Goal 200k: At 100k miles, what parts would you replace to get another trouble-free 100k miles?

This discussion can apply to any Honda, etc.
but I am referring specifically to a friend’s 2005 Hyundai Elantra with 100k.

What if someone was willing to invest a few thousand bucks into keeping the car (way cheaper than a new $20,000 car) and wanted as little trouble as possible until 200k? What items are almost certain fail by 200k? If one is willing to invest some money to keep this car going for a few more years (without constant breakdowns) what should they replace as preventative maintenance? (This can also be done at home for a fraction of the cost) This is partly theoretical, as the list is big…But, I think it’s a good conversation…

I will start the list

O2 sensors
Spark Plugs (and coils?)
Cooling system (Thermostat, Hoses, Water pump, Timing belt, Radiator, Flush coolant, etc.)
Transmission fluid
Differential fluid
Power Steering fluid
Brake rotors, pads, brake fluid.
Headlight bulbs
Fuel Filter
Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF)
Replace Belts, tensioners, pulleys
Inspect suspension (bushings, ball joints, etc)
Check rubber intake boots?
Clean throttle body?
Clean Idle control valve?

Anyone want to take a try at ranking these with most important / likely to fail / smartest money spent at the top?

Your owner’s manual should help out. I do not believe you have any differential fluid, just transmission. Be aware that you have to use Hyundai specific ATF. I will check the brakes, but if fine no need to change. Same with Alternator, Oxygen sensor, MAF & headlight.

Most of the list are regular maintenance items that might have needed attention way before 100K miles.

On all of the used cars I have bought, I have replaced only those items needed to get everything working right and those wear items that were clearly worn. Everything else on your list was left alone. Most of these items were still in place at the 200K mark, if reached.

Why change out a perfectly good bulb, thermostat, PCV valve, or oxygen sensor? Its aftermarket replacement may have fewer hours of service than your existing equipment.

Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Just go by the recommended maintenance schedules.

You are asking for trouble. Follow the maintenance schedule in the owners manual, except if an automatic, you should change the ATF every 30k or so, use the specified fluid only. 150k is a cake walk for this car, 200k should not be hard to achieve. Don’t do unnecessary repairs, its an opportunity for something to go wrong that didn’t have to.

Do what the manual states and what is worn and noticeable by inspection as an issue.

Your car can be stolen, hit in an accident, or sold.

I followed the manual with my 95 Civic and delivered to me with the following repairs outside of what was in manual:

  1. radiator
  2. clutch
  3. muffler
  4. brakes x2
  5. set of tires x 5

I sold it at 225,000 miles for $2000 needing new struts, timing belt, likely radiator (running warmer than usual at 80MPH)

I don’t see any benefit in replacing any parts that are perfectly good. Just replace as needed.

Some of the parts you listed like (MAF, Radiator and Alternator) I haven’t replaced in any of our last 6 vehicles. 4 of which had over 300k miles. So I don’t see the benefit in replacing those parts if they don’t fail.

You’d be far better off just putting the money into normal general preventative maintenance (oil changes and such).

As for things you listed like pads and differential fluids…those are maintenance items and should be addressed via the recommendations in your owners manual.

What sends high-mileage cars to the scrapper is likely to be transmission failure…A distant second would be engine failure or engine worn to the point that passing an emissions test becomes impossible…

Few motorists are going to replace transmissions or engines in an attempt to insure the reliability of their high-mileage cars…

On the horizon, we will have cars being scrapped when all the electronic safety and convenience features start to crap out and NOBODY can fix them…The entire dashboard lit up like a Christmas Tree with warning lights that defy being extinguished and prevent the car from being registered…

@Caddyman, you are correct on convenience items

although it is more a requirement for myself, I have sold or dumped my high miles >200k vehicles simply due to failed AC. It is a vehicle requirement for myself irregardless to bugdet. This included my $500-$1000 Subaru’s I went through in college.

