Social Question

Marchofthefox's avatar

Do you really have to get rid of your car once it has reached 200,000?

Asked by Marchofthefox (787points) May 31st, 2012

Just out of curiosity, what are your options when your car has reached 200,000 miles? Do you have to go buy another car?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

woodcutter's avatar

It will depend what kind of shape it’s in. These days a car with that amount of use isn’t necessarily worn out.

King_Pariah's avatar

Not truly necessary, as @woodcutter said, depends on the condition of the vehicle (hell, I’ve seen vehicles that wore out their engine blocks and transmission at 50,000 miles and vehicles that are well over 300,000 that seem to be chugging along just fine).

And if you want real vehicle horror stories, look at the HMMWV prior to the US military switching over to Edelbrock engines. Had to rebuild the engines roughly every 700–1,000 miles.

Marchofthefox's avatar

Thanks so much. :-)

lillycoyote's avatar

It depends on the car. Some cars just go on an on forever and ever, almost; some do, many don’t. When it costs more to maintain and repair it than it’s worth, or when it is more economical to replace it then that is the time to get rid of it, I think.

jerv's avatar

My ‘85 Corolla has almost 245k, and my step-dad’s Celica was over 350k when he sold it, so I would say no, you don’t. Well, at least not of it still runs well, like old Toyotas tend to.

wallabies's avatar

Lol there is the saying if it ain’t broke…

It doesn’t really matter what the mileage is. What matters is how well it’s been taken care of. Yes, everything has a lifespan, but there is no hard rule that says at 200k or 150k or 400k your car will cease to function properly. There are many factors involved in how long something like an engine will continue to perform, and there are many reasons why you might or might not be interested in rebuilding one.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Nope. Keep it.
I just did a semi-scientific test.
Go to and do a search for used cars in your area. Go to “advanced search” and set it to: All makes, All Years, Mileage between 100,000 and Max. Then sort by Mileage and look at all the cars above 200,000 miles.

The big winner in my area (western NY) was the Ford F150. Next was GM, then Toyota.
Check it out yourself. Very interesting.

CWOTUS's avatar

Of course, for those interesting facts to have any meaning beyond simple counting, @LuckyGuy, you have to have some basis for comparison of “how many F150s were bought new or used in the area compared to GMs and Toyotas”. But it is interesting information.

jerv's avatar

@CWOTUS True; the only American rigs I’ve seen any appreciable number of that made 200k+ were F-150s, which is also the most popular truck ever. Toyota is also both popular and long-lived. Mercedes diesels are long-lived, but uncommon at best; they are also the type of car that makes up much of the Million Mile Club.

filmfann's avatar

My beloved Subaru had 225k when it was totaled in a head on.
Keep it as long as you like.

Nullo's avatar

Nah. Some cars would roll the odometer over a couple of times before finally giving out.
The best time to get rid of a car is when it would cost more to keep fixing all the breaking parts than it would be to buy a newer car.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s funny. You make it sound like there’s some kind of law saying all cars must be junked at 200K. In the United States, that isn’t true. It’s still a free enough country that you can keep your junker and pollute the air as long as you can pass inspection, however often your state requires it. And if you don’t put it on the road, I guess there are no restrictions on pollution.

But newer cars are more efficient and less polluting. They may or may not cost less to operate. Probably cost more because of the cost of buying them.

But there is no law in the US saying you have to junk your car at 200K. So, you’re good unless you live in another country where there is such a law. I’ve never heard of such a thing, though.

gailcalled's avatar

@filmfann: My beloved Subaru (purchased in Dec.2006) has 29,000 miles and doing well. However, because of the crappy dirt roads filled with pot holes and pot holes filled with stones that are too big and have sharp corners, I have already needed new tires, had more than my share of flats and also needed to replace the two rear brake pads.

The rule is, I guess, whether you spend more than half the yearly payments on maintenance.

jerv's avatar

@wundayatta My old car has fuel economy comparable to a 2012 Subaru, and the emissions were excellent; one of the things they measured was comparable to a mid-sized SUV while the others were actually cleaner than a modern car. Just saying.

Also note that OBDII has not changed since it came out in 1996, and it’s real purpose is to monitor emissions. So long as your Check Engine light isn’t on, your emissions are well within legal limits, and likely lower since many are tuned to LEV or SLEV standards.

wundayatta's avatar

@jerv That’s excellent!

bkcunningham's avatar

My Subaru Legacy had over 250,000 miles when I traded it. They didn’t want to give me anything. I balked and ended up getting $3000 off the purchase price of my new car. Not bad. I loved that little car.

jerv's avatar

@wundayatta I think the secret is that, while my car is old, it’s still new enough to have a catalytic converter. Between that and the fact that the engine is still in great shape (thanks to regular maintenance), the only real difference between my ‘85 and newer cars I’ve owned is horsepower. The real secret is keeping up on maintenance and fixing small problems before they turn into big ones. If you do that, then it doesn’t matter what you drive; the fuel economy will be good, and the tailpipe clean for many years to come.

jca's avatar

@wundayatta: My thoughts exactly about the way the question was worded. He made it sound like it’s mandatory you give the car up at 200 thousand miles.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

No, why would you? If it still runs fine, then who cares about the mileage.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther