Author Topic: How many miles is a car good for?  (Read 16605 times)

mrmoneycleanshaven

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How many miles is a car good for?
« on: February 11, 2015, 09:32:44 PM »
How many miles is a car good for?

I'm looking at getting a new car (honda or toyota minivan) for my growing family, new will run me 27k, used 8 years old with 100k miles will run me 10k.

Since the difference in price between the two is 17k, I figure that the first 100k miles will run me 17 cents a mile, that means I'd have to get another 58,824 miles out of the car that already has 100k miles on it with nothing going wrong just to break even. But transmissions go bad, so do engines, and hoses, and power steering racks and radiators, and emissions systems, and Air Conditioning, and on and on.

So it seems like the odds are in favor of buying new, but I'm clueless on cars. I've always shot for 100k as a scrap point.

Thoughts on the longevity of such cars?

Is there an estimate as to the mileage tipping point at which the probability of a car having issues starts to take off? (reliability is paramount, I will not be driving it often, but I don't want my family breaking down, can't lose AC with the little ones, and when I do go on trips with them, I cannot afford to be delayed on the return).

Exflyboy

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2015, 09:50:36 PM »
Well I know a lot about cars and if well looked after I'd be really ticked if it "wore out" in less than 200k miles.

But.. as you say, things do go wrong, usually with cheaper ancillary stuff like alternators, water pumps etc. So these are easy to replace, at least for your handy home mechanic.

Keep the oil topped up and change it and the filter every 6000 miles and you'll get a long life from it.

Incidently, take a look at used rental cars.. I got a screaming deal on a 2 year old Hertz ex rental car with 50,000 miles on it.. and I expect another 150k out of it and its like brand new and completely loaded!

Hertz won't let you negotiate but their prices are significantly lower than anyone else I could see.

Frank

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2015, 09:55:52 PM »
I like to think I should get a good 200K out of a car before considering retiring it (to someone else who is handier than me...)

Our 2005 toyota matrix is nearing 150K, and in the last year has needed new shocks/struts, and a new clutch.  It cost about $1,400 and $1,100, respectively.  I don't know if it was always like this, but it seems to ride a little rough.


terran

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2015, 10:02:16 PM »
My experience has been that around 100k-120k you start getting bigger but not catastrophic repairs -- sensors going bad kind of frequently, exhaust parts needing to be replaced, shocks and struts going.

JLee

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2015, 10:06:21 PM »
I sold my '99 Tacoma with 283k on it last month. I don't know what it was done to it before I bought it, but all I replaced were (IMO) normal wear items. Tie rod ends, ball joints, oil changes, tires...the only thing out of the ordinary was a fuel pump, which IIRC ran me ~$60 and a few hours of time.  Oh, and a throttle position sensor ($50, 2 minute repair). It did need a clutch and o2 sensor(s) when it was sold, though (again, normal wear).

Taran Wanderer

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2015, 10:20:20 PM »
I'm 30 miles from 250K on mine.  I got 212K on my last car and decided it was time to get something new because it was better to pay $27K for a new (used) car than to pay $1K for a major service on the old car. Can you say facepunch? Thankfully I've come to my senses since then.

Anyway, 250,000 miles was my original goal for the car, but now that I'm there, I guess I'll go for 300K. I need to get new tires soon, but it beats buying a new car (which means a car with 100K or so...). If you change the oil and filter, do the major services, and deal with things as they break, there is no reason most cars can't go to 200K or if it's a Honda, Toyota, or some others even 300K.

surfhb

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2015, 01:38:12 AM »
My 93 Toyota Pick Up could have been retired many times but I decided to fix the issue instead.....512,000 miles and still going.

A new motor costs $3500 installed.    Thats basically a new truck
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 01:42:41 AM by surfhb »

frugaliknowit

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2015, 02:23:14 AM »
Much depends on the type of driving.  Urban driving with much stop and go wears out parts faster than out in the sticks.

Retired To Win

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2015, 08:22:58 AM »
No way is 100K miles a scrap point.

I got my 1996 Dodge Dakota with about 30,000 miles on it.  The odometer is now above 142,000.  With proper maintenance, this vehicle keeps running great.  But my wife puts me to shame...

