only time it hasn’t started for me was when the battery went dead. I’m hoping it last long enough to give to my daughter when she turns 16… in 4 years.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    If and when I finally buy a NEW car (not a used car) I will attempt to go 300,000 miles to know I got my money’s worth.

  • avatar
    jmo

    This obviosuly hinges on how much you drive. I work with folks that do 120 miles round trip to work every day – at that rate you’d hit 300k in less than 10 years. For me, at my current rate, 300k would take 150 years.

    • 0 avatar
      Motorhead10

      yes – this. I do 4k per year in my DD and another 2k in my “not practical” car. So I would hit 300k in 75 years or just as I turn 119 years old. I should be easy to spot – the dude in his early-100s driving an ’09 Charger R/T in 2087.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    It always seems like the bland-mobiles are the ones that make it that long. If I had an interesting, fun car, yeah, I’d keep driving it as long as it made financial sense to do so. Any chance of a Miata making it to 300k?

    • 0 avatar
      ciddyguy

      Maintain it and it probably would go that high.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTheDriver

      I’ve had a 1.6L NA and an NB both come apart on me at around 130k. I drove the dog poop out of both of those cars and got my money back when I traded out of them. That little I4 is solid as a rock, just keep the fluids changed and switch to a heavier grade oil as they get older. You just can’t beat them for fun/cost. But, no, prolly not 300k.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      Yes, I have a friend with one that’s closing in on that mark.

      Over all that use the top gets ratty though… might need to do a replacement at some time during that interval.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    Nope. Won’t drive a car outside of a manufacturer’s warranty.

  • avatar
    spatula6554

    I would absolutely keep my DD through 300k miles, even beyond. There is no sense in replacing a car if it is reliable enough, regardless of the number of miles on it. I could get my 1997 Monte Carlo there if we did not need another 4 door vehicle for our impending twins, but the 2003 Blazer I will be inheriting from my better half is only 30k miles away from 200k and is still going strong.

    • 0 avatar
      catnapped

      Seriously. Must be nice to snap your fingers and have a new car materialize out of thin air when you just get tired of the old one. Many of us don’t have that luxury.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed Spaniel

        Try 22 years in total of schooling, an average IQ, but incredible discipline and sacrifice (as in no car for 25 years), hard work at school and working multiple jobs to pay for that school and you just might be able to afford that luxury!

      • 0 avatar
        spatula6554

        My wife and I are currently in the process of looking for a new-to-us car…if this goes according to her plan, this would be the first car that we will finance and most likely purchase from a dealer rather than a private party. It takes work, but knowing that she is comfortable in what she is driving, especially in upstate NY winters with new twins in the back is worth it.

  • avatar
    twotone

    300,000 miles? Irv laughs at your joke.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/09/01/irv-gordons-volvo-p1800-closing-in-on-3-million-miles/

  • avatar
    dejal1

    I tried. I only got 232K + 264K miles out of my previous 2 cars.

    The 232K was lost in a head on collision. The 264K was burning a quart of oil every 4-500 hundred miles and needed a complete brake job. If it was only the brakes I would have done it. The motor wasn’t going to get any better.

    200,000 should be pretty easy these days.

    300,000 is tougher but doable.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “The 264K was burning a quart of oil every 4-5 hundred miles?

      Hell, I had a 2006 VW Passat 2.0T that I purchased new burn a quart of synthetic oil every 800 miles and VW refused to even inspect it, let alone repair it, even though there were fewer than 12,000 miles on it and it was 14 months old when I first reported it to my dealership, and VW claimed with the certainty and absoluteness of God almighty that “it’s within proper specifications.”

  • avatar
    ARacer

    Of course. Cars are money pits and I have not interest in spending 10′s of thousands of $ on a new car just to get one that is slightly more comfy and shiny. My WRX has 246,000 miles and is running strong with only the most basic maintenance. I’d be thrilled if it went 300k.

    • 0 avatar

      “Cars are money pits and I have not interest in spending 10′s of thousands of $ on a new car just to get one that is slightly more comfy and shiny.” You said it.

      My ’00 2.5RS has close to 94k. It needed a new head gasket a couple of years ago around 80k, at which time I replaced the timing hardware, water pump, etc etc that would have been due soon anyway. And put in some cheap and low-risk performance updates, like Group N engine mounts and a lighter crank pulley.

      It runs better than the day I got it. I love to drive it. I have no plans to ever get rid of it. With the amount of miles I put on it, I can probably get another 12 years out of it.

      If something awful happens, like the engine or tranny fail catastrophically, I will find a remanufactured unit for my local Subaru specialist to put in.

      Some of you may call me a crotchety old man… A cantankerous goat who is stuck in the past, too cheap and suspicious to try something new.

      Well, here’s what I say to that… You’re right.

  • avatar
    jjklongisland

    I also have a defect… I get way to bored driving the same car. I am always buying and selling so I never get the chance.

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      +1000. I’d want to shoot myself in the head after driving the same car for any period more than 12 months. For me, variety (cariety??)is the spice of life! Plus, if you know how to buy and sell cars, you can actually make money switching your cars every year or so, and basically drive for FREE. Just like the stock market, wait for the right deal, then buy low and sell high!

      • 0 avatar
        Speed Spaniel

        Ditto that. How mundane to keep a car for so long. I’d rather be dead than drive a 1994 Camry 300,000+ miles. And I suppose some people are actually proud of that. Yawn.

      • 0 avatar

        @speed spaniel: how often do you trade in your wives?

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        At some point over 300K, I think you get emotionally attached to your vehicle. At least I do.

        There are a lot of memories and experiences tied up in that old machine. Once you reach that state, you really don’t want to let it go and it’s no longer just a ’91 Accord/Camry/Century in your mind.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed Spaniel

        @ David Holzman: Trading in wives would be too expensive so I lease them for the very short term instead. That way you get to try out many different models and experience how each one rides and performs. Like a 300,000 mile car who would want all that long term maintenance, need and waking up to that same face every day that will eventually sag and need bondo to fill in all the cracks. No thanks. Happily single no kids, life is GOOD and I’m the envy of all my male friends. Matter of fact I just test drove one of their vehicles the other day and thought the transmission felt a little loose, but I suppose that’s from having kids. So I’m driving 2 nice new cars and they/re saving for tuition for their ungrateful whining spoiled biological offsprings. Suckers!

      • 0 avatar
        Jellodyne

        “atter of fact I just test drove one of their vehicles the other day and thought the transmission felt a little loose, but I suppose that’s from having kids.”

        Vehicles?

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    Irv Gordon anyone?

    He’s right near 3 million miles on his car with only two engine rebuilds – one at 600,000 miles and the next at 2 million miles.

    The engines can handle it. People get bored with their cars or develop irrational fears about the car leaving them stranded. Hey, I’ve been left stranded by a NEW car, and so has Irv, which prompted him to buy his Volvo P1800.

    There are documented cases of many cars driving “extreme” miles. I place extreme in quotation marks because, from an engineers perspective, it’s not really extreme. One million miles translates to about 25,000 service hours which is well within the range of normal use for a standalone spark ignition generator. Most industrial engines get rebuilt, many of which have accumulated over 60,000 documented hours.

    Chevy van 5.7 V8 with 1,000,000 miles

    Chevy Silverado 5.7 V8 with 1,000,000 miles

    Ford Econoline 5.4 V8 with 1,000,000 miles

    Honda Accord with 1,000,000 miles.

    Volvo P1800 with 3,000,000 miles

    Chevrolet Camaro 5.7 with 1,000,000 miles

    The older, pre 1996 vehicles are easier to maintain because the engines don’t have sophisticated electronic equipment to replace. Hence, the engine can be rebuilt as many times as necessary (assuming you use cylinder sleeves or wet liners).

    I’ve kept a Cadillac Deville to 400,000 miles and that’s without having a head gasket failure. I’ve been left stranded by a brand new Toyota 4Runner that blew it’s engine. Go figure.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      Was the Deville a Northstar?

      I’ve heard of Northstars reaching 300,000+ (as I mentioned in the junkyard Aurora post last week), but I’ve always wondered what heroic mechanic ushered it along. Could a Northstar actually do it aided only by proper maintenance? The 4T80 is a strong transmission…

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        I bet it was 4.9.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        You bet wrong. :)

        The car was (is) a 4.6 Northstar V8. There wasn’t any “heroic” maintenance required – just basic maintenance. Internet discussion forums and blogs grossly exaggerate the head gasket problem.

        The vehicle is still in service, without rust. I have installed a heavy duty power inverter and it’s used as a generator and occasional drives. I suspect that I’ll rebuild the engine when the time comes.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        I’m guessing you took reasonable care of it Max? Routine oil and coolant changes, maybe a tune up now and then? Most of the Caddies I saw were pretty beat by the time I saw them, I don’t recall them all having head gasket issues but they were all rattle-traps in one way or another, esp the 90s fourth gen Sevilles and Eldos. I don’t see many on the roads around here anymore that are newer than 1995 or older than 2000s, seems like the older 4.5 and 4.9 Caddies could take a better beating than 90s N*, or maybe GM really did fix them at some point.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Thats the thing with new cars, they’ll go the distance but aren’t an easy fix.

      What went wrong with the RAV4?

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        Surprisingly, the head gasket and the coolant pump.

        I don’t believe that newer cars are any more difficult to fix than older car, it’s just that there are more sensors to go bad. Replacing a sensor is easy, but the prices are outrageous. But, not cost prohibitive.

        It’s funny how diesel engines are heralded as being more reliable than gasoline engines, when just the opposite is true. There is nothing that indicates that a spark ignition engine cannot last as long as a diesel engine, and that’s proven with high mileage (and long hour use) cars and generators every day. With the new ethanol blended fuels, engines should last even longer, because ethanol burns cooler than gasoline.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Max, I’ll take huge exception to your statement on ethanol assisting modern motors in lasting longer (as well as your general statement as to how diesel motors aren’t more robust, let alone far more robust, than petrol ones).

        Mere 10% ethanol levels in gasoline produce all sorts of nasty affects in motors, and also have been proven to lead to premature break downs in critical components. Right now, Ford, Toyota, Honda, GM, Volkswagen, Chrysler, Nissan and 5 other manufacturers are strenuously objecting to the recent approval of 15% ethanol level gasoline for this very reason (they have enough warranty claims as a result of the 10% level).

        12 Automakers Criticize EPA Ethanol-Blend Fuel Proposal E15 stating the fuel may damage engines and fuel-supply systems in vehicles & may void warranties. – Bloomberg:

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-05/ford-gm-toyota-criticize-u-s-regulator-s-ethanol-blend-fuel-proposal.html

        TTAC’s policy is not to let the B&B to copy and paste text from external articles, so I only posted the link.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        Deadweight, you can take exception with my statement all you want, but you’re dead wrong. I am an engineer with extensive experience building and racing engines and ethanol is a superior fuel to gasoline in terms of power potential and engine durability. If you reply back with the standard “but ethanol has a lower energy density”, we’ll know you don’t understand anything about power potential per unit of displacement of air, and not to take your opinion seriously.

        Ethanol clogs up old engines that never ran on ethanol, because it dissolves carbon deposits.

        However, a new engine equipped with ethanol compatible seals (virtually all new engines), will last longer and have no problems caused by the running of ethanol fuel.

        Ethanol BURNS COOLER than gasoline. That is a fact. Ethanol mixed with gasoline will burn cooler than straight gasoline. That is also a fact. This is not open for debate, period.

        Hence, a new engine will last longer running ethanol or an ethanol blended fuel than an engine burning hotter gasoline. And it will make more power.

        I’m not interested in reading any anti-ethanol political propaganda. Sorry. That crap is an insult to the engineering profession.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Max, I could listen to your proclamations of the virtues of ethanol (lmao), or I could just infer that 12 automakers literally oppose any increase in ethanol blending as they already are contending with the nightmare that is E10, and have written a letter to Congress regarding this matter, OR I could refer to the most comprehensive study ever done regarding the affects of ethanol on internal combustion engines and associated components, and the facts about ethanol’s insidiousness are clear as daylight:

        CRC Prohject No. CM-136-09-1B :
        Engine Durability Study of Mid-Level Ethanol Blends

        http://www.crcao.com/news/Mid%20Level%20Ethanol%20program/CRC_CM-136-09-1B_DEPOSIT_GROUP_REVIEW_June%202011_V3.pdf

        Higher ethanol content has an impact on these main areas of
        the engine and emissions performance:

         – Valve & valve seat wear

        – Bore wear

         – Abrasive and adhesive wear and corrosion

         – Compression loss, misfire, and catalyst damage

         – Catalyst durability issues from ethanol effects on calibration

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        Deadweight,

        Your citing a study funded by the American Petroleum Institute is a great way to discredit yourself and show an engineer that you have no credibility to discuss the merits of various fuels.

        As soon as you wrote “bore wear”, it’s easy to tell that you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve been racing big block Chevys for years on E85 under extreme stress conditions and never saw “bore wear”.

        You must be a shill for the American Petroleum Industry. Next time, pick someone less qualified to debate you.

        Sidenote: Automakers don’t want to switch to higher blends of ethanol because they don’t want to upgrade their fuel injection systems to send more fuel to the cylinders, thereby having to report a slight decrease in mileage with CAFE. It has nothing to do with engine longevity.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I’d go for 1 million if nothing broke, simply being bored is a weak reason to not keep a car.

      I know of a 4 cyl Mustang II with almost 300k, if that can make it that far than whatever you own should too.

      Truthfully I am sick of this “I get bored” junk, didn’t people hold on to cars back in the day when they weren’t even sporty?

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        The reason I’d use is cost.

        One of my first vehicles was a 94 Ford Taurus. The thing had a head gasket problem. I bought it in November for $1,000 cash. In December, I spent… $1,500? or so on the head gasket and a couple other various things. A month later, the engine began spewing oil all over again.

        $2,500 spent on a car worth maybe $1k, and that still needs repairs.

        This example defines – for the most part – used cars for me.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        I’ve had expensive adventures like that myself, seems to have only happened on cars made before ’96. I’ve had little to no trouble on newer cars, took a 2000 Taurus from 129K to 141K in 2005 with only minor problems, my ’98 Saturn ran pretty well from 82K (2006) to its current 162K with only major repairs being a water pump/pulley, a flex pipe/muffler, two radiators (Sat rads are plastic and crack), and brakes. I think the used car sweet spot is no more than 8-10 years old at acquisition.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        There is a difference between “being bored” with a car and it being “sporty.” Maybe people did hold onto cars longer back in the day, but it had precious little to do with it being “sporty.” My mother drives unbelievably boring cars…keeps them for 10 years…and then usually decides on a new one. She more than has the funds to do it. After getting into the same seat for 10 years, she does kind of grow weary of looking at the same dashboard after 3,650+ days. I think that if you’re financially capable to do so and you’ve kept a car that long, growing weary of it is a perfectly legitimate reason to want something new(er).

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        On repair prices: Thats a perfectly legit reason, sometimes you’re better off buying another car than fixing what you have. The main reason that I sold any of my cars was running costs.

        At Three-Eared: Its still a weak reason, but 10 years makes it a bit more understandable than the average 2. Whats funny is that its usually people with “sporty” cars that get bored with them.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    I got almost 237K out of a ’92 Ford Ranger truck before I had to part with it back in January – and I bought it with 189K (verified) miles on it.

    It was dying, motor still ran strong (4.0L V6), but was loosing 2Qts of oil every 2 weeks, had a leaking radiator, thermostat and the valve cover was also leaking, had either a bushing or bearing (left front wheel) be loose, a loose U-joint needed a new serpentine belt and most definitely a new battery, though the one in there was still functioning, but just and had a wonky idle air controller valve that needed either a good cleaning or replacement, either way, nearly $300 to fix, which precipitated its replacement.

    Add insult to injury, the morning I dropped it by Midas to have them adjust the idle valve so I could have proper functioning throttle to safely drive it to the dealer in Tacoma where I bought the Mazda to trade it in via the freeway, the shifter bushings went – again.

    Dunno how long I’ll keep the 03 Mazda P5 I drive now that replaces that truck but it now has 113,700+ miles on it and I am itching to get it back on the road for another exploration road trip soon. :-)

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I had an ’88 Sentra that makde it to 296,000 or so before the head gasket finally let go. It was thoroughly used up and had been run into a few times by then, though.

    I think reaching 300k will become less common than it is now, simply because most new cars are engineered much closer to their intended failure points. The Japanese cars of the late ’80s and early ’90s were a perfect storm of computerized design, cultural obsessiveness, and favorable exchange rates that will probably never happen again.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      I think you need to account for the continuted development of material science and manufacturing technology.

      Also, the pressure to build a reliable car is stronger than ever. Back in the 90′s it wasn’t all that hard for Honda to build a car more reliable than an Escort or Excel. Now, it’s much much harder.

    • 0 avatar
      Yeah_right

      Have to agree with JMO. Comparing my first car, a ’76 AMC Gremlin that was as simple as a 70′s auto could be, with my current FJ Cruiser and Altima, I like my odds of hitting 300K MUCH better with my current fleet. Although the Altima will never see that number in my garage because the missus will get bored.

      The FJ, with 80K miles now, will still look good even with dings, scratches, and wear – hopefully like it’s owner.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    At my current rate of driving, about 7K a year, it would take me 40 years to hit that mark. I doubt most cars from the early 70′s could reach it without a major rebuild and God knows how expensive a traditional gasoline powered car will be to run in 2050.
    But I do like the buy it now, drive it for life idea.

  • avatar

    If I could be reasonably assured that I could get 300k out of one, I’d spring for a new Mercedes E-class wagon. That’s kind of the sweet spot for me in terms of driving enjoyment, comfort, features, utility, etc. But I’m guessing that the cost of keeping the gadgets and fancy mechanical bits alive would come to about the same as buying another car after the warranty runs out.

