Cars over 100k mi. Thoughts?

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      So in my short life, I have not owned a car that made it to or beyond 100,000 miles. (first car got crunched at 58,000 and second car is at 61,000 and counting). My boyfriend says all his cars he has owned started having big expensive problems beyond 100,000 miles. But I’m skeptical that ALL or even MOST cars experience such problems. I’m toying with buying an older car-and most of the ones I have been looking at have 80,000-100,000+ miles on them…and are 10+ years old. I know they are “just machines” and all things die, but I’d like to get a feel of HOW MUCH trouble I’d possibly get myself into lol On the other hand, my boyfriend’s mother had a honda that was over 100k miles and it was just like new…well until she gave it to my boyfriend and now its falling apart lol men *rolls eyes*

      So tell me your experiences with 100k mi cars you’ve had or ones people you have known have had. Please include a type if possible. I know around Texas I have seen more old Hondas, Toyotas and Pontiacs on the road than anything else. I’m thinking of getting a Pontiac so my fears are lessened.



          When I was in college and shortly thereafter, until I got a job where I could buy the car I have now, I drove a 91 Sundance and a 92 Duster. Both had between 150,000 and 200,000 miles on them. Almost the same car in body really, but the Duster was a V6, so it had a little more pep, considering the engine power at the time. No real problems with either. I do oil changes myself at regular intervals. Older cars of that nature, you’ll probably eventually have to replace things like transmission and the like, but if you are buying a used car, you don’t have a payment and the insurance should be lower. My current car is a 2006 Toyota Camry that was bought new-used from the dealer at the end of its model year (it was a buy back from a rental company), so the mileage was already about 12,000 miles on it, so the engine was already broken in. Other than getting rear-ended by an idgit blonde (seriously, 18 natural blonde chick playing with her hair and makeup in her rearview mirror for a few miles and didn’t see me slow down, but at least the car was fixable and I was fine), I’ve had no real issues with the car. Since I drive 2 hours daily to work (1 hour to, 1 hour home, rain, snow, etc.), I’m now at over 104,000 miles on the car and it has been all over the Northeast, PA, NY, and parts of Canada. I fully intend on running this car into the ground before I get another one, unless I’m ever able to afford an old muscle car or my 62 Caddy convertible as a secondary for fun. πŸ™‚ Hondas and Toyotas are pretty reliable for longevity. I’d have to ask my brother on Pontiacs (he’s a master tech mechanic…. he’s got a Mercedes that he did most of the rebuilding on that is sitting in a museum in Germany…. it’s worth something like $145,000 if I remember correctly? I’d have to ask to be sure, it’s been a few years since that went over there. I saw it before it was shipped and I know what it looked like before. It looks awesome now!).

          Anyways, yeah… nothing wrong with older cars that have been taken care of, but you will have some maintenance, due to the age. It’s inevitable. I know someone who drove a car and put a million miles on it, but they took care of it. That’s the key really, as long as the car is a good car as well. Some people just destroy cars, or bikes, or bicycles. My twin is like that! *lol* He’s not allowed to touch my car or even drive it. πŸ˜‰

          Oh, I’ll also add that most of my family while growing up has had older cars. We went through quite a few Pintos and Escorts when my older brothers were in high school and college. It’s nice that the parts are interchangeable too, so as one hit the end of it’s life, or hit a tree from icy roads, we had another one on the road in no time. πŸ™‚


            I use to have a 99′ Honda Civic. Great 1st car! When I bought it at 80k miles all I had to do was change the timing belt. It is a 4 cylinder so not a ”floor it” kinda car. I really enjoyed that car and the 35 or more MPG that I was getting.
            I did have to do some work on the windows around 130k miles, which set me back about $300, other than that I didn’t have to work on it at all.
            My brother had a 98′ Nissan Maxima for a long time and got it to 170k miles, he sold it because it needed about $500 worth of work done to the front end.

            I upgraded to an 06′ Subaru Impreza WRX and have had it almost 2 years. (LOVE this car!)
            I prefer
            Subaru, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota in that order because you hardly ever have to work on them, and most get great MPGs.


              We have had a few cars. Most of them were over or we drove them over 100k. If you keep them maintained, many cars will do just fine over that number. I had a 1995 Chevrolet Lumina minivan that had over 400k when I finally had to let it go. It did have a couple of expensive repairs in its life (alternator, a couple of starters, exhaust system, etc.) but it lasted quite a while. The engine was still good when it was retired, other parts were no good.

              Our current vehicle is a 2001 Toyota Camry. We just reached 100k on it (it had 79k) when we bought it. Nothing major has broken down yet. The slightly newer vehicles are made to last much longer, well past 100k. Just keep up with the regular maintenance stuff like oil changes and checking fluids, etc.

              I would suggest having a mechanic you trust check out the vehicle you are interested in. Or ask what vehicle he/she would recommend. That might help as well.
              Good luck with the vehicle mission!


                Yes, lots of cars can live well over 100k miles. However, as they each pointed out, they need to be taken care of from the beginning for them to live that long without problems. As Forestdragon said, make sure you get any car checked out before purchasing. You might take care of it, but the person who owned it before you might not have. That could significantly reduce the life span.

                Generally speaking, Japanese cars have the greatest reliability, though. I couldn’t make any statements on Pontiac, especially without knowing the year and model. Honestly, I wouldn’t trust many American cars to be reliable after a certain point…run, yes, but cost a LOT to maintain.


                  I’ve got a 2001 Ford Focus SE (bought it new with less than 50 miles on it) that has 116k on it now. The car is still in great shape, but that’s probably because I’ve tried to take care of it over the years. Yeah I’ve had to do repairs here and there (that always seem to cost around $300), but overall it’s been great for me. I plan on keeping it for a while longer yet.


