Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Lifespan of a CRV

I am in the process of deciding whether I want to keep the 98 Honda CRV that I already own or whether I want to trade it in for an 04 Honda CRV. Does anyone have any ideas about how many miles I might be able to get from my 98? (The 98 has 150,000 miles on it, and I wondering if keeping it until 200,000 is realistic.) I need a car that is fairly reliable since I depend on it to drive 20 miles to work.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Is your CRV FWD or AWD? How long it will last depends on how it’s been maintained. What’s the maintenance history of your CRV? Have you followed the factory maintenance schedule?

No one can tell you how long the vehicle will last, or when a given component may fail. Something could break tomorrow, or you could drive it to 200K with nothing but routine maintenance.

Then I’d have to ask about the maintenance history of the '04 you’re looking at. Your '98 CRV might be a better bet than the newer one. Many people buy Hondas and neglect them because they think their reputation for reliability means you don’t have to take care of them.

You know the history of your 98, you probably don’t know if the 2004 was abused, driven harshly, not maintained, etc… If you’ve driven yours gently and taken care of it, your 98 may go further than the 2004. You’d be trading a vehicle you know for one you don’t know. Are you burning any oil or having any bad symptoms? If not, 200,000 shouldn’t be a problem. Budget $800 per year for normal maintenace and repairs though. And put away more money for your next vehicle.

My 98 Civic, which is built on the same platform as your CRV, has 191,000 miles on it, and I think 200,000 miles is perfectly realistic, but only if you keep up with all the maintenance. I plan to keep mine until it has 300,000 miles on it. Keep in mind, if you changed your timing belt at 90,000 miles, you will be due for another one at 180,000 miles. If you didn’t include a new water pump with the last timing belt job, it would be a good idea to include it with the 180,000 mile timing belt job.

Assuming you’ve done basic maintenance (regular oil changes and you did change the timing belt, right? Right?) you’ll probably easily get another 50k out of it. Hondas are famous for being able to get very old before they break. One of mine has 250,000 on it, and with the exception of a torn seat bolster still looks and drives like it did when it was new. I know a guy who had a CRX that made it to half a million miles before the body rusted too much from Wisconsin winters and he had to junk it. The engine was still working just fine.

You know what you’ve got so just drive the '98 until it breaks in half.

Great responses everyone. Thanks!

Daughter has 170K on her 01 CRV and will trade as soon as financially possible. It’s starting to need repairs but not in drive train/motor. Often, cars like CRVs and other Honda products incl. our previous family Accords with 200k plus, became less worthwhile to keep even with good maintenance. Engine transmission fine, but who wants to start replacing power window components, clutch and air conditioning etc. on older cars worth less than the accumulated repairs. That’s often where decision time comes in and where the component business starts making the big bucks off you.
I’d trade it if the 04 passes your seal of approval… the differences in the models are like night and day as the 04 is soooo much better in every way. The 98 car now may be worth something for trade before body shows more of it’s age as well.
I say…Go for it !

Try it in Fla. when the air stops working…or it cost $1k just to tear the dash apart on some cars to fix a heater vent control in a car driven in North Dakota. It’s often not that easy a decision.

Keep driving it until it becomes unreliable for you. It is not worth much money now and will only drop slightly in value at 200k.

I own a 97, 239K, was planning on keeping to 300K, but recently was told I need to replace the propeller shaft, also 1 front, 1 rear axle - total is $2000.00. This is new to me, so not sure of what the ‘tests’ for replacement are, signs/symptoms or failure mode. Actually was searching this site for info. Service manager did tell me this is becoming more common as there a a number of older CRV’s on the road, also offer the option of removing the shaft, making it a 2 wheel drive vehicle.