She got her 1998 Subaru Forester with about 60,000 miles on it.  The odometer is now above 243,000.  Same story regarding maintenance and reliability.

So...

Rethink -- and widen -- your vehicle-purchasing age filter.  You might be pleasantly surprised AND save yourself a ton of money.

Good luck!

TN_Steve

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2015, 09:03:01 AM »
How many miles is a car good for?

I'm looking at getting a new car (honda or toyota minivan) for my growing family, new will run me 27k, used 8 years old with 100k miles will run me 10k.

...

Agree with everyone else.  100K is just getting started.  Here is an anecdote for you, FWIW.  We bought a new awd Toyota minivan (safety features and AWD were not available prior to that model year) just before our youngest child was born.  He was driving it when it finally gave up the ghost at 360,000 miles.  Uglier than sin with its duct taped windows at the end, but mechanically sound all the way until the rods started knocking.  that model is no longer available, but I suspect that Honda and Toyota both have improved vehicles 23 years later....

neo von retorch

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2015, 09:06:19 AM »
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/will-your-car-last-for-200000-miles/

Honda Odyssey is high on the list of cars that last.

Gone Fishing

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2015, 09:08:43 AM »
When doing your analysis be sure to include the additional taxes and insurance on the newer vehicle.  This alone will cover a significant portion of your repairs.

minimalist

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2015, 09:11:12 AM »
100K scrap point? That's just the break-in period for a Honda or Toyota. Depending on your type of driving, a car should last for at least 200k miles if it has been serviced according to the owner's manual.

Retire-Canada

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2015, 09:15:04 AM »
I plan on 300K km = ~190K miles for sure and then I evaluate. I tend to drive a lot of washboarded dirt roads and the more I do that the shorter the lifespan of the vehicle.

My old truck was typically overloaded [Ford Ranger] for its design capacity and driven a lot in Baja on dirt tracks. I gave it to a student friend at something over 300K kms and he's still driving it 4 years later. He's able to do most of his own repair work.

My new truck is loaded within it's hauling capacity 100% of the time and is seeing less Baja than the old truck so I am hoping I'll keep it longer, but only time will tell.

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thd7t

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2015, 09:24:09 AM »
How much do you drive in a year?  What kind of weather do you live in?  Do you have a garage? 

If you don't drive much, you could run into problems outside of mileage.  My '93 Subaru Loyale has just under 200k and is running great, but one of the rear seatbelts rusted out.  I think that more washing would have prevented this (would have to get under there better), but I park outside and on street.  Given my family size, this is going to be what ends this car.

TimmyTightWad

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2015, 09:29:32 AM »
I have a 2002 Honda Civic with 220k miles on it. I thought it was about to die because the check engine light came on so last yr I purchased a 2010 Infiniti G37 with 65k miles on it. The Honda is still ticking along so I may try to sell the Infiniti since gas mileage is not good.

PeachFuzzInVA

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2015, 09:31:07 AM »
349k miles and change currently on my Civic and still going strong. I did, however, recently get into an accident. $150 worth of body panels/lights at the junkyard and she was fixed up, looking just as ugly as before.

GuitarStv

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2015, 09:48:23 AM »
This question is dependent on too many variables.

- Type of use (short distance is harder on the vehicle)
- Type of driver (slamming on the accelerator, shifting properly, towing heavy stuff, etc.)
- Maintenance
- Accidents
- Location (if you live in a place that snows and salts 5 months a year you'll have much more damage yearly than if you lived in Texas)

BlueMR2

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2015, 09:53:27 AM »
Thoughts on the longevity of such cars?

I don't really know.  I'm still searching to find out.  Currently at 273,000 miles on my Toyota.  Does it break down on occasion, yes.  However, I was recently flipping through my receipts and noticed that the last few years it has needed a lot less repairs than it did the first couple of years I owned it (I bought it at 55k).  So, buying a newer car could lower reliability based on this sample size of one.  :-)

MayDay

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2015, 09:56:09 AM »
I have an 04 sienna with 180 k miles. We've only had it a year but it's ticking along just fine. I'm hoping we'll get 5-10 more years on it at about 5k miles a year.

darkadams00

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2015, 10:11:53 AM »
Agree with GuitarStv's points. User/environmental factors are the two biggest factors assuming that the car itself doesn't have known manufacturing defects.

