Author Topic: How long will my car last?  (Read 11617 times)

StetsTerhune

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
How long will my car last?
« on: December 04, 2013, 04:20:16 PM »
Very random question, but I've been thinking about what my longer term expenses are and realized that I'll eventually need to replace my car. But I have no idea when I should expect that to happen. Obviously I know that anything could happen, but hoping someone has slightly more insight than I about what I generally should expect.

Car is a 2001 Honda Accord. Bought it about 3 years ago from a friend who I knew took immaculate care of it. Only has about 100K and I put 7Kish a year on it, about 95% of which is easy highway (I don't drive at all most weeks, only take it on trips and to visit family in the suburbs). It sits in a garage the rest of the time and I've had no issues at all with it since buying it.

I know nothing of cars, so I'd appreciate anyone's insights on how long I should plan on it lasting (ie make more financial sense to buy something else). It seems great right now, but its a 13 year old car.

Thanks!

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2856
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 04:58:51 PM »
My personal opinion is a well maintained vehicle will last 15 years and/or 200,000 miles.  That Honda is an exceptional car.  We have one mid level manager in our company that's a legend for his Honda Accord with 650,000 miles.

gimp

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2348
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 05:09:01 PM »
100K miles? Should last another 100K, or 10+ years. Those cars seem to just never die (even when they start making horrific noises, they somehow seem to run ok...)

irrational

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 06:04:34 PM »
As the owner of a high mileage car, and also a bit of a gear head, I agree with what's been said above.

To elaborate on what qualifies as good maintenance, read up on your car's maintenance schedule. Hondas have a big following, so try and find a honda forum and find the mileage and years that items need to be changed. After so many miles (and years) your start to hit some of the more infrequent maintenance things like timing belts, water pumps, etc. The more you proactively do in these regards the longer life you'll get out of her.

Additionally, I don't know what type of desire you have for wrenching, but doing your own maintenance is a great way to learn about cars AND save money!

Woodshark

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 78
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 06:30:38 PM »
My neighbor Ken is on his 2nd Honda Accord. The first he traded in with 275,000 miles on it. The current one has over 200,000 and he plans on keeping it another few years.

Just change the oil twice a year and give it new tires when needed and you will be able to keep it for a very long time.

PeachFuzzInVA

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 171
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2013, 06:45:50 PM »
You will get quite a life span out of that Accord if you take good care of it. 300,000 miles isn't out of the question. I'm about to roll over 323,000 miles in my Civic. Be very sure to change your transmission fluid as scheduled. That is usually the most neglected item on most vehicles I see that come through our shop (I work at a Toyota dealership) and usually the deciding factor as to whether a well built vehicle will last 200,000+ miles or not.

Exflyboy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5798
  • Age: 57
  • Location: Corvallis, Oregon
  • Expat Brit living in the New World..:)
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2013, 06:54:18 PM »
Does the Civic have a timing belt.. And is it an interference engine?

If so this is by far the most important maintenance item.

Frankh

Cyrano

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 123
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2013, 08:09:59 PM »
It could last another 200k miles. It could be totaled tomorrow.

But if you keep an emergency fund, it probably can absorb the replacement cost of a 13 year old car.

clutchy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 339
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 08:53:44 PM »
Very random question, but I've been thinking about what my longer term expenses are and realized that I'll eventually need to replace my car. But I have no idea when I should expect that to happen. Obviously I know that anything could happen, but hoping someone has slightly more insight than I about what I generally should expect.

Car is a 2001 Honda Accord. Bought it about 3 years ago from a friend who I knew took immaculate care of it. Only has about 100K and I put 7Kish a year on it, about 95% of which is easy highway (I don't drive at all most weeks, only take it on trips and to visit family in the suburbs). It sits in a garage the rest of the time and I've had no issues at all with it since buying it.

I know nothing of cars, so I'd appreciate anyone's insights on how long I should plan on it lasting (ie make more financial sense to buy something else). It seems great right now, but its a 13 year old car.

Thanks!


*puts finger in the wind*  23.4 years.