    There’s something to be said for simplicity in a car, mechanically and otherwise. But while it would be much easier to get a 2CV to 300,000 miles, I’d rather have a more pleasant time in the car. That’s a lot of hours clocked in the driver’s seat, and I’m man enough to admit I’d rather have more creature comforts than go too spartan.

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      It wouldn’t cost you $50,000 to keep the car’s mechanicals running.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        If you assume your time has no value.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        It wouldn’t cost you $50,000 to keep the car running if you paid a dealer to rebuild the engine, transmission, and give the car a new coat of paint.

        Your time has nothing to do with it.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “Your time has nothing to do with it.”

        Spending 4 hours stranded on the side of the road on a snowy evening has no cost? Being late for a client meeting, a flight, a date because you car broke down yet again, has no cost?

        It sure does – for most folks they get to the point where it’s not worth the aggravation to keep the car running anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @jmo

        There is no reason a car with 300K miles that is properly maintained should be any less reliable than one with 30K on it. Proper maintenance includes REPLACING things BEFORE they break and strand you. Taken to the extreme, this is what the wingnuts who say “I will never own a car out of warranty” are doing – they are just replacing the whole car.

        For many years I drove extremely mileagy Volvos, Peugeots, Saabs, BMWs and VWs, with both Volvos and VWs that were well beyond the 300K mark. I can count the number of “needed a tow” breakdowns on the fingers of one hand. I had one busted timing belt on a Volvo – ENTIRELY my fault as I knew it was way overdue, and it could have happened on a 60K car just as easily as a 320K car. I had a brand-new waterpump on a Peugeot shear its shaft and put the fan through the radiator. Also could have happened on a brand new car, and it was an OEM Puegeot pump. I had an improperly secured fuel line chaff through on my ’84 Jetta. Also not really age or mileage related. That’s about it across more than two dozen aged Euro-crocks.

        Of course, all of this supposes that one does not buy junk in the first place, be it domestic cars that were just crap to start with or Japanese cars that rusted to oblivion in my climate. Nothing will kill a Volvo 940 except being bored with it or indifference. At $650+ a month for five years, it will be FAR cheaper to maintain my BMW than to buy a new one, even if it needs a new engine every other year. I’ll replace it when I am bored with it, not because of any notion of saving money.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        Spending 4 hours stranded on the side of the road on a snowy evening has no cost? Being late for a client meeting, a flight, a date because you car broke down yet again, has no cost?

        Stranded for four hours? Four hours of your time is worth $50,000? I’d like to know where you’re making that kind of money in the middle of nowhere where you’re stranded for four hours.

        All joking aside, a high mileage car should not leave you stranded. I’m an engineer. Trust me, as complex as vehicles are, there are only a precious few things that can really go wrong with the car and if you keep a close eye on the vehicle you’ll know when these things are coming. I was left stranded with a brand new Toyota 4Runner in 2002, and I’ve taken a Cadillac Deville with all of it’s whizbang electronic gizmos past 400,000 miles. I maintain this car and would not hesitate to drive the car a long distance if I had to because I know the car is taken care of and capable of going the distance.

        People have driven Honda Accords to one million miles on the original engine. The cars had to be repaired, and eventually the repairs exceeded the value of the vehicle – on paper. It was still cheaper to fix the car than to buy a new car, and they got their money worth.

        It comes down to preference, not necessity or cost. Certainly not to a dramatic fear of being left in the wilderness to die for Christ’s sake.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      The 2CV is the only car that I’d never drive to 300k, I’d rather drive it to the scrapyard.

      • 0 avatar
        svenmeier

        The 2CV was actually a very reliable car. It was designed to be simple and reliable because the people buying it needed cheap and reliable transportation. What’s even more amazing is that the 2CV was a very advanced car (despite its looks) and was still a very reliable machine despite utilizing new and advanced technology/layouts.

        My first car was a 2CV which I inherited from my father. They were poorly put together but they were reliable and held up rather well despite the shoddy build quality. And they were fun to drive despite having literally no power. Great car.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    You don’t need technology to go the distance. My Father’s GM 3.1 with push rods was driven 160 daily. And was through norhtern Ohio’s winter salt season. It had 270,000+ when he sold it.

    That generation Camry picture don’t make through the winter road salt as do most Japanese cars and trucks of that eram Nor do the following generation Camry. If you do see them they bleeding red at the weld seams under the paint. How are you going to prevent that?

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      This is the second time you’ve mentioned this, and again, you’re quite wrong. The 1992-1996 Camry is actually one of the more rust resistant cars made in the 1990s, almost as good as Volvos IMO. Conversely, many GMs of the same era (Century up to 1996 in particular, Lumina) rust tremendously. The previous 88-91 Camry is a rust bucket, but not the subsequent ones.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        You seldom see them in Cleveland suburb areas. And if you do see Camry’s from the 1990′s they are weeping red rust around the rear windows and trunk. It’s chronic as I’ve more than a few like that.

  • avatar
    jberger

    Sure, I did it in a 1990 Q45. Was averaging 1400 per week for work so the miles added up quickly.
    I finally just got tired of fixing the little things and when the major service (hoses, the car has tons of small hoses that are a PITA to replace) I just parked it instead of spending the $$$ to fix it. I had already replaced the original motor around 310K, so retirement was well deserved.

    In truth, I think I finally just got tired of it, but it sure took a long time to get to that point. It was incredibly comfortable, powerful and just chewed up highway milage effortlessly.

    Took over my wife’s GMC Jimmy when the kids came along, it self-terminated @ 162K last week and I hated every minute of driving that truck. There is no way that truck would make it to 300K, it was a rolling torture chamber.

    Right now I’m planning to buy a Camry Hybrid, on the basis I can probably drive it for another 10 years without hoping it accidentally pops the e-brake and rolls off a cliff.

    The car is comfortable, efficient, mechanically simple (there are no belts) and doesn’t appear to have any traits which will annoy the heck out of you over time. Sure it’s a bit numb in the steering rack and the factory tires are crap, but I think the over execution of the car is excellent and should be a keeper.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    I’ve always been one to shop for a (used, never new) car that (a) met a price point and (b) “fit” me well – not just physically but mentally, too. Therefore, I’ve had several cars that I have really wanted to keep for long periods of time – a 1998 Nissan Maxima GXE, a 1996 Mitsubishi Galant ES, a 1995 Infiniti G20, and my current car, a 1995 Toyota Avalon XLS.

    The Maxima had to be sold before I went to college. It was my first car. I loved that thing, though truthfully more for the fact that it was my first car.

    The Galant was a basket case. It only had 83,000 miles when I bought it (in 2005), but was in terrible mechanical shape. Not much rust, and all power stuff worked, but the engine was toasted by, I’m guessing, the previous owner’s unwillingness to do even basic maintenance. It burnt oil at around a quart per gas tank; more if driving on the highway.

    The G20 seemed like it was a good bet. I bought it with 200k on it. But I owned it for nearly 2 years and only put an additional 7,000 miles on it, and thanks to Pittsburgh-area winters, it was rusty as all get-out. I tried to commit for the long haul, but at that mileage it never would have lasted, and after a few fairly major repairs (water pump – what a pain!!; engine mounts; a few others), I decided it was too rusty to risk having something truly major fail. I had to torch-cut most of the engine mount-to-frame bolts out and then weld the mounts to what was left of the frame. Shame, because it was a GREAT all-around car that drove really well, and that SR20DE probably would’ve lasted until 300k.

    My current ride is a free hand-me-down ’95 Avalon. I took delivery with 200,031 miles a year ago. It’s at 206,600 now, as I’ve moved and am driving more. So far the only repair has been a replacement battery. The thing is absurdly reliable. The transmission is a bit soft-feeling in the 1-2 shift, but the fluid seems fine. It leaks a little bit of oil (about 1/2 quart between 4,000 mi oil changes) and was leaking power steering fluid at a similarly slow rate (a problem well known to ’95-99 Avalon owners, the fix for which is replacement of the entire steering rack), but has mysteriously stopped in the last 6 months. I keep an eye on it. I’m a little leery of the chances of a V6 FWD automatic that weighs over 3,000 lbs truly having the longevity to make it that far, but it’s doing very well so far. It was undercoated by Zeibart (remember them??) when new and has NO rust. Thank goodness. I’m going to try to make this one last.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      I figure there will be quite a few people who say they could never do this (some already have) because they get too bored with their car.

      I work in rental cars. It started as a college job when I was 20, and then became a post-college job almost two years ago. Now it’s my career. I drive brand new cars of all makes all day long, sometimes on long trips.

      The variety helps. I get in my busted-looking old Avalon to drive home at the end of the day and am ever thankful for it.

      So, basically, if you get tired of your old beater, go drive some new cars to get it out of your system and then drive home thankful that your old war horse keeps going.