The other factor to consider -- kids. Your engine might run like a champ after 150k, but after just 75k your interior might look like a family of three lived in it last winter. An empty nester's car interior might outlast the mechanics underneath, but a family of five can definitely run a car into the ground...except for those families with perfect parents, perfect kids of course.


RWD

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2015, 10:16:10 AM »
My 93 Toyota Pick Up could have been retired many times but I decided to fix the issue instead.....512,000 miles and still going.

A new motor costs $3500 installed.    Thats basically a new truck

This. A vehicle is good for as long as you are willing to keep maintaining it.

My first vehicle went past 200k miles and was only retired due to being totaled (bent frame) in an accident. One of my current vehicles has 200k miles on it (engine was rebuilt at 160k miles) and I'm only considering replacing it because of the fuel economy.

JLee

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2015, 10:21:10 AM »
Thoughts on the longevity of such cars?

I don't really know.  I'm still searching to find out.  Currently at 273,000 miles on my Toyota.  Does it break down on occasion, yes.  However, I was recently flipping through my receipts and noticed that the last few years it has needed a lot less repairs than it did the first couple of years I owned it (I bought it at 55k).  So, buying a newer car could lower reliability based on this sample size of one.  :-)
lol a friend of mine bought a 2013 Subaru BRZ brand new. The dealer's had it for ~4 months and finally just cut him a check because they couldn't fix chronic electronic problems (engine going into limp mode).

Meanwhile, my 100k, 200k,+ Toyotas keep chugging along.

nycstash

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2015, 10:26:16 AM »
We bought a used Honda Odyssey several years ago despite having read about trouble with the transmissions on the 2003 models. The transmission had just been replaced and had a 1-year warranty so we took the chance.  Sure enough, two years later the transmission went. We decided it wasn't worth replacing.  Last year, we bought a 2000 Toyota Sienna that had been very well maintained and only had 84,000 miles on it.  It's old but low mileage, well maintained and a solid model.  We only paid $4,000 and I am hoping that it will last to 150,000-200,000. We do a lot of road trips and long distance driving so that translates hopefully to about 7 years. 

$10,000 seems really high for a used minivan with 100,000 miles already on it. I would shop around; I think you should be able to find a minivan in that mileage range for $7,000 or less.

RWD

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2015, 10:51:25 AM »
Thoughts on the longevity of such cars?

I don't really know.  I'm still searching to find out.  Currently at 273,000 miles on my Toyota.  Does it break down on occasion, yes.  However, I was recently flipping through my receipts and noticed that the last few years it has needed a lot less repairs than it did the first couple of years I owned it (I bought it at 55k).  So, buying a newer car could lower reliability based on this sample size of one.  :-)
lol a friend of mine bought a 2013 Subaru BRZ brand new. The dealer's had it for ~4 months and finally just cut him a check because they couldn't fix chronic electronic problems (engine going into limp mode).

Meanwhile, my 100k, 200k,+ Toyotas keep chugging along.

My 2013 Subaru BRZ has only been to the dealer for scheduled maintenance so far (edit: this is not quite true, I had to have them replace the rear view mirror mount). You know that the BRZ/FR-S was a joint project with Toyota, right?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 10:53:39 AM by RWD »

JLee

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2015, 11:21:03 AM »
Thoughts on the longevity of such cars?

I don't really know.  I'm still searching to find out.  Currently at 273,000 miles on my Toyota.  Does it break down on occasion, yes.  However, I was recently flipping through my receipts and noticed that the last few years it has needed a lot less repairs than it did the first couple of years I owned it (I bought it at 55k).  So, buying a newer car could lower reliability based on this sample size of one.  :-)
lol a friend of mine bought a 2013 Subaru BRZ brand new. The dealer's had it for ~4 months and finally just cut him a check because they couldn't fix chronic electronic problems (engine going into limp mode).

Meanwhile, my 100k, 200k,+ Toyotas keep chugging along.

My 2013 Subaru BRZ has only been to the dealer for scheduled maintenance so far (edit: this is not quite true, I had to have them replace the rear view mirror mount). You know that the BRZ/FR-S was a joint project with Toyota, right?
Yup, I am well aware.  There've been quite a few instances of the mysterious limp mode problem - after flying two engineers in from out of state, they still couldn't figure out what was wrong with this one.

