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How long should my engine last?

In general, how can I find out how long a properly maintained engine is likely to last – by brand, year, and model?



I’m trying to decide whether or not to fix the transaxle on my '99 Hyundai (w/ 99000 miles)

Don’t be hung up on motor repairs…they are usually less than body repair. Determine how long you want to keep a car by the relative expense of it’s up keep on a yearly basis, condition of the body, and safe operation. Motors are little more than a couple of complete brake jobs and mileage is no more important than age in years. Do the real math on the entire car, not the superficial oil change interval discussions.

Paul; there is now way to find that out from published data. Most of us learn from reading about people who have driven their cars a very long distance with good maintenace. Engine life also varies by driving pattern and engine design.

A few examples:

  1. 1980s Toyota Celica: 1.2 million miles on original engine and paint job. Car was used mostly in Nevada, a very dry area.

  2. Toyota Corolla diesel, used in Malaysia as taxi: 1.4 million milese on original engine.

  3. Cadillac 1965 or so; used as Taxi in Madison Wisc, ran 600,000 miles without engine overhaul.

  4. Saab!!! Used by traveling businessman in Wisconsin; over 750,000 miles on original engine.

Many older Mercedes models went nearly a million miles before needing internal engine work.

A 1999 Hyundai, well maintained, should be good for another 100,000 miles with good care, under normal driving. The caveat is replacing the timing belt and water pump when called for in the owner’s manul, flushing the cooling system every 50,000 miles and performing oil changes at least every 4000-5000 miles, more often when only doing city driving. Otherwise, follow the maintenance manual to the letter.

A friend has a Hyundai Eleantra that’s 8 years old and he plans to keep it at least another 8 years.

As others say, the total ownership cost is what maters.

Good luck!

Burning oil? Have you changed you oil every 5K miles? If the motor has a timing belt has it been changed on schedule? Has the motor ever overheated?

You should get 200K+ miles out of most any engine that is maintained properly. No guarantees, but most engines hold up well if taken care of.

Chances are something else (like an accident) is going to determine the end of life for your car than an engine failure. Most should last 200,000 - 300,000