                    My hubby says it has something to do with two different people driving the car differently.
                    We have two cars right now, both over 100K but less then 4 years old. LOL.
                    We drive totally different and says the cars could have issues if I started driving his car because we drive REALLY different. I tend to take off quickly where he takes off really slow. (He is really irritating to drive with) LOL.


                      Hmm. Miles are a strange thing, because if they are all highway miles, it affects the vehicle very little. But if the miles comes from riding around in a town or city, that causes problems.

                      I’ve only had two cars ever. My first was a hand me down from my grandmother, a Ford Tempo. I had it for something like 4 years before I even decided to get my license. No, I didn’t care if I could drive or not, so I was 19 when I got my permit and license… out of necessity, not want. Anyway, the vehicle had over 150k miles on it, and it worked fine. The engine ended up exploding after it was flooded after one heavy monsoon season. I have faith that if that didn’t happen, that vehicle would probably still be around.

                      I now have a Ford Ranger. Year 2002, and only 40k miles on him (16k were from when he was bought used). Can you tell I hate driving? lol.
                      I also have a 200…8? Kawasaki Ninja bike. I’m coming up on the year mark here, and he’s only got just a little over 100 miles on him. All are from riding around without purpose at night. The bike is carborated so I just don’t feel comfortable riding around during heavy/moderate traffic (carborated means it’s easy to stall, where as fuel injected it hard to stall). Kinda defeated the purpose a buying it, but whatever πŸ™„
                      I mentioned this because it’s more proof of how much I don’t drive 😈

                      I knew someone who has a toyota T-100 and it has over 250k miles on it and is still going strong.

                      But in the end, try and find out if the miles are highway or city miles. Makes a big difference to the quality of the engine.


                        My ’86 Dodge Ram D100 Custom pickup had over 250K miles on it when I was forced to get rid of it. And that truck was abused. It had been my mother’s farm truck, and she didn’t (still doesn’t) believe in vehicle maintenance at all :scratch:. When i got it (many miles later) I started caring for it (loved that truck πŸ˜₯ ). I used it for work though, and did a LOT of heavy duty hauling with that thing- once i had over a ton in the bed, and another close to 11 tons in a trailer. It was never fazed in the slightest, never seemed to notice the loads even though they were much more than what it was rated for. It was ugly, and i had more people laugh at me and tell me to get a Ford, Chevy, whatever make they preferred- only to have me come pick them up when they broke down πŸ˜› . Yes, over the years I put probably a couple thousand into it in work- but that’s less than a car payment!
                        (if I’m really really lucky, one day I’ll have another just like it)


                        My 2002 Honda Civic has 137000 km’s on it… (which is what, 85000 miles or so?) and it runs perfectly. On the other hand, my fiancee’s car, which is a 99 Chrysler Intrepid, has 184000kms on it (114000 miles or so) and it’s a piece of junk, he’s had to make major repairs every year since he got it. My friends old Nissan with 320000kms (199000 miles) runs fine, nothing major yet.

                        I think it depends on the car, really. I hear Civics (Hondas in general, but REALLY Civics) and older Toyotas (not the new-ish ones) last forever.


                          I don’t think miles matter at all. My car has 118,000 miles but you would think it just came from the dealership, I haven’t had a repair more than $100 on it (it’s a 2003 Chevy Cavelier which I bought new).
                          My hubby’s car on the other hand…………he drives like he is 16 years old and just got his learner’s permit and mommy’s keys 😑 His SUV has less than 50,000 miles on it and we have put $3000 worth of parts on it in JUST the past 8 months 😑 First he blew the radiator and ignored it, which caused the head gasket (aka $1500) to go, then he drove over something and smashed his gas tank which caused him to fill his tank EVERYDAY because it all leaked out on our driveway everynight 😑 $3,000 later and it STILL runs like a steaming pile of crap 😑 You know how many Windstones I coulda bought with that?!!

                          I agree, it’s all on how it has been taken care of in the past that matters in my opinion. I was taught to drive by my 80 year old grandfather, so now I drive like I’m 80 (but MY car runs like a dream!)!! πŸ˜›


                            My Ford is at 160K and still going strong! I take HORRIBLE care of it too!!! πŸ˜† 1999 Ford Ranger… I think I’m about 2,000 miles over my oil change now too 😳 Yea… I gotta get that taken care of

                            Pfft, watch! Now that I said that the thing is gonna die tonight when I leave work! πŸ™„

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                              Toyota Corollas from the 90’s (so long as they’ve been maintained, my family has one at 118,000 and one at 116,000), old Volvos, as long as you can find a shop that works on them in your area, and those little 2WD Toyota trucks you see gardeners use, could survive a nuclear blast.


                                I have a 95 Chevy Beretta that has about 180K on it. It’s been a great car. There were some maintenance repairs batteries, starters, alternators, but those things wear out and a bad battery can kill both the starter and the alternator. I did have a cracked radiator but I think that was more from my roomie driving my car through into the side of garage and part way through the garage door. But it took 2 years after that for the radiator to die. There is something to the 2 different drivers thing though. My Beretta drive fine for me but she’ll give anyone else who drives her problems, so as a result I don’t let other drive her anymore.

                                I don’t have much good to say about Pontiacs. everyone I’ve know who ever had one had electrical system issues, and those are very expensive to repair…usually it’s cheaper to junk the car. I would recommend Toyotas. They hold their value. My insurance company repaired my roomie’s 2001 for the tune of $3678 when it was hit in a parking lot last Christmas. Which means it was worth more than the damage, and if properly maintained you can get 300K easy on a Toyota engine. My mom had one she drove into the upper 200Ks before it was totaled in accident.

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