Forcus

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2015, 11:35:32 AM »
I think almost everything has been covered but one more point - because of CAFE standards (Good or bad) MPG is steadily increasing. You may NOT WANT TO hold on to a van you bought new with all the new technology coming out.

As far as I am concerned, EVERY vehicle in the future will be a hybrid (I'm not talking nancy granola carrying hybrids either... lol... poking fun). Trucks, cars, commercial vehicles will all be hybrids with a charging engine and an electric or hydraulic drive. Fuel mileage will double or triple. The best today will seem like an antique.

TO wit, a good mpg family sedan 10 years ago might get 25-27 mpg. New ones routinely get 35-40 mpg. Future, who knows, because many of these new ones aren't even hybrids.

So I'd go with cheap used van especially if the total cost of ownership was less than the newer one.

One note on cost of ownership - you have to include depreciation. Even with 200k on it, that van will be worth something (as long as it runs and drives). It's at the bottom of the depreciation curve. It's not just payment + expenses, but payment + expenses + depreciation expense. This does NOT mean that every newer vehicle will automatically not make financial sense - for me, working this formula, a 2 year old Focus makes more sense than keeping my 13 year old Focus - but it generally means there will be a large difference, and generally in favor of the older vehicle even including repair costs.

frugaldrummer

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2015, 11:52:30 AM »
I owned two Honda civics in the 90's, bought them new, finally got rid of them when they had 230k and 250k miles,  they still ran.  Repairs and maintenance were minimal.

I have a 2009 Toyota Matrix now, has cost me considerably more in repairs even though it only has 110k miles (synchro repair, clutch, electrical issues). I think I'll go back to a Honda next time.

ketchup

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2015, 12:36:19 PM »
100k is nothing.  Any decent car that is taken care of properly will make it to 200k.  Good ones see 300k.  Insane people see a million or more(see Honda Accord guy and Volvo P1800 guy).

The issue where I live (northern IL) is more the rust than anything else.

One of our cars is a '99 Metro with 163k miles.  It is rusty though, and probably has only one or two more winters left in it.  The engine is losing compression (and it was never a speed demon) but if I wanted to I could rebuild it back to factory specs for a few hundred bucks.  If the rust weren't an issue, I would do it and hold onto the car for another 100k+.  If the previous owners had taken better care of it, it probably wouldn't be losing compression this soon.  I'll probably drive it as-is for another year or so.

Our other car is a '92 Buick Roadmaster with 166k miles.  Giant old body-on-frame station wagon.  Rust won't be an issue with this one.  It'll run forever.  I could see us driving it another 5-10 years and it's almost as old as I am.

jms493

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2015, 12:41:39 PM »
My 2001 Jeep Cherokee has 157K miles and runs like a champ

mrmoneycleanshaven

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2015, 05:01:36 PM »
This question is dependent on too many variables.

- Type of use (short distance is harder on the vehicle)
- Type of driver (slamming on the accelerator, shifting properly, towing heavy stuff, etc.)
- Maintenance
- Accidents
- Location (if you live in a place that snows and salts 5 months a year you'll have much more damage yearly than if you lived in Texas)

And all that is why I am reserved about buying used, its a crap shoot as to what the guy before me did.

Well I know a lot about cars and if well looked after I'd be really ticked if it "wore out" in less than 200k miles.

But.. as you say, things do go wrong, usually with cheaper ancillary stuff like alternators, water pumps etc. So these are easy to replace, at least for your handy home mechanic.

Keep the oil topped up and change it and the filter every 6000 miles and you'll get a long life from it.

Incidently, take a look at used rental cars.. I got a screaming deal on a 2 year old Hertz ex rental car with 50,000 miles on it.. and I expect another 150k out of it and its like brand new and completely loaded!

Hertz won't let you negotiate but their prices are significantly lower than anyone else I could see.

Frank

Thanks Frank. I am a pretty handy mechanic, but I put in 80 or so hours a week, and if I was going to do work outside those long hours I'd make more moonlighting than even an expensive mechanic would cost me, I'm more wary of the time aspect of breakdowns than the money portion.
Agree with GuitarStv's points. User/environmental factors are the two biggest factors assuming that the car itself doesn't have known manufacturing defects.