      • 0 avatar
        55_wrench

        +1 KalpanaBlack!
        My current DD is a 2001 Avalon, no leaks, no problems. Bought 13 months ago when I was still doing a 750 mile / week commute and I have put 37K on it in that time. Rock solid reliable.
        All it’s needed a battery and front pads / rotors. And I knew that when I bought it.
        Can I keep it for another 10 years? I’ll try!

        Its predecessor was a 1984 300D Turbo. Bought at 234K, parked at 425k. it could have run all the way to 500K based on previous experience, but by then the clearcoat had self-destructed and the seat collapsed a second time. I never changed the tranny fluid that whole time, and it shifted like a dream right to the end.

        What seems to happen with long-term keepers, especially those that are mechanically simple and unlikely to break (like that 617 diesel motor) is you eventually get used to a diminishing of the creature comforts as nature takes its toll on the cosmetics outside. It becomes a question of how long you’re willing to put up with the aging of the car VS the ROI on any restoration. I kept the mechanicals up, put new Bilsteins on 2 years ago, kept the valves adjusted and it always had fresh brakes. It drove perfectly with Michelin Harmony tires.

        At some time you have to make the decision, and let go.

        With regrets, I did and called the PNP after getting a check. Funny thing was, That car never made it there. I can only hope someone intercepted it on its way to the crusher and got it back on the road again.

  • avatar
    dts187

    At this point, probably not. I only have space for one vehicle right now. I get bored with vehicles so I try to switch it up.

    I’m going to make sure my next place has more parking area so I can get a dedicated commuter and something more fun and project oriented.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    My neon made it to 209k with only basic maint until the 2nd tranny blew. Sure, I’d keep my cars to 300k if possible, but I think salt here in the midwest will rust them out before they get that far.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      Is this satire?

      A car on its second transmission in 209k miles needed only “basic maintenance?” On what planet is a whole new transmission “basic maintenance?” Sure, 209k is decent even with the additional trans thrown in, but I’d say anything that keeps the car from driving at all when it breaks it a little more than basic.

      • 0 avatar
        rentonben

        Really depends on the car – I thrashed the tyranny on my olds Achieva SCX. Replacing the tyranny was a six hour job. I’d never done it before so I had the joy of buying a few tools – but it was easy enough, and a newish unit from the junkyard was $350. Total cost was $750 with the new tools, so it was no big deal.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        A car on its second transmission in 209k miles needed only “basic maintenance?” On what planet is a whole new transmission “basic maintenance?”

        90s FWD automatic transmissions, that’s what planet a transmission is “basic maintenance.”

      • 0 avatar
        Robstar

        Nope, I never replaced the tranny. The first owner blew the 1st one at like 80k. The 2nd owner drive it from 80-125k. I drove it from 125k-209k when the 2nd tranny blew. I sold it to the junkyard as it was rusting, had weak heat, ac leak somewhere behind the dash and some plastic bits had broken. Trunk lock also gave up the ghost (we loaded groceries into trunk via back seat, or just used the back seat as the trunk).

        As a “point-to-point” car it was great. If you wanted something that has all the nice interior bits working after 13 years, this wasn’t it.

  • avatar
    alluster

    I love running cars to the ground if only I wouldn’t get too bored with the same car. Recently sold by beloved, reliable and always dependable 02 Focus for a 2003 A4. I love the “new to me” car feeling. Makes me look forward to commutes, not drive like a maniac anymore, and makes me keep the outside and inside spotless.

    The Audi has 31,000 less miles, is loaded to the hilt, leather is so much easier to remove dog fur than cloth, has quattro and only cost $2500 more(thanks to Audi’s awful resale values and the myriad of electrical, electronic and fuel injection problems these cars throw at you). For me, switching cars every two years is a small price to pay to keep things fresh. I make sure to spend no more than $6K for any car I buy plus the replacement is never more than $1000 to $2000.

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    I would not. I’m pretty sure I’d get bored with a car way before I put such mileage on it as it would take way too long to reach that. I kept my last 2 dds for 6 years each but by the end of that period I was yearning for something different. They had 160K and 140K at the time of sale.

    We’ll see how it goes with my current WRX. If Subaru makes the WRX a 2 door or something similarly idiotic I might just have to keep this one for a longer time than usual.

  • avatar
    Botswana

    I’d be willing to keep a car long term but current circumstances may make it difficult.

    We traded in my wife’s car less then a year ago. First time we did it before the wheels fell off. We intentionally purchased a Mitsubishi Outlander with the idea that it would last well beyond the high school years for the kids. I know there is a lot of Mitsubishi bias on TTAC, but the Outlander seems to hold up in the long run and is not built in the US like the Endeavor. Sad that makes a difference, but difficult to ignore. I anticipate we’ll get at least 100K before we even think about trading it in and my wife will drive a vehicle forever if it holds up. Considering we are religious about maintenance these days I see it going for a long time.

    Not so sure about my car though. I may give it to my son when he turns 16 in two years. It’s either give him my car and I get a new mid-life crisismobile or keep my car and by something for $10k or less. It is surprising what you can find in the used car market on a limited budget. Still, if I keep my car I can see myself getting tired of it long before I hit 300K and my current job puts too many miles on it so I may have to ditch it before the depreciation curve hits me hard on it. If I give the car to my son, who would love to have it, I expect teenage driving to make it unlikely to last to 300K.

  • avatar
    greener333

    I’ll never have a car that will make 300k. I lived in Michigan for 20 years and cars had a habit of disappearing. I also get a tad bored and want something “new” like the 07 Miata (18k miles) I just bought. The 93 Ranger went away. The average of the 5 cars (3 drivers) is down to 12 years old and 100k miles. They don’t rust nearly as much in Virginia.

  • avatar
    noxioux

    I haven’t had anything very close to 300K. But every car I’ve owned–except one–has gone well over 200K. Seems like you don’t really get into ‘iffy’ territory until you pass 200K, then it’s a crap shoot. I’m hoping to get over 250K on my Pathfinder before it needs anything major. I’m at 220K now, and going strong. Might be years before I hit 250, though. Hard to say.

    Going to drive it into the ground, then resurrect it and drive it some more. Unless it just flat out explodes. Boredom does creep in once in awhile. But that’s why I have a restoration project on the rotissirie in the garage.

  • avatar
    stanthony2

    2000 Mazda Protege LX 255,580 replaced radiator at 253,000 miles, camshaft position sensor at 223,000 miles. Thats it. Still has the original tie rods ! They do need to be changed. Struts are good. engine does not burn or leak any fluids. I’m keeping her till the end. Car gets close to 33-35 mpg on highway. Only negative comment is that it’s noisy on the highway.

  • avatar
    espressoBMW

    I’ve always wanted to go for the long haul. 219k with my 2000 Passat is the farthest I’ve made so far. I probably should’ve kept that one because for some reason it did not (yet) suffer from many of the issues other owners seem to complain about. However, temptation of a new(er) car could only be surpressed for so long before it overcame my high-mileage aspirations.

  • avatar
    sastexan

    Steve – can’t you just run a VIN check and see what happened to the car, where it is titled, or if it was crushed?

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      The Carfax results drop off after 2010…

      • 0 avatar
        sastexan

        That seems ripe for fraud if they disappear after less than 2 years. Or is there some sort of control built in to prevent VIN swaps?

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack

        I’ve seen gaps of several years in Carfax history reportson cars I was interested in. They may just not have anything going on right now, or Carfax may just not have updated in a couple of years.

        I remember reading someplace that Carfax only has an average of 50% of a vehicle’s history, on average. It’s not a catch-all.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    My Aunt had a pristine ’89 Accord sedan that she gave to my big brother after 280K+ rural Pennsylvania miles. It was at ~287K when the steering column bought the farm. So close…

    Our family’s DD, an ’87 Pontiac Safari wagon, only lasted ~135K before myriad problems necessitated a new car. Its replacement, a ’95 Caprice Classic wagon, served with distinction for 14 years and was retired as the DD in 2009. It’s still used for light duty and big cargo jobs, and has ~210K on it. The LT1 would probably make it to 300, but the car it’s bolted to wouldn’t.

    I haven’t had much luck…my first car was totaled at ~135K, and my second became to expensive to fix at only 85K.

    My answer is yes…if any of the cars I drive daily ever make it that far!

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Been pretty close to the 300k mark a few times with the various Toyota’s I’ve driven over the years. I plan on driving my current Tacoma to that mark.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    300K? For me? I’m not sure.

    A buddy had a 1984 VW Jetta and ran it to 280K, and it was a piece of garbage that I and everyone else hated to ride in. Back seat foot well was always filled with water, windows didn’t work right, not much else worked well, it ran, it stank to high heaven! He traded it on a 1997 Civic sedan, which is getting trashed as well. It even has begun to stink…

    I get tired of cars long before then, unless economic circumstances dictate otherwise. They haven’t yet…

    My Impala is 8 years old and has 101K, our CR-V is 10 years old and has 98K. That car isn’t going anywhere, as it only goes 10 miles a day on average. My Impala? 100 miles a day.