I agree with Mike. Why replace stuff that is still perfectly good?
One thing that you do need to watch for is the timing belt: If your engine is interference engine and you don’t have a timing chain but a belt, I’d replace it according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule. Those things do break and will ruin your day.

Replace & service those things that are identified as due or overdue by your owner’s manual supplement, your recommended maintenance schedule. You need not do anything else that isn’t broken.

Hoses should be checked for pliability, cracks, and aneurisms (bubbles in the rubber). If you find them in good shape, you need not change them. Simply squeeze the hose and look or cracks.

Things that I’d OMIT from your list unless they’re failing:

O2 sensors
all cooling system parts except the coolant itself (NOTE: see hose test above)
differential fluid (you have none)
Have the brakes checked. If they’re in good shape, have the fluid flushed with fresh fluid the next time you have the brakes done.
Your headlight bulbs…your choice. I always wait until one burns out and then change both.
Fuel filter…good luck with this if you insist on doing it. Yours is in your tank, part of your fuel pump assembly.
MAF; if it ain’t broke, it don’t need fixin’
Pulleys - serpentine belt should be due, but the tensioner will be fine if it tests fine, and the pulleys not on components are idlers and should last the life of the vehicle.
alternator; if it ain’t broke, it don’t need fixin’
suspension bushings; unless they’re loose or allowing movement within them. Don’t be afraid to shake parts if the car is properly supported…and DO NOT get under it if it isn’t.
Forget the throttle bdoy and the IAC valve unless you’re having an operating problem

Remember the above list is things you can OMIT from your list.

Why replace stuff that is still perfectly good?

Why? I’ll give you 2 very good reasons:

  1. When you replace on your own terms, it can cost 20% of having it done by a pro. When it’s broken, and you need a car the next day (or need to get towed off the side of the road), you have to get it done by a pro.

  2. Doing it before (like they do for airplanes), makes for fewer breakdowns, and a more reliable car. A couple of Sundays to ensure fewer breakdowns over the next 5-6 years is totally worth it to me.

I can’t believe how much stock people here put in owner’s manuals.
Those things can’t be trusted, as they want the car to break so you buy a new one.
Talk about a conflict of interest.

If you listened to BMW service intervals, you’d kill your car by 100k
They are known to be full of crap, esp. when stuff was under warranty.

BMW’s Free Scheduled Maintenance program means that BMW will perform scheduled maintenance free of charge during the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty period.

Prior to the advent of BMW Free Scheduled Maintenance, approximate BMW maintenance recommendations were: automatic transmission fluid (ATF) and filter changes every 15,000 miles, manual gearbox and differential oil changes every 30,000 miles, annual brake fluid changes, and coolant changes every two years. Spark plugs, air filter, and fuel filters were typically replaced every 30,000 miles on most BMWs (this is a tune-up) except M cars up to 1995, which got new spark plugs and a valve adjustment every 15,000. Later advances in computer engine management and spark plug technology legitimately allow 60,000-mile spark plug life if not more.

Prior to Free Scheduled Maintenance, you couldn’t change engine oil often enough according to most dealerships. And when the car was in the shop it would often be due for this service or that inspection, all at the owner’s expense.

But once BMW began paying for scheduled maintenance, lo and behold the “schedule” was revised. Now, magically, the cars hardly need any maintenance at all! The 1,200-mile break-in service was done away with except for M cars. Engine oil suddenly lasts 15,000 miles (dealers are supposed to use BMW synthetic oil). Manual gearbox and differential oil? No worries there – now BMW says they NEVER need to be changed, it’s “lifetime fill.” Brake fluid and coolant service intervals were doubled with no change in the original BMW brake fluid and anti-freeze dealers are supposed to use.

Nope. You will very likely replace a part that would have lasted 300k miles with one that might fail after 50k. You also might accidentally cause some other problem while replacing those good parts. Airplane preventative maintenance has evolved carefully over the last 100 years to replace needed parts, not anything that might possibly fail. Most of the stuff you list won’t strand you, you’ll have a warning and time to fix.