Junior667

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2013, 09:21:07 PM »
2001 Accord is a great car. 3rd year of that model run and super reliable. Following the maintenance guide is a very good start but I will suggest a couple of things to watch out for.

The transmissions are a weak point so make damn sure you keep it serviced with the factory fill trans fluid. DO NOT USE ANY OTHER FLUID, FLUSHES OR ADDITIVES! No matter what the guy at Jiffy Lube tells you do not let them service it. It requires a drain pan, a 3/8 ratchet, a replacement sealing washer and 2.7 quarts of fluid to drain and fill it. I would do it once a year because its cheap insurance vs. 4k for a factory rebuild.

The catalytic converters fail. You may have already experienced it since they like to go early. There was a 8 year warranty on them due to the failure rate. Do not let anyone cut up your exhaust to install a cheap replacement. It is likely to fail quickly thereafter. Get a quality bolt on unit and install it yourself. Hopefully your hardware isn't badly rusted. I recommend a snap-on 6pt socket for this as the nuts tend to round off with cheap tools. Worth the investment even if you only use it once vs. paying to have it repaired.

Do not "Top off" when you put gas in it. When the pump clicks, stop. This goes for all cars. When you overfill the tank, fuel gets into the evaporative emissions system and causes all sorts of expesive calamity. Typically shows as a 1456 or 1457 Evap System Leak/Failure when checked with a scan tool. If you go to get it checked out chances are they will sell you a gas cap, charge you $100 and send you on your way. It most likely will back on in a few days.

I spent a little time (1998-2010) working for Honda so if you have any questions feel free to message me.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8269
  • Registered member
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2013, 10:00:53 PM »
Thanks guys, I have a slightly newer model so I've been wondering the same thing.  I'm worried about the transmission because I've never done anything to it (haven't reached the factory recommended flush) but I've heard that new fluid can cause problems if "gunk" is holding it all together.

Junior667

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2013, 04:59:56 AM »
Thanks guys, I have a slightly newer model so I've been wondering the same thing.  I'm worried about the transmission because I've never done anything to it (haven't reached the factory recommended flush) but I've heard that new fluid can cause problems if "gunk" is holding it all together.

What model do you have? Don't worry about the new fluid causing any issues, especially if you haven't reached the recommended service interval. Do not let anyone "flush" the trans (Honda warns against it). Drain and fill will suffice as long as you keep it up. I believe the first service interval with a recommended trans fluid change is 30k miles. I would change it every 15k after that or yearly. I never personally came across a vehicle that was worse after getting its fluid changed. I think it may be something from the old school american car crowd. A Honda probably wouldn't move if it was that gunked up internally!

OOBER

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
  • Mustache Fabber
    • DIY METAL FABRICATION: Saving Money Through Fabrication
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2013, 05:36:54 AM »
I currently drive a 2000 2 door Honda Accord v6. It has ~140K on it and this year I had the timing belt (interference engine), transmission drain and fill, and new tires. It is probably my favorite and most reliable vehicle I have owned.

I have no doubt that it should be able to last another 5 years without much more than common maintenance and maybe a battery. Especially if it is taken care of.

I do some mechanic work on the side for fun/profit, and you would be amazed at how overbuilt vehicles are. Most of the time when there are failures on older vehicles, it is a known weak point and already has how to's and documentation online of how to fix it.

thurston howell iv

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 404
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2013, 11:13:58 AM »
My 97 Civic has 225k and runs like a champ and gets great mpg. Change the oil, use the proper fluids/belts and change intervals and the Honda will give you many, many, many years of service.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8269
  • Registered member
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2013, 12:07:06 PM »
Thanks guys, I have a slightly newer model so I've been wondering the same thing.  I'm worried about the transmission because I've never done anything to it (haven't reached the factory recommended flush) but I've heard that new fluid can cause problems if "gunk" is holding it all together.