    We are in the process of getting rid of two of our cars – cutbacks, you know. The 2007 MX5 is most likely going first – a neighbor wants it, followed by the Impala. Right now, the Impala is worth $5K, selling it myself, and the MX5 is worth 12.5K, ditto.

    What are we going to buy? Not sure at this point…something durable, economical and kinda fun, as in a retractable hardtop convertible, until we decide otherwise. Eos? or C70?…mulling it over…???

    • 0 avatar
      alluster

      “He traded it on a 1997 Civic sedan, which is getting trashed as well. It even has begun to stink…”

      Zackman, your buddy must know my GF’s kid brother. This kid leaves so much trash in his car its any wonder how he lands any chicks let alone the gorgeous ones he manages to fall for him. Riding in his car involves moving around used clothes, shoes, underwear, soda cans, taco bell soda cups, McDonalds wraps, phone chargers and such. The car stinks of rotten food and dirty laundry. Good thing he or his buddies don’t smoke and are too young to consume alcohol. His sister and I have cleaned it a couple of times to make a point and teach him a lesson. He is not a hoarder, only too lazy to give a damn. The next time he comes visiting I am going to take a gallon of gas and matches to put the car out of its misery.

  • avatar
    Dave56

    I’m a firm believer in running them until the wheels fall off, or it gets too expensive to keep the wheels on. I bought my last vehicle, an ’03 Accord Coupe, 4 cyl with a 5 speed, partly because it’s reliability record and its actually some what fun to drive. I’ve got 150,000 on it now and I had a goal of 200,000 miles. Now I might raise that to 300,000!

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      The thing is, it never gets too expensive to keep the wheels on. Look at the million mile Accord as an example.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Dave, you have the perfect candidate for the 300,000 mile car in that Accord.

      Honda 4 bangers are the textbook definition of bulletproof, but the cherry on top is the manual transmission. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the most common major mechanical failures (i.e. rendering a vehicle non-driveable) in passenger cars is the failure of automatic transmissions.

      Changing the oil, filters and other fluids at relatively short intervals, changing the belts and hoses BEFORE needed based on visual inspection, and other routine maintenance will almost certainly get you there.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Assuming the interior was still in great shape, i.e. touch points, seat, etc. I wouldn’t mind. Once the car starts to fall apart though, it’s time to junk it, age is more of a factor in my experience: I would rather drive a 300,000 5 year old car than a 150,000 15 year old car.

  • avatar
    El_Jeffy

    Sure, I’ve already done it. My 1997 S10 is at 319,000 right now (all my miles, too). As expected for GM vehicles of that vintage the interior is crap, but I’ve yet to have to do anything at all to either the 4.3 or the 5 speed. Hell, the A/C still blows cold, although that definitely has had work done to it to keep it that way.

  • avatar
    bigev007

    Bought my Civic last september with 52k kms. Now has 101k. So by the time I pay it off (48mos) it will have 308k. So 1 year after that it will have 360k (300 000 miles). So yes, I am keeping this DD for 300 000 miles one way or the other.

  • avatar
    Acd

    300,000 miles in the same car sounds like pure torture. There are too many interesting cars that come available not to experience them. Living that long with the automotive equivalent of a toaster but getting incredibly long life from it has absolutely no interest to me.

    300,000 miles? Hell no.

  • avatar
    Alex L. Dykes

    I should have kept my 1998 Volvo S70 T5 (5 speed manual). It is with its second owner (friends of mine) and has just hit 285,000 miles on the original engine, transmission, clutch, and interior. The majority of the paint is also original aside from repairs due to two accidents in its long life. Had I known it would still be trucking along I would have kept it.

  • avatar

    Sort answer… yes. And I have. Current Peugeot 505 has 400,000 on it and it is showing it’s age interior wise and little plastic bits that are annoying in the doors are starting to break. (There goes the power locks that were working perfect) She is starting to smoke a bit when first started (Valve guides) But really the car has not been a headache. Just water pump, fan, fuel pumps, read and front bearings, lots of brakes and the clutch at 275,000.

    95 Neon made it 513,000, it was smoking really nice at idle. Went through 2 sets of struts, 2 sets of real calipers, 2 fuel pump units. (Bastards make the sender integral so 200 bucks a wack right there) Normal services, a head gasket, and one transmission since it spit the pin for the spider gears through the trans case. Junkyard trans latter it was fine again. That happened at 418,000. And a O2 sensor every 2 years.

    1969 BMW 2002, well 783,000 miles and I LOVED the car. Rebuilt the engine 4 times, transmission three times, rear end once. Everything in the car except the glass, body, tach, heater controls, and blower fan got replaced or rebuilt at least once. Rust did not kill it, lack of torsional rigidity after driving back and froth from Mendocino to Ukiah over Orr Springs Road for 10 years did it in. The pinch welds were pulling apart literally. It was just time sad to say.

    Current 1983 BRAT 245,000 miles and counting. Motor is starting to smoke cold and has lost power. So going to do the EJ 22 conversion in his this summer. Hope to get at least 500,000 out of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      Wow – Peugeots and Neons are not what I usually think of when I hear about a 400K/500K car. Just goes to show that just about anything will last with proper maintenance and TLC!

      • 0 avatar

        You would be amazed at how robust the 505′s are. The 505′s and 504′s are all over Africa, millions were built so parts are readily available. Also the only car I have owned where you can change the rear knuckle hub bearings with out a press. Mine has the XN6 2.0 and though it has a whopping 80 something horses (Broken legged, asthmatic, brain dead horses) it goes Ok and therefore it is impossible to break something because it just does not have the power to break something. I should sell mine to a Le mons team for 300 bucks next year since the rack is starting to leak and the interior is really just gone from the New Mexico sun.

        I think my Neon was a fluke though. I took really anal care of it and I think just changing the oil every 3000 miles and keeping everything lubed and straight was the key to that one. And changing the timing belt on time and never cooking it. I do have to say it had a hard wearing interior that did not fall apart. But I did the water pump every second timing belt the thermostat every water pump. Oh radiator at 220K as well and shaving the #9 head bolt when I did the head gasket so that corner would torque down properly. I do have to say, mine being a SOHC sport with a A/T throttle body and the 5 speed was a right little nice handling rocket for a car of the era, allot more fun to drive than a Civic and loads more torque.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        RWD Peugeots are amazing cars! Thier only vice is that they rust, badly. The turbos are fragile, but that is not actually a Peugeot engine. The other problem with them is that back in the day it truly was difficult to find anyone who could work on them other than the very, very sparce dealer network.

        I truly think much of the reputation of European cars is from this last issue. For a long time European cars really were a LOT more sophisticated and complicated than domestic or Japanese cars. But now all cars are at a much more similar level, so there is not NEARLY as much difference in working on a Chevy vs. a BMW as there was 30 years ago. They all have fuel injection, ABS, computers, etc., etc.

      • 0 avatar
        svenmeier

        Peugeot 505s are very reliable and amazing cars, especially in diesel form. I had an ’86 505 2.3 Diesel that I gave to my son in 1994 with over 400,000 km on it.

        Many older Peugeot, Renault and Citroens were used as daily drivers in some of the most hostile environments on the planet like the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East and the jungles of South East Asia (former French Indochina) and also in South America and they enjoy a good reputation for durability, reliability and easy and cheap to fix and maintain in those places.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      Dude, how many miles a day/week/year do you drive? Or are you like 100 years old? I thought I drove a lot, but dayummmm..

  • avatar
    moore101

    I have one of the world’s rarest Camry’s, only 200 imported to the US. It’s a 2000 Toyota Camry CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). It has 256,000 miles on it now and still runs like a top. I bought it with 160k about 4 years ago. Yes it’s an appliance car but it is 100% reliable and I can maintain it myself so far only normal wear parts and the original radiator at 250k have been replaced. My goal is to get to 300k with the original transmission and I plan on driving this car for as long as I have a 80 mile round trip commute. The best part of a dedicated CNG car is the solo carpool access and oh yea the $1.90 per gallon (GGE) fill-ups.

  • avatar
    PaulE

    Yep. I’ve done it/still doing it. ’01 Saab 9-5 Aero, bought new and currently at 315k miles. Great car, still enjoy it, and am planning a 4000+ mile road trip next month with it.

    DIY skills/tools/garage space have more than extended the car’s stay here, both from being able to do full maintenance and to do repairs/replace wear & tear items as needed, keeping it under my threshold of when to part with a car. My own criteria of when to say good-bye? Significant/structural rust and/or more than six new car payments’ worth of repairs, be they in one shot or in a pretty short timespan.

    As it’s gotten up there in miles, I will admit that a solid and inexpensive back-up car has been a good thing to have around at this stage; in my case, it’s been an older Lexus LS, which I’d have no qualms taking past 300k as well (currently in the 210s).

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      I have a couple of Saab 9-5 in the 160+ miles range. Your right about the repairs on the Saab: wrenches and the Saab forums go along ways as replacement parts are cheap.