But it’s your car…

If you stick with OEM, and only replace parts that are known to fail long before 200k, it can be very beneficial, as per the 2 reasons given above.

I agree those are reasons…but I surely wouldn’t call them GOOD reasons.

#1 - Why when a part breaks does it have to be replaced by a pro? Sure there are times it may break while far away from home…but that doesn’t mean you still can’t do it yourself. I had a timing belt break on me some 300 miles from home. Luckily it was on a non-interference engine. I found a parts store about 1/2 mile away and was up and running in an hour.

#2 - Airplanes are special. They do this because if a part fails at 30,000 ft it’s not too good for the passengers or pilot. But some of your parts you mentioned are not parts that frequently fail. So why replace them. From your logic…sounds like you should replace the engine at 200k miles because at some point it’ll fail too.

I firmly believe in PM. You should replace fluids based on the owners manual. Inspect and adjust other parts like brakes. Some things like tires may need to be replaced after 5-6 years (if you don’t drive much). But outside of that…just keep up the PM.

Oh, I firmly believe in preventive maintenance as well and do most the things the service manual recommends at their appropriate interval.

But you have to pick your battles:
When it suggests to for instance “replace the crank sensor”, I won’t. There’s little point. It is a hall effect sensor. There’s little current going through it, has no real things to wear so it failing mode is fairly random. Sure, there’s a Mean Time Between Failure statistic attached to electronic parts like that but that’s way longer than the service interval.
Same thing with starters and alternators. I’m not going to replace them just because the manual tells me. They can fail pretty much at random, even 500 miles after re-installation of a remanufactured starter, for instance. I’ve had those parts installed when the car was new last way over 200K, they don’t do damage when they fail and they are easy to replace.
Even ‘mission critial’ parts like brake calipers I won’t replace for the sake of replacing. You know when they start failing and they fail slowly. When you do a brake job, you check the rubber and gasket and replace what needs replacing. I will, on the other hand, replace rubber bake hoses because of how they behave over time.

With some items, failure is far more likely because of infant mortality (ie new installation) than anything else.

I’m rethinking your list here. One change I would make is that when you are due for the first coolant change when or after the car is ten years old, change all the hoses and the thermostat. this may be combined with the timing belt and water pump service (if the water pump is driven by the timing belt). A lot of cars these days cannot tolerate even one instance of overheating. Include the heater hoses, not just the radiator hoses.

Don’t make this a special PM, just include it with any other maintenance that is required on the cooling system.

Comparing a car to an airplane in terms of PM maintenance is not valid. If an airplane breaks down it is a very serious situation if not deadly. A breakdown in a car that turns into serious or grave situation in is extremely rare. Inconvenient at best.

Also replacement cost on an airplane is many fold higher than the actual PM costs. So PM makes sense as it does with majority of expensive machinery.

The key to owning older vehicles is having an extra spare one in the fold or access to inexpensive rental cars. When we have to deal with our slow but inexpensive independent we go right to a rental place for $20/day.

Maybe luck but I never broke down in my 150k-250k vehicles. I have owned a few and none had any extra maintenance/PM done.

I’ve seen cars last 200,000 miles without anything being repaired or replaced outside of normal maintenance, so I wouldn’t waste money replacing parts that have yet to fail.

If you want your car to last more than 200,000 miles, you should:

-check the fluids often. Once a week works for me.
-address problems as soon as you see symptoms. Don’t put off repairs. For example, a cracked radiator won’t get a chance to fry your engine if you recognize the smell of antifreeze and get it fixed before your car overheats.

If you truely believe that Owners’ Manuals are written such as to allow the car to break in order that you buy another, and you prefer to spend significant amounts of money changing parts and assemblies that might never fail just in case they might, than I have to recuse myself from helping you decide which parts to change. A starter motor, an alternator, and an AC compressor are just as likely to fail prematurely as a MAF sensor, you you might as well change those too. And a heater core and a tranny cooler are as likely to fail as the radiator, so you might as well change all three.

I wish I had money to throw away like this. I’m envious.