Author Topic: How long have you had your car? How many miles? Maintenance advice?  (Read 1805 times)

MrGville

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Interested to know how long people have owned their cars and how many miles said cars have.  For anyone who has owned their car for 10+ years or driven over 100,000 miles, do you have any advice on how to keep a car running smoothly?  I have a 2016 car with about 18k miles on it, and I would love to keep it for as long as possible. 

secondcor521

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Re: How long have you had your car? How many miles? Maintenance advice?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 07:50:04 AM »
My current car is 25 years old this year but has only been mine about 3 years.  It has 156K miles on it.  My previous car was a 1995 that had about 220K on it when I sold it.  I only sold that car because my current car was being given to me and I considered it an upgrade even though it was 2 years older.

My advice:

1.  Buy a good brand.  Many people, including me, swear by Toyotas and Hondas.
2.  Follow the maintenance schedule in the owner's manual for your driving type (there are usually two schedules:  one for rough use and one for regular use).
2b.  Pay special attention to fluids (oil, coolant, transmission, brake, power steering, etc.)
3.  Drive like an old man.  Easy acceleration, easy braking, follow the speed limit.  This will give you a better chance to keep your tires, brakes, and bodywork in good shape.
4.  Don't live in an area where they salt the roads.

Not directly at your question, but I also think repairing and maintaining an older vehicle as long as possible is the way to have low annual-total-cost-of-ownership.  Even though my car is 25 years old, it is in good shape and I can easily see keeping it another 5 or 10 years.  I replace my cars when they are irretrievably broken, not when they are merely old.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 08:14:09 AM by secondcor521 »

Stachetastic

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Re: How long have you had your car? How many miles? Maintenance advice?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 08:19:49 AM »
I bought my Corolla new in 2004. It just turned over 260k miles last week. My car thrives on neglect, so I don't have much maintenance advice. I change the oil around 5k miles intervals, and that's it. I've had a water pump replaced, shocks/struts, an oxygen sensor, and that's all I remember. I did have a window seal replaced last year when the wind noise got so bad I couldn't hear my kid talking in the back seat. I'd like to see this car hit 300k miles, which would probably be another 3-4 years. I recommend Toyota to anyone who will listen, these cars are bulletproof.

Edit: Also want to note that I live where it gets cold and the roads are salted, and I have never washed my car. I do have a garage I park it in, but that has not always been the case. It has just recently developed a dime sized rust spot near the wheel well. The undercarriage may tell a different story, I've never looked.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 11:29:48 AM by Stachetastic »

ketchup

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Re: How long have you had your car? How many miles? Maintenance advice?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 08:33:10 AM »
My car is a 2001 with 157k miles on it.  I bought it last year (with 140k).  Last car quit at 262k miles (engine finally gave out).

1. Research your particular model.  Every car has undocumented "quirks."
2. Check your fluids and tire pressure often so nothing stupid happens and you notice slow (or fast!) leaks.
3. Do all the maintenance on time.  Use quality parts (research what other owners of the car say - sometimes it makes a difference, sometimes it doesn't).
4. Pay attention and solve small problems before they become big problems.
5. If it gets salty, clean it.  If rust starts forming or clear coat starts peeling, fix that sooner rather than later before it gets worse.
6. Don't be afraid to throw a good amount of work/money into repairs around 150k-200k.  There's usually a rash of non-maintenance things that go wrong around that time (dumb stuff like heater cores, serpentine belt pulleys, fuel pumps, ignition switch, etc), but once you get through there, you've replaced most things that probably will break and you're good for a while until those same things break again 100k later.

rubybeth

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Re: How long have you had your car? How many miles? Maintenance advice?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 08:52:38 AM »
We've had one of our vehicles since early 2010, and the other since early 2012. We put very few miles on the one we bought in 2010 (a 2005 model year now with about 85,000 miles on it), a few more on the one we bought in 2012 (a 2001 model year, has about 145,000 miles on it). I would agree with regular maintenance, fluid checks, etc. You can have all that stuff checked when you get an oil change, assuming you do that annually, and if you don't, you can bring in your vehicle for checkups or inspections once a year (I would do this before winter if you live in a cold climate; they can test the battery and check tires for you at that point).

Believe it or not, the tires are the one area of your car that is critical to safety--and the most highly engineered part of the vehicle, too. Lights in your vehicle will likely alert you for regular maintenance, and obviously, if the "check engine" light goes on, you get it checked (also, hot tip: you can buy your own car computer code reader and get an app to read what the codes are). But tire replacement depends on how much you drive, I would do whatever the tire place recommends (we like Discount Tire, and they repair flats for FREE!), and check tire pressure regularly (like, monthly) since this can help with gas mileage. And, batteries usually last around 4 years (maybe more if you live in temperate climate, but I'm in Minnesota and just replaced both of our batteries this year).