  • avatar
    Marko

    My father got 264,000 miles out of a J-Car (an ’83 Buick Skyhawk with the 1.8L four). Some repairs along the way, but I guess there is a reason it’s called the Cockroach of the Road (R)! His next car was a 1989 Volvo 740 GLE 16v (not the turbo) that lasted him about 210K; however, the interference engine meant that a 50K timing belt interval had to be observed – and it was apparently not, based on the engine-related repairs he had to pay for. The rest of the car was solid except for the air conditioning and the ignition switch/steering column assembly, and some minor repairs.

    As for 300K – my uncle got 300K out of a 1988 VW Jetta (Mk2).

    Would I keep a car for 300K? Yes, if I liked it enough and it didn’t leave me stranded.

  • avatar
    jhefner

    The first car I purchased on my own and paid off; a 1990 Dodge Spirit, made it past 200K. I can’t tell you how far past that point, because the odometer broke at 175K; my best guess is about 240K. It needed about $1,500 of repairs to get it back in shape – A/C work, driver’s window no longer worked, leaking radiator, gas tank read 1/4 tank too high. But, it was a backup car by then; I sold it to a few hundred to someone who probably drove it to Mexico in 2005. (If they didn’t run out of gas or coolant.)

    One of my current daily drivers, a 2001 Suzuki Esteem, is up 238K. Changing the brake shoes for the third or four time this weekend. Been hit multiple times; it always came out better then the other car. After one wreck repair, the hose to the transmission cooler came off and the pump drained the tranny dry; stranding my family on the side of the road. We fixed the hose, refilled the tranny, and it has been fine since. Needs A/C work and a new paint job; it does leak oil and P/S fluid; but that is to be expected. It and the Spirit are the toughest, most reliable cars I have ever encountered.

    Had the engine in 1995 Ford Taurus recently rebuilt, and have every intention of driving it out to 300K; it is nearly halfway there right now.

    My father and his generation sold cars when they hit 75K because that was all they used to be good for. He gave us the Taurus when it had about 60K on it back in 2001.

    What makes you want to give up on cars in Texas is the A/C. It costs about $1,000 to repair, and driving is miserable without it. The A/C is out in the Taurus; so that is on the repair list; the A/C in the Esteem did not go out until last year; an amazing record, and that is on the repair list as well.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      +1 on necessity of A/C in Texas. Rolling down the windows doesn’t work when traffic stops dead. Replaced the compressor and lots of o-rings on one car and all the dis-assembly and reassembly took all weekend and about $600 in parts. Might be a market in exporting mechanically sound Texas cars with non-functional A/C to the Northern reaches of the salt belt.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    ’84 Buick LeSabre Limited, 2-door, V8, B-body.

    300,000 miles. Several water pumps, two radiators, brakes and tires. Engine, transmission and rear end never touched.

    Tin worm got ‘er after 13-years. Windshield header rusted out, not worth fixing. The rest of the body was nearly rust free, amazing for an Ontario car.

  • avatar
    readallover

    For me, it`s years, not miles. I try to replace my cars at 10 years, whether I need to or not. I find technology, safety, mileage and peace of mind have leapt forward enough it makes sense to find a new ride. My Mazda 6 will be 10 next June. It has run flawlessly for 9 years (hope I am not jinxing myself) and the new gen 6 is due out next year. The 6 replaced a 94 Sable wagon that just barely survived a decade and 215,000 kms while it was falling apart.

  • avatar
    George B

    Would I keep my daily driver for 300k miles? Probably not. I drive less than 15k miles/year and my needs change over the years. I’m better off cashing in the relatively high resale value of my Accord Coupe and buying a new safer and more fuel efficient sedan for commuting. The somewhere in between Accord Coupe is too nice to be a beater, not fuel efficient enough for daily driver duty, and not interesting enough to occupy limited garage space as a weekend fun car.

    I wish there was a good exchange for long-term car owners to buy and sell good high-mileage cars. Seems like any online market gets rapidly filled with cars from dealers and curbstoners.

  • avatar
    schoc

    I have an Subaru Outback with 165.000 miles behind the wheels that is 16 years old so it will take while before i get to 300.000 mls

  • avatar
    st1100boy

    I don’t think there’s any way I’ll ever keep a car long enough to get to 300k. Purely down to boredom on my part.

    I kept two cars to a bit over 150k, but I only kept my last one to 80k. The cars were still mechanically OK (even my ’92 Mercury Topaz) and looked good, I just got bored. My yearly mileage is less than 12k now, so it just isn’t going to happen.

    Call it fickle, call it jaded, but I don’t even have the interest in keeping my motorcycles for as long as I used to. I ran a ’93 Honda ST1100 for almost 12 years and 101k, but I’ll be hard pressed to keep my very nice ’06 Yamaha FJR1300 for half as many miles.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      With most sport bike riders doing overhauls at 100K miles, I’m wondering also how long my 2008 SV650 with 50K miles on the clock will last putting 15K miles on annually at 68-70 mpg.

  • avatar

    a handy-guy who has done some painting for me and other people in my neighborhood has a Volvo 940 wagon, probably close to 20 years old, with over 300k. He does a lot of work on it himself. He bought it used.

    My recollection is that a lot of slant sixes of the ’60s and early 70s went 300k.

    My ex-girlfriend put 265k on a 97 impreza she bought new.

    And, should * buy a new FR-Z it will be with the idea of keeping it for the next 30 years, which is to say, probably more than 300k. If I don’t buy it, I’m likely to hang onto my ’08 Civic forever. I’m partly afraid I’m not going to be able to get a stick, or that there will be other crap on any new car that I won’t want.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I am a firm beliver in keeping a car as long as possible without significant repair. My 2002 Tahoe went 205,000 before it was traded on a factory ordered Q7. It was good actually, because it took 4 months for the Q7 to arrive, and during that time, I stil had a running vehicle. I would have kept the Tahoe longer, but lots of little things were starting to break.

  • avatar

    Of course I would, and have. My current primary daily driver is a 2001 Golf 2dr (GL) TDI that has 434,800 miles on it. It’s still in perfect shape and has needed very, very little in the way of repairs. It also still has the original (untouched) engine, transmission, clutch and turbo. I wouldn’t hesitate jumping in it right now and taking it across the country. If something works, I tend to stick with it.

    http://caughtatthecurb.blogspot.com/2011/03/golf-with-insane-miles.html

  • avatar
    Buckwheat

    My ’98 Park Avenue daily-driver passed 300,000 miles two years ago; it’s now at 364,500. I guess I’ll see if it makes 400,000 miles (shouldn’t be a problem).

  • avatar
    chrishs2000

    Yes, I would and I hope to. I currently have a 2003 Accord Coupe EX-V6 6MT as my daily driver and winter “rat”. She has 208,000 miles, still gets 28mpg mixed and 33-36mpg highway, and is more than capable of low-mid 14sec 1/4 miles. For what I could sell the car for (6-7k), it’s worth far more to me as I know its history and how reliable it is. As long as the timing belt doesn’t snap, I’m confident that it’ll go the distance. All I’ve replaced on the car (aside from wear items and suspension components) is a window regulator, a set of door lock actuators, the clutch and the clutch MC. It’s been paid off for years, it looks like a much nicer car than 208k would indicate, it’s ridiculously comfortable for long trips, the interior looks modern and was designed by an ergonomic GOD (compared to most new cars), insurance is dirt cheap, it gets respectable gas mileage, and it’s more than capable of blowing away most cars while merging on the highway if I need to. It’s not the most entertaining car in the world, but that’s what my S2K is for. That one will never see 300k miles under my watch; not a good highway car.

    I only wish that I could transform it into a wagon or hatch as the coupe bodystyle has become very cumbersome due to home ownership and starting a family…

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Mexico is no longer accepting 11 year old (or older) beaters. This ’94 missed its Mexico window during the ’04 calendar year. This why there’s such a gluttony of these and their value is next to nothing, even for good runners.

    This is also why a ’94 F-150 is typically worth $2,000 in the same condition and miles as this Camry. Of course, I’m talking about base to extra cab XLT 2WD. A 1994 Lariat 4X4 crew cab could be worth more than twice that because Mexico welcomes importation of pickups 10 to 25 years old.

  • avatar
    Dukeboy01

    Be hard for me to do it, seeing as how my daily commute is covered by the use of a g- ride. My wife and I put less than 12,000 miles a year on our personal cars, spread across three vehicles. Her 2006 Odyssey still has less than 41,000 miles on it, which means it would take us another 38 years to reach 300K. I use my truck and my Camaro even less.

    I know, I know. First world problems.

  • avatar
    Gleanerizer

    I’d be willing to hold on to my 2008 RAV4 for as long as it holds up. V6, tow prep and hitch, comfortable, quiet (save for the aftermarket radio mods), modern safety doodads–there’s no possible change in my lifestyle that’s likely to make me want to part with it.

    Also, I’m not going to be able to slam it, put on 27s, add ground effects, and weld on a fart can until I make it past the payments.

