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Typical lifetime of '98 Altima

Anyone have a guess for the typical lifetime of a '98 Altima? 5 spd manual trans, 4 cyl 2.4 L engine, regular and frequent oil service for lifetime of vehicle, and all recommended repairs at dealer recommended checkups. It’s got 104K now.

It’s really difficult to answer the question unless we know your actual definition of “lifetime”. Since modern cars are not usually subject to the body rot that earlier designs were, modern cars essentially have an infinite lifespan as long as the owner is very diligent about maintenance as as long as he/she wants to continue to spend money on repairs and maintenance.

You tell us that the car has frequent oil changes, and that is great. And, you tell us that all recommended repairs have been done. However, you have not detailed maintenance beyond oil changes. If you are having ALL of the maintenance listed in the Nissan Maintenance Schedule done, then your car likely has many more thousands of miles left in it.

Give us some details on the car’s maintenance history (not just a statement such as, “It has been well-maintained”, as this frequently proves to be untrue), and we might be able to be more specific.

I think the dealer repair and maintenance prices are going to become uneconomical in the next 50K miles. Now that the warranty has run out I would find a good independent shop to do most of the work there from now on for the next 100-200K.

Cars generally don’t have a distinct lifetime (accidents excepted). There comes a time where repair costs don’t make economical sense. At that point you either let it go or the car becomes a hobby, or a nemesis.

Compared to other Japanese cars, Nissans suffer slightly more from premature body rust.

However the Altima is generally a good car, and if you live in a low rust areaa, I could see this car last 300,000 miles or 20 years without major component replacement. All this subject to maintenance as per the manual and normal driving style.

So, you would have at least 8-10 years of good driving left. Parts availability should not be a problem.

It depends on how it is treated. If you take really good care of it by driving gently and keeping up with the maintenance, you should be able to get at least another 196,000 miles out of it. If you take average care if it and drive moderately aggressively, you should be able to get another 96,000 relatively trouble free miles out of it.

thanks for the detailed response. The car has had ALL of the maintenance listed in the Nissan maintenance schedule, in addition to recommendations at the dealer when it goes for oil service (i.e. just replaced the reverse trans switch, front crankshaft seal, and ROC gasket at their recommendation). So either I’m responsible or a sucker :slight_smile:

I just moved to the fair city of Cambridge, MA and I’m trying to figure out whether it makes sense to keep the car. I could save a little money by selling it and using public transit and ZipCar, but this becomes a lot of money if it develops a major maintenance issue in the next few years.