What model do you have? Don't worry about the new fluid causing any issues, especially if you haven't reached the recommended service interval. Do not let anyone "flush" the trans (Honda warns against it). Drain and fill will suffice as long as you keep it up. I believe the first service interval with a recommended trans fluid change is 30k miles. I would change it every 15k after that or yearly. I never personally came across a vehicle that was worse after getting its fluid changed. I think it may be something from the old school american car crowd. A Honda probably wouldn't move if it was that gunked up internally!

Actually, the factory recommendation is: 120,000 mi/192,000 km/6 yrs then replace every 90,000 mi/144,000 km/5 yrs

So technically I'm over the "time" limit, but I'm hoping that the fluid is more influenced by mileage than time.

On that note, I never know which one to use since I have a low-mileage vehicle and some things are definitely only miles based.  I did the timing belt based on time (because interference engine).

I know I should do a drain and fill, and actually have the fluid and washer from my local dealer.  But I haven't found a good time to do it (it's not easy for me to get under there) and I really don't want to pay like $100 to have it done (all mechanics seem really expensive around here).

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2013, 12:56:26 PM »
No advice, but just wanted to share our 2002 Honda Civic just ticked over 100,000 last night.  Sadly we missed watching as DH's brother called.

Just FYI - our check engine light went on, we got it serviced, it went off, then it came back on again.  Some online sleuthing revealed this is a common problem as the owners keep taking their car in to get fixed, and is temporarily but the light then returns.

turboseize

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Autobahn
  • I adore beauty, be it human, machine or in nature.
    • My blog
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2013, 04:28:34 AM »
A car will last as long as you want it to last.  Neglect it, and it will be dead anytime between 6 months and twi years. Service it and repair when something wears ot, and it will last forever.
(Btw: You DO NOT determine repairworthiness by comparing the cost of the repair to market value. You compare cost of keeping your car vs cost of other options on a cost per kilometer/mile base. Market value is NO good estimate for a comparable replacement, as people tend to sell cars when some maintenance is due or some faults are appearing, so you are usually not only buying a car, but other expenditures as well. If you service you car well, chances are it will be in a better overall shape than most cars being offered in the same price range).

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8269
  • Registered member
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2019, 01:00:04 AM »
Dragoncar casts Resurrection (lvl 7 Cleric)

Now my Accord is 15 years old but only around 90k miles.  I've been doing a transmission drain/refill every other oil change. 

The driver side door stop latch mechanism thing has broken and it made some horrific noises but it still works, it just doesn't stop before slamming into the next car over.  Need to get on that one but it's not very important.

I thought I had a main seal leak... actually I probably stil do but I switched do high-mileage 5w30 (vs 5w20) and it seems to have stopped

I really need to replace the headlights.  The bulbs are fine, but the casings are yellowed and hazy.  I polish them occasionally and treat with UV protectant but they fog up again fast.  I'd love to get some aftermarket projector beams but there really aren't any good options.   Straight replacement with aftermarket replicas seems the best deal.

Both front and rear bumper plastic is now in terrible shape.  Not sure if it's worth replacing with some ebay covers for a few hundred.

My wife's 10 year old subaru is doing worse.  Both head gaskets are leaking like a MF... 1 quart per 1000k miles.  I just replaced the timing belt so I don't really want to do all that work again, but I guess it's cheaper than a new car!

I've learned a lot about cars in the last 5 years but I'm really holding out the golden age of EVs before we buy something else

six-car-habit

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2019, 10:58:55 AM »
"The driver side door stop latch mechanism thing has broken and it made some horrific noises but it still works, it just doesn't stop before slamming into the next car over.  Need to get on that one but it's not very important."

  I suppose it might be important to all the folks whose vehicles you've put a dent into over the years.
 Maybe take an extra second to hold onto the inside door handle as you open the drivers door ?
  You know, respect for other peoples property and such....

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8269
  • Registered member
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2019, 03:37:46 PM »
"The driver side door stop latch mechanism thing has broken and it made some horrific noises but it still works, it just doesn't stop before slamming into the next car over.  Need to get on that one but it's not very important."

  I suppose it might be important to all the folks whose vehicles you've put a dent into over the years.
 Maybe take an extra second to hold onto the inside door handle as you open the drivers door ?
  You know, respect for other peoples property and such....