The other factor to consider -- kids. Your engine might run like a champ after 150k, but after just 75k your interior might look like a family of three lived in it last winter. An empty nester's car interior might outlast the mechanics underneath, but a family of five can definitely run a car into the ground...except for those families with perfect parents, perfect kids of course.



My kids are definately hard on things, work hard play hard right? Lets just hope the hard work is forthcoming. I guess I am worried about the inside as much as the outside (function wise), so that might push me towards used

Another thing is that I am military and don't know where I will be next, could be a location that doesn't permit US cars.

Zamboni

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2015, 05:18:45 PM »
Quote
However, I was recently flipping through my receipts and noticed that the last few years it has needed a lot less repairs than it did the first couple of years I owned it (I bought it at 55k).  So, buying a newer car could lower reliability based on this sample size of one.  :-)

I've notice this also.  I bought my car at 180,000 miles, and the guy had a pile of receipts for parts he replaced from 120000 to 180000 miles.  But 30000 miles later all I've had to do is change oil and get new oxygen sensors.  So now the sample size is 2!

alsoknownasDean

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2015, 07:07:40 PM »
if you're not confident on a 100k car, what about something with 50k?

Also I tend to think most cars are good for 250-300,000km. Sure, with good maintenance you'll see 500k+, but with most drivers, something with 300,000km on it is also at the point value-wise where major repairs mean a decision whether it is worth fixing or replacing.

Think about how long taxis last. Here seeing ex-cabs sold with 600-800,000km is common.

It's generally viewed here (whether right or not), that larger engines last longer than smaller ones.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 07:11:09 PM by alsoknownasDean »

3okirb

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2015, 07:13:53 PM »
My father's Honda Pilot just hit 400,000 miles this week.  Granted, a lot of that is highway, and he is a stickler for following all the maintenance in the handbook, but he hasn't had ANY repairs other than wear items like brakes.  No transmission issues, or anything.  He's hoping for another 50,000 at least.

danny9m

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2015, 09:21:14 PM »
I'll tell you our honey Odessey has 140 k but I've been disappointed because some of the repairs seem to be defects that Honda has swept under the rug. Engine mounts needed replacement, if you go online there a a ton of complaints about this but no recall. Also replaced front axels. Honda isn't as great as it seems. I wouldn't buy a car with over 100k unless you like your mechanic. I'd go low milage as close to new as possible.


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danny9m

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2015, 09:29:08 PM »
I disagree on the honda odyssey being that great,I own one and purchased it new.  Now it has 140k and we had to replace engine mounts and front axels. A friend of ours had one and just traded it in because they were looking at 5,000 in repairs. Honda has swept a lot under the rug. Just google engine mounts odyssey. 


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RapmasterD

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2015, 09:37:14 PM »
Many days ago I pondered this question.

Obviously corrosion in wintry areas where a lot of salt is applied on pavement will have a very adverse effect.

That said, I looked at a few annual reports from UPS and spoke with a couple of their drivers.

Typical life expectancy for one of their trucks subjected to harsh driving conditions -- lots of starts and stops -- is between 200k and 250k miles.

Goldielocks

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2015, 10:14:46 PM »
For your break even to be even better, find a car with 100k or more! On it, with service records for some of the more expensive regular maintenance:

Struts/shocks
Wheel boot( some vehicles)
Battery and alternator
Timing belt and water pump
Tires
Brake rotors

Minor items like regular spark plugs and oil, and filters, maybe a thermostat, etc.

Also ask mechanic about signs of undercarriage rust on the mechanical parts/ bolts to give a good idea if things like muffler or such might wear out sooner.  Eg driven in high salt area.

If some of the above are done recently, then you should have minor maintenance for several years and even more value to you.

JLee

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2015, 11:07:30 PM »
I disagree on the honda odyssey being that great,I own one and purchased it new.  Now it has 140k and we had to replace engine mounts and front axels. A friend of ours had one and just traded it in because they were looking at 5,000 in repairs. Honda has swept a lot under the rug. Just google engine mounts odyssey. 


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The axles probably failed because the boots failed and weren't replaced in time, so the bearings inside the CV joints failed due to dirt contamination.