  • avatar
    ninja14blue

    I’m just about to hit 140K on my 2000 Saturn SL2, and I will drive it till it dies or until I’m putting oil in it more often than I’m putting gasoline in it. Saturns are famous for oil-buring, and when I first got mine at 71K it would burn a quart every 2K miles…now it’s 1500 miles.

    My other car is 6 years old and only has 20K miles on it, and is only driven 2K miles/year, so I’m in no worry about it making it 300K miles, as I am not going to live that long.

    • 0 avatar
      18726543

      There’s a service bulletin in existance for that Saturn oil burning problem. If you hunt around online you should be able to find it. The piston rings get caked with burnt oil goo and stop doing their job of wall squeegeeing. The procedure involves removing the spark plugs on a warm engine, dumping part of a GM top engine cleaner down each cylinder, letting soak for like 2 hours, and then changing the oil and reassembling. May not be the magic bullet, but I’ve read it does do some good.

  • avatar
    kkt

    I only drive about 9,000 miles a year and don’t garage the car, so it seems unlikely that any car I have is going to make 300,000.

  • avatar
    troyohchatter

    My brother used to purchase Honda Accord’s for his 140 mile round trip commute, purchasing at 140K and selling when they became unreliable. His last one was a 2000 Accord which started doing the nickel/dime shuffle at 240K. He had at one time the prettiest 1992 Accord EX you ever saw. It looked and drove like new at 310K miles when a guy walked up to him at a local store and said “Would you sell that car?” My brother said “no.”

    The guy then said “I’ll drop $2500 right now if you sell me that car.” SOLD! Resale and insurance coverage notwithstanding, the car was worth every dime.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    The longest I have kept a car is ten years or 140,000 miles. My Prius is 8 years old and has gone 120,000 miles, so I’m on track to exceed that sometime in the next 14-18 months.

    The only reason I keep a car so long is because I despise dealers and the whole car purchasing “thing”. Purchasing from a private seller is downright frightening in today’s world, so why bother if my current ride is dependable?

    But I so very very much hate it when my car fails me, so when I have to start fixing something more than once every 60 days or so, that’s when I’ll dump this car for a newer model (but not necessarily brand-new). The moment the bloom is off the rose, I’ll cut the old car loose in a flash. I sold my Vette less than 12 hours after I made the decision.

    Carmax actually makes it pretty easy and much safer than running advertisements; plus they have given me decent offers for more than one car. And today, used Prii are widely available, which would be my first preference…

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Agreed, the dealership experience typically leaves me sobbing in the shower for days afterwards and takes years to recover from. Hardly worth it just to have a new car.

  • avatar
    wmba

    I usually get tired of cars after 7 to 10 years, and only drive 12,000 miles a year anyway. That means I’ve owned a bunch of cars that only got to 90 to 100,000 miles before I passed them on. I put away betwen two and three grand a year in a special account, and that’s enough to buy a new car when I want one. As an enthusiast, haunting wrecking yards or car parts stores as the car ages is of little interest to me, I want a new one!

    Speaking of which, with retirement coming along shortly, I got all excited about that new Subaru BRZ, even though I’ve only had my 2008 Legacy GT for 4.5 years. Well, I’ll be interested when TTAC tests that car or the FR-S. Took me only the time to shift into third to dismiss it as a long term companion. Nastiest, noisiest (did I say noisy, cacophonous, rough, lumpy, reluctant to rev happily?)engine I’ve driven in decades, and the clutch was awful. Yuck! So the Legacy will do just fine for my usual 7 to 10 year run.

  • avatar
    JLGOLDEN

    When I think of keeping any car more than three or four years (not to mention really long-term…like beyond warranty) I’m always thinking Honda, Toyota, Subaru.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    What would be required? It would have to be cost effective, it would have to be a car I enjoyed driving and owning.

    One of the reasons I chose my BMW is that based on driving experience alone, I’d be ok if that was the only car I ever got to drive for the rest of my life. Besides sometimes wanting a convertible, there is no substantive way I can think of that the car is deficient. We will see how cost effective it is, but I will drive that car as long as possible, especially since I don’t see a whole more desirable stuff out there available new. Of new cars, a Porsche 911 or Mustang GT strike me as the cars I could want to drive that long.

    I also planned to drive my previous car, an Infiniti I30 as long as it was economical to do so. When I parked it at officially 230k miles (unofficially 270k miles), it was because it required repair work that far exceeded its value. Otherwise I would still be driving it. I loved the car and as long as it ran it was $ in the bank for me.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I plan to pay off this Honda and keep it until it no longer has a pulse. It may not be my primary car for more than 5 years, but it will stay in the family! After it’s paid off, I intend to do little things to “keep it new” like a new paint job, changing out the interior color, maybe power mods.

    I need to not have a car payment. It will be so tempting to get something else as time wears on though.

    Right now I drive about 20,000 miles a year.

  • avatar

    I bet taxis routinely go well past 300k. For the engine, the hardest wear comes when not fully warmed up.

  • avatar
    replica

    I’d like to hold on to my current 2012 V6 Mustang. Its been everything I want so far. Hit 5,200 miles in 3 months. Loving all of it.

  • avatar
    28-cars-later

    “Would You Ever Keep Your Daily Driver… For 300,000 Miles?”

    If I could somehow have a one of a kind custom Rolls built with a modern non-British drive-train such as an LSx V8 but otherwise containing no modern technology (read no air ride or computers outside of the engine) yes I would drive it every day until my last.

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      That’s actually common.

      See here: http://hotrodparts.com/rollsbentleyparts/engine_conversion.htm

      However, the 6.75 Rolls V8 is a better bet than the LS engine with it’s wet liners.

  • avatar
    Furhead

    Our 2000 Honda Insight is at 240k, it will still be with us at 300k.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    I’ll also echo that the 1990s were probably the glory years for Japanese cars that could go forever and be economically maintained. Cars have become quite a bit more complicated, I have no doubt they “can” still do that, but a lot more will fall into the category of more trouble than it’s worth.

    The closest I came was a Volvo 240 wagon with close to 200k miles, I have no doubt it could have easily gone 100k more. I sometimes regret selling it, but I didn’t have the space for a 3rd car and I didn’t want to risk a major repair for a car that I didn’t really need.

  • avatar
    DIYer

    After 15 years or 180K, whichever comes first, a vehicle becomes unreliable. You can get more miles out of it, but you will need to put money into it. It can become a serviceable second, or third, vehicle, but not a daily driver that you can depend on all the time.
    I have a buddy who has a ’97 Ford F-150 with 340K on it, and he would like to get 400K out of it. It still looks great. He just spent $800 on a new ring and pinion, which went bad when the differential cover rusted through and developed a pinhole leak. They also have a 2008 King Ranch that’s just getting broken in with 100K.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Based on my experience the interior of the car will be busted mess by 200K. Between saggy or ripped seats, cracked dash boards, broken switches, etc. Maybe its the heat of FL but the interior of all my cars suffered the more problems then the mechanic bits. I had a ’85 Civic S1500 that was around 160K and (being a typical Honda) there was nothing wrong with it at trade in. Heck I got 100K out of (B5) VW Passat 1.8T which the interwebs will tell you is a major POS. Lots of stuff broke on the VeeDub but ultimately the interior is what forced me to get rid of it… bits were literally falling off (sunroof switch, cruise control switch, glove box handle, trip computer display). Engine parts are generally easy to fix: you can replace hoses, belts, etc, in your driveway, but when your dashboard cracks you are screwed. The cost and time to replace (parts and labor) is way beyond what the car is worth.

  • avatar
    CompWizrd

    We made it to 253,000 miles on a 2001 Malibu after 10 years of driving.. body was in good shape, just needed new tires and brakes, and the !@*(#!@*#( cooling system repaired _again_.

    Two head gaskets in the same year, and the car was starting to act up again in that respect.

    Ford offered us $1000 on their scrap-your-ride deal, that seemed fair.. It was a US import into Canada, so already devalued because of that,and with that many miles on it, few people would want to take the risk.

    Wife now has 33,000 miles on the 15 month old 2011 Focus, and much happier.. 34 mpg overall vs the 22 of the Malibu, and the Focus is much zippier than the Malibu, even though it has the 2.0L 4 cylinder vs the 3.1L 6. Do wish it had a 5 or 6 speed though, the antique 4 speed holds it back a bit.. but the 2012′s were easily $5000 more. 0% financing for 6 years helped too, and my X-Plan as well.

    Oh, and to answer the actual question.. Probably would have kept the Malibu for as long as the cooling system held out.

  • avatar
    Joe K

    Hell yes. My 1997 Subaru Outback has 300,524 miles on him. The car is solid with just some hints of rust and a beautiful color they no longer make. Granted his engine went at 191,000 miles due to PO abuse. I always make the decision to fix or replace on what it would cost to replace the 97, and he always wins. Everything works, so why replace a very well mantained car?