Iím really glad you made an account to lecture me on responsibility.  If you really think Iíve been slamming my door into other cars Iíve got a bridge to sell you

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3720
  • Age: 28
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2019, 03:42:26 PM »
1 quart per 1000k miles.
That's not so bad, that just means checking and topping it off every few dozen years.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8269
  • Registered member
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2019, 04:24:23 PM »
1 quart per 1000k miles.
That's not so bad, that just means checking and topping it off every few dozen years.

haha you got me.  In this case, k stands for ktoś, which is Polish for one.  So it's 1000*1 miles.

RichCantante

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2019, 04:31:04 PM »
Toyotas and Hondas of that vintage can easily last 300k-500k miles, if not a million miles. Have two Toyotas that age that are now over 300k miles drive like a dream. Maintenance, my friend. And oil changes.

v8rx7guy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1123
  • Location: Bellingham, WA
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2019, 04:36:52 PM »
250-300k miles

RWD

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2891
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2019, 07:04:01 PM »
@StetsTerhune  Do you still have the Accord? It'd be interesting to hear an ownership report now that it's been five years.

The 2002 and older Honda Accords do not do well in reliability ratings (possibly due to the aforementioned transmission issues).
http://dashboard-light.com/vehicles/Honda_Accord.html

DreamFIRE

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1596
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2019, 07:43:07 PM »
Only last 15 years?  I've got a 12 1/2 year old Toyota with less than 50,000 miles.  I can't imagine it's suddenly going to be junk when it's 15 years old!  It's in great condition.

six-car-habit

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2019, 09:22:10 PM »
"The driver side door stop latch mechanism thing has broken and it made some horrific noises but it still works, it just doesn't stop before slamming into the next car over.  Need to get on that one but it's not very important."

  I suppose it might be important to all the folks whose vehicles you've put a dent into over the years.
 Maybe take an extra second to hold onto the inside door handle as you open the drivers door ?
  You know, respect for other peoples property and such....

Iím really glad you made an account to lecture me on responsibility.  If you really think Iíve been slamming my door into other cars Iíve got a bridge to sell you

   Well my apologies for taking your statement literally.  It's a pet peeve of mine [ inconsiderate or deliberate parking lot vehicle denting ] .  And appreciate your offer on the bridge, although I must say before we get into structure, capacity, and location specifics , that I did make an account for reasons other than just to lecture you......Hopefully that doesn't increase the asking price ?     Maybe not the best 1st post, do you have a forgiving heart ?  I hope so. 

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2856
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2019, 06:04:02 AM »
I love seeing a thread resurrected that I commented on in 2013.  I've been around here too long, I should be retired by now!

Car #1:  2002 with 101,500 miles on it
Car #2:  2009 with 210,600 on it.

Fingers crossed I don't have to replace them in the near future

trollwithamustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 645
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2019, 08:37:31 AM »
I'll cast my vote for trying to get an easy 200 to 250k miles out of the car, no problem. A buddy of mine has a honda civic from '96ish with probably 400k on it. The odometer broke and he kept going after 300k so who knows for sure.  Lots of odds and ends have been replaced but there are like a million mechanics who can work on it if you don't want to.

But, we are in California, so no salt or snowy roads!

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2856
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2019, 12:22:08 PM »
Parked my 210,000 mile Honda Ridgeline next to a similar aged Ridgeline at the grocery store today.  I bought mine a year after they came out, so this one was a maximum one year older. 

The truck next to me had worn out paint, a rough interior, and a rusting trailer hitch.   A little TLC, regular waxing, and keeping a vehicle in covered parking can go a long way towards looking reasonable.

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 674
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2019, 06:46:36 AM »
I agree with most of what was said above.  I've put WELL over 200k on several Hondas (and Toyota), one specifically a 2001 Accord, so take good care of it and it'll repay the favor.



Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1948
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2019, 08:07:39 AM »
We usually unload our work pickup trucks at about 250,000 miles. 

mountain mustache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 324
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Colorado
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2019, 08:11:25 AM »
I have a 2003 Honda Element, with 190k miles and I'm hoping to keep it for at least 5 more years. I've owned it for 6 years, so I can't be sure of it's entire history, but this year is the first time I'm having to do big maintenance on it (brakes, a bit of engine work, and suspension work) so it has been a worthy $6k car purchase. Honestly I'll keep it until I really feel like spending the money on a used 2010 element, because I don't plan to ever own a different type of car. I get great gas mileage (for a vehicle that can hold everything I own+4 bikes) and I love camping in it.

Car Jack

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 976
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2019, 09:42:50 AM »
While this Honda *can* go hundreds of thousands of miles, it's going to have stuff wear out along the way and if you're not a DIY person, you'll likely be making calculations about keep/sell when a couple big expense items come up.  Off the top of my head from the many Hondas I've owned:

Alternators tend to go between 100k and 120k miles.  (real pain to change)
Water pumps tend to go around 100k.  If you replace with timing belt changes, you'll never see a failure.
Of course, brakes and tires are going to wear out.
Shocks wear out.
Belts/hoses age out.
Honda automatic transmissions can fail.  Manuals seem to go forever.
CV boots go and you might as well replace the axles as an axle is typically cheaper than 2 boots.

For DIY people, none of these things are a big deal.  I find it a game to find new and interesting ways to get an old alternator out of a Honda.  The book will give me the choice of removing the brake booster or the lower control arm.  I'll maze it out doing neither of these things, then declare victory and dance around the garage.  Big parts are a dime a dozen used.  Need a transmission, engine, control arms, engine mounts.....they're easy.  Want to up your power with a different engine?  Every possible swap has aftermarket mounts available for you to just order up.  Even swapping from auto to manual or from hydraulic clutch to cable clutch is pretty common and parts are easy and cheap.

But like any car....if you're paying your mechanic $100 an hour for repairs, you'll likely unload the car long before it's done for. 

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3879
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2019, 10:16:57 AM »
I have an 03 Civic with 180K miles and a manual transmission.  I picked the manual because it was 1000$ cheaper new.  Glad I did because I don't have to worry about the transmission!

I pay a shop to fix everything (no interest even if I had the time) and it still is reliably cheaper than a new car.  In the last year I have had zero problems, I'm about to spend 350$ on a new ball joint, but seriously I cannot complain. 

I hope it lasts 8 more years so both kids can learn to drive a stick on it :)  Then maybe I will replace it.  I won't let the kids have it as their car as it lacks any/many safety features such as antilock breaks, side curtain airbags, stability control, etc.  As an experienced driver I have never felt unsafe* in it but I'm not turning a teenager loose in MN without antilock breaks.

*Never feeling unsafe is probably a stupid reason to drive an unsafe car.

FunkyStickman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 514
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Louisiana
    • Living Outside the Box
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2019, 10:30:21 AM »
Sold my first '96 Saturn with 205K miles, still running. Current Saturn has 130K, and my daily driver Kia has 218K and not even close to quitting. Stay on top of maintenance (and learn to drive a stick shift) and they will last practically forever.

Couple of exceptions: I had a lemon Dodge Grand Caravan. That thing was garbage. Was always broken down, electrical gremlins, etc. It is still running, around this area somewhere, but I got tired of fixing the thing.

Also, plastic trim is evil. That junk dry rots, breaks, and becomes a PITA. No car is exempt from this, not even really old cars.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8269
  • Registered member
Re: How long will my car last?
« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2019, 03:54:03 PM »
I find it a game to find new and interesting ways to get an old alternator out of a Honda.  The book will give me the choice of removing the brake booster or the lower control arm.  I'll maze it out doing neither of these things, then declare victory and dance around the garage.  Big parts are a dime a dozen used.  Need a transmission, engine, control arms, engine mounts.....they're easy.

Hmm, it sounds like when my alternator finally goes I should just replace my lower control arms.  The bushings are getting cracked, but I haven't noticed any symptoms so far.  I read it's often easier to just replace the whole thing aftermarket rather than try to press new bushings.  Please let me know if you have any tips on this issue, PM if needed.