Another thing that can help extend the life of the vehicle is parking in a garage--protect it from body damage due to hail, etc. and also keep it warmer during winter (again, assuming you're in a cold climate).

Retire-Canada

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Re: How long have you had your car? How many miles? Maintenance advice?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 09:13:24 AM »
My current truck is 8yrs old and has 75K miles on it. I drove my last truck until it had 206K miles then gave it to a friend who was handy as it started to need a lot of repairs I was unwilling to do. I suspect it's now at something like 275K miles and it's still going strong.

As far as what repairs to do I would open the owner's manual for any vehicle you own and do what it says. The folks that designed your vehicle literally wrote a book about how to keep it running well and they gave you the book for free when you bought the vehicle.

The obvious items are:

- change the oil and other fluids regularly
- keep your tires inflated properly and rotate every oil change
- inspect and change your air filter as needed

How you drive your vehicle will also play a big part in how long it lasts. The harder you drive it, especially on rough roads the faster you'll accelerate the wear. Obviously crashing is bad for vehicle longevity so the safer a driver you are the longer you are likely to own a vehicle.

When I worked at home and didn't need to drive much I still would get the truck rolling once a week for an errand to keep everything lubricated and moving.

honeybbq

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Re: How long have you had your car? How many miles? Maintenance advice?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 09:21:47 AM »
My current car is  2005 Honda CRV with a little over 110,000 miles.

1. Buy a quality (used) car that is built to last. I've had it almost 10 years with minimum repairs and maintenance.
2. Some people may disagree, but for Honda cars, I've had the best luck with maintenance and repairs at the Honda dealership as opposed to independent shops. YMMV.
3. I wouldn't say I'm stellar with maintenance, but I try to change the oil regularly, check tire pressure, etc.
4. I don't drive that much. Mostly for road trips and to the grocery store. We live near our respective jobs.


The last time it was taken to the shop for an oil change (at the dealership) they offered to buy it on the spot since it's in such good condition. LOL. No way! I got ten more years with this baby.

lbmustache

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Re: How long have you had your car? How many miles? Maintenance advice?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 09:52:33 AM »

My advice:

1.  Buy a good brand.  Many people, including me, swear by Toyotas and Hondas.
2.  Follow the maintenance schedule in the owner's manual for your driving type (there are usually two schedules:  one for rough use and one for regular use).
2b.  Pay special attention to fluids (oil, coolant, transmission, brake, power steering, etc.)
3.  Drive like an old man.  Easy acceleration, easy braking, follow the speed limit.  This will give you a better chance to keep your tires, brakes, and bodywork in good shape.
4.  Don't live in an area where they salt the roads.


All of this. My old car had the transmission go out (would not recommend VW automatics...) but I currently have a Honda. My parents do everything you do (they have a Toyota) and drive like old people, live in SoCal, and get all maintenance done at regular intervals. Their cars last forever.

Driving harshly and putting off maintenance is a surefire way to kill most cars. I would say Toyotas are the best in terms of being able to withstand this kind of "abuse."

Dave1442397

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Re: How long have you had your car? How many miles? Maintenance advice?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 03:37:20 PM »
I would also go with Toyota/Lexus for longevity. Honda/Acura would be next.

One thing you have to realize is that many manufacturers are buying components from the lowest bidder, so if the part is supposed to last 100k miles, chances are it'll not last much longer than that. Every American car I've owned with an automatic transmission has had to have it rebuilt before 130k miles. No such problems with the few Hondas we've owned.

Some brands, such as BMW (especially) and Mercedes (seem to be improving) are cars you want to dump as soon as the warranty runs out. I follow a couple of YouTubers who buy and fix old cars (from the '90s and early '00s). One of them said that the cooling system on his BMW appeared to be made of glass, as the slightest disturbance would cause a leak. Another guy went over all the problems he found on a 2008 Mercedes S550 - kind of funny - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TFGmDwA_Mg&t=2s

I know you can find some older BMWs and Mercs that have lasted forever and have a lot of miles, but I can't imagine it's cheap to keep them running.

BlueMR2

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Re: How long have you had your car? How many miles? Maintenance advice?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 04:13:20 PM »
Oh, we've got several...  I've got a '91 Toyota with 288,000 miles, a '95 Mitsubishi with something like 130ishk, and a a '02 Celica with 190ishk (plus a '94 Suzuki motorcycle that only has 14k).

Follow the maintenance schedule in the manual.  Drive them frequently (seem to breakdown when left sitting extended periods of time, but are fine when driven regularly).  Don't cheap out on replacement parts.  Do rust repairs periodically before it spreads to critical parts.