Motor mounts - they absorb a fair amount of force..depending on the car that's not all that unusual after 140k either and they should be cheap. It looks like the Odyssey uses hydraulic motor mounts, though...my CTS-V had hydraulic mounts that failed around 80k. I have also replaced them on two different MR2's (1986 with ~120k and '91 with..a lot). To my knowledge the ones in my Tacoma were never replaced, past 280k..

thd7t

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2015, 06:41:23 AM »
Many days ago I pondered this question.

Obviously corrosion in wintry areas where a lot of salt is applied on pavement will have a very adverse effect.

That said, I looked at a few annual reports from UPS and spoke with a couple of their drivers.

Typical life expectancy for one of their trucks subjected to harsh driving conditions -- lots of starts and stops -- is between 200k and 250k miles.
Those trucks also sit idling a lot, which doesn't put miles on the odometer, but does put wear on the engine. 

Rural

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2015, 07:09:12 AM »
I've never bought a vehicle with less than 150,000 miles on it, and I've had one lemon in a driving lifetime almost certainly longer than the average lifetime total for posters on this board. (I agree with the above posters that suggest looking at Hondas; however, I should note that the one lemon was in fact a Honda Civic. Stay away from a seller who tells you that the head gasket has just been replaced, so therefore that will not be a problem.)


We don't own a vehicle with less than 200,000 miles at the moment. You'll do better with a manual transmission for longevity; my unfortunately automatic little car is starting to develop problems with the transmission slipping. I'm going to start pricing that out today, in fact, to see if I'll be better off repairing it or buying another vehicle at about 150,000 and selling it while it's still running.

3okirb

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2015, 07:32:40 AM »
Found this for the Odyssey (we have a 2013).  I'm sure things will come up for the newer ones, but apparently there are years to avoid.  http://www.carcomplaints.com/Honda/Odyssey/

Gives you a good idea of complaints based on year.

Forcus

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2015, 10:58:27 AM »

The axles probably failed because the boots failed and weren't replaced in time, so the bearings inside the CV joints failed due to dirt contamination.


As you indicated, that happens alot, but weak engine mounts can wreak havoc on half shafts too. I always plan on half shaft replacement being possible after 100k miles. They tend to not last as long on my vehicles because our roads are terrible and hard hits on potholes can dent the bearing surfaces for wheel bearings and CV joints and they fail shortly thereafter. Some people don't mind the helicopter noise but I cannot stand it!!

Sid Hoffman

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Re: How many miles is a car good for?
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2015, 11:54:16 AM »
But transmissions go bad, so do engines, and hoses, and power steering racks and radiators, and emissions systems, and Air Conditioning, and on and on.

This is all very true.  I've purchased cars new, used with under 50k miles, and my latest car is used with 140k miles.  Far and away the worst car has been the used one with 140k miles.  I've only put 3600 miles on it and it's already cost me $900 in repairs and I still have many problems with it that I simply have avoided repairing.  I purchased my car for $1800 though.  When talking about high mileage cars the maintenance is crucial.  I've seen ads on craigslist for used Priuses with upwards of 250k miles, including one with something silly like 410,000 miles.  The really high mileage cars often were used for work and had regular maintenance.

So yes, all the things you said can fail.  You can have a transmission fail, the A/C, the heater core, emissions, sensors, wheel bearings, and so on.  However usually if you're only owning the car from 100 to 200k miles and you stay on top of the preventative maintenance, you might only have a couple expensive things fail.  By that same token, you can just as easily have a car fail out of warranty between the 36k and 100k mile mark when you may have only powertrain warranty, or perhaps no warranty coverage at all.

In general you're still going to come out ahead by buying the used car and acknowledging it will cost you more in maintenance.  Here in my state we also pay for sales tax and vehicle license tax, which are quite a lot more expensive on new cars than for used cars.  Right off the bat, a $27k car will cost you at least a grand more than a $10k car in sales tax alone, and potentially another grand more in registration over the years it takes you to do 100k miles.  So that's a $2000 difference for the new car.  Insurance will likely cost you more on the new car too.  So figure your first $2500 in repairs on that used car is paid for in sales & license tax as well as insurance cost.  Every state is a little different though, so you'll have to do the math for your state to know for sure.