Once upon a time, reaching 100,000 miles on a vehicle was a point of pride reserved for auto enthusiasts who were willing to pour their money into repairs. Those days are long gone, with 100,000 miles now being the halfway point in most cars' lives.
Any car constructed in the past two decades has the potential to reach 200,000 miles and beyond if cared for properly. We're at the point in our automobile evolution where cars can last much longer than ever before. While automakers aren't happy about selling fewer new vehicles every year, this is great news for consumers.
New Building Quality Means New Limits
The quality of automobiles has improved by leaps and bounds during the past several decades. New manufacturer technology has boosted the build quality of new vehicles rolling out of the factory.
We can thank foreign influence, in part, for pushing the boundaries of build quality. Honda and Toyota were initially known as brands that boasted long lifespans, but newer vehicles from any automaker can reach 200,000 miles or more.
Why? It's partially because a reliable car is a car that will sell. People don't want to pay for something that will fall apart on them in a few years. Every automaker wants to have a reputation for making long-lasting cars, so they push their manufacturing technology and the tech inside the vehicles as far as they can.
Another reason is newer emissions standards across the country. To meet these standards, automakers have had to build cars that burn fuel completely and cleanly. Doing so has the effect of making the engine last longer since there is no build-up of fuel deposits in the pistons or other vital parts of the engine.
Regular Maintenance and Repairs Are Vital
Of course, even the most well-constructed vehicle will fall apart quickly without regular maintenance. Changing the oil every 3,000 or 5,000 miles (depending on the type of oil you use) is all it takes for many cars to keep going.
You should also abide by the maintenance schedule that's in the owner's manual. Manufacturers include those schedules to help you replace parts that are nearing the end of their life. Replacing them before they break will prevent costly damage to your vehicle, which can even include something so severe that it sends your car to the scrapyard.
Lastly, any time your car makes a suspicious recurring noise, take it to the mechanic. The sounds that a car makes are often the best clue that something is wrong. The noise could be an innocuous simple fix, or it could be an early warning sign that your transmission needs work.
Aim For 200,000 With Your Vehicle
Unless your car is from the '70s or '80s, there's a strong possibility that it can reach 200,000 miles and beyond. Make sure to do regular maintenance, correct any issues that pop up, and follow the schedule in the owner's manual, and you'll be boasting about reaching over 200,000 miles on your car.