I’m not a commuter, and drive it out of town once or twice a month within 60 miles.
and drive it 2-3 times a week in the city.
It all depends on how well it’s been maintained. Could be 10 miles, could be 100,000 miles.
It could last a lot longer but the warranty would be 50-50. Fifty seconds or fifty feet, whichever comes first. If you already own it, stick with it. It shouldn’t hurt.
We know the age, the odometer mileage, and the typical driving patterns of this car, but the all-important thing that the OP has not revealed is the maintenance record.
If the car has been well-maintained, it likely has at least another 50k decent miles left in it.
On the other hand, if the timing belt is overdue for replacement, the engine could self-destruct tomorrow. If the OP is changing the oil on the basis of odometer mileage, rather than on the basis of elapsed time, oil sludging could wipe out the engine shortly. If the OP doesn’t check (and correct) the oil level frequently, the engine could be toast today.
tommypickles–We need to know–in detail–about the car’s maintenance, particularly over the past 3 years, before anyone can give you a good guesstimate.
I have an '03 Honda Civic with 130K miles that drives great, not rattles, no shakes. I expect it to last another 10 years. Most likely rust will be what kills it in the end. I have maintained the car properly since I bought it new.
Many cars are trash by the time they reach 130K. The three factors are; design and build quality of the car, how well the owners have maintained the car, how hard were the miles driven on the car. Some driver’s are hard on a car, and some roads are hard on a car, and lots of in town stop and go driving is hard on a car.
The Prism is well built car, I believe it is a Toyota Tercel with a Chevy name on it. It was built in a Toyota factory in California. What do you know about the car’s maintenance? If little to nothing, not a good sign. It seems you do mostly in town driving, not so good.
You need to know if your car has a timing belt or not? I suspect is does. If yes, it should have been changed by now at least once, and is due for a 2nd timing belt job. You also need to know if it has an “interference motor” or not? If the timing belt breaks on any motor the motor will suddenly stop running. On an interference motor internal parts bang into each other, and lock up the motor. These parts are damaged and pretty much means the motor is ruined and has to be replaced. On a '99 car it means the car is shot and you junk it and find another car.
If you car has an automatic transmission, this is another problem area. If the fluid in the transmission has never been changed, and best if it was changed every 30K miles, then the auto transmission can fail on you and need a rebuild. 136K miles on an auto trans that has never been serviced puts it in a high risk category to fail. $1500 to fix and on a '99 might mean the end for the car.
Properly maintained a Prism should be good for 200+K miles.
You car is basically a Toyota Corolla. IF it has been well maintained with frequent enough oil changes, and other maintenance has been kept up, you are about halfway into its expected life. Expect it to last 300,000 miles with good care. But you may find that the body will rust out before that time. In any case you have the perfect car for longevity.
The ones we had (3) delivered value for well over 200 k if serviced regularly. The real culprit for these cars is RUST. If you don’t live in rust belt, no problem. If you do, it can go from looking ok to uninspectable in short order. A 99 is on the verge like all Corolla based cars might be.
We had one go over 12 years and 300k plus but we took rust prevention seriously. It was still running well and rust free when traded. If you don’t mind getting dirty for 10 minutes once every year or two, your car can last 30 rust free years under any conditions.
The good news about your '99 Prizm is that the 1.8 engine uses a timing chain. The bad news is that they are susceptible to rust as dagosa has already pointed out. My niece also owns a '99 Prizm and it’s still going strong after a timing chain replacement. She has over 200K on the clock but the maintenance on the car was always performed in a timely manner. Maintenance is the key to long life for any vehicle.
At 14 yrs old, and almost 150K the car will last as long as there is no engine, or transmission problem that would require a major overhauled. This could be in two weeks, or four years, but if and when there is a major failure the car will be scrap so it is a good idea to start saving now.
Tommy, can you tell us more about the car? Do you know its history and/or maintenance record?
Probaly till you get tired of it-Kevin