200k and counting

I have a 98 Accord, Ive changed the oil every 3,000. Other than that there hasnt been much other needed maintenance…Im trying to make it last to 300k, what are some major things I need to look at to make it last that long with out costing me a bundle? Thanks in advance.

Good luck but get ready. At that mileage, and since not much has been done so far except timing belt and water pump I hope, you could have a rash of wearable parts starting to go. Once that stuff is fixed, you should be good to go again. Things like brakes, rotors, exhaust, radiator, hoses, axles, struts, maybe some front end parts, and so on. Maintenance should include though, gas filter, air filter, transmission fluid changes, belt changes, hose changes, spark plugs, distributor cap and rotor, and so on. Just check the manual and keep on on it.

If an automatic then you’ll need to replace the tranny fluid regularly also. Don’t forget the anti-freeze. Keep up on maintenance. Your owners manual will have all this information. If problems do arise…fix them quickly before they turn into something really bad. We sold our 96 Accord with a little over 220k miles and it was in EXCELLENT shape when we did. Wife kept her 87 Accord to over 300k miles and it too was running excellent when we sold it…last I knew it was still running with well over 350k miles.

Excellent advise so far. As Mike said, keep up on things when they do wear out or break. Not only could they turn into bigger headaches the longer you let them go, but if you let one thing go, then another and another, soon you have a beater with a litany of issues that you’ll never want to fix.

Hmmm, looks like I’m typing too slow tonight so this will look like a re-run.

You have obviously been doing something right to keep it on the road this long.

My daughter has an '87 Accord still on the road. With 327k miles on it it looks like hell, has gone through three clutches, I don’t know how many engine oil/filter changes and tranny fluid changes every 35k miles since new without any engine work.
Fortunately the timing belt hasn’t died between regular changes. It’s primarily a stop and go city car.

She has finally admitted she’s embarrassed to be seen driving it, but her husband says “It still runs and until it dies, we keep it”.

You must have replaced the timing belt a few times by now. Was the water pump replaced at the same time?

You are aware the engine is an interference type and if the engine is running when a timing belt breaks serious damage will occur?

Remove and inspect the spark plugs at least once per year and if clean, apply a little anti-seize to the threads so the plugs do not seize in the engine.

At this age you should pay a bit of extra attention to the frame and suspension components.

Ensure there aren’t any mounts rusted through that could come apart unexpectedly.
I mean things like struts (shocks), floor and trunk pans, (closely inspect all safety belt floor anchors and seat mountings) exhaust parts, and any piece that is supposed to be attached firmly to the frame.

I may have missed something but other than regular routine maintenance, you’ll be fine.

If the timing belt has not been touched then you’ve been lucky. Very lucky up to this point.

Since the car is 12 years old and since there hasn’t been much other needed maintenance if I read your quote right, my feeling is that this car likely has a number of issues right now that could be uncovered with a thorough inspection.
I’ve never seen a 200k miles car yet that did not have a laundry list of some sort.

If you don’t want THAT car to start costing money, stop at 240,000. Then the cost goes with the newer car. Two things: Never let the engine get low on oil. Manual transmissions have a vent on top and the old ones had a hose connected to it that hung down the side. Make sure it isn’t broken or missing. You want to keep water out of the transmission.

It is not clear from your message, if you have been doing ALL the MAINTENANCE listed in the OWNER’S MANUAL. If not, now is a bit past time. Things like changing the brake fluid will not show up until you may be involved in an accident.

BTW I'd bet that if you had changed the oil every 6,000 miles it would be have been no difference.  Modern cars and oils are great and really don't need 3,000 mile oil changes unless you only drive 3,000 miles a year.   Good Luck for 300,000 miles, it should be doable assuming nothing like being hit by a Hummer happens.

If it is automatic transmission and if the fluid has not been changed, I would suggest now is a good time to change the fluid and filter.

Make sure your timing belt/water pump are changed if has been 8yrs or 105k(whichever first) since the last one. If it is an automatic have the transaxle fluid changed.

Otherwise change the oil as usual and hope not expect for another 100k that is low cost. I would not go to crazy otherwise on maintenance except addressing things as they appear. The biggest factor now is luck in how much it costs.

If you don’t want THAT car to start costing money, stop at 240,000.

Gee…We put less then $500 in maintenance on our 87 Accord when we sold it with over 300k miles. As long as it’s maintained…these vehicles can easily last 300k+ miles with minimal cost.

When cars get past 200K miles they are often not in hands of the original owner’s and folks stop spending on regular maintenance. As the car gets older you need to INCREASE your monthly budget for maintenance and repairs. Some parts are going to wear out as the car ages and miles mount up.

Your '98 is now 12 years old and has 200K miles. Wheel bearings, struts, CV joints, steering rack, power steering pump, alternator, transmission, fuel pump, wiper motor, heater core, radiator, exhaust pipes, mufflers, CAT, motor mounts, sway bars and bushings are all items that could wear out. Fortunately a few and not all of these items will go. None of these repairs says the car is bad, just that it has gone a bunch of miles.

Keep up the maintenance, replace the timing belt as per mfg recommendation, and drive on and see how long you go before a repair “breaks the bank” and forces you to consider another car.

Lots of good suggestions here. I’ll add one more.

Whenever you open the hood, to check the oil for example, look around carefully. Look for signs of hoses cracking, green crusty areas on the radiator, traces of fluid leaks (any kind), cable ends rusting, things like that. You’ll be amazed at what you can see and what you can prevent. On my old pickup I never had a cooling problem becasue I monitor fluids and did visual surveys. Twice (in 338,000 miles) I replaced the radiator before it failed because I saw the “green crusties” developing, a sign of corrosion. After I removed one of the radiators, I pushed my finger right through the core at the crusty spot. That one was ready to blow.

Check the tire wear periodically also. That can be a real good indicator of suspension wear.

And, if you change your own oil, loook around for anything amiss while you’re lying under the car waiting for the oil to drain.

In short, make it a habit of looking for signs of problems developing. That’ll go a long way toward extending the car’s life.