how many miles will a car last in general
IMHO 150k without major repairs if driven normally and basic maintenance done like timely oil/fluid changes.
This is a really broad question and the answer depends on countless variables. But, a well maintained car that isn’t abused should make it to 150-200k without any major repairs. Being good to your car and luck are the name of the game.
I have a 140,000 mile limit on the ones I don’t recommend keeping too long, but even those cars will last much longer. Some have more bothersome troubles than others. The models that I disliked the most are all out of production now. You have to have a reference source that lists the new models and describes their reliability, driving and handling characteristics, depreciation and overall satisfaction. I use the Consumer Reports annual auto issue dated April that comes out in March. You can learn a lot and eliminate some potential losers.
They will last as long as you are willing to maintain/repair them (with the exception of rust and accidents which will kill them in a hurry). The real question is the cost/benifit of preserving a specific car, and you have to answer that for yourself.
Our 1998 Subaru Legacy has 176k miles on it and our 1984 Mazda RX-7 has 186k miles. Both are still going strong.
My 1994 Chevy K1500 Blazer is getting ready to roll over to 225K miles. It needed a transmission at 191K, and the paint is flaking off pretty badly, but mechanically it’s otherwise in great shape.
Could last this long:
The best thing that you can do to keep a car for as long as you want to drive it is to keep it out of the winter salt and if you live in the deep South, out of the hot sunshine when possible. Mileage with proper maintenance is less of an issue than in the past. In the North, you must drive another car for rusting away purposes. I have a car that I want to keep and it is going on 20 years with no rust. Cars without rust are much easier to repair. Newer cars are more resistant to cosmetic rust but it still gets to the brake and exhaust system parts.
You say that you can’t afford a second car for winter? I suggest that you can’t afford not to if you want to keep your nicer car for as long as you can get parts and repairs and don’t mind outdated styling. Eventually your old car will become an antique and you will be proud to drive it in public!
Good question. It used to be 100,000 was good, now it seems to me more like 150,000 to 225,000 is pretty typical for a well cared for vehicle.
A lot depends on brand and model year. Some freinds of mine have a '96 Cherokee with 225,000 moles last I knew. The tranny was overhauled at about 200 but nothing on the engine.
A '94 Aerostar I knew went as far as the Cherokee and finally crapped out.
A Toyota Truck sold (still running) by another friend of mine at well over 200,000.
The sales person at Acura told my wife they do get some running 300,000 mile trade-ins.
In general? I’d say “generally” yesteryears 100,000 and “it’s shot” concept is now 250,000 and it’s pretty well shot. But you gotta remember, this is a car nut board, and these folks take care of their vehicles for the most part. Many ex-mechanics, current mechanics, motorheads and backyard knucklebusters who like to work on and take care of their cars. My daily driver is an 89 Accord, which I bought new in August 1989. It has 435,000 miles on it and stil has the original clutch. But I’m the only driver, change fluids and parts (maintenance stuff) regularly, fix things as they need fixing, and keep up after the rust. The Accord runs great, but I don’t see as many around as I used to. I think the answer is . . . cars are better made today and the old 100k is now around 250k.
Yup, 250K sounds about right for the average owner who performs the minimum recommended maintenance and unloads the car when it starts to require actual repairs. Obviously, driving one for 400K+ requires a little more TLC.