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    I doubt my 2010 Slobalt will make 150k, let alone 300k considering how much has gone wrong and fallen off it so far. If by some small miracle it did get to 300k, I’ll wager that the ecotec engine might still be ticking, it’d be on its 2nd or 3rd transmission, the running gear would be almost completely falling apart, and the interior would be practically shredded.
    I’m not sure if I’d ever be able to stand the same car for 300k miles, no matter what it did. Although I enjoy driving and owning various cars, and I do occasionally get attached to certain ones, they are just machines at the end of the day. When I eventually get fed up with one, it’s time to say goodbye.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    When it gets ‘old car smell’ when driving then bye bye. Fumes of oil, grime, dust, and garbage from years of driving. Also, if it is an outdated unsafe design, and frame is rusted, so long.

    Sure, I agree to keep it long time. But, if you “never buy new”, then don’t get mad when brands are killed, people are laid off, or ‘enthusiast cars’ are dropped from poor sales.

    • 0 avatar
      saabaru

      Old car smell has a certain charm to it, for me, depending on its source, heh heh. Personally, I think “GM funk” should be bottled and sold at autozone.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    My parents are gonna put the Fiat 500 to the test here. They bought the lifetime unlimited mileage warranty with theirs, so “not worth fixing” is gonna be a hard standard to meet.

  • avatar
    bkmurph

    If it were the right vehicle, I’d be delighted to drive the same thing for 300k miles, especially an XV10 Camry. Give me manageable dimensions, clear visibility, a comfortable driving position, smooth performance, and a dash of refinement, and I’ll drive that thing until the wheels come off. It can be a ‘game’ to keep the car in the best shape for the longest possible time. The car becomes a source of pride, an extension of oneself, a trademark. “Steve? Oh yeah, he drives that ’94 Camry.” A sign of dedication and discipline: You keep what you have and take care of it, instead of upgrading to something newer with more luxury or cachet. It’s like an old pair of dress shoes where you take care of the leather and have the soles repaired from time to time.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    In ’96, I bought an ’88 528e with 150k miles on it. Over the next 12 yrs, I put another 200k miles on. I never got further into the engine than replacing the fuel injectors and timing belts. I maintained the car in my driveway. I changed the filter and ATF twice and the diff lube once. It may not always have run perfectly, but it always ran well enough to get home under its own power. Preventative maintenance is the key.

  • avatar
    saabaru

    I’ve driven a ’92 Saab 900 for the last 10 years. It is at 202k now, and I intend to drive it as long as possible. I have an irrational attachment to this car, and cannot imagine ever letting it go. With that said, I have been extremely lucky, having treated it like a Honda/Toyota, that is, not much maintenance beyond oil changes. It will be time to pay the piper soon. In the time I’ve owned it, all it has needed is a starter, CV joints, and 2 exhaust systems.

  • avatar
    18726543

    3 years ago I picked up my ’95 Civic VX because I needed the cheapest possible vehicle to make college costs more reasonable. I got it with 160k on it and it’s got 205k now. Having just bought a house 30 miles away from work I’m looking very forward to driving this little guy as far as it’ll possibly go so long as the ass doesn’t completely rust off, which unfortunately is a distinct possibility. At a consistent 38-43 mpg, manual windows, steering, and locks, and an interior thats still in excellent shape I’m expecting 300k will be in my future!

  • avatar
    Slab

    My 8 year old DD just clicked over to 61,000 miles. I’d need to keep it another 31+ years to get to 300,000. Not sure I’ll still be around to see that.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    I got my 1995 Mazda MX-6 to 293,000 miles, the original clutch to 240,000. (I purchased it at 32K). By the end, it was burning a quart of oil every 50 miles and had no jacking point at the left rear corner (because of a bad collision repair, the area rusted out). I gave it to a friend-of-a-friend, who blew the engine two weeks later. If I could have another–life circumstances have kept me from shopping for one now–I would grab one in a heartbeat.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    I have every intention of driving my 2000 XJ8 until the day I die,

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    My daily driver is a 1999 Subaru Impreza… 201,000 miles & still perfect compression. If the motors blows, I’ll put in ANOTHER Subie motor and drive it another 200K… so, yes, this car will go 300,000 miles and BEYOND (though I may eventually paint it!)

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    When you know your old car inside & out and you’ve done the preemptive repairs, it’s not anymore likely to leave you stranded than the typical new car.

    Preemptive repairs are on those parts that are the most likely to fail and leave you by the side of the road. Some are better known than others, but ask anyone that’s been around and they’ll set you straight.

    Ball joints of the lower control arm variety typically fail at around 300K miles. They will ruin your day eventually, absolutely. Around 250K for Hondas and Acuras. Also their igniters are their weakest (electrical) link. Pre coilpack Hondas of course.

    I did work at a Ford dealer (service dept), so when I got my 5.0 Mustang, I knew all about their ignition modules (similar to igniters). I was in Mexico late one night on the outskirts of Tijuana when my Mustang died right on the highway. It was 10 years old with 145K miles. Coasted to the side and the engine would just crank and crank. Stopped and listened… I could hear the fuel pump cycle when I’d key the ignition… Yep! Popped the trunk, found my spare ignition module and we were back on the road in minutes.

  • avatar
    kmoney

    My DD 1991 LS400 still going at over 300,0000 miles (495000kms). Car has, and really still, runs perfect. Replaced alternator, starter (not fun), lower ball joints and some misc. busings and transmission shift solenoids over the years, but never touched any of the major components. It just wont die, and it’s at the point now where I won’t get rid of it just because I want to see how much longer it will go for. Probably the best put together vehicle i’ve ever worked on or owned.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      +1000!!! My DD is a 1998 LS400, currently at 225K and I plan to keep it forever. Comfortable car, still solid as a tank, and I can count the unscheduled repairs it’s needed on one hand. When other people talk about the 1990s being the pinnacle of Japanese quality and durability… they are talking about this car. It’s the last of the “Fat Toyotas.” They don’t make them like this any more and I hope to keep it for a long long time. If it has to be replaced, I’ll probably look for another one.

  • avatar
    GT-86

    Easy answer for me… my DD for many years was a W124 1995 Mercedes E300D (non-turbo inline 6 diesel) that had an unfortunate end in a street flood at 496K miles. I loved that old girl. It had only routine maintenance (extensive on a M-B, but worth it) and really the only failure was a steering damper (kind of a weird shock absorber) at 390K… it had one tiny rust spot where it received a door ding, otherwise it looked new. Even the MBTex interior still looked and felt new. RIP.

  • avatar
    nickeled&dimed

    I don’t believe I will ever personally drive a single car 300,000 miles. You see, the problem isn’t with high mileage cars, it’s just that I usually buy used cars with around 100K on the clocks already. Our Subaru with 173K will probably not make it to 200K, because we just don’t drive it that much (short commute car and Home Depot runs) and it’s slated to be replaced in years, not miles, for a minivan or other larger vehicle. If anything has a chance of driving 300K during our ownership it’s the 2004 Prius that we got with 98K miles on it. This is the road trip car and we’ve put almost 30K on it in the 15 months since we got it.

    I’ve driven cars with over 300K before – my grandfather’s 1982 E450 Econoline had 320,000 or so when it got handed down to us. My 87 Volvo 740 I purchased at 256K, and I got it up to the 280′s. It’s a different experience driving older high mileage cars, that’s for sure.

  • avatar
    rmwill

    I just met a fella who has a 969,244 on his 1992 Silverado. 3 motors over that time period, but it is in surprising shape. I took a picture of the odometer to document the feat. He is a hippie farmer who grows mushrooms (legal)!

  • avatar
    texan01

    My DD ’95 Explorer hit 300,000 miles in Canon City Colorado two weeks ago. I’ve put 200,000 on it personally and my brother in law put the first 100k on it.

    It’s had spells where its been needy, and spells where its been just zero repairs outside of an oil change.

    Factory Ford engine still, trans was replaced at 225,000 due to metal fatigue.

  • avatar
    Hannah101

    I will be surprised if my DD – a ’95 Bonneville SE that I got with 159,900 miles already on it – makes it to 200,000 miles, let alone 300,000. It’s close to 167k miles. I’m fairly certain that the engine will outlast the rest of the car, but I plan on driving it until it dies or completely falls apart due to rust.

  • avatar
    svenmeier

    I had a 1985 Peugeot 505 Break 2.3 Diesel. It was issued to me as a company car and I liked it so much I bought it in 1989 after four years of trustworthy service. I kept the car until 1994. By then I had over 400,000 km (about 250,000 miles) on it and the car never failed me. Simple basic maintenance and changing of worn parts was all it took.

    I gave the car to my son who used it as his daily driver until 1999 when he sold it to someone from Eastern Europe. It wouldn’t surprise me if that Peugeot 505 was still running and faithfully serving its new owners. The 2.3 diesel was extremely reliable and the Peugeot 505 was a great car.

    I sold my 2010 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 TDI a month ago (81,281 km) and am now enjoying my 2012 Citroen DS3! I plan to grow even older with that car (I’m in my late 60s).


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